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My 15 year old daughter decided she wanted a project car to learn the basics of mechanics and her requirements were a conv. and dark (actually wanted black). Bought an 02 with a bad sequential tranny and a little mishap when the dealer put it on their rollback (nothing structural just took out the rear lights and a couple scrapes in the rear bumper). Car was very well cared for by the first owner and the second owner basically bought it and then the tranny went in 5k. Only 54k on the odo and judging by the paint and such in the rust belt it appears to be a garaged summer ride.

Anyways, the plan is to swap it to a traditional 5 speed. Actually picking up a fellow member's wrecked parts car in a few days with nearly everything we should need minus a shift knob and boot for the center console. I'm sure I will have lots of questions in the coming months. First Toyota for us but I'm fairly mechanically inclined. Have a couple Jags, a TVR, a Guzzi and a Triumph motorcycle currently so I'm sure it won't be as bad as working on some of them.

Ben
 

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Congrats on your purchase!! I just did the smt to manual conversion, it’s not awful. There’s really good documentation on the site. Good luck!!!
 

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Congrats on your purchase!! I just did the smt to manual conversion, it’s not awful. There’s really good documentation on the site. Good luck!!!
Did read up on it a bit and it didn't seem bad. In my younger days I swapped the auto tranny in a Subie SVX hillclimb car for a manual and all this stuff is lighter so how hard can it be. I know I will have lots of questions once we pick up the donor and get started but winter will get in the way as the garage is reserved for the TVR and the bikes so doubt much progress will happen til Spring (although I would like to get everything off the donor and part the rest out so my neighbors don't think I'm starting a salvage yard.
 

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Congrats! Awesome that your daughter wants to learn the mechanical side of things. The Spyder is surprisingly easy to work on for the most part. Anything on the firewall side is a pain, but still relatively easy for a mid engine car. And hey, you bought the best color!
 

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Once you and your daughter get the spyder on the road treat her to a driving class in the spyder. It would be good for a new driver to learn about oversteer.
 

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Spectra blue is an awesome color. My first choice.
Good that she wants to learn mechanics, that's getting rarer these days, regardless of gender. This car is awesome for anyone that loves to tinker.
There are lots of great resources here. mr2oc.com and mr2-spyder.com are also good places to look for tech info.
Congrats on the project!
 

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If the parts car has a good transmission, you can use that, or you can convert the SMT to manual. Since it is a 2002, both transmissions are 5 speed and have the same gear ratios. so there is no real advantage to reusing the converted SMT other than maybe mileage.

Have fun with the car!
 

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Once you and your daughter get the spyder on the road treat her to a driving class in the spyder. It would be good for a new driver to learn about oversteer.
For the past couple years I have been teaching her to drive in my XF 5.0 Supercharged with 500lbs/ft of torque at 1800rpm on snow/ ice covered private mountain roads. She knows all about oversteer LOL but yeah she will get some autox experience early on.
 

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Yup, car is very nice minus the tranny and the rear. Has maybe 15 paint chips on the front at most. :) The interior is almost new condition.
Nice! I tried to buy that car, but dealer sales reps were kids with phones and novices on answering my Q's. Was ready to ship without viewing until I finally found out is was the SMG and the sales group was so terrible.....I actually complained to the sales manager! I have a c-56 from my 2zz swap and would have been a great flip...or keep as color is nice) Think you got a nice ride, but will need some work. Keeping SMG is an option, but I had trans on-hand when it was listed as a "manual"

Good luck!

Mr. P
 

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Ha Mr. P the sales guy I dealt with was one of the better I dealt with in a while. I went up on the Sunday when no one was there and made sure I liked everything (lucky for me they even had left it unlocked). Then we got there just before opening the next day. Plenty of sales guys running around but no one interested in selling a car in 10 minutes. Went to the bathroom and when I came out our sales guy was about the only one there and immediately asked if he could help us. Told him we wanted to buy the MR2 outback so long as it started, ran right and we could reach a reasonable price. He grabbed a jump box and 5 minutes later we were waiting on the paperwork. It was so painless I even decided it was worth giving them a bone since they weren't too far off on what I would have paid an indie rollback to home.The best part was the reason he was there and so quick to help is he was late and my guess didn't want to go into the sales meeting after it started. Sadly your right though, the internet trolls can't answer a single question and I tend to think the current dealer model is they are just there to schedule people to come in. My wife was just looking at an I pace from a distance and we got that same clueless runaround at every dealer on the East Coast that had what she would have wanted. We pretty much got fed up and gave up. Oh and the sequential is gone, already have the donor car to convert it sitting beside it.
 

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Ha Mr. P the sales guy I dealt with was one of the better I dealt with in a while.


Hello benebob,
Happy the car went to a good home and you had a good experience.

Looking forward to seeing the car progress and "recovered" from possible disaster. It really looked, from my view on the internet, a "diamond in the rough".

Cheers,
Mr. P
 

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Ha Mr. P the sales guy I dealt with was one of the better I dealt with in a while. I went up on the Sunday when no one was there and made sure I liked everything (lucky for me they even had left it unlocked). Then we got there just before opening the next day. Plenty of sales guys running around but no one interested in selling a car in 10 minutes. Went to the bathroom and when I came out our sales guy was about the only one there and immediately asked if he could help us. Told him we wanted to buy the MR2 outback so long as it started, ran right and we could reach a reasonable price. He grabbed a jump box and 5 minutes later we were waiting on the paperwork. It was so painless I even decided it was worth giving them a bone since they weren't too far off on what I would have paid an indie rollback to home.The best part was the reason he was there and so quick to help is he was late and my guess didn't want to go into the sales meeting after it started. Sadly your right though, the internet trolls can't answer a single question and I tend to think the current dealer model is they are just there to schedule people to come in. My wife was just looking at an I pace from a distance and we got that same clueless runaround at every dealer on the East Coast that had what she would have wanted. We pretty much got fed up and gave up. Oh and the sequential is gone, already have the donor car to convert it sitting beside it.
pictures? glad you had a good dealer experience. i have never gotten a good deal from a dealership.

my take: the effort of swapping a transaxle isn't really worth it unless it's for a 6 speed. conversion of the existing smt box is easier.
additional thoughts: the 00-02 OEM pistons have some sort of oil control ring or oiling hole issue. shows up at 100k ish as burning oil. might make a decent exercise in pulling the engine for a rebuild or for a 2zz swap
 

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Discussion Starter #18
pictures? glad you had a good dealer experience. i have never gotten a good deal from a dealership.

my take: the effort of swapping a transaxle isn't really worth it unless it's for a 6 speed. conversion of the existing smt box is easier.
additional thoughts: the 00-02 OEM pistons have some sort of oil control ring or oiling hole issue. shows up at 100k ish as burning oil. might make a decent exercise in pulling the engine for a rebuild or for a 2zz swap
i spent a few years working at Manheim AA so i am pretty basic. Show up with the cash in hand I want to spend based on the car and make an easy take it or leave it approach willing to walk if the sales manger isn’t agreeable. I understand they are there to make money but also they need to cut their losses at the right time. The tranny is toast. Losts of greyish silver fluid so I am guessing it ate a gear or bearing. No need for a 2zz at this point which is why I favor keeping the engine in it and passing the 03 to someone who needs a rebuild now to recoup some of the cost of the parts car. I can now post a pic as i needed the 10 posts first. Car wasn’t waxes just washed kind of quickly when it got here
75008
 

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pictures? glad you had a good dealer experience. i have never gotten a good deal from a dealership.

my take: the effort of swapping a transaxle isn't really worth it unless it's for a 6 speed. conversion of the existing smt box is easier.
additional thoughts: the 00-02 OEM pistons have some sort of oil control ring or oiling hole issue. shows up at 100k ish as burning oil. might make a decent exercise in pulling the engine for a rebuild or for a 2zz swap
Just got pistons out of Peep 1.0. Suspected and confirmed pre-cat failure, but can still see cross-hatch on bore. Will bore scope and "mic" pistons next week, but may be good with new pistons & rings?

Pics attached, oil control rings failed, also have some resistance at wrist pin? Just under 59,000 miles on this 1zz...hmmm?

Mr. P
 

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