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Old 08-15-2017, 02:30 PM   #1
lawrenceselly
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Default The Phoenix's Heart

The Beginning

Hi everyone,

I've been lucky enough to find the perfect project car, nestled into a barn in deep Shropshire (rural UK): A Toyota AW11 1988 MR2.

Unfortunately it needed a lot of restoration, but with a determined mind, helpful family, and a healthy bank balance, I pulled it back from the clutches of the scrap man.

Before:



How she looks now:







Now the restoration is much more than on the surface so here is a run down of what I've accomplished thus far:
  • Fiberglass rear arch extensions
  • Fiberglass front wings
  • Golf MK7 R Exhaust (with working flapper valves)
  • POR15'd floors, frunk, and boot
  • Battery relocated to Frunk
  • SW20 brake master cylinder upgrade
  • Willwood 4 pot big brake kit
  • VW Polo rear brake upgrade
  • Coilover weld on collars, with adjustable damp and rebound shocks
  • Polybushed completely
  • Braided brake lines all round
  • New boot lid + Spoiler
  • Veins fiberglass front bumper
  • Welded two holes in the floor
  • Welded two holes in the sills
  • So much waxoil

There is probably a lot more, but that's off the top of my head.

If you would like to read more in depth regarding the restoration, please take a look at my complete build log on TwoBrutalMR2 (P.s you will need to register, but if you like MR2s it's a really good community)

A New Heart

The reason I joined this forum is because my lovely MR2 needs a new heart. Her once bulletproof 4A-GE, rotted and seized whilst she sat waiting for a new owner.

Of course I tried to keep the donor in the bloodline, but the usual 3S-GTE and V6 options just weren't 'fun enough'

I enjoy being different, I love being unique, so I wanted to make sure my car was the same.

So after searching the internet during the winter, I stumbled upon this video . Now I know its in a Civic, but the noise! The power! The VTEC! how awesome is that!

The deal wasn't sealed quite yet until a friend of mine said he was stripping a few Civic Type R's and after finding the Hux Racing community, it just felt like Fate.

A few weeks later:



One K20a2 PRB engine, only 75k (miles) on the clock.

I stripped it down,



Sent a load to the sandblaster, and ordered the relevant rebuild parts.



Did a spot of painting





And now I'm just about ready to start building.

Now here is where this forum comes in.

There is a lot of shade being thrown around in the MR2 community regarding 'out of the family' swaps so it's difficult to get the help and advice needed to complete any project, like this, successfully.

So I would like you guys to join me in this build! So it can be more awesome than I could have imagined!

So please, stay tuned for more updates.
and any helpful advice will be greatly appreciated.

Loz.
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Old 08-19-2017, 01:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Phoenix's Heart

Started this weekend with some engine bay painting.



and whilst that was drying, I started a bit of building.



The timing cover and rocker cover are only on loosely, but the Vtec solenoid, and water pump mount are fixed on permanently.

Tomorrow I will also be installing the oil cooler, and ordering a load more stuff. There's a lot of water pipes on this engine that almost fit exactly where they need to be on the AW11 mr2. So I'm going to order a silicone hose ancillary kit next month.

After that I started wacking the engine bay back together. Still a lot to do tho, more progress tomorrow.



Loz.
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Old 08-20-2017, 06:06 AM   #3
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Talking Let him fly

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawrenceselly View Post
...One K20a2 PRB engine, only 75k (miles) on the clock.
Hi Loz, that sounds like a very appealing build project



What is your plan for the engine itself? There is a lot of inspiring material here at K20a.org. Like another member of K20a.org ukir85 built a very nice 86x86 engine for his MR2, see his thread to his built here: https://www.k20a.org/forum/showthread.php?t=82729. Also we have another software engineer here, member kb58, who built a self designed kit car with an TC'd K24, whoes project you find here: https://www.k20a.org/forum/showthread.php?t=47373. There are a lot of built threads of NA K20 engine in here, like my own , but as an overview I would recommend the following write up of zof484 of engine setup examples of his tuning workshop experience to get an idea of it: https://www.k20a.org/forum/showthread.php?t=103374.

I would like to warmly recommend you to keep your 86x86 engine natural aspirated (NA): better sound, direct load response, higher efficiency at WOT, maybe more expensive to get beyond the 280 hp level then with an supercharged (SC'd) or turbo charged (TC'd) approach, but the very best to control the RWD at street and on slower tracks, but I don't know what's the purpose of that Phoenix.

I checked out Charles Darwin's birth place area Salop near to Wales, wow, it looks awesome, especially Shropshire Hills! I guess there are many roads which offers a nice view of the landscape and fun to drive, aren't there?

Markus
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Old 08-20-2017, 08:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: Let him fly

Hi Markus, thanks for the warm welcome.

I'm about to dive head first into these build threads, looks like a few days reading to say the least.

I'm defiantly going to keep it NA for the time being, especially as it's all new to me (even the car) and honestly the fiances arn't there to get it beyond stock+

So so far I think all I'm going to do is:

- Custom exhaust to mate the original Honda item (or whatever I can find) to my Golf MK7 R exhaust (which can handle 350bhp without worries)
- No emissions control, only wideband.
- PRB K-Pro
- PRB intake manifold + cooling gasket
- PRB Throttle body
- Some kind of cold air intake, Will probably be custom as the coldest air is near the floor, however a ep3 uprated one could work well.
- Steel sump pan (as my car will be LOW and I don't want to crack the stock one)
- Standard enging wiring loom to K-pro, custom loom spliced to MR2 loom.

I've also got to incorporate either a EP3, DC5 or S2000 set of dash clocks into my MR2 dash, and create a loom for that too.

Also this Phoenix is going to be my daily, with only shows and the odd track day to attend. I currently have a 170bhp Golf MK4 V5 which is my stepping stone ready for this little monster.

Shropshire is lovely, part of my job means I get to travel the world and apart from New Zealand, where I hope to be moving in the next 10 years, nothing is quite like this place. I love living here.

Also most of the motorcycling community adore this place for its roads and scenery, and if 30,000+ of them are coming here just for that then it's got to be fun in my MR-k2
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Last edited by lawrenceselly; 08-20-2017 at 08:25 AM..
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Phoenix's Heart

Been a while since I posted but work has been manic and time on the car has been put to one side due to weddings, meetings, and gatherings of people. Usual sort of 'Life' stuff.

BUT I've got a full weekend back on it and wanted to do a little update of what I've been doing!

Quick list of progress:
  • Car is welded up for winter
  • Wiring loom is out, and stripped of its protection.
  • EP3 ECU loom has been prepared for intergration with AW11 Loom
  • Printed more wiring diagrams than I can count
  • Both AW11 and EP3 instrument clusters stripped back
  • EP3 and AW11 cluster wiring identified and labeld
  • Throttle Body Cleaned, and Inlet Manifold sent to sandblasters

THEN I finally received my OEM head gasket + head bolts. SO Off with your head!



New gasket on.



Torqued up and back together. In less than 3 hours!



So glad I did that, as I really wanted to see the condition of the pistons and valves. Luckily its all good when running it should go for at least another 80k miles without any worries.

Whether it makes 80k miles before I strip it and upgrade it is another story XD

Anyway, another day on it tomorrow. But I had to mend my Golf today as it split a driveshaft whist I was driving in an exuberant manner.
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Phoenix's Heart

You where also back again in New Zealand? It has also some nice places, almost as nice as my homeland .

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawrenceselly View Post
...So glad I did that, as I really wanted to see the condition of the pistons and valves...
Sounds very good! Are you in a good mood concerning the matching of this two harnesses (MR chassis and K-series harness)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawrenceselly View Post
...whist I was driving in an exuberant manner.
You teaching me a nice new word...exuberant, many meanings according dict.cc like most of the English words...but I like more of them .
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Phoenix's Heart

Quote:
Originally Posted by LotusElise View Post
You where also back again in New Zealand? It has also some nice places, almost as nice as my homeland .
Nope, not yet! Hopefully I'm going back next year though. Can't wait!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LotusElise View Post
Sounds very good! Are you in a good mood concerning the matching of this two harnesses (MR chassis and K-series harness)?
Mostly, I've chosen to use as much of the EP3 gear as possible. So I've used the instrument cluster, and the important relays (Fuel pump + Main) to try and make it as painless as possible.

BUT I've not got an ECU yet, and even when I do it needs to be sent off to get Kpro'd before I can turn the key. BUT I still might be able to test things, but not sure.

So in a few weeks / month or two, I will be able to turn the key and cross my fingers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LotusElise View Post
You teaching me a nice new word...exuberant, many meanings according dict.cc like most of the English words...but I like more of them .
Haha, it's a crazy language. More odd words will enter this thread I'm sure. I try to learn a new one every week!
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