Benswen
Benswen Reader
8/18/21 5:59 p.m.

Hello! Long time subscriber, lurker and occasional poster here.

This is my new to me '96 Corolla.

And this is my 1991 MR2 Hardtop, which is nearing the end of a 2GRFE swap from a Camry:

Here's the basics:

Corolla: 260k miles, 1 owner for 25 years, from OR so not rusty.  5-speed manual, everything works, needs basic deferred maintenance stuff.  My plan is to update the suspension and brakes, make a few small improvements, and use is as a track day beater.  The local "track" to me is actually a driver's training course for emergency vehicles, but there are autocrosses and TNIA's there.  100 hp is just fine for a good time there.

MR2: 130k, 1 owner for the first 24 or so years, then 1 summer with the 2nd owner, then me.  Set up for ES autocross - Koni's, big front sway bar, custom exhaust.  5-speed, blue interior (AWESOME!) and rather rare slicktop without sunroof.  Currently most of the way through a 2GRFE swap.  Got it started and running!  Can't wait to drive it.

 

 

Benswen
Benswen Reader
8/18/21 6:58 p.m.

The MR2 before the swap:

Planned upgrades for the AE101 'Rolla:

-98-01 Corolla S front anti-sway bar, Whiteline rear bar (base Corolla's like mine came without front bars.)

- Struts, mounts, tie rod ends, balljoints - whatever is 260k miles and 25-years old that might break on course.

- Maybe some brake upgrades?

- A better seat.  Maybe a Scion xA seat will fit.  The stock seat is clean and in good shape, but there is no support to it.

- Wheels and tires.  I have a few sets of 205/50/15's around, so something to put those on.  I was actually looking into 5x114.3 conversions so I could use one of several sets I have for the MR2, but it looks rather involved.

 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise UberDork
8/18/21 8:33 p.m.

Love the mr2. Sw20 for life! 
 

my corolla love ended with my 87 GTS. 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
8/19/21 1:34 p.m.
Benswen said:

- A better seat.  Maybe a Scion xA seat will fit.  The stock seat is clean and in good shape, but there is no support to it.

If you really like Scion xA seats, I presume the real question isn't if it will fit - it will be how much cutting, welding, and drilling is required to make it fit. :)

Benswen
Benswen Reader
8/19/21 1:52 p.m.
MadScientistMatt said:
Benswen said:

- A better seat.  Maybe a Scion xA seat will fit.  The stock seat is clean and in good shape, but there is no support to it.

If you really like Scion xA seats, I presume the real question isn't if it will fit - it will be how much cutting, welding, and drilling is required to make it fit. :)

True, though I suppose that would be the case with just about any seat.  I threw the xA seat ou there because of the family ties - maybe it's not too far off from working?

Gotta get to the you-pull-it junkyard and do something test fitting of parts.

Looks like '91 MR2 Turbo calipers might bolt up using AW11 rotors.  So happens I have the calipers.

Gunchsta
Gunchsta Dork
8/19/21 2:16 p.m.

Seeing the MN collector plate on the MR2 makes me guess DCTC is your local track? 

 

Your Corolla looks really clean for MN, did it come from out of state? I secretly kinda want one of those for a similar purpose so I'll be following along! 

Benswen
Benswen Reader
8/19/21 4:53 p.m.
Gunchsta said:

Seeing the MN collector plate on the MR2 makes me guess DCTC is your local track? 

 

Your Corolla looks really clean for MN, did it come from out of state? I secretly kinda want one of those for a similar purpose so I'll be following along! 

Yep, DCTC is nearby.

Corolla came to MN by way of Oregon.  It's shockingly rust free.  I basically agreed to buy before even driving it, because (as you well know) a rust-free chassis is worth it's weight in gold around here.

In the planning stages for a "track rat" build, I assumed I would gut whatever vehicle I went, and remove things like the A/C, stereo, PS, etc.  But this one has a clean, complete interior, an upgraded CD deck, and working A/C, so it's going to stay mostly intact for now. 

Benswen
Benswen Reader
8/30/21 5:37 p.m.

Updates:

1st loot box for the Corolla arrived:

Konis for the front, Gabriel Ultras for the rear.  New strut mounts (though I'm going to experiment with some Civic/CRV mounts to see if I can custom make a cheap mount for more camber and caster) and new engine mounts.  The engine mounts are going to get filled with Window Weld.  Not pictured are the roller bearings I used to replace the old rubber bushings in the shift linkage.

On the way are a Whiteline rear sway bar, a Mishimoto radiator (which was on mega-clearance) to replace my cracked one, and some other odds 'n ends.  I'm going to make a u-pull-it junkyard trip to get a front sway bar and the lower control arms with sway bar mounts.  Also would love to find some 15x6 alloy wheels while I'm there, possibly from a Mazda or Saturn.

MR2 update:

Modified my Wilhelm Raceworks midpipe with a 90 degree elbow, and began to lay out the exhaust.  3" resonator, 3" Hooker Maxflow muffler.  I plan on make a more quiet dual outlet exhaust in the future, but this will be easier and quicker to build.  The sound should be pretty wild, but hopefully the resonator will keep the drone down.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau UltraDork
8/31/21 7:41 a.m.

Do I even have to say it? 2GR swap your Corolla too while you're at it!

More details on the MR2 swap? Which trans and clutch/flywheel did you go with?

Benswen
Benswen Reader
8/31/21 2:09 p.m.
maschinenbau said:

Do I even have to say it? 2GR swap your Corolla too while you're at it!

More details on the MR2 swap? Which trans and clutch/flywheel did you go with?

I'm investigating doing a "budget" 2GR swap for the Corolla using a Sienna engine, Solara transmission, and some combo of Rav4 and Celica axles.  There are pictures floating around the internet of this chassis with a Toyota V6 mounted, (so it appears a 2GR would fit) but there's not many details about how involved the conversion is.  There's also a couple Youtube vids of Corolla's in the Phillipines and Puerto Rico reportedly running 2GR's, but they do some pretty wild stuff around those parts and I want to keep it as simple as I can.

Realistically an SW MR2 engine bay is significantly bigger because it was designed to accomodate a turbo and intercooler and associated 90's turbo tech and plumbing.  It's more probable that a 2AR would fit nicely, and according to new info from Frankenstein Motorworks, 250 hp it achievable with a factory hybrid engine with standard cams swapped into it.  That would move a 2200 lb Corolla along quite nicely.

Even more realistically is a 1NZ swap from an Echo.  Only 1 custom engine mount is needed, it's ultra lightweight and compact, makes more power than the stock 1.6, is dirt cheap and very available, and easy and effective to boost.  It also retains the cable throttle.  A 200 hp turbo 1NZ might be the best route.

As for the MR2, I'm sticking with the stock non-turbo S54 transmission.  A local guy to me did the conversion with his MR2 and got a few thousand miles of abuse out of it (before it failed rather spectacularly), and I figure that's a few summers of driving for me.  And it saves the cost of an E153 axle swap.

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