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TIEyota fighter ace
AE101, TE72
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey, folks. I'm beginning the daunting task of getting a 7AGE engine built, and hopefully this may serve to both get some of my questions answered and provide useful information to people trying to do this project in the future. This will be updated as progress marches on and I get more information.

A little bit about me:
I'm not the mechanical type. I come at car modification from doing intense background research, sourcing parts I think are appropriate, and then getting a reputable shop to actually double-check me or install them. However, due to the nature of the 7AGE conversion, I actually know more about this project than the machine shops and garages are going to, which means I come here for some thoughts before I actually put significant money toward the Great Frankenengine Rebuilding Project.


A little bit about my steed:
'96 Corolla DX, black, auto with overdrive, new suspension/CV joints/brakes/wheels&tires, 7AFE-powered, hybrid short-ram/CAI intake, headers, high-flow cat, resonator, 2.25" custom cat-back exhaust. 110,000 miles of hard driving on her, 60K of those mine. Recently dynoed at around 66WHP, 70 ft/lbs of torque...taking into account 30% automatic drivetrain loss, that puts her at right around factory horsepower. She burns a lot of oil--about a quart every 600 miles--but gets good gas mileage on 89. 36 on the highway at 75 isn't something to sneer at.





Why the 7AGE pick:
The engine needs rebuilt/replaced. It's either the pistons or the valves, either way it's going to be expensive. Considering it's a lot hillier here than it was in Ohio, where I moved from, and I'm carrying around fat people more frequently, I want MORE POWER. Having the automatic transmission limits the amount of power I can really put down...my goals are to increase WHP to at least 100, run on 87-89 gas, and maintain that legendary Toyota reliability until I can afford a SMG '05 MR-S. Mm. That's years away, though. Until then, what I really like about the Little Black Car, engine-wise, is her ability to eat a surprising number of fart-canned sedans at stoplights. High torque (115 lb/ft at the crank, new) and effectively three forward gears up until about 70 means that she gets up and goes at a respectable rate. I like that. On the highway, I doubt I'll ever really exceed 80 again (Washington police are not as....forgiving....as, say, Michigan or Montana officers), so horsepower doesn't mean as much as torque. That's why I want to stick with the 7A block instead of going for a high-revving power-really-late 4AGE/4AGZE.

7AGE specifics:
After poring over the various head designs and calling a couple local wrecking yards and consulting Toysport's catalog, I determined that the best choice for this project was a late-model big-port TVIS 4AGE head due to the cheap-gas compression ratio and the greater low-RPM torque and a sensible achievable 7,200 RPM redline. Remember, this is going to be sitting on a 7A block, the block and transmission are NOT going to like me revving to peak power at 7,400 RPMs for a small-port red-top or--god forbid--a 20V--as opposed to either 5,700 or 6,600... Other conversion information had mentioned needing the crank pulleys and potentially water pumps and distributors, as well as needing the stock 4AGE ECU, so this effectively meant asking for the entire engine and wiring loom.



7AGE parts:
I was lucky enough to find an '89 US Corolla GTS in the junkyard with an engine (according to them) that could run. (Edit: This is most likely not an AE86 but an AE92! FWD...excellent.) I neglected to verify this, as the engine will be stripped of its head and sent to the machine shop post-haste anyway...:D The engine, ECU, and wiring loom have, as of this Friday, been pulled (total cost ~$400) and only await me getting over there with a rented truck to pick them up and convey them back to where I'm staying. I will get pictures and post them, as I'm not sure if it's a blue-top or red-top or what. I know it's a big-port motor, but that's about it. I have also been able to find a junkyard with a 7AFE 186,000-mile short-block, a relative steal at $400. I need my car to RUN during this conversion, so getting two motors is the only way to go.


7AGE building:
I found a machine shop through my father-in-law who didn't think I was completely insane. That's a good first step. After printing off the articles I had on the subject and taking them to Archie, he prepared a quote that was basically a worst-case scenario, assuming nothing but the block and head were salvagable. New valves, cams, springs, everything. That ran to around $3,200, but included such gems as a valve grind, complete balance, floating-pin conversion (for the 4AGE pistons), crank granding, boring the block, etc etc...

I have also located a garage willing to do the electrical and mechanical work needed to lift out the old, tired 7AFE, swap in the new Frankenmotor 7AGE, wire that all up, and get it running. This is quoted at $1,300.


7AGE questions:
My primary concern at this point revolves around the transmission. The US Corolla GTS never came in an automatic model, as far as my research can discern, and the closest thing to that was the Corolla SR5 with a different engine anyway. The 7AFE is paired with an A245E transmission in my case, and I've been poring through such transmission data as I can find online to determine whether that involves a direct or indirect throttle position sensor. I know it's probably going to be impossible to route the existing transmission connections to a manual 4AGE ECU, but if the ECT on my Corolla is in fact utilizing an indirect TPS, I may be able to get away with having the garage wire connections to +5V/12V/ground/whatever and shift manually. L -> 2 -> D -> OD switch pressed. Is this feasible at all? Will the manual-transmissioned engine even bolt up to an automatic transmission?:confused:

This is the question that is largest in my mind at the moment, based on the research I've done. There may be other pressing problems as well that I simply haven't thought of...to me, garages are car doctors. I drive her, they keep her healthy. And now I'm in the unique position of being the authority for a rare heart transplant, and all I have to go by are Internet comments. What am I missing here? Please, forum readers, enlighten me here. Thanks for your time, sorry for being so wordy.
 

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The Return of the Red Coupe
2010 RAV4 V6
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19,666 Posts
Yes it will bolt up to the auto transmission, they're both "A" series motors. Will it be faster is the question really. :) good luck with the project, there's not too many 7AGEs around.
 

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TIEyota fighter ace
AE101, TE72
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1,943 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Wonderful, guys, thanks for the replies. If the block will bolt up to the transmission, I'm sure SOMETHING can be arranged regarding shift wiring. I was thinking last night about the feasibility of running the 7AFE ECU as a sort of 'transmission piggyback' and just feeding it the signals from the 4AGE ECU that it would need for the proper transmission outputs...I'm sure something connection could be wired directly to +5/12V such that the ECT thought it was always at wide-open throttle and shifted up later accordingly. That and a Transgo shift kit should make a rather nice manual-quickness automatic...but god help me if I ever want to put a full aftermarket engine management system on there. More like god help that garage. :D

A lot of the reason for my confusion above is that earlier I was exploring the possibilities of a lightened flywheel, and my tuning shop told me that that would've not bolted up properly to the A/T. Something about the A/T not working that way...I guess they've got a point there, given that the torque converter probably thrives on more rotating inertia. As long as we're on transmissions, how much power over stock can they, rule of thumb, handle? I've asked a couple of mechanics, and the answers ranged from "50% over" to "Oh, double, easily". Those of you who've modified the drivetrain, how much power did you put through the system without having to upgrade the clutch and such?
 

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hey kinda off topic but. from my expirience with the 7afe id bet you find stuck up oil rings in there causing the oil burning.....
 

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TIEyota fighter ace
AE101, TE72
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1,943 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I won't know about any stuck oil rings on this engine, it's getting pulled out of the car as-is and sold once this conversion is finished. If anybody here buys it, fixes that one thing, and then puts another easy 200K miles on it, feel free to let me know. :D

Today I picked up my 4A engine and got it back here. True to the word of the wrecking yard, the ECU, the wiring loom, and everything I need were included. It actually looks in really good shape considering the car it came from was old enough to get its drivers 'permit (16 years) and had 200,000+ miles...


There's a plate on the intake manifold which looks like it might've said TVIS at one point, but it's worn away. If it's NOT the TVIS big-port, then it's the high-compression small port, which will be VERY interesting from a horsepower standpoint but not so good from a torque or fuel cost standpoint. Uhoh. :D


And this is where that lovely cylinder head, cam niceties, and the manifold are going to go into. I just hope the headers bolt to my 7A's downpipe...I know the 7A headers proper are a lost cause, but if a shop has to fabricate a custom down-pipe, that'll require driving there with open headers. Ooh. That could be fun.



I've been attempting to set this up on a couple engine simulation software packages, namely Desktop Dyno 2003 and Engine Analyzer Pro 3.3. Desktop Dyno 2003 tells me that, based on the head selections I make, I can see between 100 and 160 horsepower. Engine Analyzer Pro is less helpful, as most of its files are geared for American muscle. I had to use slightly modified head figures from the Honda B16 and cams for a 1.8L 1993 Acura, as that was as close as the presets could go. The block was taken from a Supra TT and modified downward with 7A bores and strokes, so at least that's accurate. The general consensus between programs is that I'll have between 90 and 160 horsepower and the engine will either be running at about 3900 feet/min on the pistons and blow up, or it won't. In short, none of these analysis programs have been terribly helpful for my odd build...

This is probably going to be the last update for a week or so. My budget situation is interesting and I won't be even able to acquire the 7A short block until a little after the first of October. Plus I may not be able to find anywhere to PUT it. And I might need to go back to the junkyard and look for an AE92 with the automatic transmission ECU...
 

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TIEyota fighter ace
AE101, TE72
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1,943 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I did consider a small-port, briefly, but due to the difficulty of locating a sensibly priced one, the requirement for high-octane gasoline, and a power point beyond the probable grenade-point of the 7A, I decided to stick with a big-port head for--as mentioned above--increased low-end power. As for the cams, if I do wind up having to replace them (or having space in the budget to excuse replacing them...hee!), I'll probably request a set of WEB #294s. Those have been said to increase overall power. Thanks for the well-wishing.
 

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TIEyota fighter ace
AE101, TE72
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1,943 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Today's trip to the junkyard, consultation with the people there, and discussion with a random Toyota dealership have revealed some useful information. To wit:

While the ECU programming for manual and automatic variants of the AE92 GTS does differ, it's irrelevant. The sole contact to the ECU of the A245E 3sp/OD transmission is a speed sensor wire, which is going to be trivial. That'll preserve cruise control, too.

Additionally, I have obtained the AFM dingus, and it sits in an airbox top that exactly resembles that of the 7AFE's airbox. Good thing I saved the stock airbox when I went short-ram.

The engine is confirmed as a big-port TVIS, based on the observation of the 8-runner intake manifold.

I will probably need beefier injectors, as from the information I've researched, the ECU goes into open-loop mode at WOT and thus reverts to a predefined ignition map. With small injectors and a 12.5% increase in displacement, that may well cause leaning out and consequent damage. I'd like to avoid that. What injectors would be compatible? I've read that the brown ones from an 85 Celica ST might be applicable, but the ohm rating is different than the stock ones.

Of incidental interest...the AE92 in question had apparently been driven onto the tow truck by the tow truck driver before the clutch wouldn't give any more. The tow truck driver informed the mechanics of this fact AFTER they had already begun to tear out the motor. For what I paid for the motor and ECU / harness (not even counting what I paid today for the AFM!) I could've had the entire car on a truck and delivered. That wouldn't've helped much, though, as I have neither space, talent, nor tools to dismount the motor. Still, I can't help chuckling at how surprised that particular AE92 must be right about now. Having a running motor is a good step, imminent rebuild or no, because it hopefully reduces the amount of things I'll need to replace. (Cams, lifters, valves, springs, etc.) Now, to find headers, as the stock manifold won't fit around the 7A's oil pan and the 20V headers need a bolt relocation and may also conflict with the starter or alternator and a pump of some sort.

 

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TIEyota fighter ace
AE101, TE72
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1,943 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Today's useful information, from a Toyota dealership and Mark from Vancouver Toyota 's phone conversation with his Seattle buddy who'd built most of a 7AGE small-port.

4AGE smallport head will work with the 7A computer.

By desoldering crystals in the 7A ECU, the rev limiter can be raised to 7,200.

The 7A computer uses high-impedence injectors, and the ones used in his conversion project were the 295ccs/min ones, thus making it nice and easy. Bigport = bigport ECU, smallport = whatever ECU you want to use.

Toyota doesn't publish flow rates!

As has been mentioned before about AW11/AE92 headers not clearing the 7A's oil pan, OBX sells headers for the 7A. The 4AGE head has an identical port placement to the 7AFE head but different bolt placement, meaning that if you have OBX headers for the 7AFE, you can cut off the flange and reweld a 4AGE flange and everything will clear promptly.(That made me quite happy, considering I just happen to have a set installed on the current block...)

Exhaust flanges for the 4AGE are available, among other places, from http://www.jgstools.com/turbo/index2.html .

I'm having some trouble discerning the precise color of the injectors and matching that with a chart. They look LIGHT grey, but that might've started life as dark grey, making them the stock 182cc/min of the 4AGE. 2.0 ohms, top-feed.

I think the best match for the 140-150 HP, 70% duty cycle, .4 B.S.F.C (pulled out of my ass) that I figure on generating is going to be the 250cc/min 1.7 ohm injectors from the 22RTE.

Those run about $120 new or $49 reman. God, looks like next month's "car grand" is going to be gone a lot faster than I'd thought.


Edit:
Where 250 from the 22RTE should probably read the 295s from the 22RTE or the 7MGE...
 

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TIEyota fighter ace
AE101, TE72
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1,943 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
http://www.dollarscornerauto.com , right around Vancouver, WA. They've got another one there too, an AE86 I believe, blue-top. Prices are a little high, but that's because they pull everything for you. And do an excellent job, might I add...

Edit:
If you tell me what you're looking for, I can always go down there, ask that they pull it, ship it to you for what I paid and shipping and a little for gas, it's a 30-minute drive...:D
 

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TIEyota fighter ace
AE101, TE72
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1,943 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Today's update:

I wound up with a set of 4 7MGE injectors from the 86-88 Supra non-turbo. The connectors are identical to the 4AGE's. 295 ccs/min, 2.6 ohms, if I'm lucky the connector is the same. If not, I'm sure something can be improvised. The cheapest remanufactured price I found was for $49 each, new was going to be around $130 each, these were $20 each.



http://www.witchhunter.com offers an injector cleaning / re-oringing / flow rate service for $15/injector, including return shipping, and they're only about 4 hours away.

Today's questions:
The stock injector load is 8 ohms. This load is going to be 10.4 ohms. Does this mean the ECU won't be able to open them all the way up at WOT if needed and thus I'll get lower peak fuel rates? Or will the ECU just run a little hotter? Or will it make a difference at all?

It may be overkill for this application, based on the ccs/min divided by 5 to get horsepower ratings from each injector...based on that, the stock injectors (182) should take me to 150. Apparently, every 2% increase in fuel injector size requires one tightening click on the AFM. This is a 60% boost in capacity, so I'll need to put 30 clicks on the AFM's spring. Will it GO that far?

Oh, and you can't order Transgo's shift kit for the A245E unless you're a professional mechanic and order it through your garage's distributor. No price quote for me!

Next month's expenditure of earmarked car funds: $400 for the 7AFE short block, $500 for a brake kit from DrTweak, today's $80 from the injectors, and probably a little bit more for the brake proportioning valve from the car I'm already thinking of as "my" organ donor. :clap:

Priorities subject to change, as the brakes will hold and I have my doubts about the engine.
 

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damn dude, you need to drive north to the tacoma/lynnwood pull-a-part.... injectors are $1.25 each (if you find what you're looking for).... and you can generally get all 4 blueprinted for $40 or so. And i believe my friend Tim has a set of those you've pictured above.

if you want good information, get ahold of Tim (in tacoma.... known as Tims Toys). He is the single best person to know in WA state if you own a toyota.

The injectors i would have suggested was, again, from a smallport. They're high ohm & 250cc/min.

The reason i mentioned that you might want to go with a smallport head was because of the lack of TVIS, the head has better overall flow, and if you go with bigger cams on a smallport (the smallports came with smaller cams.... in fact, that 89 head you have also has slightly smaller lift cams than say an 85/86 motor) you'll make even better power. The only reason you need higher octane gas in a smallport isn't because of the head, it's because the compression is much higher than a bigport motor (9.0:1 versus 10.3:1). The octane of gas you'll need is determined by what compression you end up with using your 7a/4a hybrid.

after all is said and done, i didn't even realize you're in WA! I'm just on the other border of the state (in bellingham) but i tend to head down to tacoma (to Tims place) quite a bit. I just got back from his place this weekend because the mr2 broke down (bad battery caused a domino effect and blew out parts of my standalone).

Witchhunter is one of the better places...... the mr2 guys on www.mr2oc.com swear by them, and will ship their injectors to witchhunter from all across the country
 

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^^^ holy shit, i just realized there's a mk1 mr2 in the background there too..... that's even rarer than an ae92 gts! gts's pop up in the PAP's like once every couple months, but mr2's are like once every 6 months....
 

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TIEyota fighter ace
AE101, TE72
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Discussion Starter #17
Damn, man, where were you with this information before I drove all the way down to Hillsboro? :lol: If you have an address for the Tacoma place, or an email address for Tim, I'd love to get it.

I went with the Supra injectors because they're still low-ohm. Based on my limited research, I know you can run low-impedence injectors on high-impedence ECUs with a resistor pack, but I wasn't sure about the other way around so I played things safe. Worst-case, the higher resistance than stock means they won't open all the way, which means I might get a trifle lean at WOT--assuming 150 crank horsepower (I can hope!), a BSFC of .4 or .5, fuel flow required is between 217 and 270 CCs. The 290s let me play a little safe. No biggie. (Besides, I'm toying with the idea of eventually making her a 7AGZE / 7AGTE...that'd be a long ways off, though.)

I appreciate the smallport suggestion, but the bigport has more torque at lower RPMs, the smallport needs to rev higher than 7K to develop maximum power--the guesstimated safe limit of the 7A rods--and I feel that overall the bigport is a better match for my driving preferences. (Plus I've got the bigport now anyway. :eek:: )The cams...eh. The machine shop seems to think I'll need new cams anyway, so I'll ask them to put something with some grunt in. Compression ratios I'm hoping to keep somewhat lower with the bigport, but some of that is also going to be determined by how much they wind up milling/decking the 7A block. Hopefully I'll have some answers on that within the next two months.


The MR2 apparently had the engine and transmission fall OUT OF THE CAR when it was backed off the truck. Oops! We were looking for that engine for a while, but nobody seemed to know where it'd gotten off to. That probably means somebody snapped it right up.

What gen MR2 do you drive?
 

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i have 3 cars right now...... a 90 corolla "sr5" with silvia lights, smallport 4age (running on modified 4afe ecu.... so it's MAP based), c52 tranny, and tons of suspension, & on & on & on..... an 87 hardtop mr2 (stock n/a) with an ae101 4agze, e51 (from an mr2) transmission, trd japan clutch/pressure plate, megasquirt ecu, etc etc etc.... and an 86 4 runner (someone wants to trade me their ae86 for it.... i'm just waiting for the title right now).

Tim lives close to the Tacoma pull-a-part. To get to the PAP, take I5 to the 512 (to puyallup) exit, when you get on there, take the first exit (Steele St.). Then at the light on the offramp, go left (stay in the right lane). At the light, turn right between the 2 gas stations, about 50 yards down the road you'll see an empty building that says "ferrels" on it.... the pullapart parking lot is right behind it. Tim lives near there.... if you need to talk with him you can usually contact him on yahoo IM (timstoys_te51) i believe that's his s/n.......

that i know of, the 4/7afe injectors have all been high ohm. If you do run a resistor pack, you'll need to figure out if they're ~1ohm or 2-3ohm. They use different resistor packs, and YES toyota used both kinds of low ohm injectors.

the reason the bigport makes more lowend torque is because of TVIS. If you don't have a controller for tvis (which should be simple) then you'll lose torque, and you'll have less torque than a smallport.
 

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TIEyota fighter ace
AE101, TE72
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Discussion Starter #20
Oh, whoops, Tacoma's still about 3 hours away from me. I live within spitting distance of the Oregon border and Vancouver, but still, thanks for the info. As far as the TVIS system, I've got the ECU from the motor-donor car, it shouldn't be a problem once everything is properly cleaned and lubricated.

saigons_son, I appreciate your concern, but...

...I think I'm in good shape. ;)
 
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