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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First - I have searched and read quite a bit about the topic - yes the 2zz will always be the superior motor, yes the 1zz in NA form is a large waste of money / blah blah - now that this is out of the way let me get to my question.

I bought a 2000 Mr2 Spyder 2 years ago and I have been lurking and reading up on this car and strategically modifying for engine modifications I have the following

PPE header
PPE catted downpipe
HKS exhaust
AEM intake
Crower stage 1 cams (not installed)
Fidanza flywheel (not installed)
MWR pullies 2zz water pump and crank pulley (not installed)

upon discussion with a few people privately I understand that the stage 1 cams can be ran with the factory ECU and the ECU compensates pretty well with them, but a PFC is recommended.

my question is - is there enough difference made that is going to really push much more out of the engine without going internal? I mean am I spending a grand to add 3 horsepower and make it run more efficiently? Or am I really going to notice a better drivability in the midrange that makes me step back and say (well that was worth it)

just looking for some feedback.
 

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My opinion is that all na performance upgrades are a waste of money . It's slow .... it will always be slow . The exhaust is probably the biggest gain but mostly it's just about the sound .
 

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I tend to agree...the NA 1zz upgrades are around a dollar:HP ratio of what you voiced as concern for the PFC already. I wouldn't say 2zz is always superior, simply depends on your goals (clearly yours seem to be an NA build). Anything but FI on the 1zz is purely for a personal feeling of satisfaction...the cost will always be high while the ceiling remains low. On the bright side the car is almost always a momentum car (except for those throwing down serious FI numbers)
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I tend to agree...the NA 1zz upgrades are around a dollar:HP ratio of what you voiced as concern for the PFC already. I wouldn't say 2zz is always superior, simply depends on your goals (clearly yours seem to be an NA build). Anything but FI on the 1zz is purely for a personal feeling of satisfaction...the cost will always be high while the ceiling remains low. On the bright side the car is almost always a momentum car (except for those throwing down serious FI numbers)
the midrange performance of the 1zz with my supporting mods has left me with my 2zz swap on an engine stand (yes I have a 2zz rebuilt ready to go in) but the midrange on the 1zz really has a nice grunt and pull, I am anxious to see what the cams will further with the supporting mods. I guess I don’t know that the PFC is going to “wow” me for the cash.

I have owned a Corolla XRS with the 2zz so I am very familiar with the engine and its very good. I guess I am just a little surprised that the 1zz doesn’t “suck” as bad as everyone makes it out that it does lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My opinion is that all na performance upgrades are a waste of money . It's slow .... it will always be slow . The exhaust is probably the biggest gain but mostly it's just about the sound .
Completely fair statement / most of the price/performance for NA vs FI just isn’t there I would agree with that.

spending 4K on a turbo setup will yield much more power than spending a comparable amount of money on NA mods - especially on the 1zz platform
 

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FWIW I have a PFC & Celica ecu on my 2zz swap. The difference is night & day noticeable when driving due to the midrange performance gain felt on the PFC (and a lower lift engagement/higher redline but that wouldn't apply on a 1zz application regardless).
 

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Light flywheel : you'll notice quicker acceleration on 1st and 2nd gear.
On neutral, engine will revving faster from idle to redline. Huge improvement like more sporty car.

With a PFC tune, engine will be more responsive, even on light throttle.
No need to push far gaz pedal to feel the car mooving. You'll have almost max torque on all range.

Feel on steer wheel : more responsive/torquey on mid-range. More linear compare to stock ECU. Car will not feel faster.
In your configuration with stock ECU, your car compete against ~170hp diesel stock car.
PFC tune, you compete against 210hp petrol stock car (equivalent to 210hp stg.1 Golf 7 GTD // 200hp defaped and full exhaust Golf 5 GTD).

It's slow and will still be... Not really. Compare to a stock MR-S, improvement is huge.
Racing against 265hp petrol stock car (Megane RS, Focus RS etc) become fun, because owners's will be amazed to see how much difficult they will have to gap you (thanks rear engine + RWD combo). I tried against Miata NB = rear engine make THE difference.

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Personnal experience : years agos, stock ECU wasn't enought. I wanted more power and have bought an Apexi PFC.
It was fun to compete against more powerfulls cars... But there was a point where I still lack of power against others cars.
I decide to make an introspection about what I wanted/liked/missed about my MR-S = engine sensation's.
Then decided to do a C64 trans swap (shorter gear ratio than C56/C60 euro trans), and was no disapointed.


To me THE BEST mod for the MR-S, better than a PFC tune :
- engine is still on the best range (between 5500-7000 rpm). 6th's top speed's is ~134mph on tacho, but it's a blast.
The feel that the engine has more power is fabulous. And my MR-S on stock ECU is just a tinny bit slower than before with PFC tune.
- I worked to send air filter's sound right behind driver's seat. The sound is a huge part of fun. Full throttle is loud (97db into the cabine).
One "plus" about that is you hear when the engine does not run right (knock sensor that retard ignition, dirty MAF, ignition coil).

Acceleration of my MR-S on RaceLogic PerformanceBow with external anten (can be improved, engine wasn't running right) :
Stock ECU, PPE cai, BC Racing, 4-1 PPE header, Raggazon sport cat, TTE/Remus exhaust, MWR flywheel, TRD style wing, C64 LSD trans, 985kg with full tank

82414


Below my MR-S with PFC tune (C63 and C64 transmission) against others cars :
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Light flywheel : you'll notice quicker acceleration on 1st and 2nd gear.
On neutral, engine will revving faster from idle to redline. Huge improvement like more sporty car.

With a PFC tune, engine will be more responsive, even on light throttle.
No need to push far gaz pedal to feel the car mooving. You'll have almost max torque on all range.

Feel on steer wheel : more responsive/torquey on mid-range. More linear compare to stock ECU. Car will not feel faster.
In your configuration with stock ECU, your car compete against ~170hp diesel stock car.
PFC tune, you compete against 210hp petrol stock car (equivalent to 210hp stg.1 Golf 7 GTD // 200hp defaped and full exhaust Golf 5 GTD).

It's slow and will still be... Not really. Compare to a stock MR-S, improvement is huge.
Racing against 265hp petrol stock car (Megane RS, Focus RS etc) become fun, because owners's will be amazed to see how much difficult they will have to gap you (thanks rear engine + RWD combo). I tried against Miata NB = rear engine make THE difference.

------------------------------
------------------------------

Personnal experience : years agos, stock ECU wasn't enought. I wanted more power and have bought an Apexi PFC.
It was fun to compete against more powerfulls cars... But there was a point where I still lack of power against others cars.
I decide to make an introspection about what I wanted/liked/missed about my MR-S = engine sensation's.
Then decided to do a C64 trans swap (shorter gear ratio than C56/C60 euro trans), and was no disapointed.


To me THE BEST mod for the MR-S, better than a PFC tune :
- engine is still on the best range (between 5500-7000 rpm). 6th's top speed's is ~134mph on tacho, but it's a blast.
The feel that the engine has more power is fabulous. And my MR-S on stock ECU is just a tinny bit slower than before with PFC tune.
- I worked to send air filter's sound right behind driver's seat. The sound is a huge part of fun. Full throttle is loud (97db into the cabine).
One "plus" about that is you hear when the engine does not run right (knock sensor that retard ignition, dirty MAF, ignition coil).

Acceleration of my MR-S on RaceLogic PerformanceBow with external anten (can be improved, engine wasn't running right) :
Stock ECU, PPE cai, BC Racing, 4-1 PPE header, Raggazon sport cat, TTE/Remus exhaust, MWR flywheel, TRD style wing, C64 LSD trans, 985kg with full tank

View attachment 82414

Below my MR-S with PFC tune (C63 and C64 transmission) against others cars :
exactly the type of feedback I was looking for, I agree the 1zz when you put some “real” breathing modifications on it does not feel “lacky” at all, I really enjoy the 1zz and feel it’s super lively.

sounds like my money would be best spent grabbing a different transmission than the stock C56. The videos really show the difference, the motor looks like it reacts completely different with the C64.

great input thank you
 

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With C64 transmission, the engine pull on every gear. Even on low rpm. No need to swich to lower gear.
Tip before going to C64 transmission : buy one with LSD + refurbished gears/synchros. It's more expensive but will last longer.
Your MR-S already have the good combo 4-1 header and sport cat. Max power will stay strong until redline.
 

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Transmission will make a difference, but not as much as you expect from the feedback you are getting. The caveat is that he's in Europe, which makes the change in transmission have a significantly larger difference in gearing than the same change on a U.S. spec Spyder.

In a completely unsubstantiated musing, I'd think you'd probably feel more difference with a standalone ECU compared to a transmission swap from the c56...but that is the assumption that the standalone would have the similar effect over the stock ECU on your setup as it did on mine. For reference the change in gearing would be the same as me going from the c56 to the c60 in my second Spyder (except for 6th gear being slightly different). Yes, the rpms spin up quicker, but if you told me I could have that vs more actual power for the same price I'd go with the power every time. The gearing difference is there, but not high enough to impress by itself if you're on the U.S. market transmission (c56) to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Transmission will make a difference, but not as much as you expect from the feedback you are getting. The caveat is that he's in Europe, which makes the change in transmission have a significantly larger difference in gearing than the same change on a U.S. spec Spyder.

In a completely unsubstantiated musing, I'd think you'd probably feel more difference with a standalone ECU compared to a transmission swap from the c56...but that is the assumption that the standalone would have the similar effect over the stock ECU on your setup as it did on mine. For reference the change in gearing would be the same as me going from the c56 to the c60 in my second Spyder (except for 6th gear being slightly different). Yes, the rpms spin up quicker, but if you told me I could have that vs more actual power for the same price I'd go with the power every time. The gearing difference is there, but not high enough to impress by itself if you're on the U.S. market transmission (c56) to begin with.
Yeah I am on the US market C56, i am leaning toward doing both a transmission swap and a PFC my transmission is making some noise intermittently when my foot is off the clutch, so I am thinking transmission bearings are starting to round out their life cycle
 

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Also be aware that performance cams that offer a significant peak power increase, achieve this with a decrease in low-rpm power and typically no difference in mid-range. You also have to be careful that the aftermarket cams do not have significantly smaller base-circle radius (re-ground cams) because that means all-new cam-followers to get the lash adjusted. This is less true on the 2zz since it has both high-speed and low-speed cam lobes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Also be aware that performance cams that offer a significant peak power increase, achieve this with a decrease in low-rpm power and typically no difference in mid-range. You also have to be careful that the aftermarket cams do not have significantly smaller base-circle radius (re-ground cams) because that means all-new cam-followers to get the lash adjusted. This is less true on the 2zz since it has both high-speed and low-speed cam lobes.
I went with Crower Stage 1 for the exact reasons you are speaking about - I wanted a boost in drivability not “all out” power.

Most people have had great luck installing the cams with all the valve clearances in line with the factory cams - one can hope I am this lucky
 

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You already have all the parts, you might as well make the most of them and tailor it with a standalone ECU.
If money is the issue, buy a used PFC to save yourself some cash. They pop up for $5-600 fairly often.
At this point it's not about peak HP it's the area under the curve. You put it all together, it will be a super responsive car with great midrange. Which is what you need for everyday driving and it will still be reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You already have all the parts, you might as well make the most of them and tailor it with a standalone ECU.
If money is the issue, buy a used PFC to save yourself some cash. They pop up for $5-600 fairly often.
At this point it's not about peak HP it's the area under the curve. You put it all together, it will be a super responsive car with great midrange. Which is what you need for everyday driving and it will still be reliable.
would love to snag a used PfC I started a WTb thread hopefully something turns up
 

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Yeah I am on the US market C56, i am leaning toward doing both a transmission swap and a PFC my transmission is making some noise intermittently when my foot is off the clutch, so I am thinking transmission bearings are starting to round out their life cycle
I think you'll enjoy doing both of these together. FWIW the C60/C64 is ideal if you ever decide to pull the trigger on swapping the 2zz motor in the future...not saying that you should but at least that's an extra expense that can be "justified"

FWIW I think Lotus guys have issues with 3rd gear synchros in the c64 (don't quote me on that, I'm not 100% sure of which gear) so it may be worth looking into upgrading that before installation depending on your desire & budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
82423


there will 100% be a 2zz in my future - just having a lot of fun with my 1zz. This is the 2zz I just finished rebuilding - I have a C60 transmission as well but someone started to disassemble it and it’s missing all the bolts…… it was a warranty pull from Toyota for an input shaft bearing at 23k miles


I think you'll enjoy doing both of these together. FWIW the C60/C64 is ideal if you ever decide to pull the trigger on swapping the 2zz motor in the future...not saying that you should but at least that's an extra expense that can be "justified"


FWIW I think Lotus guys have issues with 3rd gear synchros in the c64 (don't quote me on that, I'm not 100% sure of which gear) so it may be worth looking into upgrading that before installation depending on your desire & budget.
 

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I don't understand why you're looking for a PFC in 2021. The 1zz/2zz ones are different so you're basically going to pay twice for the same 1999 technology. Plus, with all the addons you need to tune it right, the price basically comes to anything modern. Look elsewhere and get a better standalone.
 
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