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Ok guys,

So I've spent most the morning looking over alot of faqs related to performance and maintanence of mr2 mkII vehicles. It seems though, the more I read the less I know.

Here's my ultimate outcome: To get this car in the best shape of it's life. Getting all the maintanence things done as well as just getting it in it's prime condition. After that I would consider doing aftermarket upgrades so I wouldn't want to blow a ton of money on an oem part when it would ultimately be replaced with something that solved some sort of shortcoming that toyota didnt notice previously(it seems alot of cars have this sort of issue).

Here's what i have on my list of to-do items.

NOTE: If I am being a pain because I haven't read something somewhere that would address all this, please know I am not above doing that leg work myself. Just tell me to go RTFM and I will do so, but I figured I would throw all this out and see what happens, seeing as how my questions are getting more specific.

1. Replace the valve cover gasket.
--This looks like alot of fun. I never had to work on an engine that had so much stuff strewn about the top of the valve cover, lol...

2. Flush coolant.
-- This seems like something best left to my friend and his shop. I don't have any vacuum tools and I certainly don't want to chance hotspots.

3. replace clutch and possibly install a lightened flywheel.
--I don't know if doing this is a good idea. Sometimes it's best to stick with stock on something like this, but your guidance would be appreciated. I wouldn't want to go with a ceramic clutch or anything. I don't need or want a performance clutch that is so touchy that you can't just cruise up to the grocery store to get some cereal...

4. Set up some snow tires.
--I would really really like to get away with doing this as cheap as possible. I read that certain camry wheels would work fine for this and I just want something I can put on when the roads get nasty. Would going to a junkyard and yanking the wheels off a totalled camry work?

5. Installing aftermarket boost gauge.
--the stock one is worthless, unless it's a grounding issue that I can fix easily or something. It seems to work intermitently.

6. Getting a keyless entry remote.
--My car has a mad alarm system on it. I looked into getting one from toyota, and parts and labor add up to 100 bucks. Can you get a factory remote online somewhere for cheaper and then just have the shop program it?

7. Replacing any miscelaneous hoses that need attention.
--I know that alot of the hoses in older cars need attention, specifically any that involve vacuum.

These are in no specific order. If you notice an order that it needs to be in and want to comment feel free.

So let's say I get all that done.

Are there any performance upgrades that would correct any oversights by the original design? By that I mean I don't necessarily want to do anything above and beyond what the car is capable of naturally producing, keeping the integrity of the overall mechanics of the car. I don't want to be stooped over my engine bay every weekend adjusting the fuel curve and what not. I know a certain amount is necessary, but I want to limit it.

Perhaps a turbo upgrade would be a sensible yet beneficial project for the car?


enlighten me if you care to...
 

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1. don't change ur headgasket unless it is leaking...no need too...

2. let the pros do it...this is a very PITA procedure...ranks second only to timing belt change

3. ur power level will determine what clutch to recommend..if ur car is gonna be mainly stock...OEM clutch is best

4. camry wheels are not the proper offset...just use ur stock rims and get some cheap snow tires to mount them on if u really have to drive the mr2 in the winter time...get a winter beater if u can afford to..

5. stock boost guage is very crappy..any after market one will be more accurate and is a must if u plan on installing just one guage in ur car...a must do...

6. our car do not come with factory keyless entry remote...ur alarm should be able to control this function as long as u have power door locks..

7. "hose from hell" should be replaced...this is ur coolant bypass hose (i think that is what it is called)...

as for performance upgrades...if u think 200hp from factory will cure u need for speed then there isn't much to do...but if u desire a little more power....simple upgrades like intake....exhaust...some sort of boost controller and a fuel cut defender to raise boost should help make more power....anything after that will depend on ur bank account and will.....;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
MRQturbo said:
1. don't change ur headgasket unless it is leaking...no need too...]


Yeah well this is the valve cover gasket rather than the head. Still looks like a pita but I definitely wouldn't bother with the head gasket unless it looked like trouble. I remember all the fun that went into that with my zc honda. As for this valve cover, it is the only real source of any leakage so I want to go ahead and get it done soon...

2. let the pros do it...this is a very PITA procedure...ranks second only to timing belt change]
Yeah I was getting the impression it would be after the toyota dealership started ranting about it. Thank god I have an independent shop that is really good with this stuff but won't leave you feeling like you need to get an 'i love you' after the screwing you just recieved...

3. ur power level will determine what clutch to recommend..if ur car is gonna be mainly stock...OEM clutch is best]
I would like to keep it mainly stock for the reason I'm about to divulge at the end. Who knows...maybe my stance will change here shortly.

4. camry wheels are not the proper offset...just use ur stock rims and get some cheap snow tires to mount them on if u really have to drive the mr2 in the winter time...get a winter beater if u can afford to..]
I'd like to get a beater but honestly this will have to be my main mode of transport. I will not have a problem calling in from work because the roads are bad if it's really nasty. But I just can't afford to have and insure another car, but I will surely keep my mind open. In the meantime I might try to find some mkII wheels for cheap at a junkyard and throw some snow tires on them. At least for the back. I drove a datsun 280z for two years and that thing had rear wheel drive and the engine was in the front yet I did pretty well with it, so I shouldn't be too bad off...
6. our car do not come with factory keyless entry remote...ur alarm should be able to control this function as long as u have power door locks..
]
hmmm. And see the parts guy told me I could get one hooked up, that it should have come with it, but then again parts guys don't always know what's up. I'll tell you what though, it would definitely be nice to have. There's just something about being able to lock your doors and unlock them with a push of a button.
7. "hose from hell" should be replaced...this is ur coolant bypass hose (i think that is what it is called)...]
Is this something I can easily find a link to or can do a search here and find? Sounds like I have some educatin' to do...

as for performance upgrades...if u think 200hp from factory will cure u need for speed then there isn't much to do...but if u desire a little more power....simple upgrades like intake....exhaust...some sort of boost controller and a fuel cut defender to raise boost should help make more power....anything after that will depend on ur bank account and will.....;)
See, here are my two concerns regarding 'building it up'. The first thing, and most important, would be management. If by doing alot of the upgrades I hear about you also have to be willing and desirous of spending alot of time making sure the fuel/air mixture is just right after doing it otherwise you'll blow the engine, NO THANKS. Secondly, I don't want to completely sacrifice drivability. I can put up with a little more sportiness, but too much more and it just becomes a pain to try and deal with in traffic and such. There's nothing like stop and go traffic, but even worse is stop and go in a car made for 60mph.

Thanks a million for your input mrqturbo. Keep em' coming if you see something worth commenting on...
 
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