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something's f*cky
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Discussion Starter #1
Originally bought this car as my daily/autocrosser instead of my bigger, more GT-like 951. it was going to be a competitive STR car once it was done, but the 1zz-fe engine in it had other plans.

beautiful car, bought it basically brand new 2 years ago, with 16k miles on it. brand spanking new. then, last winter, it had been about a month since i checked the oil last, and either due to pre-cat failure, or simple oil retention ring failure, starved itself of oil and scrapped itself.

so i did what any reasonable person would do ... swapped in a 2zz-ge. in theory, i am "finished" with this car now. as we all know thats a load of ****, but its the excuse i use.

2002 MR2 Spyder:

2zz-ge MWR swap kit
JDM Celica GT-S ECU (6,000 rpm lift, 8,250 redline)
PPE Intake
PPE Cat-less Exhaust
Megan Racing Coilovers (5k front, 7k rear)
1 inch front anti-roll bar
no rear bar
15x8 6uls with 225 hankook RS3s
Tire killing alignment: -3.3 front camber, -2.5 rear camber, 1mm front toe, -1 mm rear toe

when i bought it:







the "herd" of mr2s:







Current Configuration:









Overall this car is amazing. i would love it, except it has been a nightmare reliability-wise. i originally wanted a boxster but thought to myself "oh, i can't afford to keep two porsches on the road" so i went with the nice corrolla engined mr2 as new as possible.

even after the swap, i have had nagging problems with CELs and such. nothing major or expensive, but enough that i can't fall in love with this one.

fun as hell to drive though. the local autocross guys think im insane because the car is super unstable and oversteer prone. two instructors have driven in and both came away sacred, one even called it "downright dangerous" so nervous, so twitchy, so much fun to slide around.
 

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I do believe that Bronto/Kent has told me about you/this car.

Would you like to trade for a built motor turbo Miata? 5spd or 6spd?
 

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Wait is that the original zebra sw20 that used to crush its class out in pacnw?
 

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something's f*cky
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183 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
might be, its a rare NA non-sunroof, non-t top coupe. and unlike the other mr2s, its actually painted zebra stripe.

a driver here locally ran it last year in stock/street class. it wasn't that competitive, but the driver was/is amazing and still i think won rear drive street tire in it.
 

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Yeah that's the car. Buddy of mine used to co-drive it in Washington. :)
 

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.
then, last winter, it had been about a month since i checked the oil last, and either due to pre-cat failure, or simple oil retention ring failure, starved itself of oil and scrapped itself.

so i did what any reasonable person would do ... swapped in a 2zz-ge.
Claims Toyota motor died... outrageous lie to tell wife in order to justify engine swap-check
 

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something's f*cky
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183 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Claims Toyota motor died... outrageous lie to tell wife in order to justify engine swap-check
i wish. i got the bank statements to prove otherwise.

no the 1zz-fe is total garbage, don't ever buy one (this means corollas of the same era too).

the common problem is said to be pre-cat failures. in order to make the car ULEV, there are cats in the headers. small ones that heat up quickly in order to have the car low emissions even on start up. the issue is said to be that these can crack, and because of cylinder scavenging, that bit of cat can get sucked into a cylinder and score the bores, or damage the rings. causing the car to leak/burn oil, eventually either killing itself, or just needing so much oil it becomes unfeasible.

the common accepted solution is to gut the pre-cats before they fail. knowing this, this is why i bought such a low mile one, and gutted the pre-cats as soon as i bought it.

obviously this didn't help.

the new theory is actually that the 1zz-fe simply from the factory does not have well fitting or sealing oil retention rings. the rumored factory spec for oil consumption is 1 quart every thousand miles. this is insane IMO (my always slightly leaking 944 doesn't go through that much oil!), and if this theory is correct, then toyota does not know how to build an engine to save there lives ... if a seal as basic as the piston rings isnt actually a seal ... then dear lord, the 1zz-fe isn't even an engine. i mean really. my opinion of toyota's engine building certainly isn't a good one.

whatever the failure mode, my 1zz is dead as a doornail. and my did it make an awful sound ...
 

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I owned a 2001 mr2 for 3 years with a 1zz in it yes the precat failure is very common but that issue aside the 1zz is a good little motor i ran 6 psi of boost through mine before ditching the turbo for a na track set up. I then sold the mr2 for a 2005 lotus elise witch i then totaled 2 years later. I have some mr2 parts like a front sub frame brace and Turbo kit that will fit a 1zz motor
 

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i wish. i got the bank statements to prove otherwise.

no the 1zz-fe is total garbage, don't ever buy one (this means corollas of the same era too).

the common problem is said to be pre-cat failures. in order to make the car ULEV, there are cats in the headers. small ones that heat up quickly in order to have the car low emissions even on start up. the issue is said to be that these can crack, and because of cylinder scavenging, that bit of cat can get sucked into a cylinder and score the bores, or damage the rings. causing the car to leak/burn oil, eventually either killing itself, or just needing so much oil it becomes unfeasible.

the common accepted solution is to gut the pre-cats before they fail. knowing this, this is why i bought such a low mile one, and gutted the pre-cats as soon as i bought it.

obviously this didn't help.

the new theory is actually that the 1zz-fe simply from the factory does not have well fitting or sealing oil retention rings. the rumored factory spec for oil consumption is 1 quart every thousand miles. this is insane IMO (my always slightly leaking 944 doesn't go through that much oil!), and if this theory is correct, then toyota does not know how to build an engine to save there lives ... if a seal as basic as the piston rings isnt actually a seal ... then dear lord, the 1zz-fe isn't even an engine. i mean really. my opinion of toyota's engine building certainly isn't a good one.

whatever the failure mode, my 1zz is dead as a doornail. and my did it make an awful sound ...
Your opinion would change considerably if you got a Tacoma or a Supra lol. My Tacoma is at 230K miles and still runs smooth. Doesn't burn oil at all. There's plenty of them on the Tacoma forums that have over 300K miles. Supras... well, they do 800+hp on factory internals so I'll leave it at that.
 

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something's f*cky
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183 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Your opinion would change considerably if you got a Tacoma or a Supra lol. My Tacoma is at 230K miles and still runs smooth. Doesn't burn oil at all. There's plenty of them on the Tacoma forums that have over 300K miles. Supras... well, they do 800+hp on factory internals so I'll leave it at that.
and the toyota defense team moves in.

to be frank, you can't convince me, not with the amount of money i spent on this thing. i bought a corolla engined car on purpose, only to find that the corolla engine is utter trash. my original plan was actually a base boxster but i said to myself "man one porsche is expensive enough to keep running, two will be way too expensive ..." oh how i would eat those words in the next 12 months .... i should have bought the boxster.
 
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