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Maniac0301
Maniac0301 Reader
8/20/19 7:50 p.m.

Continuing on I got the flywheel and clutch as well as valve covers bolted on.   I've modified the oil pan for the turbo drain.  I also had to change the alternator bracket and intake support bracket to account for the longer block.   I also managed to find my old timing belt top cover and the spark plug valley covers.   I'm hoping to have the car running and driving by the end of this weekend in time for the Aug 31st event.

 

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 Reader
8/22/19 7:08 p.m.

Got the engine and transmission back together. Giant pain in the ass. Every time I picked up the transmission to put it on the engine would slide around and try to tip over. Every time I tried to brace the engine one of the braces would be in the way.

I eventually cut up some wood to the right sizes, placed the engine against a curb and used a floor jack to keep the engine from tipping over. All this had to be a couple inches above the ground because the transmission hangs lower than the engine.

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 Reader
8/23/19 5:53 p.m.

Attempted to put the starter on and found that theres a little nubbin on the block that fouls on a hump on the starter.   Apply grinder to hump and voila it fits.   Yay.

After resolving my hump issue I put the engine in.   I used the MR2 community prescribed method of lifting the ass and then sliding it in.   I made a video about it.

 

Engine is in a looking not too awful.   This weekend should see all the various bits and bobs connected that make it work.

 

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 Reader
8/25/19 8:20 p.m.

Brutally long day of wrenching today to try to set myself up to race next weekend.   I got everything connected all the things are attached.   I started the 7agte up for the first time and surprisingly she fired right up.   I've got some issues I have to fix but not toooo much *cross fingers*   I have a coolant leak which seems to be from the waterpump area.   My throttle cable is mis behaving and needs a good talking to.   Finally like a moron I forgot to mark TDC.   None of the stock timing marks visible for the crank line up any more.   I will need to find TDC again, mark it this time, and then throw the timing light on it.   

 

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 Reader
9/2/19 5:48 p.m.

Got some time on this here Labor Day to get under the MR2 again.   I had a nasty coolant leak at the waterpump which ended up being a pinched o-ring between the water pump and the engine.   My injectors started leaking I bought a bunch of o-rings for both the Dodge they came out of and the 4age they are now in.   Eventually I found a setup that works without spraying fuel all over my intake.   

Even though the first time the car ran great after pulling the timing belt to fix the water pump the car was running really badly.   It turns out my cam setup works but is finicky.   Because of the different timing I now sit right on a lobe on the intake cam when it comes time to tighten the belt.   The first time it fell the right way the 2nd time it was a tooth off.  I eventually got it in the right place.    Finally my exhaust was hitting the oil pan so I had to grind a bit of the lip of the pan and bash in a bit of the exhaust.   

She is now back on the road and running pretty well.   The response is killer.   I cannot believe the difference .2l makes for it.   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZJbk7aQO1E

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 Reader
10/6/19 7:20 p.m.

Video of my runs yesterday. The MR2 is very good. Its quite a bit faster. Kind of tooo fast for me right now at night. Corners came up scary fast and I just plain sucked the 2nd half of the day. I threw away 2nd place after an amazing start to the day.

I forgot my camera mount so I had to zip tie my camera to the front bumper. I also forgot to empty the memory card so I ran out of space after my first night run..... Still a great day and I'm very impressed with the 7agte performance. All that knuckle busting was worth it.

 

 

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 Reader
10/9/19 8:20 p.m.

Last race of the year is November 2nd at The FIRM in Gainesville.   Looking forward to it.  Still fighting a hard start situation.   I have a couple ideas.   I have a separate circuit for my fuel pump its tied into my ignition as well as a switch and a relay.   The switch is lit when running but when cranking the light on the switch goes out.   I'm wondering if I need to find a different 12v source for switched ignition to turn on the relay.   I am also going to move the AFM clock spring one tooth lighter thinking that perhaps the amount of air while cranking isn't moving the flappy door enough to start.    At the night event this hard start caused me to join grid too late to run the parade lap and I think that really bit me hard in my results.  

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 Reader
11/3/19 1:55 p.m.

We pretty much nailed down the hard start issue.   As soon as the fuel pump isn't running fuel pressure goes to 0.   When cranking my 12v ignition that opens the fuel pump relay drops to 0.    All of 12v ignition sources I found do this.   I'm going to search for something in the engine bay and get rid of that fuel pump on/off switch in the center console.   I also have the issue where the fuel system doesn't stay primed.   Apparently this is a common problem with a check valve in the fuel pumps.   So I'll need to eventually replace the fuel pump.  

Yesterday was the last CFR Rallycross event of 2019. I took home my first class win ever and clinched 3rd overall for the season in Modified Rear. Fantastic time really happy with the MR2. Here's the in car video of all 11!!!!!! Runs.

Youtube Link to Nov Event

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 Reader
2/9/20 1:40 p.m.

Woo!  3 Month break.   Gettin ready for the first points event Feb 22nd.   Coming home from the last event I toasted my trailer axle.   So I sent the winter break taking it apart getting a new one and putting the new one on.   

The place I took the axle to for info and to ultimately order the new one described my old axle as ancient and who's design hasn't really been used since the 40s.   

For Christmas I got a 360 camera.   I'm hoping to capture footage from my runs on it to view in VR as well as to have a nice stabilized image for my youtube uploads.  I wanted to make sure it didnt fly off so I have installed a mount adding in a safety strap going through my t-tops screwed into the t-top channels.

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 Reader
2/20/20 3:15 p.m.

First race of 2020 is next weekend.   I lost 2 of my magnetic numbers at the last night race.   Stupid black numbers in the dark....   So I decided to splurge a bit and had these made.   Very happy how they turned out.   They are very large my timing and scoring team will be right pleased with that. 

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 Reader
2/23/20 4:52 p.m.

February event in and done.   The MR2 is singing along now.   I finished 2nd in class missing first by 5 seconds after gaining 12 seconds of penalty on my first run.  I got a 360 camera so I've been playing around with that to see what I need to learn to make it nice.   I built a little mount to go in passenger seats so first up is a full 360 video ride along.   Watch it in full screen with a phone or in VR for best results.

https://youtu.be/DFbAQvRI8kg

I also placed a mount on top and I can use that to make stabilized and directed 16X9 videos.



 

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 Reader
2/24/20 12:17 a.m.

Here's my fastest run of the day and a nice little tribute to Gran Turismo.   Playing around with all sorts of things at the moment video wise.   

 

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 Reader
3/12/20 8:03 a.m.

I was given a turbo and external waste gate.   I have to change the inlet flange before I use the turbo.   Housing size is bigger than I would like for this application but beggars can't be chooser.   I added the external waste gate last weekend mostly to add a screamer pipe but also for more precise boost control safety.   

I first made the little up pipe.

 

Got it situated in the bay and marked the exhaust.

Then I took off the exhaust so I could cut the hole in it.

Got the two welded together and reinstalled the exhaust with the waste gate attached.

After that I made a simple dump out the back. Managed to flap disk a bit of my thumb during this whole process.

Car feels great boost seems way more stable the car pulls better past 6k RPM. Looking forward to next weekend night race.

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 Reader
5/29/20 1:55 p.m.

put up my video of the afternoon runs from last weekend. I only had my 360 camera available so I put it inside on my rear window mount.

I sheered the bolts on my axle stub so that caused 2 DNFs so I wsn't in the running to place for this event. I did manage to fix the axle and get my afternoon runs in. I and my MR2 were on pace with the rest of the Mod Rear field with no less than 5 of us running competitive times. Even more amazing is if I hadn't broken the entire MR group would have been top 10 overall.

I've been wrenching hard on the MR2 fixing it and improving it. I've made massive improvements on the tune especially fueling. The car feels great and I am looking forward to this weeks Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park event.

 

 

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 Reader
5/31/20 7:47 p.m.

Wahoo what a rush. This is my biggest video yet. Took Youtube 4 hours to process it alone. Saturday the 30th I attended one of the Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park Rallycross events. This is a different kind of event to the normal SCCA Rallycrosses I've attended.

Here is what I affectionately call my Virtual Ride Along series. Alternate title is Augmented Rally videos. Its best watched on a mobile device in the Youtube App to get all the camera control features.

The car was going great I was very quick. The track was intense, long, and technical. It included a quite substantial jump which we were told to take it kind of easy on. I managed to do 4 runs before my electrics got scrambled enough to stop the old workhorse Toyota from moving anymore. I got the MR2 running again but unfortunately by the time I did so my timing window for the day was done.

Anyway watch the vid its really really worth it. If it seems fuzzy check the resolution it should show 2160s. Youtube likes to lower the resolution for some folks.

 

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 HalfDork
6/17/20 1:45 p.m.

Very Successful weekend last Saturday.   Raced in the SCCA CFR Rallycross event and took 1st in Mod Rear and even snagged 6th overall out of 34 drivers.   Here's the 360 vid from my fastest morning and afternoon runs.   I'm still not sure on the format I like giving people the chance to look around and direct what they want to see.   Are the 360 degree Augmented Rally videos cool to watch for ya'll?


 

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 HalfDork
7/13/20 11:09 a.m.

Welp last Saturday was July's Central Florida SCCA Rallycross points event. I went into it 1 point away from 1st for the year and I come out of it now 4 points behind 1st. The car was running fairly poorly and I let that fool me into overdriving it missing a gate on one of my runs and losing first because of it.

We have a live timing system if I had been driving smart I would have been checking my times and seeing that I was competitive. Instead I frustratedly checked the engine over and over in between runs trying to get the car to run right and each time it didn't I pushed more and more to carry speed.  Lesson learned, testing is for test days racing is for race days, make the best of whatever your vehicle is putting out for you.

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 HalfDork
9/9/20 10:20 a.m.

Long time no update but here we are again.  I've been fighting with my setup since the race mentioned in the last post.   Since then we had a race in August that I DNF'd due to overheating and running issues.   I started working and diagnosing as I seem to have to do every event.   This time was different though.   I fiddled with valve timing, with ignition timing, with fueling, with my flappy door AFM, with my adjustable FPR.  Over and over I would get it running alright for a bit then it would just stop and the patter would repeat itself.

I decided to see what happens if I go back to NA.   So I rigged up a little test pipe for the AFM to connect directly to the throttle body and started her.   Immediately she ran decent and idled better than I had ever seen.   In doing all the troubleshooting work I did end up fixing a bunch of stuff like wiring going from the distributor to the ECU and the TPS.  So when I went back to NA more of the engine systems were working properly than ever before.   

At this point it's the day before the Sept race and I gotta get this heap running.   I had taken the day off of work to give me the most time to prepare for the race.   I decided to pull the whole turbo setup out.   So I did, rerouting water and oil feed and drain lines, firming up the mounting for the intake and filter.   



Before I pulled the turbo and thus the exhaust that is attached to it and thus the wideband 02 I had in that exhaust I went ahead and did a quick tuning session.    Just to make sure I was in the ballpark for fueling.   I fiddled a bit with the AFM and the FPR and got it pretty solid.   I did see that the turbo was spewing oil out the outlet so the seals were bad.   I also at one point unhooked the oil feed and then started the engine.  



I think the concept of the remote turbo on a MR2 is fine.   My setup failed I believe because I was trying to manipulate the stock ECU and its systems into working properly, I also think the turbo seals going and spraying oil into the intake was a major factor.   I don't' know for sure which was the most problematic but I learned a lot which is really the point of the car to try stuff out and see what I can pull off with what I know and learn along the way.

Saturdays race came and  after fighting with some overheating from forgetting to top up the fluids that I spilled onto my garage floor I ended up running well, took 2nd and my times were competitive.   Since I was fighting overheating early on before I figured out my mistake my direct competitor and the person who I was at one point fighting for points lead let me drive his car.   He drives a Volve 940 turbo and man is that thing the opposite of the MR2.   Fun times you can see the video of me driving on my YouTube channel.
 

 
For now though I'm sticking NA.   I am still on the larger 1.8l block so its a nice base to work with for the type of racing I do.   In the coming weeks I'll be remaking the exhaust to include a muffler cuz its ridiculously loud right now.   

lxnm
lxnm Reader
9/9/20 5:01 p.m.

You know, for rally cross I don't think your turbo was doing much to make you actually faster.  At some point more power just translates to more wheel spin,  and that point comes pretty quickly in the dirt.  Right now, I'm running a similar MR2 with a black top in the back, probably making a little less torque than you are at lower RPM (maybe a little more in the upper range, maybe not).  I'm not really lacking in power, and some of the courses we run have very grippy clay surfaces and/or heavy elevation changes.  

What I'm saying is don't lament the loss of the turbo.  Ditch it and don't look back.  

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 HalfDork
9/9/20 5:12 p.m.

In reply to lxnm :

Yeah I'm pretty much right there with you although the power from the turbo was nice.   Being able to clutch kick in 2nd around some of our more sweeping corners was really good.   I never had the juice to do that with the stock 4age it would just bog.   I am rocking a 7a bottom end now though so perhaps she still has it sans turbo.   This last week's event didn't allow me to really try as it was pretty much tight 1st gear turns followed by slaloms.   A lot of our field was flooded so we were really limited in space.   

I was given a very low mileage GT25 turbo that I may eventually use on the MR2 but when I do it will be with a standalone ECU and I'll make a log style manifold for it instead of remote mounting it.   I think I'll definitely run the next season NA though.   I usually try to get some improvement done during the 2 months we have between seasons so I think I'll concentrate on weight reduction over the winter break.   

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 HalfDork
1/27/21 5:33 p.m.

Huge project completed over winter.   I ended up deciding to scrap the old engine management and went Microsquirt.   Fully setup the car using a MAP sensor for speed density tuning.   During the course of that project I dug further into the original wiring and found a lot of stuff I did not like.   So the project morphed into rewiring the whole car.   Since I had to run wires I pulled the seats and that added in rust removal and re-engineering the seat mounting so the STI seats sit lower in the chassis.  

I made a video overview of what I did although I didn't go into the nitty gritty details.   If you have any questions feel free to ask.   I'm now moderately experienced with getting a microsquirt working using Toyota's VAST system.   I think I'm the first to do so although others paved the way with older info on Megasquirt systems.

 

 

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 HalfDork
2/1/21 2:27 p.m.

360 video from my first event after finishing the wiring and Microsquirt install.   Car performed extremely well although I did unfortunately break my laptop screen trying to capture logs and autotune while rallycrossing.    I ended up 1st in class in 5th overall out of 24 drivers.   This was a Testing event as opposed to a points event so many of the drivers were new and many of the cars quite early in development.   I'm excited to see how I stack up for the first points event Mid Feb at The FIRM.

 

 

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 HalfDork
2/15/21 9:47 a.m.

With the new electrical and ECU wiring the MR2 is running brilliantly. I've got the base tune into a pretty good shape. I'm going to have to schedule some dyno time with someone that knows more to get the final timing curve and acceleration enrichment dialed in

Here's my Augmented Rally video of my fastest clean run. I finished first in class and 10th overall. Some of the other folks in my class were struggling with mechanicals or getting back into driving after a hiatus which contributed greatly to my win. Looking at some of their stage times and this season is surely going to be challenging.

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 HalfDork
3/15/21 9:34 p.m.

 

Got the 360 video of my fastest daytime and nighttime runs up from Saturday's Central Florida SCCA Rallycross event. I finished 4th in class not the result I was looking for.

The MR2 was performing well but I don't believe I was. Its odd I started the day with the same level of anxiety that I feel before a big go live for a project at work. I had a lot on my mind throughout the day and I never settled into a groove. I'm hoping I can keep my mental in check for the next event.

 

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 HalfDork
5/24/21 4:22 p.m.

 

360 vid of my best run is up from Saturday's Central Florida SCCA Rallycross event at Port St Lucie. I'm very happy with the MR2's performance the engine is running well and I've got the suspension feeling pretty good.

I finished 3rd in class with only 7 seconds between me and 1st MR is tight and is coming down to the last runs nearly every event. Makes for some fantastic racing and intense pressure. Overall I finished 15th out of 46 drivers which is a testament to the competitiveness of the Central FL regions Mod Rear group.

I need to bite the bullet and get some real rally tires these old truck retreads just don't seem to be cutting it anymore. Can't complain though $200 for 2 years of racing on em ain't bad at all. 

 



 

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