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Day 104 - 05/11/2006
The Long Rest
I needed some time off. The wife wanted me back to complete some house fixin'. Kids discovered they had a father. Day job wanted a worker that did more work. I had spent basically the last 5-years working non-stop on projects. My father in-laws death slowed me up alot. That really affected the direction our family moved in. We sold our house in Albamarle County Virginia at the perfect time, before the market started to slow. We purchased a home that is surrounded by family. The MR2OC business has taken off in a good way. Clothing sales have gone really well.
My MK1.5 MR2 was completed and street tuned. Then the transaxle broke. That really sucked. So that is when I decided to take a break from cars.
Two months ago I purchased my first MK2 MR2. It is a 1991 fuel injected model. I tore it down and rebuilt it. The engine was left untouched with 208,000 miles, but the rest of the car has been gone through. It still has a few issues, but nothing big. It survived The Dragon at Deals Gap NC last weekend. This project was a complete success. So now onto bigger things.
Over Christmas I finished purchasing all the stuff I needed to get the 20v 4AGE back together using the Electromotive TEC3 computer. Just needed to find the time to get it going and put that engine into the purple MK1.5.
But all this time I had been trying to figure out what to do with the Toystar.
I was not happy with my rear subframe. I look at what others are saying on the Internet. And there were some very good things being said by people that know what they are talking about. What I was reading was that I was building a death trap. Remember that I am all new to this building a car from scratch stuff. I am learning as I go. I laughed at some Engineering students comments of how I was building this car. I guess if I have actually been trained at this it would have gone better. But the way I look at it is, well, this has been a very important lesson. Everything I have done in my life has basically been self taught. That can sometimes be expensive. As this project has. But the good side is that I am always able to take parts from one car and use them in others.
So my biggest concern was my front and rear suspension. My design of the did not work. It was tested by a fellow MR2 owner in California. His frantic email to me not to drive the car was good advise. The car would not go straight.It would turn on a dime, but that is not what we wanted. The geometry was just all wrong.
Then came a post on the British MK1.5 message board, TwoBrutal. A Dutch member had made his own MK1.5 MR2 (1991-1999 3sgte turbocharged 1st gen MR2) using the engine and suspension of the MK2 MR2. He found ways around the steering issue. It looks sketchy, but it works, and has been track tested for over a year. The real suspension is also MK2 MR2. Using the MK2 sub-frame (as recommended by VVEGA - New Zealander building a MK1 MR2 with a Toyota V8 in the back) I could use the whole setup. This will clear the GM transaxle and allow me to use the suspension of the MR2 which has been used to exceed 200 mph on the salt flats. It is lighter than the Caddy stuff and should help the car move on down the road.
I also have 4x 14x6" MK2 MR2 wheels and tires. This will allow me to be sorta stealthy with this car. When I get some cash I can uprate to bigger tires and later generation brakes which are much bigger.
Dave at PA Autoracing in Sauderton Pennsylvania has aggreed to supply us with the rear suspension components we need.
I have a rear sub-frame from a 1991 MR2 that Troy Trugleo gave me when I bought our 1991 MR2 from him.
The front suspension I have already. I just need to do a bit of welding on them.
Now to the engine.
As you know we picked up a great Northstar engine in Tampa Bay early in 2005. We tore this motor down to find it is in A1 shape. So now we just need to put it back together.
For Christmas I purchased a rebuilt Holley Carb off of e-Bay. Part of the package was that they rejetted the carb for use on the Northstar V8. Now I just have to build an intake manifold or buy one from Cadillac HotRod Fabricators. It is very pricey. I can build one for a lot less money. But theirs is a proven design. Mine will be a hack job. I need to save up some serious cash to get his intake.
For the spark system I have been in discussion with techs at Electromotive, we have decided to use the XDi Ignition System as this is one of the best on the market. It is wired exactly the same as the TEC3 and uses all the same sensors. So I need to pick that up as well.
Transaxle. This was a hard decision. I really like the features I get with the GM autobox. But the thing weighs a ton. Really. It does. So I have finally decided to move the a Pontiac Fiero Getrag 5-Speed. So now I just need a flywheel and clutch.
Now all of this is coming together. But there is one major change.
The Toystar chassis was such a clean chassis. I really wish I had not chopped and chewed it up. But I'll put that car asside for other projects down the road.
Center stage now is my 1985 Black Hardtop MR2. We will now call this chassis the Toystar II. This was the car I purchased in New Jersey that was one of the first MK1.5s made. This chassis is a bit rusty in spots. But using good parts from the Toystar I we can have it looking new again.
Now that I know what needs to be cut out, and where it needs to be cut out from I can do this engine swap much better now. I now know that the engine needs to go about an inch higher in the chassis for better ground clearance. I don't need to cut out all of the frame rails, nor all of the firewalls. I just need to notch them better. I can now use the Toystar I to show me where the notches need to be on Version 2.
So here we are. We have a plan. The new chassis is parked in the shop. The engine is in the shop on the bench.
So a new journey begins this coming weekend...
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