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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After years of being very indecisive on what I wanted to do to the mr2 I have finally decided to just turbo it and have fun with the 1zz it’s got until it blows. I do however need help as this is the first time I’ll be doing anything like this and I plan to tune the car myself as well.

I am looking for some descriptive answers or pictures to help explain what needs to be done as I cannot seem to find a descriptive answer on how to do this. I plan to take pictures to walk everyone through my progress.

I ordered everything I could think of that I would need including a new fuel rail in order to run a return system but I do not know how to setup a fuel pressure regulator as well as a few other major things necessary to turbocharge the spyder. The total I spent for everything minus the used $1300 turbo that I already had and the $924 spent on various Intercooler parts which I ordered a year ago from frozen boost for my Subaru including the second zzp water pump which I’ll run in parallel and the zzp stage 3 heat exchanger is $2350. I pretty much spent the money where it matters and cheaped out on a few things but overall it cost a bit more than I expected for all the fittings and misc stuff as there’s so much involved. Someone could definitely turbocharge the mr2 for less money but I wanted to go with a return fuel system with a new fuel rail, pressure regulator etc which upped the cost quite a bit.

I will need help figuring out the o2 sensors, I bought the innovative wide and o2 kit and have two o2 sensor bungs on my exhaust. I will also not have a cat and may tune in e85 in the future.

This is a list of parts I have ordered, I plan to use a blouch 18g turbo from my previous Subaru build. Hopefully I am not missing anything: Td05 turbo manifold, new oem exhaust manifold gasket, mwr stainless manifold studs, arp turbo bolts with locking nuts, td05 v band downpipe adapter, 3 inch exhaust pipes with 2 o2 sensor bungs and flex pipe, a catch can with piping, 50mm tial type bov, vacuum manifold, a used 1zz power fc with datalogit, large air filter with velocity stack, frozen boost air to water Intercooler, zzp stage 3 32” heat exchanger, 850cc injectors, 15 row oil cooler kit, fuel pressure regulator+gauge with 6an fittings, R9K fuel rail with 6an adapters, 6an bulkhead elbow for fuel pump, braided 4an oil feed with a 1/8 bspt T fitting and 10an return lines with a oil pan tap, and Toyota gasket sealer for the oil pan.

If I am missing anything to turbo my mr2 please let me know or if you have any advise I’d gladly hear it. This is going to be a cheap build as I don’t plan to make lots of power just yet, I can always upgrade the engine later and get a professional tune when I do. I may eventually engine swap and try reusing as much as I can from this build if I do but for now so I just want enough boost to sound good and have fun with.

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A few random comments if you don't mind:
-I almost caught myself saying that the components leftover from your Subie build may be too large to fit...clearly you have a will & way to overcome based on your bodywork

-Depending on where you are located tuning to 93 & not 91 may cause an issue if you absokutely flog the car on a road trip in another state

-Ppl often have success with O2 sensor spacers as far as catalytic converter. I am of the firm belief that for a daily driven car a cat is a must. End rant

-Most going turbo 1zz do so instead of 2zz. If you want to keep that door open as far as ECU choice I would sidestep a PFC entirely & go with something else. There are various issues/quirks/features with each standalone however IMHO the best ECU is the one the tuner you plan on using is most familiar with. If they're good they'll be on top of knock detection.

I'm interested to see what you come up with. Btw what are your power goals?
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A few random comments if you don't mind:
-I almost caught myself saying that the components leftover from your Subie build may be too large to fit...clearly you have a will & way to overcome based on your bodywork

-Depending on where you are located tuning to 93 & not 91 may cause an issue if you absokutely flog the car on a road trip in another state

-Ppl often have success with O2 sensor spacers as far as catalytic converter. I am of the firm belief that for a daily driven car a cat is a must. End rant

-Most going turbo 1zz do so instead of 2zz. If you want to keep that door open as far as ECU choice I would sidestep a PFC entirely & go with something else. There are various issues/quirks/features with each standalone however IMHO the best ECU is the one the tuner you plan on using is most familiar with. If they're good they'll be on top of knock detection.

I'm interested to see what you come up with. Btw what are your power goals?
Very true those parts are pretty large especially to not relocate the battery but I test fit the Intercooler, it’ll sit on top of the crossmember heat shielding. It the turbo doesn’t fit well you know what’ll happen.

I shouldn’t have any issues with 93 I live in Ohio/Kentucky and visit Tennessee/Florida and my mr2 most likely won’t be the trip car since not much fits in it.

I’ve been thinking I may have the shop try to utilize my current exhaust since it has the perfect sound level and sounds exotic, it would just need to be cut and welded to the 3” pipe I’m planning on using.

I think I’ve decided as much as it pains me that the pfc is only for one engine I may just stick with it because as far as price goes those plug and play harnesses are very expensive for something I hear online that tuners don’t care to tune on certain piggybacks and they didn’t have the most positive things to say about the ones we have a choice between.

I would say my current power goal is whatever my clutch can handle for now, I’m betting it’ll be slipping. Eventually I’ll upgrade the clutch and when I do I may switch over to the 6 speed transmission and look for an lsd. At that time I’ll likely look for more power out of the 1zz. If it blows whatever it’s a ridiculously cheap engine.

I’m still open to ecu suggestions though because I’d likely buy mwr’s pfc for $1400 or so to have a drivable tube in order to get it to the shop. It would be annoying to sell it down the road if I do switch to another engine though. All I know is I don’t want ti be spending thousands on engine internals like I did for the Subaru just for it to blow up anyway.
 

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You won't need to combine the o2 signals or fool a post cat sensor if you're using a standalone ecu like a PFC. If you're going to retain the stock ecu you can combine the O2 signals like the following: MR2-S Single Upstream O2 Sensor
A 50ohm resistor is needed on the heater circuit for the O2 sensor you removed. 1W should be enough, but I'd get a 5W or higher resistor if mounting in the engine bay.

3" Catless and mufflerless the car will be loud even with a turbo.

I would recommend going a standalone ECU that you can reuse on the new engine. Like an EMS4 etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
You won't need to combine the o2 signals or fool a post cat sensor if you're using a standalone ecu like a PFC. If you're going to retain the stock ecu you can combine the O2 signals like the following: MR2-S Single Upstream O2 Sensor
A 50ohm resistor is needed on the heater circuit for the O2 sensor you removed. 1W should be enough, but I'd get a 5W or higher resistor if mounting in the engine bay.

3" Catless and mufflerless the car will be loud even with a turbo.

I would recommend going a standalone ECU that you can reuse on the new engine. Like an EMS4 etc.
Thanks! That’s nice to hear, back when my exhaust flex pipe rusted out I drove the car for a while just straight headers, it was obnoxiously loud. I’ll probably have a shop weld a resonator in along with a much cleaner exhaust tip setup but just to take it to get it tuned that’s as good as I can do since I can’t weld and nothing is going to secure the exhaust so I can’t put too much weight on it. Wish I went with a different standalone but I needed something plug and play so I’ll likely just sell it if I do choose a different engine.

Been reading around, looks like some owners have pushed the 1zz as far as 300whp and others have 250 whp is maxed out. I’d obviously not go for big power until I’ve got a second engine lined up but with this setup being a decently large turbo do you guys think 250whp is an attainable goal?

I’ve seen the toothpick rods that these engines have but also understand that lighter rods also have benefits and put less stress on other engine components. A larger turbo can make more power with less psi so less strain on engine internals. Pump gas vs e85 and a more efficient Intercooler vs some of the silly air to air setups I see on some spyders where the Intercooler sits right on top of the exhaust could make a difference too imo.

All these power claims don’t show much information on the turbo build or whether they have a standalone for better tuning. I’d bet a tiny turbo on a piggyback ecu running high boost to make 250whp would blow much sooner than a huge turbo with low boost on a good standalone tune. My turbo is what I’d consider mid sized but larger than what I see people running on the 1zz so if anyone wants to add their take on this I’d gladly hear it.
 

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The transmission will be your weak link after about 210 whp. I'd aim for around there, if reliability (i.e. not dumping money into this project) is your chief concern. Otherwise, you'll need to step up to an e153 transmission, which will accept any power output the 1zz can reasonably achieve.
 

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If you make your way over to Charleston(seems like half of Ohio has), I have parts you could probably use.. if you go through my posts, you’ll see the build. I pulled it all off, but it’s pretty much a complete turbo build based off of the TopSecret Turbo kit with the only thing missing being the charge cooling. Not pictured is 630cc injectors, pfc, gauge pod, tuning laptop, blah blah blah. You can find my original for sale post.
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ah darn, I already ordered everything I’ll need, I wished I waited probably could’ve saved a little money but well I was too excited.

If my transmission blows it’d be a first since I’ve never blown a transmission before but I’m not too concerned because I don’t think my clutch is strong enough to do damage just from sheer power. If it goes I’ll upgrade to the six speed c60 I think it’s called. I do like the e153 bullet proof transmission but I’ll look into installing that if/when I engine swap a 2grfe. No need to do all that custom work and extra swap kit just yet. I’ve seen plenty of 300+whp lotus’ and celicas to not be very concerned. It’s the toothpick 1zz rods I’m more concerned with.
Picture update:
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Alright guys I’m getting super confused as to what pcv pipes go where and what needs vented to atmosphere and what to connect the bov and wastegate up to. I’ve also got a catch can to hook up to the car and everyone says if you turbo the 1zz to vent a pipe by the throttle body to atmosphere………..

Can someone explain with pictures of what I need to do? All this talk of pipes and not knowing what is what is very confusing without any visuals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Also speaking of 1zz rods, does the us mr2 spyders come with the 1zz-fe or 1zz-fed? I hear they came with different rods and different sized valves..
 

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as far as I know all spyders regardless of where they were sold had the 1zz-fed engine. Iirc the 1zz-fed has thicker/stronger connecting rods as well as 1mm larger intake and exhaust valves. It also has the rev limiter raised to 6800 rpm redline as opposed to the regular 1zz-fe which had a 6,200 rpm redline.
 

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1: Please dear god don’t get an ems4 or the PFC. shameless plug I have a friend I met on the link forums while I was trying to get realdash to work on my car; he’s actually a link distributor as well as tuner. He tuned my car remotely and the thing not only has a tired motor but also took forever to figure out as lift didn’t work for the longest time. Pulls on most cars now and is still kicking no matter how much I abuse it. Look up aerace_fab on Instagram, that’s the person I’m talking about. His name is Tony. If you decide to go with him, let me know so I can contact him first. He mentioned any referrals I give to him get a percent discount but it’s been a while so I have to reconfirm.

2: Vac lines, I forgot how many lines are on a 1zz but just take the ones from the valve cover and route them to a catch can and then from there to a nipple on the intake side of the compressor piping so it’s always pulling vacuum there. Brake booster one, put it on the manifold but with a check valve in between the two

3: just be mindful that e153 aren’t really bullet proof, they can overheat and will bend selector forks when you shift. Happened to a buddy of mine when he was shifting on the freeway. Was a stock car.

4: no need to add a return to the stock fuel rail, you can just weld an an bing and run a dead head system to lessen the amount of fuel line routing you have and to keep things neat. I have it on my 2zz turbo. I’ll send pictures if you want

5: please tell me how you did the celica front conversion as I have been dying to do it but I have no body work experience other then slapping bondo onto my civic after a truck sideswiped me
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
1: Please dear god don’t get an ems4 or the PFC. shameless plug I have a friend I met on the link forums while I was trying to get realdash to work on my car; he’s actually a link distributor as well as tuner. He tuned my car remotely and the thing not only has a tired motor but also took forever to figure out as lift didn’t work for the longest time. Pulls on most cars now and is still kicking no matter how much I abuse it. Look up aerace_fab on Instagram, that’s the person I’m talking about. His name is Tony. If you decide to go with him, let me know so I can contact him first. He mentioned any referrals I give to him get a percent discount but it’s been a while so I have to reconfirm.

2: Vac lines, I forgot how many lines are on a 1zz but just take the ones from the valve cover and route them to a catch can and then from there to a nipple on the intake side of the compressor piping so it’s always pulling vacuum there. Brake booster one, put it on the manifold but with a check valve in between the two

3: just be mindful that e153 aren’t really bullet proof, they can overheat and will bend selector forks when you shift. Happened to a buddy of mine when he was shifting on the freeway. Was a stock car.

4: no need to add a return to the stock fuel rail, you can just weld an an bing and run a dead head system to lessen the amount of fuel line routing you have and to keep things neat. I have it on my 2zz turbo. I’ll send pictures if you want

5: please tell me how you did the celica front conversion as I have been dying to do it but I have no body work experience other then slapping bondo onto my civic after a truck sideswiped me
Thanks for the info, I can’t weld (don’t have a welder) so I just ordered a fuel rail that can add a return line to the fuel pressure regulator back to the tank. I’ll likely need help figuring that out when the time comes.

 

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1: Please dear god don’t get an ems4 or the PFC. shameless plug I have a friend I met on the link forums while I was trying to get realdash to work on my car; he’s actually a link distributor as well as tuner. He tuned my car remotely and the thing not only has a tired motor but also took forever to figure out as lift didn’t work for the longest time. Pulls on most cars now and is still kicking no matter how much I abuse it. Look up aerace_fab on Instagram, that’s the person I’m talking about. His name is Tony. If you decide to go with him, let me know so I can contact him first. He mentioned any referrals I give to him get a percent discount but it’s been a while so I have to reconfirm.

2: Vac lines, I forgot how many lines are on a 1zz but just take the ones from the valve cover and route them to a catch can and then from there to a nipple on the intake side of the compressor piping so it’s always pulling vacuum there. Brake booster one, put it on the manifold but with a check valve in between the two

3: just be mindful that e153 aren’t really bullet proof, they can overheat and will bend selector forks when you shift. Happened to a buddy of mine when he was shifting on the freeway. Was a stock car.

4: no need to add a return to the stock fuel rail, you can just weld an an bing and run a dead head system to lessen the amount of fuel line routing you have and to keep things neat. I have it on my 2zz turbo. I’ll send pictures if you want

5: please tell me how you did the celica front conversion as I have been dying to do it but I have no body work experience other then slapping bondo onto my civic after a truck sideswiped me
What's your setup for realdash? is it with Wite, or something else? I ask because if it's with the PFC, I have another option for the PFC. sorry to thread jack.
 

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With realdash I am using a wired canbus with my Link ecu. I don't recommend PFC for forced induction, you're too limited and it's dangerous. My brothers car came with 1zz turbo and a PFC. It's just too unsafe imo
 

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Thanks for the info, I can’t weld (don’t have a welder) so I just ordered a fuel rail that can add a return line to the fuel pressure regulator back to the tank. I’ll likely need help figuring that out when the time comes.

BOE fab has the option where you send in a stock rail and they do it for you. I did that; I used a celica one and just cut off the excess tubing and sent it in. Was 125 last I checked! Might save you some cash if you still have the option to return or cancel.

I will follow that VERY closely. The car is beautiful
 
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