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Discussion Starter #1
Ready or not, the Rotrex Spyder club now has a new member. The last few days I've been driving around with a C30-64 boosting my 1zz. It's a fun ride and gives me a taste of what a FI Spyder feels like - exactly what I had in mind from day 1 with my Spyders, coming up on a year ago. It turns out even a mildly boosted Spyder is a lot of fun.

Here's what it looks like:

IMG_20150526_185306_584.jpg IMG_20150516_145144_615.jpg IMG_20150516_153904_482.jpg

The setup is based on a Power Enterprise kit, sourced directly from Japan. PE makes Rotrex kits for about two dozen different cars. To my knowledge, this is the first install on a Spyder that I've seen documented on an English language forum - there could be others, I just haven't found them yet.

Yes, the turbine sits on the hot side. That's different from every other Rotrex build I've seen here - they all place the turbine on the firewall side. "Vive la difference," yes? In my future, there's a charge cooler, and an engine oil cooler, you know it. The "piece de resistance" is that mounting bracket in the second picture. From the looks of it, that bracket could take a direct hit from a small tactical nuke and not flinch. It mounts onto the powersteering stays. There was no relocating nothing, there was no cutting the firewall, and all elements of the system are easily accessible while standing next to the car - well, except the oil cooler, mounted on the front of the trans. You gotta love that easy access.

That's it for the brawn. As for the brain, it's a MAP-ECU3 piggyback, included in the kit. As its name implies, the tune goes by manifold pressure, by intercepting/spoofing the MAF signal. Separate fuel and timing tables - no vvti, but lots of other interesting features. We're gonna see how she does. MAP-ECU comes from a little Kiwi company that has been steadily improving its product offering over the years, and delivers amazing personalized support to every customer that requests it.

Here's the install chronology:

A week before Memorial Day, car goes up on stands. There is an interference issue to resolve between the PPE header and the turbine. The turbine can't go anywhere so the header has to give. Header goes to the welder on Monday, comes back with cyl1 tube rerouted and tacked for test-fitting on Wednesday, gets welded Thursday, wrapped again on Friday, and ready for install over the holiday weekend.

IMG_20150519_122955_301.jpg IMG_20150527_150040_933.jpg

Meanwhile turbine and oil cooler system installed and primed, injector harness is re-pinned for Sard 440's, vacuum lines are routed with a vacuum box installed, and the harness is wired and tested. Memorial Day weekend it all comes together, Monday is first start. Some issues - mostly wiring - are identified and corrected on Tuesday and Wednesday, and this brings us to Thursday, today, shakedown complete for first stage of the install, end except for guzzling gas like it's pink lemonade (good think we're still at $58 a barrel), the car is eminently and satisfyingly drivable.

The objective of this stage 1 implementation was to get the car into a drivable state, minimizing any variances from the PE kit. Mission accomplished - but this is only the beginning. There are several areas to address for increased performance, reliability, and durability, coming in future stages of implementation. This means: at this point I can have fun driving the car, and think about what I want to do next.

Some notes:

  • Don't even think about doing this without a patch harness, without it this install would have been a nightmare, and why one is not included in the kit, I don't know.
  • Be prepared to test, test, and re-test each wiring path end-to-end.
  • It helps to lay the groundwork (AFR, gauges, etc.,) and shake it all down months if not weeks in advance.
  • Euro 6-speed 3.941 final drive and LSD. Lightweight flywheel. Lightweight wheels. Yah baby.
  • And.... with this kit it really really really helps if you have working knowledge of Japanese. If you don't, be prepared to improvise big-time. All instructions and documents for the kit are provided in that loveliest of difficult languages.
Some thanks:

  • MikeV and Silversprint, for giving me initial feedback on this kit before purchase, that led me to deepen my knowledge and form a decision tree for all things that could possibly be wrong and how to address them.
  • Oxy, for demonstrating that you can go your own way on a Rotrex install, in a far away place, away from everything and everybody - not an island out in the middle of the Pacific, but pretty cool anyway, Oxy.
  • Hayakawa-san at PE, for Yoda-like depth of wisdom, economy of words, and mastery of metaphor.
  • MapEcu-Man (Peter), for steadfastly patient support.
  • And of course, thanks to all of you who post fantastically detailed descriptions of your builds on Spyderchat (Curt, Mandalay, Sammy, Axle), without your info I could not have envisioned this or understood it the way that I do.
I'll continue this thread with added details and developments, issues and resolutions, and answers to questions.
 

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Thanks for sharing! Really interesting stuff...iv always wonder what this kit is like and look forward to seeing the final results. Refreshing to see someone go in a different direction compared to the usual swaps.
 

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Welcome to the Rotrex club. There are a few of us still.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nice write up, thanks for sharing. The MR2-S has everything but power, now you've got that too!
Dblazer, your turbo build really helped me early on when I was thinking about FI for my car - even though I went a different route. As I said before, I'm envious of your torque curve.

Hot side... Nothing a heat sheild and some gold won't fix :D

:subscribed: Good luck.
I've said before that money is the easiest part of solving these problems. I'm coming up against another limit: time running out. I've got to finish up my projects while I can. But I really enjoy seeing how you two - among others - solve your build problems in creative and imaginative ways.
 

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Wow! I love it. When I was swapping the idler pulley on the 2zz, I was thinking that a rotrex should fit nicely right there. Please keep us updated.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Woah those cold pipes are right next to those hot pipes! :biggrin-new:

If you were gonna have a welder .. weld things, I would have rerouted the entire header to come straight out and over the subframe giving more room for pipes.

I read some places (honda forums), rotrex oil temp is crucial. Keep an eye on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Woah those cold pipes are right next to those hot pipes! :biggrin-new:

If you were gonna have a welder .. weld things, I would have rerouted the entire header to come straight out and over the subframe giving more room for pipes.

I read some places (honda forums), rotrex oil temp is crucial. Keep an eye on that.
This is definitely food for thought. Great comment. Thanks.
 

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My friend just drove a rotorex spyder at an autox event with 210whp.
He said it was a blast. Enjoy, I only dream of some power in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
How much did you pay for the kit shipped? And how much did you pay total, not including modifying the header? This seems to be the best option for adding power to the MR2 so far, I like it a lot better than the 2ZZ swap!
I can't discuss the price of the kit except to say that it is very reasonable and comparable to low boost turbo kits, shipping was not a lot, and there is a good discount from list price - you can request a quote directly from PE. I'm estimating that I'm into five figures on the red car so far, not including purchase price: header and exhaust, suspension, tires, wheels, brakes, bracing, transmission, clutch, seats, hardtop, steering wheel, instrumentation, paint for the body kit, and of course, this kit) so the $50 for modifying the header was just another drop in the bucket. They say never add it up, and you won't regret it.

I should be able to compare head-to-head with a 2zz swap very soon, as soon as mine is finished.

My friend just drove a rotorex spyder at an autox event with 210whp.
He said it was a blast. Enjoy, I only dream of some power in the car.
Butt dyno tells me that I'm about 30 whp below that level right now, but my goal with the add-ons that I have planned is about 210-220, staying in a safe range for the 1zz.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I've been enjoying the car for about five months, learning more and more about running and tuning FI as I go. Here's what I've accomplished during this time:
- Gained a good understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the PE/Rotrex kit that I installed.
- Refined my tuning platform and my ability to use it effectively.
- Wore out one set of BFG Rival tires.
- And I've done the research to define the scope and specifications for the next stage.

Now I'm launching into stage 2 of this build. I pulled the trigger on ordering all the necessary parts and equipment at the beginning of October. Here's the blueprint:

1. Battery relocation. Lightweight Odyssey PC680 and custom bracket behind radiator fans.
2. Knock monitoring and control. I've gone over the top on redundancy, with dual knock control: J&S Safeguard Interceptor with Bosch sensor + GM Electronic Spark Control module and sensor. Mission-critical systems should always be redundant.
3. New intake system fabrication, 2.5 inch throughout, with stock MAF relocated to TB, and Greddy latest/greatest Type-FV recirc/BOV.
4. Upgraded vacuum and crankcase breather systems, including Krankvents, one-way check valves for vacuum lines, and Moroso oil catch-cans.
5. A/W intercooler with front mounted H/E.
6. 70mm Rotrex pulley to replace 90mm.
7. Re-tune.

My approach is to break things into small steps and test and validate every step as it's implemented, limiting the degrees of freedom for validation and testing - as opposed to doing everything all at once and ending up with too many degrees of freedom to troubleshoot.

So far I've completed items 1, 2, 3. Item 4 is nearly complete pending replacement of an old brake booster hose that I suspect of causing some small vacuum/boost stability issues. The new intake and vacuum configuration did necessitate some fairly minor tweaking to the tune, which was straightforward. I'll be filling in more details and pictures in upcoming posts. My impressions on completion of steps 3 and 4 are big improvement in idle stability, street drivability, and throttle response.

Item 5 involves several components. Here's the breakdown:
a. Run 3/4 in lines back to front. Done, with return line through center tunnel and feed line following heater hardline on driver side. Try as I might, I was not able to get both lines through the tunnel with the gas tank in place.
b. Fabricate mount for intercooler. In order to accommodate MAF at the TB, I chose a long flow Type 20 intercooler. This also has the advantage of being a counter-current flow intercooler, with a higher efficiency than cross-flow types, and better possibilities for self-purging. A 13.5-inch piece of 2.5 in diameter tubing is substituted for the intercooler in the intake path until the intercooler itself is ready to install. This allows the car to be driven and tested while fabrication work proceeds. I'm at the stage of mocking up the mount with cardboard and have 16-gauge steel sheet to cut and shape as soon as time allows. The mount will support the intercooler between the transmission mount and the strut tower.
c. Install surge tank - highest point of system, at rear strut tower.
d. Install and wire Bosch Cobra pump. Location is underside of front cross member.
e. Install front heat exchanger and fan.

As a bonus of relocating the MAF to the TB, I now have accurate measurement of actual IAT at the IM, which confirms the pressing need for the intercooler system - logs show that temperatures are rising to an unacceptable level quickly even under modest boost.

I've got a lot on my plate right now (what else is new) and the intercooler install involves some tedious time-consuming work, so it may stretch out for a while. Meanwhile I'll try to backfill some of the pics and details of the work that's already done.
 

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Very cool Frank, Cant wait to see how it preforms when its all buttoned up. Still happy with the piggy back setup? Sounds like an interesting system.
 

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You are probably not going to see a whole lot of knock with a piggy back MAPECU. The stock ECU will probably before you may even see it with the MAP ECU. If you log with the MAP ECU you may have a hard time seeing any knock at all.

It also makes it hard to tune for proper AFR and timing without logging knock. I would find a way to log the stock knock sensor signal. If you log the GM sensor you don't' really have a good idea what is real knock or just noise. There is a lot more data out there on a 1zz that is tuned with a stock knock sensor signal. People usually tune using the stock knock sensor then add the J&S after for safety.

I don't think you need all those knock sensors. The J&S and the stock knock sensor it probably all you need.

If you have a big metal plate bolted to the block for all those knock sensors like MAPECU suggests you may be changing the frequency the stock knock sensor reads. I'm not sure. You would have to log stock knock to see that.

Did you log any knock with your initial base tune?
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
You are probably not going to see a whole lot of knock with a piggy back MAPECU. The stock ECU will probably before you may even see it with the MAP ECU. If you log with the MAP ECU you may have a hard time seeing any knock at all.

It also makes it hard to tune for proper AFR and timing without logging knock. I would find a way to log the stock knock sensor signal. If you log the GM sensor you don't' really have a good idea what is real knock or just noise. There is a lot more data out there on a 1zz that is tuned with a stock knock sensor signal. People usually tune using the stock knock sensor then add the J&S after for safety.

I don't think you need all those knock sensors. The J&S and the stock knock sensor it probably all you need.

If you have a big metal plate bolted to the block for all those knock sensors like MAPECU suggests you may be changing the frequency the stock knock sensor reads. I'm not sure. You would have to log stock knock to see that.

Did you log any knock with your initial base tune?
This is really good input, Silversprint. Thank you as always.

Initially, for my base tune, I didn't have any knock sensing and logging, and, I didn't think I needed it, because supposedly, the PE/Rotrex kit that I bought came with a safe tune to make it plug and play. It turned out to be anything but. So I made my initial base tune without any timing adjustment or knock control. I went rich on fuel at WOT, and relied on the stock ECU to save my butt from blowing the engine. By going rich, after my first few initial runs on the first day, I never had any noticeable knock after that. Here's what my most recent fuel map looks like:

Buckunderload.jpg

This is much evolved from the fuel MAP that came with the kit. The kit's fuel map was flat. It believe that it just rescaled the injectors to 440cc by a constant factor everywhere. It was dangerously lean at WOT and even at partial throttle. The kit's timing map had essentially no modification to stock except at idle; without any means to monitor knock, I just left it that way.

Now that I have the GM sensor and the J&S/Bosch both installed, I've been able to monitor and log knock, and I have confirmed that, just as you said, the stock ECU is doing a pretty good job of controlling knock. Here's some recent logs, with the knock signal from the GM module in orange.

Knock Event 1.jpg Knock Event 2.jpg

The scale for knock is knock events per second and the range I've logged is 2 to 6. Knock was occurring in only a few cells. After I got these logs I retarded the timing in the corresponding cells by 2 degrees and since then there has been no more measured knock.

So, where do we go from here?

The MAP-ECU does have the capability to do knock retard. It does requires the GM sensor, as it will not play with a stock sensor.

My plan is to disconnect the factory knock sensor and rely on the MAP-ECU for knock control, with the J&S as a backup. This is the best option considering that I can't do anything with the stock knock signal. It parallels your suggestion of using the stock sensor with the J&S as a backup. However, to use the stock knock signal, I would have to ditch the MAP-ECU and go with something else compatible with the stock knock signal, like for example PowerFC. It's not out of the question that I might do that at some point. But for now I'm continuing with the MAP-ECU. Tuning resources are very limited here (read, non-existent), and the MAP-ECU has the advantage of offering nearly real-time technical support. It's really amazing what this organization does to support customers. That's more important to me than bells and whistles on the gizmo.

I understand your point about the resonant frequency with the single-lead stock knock sensor. However the GM sensor and the Bosch sensor both address this issue, and are not limited to a single knock frequency like the stock sensor. So I think we're safe there.

If you have any thoughts or feedback on this, please let me know. I'm always open to your suggestions.
 
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