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Toyota MR2 Spyder
The images on the right are sort of a time line to the history below.

Bought certified pre-owned in March 2004 with 26k miles on the Odo from Santa Monica Toyota for $13.8k. I often liked the looks of the car at times since it resembled the Porsche Boxster, but it inspired me like the Porsche 914 did. Many people even asked if it was a Porsche, hence the name I devised. Boxterwannab

I drove the car as a daily commuter since my wonderful job relocated their offices 13 miles or 45 minutes LA traffic distance from my home. I quickly realized how high sprung the vehicle by looks and more evidently when I tried to top it out. At 110 mph it was more unstable at that speed than the tiny Smart Car following a big rig. The MR had to be lowered ASAP. I ordered SSR competition C type wheels and 205 45 16 on each. Then came H&R sports springs which lowered the car perfectly and the car was stable all the way up to its top speed. A whopping 128 mph. Coming from a 87 928 S4 (pictured) which topped out at 160. This was not good.

Every so often I added updates like the Team moon Exhaust, AEM intake, 205 fr - 225 rr tires, Intrax fr and rr sway bars, Koni Sport shocks and onto a Auto Power roll bar. I tracked the car often with this setup and it felt great.

I finally upgraded my sport springs and shocks for KSport GT pro coil overs and went with Kumho ECSTA V710 tires and immediately signed up for the earliest track event. The setup made a huge difference with lap times, no longer did I just cruise around the track, it lowered my lap time times by 5 seconds within just a few laps.

Feeling that the car had excellent grip and was doing mid 1:40's at Willow Springs with the stock engine. I could never go back to street tires for track days, so it was time to make the car safer to push around at 110 mph. But, one problem occurred. 3rd Gear became clingy when engaging it during my last event with the 1zz motor and 5 speed. So instead of replacing the 3rd gear syncro, a 2zz motor was ordered with a 6 speed trans and host of other goods for the infamous 2zz swap. (see mods)

The Auto Power roll bar wasn't ideal for really pushing the car with more grip and power. So, coincidentally Bethania Garage just finished up their 4 point Roll bar for the MRS. It was ordered and delivered and installed 2 weeks later. Along with a Sparco Pro Advan Racing seat with a Willans 6 point harness I now felt safer than ever and ready to push the car faster.

So it was back to the track. The Ksport suspension rendered my commuter car nearly useless to drive on the street, it was so stiff and low I had numerous problems getting in and out of driveways. Not to mention the glorious 120 mile commute I had to and from the office. I had a trailer made from Carson Trailer with no additional features since I wanted the lightest trailer available in metal and needed to weigh a maximum of 1200 lbs along with the 2300 lbs for the MR ,it pushes the towing capacity of my 2007 Jeep wrangler to the limit.

At the track, again laps getting better and times hovering in the low 1:40's but consistently getting lower with each event and each lap. I realized my shifting is really bad and I need to master rev matching, which isn't easy with the Race spec lightweight clutch and flywheel spooling down so quickly in the 2zz Spyder. More seat time is needed. But at this time, the MR only gets driven on the track and the nine turns at Willow Springs raceway doesn't really give me enough reason to practice downshift rev matching.

Cal speedway was the best test for the car for many reasons. It is a high speed course with lots of high and low speed turns and finally I could open up the 2zz and take it faster than ever before. 135 mph entering turn 2 was a blast and I believe the rear spoiler helps to keep the rear stable when lifting for the turn. I tried to push turn 2 at 120 mph but that was scary (I'll try a faster line next time.) Definitely need more track time there. But, Speed Ventures is one of the more expensive Open track organizations to run with along with NASA. Both groups don't give much track time compared to other groups I've run with.

Looking to preserve the motor from harm on the track, I went with the typical Moroso oil pan addition. Now it could be me, but it must be freeing up power from the motor since I was hitting 125 MPH for the 1st time at Willow springs with the 2zz. The motor had more power through each and every turn. Which might be the reason the car was hitting a higher speed on the straights and I'm about to break into the 1:30's for the first time for the 2.5 mile track. For this reason alone, I've recommended a Moroso Oil pan to just about everyone with a potential track car and as a must have for the Spyder, 2zz or not.

On May 29th SoCalHPDE had an MR2 track event, which was a blast, not only to finally run with similar spec'd cars and several members here but, for the tight track it was run on. However, I heard Streets of Willow was an unrefined track from nearly everyone who has run there. So, I really was out there to take it easy and practice car control and get to know the car. During the event we had crazy monsoon weather and I actually had to use windshield wipers during a session. Cant wait to do it all again though.

New tires are in order as these Kuhmo's are over 2 years old now and pretty tore up. Not sure what route to go with my wheel and tire setup, maybe another set of Kuhmo's or a different wheel tire setup with Hoosiers.
2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder MRS (Silver)


2zz motor 63k miles
Team Moon exhaust (Magnaflow)
JNZ downpipe
Exedy race clutch
Toda lighweight flywheel
AEM CAI running rich but safer than lean.
Moroso oil pan
One - Sparco Pro Advan race seat.
NRG flat bottom wheel
TRD (not so) Quick Shifter
Hard Dog 4 point roll bar.
APR universal wing is the only exterior addition done to the car thus far.
Still has the stock stereo and AC systems intact.
Wheel and Tire
SSR comp C 16x7 11lb wheels
Kuhmo Ecsta V710 215/40/16 22.5 inch tires... Old use for track.
Kuhmo Ecsta XS 215/45/16 for street track use



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