MR2 SpyderChat banner

181 - 200 of 233 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
434 Posts
Year: 2001
Miles: ~95,000
Driving Style: Wife's daily, so gentle-moderate; occasional hard driving (me, autox etc.)
Cats replaced?:No
Engine replaced?: No
Type fuel used: Shell or Chevron 87 for last year (we don't know what first owner used, we bought it with 85k miles)
Type oil used: Toyota 5w30 (again, for last year, not sure before that)
Frequency of oil change: ~3k miles or three months since we've owned it, don't have service records for last owner.

Notes: I did not choose to check pre-cats when we bought it. This decision was based on the immaculate condition of the car when we got it, how strong the engine seemed, and the fact that it had perfect compression across all four and didn't consume or leak any oil. Recently it began to consume roughly 1 quart every week (~250 miles) lose power and a little fuel economy, and became very sluggish to start accelerating after idling for a while. I changed spark plugs which were fouled, as well as the clogged air filter, and cleaned out the MAF sensor and rechecked compression, which was still 175 on 1, 3, and 4, and 180ish on 2. The tops of the pistons for 1 and 4 were black, but dry. 2 and 3 were damp. I took the driver side O2 out and looked inside. There was no precat material visible whatsoever, but I stupidly thought that must mean the first owner gutted them. It became almost undrivable the following few days, lacking any power whatsoever over 2000 RPM or so. Tonight I took off the main cat and had a look from beneath. The precat material from the driver side (which is cyl. 2 and 3, the ones that are wet with oil on top of the pistons) was completely gone, while it remained on the passenger side. I dumped about half a dozen large chunks of the driver side precat material out of the main cat and cleaned out a large amount of smaller particles all the way down to the fine grey powder and intend to let it dry overnight, reassemble tomorrow and see how it runs.

Given that compression is still good, I'm hoping to get a good bit more time out of the motor; given the amount of oil being burnt (although there has been very little visible in the exhaust).. I'm not holding my breath.

As an avid Toyota fan having owned 2 Spyders, 2 MKII turbos, a MKIII supra with a 2jz, a 94 celica GT, a 90 celica alltrac, an 87 celica alltrac, and a 99 v6 camry, I can't express how disappointed I am that Toyota so recently put out such a product as this run of 1zz's, however a relatively small production run it was. :( Sorry for being long winded, I'm a fan of details.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Pre Cat question

I interested in buying a pre-owned Spyder but am concerned on the Pre Cat issue. I heard later model years 2003 and up do not have the Pre Cat failure concerns, is this true?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,709 Posts
I interested in buying a pre-owned Spyder but am concerned on the Pre Cat issue. I heard later model years 2003 and up do not have the Pre Cat failure concerns, is this true?
The general consensus is...2002 and earlier have more problems with pre-cats. 2003 and later have fewer. The recommendation is to gut them, regardless of which vintage spyder you have.

When shopping, just inspect the precats through the oxygen sensor holes. If they are not crumbling and the car does not use oil you will be fine. You may find that a previous owner gutted them. If they're intact, gut them as soon as you buy.

I think Cap Weir has a pre-2002 with more than 200,000 (?) miles. (somebody will correct me)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
As an avid Toyota fan having owned 2 Spyders, 2 MKII turbos, a MKIII supra with a 2jz, a 94 celica GT, a 90 celica alltrac, an 87 celica alltrac, and a 99 v6 camry, I can't express how disappointed I am that Toyota so recently put out such a product as this run of 1zz's, however a relatively small production run it was. :( Sorry for being long winded, I'm a fan of details.
Same here...I got to my pre-cats in time, cleaned them out, but I'm still using more oil in my 70k engine than I did with 320k on my best MK1 (SC) or 220k on my MK2 (NA)....way more.

I understand this is Toyota's first all aluminum engine series, but geez.....should we pay for their mistake of going cheap? Probably my last Toy...

Good luck with the engine...

Rick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Rattling noise

I have a 2092 5 speed and lately I have been hearing a rattling noise when I first put it into 1st thru 3rd. It isn't clutch related because after I let off the clutch, it still does it. It only does it until I get up to high Rpm's such as 3k or greater. I have an axle back and Che headers. Could it be one of the gaskets? I'm not certain if its something rattling on something else or what. Any advice?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
I have a 2092 5 speed and lately I have been hearing a rattling noise when I first put it into 1st thru 3rd. It isn't clutch related because after I let off the clutch, it still does it. It only does it until I get up to high Rpm's such as 3k or greater. I have an axle back and Che headers. Could it be one of the gaskets? I'm not certain if its something rattling on something else or what. Any advice?
My 2002 is doing the exact same thing a rattle at 2200 and at 2700. Doesnt matter the gear or clutch position, accelerating or decelerating. I have noticed that it is more pronounced when in a curve and I hit those 2200 or 2700 rpm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Year: 2003
Miles: 65,500 (you read that right)
Driving Style: Old lady
Cats replaced?:No
Engine replaced?: No
Type fuel used: RaceTrac for years, now Costco
Type oil used: Mobil1 since first oil change, AMSOIL XL last 3 changes
Frequency of oil change: 7,500 miles with AMSOIL XL

Scared of these damned pre-cat stories! Gonna gut 'em next weekend. Or maybe before midnight tonight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Year: 2003
Miles: 123,000
Driving Style: spirited
Cats replaced?: afterwards
Engine replaced?: afterwards
Type fuel used: 87, mostly Shell
Type oil used: mobil1 5w30
Frequency of oil change: 5000-6000

Not confident it's a precat failure, but very suspicious. Heard clicking that eventually resulted in engine death. Post-catastrophic forensics indicated valve was stuck open and VVTi solenoid failed. #4 piston head showed signs of banging into valve. piston head had cracked in half due to expanding due to heat and binding against cylinder wall. rod had ripped off piston and punctured engine casing in four places. precats definitely cracked and missing small particles. oxygen sensor in #1/#4 pod is broken due to particles. alternate theory is either VVTI solenoid caused valve to get stuck open, but i am leaning more toward a precat particle sucked into header and caused valve to get stuck open. engine replaced and header replaced with precat-less version.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Year: 2000
Miles: 183,000
Driving Style: mixed
Cats replaced?: After
Engine replaced?: Once
Type fuel used: Regular 87
Type oil used: Mobil1 5w30
Frequency of oil change: 5000

Was going go until one day it wouldn't go any faster than about 20mph, took it to my uncles shop and we decided to stick a fork in it. Realized my pre-cats were to blame for the engine failure. So we put a 2007 Toyota Corolla motor in it (don't laugh). It has around 45,000 miles on the motor now and still going pretty dang strong!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Year: 2001
Miles: 86k
Driving Style: really slow on commute, driven hard at the track
Cats replaced?: Gutted afterwards
Engine replaced?: No
Type fuel used: Regular 87
Type oil used: Motul 300V 5w30 before and Mobil1 5w30 afterwards
Frequency of oil change: 5000

The engine started stalling while I was at the track. First stalled at 6k rpm, then reved OK, then stalled at 1.5k rpm and stayed there. Had to drive it 20miles like that to uhaul. At home took pre-cat canisters out, left pre-cat was empty and right was intact. I gutted the right. I took it for a hard drive and it was working OK. Next day took main cat out and found pre-cat pieces inside. Took out the ones not stuck and flushed the cat with pressured water. Did oil change and added MoS2 in oil. Took car for test drive and a rattling sound was comming from the exhaust when engine was on load. Then drove car around 400 miles and to a track day and drove it hard. Oil consumption was 0 in the first 2 sessions then it went 1/4 down on the dipstick between L and F (maybe because I misshifted from 3rd to 2nd). Today I did compression test and the engine has 210psi in all 4 cylinders. I ordered a catless downpipe to avoid having particles sucked in the engine that are now stuck in the main cat.

Perchaps I got away with it, we will see in the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Year: 2001
Miles: 76K
Driving Style: Unknown, but does not appear car has been raced or abused
Cats replaced?: No
Engine replaced?: No
Type fuel used: Regular 87
Type oil used: Unknown
Frequency of oil change: 5000 miles per available service records

Hello all - first post! I'm considering the purchase of a 2001 Spyder that seems to be in pretty good shape, just a slight oil leak around the timing belt tensioner o-ring. The engine also runs strong, and doesn't show any signs of burning oil (though this is from a cursory check only) but there's also no record of the pre-cats being replaced or gutted, and that has me concerned.

Are there any figures or percentages of how many 2000-2001 MR2s that made it to the U.S. have experienced this problem?

Also, where are the O2 sensors that I need to pull to check the condition of the pre-cats? Does the car need to be on a rack to do this?

Thanks...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,979 Posts
You will probably need a special socket to remove the O2 sensors. They are located on the exhaust manifold and accessible from the top. IMHO knowing the oil usage is the single most important item. It is hard to tell without putting miles on the car. I purchased one with 48k and used some oil. I have since been able to reduce this considerably. I change oil every 3k using a Toyota filter. I don't think you will find a percentage. About 30,000 MR2's where imported into this country over the model years. Early spyders are more common. I have know idea how many owners visit or belong to this site or who reports what. There is a problem as you have read. It seems to me the rings are the major issue, keeping them clean and working can be a very good thing. Good clean oil changed often can help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
You will probably need a special socket to remove the O2 sensors. They are located on the exhaust manifold and accessible from the top. IMHO knowing the oil usage is the single most important item. It is hard to tell without putting miles on the car. I purchased one with 48k and used some oil. I have since been able to reduce this considerably. I change oil every 3k using a Toyota filter. I don't think you will find a percentage. About 30,000 MR2's where imported into this country over the model years. Early spyders are more common. I have know idea how many owners visit or belong to this site or who reports what. There is a problem as you have read. It seems to me the rings are the major issue, keeping them clean and working can be a very good thing. Good clean oil changed often can help.
Thank you for the reply. I can't shake the feeling that I'd be tempting fate by keeping the pre-cats in place, but removing them could make the e-test process difficult around here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
You will probably need a special socket to remove the O2 sensors. They are located on the exhaust manifold and accessible from the top. IMHO knowing the oil usage is the single most important item. It is hard to tell without putting miles on the car. I purchased one with 48k and used some oil. I have since been able to reduce this considerably. I change oil every 3k using a Toyota filter. I don't think you will find a percentage. About 30,000 MR2's where imported into this country over the model years. Early spyders are more common. I have know idea how many owners visit or belong to this site or who reports what. There is a problem as you have read. It seems to me the rings are the major issue, keeping them clean and working can be a very good thing. Good clean oil changed often can help.
Thank you for the reply. I can't shake the feeling that I'd be tempting fate by keeping the pre-cats in place, but removing them could make the e-test process difficult around here (Albuquerque.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
896 Posts
Thank you for the reply. I can't shake the feeling that I'd be tempting fate by keeping the pre-cats in place, but removing them could make the e-test process difficult around here (Albuquerque.)
The pre-cats do the most work while the car is cold. Once the main cat is warmed up it does the job. Removing the pre-cats will not cause the car to fail when everything is nice and hot. Many people have passed emission testing without the pre-cats. If your afraid, just get a cat-less header and swap it out. Then you could go back if you needed to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,979 Posts
The pre-cats do the most work while the car is cold. Once the main cat is warmed up it does the job. Removing the pre-cats will not cause the car to fail when everything is nice and hot. Many people have passed emission testing without the pre-cats. If your afraid, just get a cat-less header and swap it out. Then you could go back if you needed to.
I live in Virginia but have read many success stories here about CA emissions. If your car is healthy and hot it doesn't seem to be an issue. PreCats reduce cold emissions creating ultra low emissions status. Do what you are comfortable with. I do recommend knowing what the oil usage is. I used BG 109 and it has reduced my spyders usage a lot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Year: 2002
Miles: 115k
Driving Style: somewhat speedy
Cats replaced?: Gutted
Engine replaced?: No
Type fuel used: 97
Type oil used: penzoil 5w30
Frequency of oil change: 5000
Sent from my LG-MS770 using Tapatalk 2

I went through hell trying to find out what was wrong with my engine. As soon as the vvt stopped kicking in at 4k rpms I knew something was obviously wrong. Finally figured the cats were clogged along with another wire harness issue that caused the problem. She's healthy now :)
 
181 - 200 of 233 Posts
About this Discussion
232 Replies
162 Participants
Ericmanoa
MR2 SpyderChat
SpyderChat Forum is a community for Toyota MR2 Spyder Enthusiasts to discuss specs, reliability and more!
Full Forum Listing
Top