Friday, June 20, 2014

AW11 MR2 Build - "Akemi" Part 24

Put in some fresh spark plugs. NGK BCPR6ES-11, re-gapped from 0.042 out of the box to around 0.032-0.034 in the car.

Also got this little guy put on last night.

 It came off a junkyard MR2 but it had a flat-style draw bar receiver, which are impossible to find any more, so I took it over to Ashland Hitch and had them modify it to take a standard 1 1/4" draw bar. I still need to get said draw bar, but one thing at a time.


So the last couple winters, my car would make a weird humming or whining sound on really cold mornings until the engine warmed up. The last few days it's done it non-stop, so I put it up on a lift after work today to have a poke around. After removing the belts, I spun each pulley until I found that it was the supercharger belt tensioner pulley. $120 (employee pricing too) and a 3-5 business day wait until I have a new one. Normally I would just look at the bearing numbers and get a bearing but the pulley is designed in such a way as the bearings are not accessible.


Pulley was replaced on Monday. Today I got the LED trailer lights installed and wired up, and the trailer harness installed in the MR2. Tomorrow morning early I'll be going to DMV to get the trailer registered and whatnot. I still need a ball mount/draw bar thing, but other than that the trailer is good to tow.


Continuing trailer far here's the details:
Harbor Freight 870lb utility trailer
LED light conversion (also HF)
Reflector stakes so I can see it behind me, makes backing up easier

Today I just mounted a storage box, added some tie-down eyelets and some other little odds and ends.

Wood mounts take the weight of the box

Box bolted to the trailer frame with some U bolts


Added some eyelets and a piece of wood for the tires to sit on instead of sitting on a thin metal lip

Finished product:


Just ordered oil/filter and coolant boost. Gotta get that spring maintenance done!
The last few weeks it's been having a hard time at cold starts, a little extra cranking to get it going, low initial idle, etc. Didn't think much of it. But today on the way out to the Blue Ridge for the cruise, it started spitting coolant again like it used to when it had a BHG. I bled the system and topped it off after the highway drive, and it was totally fine for the spirited drive through the mountains. However on the highway trip home it did it again. This is consistent with the symptoms before: totally fine unless at a sustained constant high RPM for a long time.

I'm thinking when I last did the head gasket 3 years ago, I only resurfaced the head. Maybe the block has some slight imperfections that need to be ...
....IRONED out....

ANYWAY to do that means engine removal and disassembly which means full rebuild time.
New rings, bearings, checked cylinder bores, resurfaced block, balanced crank & rotating assembly, probably ARP main studs and rod bolts, gaskets, timing belt/idler, oil pump, and, if in the budget, maybe an aluminum flywheel while it's out.

All cool stuff but lots of money, and even more pressing to me right now....time and work.
I guess it's good I got the wagon back on the road.

It's out. I'd like to never drop this thing again. That sucked.
New TRD 0.8mm metal head gasket came in today

Tonight's progress tearing down the motor. Started by removing the SC, so I could remove the intake manifold, so I could get the fuel rail off, so I could remove the wiring harness.  

After that it was just a matter of unbolting the exhaust, alternator, all the bracketry, timing belt, and water pump

Then came the valve covers, cams, lifter buckets, and eventually the head (all placed neatly in order)

Which left the block

RP studs came out and were kept matched with the same nuts and washers in the same order just for OCD's sake.
Then the oil pan, oil pickup, windage tray, timing gear, and oil pump all came out to leave just the shortblock

This weekend I hope to have everything fully disassembled, bagged, tagged, and ready to take to the machine shop next week.
Got the engine completely disassembled and ready to take to the machine shop today. These pics are for my reference when I go to put all the bolts back later

And here is everything wrapped/bagged ready to go to the shop Each piston/rod assembly is in a freezer bag labeled 1 thru 4

Got the engine completely disassembled and ready to take to the machine shop today. These pics are for my reference when I go to put all the bolts back later






And here is everything wrapped/bagged ready to go to the shop Each piston/rod assembly is in a freezer bag labeled 1 thru 4

While everything is out of the car I decided to rotate my square bushing. For those of you that don't know, on E-series transmissions (MR2 SC and MR2 Turbo) there is a little square metal bushing in the shift lever assembly that wears out and causes play.
Here's the shift lever assembly

 In this pic you can see the bushing in the middle. It's where the top arm articulates the bottom arm to move it in/out of the transmission.

Here you can see the amount of wear

All you have to do is take it out, turn it 90*, and put it back. Then all your play is gone! Hooray for free mods!

So while everything else is away, I'm taking all my cast intake components and starting to clean up the innards where there are casting imperfection. Nothing crazy, I'm not removing much material or reshaping anything. I'm using pretty much the technique used in this video, though I'm using a flex extender thingy for the dremel so I don't risk gumming it up with shavings.

 Here's how my intake manifold came out. I'm pretty pleased with it.

I'm also porting everything to match the gaskets. Oddly, the cylinder head intake and intake manifold are already gasket-matched so I don't have to do that, though I will probably smooth out the casting in the ports in the head with very light duty abrasive fuzz attachments. Again, nothing crazy, no mirror shine (ain't nobody got time for that) just a little smoother. I wonder if there will be any measurable power gains once it's all back together with the higher compression and this intake work. If I could gain 10whp from all this that would be sick nasty.

Finished up polishing the intake pipes. I think they came out pretty good.

Fidanza aluminum flywheel is ordered! Hooray for community vendors that are willing to price match!

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