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Old 11-04-2014, 08:09 PM   #1
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Anbody know their MR2's? (mobile ppi - $$)

OK here's the deal. Thinking of getting into a MK2 MR2 and although I know ppi's are usually imperative, this isn't an expensive Euro car (BMW/Audi, etc..) - which I'm used to owning - it's a Toyota, so given their inherent reliability, I'm not overly worried the car's gonna give me nightmares as far as a fun dd. It's not a turbo, which should help, and the timing belt (and related parts) have been tended to, so no immediate big ticket repairs needed, as far as I can tell (clutch felt good, brakes are recent)

But as I have always had 'ghetto' Porsches/BMW's/VW's/Mustangs...everything but a Toyota, I don't know the weak areas on these, if any.

I know that guy named Cam is the guru as far as fixing these, but he seems pretty busy to get it in, and wants to charge $150 to ppi it! Plus, from our correspondence, he honestly doesn't sound over-enthused with these cars, as opposed to the general consensus when looking (pretty extensively) online, for user reviews (really good!) So maybe he's not the right guy to check it out?

So what I need is a local (Vancouver area) guy that knows these enough, and is willing to meet up with me (it's near Fraser and 33rd) - to give it a general look over. I'll pay you a decent sum to help a guy out - though not $150! Figure if you take a peek and give it a general scan, I'll hook you up with $50. Easy money!

I'd like this to happen asap as the car is getting a lot of bites and will be gone pretty quick I fear.

Let me know if you can help - or refer me to someone that can?

Cheers!
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:02 PM   #2
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North American? 5S-FE engine is probably one of Toyota's most reliable 4cyl engines that is shared with the celica and Camry. Parts would be abundant and easy to maintain. I sold my 1990 celica GT with 240K kms years and years ago (may have been 7-8 years ago) and I still see the old car on the road once in a while so who knows how many km it's clocked. If the engine doesn't tick or knock and had a history of regular oilchanges and maintenance, I'd say it would be pretty darn reliable up to 250K+ Km

I'd be worried about the transmission more than anything, though. Usual rust spots is good to look for in the rear wheel arches. Use your best judgement on body condition.

I'd check out bcmr2 forums for more info. I'm sure someone there is keen enough to do it for a beer. Can't go wrong with an engine that's spanned over a decade of employment.
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Old 11-05-2014, 05:34 PM   #3
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Much thanx man!

I went and took a second look at the car today and it appears to be a very well kept, completely stock/unabused example! Body is arrow straight, interior is mint, and it sat outside and seems no t-tops leaking! It was pouring too..so that's a plus! Maintenance is up to date, and from the short (around the block) jaunt I did, it didn't throw up any red flags (it's uninsured right now)

I am going to get a day plate to take it for a good long drive Thursday or Friday to get a better feel for it.

Now the one thing that does concern me is that when he went to get it aircared a few months back, it failed one of the tests (I can find out which) The car is his sons and hasn't been insured for some time, so it has been sitting a while (his son moved away) So maybe sitting has left some exhaust build up?

My theory is it may just need a really good highway run to clear out the carbon build up from being parked? Are the cats known to fail at 225k? Or else maybe a bad 02 sensor? I am used to a '02 Civic SiR that idles super quiet and smooth, so when I did get in it, it did seem...'rowdy'? Do they all have a throaty/kind of raw sound at idle? I'd just assumed - being a Toyota - that it would 'purr' like a Camry? lol But then, I've read, the n/a's are a little aggressive sounding? It's all bone stock.

As far as that MR2 site, by the time I get registered and find a local to join me in a peek at it, it'll likely be gone. So I kind of need to act quickly, I think. It really is a great example of a rare car (black on black - no A/C or PS (which I don't believe any had?)

Well that was brief! haha
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:02 PM   #4
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https://www.facebook.com/groups/2317661623/

You'll get a reply in minutes.

My T-Top's don't "leak" in the rain, but they do when I'm washing my car. They typically only "leak" when you spray a hose at it.

If you have time, they're having thier Coffee meet tonight, if you can swing by Abby.
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:08 PM   #5
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Haha If Abby wasn't an hour away, I'd def. be in! But as it stands, it's not possible this short notice.

Thanx for the heads-up, re-t tops.

I will check out that FB link and see if anyone local is available. Much thanx bro! (unless you wanna make a few bucks? haha)
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:38 PM   #6
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i was once a major member of the BCMR2 club, current club sponsor, and still 4th all-time in posts, even tho i haven't been on the board for 5+ years.

these cars are notoriously known for leaky t-tops. aside from that, there isn't much that goes wrong. occasionally, the coolant pipes that run coolant from under the car to the radiator behind the front bumper rot out, but that is usually due to neglect. expect average camry reliability out of these cars. they're a bit heavy though, but average for an early 90s sports car. not much goes wrong with these cars. if i could find a hard top NA with AC, power windows and NO SPOILER, i would buy one.
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:29 PM   #7
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I didn't even know spoiler-less was an option...it actually looks pretty cool! But I love the t-roofs!
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddzilla View Post

My theory is it may just need a really good highway run to clear out the carbon build up from being parked? Are the cats known to fail at 225k? Or else maybe a bad 02 sensor? I am used to a '02 Civic SiR that idles super quiet and smooth, so when I did get in it, it did seem...'rowdy'? Do they all have a throaty/kind of raw sound at idle? I'd just assumed - being a Toyota - that it would 'purr' like a Camry? lol But then, I've read, the n/a's are a little aggressive sounding? It's all bone stock.
The cat that I had read below average emissions on all the NOx readings and COx readings and that was with 20xk Km. So it might be because it sat for a while. I'm not sure if the 3S-GTE cat bolts into the 5s manifold but if you find out if it works on that car I can give my old cat to you. I kind of doubt the cats would be swappable though. My GT-Four passed aircare just marginally with that cat so no guarantees.

I would check all the ignition systems if it's sat for a while. Spark plugs do go bad from sitting (hell everything in the engine bay is bound to go bad if it sits) and maybe isn't as efficient burning fuel as it can be. For that just get some el cheapo copper ones that will do the job. Gap them properly, a quick google says gap should be 1.1mm. I read before that iridium or platinum ones really are meant for longer life but the spark isn't as great as copper but hey that's internet talk. I'd go for copper ones simply because they are significantly cheaper. I just changed them every time I did an oil change.

The 5S-FE does sound a bit like a truck. It would be more pronounced, I imagine in the MR2, because it sits right behind you. If my memory serves me correctly, the same engine in a Celica GT was a bit harsh sounding as well. I did once test drive like a 1992 camry with the same engine for my ex back in the day and it sounded about the same as my celica, then she got the same gen with a V6 and the V6 is the one that purred like a kitten. the 4 banger sounded a bit bit rough by comparison.

What I don't suggest though, is getting a short shifter for old toyotas. They tend to be exceedingly notchy and grindy. I used to have a TWM on my car and it was nothing but trouble during the cold seasons and didn't matter what you did to prevent grinding but it would always grind when you first getting going in the morning. Lithium greased everything, fluids changed, double clutching, it all help a tiny bit, but still feel the crunch when it's cold. I would stick with stock shifter even if older toyotas feel like rowing a fuckin' boat going through the gears.
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:47 PM   #9
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PS, if the shift throws feel like a 6" subway, I know that feel, bro. feels like forever when upshifting or downshifting.
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:58 PM   #10
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Hi Todd,

If I were in Surrey today I would have picked you up a repair manual from the library. They have rows upon rows of repair manuals and it looks like most have never even been touched by human hands! Remember my never used e36 manual appeared to troubleshoot problems quite well.

Recall years ago wanting to get rid of my e30 318is for a n/a MR-2 after a year of saving. Things were piling up (nearly $2,500 of work the mechanic thought needed on the 318, living on my own and only making $15 an hour, etc.) but funny as I see these cars they still catch my attention to this day.
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:46 AM   #11
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All T-tops will leak eventually, but you just need to lube it up to maintain the seal. I had a MR2 for 5 years, whenever I noticed a few drops coming in from rain, I would just lube up the T-top and would have no leaks for the season.
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:55 AM   #12
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The 5SFE in my Celica GTS has 330k on it and counting, those motors can go a very long time and a replacement engine is easily sourced should you need it (hell I have one in my garage haha). They should be pretty quiet assuming the exhaust is all stock and intact, someone may have gutted the cat or put on an aftermarket muffler though, you will get more noise with the MR configuration though, the intake should be right near you as well.
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Old 11-27-2014, 05:40 PM   #13
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All T-tops will leak eventually, but you just need to lube it up to maintain the seal. I had a MR2 for 5 years, whenever I noticed a few drops coming in from rain, I would just lube up the T-top and would have no leaks for the season.
Slipping in a coaxial cable wire also does the trick for those seals.
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