Diary of a Mad Project - 2001

Diary of a Mad Project - 1999

Diary of a Mad Project - 2000

January 12 2001

The New Years break allowed enough time to assemble the engine.  The engine being fitted is originally from a 1996 MR2 turbo (same as ST205).   The short block has been blueprinted and balanced,  the head has been mildly ported.  A lick of paint on most parts improves things somewhat!

The MR2 engine has been converted to Celica spec,   which along with the obvious changes (intercooler,  alternator,  PS pump etc) there are lots of little differences,  like brackets and mounting studs on the block.

Ooh!  Shiny!  Bare short block back from being worked. Almost assembled engine.  Just awaiting turbo and sump.  

January 30 2001

Well the engine is now fully assembled and installed.   Radiator,  AC system and all radiators etc are all fitted.  Hopefully up and running VERY soon!

February 15 2001

Well what a disaster.  The ACT clutch I installed does not disengage,  necessitating engine removal.  The stock slave cylinder provides about 8mm actuation,  one size smaller provides about 9mm actuation.  I need *13mm* so I'm stuffed.

The clutch is now out again (grrrr) and I have had it tested at Autoclutch.  On the hydraulic machine that tests actuation and clamping force you can see the whole pressure plate flexing under the load.  The first few mm of clutch travel are taken up by flex of the pressure plate.

Hence the basic finding is that the ACT pressure plate (in my case anyway) has heavier weight springs than the structure can take.  I refuse to sleeve the slave cylinder to the diameter required as it will double the pedal effort.   Hence the ACT pressure plate is going in the bin...

I had the same problem with this clutch in my ST165.  I thought it was a result of the clowns installing the wrong clutch fork,  but in retrospect the ACT clutch was likely to be the problem all along.  I wish I'd realised at the time. 

So they are currently in the process of disassembling a ST205 pressure plate to see how much they can increase the clamping force while maintaining stroke. 

19 March 2001

Well these clutch problems have *really* screwed up my plans.  After consideration and a bit of research I've ordered a TRD (Japan) pressure plate.  Unfortunately the faxed order didn't make it to the agent (grrrr...) so that's held things up even more.  It should be here next Monday. 

8 April 2001

Well the TRD clutch *finally* arrived from TRD NZ.  It ended up taking 6 weeks,  far too long IMHO. 

With the help of a few unsuspecting friends we installed it over the weekend.  Unfortunately a distinct lack of photos as my camera died.   The clutch went on no worries,  the gearbox most definitely did not!!   Two bloody hours of lifting and straining just to get the damn gearbox on enough to fit the first bolt.  This is the third time we have done it,  yet this time just couldn't get things to flow.  It is a matter of getting the angles and clearances correct and then applying enough force to force the spline to engage.  Understandably after two hours arm strength to force the gearbox is kinda lacking...

enginegearbox.jpg (49483 bytes)

But the engine and gearbox are finally together and in the car.  The steering,  A/C and subframes are in.  Next weekend the suspension goes in and I'll finally be able to push it outside and wash it!

23rd April 2001

enginebay.jpg (83159 bytes)

Well suspension is in and most engine parts are installed as seen above.   Now waiting to get the downpipe made and the exhaust completed.  The car has finally been pushed outside and washed!  First time in 18 months!

18 months of dust... Wow,  there is a blue car under that grime!!

Basically once the exhaust is completed the car is ready to roll!  Whoo hoo.

25 June 2001

Things are getting close.  The headlight support rail is permanently fixed in place,  straight this time!  Headlights and bumper are now back on the car permanently (until painting anyway).  The exhaust pipe has had the poxy 2" flexy cut out and I've welded in a stonking big 3" flexy.

I have now made a 2-1/2" mandrel bent downpipe which has the wastegate area partitioned off and a seperate 1-1/2" pipe.  This will be fitted next weekend and the mechanicals are complete.  

Here is the downpipe I made.  Excuse crappy picture,  scanner is playing up. Hopefully having a second pipe for the wastegate should provide a improvement in flow and boost control.

8 July 2001

Varoom!  Varoom!!

Everything (well,  kinda) is back together.

Had a few problems,  starter wouldn't work initially,  just click click click.   Battery seemed OK,  getting 12V at the solenoid.  Pulled it out, checked it worked,  played around.  In a fit of clear thinking connected the +ve terminal direct to the starter and away it went.

The car started first catch no worries.  Gave it 5 minutes fast idle,  it kindly spewed power steering fluid everywhere (air pockets).  Then I went for a drive.

Good news:
The TRD clutch and kevlar ceramic plate feel like stock.
The 3" exhaust sounds very good,  not loud but deep.
This engine runs *smooth*.
Drove for about 15kms,  no problems at all.

Bad news:
ABS is not working,  light is on.  More investigation required. 
Brake pedal very soft,  needs bleeding again.  Locks brakes effectively mind you.
IC pump not working.  Gives error code.

We returned to wash the filthy windscreen and decided to do the timing.  It was 18 deg BTDC,  oops.  We set that and checked a few other things.  There was steam from under the turbo shield,  smelt like paint so I figured it was the manifold paint curing.  Went to check idle speed and temp is nudging the red!   Now I was swearing!!  Grabbed the hose and ran it over the radiator, it cooled quick thankfully.  Then I realised the fans were not going,  ahhh...

Plans are to take it for another drive this week,  get some more kms on it.  Few teething problems to fix obviously.

15 July 2001

Well I've driven around 150km now and all the teething problems seem to have been fixed.  A couple of wiring faults were found along with a few blown fuses from the initial accident!  Next up is certification/warrant/rego and insurance then it's fully road legal.  No more work is needed under the bonnet,   so just a final bit of panelbeating and a coat of paint.

22 July 2001

Still not certified but it's insured!  The certification was turned down because I hadn't had the ABS operation confirmed by a dealer (hadn't been told that) and new regs mandate you can't remove a safety feature from a vehicle (hadn't been told that either).  Hence I've had to go buy an airbag,   bugger.  Thanks LTSA!!  Not...    

Should (fingers crossed) be all done next weekend.   Then I can go for a decent drive without looking over my shoulder for the Police!!

Heres the downpipe installed and heatshield/radiator not yet installed.
Better than 11kg of hot steel catalytic converter!

15 September 2001

Well the car is now certified,   complianced,  registered and warranted.  Better late than never.   The engineer signed off the necessary paperwork to show the repairs had been carried out within the requirements of NZ regulations.  After that the car needed compliancing.  This is done to all cars being added to the NZ register of vehicles.   It involves stripping the interior out so the seatbelt mounts can be checked and any damage found.  They do a full mechanical safety check.  The brakepads are pulled out and checked to see if they are made by an approved pad manufacturer (no shit!).   Mine weren't,  and despite being near new I had to buy another set,  what crap.

They failed the car on a loose steering column (two bolts easily tightened) and a rumbly from wheel bearing.  Again these are only available at Toyota for ridiculous cost.  As I was overseas for three weeks this was reinstalled by friends (Ade & Steve),  thanks guys.

All teething problems have been ironed out except for the inoperative idle speed controller,  it can do without it for now.   I've now done 1200kms so it is time to switch to Mobil 1.  Even on limp home mode boost (for running in) the car is much quicker than my ST165.  This has been confirmed by the local police,  who kindly gave me a nice ticket to show exactly how much faster is is,  thanks guys.

Now I basically just have to paint it,   I'm looking at about NZ$2100 for a good job.  Donations can be sent to the usual address.

12 December 2001

I've now done around 4000kms in the car,   most of it (unfortunately) commuting to work after a friend borrowed my ST165.   It is now in at the panelbeater getting painted and it should be back by Xmas.

The car is currently only running limp home boost (the VSV is not fitted and my Profec B is still in the cupboard) during run-in which is around 10psi.  Even at that boost it is much faster than my ST165 on 11psi,   the turbo happily spinning all the way to 7000 rpm without any slowing of acceleration.  I can't wait for 17psi!!

The other interesting trait is the way it can be made to flick the rear out around roundabouts in the wet,  something the ST165 never did.

Idle speed controller is still dead...

2 January 2002

Well it's back from the paintshop looking slightly strange in one colour!  They've done a very nice job at a good price,   quickly as well!  I'm now just waiting one two small clips for the headlight sprayers before I can affix the front bumper permanently and do final panel alignment.


10 February 2002

All the final parts have now arrived and have been fitted.  Final task is bonnet alignment but the rebuild can be effectively finished.  Now,  time to start modifying it...

The End   :-P


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