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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
83898



bought it back in March looking like this. Upon driving it home I quickly noticed it was having some major mechanical problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
83899


someone thought this was a good way to “fix” a leaking valve cover gasket. I also deleted the pre cats which were thankfully intact and and replaced the t chain tensioner o ring and re-sealed the oil pan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jump in! Lots of folks are happy to give free advice.
thank you for the kind words! Ive been meaning to make a thread on here about my car and decided it was time to do it when I saw some seats I wanted for sale on here. Realizing I need at least 5 posts? To reply to the for sale thread I decided it was time to start a thread about my car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
83900


thnkfully there was no damage to the engine. I pulled the pan to check to make sure there was no rtv debris in the oil pump pickup (there was but no enough to be of concern). Ive put about 900 miles on the car nd it has not consumed any oil thankfully!
 

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2003 MR2 Spyder
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Congratulations on your new to you Spyder. It looks like the previous owner tried to save a few dollars with sub standard "repairs" and really should have left things alone. I'm glad you were able to rescue this spyder before they did any more damage. You're doing it right checking it over good and replacing any fluids, etc they may have cheaped out on. Spending time and money on it now will save you lots of headaches later. Good luck and enjoy your ride when you get it all sorted out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Congratulations on your new to you Spyder. It looks like the previous owner tried to save a few dollars with sub standard "repairs" and really should have left things alone. I'm glad you were able to rescue this spyder before they did any more damage. You're doing it right checking it over good and replacing any fluids, etc they may have cheaped out on. Spending time and money on it now will save you lots of headaches later. Good luck and enjoy your ride when you get it all sorted out.
thank you! All fluids have been flushed including the eps fluid with new Nissan eps fluid. Ive been going through my phone and will be adding more pics as I have time. The car is back on the road now and it runs and drives very well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I also figured I should introduce myself a bit better. Ive been working on cars since I was a kid. First helping my father out and now mostly working on my own vehicles. I went to tech school and eventually started working at a Toyota dealer becoming a Toyota factory certified technician. After realizing that I had little desire to be a dealer mechanic between long hours, little pay, tool bills, dealing with customers who did not care about maintenance on their vehicles etc. I made a career change and now have both the money and desire to have a weekend cruiser/project vehicle. I have owned several toyotas in the past, most notably a 1992 celica gt (my first car) and a 1990 celica alltrac (which I still to this day regret selling) after realizing that an sw20 mr2 was more money then I was willing to spend and that another celica alltrac would be the proverbial needle in the haystack to find I ended up finding a 2001 spyder in solar yellow. It’s been a lot of fun to drive and I look forward to making some modifications to it to enhance the way it drives. I currently daily drive a 2009 Honda Fit that has been in the family since new. The spyder is the garage queen/ Sunday drive in warm weather car. Thus far I have only put about 900 miles on it since March!
 

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Great to hear- some people think dollar store fluids are good- not my idea of good maintenance 🤔 I'm glad you're taking care of it the right way
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
83920


After flushing all the fluids and giving the car a good once over I noticed very irritating rattle at idle and during cruising at certain speeds. Upon doing some investigating I realized that the riv-nuts on the engine cover had loosened up. I decided to attempt repairs by drilling out the bolts that were stuck in the riv-nuts and removing the riv-nuts and installing slightly larger ones.
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83924


Apparently I forgot to take photos of the entire process :/ After drilling out the old riv-nuts I drilled out the areas they were installed in to an appropriate size for the new riv-nuts I had bought. I applied some touch up paint to areas that had bare steel and installed the new riv-nuts. To anyone who is not familiar with these they install very similar to a pop rivet but have threads so that a bolt can be tightened to hold down sheet metal such as the rain cover on the MR2’s engine lid. I also applied a bit of jb weld to the riv-nuts before installing them as a bit of extra insurance against these new ones loosening up again. I am happy to report that so far the new riv-nuts are holding and the rattle is gone!
 

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I haven't seen out of those wall pencil sharpeners outside of my mom's house since elementary school....and she's a teacher haha.

Nice work so far. Going over a car that is so neglected can be nerve racking as the question is always "Has this been touched? And if so what shortcut was taken?" The worst I've seen was someone that had replaced the driver's seat & used self tappers to "secure" it in place...that valve cover sealant job kinda reminded me of that quality of work.

Clean your soft top drains if you haven't, otherwise you hit the major maintenance of getting a used Spyder already. Hopefully you can get around to enjoying driving it now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Nice tip, thanks for sharing it. Also, I like the pencil sharpener.
View attachment 83931
It’s soo much better then an electric pencil sharpener! I work in a fabrication shop where #2 pencils are used to mark cut lines on fiberglass cloth and the electric pencil sharpeners only last 6 months to a year before dieing. We have a couple of x-acto hand crank sharpeners like the ones in my garage that are probably older then I am!

Using good cutting fluid there I see. I really like that tap magic too, we use it at work.
I just tried it out for the first time on this particular job. I should have bought some years ago instead of trying to use pb blaster as cutting oil. I have noticed a great increase in my drill bit life between sharpenings while using it.

I haven't seen out of those wall pencil sharpeners outside of my mom's house since elementary school....and she's a teacher haha.

Nice work so far. Going over a car that is so neglected can be nerve racking as the question is always "Has this been touched? And if so what shortcut was taken?" The worst I've seen was someone that had replaced the driver's seat & used self tappers to "secure" it in place...that valve cover sealant job kinda reminded me of that quality of work.

Clean your soft top drains if you haven't, otherwise you hit the major maintenance of getting a used Spyder already. Hopefully you can get around to enjoying driving it now.
Having a seat held in so precariously is very scary indeed! My drivers side seat had all its bolts fortunately… but they were only finger tightened… I kept wondering why it made this creaking noise every time I applied the brakes. I looked at the seat frame/sliders one day and noticed the loose bolts. I hate to admit it. And this might be another sign of my severe ocd (in case you guys haven’t already noticed from seeing how well I try to keep my garage organized) but soo far I’ve spent about $300 replacing missing or broken nuts bolts clips and fasteners with new oem Toyota ones.
83940


This picture is only about 1/4 of the total hardware I have bought for the car. And I have still been finding missing parts on the car. Although less frequently then when I first bought it. And I did clean the convertible top drains. Thank you for mentioning it. I was happy I did because they were completely filled up with pine needles :/
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
84052


Shortly after buying my MR2 the cel came on. I had a P0440 evaporative emission control system malfunction detected. I then proceeded to diagnose said code and came to the conclusion that the vent valve in the top of the fuel tank had gone bad. This worked out well seems as both of my parking brake cables were frozen and it would be easier to replace them with the fuel tank removed. I also decided to install a superklasse replica trd/c’s hybrid short throw shifter, solid shifter base bushings and spherical shifter cable bushings seems as I had to remove the center console to replace and adjust the parking brake cables. The cel is now off, the parking brake now works, my car passed emissions and the short throw shifter and shifter base bushings makes shifting through the gears an absolute joy!
84053


here’s a comparison of the factory shifter on the right compared to the superklasse trd/c’s hybrid shifter on the left.

84054


old shifter out and new shifter ready to go in.

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spherical shifter cable bushings installed.
 

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Getting a lot done quickly, and in a single car garage no less. Respect! I see that fellow CT license plate too. Stay dry this weekend!
 

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Shortly after buying my MR2 the cel came on. I had a P0440 evaporative emission control system malfunction detected. I then proceeded to diagnose said code and came to the conclusion that the vent valve in the top of the fuel tank had gone bad.
I think you're the first person to solve the 0440 code wihout asking for help.
 
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