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Just Purchased

Year - 2002 (Manufactured 12/01)
Miles - 64,000
Driving Style - Conservative
Precats - Gutted precats immediately
Precats were in good shape
Engine replaced - Numbers matching engine
Fuel - Unleaded 87
Oil- Plan to use either 5w 30 or 0w 30 synthetic
Frequency of oil change - Planning every 5 - 6,000 miles

Wanted to thank everyone who contributed to the precat issue over the years and for the excellent instructions provided for removing them. Car runs great and I absolutely love it.
 

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Could it be spark plugs?

I have a "Dead" sypder. And also a 2002 celica.
Last week my celica started throwing mad poo3 codes multiple cylinder misfire!
I thought for sure my motor had gone the way the spyder did, gross smelly smoke from exaust.

I put in all new plugs and coil packs and ITS PERFECT!

My spyder had one empty pre cat and then one day NO OIL AT ALL! I put in new oil and I could drive to alaska!
But it STINKS like oil and does use oil.

What method can I check to nail down if its valve guides or busted smoker stink pot sypder?

Check compression? All new coil packs and plugs and cross fingers?
 

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I don't own and have not sat in a Spyder. Do they have oil pressure gauges? I have them on everything , including my lawn tractor. Once familiar with them a person can "see" reduced oil level by a sagging needle and judge a change in how the needle looks. Not expensive and many ways to install them. The lawn tractor also has an oil temp gauge. It would seem Toyota should have installed an oil level warning light after 2001 like some upscale cars. These I have not installed. I believe they are available, but more difficult. Honda installs them on their little lawn mowers.
 

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The spyder does not have an oil pressure gauge.

And, you cannot tell oil level from a pressure gauge until the pump has started to suck air. By then, it is too late.
 

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The spyder does not have an oil pressure gauge.

And, you cannot tell oil level from a pressure gauge until the pump has started to suck air. By then, it is too late.
True!!! In fact, if you have an oil pressure warning light, the correct thing to do if it even flickers, is to immediately shut down your engine and figure out what is wrong. Pressurized oil is the lifeblood of an engine.

Dave
 

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Once familiar with an engine and how an oil pressure gauge reads at cold, at hot and low oil you can detect something needing attention. Does it have an engraved warning "oil low"? No it does not, but familiarization and attention of an idling engine will alert you. BTW I did a lot of slaloming back in the day and used a bigger, brighter warning light. Many times slowed or straightened to put the light out. Never lost an engine. Seems like the manufacturers give up on such gauges 'cause people won't read them. They are not costly.
 

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Once familiar with an engine and how an oil pressure gauge reads at cold, at hot and low oil you can detect something needing attention.

...Never lost an engine...
Yes. You can detect something about the temperature, and also the bearing clearance and the oil pump clearance. You cannot detect the oil level until it is below the intake. Think about the basic physics involved in this system.

I believe you. However, being lucky is not a substitute for risk management. I realize that these are your cars, for you to manage as you wish. I just want to clarify this for the benefit of the casual reader.
 

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True!!! In fact, if you have an oil pressure warning light, the correct thing to do if it even flickers, is to immediately shut down your engine and figure out what is wrong. Pressurized oil is the lifeblood of an engine.

Dave
Unfortunately, oil lights usually come on as such a low pressure that damage is usually already done.

An oil temperature gauge is useful as almost many bearing problems will show elevated temps, even at slight damage.

An oil pressure gauge is useful to tell the oil condition, and clearance issues. For example, some multi-vis oils may break down under heavy use and show lower pressure after a lot of miles compared to new. Damaged bearings may show lower pressure and higher temps.

An oil level gauge show how much oil is in the engine. Low oil level can cause low pressure, but that means the oil system is sucking air or aerating, and the engine may already be toast. An oil pressure gauge is not a level gauge.

The oil level gauge is the dipstick in most cars, and should be checked regularly. This is basic preventative maintenance. The other gauges will show that a problem has already developed, which is nice to know, but maybe a little late. Keep the engine full of fresh high quality oil, and the other gauges should just be interesting reference.
 

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Not sure if it's the right place...
Engine light flashing, only had this 2000 for a month. Cat replaced by po owner.
Codes: 300,301, 420, 442, 301 again.
Haven't checked, think precast still on.
Car is sluggish. It rained and plastic cover to coil pack's loose also early that day prior to hitting puddle I put gas in it

Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk
 

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New to me Spyder...4-letter words and hope.

New to me MR2 Spyder

Year - 2000
Miles – Chassis: 130k Engine: 4K
Driving Style - Responsible Middle Aged Sporty
Pre-cats – Inspected: left side missing, right side intact but aging
Engine replaced - Previous owner spent a CRAZY amount (7K) installing a rebuilt motor
Fuel - Unleaded 87
Oil- Will use mobile 1 synthetic
Frequency of oil change - Planning every 4-5K


So… I just purchased this very clean garage-kept Spyder from a kid for $5,500. He had literally just spent over 7k replacing the stock engine which he said ran out of oil and expired in a very dramatic and messy fashion.
When I drove it, I noticed that it was not as quick as my previous Spyder but I thought “the rest of the car is so clean if it’s a little slower so what?” Anyway, I was hopeful when I received a 'knock sensor' code thinking that the lack of performance was related to a poor engine installation that neglected to connect the knock sensor. After climbing under the car and noting that the KS was there and apparently installed and connected, I started exploring the pre-cat failure scenario (thanks Spyderchat). I did a dry/cold compression test: 180-165-170-170. However, after reading that you can have compression and still burn oil like crazy and since I hadn't driven the car enough to establish oil consumption there was still no answer. After discovering a white powder residue in the exhaust pipe of the new stock muffler the die was cast…

I purchased the O2 sensor socket and started the job. I discovered the left pre-cat was completely gone and the right was intact but looking old. I exclaimed various 4-letter words and multiple 4-letter word phrases. Then I pulled the exhaust...the left 2 exhaust ports looked like the A/F mixture was very lean and the right two ports were black and sooty (makes sense!). The O2 sensors appeared to also show this relationship. When I dropped the center exhaust section I could hear loose material rattling around...more and more 4-letter words (with enthusiasm!). The words continued as I dumped out a few chunks of honeycomb material and a cloud of pre-cat dust from the center section before the main cat. I then gutted the ride side pre-cat (that is a lot of material for an engine to eat!) and plan to order a middle section with cat like the Magnaflow 24065 for $321 (25% off in October!). That brings us to today: I'm hoping for the best which would be that the left pre-cat was completely consumed by the martyred stock motor and that the clogged main cat was constraining the debris from entering the new motor...and that well… the new fresh engine will be awesome when properly ventilated.

I can't believe that the shop charged this kid $7k and replaced his stock muffler and didn't notice the rest of this situation. On the plus side...the engine is at 4k miles and has a 3-year warranty…so there’s that. Thanks to all who have suffered and documented this situation previously. I learned so much from you all!
 

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Bought:January 2020
Year:2003
Miles:83,000
Driving Style: Weekend drives. Fair weather driving
Cats replaced?: After purchase, was driven home and parked until cats were gutted.
Engine replaced?: no
Type fuel used: unleaded premium
Type oil used: synthetic recommended
Frequency of oil change: 3k

Upon removal of O2 sensors cat inspection showed top of left bank 95% uniform with small divot approx 2mm dia 1mm deep. Right bank was 100% uniform. Removed manifold and saw from outlet flange that the left cat (one with divot) was missing most of the matrix with melted matrix blobs. The right cat was uniform and intact from below.

Will remove the main cat to empty out debris and try to inspect. Hoping that the cat failure stayed down stream since the matrix tops shielded particle ingestion.

Removal today. Had only driven it 350 miles after purchase. Check engine light had come on. Took it for a code read. Faulty injector. A rich mix can definitely melt a Cat. Had a Porsche 911sc do it. Keen eye on it after it is back together.
 

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Endoscoped the main cat after emptying it out

Although it did not rattle after the clean out with vacuum and blower, the camera revealed tiny melted matrix bits with some small bits lodged in the matrix. Probably would have been fine but I went ahead and got a Magnaflow.

last photo is of the melted grains bonded to the pipe wall.
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207A2DB5-8510-4C45-A730-61F34A89D201.jpeg
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6B943207-4A87-4BC0-9EA7-649B8BDCF880.jpeg
b
 

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Here is video of mine failing. Passed one last car on the straight at Lime Rock, then died a graceful death. Owned since new, tracked for the last few years. Maybe 80k miles on the car? I suspect this had more to do with oil starvation. The last turn at Lime Rock is at the bottom of hill, so pulling serious G's before standing on the gas all the way down the straight.

 
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