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¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
3/3/19 5:35 p.m.

A while ago, I "accidentally" won an MR2 on eBay.  So I drove to Ohio and got it:  

After I got it home, I drove it until they started to salt the roads and it started to get too cold for the old R888s it came with.   This weekend, I decided to set about getting it ready for another year of service.  In a past life, it was a CSP autocross/TT car- and I will probably still use it for that stuff, but I plan to drive it on the street too, so I'd like to make a few little changes.

It has Ground Control coilovers on Tokico 5-way shocks which still seem to work pretty well, and some big adjustable swaybars (which I thought had bad endlinks, but in reality I just needed to tighten one of the locknuts).  I've already raised the ride height 3/8", which seems like enough, and the suspension overall is in good shape:  

The R888s are worn out and rock hard so I'd like to replace them with something more streetable, probably Azenis since 14" performance tires don't have a ton of options.

Also cool is the center exit, Kubota muffler exhaust, which sounds better at 7k rpm than it has any right to.  I thought it had a bad baffle but it was actually a loose bolt on a hanger.

The interior has a bolt-together Autopower cage which sits way below the headliner and I'm really sick of banging my head on.  I plan to cut it back down to just the rollbar, and build an actual decent cage if I decide to do something that requires it in the future (SP classes only need a bar):  

This has been a race car for a long time:  

One more super cool interior feature is this wideband/throttle position display.  The light on the left is a brake light, so you can see throttle and brake position on in-car video:  

On the outside, the main thing I want to address is rust.  There's not much of it, but this spot has some:  

My plan is to fix that rust (same spot, both sides) touch up any surface rust I can find, chop the cage down to a rollbar, perform general maintenance, and be able to drive it to work, go racing, and generally just enjoy the thing once the salt is off the roads.  I love these cars and I feel like I got a serious deal on this one, so I want to keep it in good shape if I can.

 

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy SuperDork
3/3/19 5:40 p.m.

Rockin Nice Car!

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Reader
3/3/19 6:28 p.m.

I hope that's just in the rockers.

Great find for an AW11- i'm trying to work up the stones to work on mine despite single-digit weather and the fact i'd be outside. For wheels, don't stick to the old 14" turbines no matter how cool they look- AW11s can fit up to 17-inch 205s before needing their fenders rolled. Personally, making the jump to 15 inches would get you loads of options you'll like since you'll be in Miata territory.

Since it was an Autocross car, what all did the prior owner do to it?

 

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
3/3/19 7:11 p.m.

Was that the yellow one for sale on here? Nice wcore either way.

And '85 must be your year!

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Reader
3/3/19 8:24 p.m.

That car looks very familiar. I think it was  running EMRA time trials 10 -15 years ago. I can't remember the driver's name, but he was a Toyota employee, towed it with a brand new Venza. Last seen by me at Summit Point. I think he was from Maryland or Northern Virginia. I will dig around a little for more history.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
3/3/19 8:47 p.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

By all appearances, the only real rust is that spot in the rockers.  There might be some starting in one corner of the trunk, but everything else looks solid.  Only way to know for sure is to start cutting!

The current tires are 225 wide 14s and the fenders are rolled to accommodate them- I was planning to do another set of 14s since I have more 14" wheels and it gets me more sidewall, which can be important on the roads around here.  15" wheels might eventually make their way onto it, but for now I'm probably going to do 14s for cost reasons.

As far as I can tell, the car is prepped to the limit of CSP- coilovers, sway bars, strut mounts, bushings, intake, exhaust, some sort of ECU trickery along with who knows what inside the engine, and weight savings.  Lightweight battery, and everything that can legally be removed for that class seems to be gone.  Not sure what's been done engine and ECU wise, but it is a little temperamental on cold starts and feels more powerful at the top end than my last AW11 did.  There's also a dial on the dashboard where the stereo used to be which I think sets the base ignition timing.

In reply to Robbie:

It's that same car, yes.  Also came with a parts stash that included the transmission we put into the parking lot build last year.  '85 is totally my year, I also used to have an '85 Celica which was possibly the most reliable car I've ever owned, not to mention extremely fun to drive.

In reply to TurnerX19:

That matches the backstory I was told when I bought the car.  Would love to get in touch with the Toyota guy if anyone can find contact info for him.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Reader
3/3/19 10:46 p.m.

I am sure I would recognize the owner's name if I saw it in a results or entry list. So the morons that rule EMRA have removed all of the old results from their website. Up until a few years ago everything from this century was archived. Now nothing. God I am sorry I wasted 20 years on those berkeleyers.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
3/4/19 6:20 a.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

If you pick a year and an event I can probably dig up the results via Wayback Machine- here are some from an event in 2001, for example.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Reader
3/4/19 7:42 a.m.

That is a champions list. I don't think he was ever a class champ, as that required a "club membership" They used to show every event including run times.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
3/4/19 7:45 a.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

If you click "TT points" you can get to a list of everyone who was competing at the time.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Reader
3/4/19 7:46 a.m.

April 2009 at Shennandoah. I know he was there! I was still on low compression engine, he passed me soon after this.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
3/4/19 8:01 a.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

That's awesome!  I can, of course, only find the full results back to 2010- I'm falling one year short.  If he kept running #87 results from 2010 show it as Scott Webster, does that ring a bell? 

EDIT: I see him with a yellow CSP MR2 in another event now, I think that's our guy!

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Reader
3/4/19 8:44 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Yes that is the name. Glad I could help, I am a historian at heart....

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
3/4/19 9:30 a.m.

wow - good work guys! and cool history on the car. 

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Reader
3/4/19 10:09 a.m.

I was tech at that event in 2009, the car was beautifully presented.

hhaase
hhaase HalfDork
3/4/19 11:49 a.m.

Would love more info on that exhaust. I’m looking to do a straight shot like that.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
3/4/19 12:23 p.m.

In reply to hhaase :

As far as I can tell, it goes from some sort of aftermarket header, to a short section of pipe, to the muffler, and just exits.  I've had motorcycles with longer exhausts!  There are two hangers on the muffler, and some of the center vents in the rear panel were cut out to let it pass through.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
3/4/19 1:23 p.m.

Those rear corners can be pretty bad, make sure you go in from the trunk and see how extensive the rust is, water tends to collect in those recesses. The PO of mine had used expanding spray foam to fill the gaps, which if you are familiar, acts like a sponge to retain water.  Ugh.  

paranoid_android
paranoid_android UberDork
3/4/19 5:03 p.m.

Nice car, and the history to go with it.  Super cool!

I also dig the wideband/TP indicator.  If you ever have to dig into that I’d be curious to learn who made it. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
3/10/19 8:06 p.m.

In reply to pinchvalve :

Just for you, pictures of the car's butt.  Passenger side pretty good:  

Driver's side less good, but still much better than my last AW11:  

Rust repair will begin as soon as the weather cooperates and gets dry enough to paint things.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
3/10/19 8:17 p.m.

Kicked things off with some probably overdue maintenance.  Timing belt:  

Oil change:  

Transaxle oil change (old gear oil was like water!) and some solid shift bushings:  

Protip- if you want gear oil to pour nicely, but it's 40F, get a space heater- not for you, for the oil:  

Then I yoinked the seats:  

Followed by a grand battle with the crappy Autopower cage.  There was a sawzall, a pry bar, and a great deal of hammering involved in removing it, since bolt together cages with welded additions tend to develop some weird tension and sort of seize the joints together.  Much to my dismay, there was a casualty during the removal process when I slipped at an extremely inopportune time: 

Well, the windshield was pockmarked and chipped anyway, so a new clear one will be nice I guess.  Between a broken back window on Chief, a windshield in the free Camry, and now this, the Safelite guy is getting to know me a little too well.  Cage removed:  

The only part I plan to reinstall is the rollbar, which means I should really fix these incomplete welds:  

Some grinding, flappy wheel, wire wheel, and welder action later:  

Next weekend I need to figure out how to put the car on the lift in a way that will let me access the sections of rocker panel I need to replace.  That's all for now!

hhaase
hhaase HalfDork
3/10/19 8:48 p.m.

Always wanted to know what their roll bar looked like.  We’re those incomplete factory welds?  Been considering picking one up for basic roll protection and harness mounting.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Reader
3/10/19 8:56 p.m.

Redline MT-90?

 

Ah, I see you're a man of culture as well.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Reader
3/10/19 9:13 p.m.

Bummer on the windshield. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
3/11/19 6:08 a.m.

In reply to hhaase :

The incomplete welds appear to be later additions- I think someone bolted the cage in, then added those elements later without removing it from the car.  My primary beef with Autopower stuff is that they make it fit around the stock interior, which is somewhat reasonable for a roll bar but when it's a full cage it means that the tubes are typically several inches closer to your head than they need to be.

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