My MR2, Knuckles61

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knuckles61
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My MR2, Knuckles61

Postby knuckles61 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:06 pm

Hi,

I've always wanted to make a build thread but never really had the car to do it with. I learnt to drive in a manual car ( not really well but well enough I guess). From there the only cars I could afford were auto. I was given a very old ford laser which I loved to bits, Having any car at 15 is great. So I wrote that car off after a nice 18 months of owning it and after a long time of public transport working during uni holidays I finally bought a car for myself.

Honda Prelude bb6, great car and exactly what I wanted and need at that time. Fit into my price range and went fast but I could still be insured. However, it was auto/triptronic which was horrendous. So after 2 years of spirited driving I calmed out and just tried to get a nice and long life out of the car. It lived for a nice 6 years till the gearbox started to slip. After a big trip to Europe I ended up going back to public transport for a few months till I could gather enough funds to get a car. I was looking for manual but couldn't quite get anything in my price range that wasn't too hard to maintain. I ended up with a Toyota Will VS. I liked the way it looked, kinda.. And because other people didn't like it I could get a 2001 for a reasonable price. It was a nice car and I used it to increase my knowledge regarding all things electrical. I redid all the wiring for sounds and put in sub/amp in a sleek way and learned all about soldering and failed at to learn crimping ( :evil: ). At the end of the day the car was great as a car but not fun and I didn't look forward to driving it. So I started looking at MX5's and after test driving one and having horrible knee pain as a result of not being able to fit in the seat properly I started exploring other cars.

Cue the MR2, I bought it as a car that will teach me what I need to know about driving and general maintenance and as of this weekend using silicon to stop leaks. So far driving has been okay, will be watching more videos to get an idea of how to shift properly. The car had leaks on both doors so that was fixed using the silicon and cling wrap method. I think it may have helped but not completely fixed it, I have left it out tonight so I guess I will know by tomorrow. I took a photo on my phone but it looks bad so I will wait till tomorrow to take another one.

There is a bunch of stuff I want to do with the car but for now figuring out why the central locking works some of the time, fixing/tightening of the handbrake, the cause of all the noise when I go over a speed bump, join the club and fixing the head unit are my main objectives. I'm also on the hunt for cheap 5 spoke wheels on trademe but that will have to wait till I have some funds.

Luckily for me there is a LOT of information out there so I just need the time and tools to do it all! Should be a fun experience.

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Re: My MR2, Knuckles61

Postby ptayler56 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:52 pm

Welcome to the club, nice to see you've got a good taste in cars. There are a lot of helpful people in the club and plenty with a lot of experience, so any problems you have someone here is bound to know how to fix it or point you in the right direction.

Looking forward to some photos and information on the work you do. :D
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it." - George Bernard S

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Re: My MR2, Knuckles61

Postby Swampy » Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:02 am

Welcome to the forum, looking forward to pictures too.

Regarding the noise over speedbumps, I get that too. I just avoid speedbumps altogether, or go extra slow over them.

It could be worn suspension bushes.
91 MR2 G-Limited
95 WRX
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JasonFriday13
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Re: My MR2, Knuckles61

Postby JasonFriday13 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:38 am

knuckles61 wrote:There is a bunch of stuff I want to do with the car but for now figuring out why the central locking works some of the time

It's the wires in the hinge area of the door, these tend to break after a good few years of opening and closing and that's why they work only some of the time.

Handbrake cables are easy to fix, but if a cable/caliper is seized you will have to source another one.

The noise over speed bumps is most likely worn suspension bushes, it's less likely it's stuffed struts.
Jason Ross, current cars:
Project: 1990 SW20, G-Limited, ex EssDub car, 1992+ brake swap, 1992+ subframe swap, 1996 Celica turbo engine swap, 1996 MR2 LSD gearbox swap, Caldina Turbo coil-on-plug ignition, Link G4 Storm, 161kw @ 10psi.
Daily: 1997 Toyota Tercel 3dr hatch, petrol 4sp.
Sold: 1991 SW20, G-Limited, ex EssDub car
Scrapped: 1992 SW20, G-Limited, ex EssDub car, donor
Scrapped: 1989 SW20, GT turbo
Sold: 1987 AW11, Supercharged 5sp

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knuckles61
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Re: My MR2, Knuckles61

Postby knuckles61 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:40 pm

JasonFriday13 wrote:It's the wires in the hinge area of the door, these tend to break after a good few years of opening and closing and that's why they work only some of the time.


Any objections as to using this( http://stephenmason.com/cars/mr2doorwire.html) guide to fix it up. I want to get an alarm at some point but I will need the central locking to constantly work before doing that. So far the things that dont always work are the door light and central locking (but it works if I use the button on the door).

JasonFriday13 wrote:Handbrake cables are easy to fix, but if a cable/caliper is seized you will have to source another one.


Would I be able to tell just based on how hot the wheel gets? I watched a youtube video, forgive me if that's a terrible idea!

JasonFriday13 wrote:The noise over speed bumps is most likely worn suspension bushes, it's less likely it's stuffed struts.


In my mind the difficult part here is getting to the bushes and opening everything up to replace them. Is this something I could manage if I had a jack/jack stands and a basic set of tools? The most (mechanically) technical thing I've ever done is replace brake pads. I think I might take it to someone for the rear brakes as I enjoy braking reliably and try do to the rest myself.

Thanks to everyone for the input and advice, I went out and quickly took some photos.

Image
Overall not too bad for such an old car, I smile when I see it so thats exactly what I wanted from a car Paint will need a lot of work and I am so eager to learn, but it will have to wait till I have time so summer holidays lets all hope the weather is good since I dont have a garage. Full functional non leaky (for now) T-tops 8)

Image
Not a huge fan of the wheels, so I'm keeping a eye out for a nice second hand pair.

Image
I love the steering wheel as my legs fit underneath very comfortably! (reminds me that I do need to fix the horn) The red leather stitching is great, I dont know why but it completes the cabin. Also you can see the stereo isn't in use thats because its a pain in the ass to use and I'd rather hear the car.

Image
The paint is so faded on this, might try a quick respray to get the hang of things when the weather clears up.

Image
Love the dual exhausts! Might try and clean them up some day...

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JasonFriday13
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Re: My MR2, Knuckles61

Postby JasonFriday13 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:48 pm

knuckles61 wrote:Any objections as to using this( http://stephenmason.com/cars/mr2doorwire.html) guide to fix it up. I want to get an alarm at some point but I will need the central locking to constantly work before doing that. So far the things that dont always work are the door light and central locking (but it works if I use the button on the door).

Nope, go for it.

knuckles61 wrote:
JasonFriday13 wrote:Handbrake cables are easy to fix, but if a cable/caliper is seized you will have to source another one.


Would I be able to tell just based on how hot the wheel gets? I watched a youtube video, forgive me if that's a terrible idea!

Brakes are supposed to get hot when you are using them. The best way to check is to jack up the car and rotate each wheel by hand. If there is any resistance or scraping sounds, it's probably sticking on.

knuckles61 wrote:In my mind the difficult part here is getting to the bushes and opening everything up to replace them. Is this something I could manage if I had a jack/jack stands and a basic set of tools? The most (mechanically) technical thing I've ever done is replace brake pads. I think I might take it to someone for the rear brakes as I enjoy braking reliably and try do to the rest myself.

Suspension bushes isn't really a job you can do without a press or similar tool. Put a hand on the suspension arms and try moving them around. If there is any slack in the joints it needs replacing.

knuckles61 wrote:Not a huge fan of the wheels, so I'm keeping a eye out for a nice second hand pair.

Those are standard 14" wheels for an MR2. The later 15" wheels look better.
Jason Ross, current cars:
Project: 1990 SW20, G-Limited, ex EssDub car, 1992+ brake swap, 1992+ subframe swap, 1996 Celica turbo engine swap, 1996 MR2 LSD gearbox swap, Caldina Turbo coil-on-plug ignition, Link G4 Storm, 161kw @ 10psi.
Daily: 1997 Toyota Tercel 3dr hatch, petrol 4sp.
Sold: 1991 SW20, G-Limited, ex EssDub car
Scrapped: 1992 SW20, G-Limited, ex EssDub car, donor
Scrapped: 1989 SW20, GT turbo
Sold: 1987 AW11, Supercharged 5sp

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GDII
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Re: My MR2, Knuckles61

Postby GDII » Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:56 pm

Tree'd but I'll leave what I have said in there even if it is a double up on Jasons info.

knuckles61 wrote:
Any objections as to using this( http://stephenmason.com/cars/mr2doorwire.html) guide to fix it up. I want to get an alarm at some point but I will need the central locking to constantly work before doing that. So far the things that dont always work are the door light and central locking (but it works if I use the button on the door).


Looks good. If you can find the wires for the central locking that are the problem then that will help. The door light wires are not this part of the loom. Could just be a warn switch. The one the door contacts at the B pillar.
How do you control your central locking from outside the car? If you unlock the car with the key in the drivers door it should unlock both doors but if you unlock the passenger door with the key only the passenger door will unlock.

knuckles61 wrote:Would I be able to tell just based on how hot the wheel gets? I watched a youtube video, forgive me if that's a terrible idea!

Crazy idea but sort of works. To check if it is not working properly you would need to take off the caliper and see if the piston will go back in when you turn it.

knuckles61 wrote:In my mind the difficult part here is getting to the bushes and opening everything up to replace them. Is this something I could manage if I had a jack/jack stands and a basic set of tools? The most (mechanically) technical thing I've ever done is replace brake pads. I think I might take it to someone for the rear brakes as I enjoy braking reliably and try do to the rest myself.

Doing these bushes is harder than you might think. Have a read of this. http://www.imoc.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=146258
I'm just about to do mine. You can take the suspension arms to a garage to get the old bushes pressed out. I'm still trying to decide what I do with mine.

knuckles61 wrote:Not a huge fan of the wheels, so I'm keeping a eye out for a nice second hand pair.

If you do get another set of wheels go 15" or 17". You can't get any decent tires for 14" wheels on an SW20 anymore. Have a look at this section of the forum for some information. viewtopic.php?f=30&t=9358

knuckles61 wrote:I love the steering wheel as my legs fit underneath very comfortably! (reminds me that I do need to fix the horn) The red leather stitching is great, I dont know why but it completes the cabin. Also you can see the stereo isn't in use thats because its a pain in the ass to use and I'd rather hear the car.

Looks sort of like my car. Same boots I guess. viewtopic.php?f=27&t=9444 About halfway through the first post.

knuckles61 wrote:The paint is so faded on this, might try a quick respray to get the hang of things when the weather clears up.

Respray would look good. I wrapped mine in vinyl after sanding off the part numbers on the front. viewtopic.php?f=27&t=9444&start=75#p92853


knuckles61 wrote:Love the dual exhausts! Might try and clean them up some day...

They do look good. I like the dual exhausts. Good that it comes factory. You can polish them up with some metal polish but they tend to get dirty quickly and get tar stuck to them alot.
1996 AE101 Corolla Sprint NZ New Daily
1990 SW20 MR2 G-Limited
2005 DY3 Demio
1990 EP81 Starlet XL (Sold)
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Re: My MR2, Knuckles61

Postby rocco26 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:00 pm

Good score Knuckles.
Regarding the central locking. It maybe the micro switch in the door panel, on the drivers side. Firstly i would remove the door card and spray the snot out of the little white switch connected to the lock by levers with crc ,if this improves it. the best thing to would be to dismantle the switch and clean the internals. Or spray it on a regular basis By spraying it the crc gets inside and helps to clear the deposits. Hope that helps.

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Re: My MR2, Knuckles61

Postby Swampy » Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:42 pm

knuckles61 wrote:In my mind the difficult part here is getting to the bushes and opening everything up to replace them. Is this something I could manage if I had a jack/jack stands and a basic set of tools? The most (mechanically) technical thing I've ever done is replace brake pads. I think I might take it to someone for the rear brakes as I enjoy braking reliably and try do to the rest myself.

GDII wrote:Doing these bushes is harder than you might think. Have a read of this. http://www.imoc.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=146258
I'm just about to do mine. You can take the suspension arms to a garage to get the old bushes pressed out. I'm still trying to decide what I do with mine.


I agree, it is a difficult thing if you don't know your way round the underside of the car. I think suspension work requires more knowledge/experience and 1/2" socket wrenches and associated tools (bigger and stronger stuff). In the Mighty Car Mod's series "Gramps the 11 second car" (cant remember episode # but it is before 11), their experienced mechanic Turbo Yoda sets the bushes in a vice and presses them out with the new ones slotting in straight away. Also in the link GDII shared it mentions taking off the undertray, which I've found to be a challenge. I suggest finding small jobs to do and then gradually start more difficult stuff. :idea:
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Re: My MR2, Knuckles61

Postby knuckles61 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:13 pm

jasonfriday13 wrote:Brakes are supposed to get hot when you are using them. The best way to check is to jack up the car and rotate each wheel by hand. If there is any resistance or scraping sounds, it's probably sticking on.


Great this is what I used to do when tightening my hand brake on my older cars so seems easy enough. Would it be bad to try and tighten the hand brake? I will avoid doing so until I find out the condition of the brakes.


GDII wrote:Tree'd but I'll leave what I have said in there even if it is a double up on Jasons info.

How do you control your central locking from outside the car? If you unlock the car with the key in the drivers door it should unlock both doors but if you unlock the passenger door with the key only the passenger door will unlock.


Correct, however sometimes the key in drivers side wont operate the passengers door, sometimes it will.


GDII wrote:Crazy idea but sort of works. To check if it is not working properly you would need to take off the caliper and see if the piston will go back in when you turn it.


Will try that if I can, shouldn't be too hard to take it off, I have looked into this before and seen that I need a tool, but some people use long nose pliers, is that okay to do?

GDII wrote:Doing these bushes is harder than you might think. Have a read of this. http://www.imoc.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=146258
I'm just about to do mine. You can take the suspension arms to a garage to get the old bushes pressed out. I'm still trying to decide what I do with mine.


Yeah I am quite out of my depth for this, I will look into just taking it to a garage when I have a bit more money, until then in terms of safety the car should be okay right? Keep in mind at this stage I'm driving quite safely and not asking much from the car.

GDII wrote:If you do get another set of wheels go 15" or 17". You can't get any decent tires for 14" wheels on an SW20 anymore. Have a look at this section of the forum for some information. viewtopic.php?f=30&t=9358


I was thinking of getting 16s, 17s do seem rather big. The tyres that are on currently are in pretty good condition so I might just keep it still I can get something nice. 17x7 and 17x8 and make it kind of look like this Image But for now seems like i have more important things to deal with!


GDII wrote:Respray would look good. I wrapped mine in vinyl after sanding off the part numbers on the front. viewtopic.php?f=27&t=9444&start=75#p92853


Your build thread is great! I am only 1/3 of the way through (can only read during breaks) but looking forward to seeing what happens next. Also love the photography aspect!

rocco26 wrote:Good score Knuckles.
Regarding the central locking. It maybe the micro switch in the door panel, on the drivers side. Firstly i would remove the door card and spray the snot out of the little white switch connected to the lock by levers with crc ,if this improves it. the best thing to would be to dismantle the switch and clean the internals. Or spray it on a regular basis By spraying it the crc gets inside and helps to clear the deposits. Hope that helps.


Will definitely try as soon as I have time to get the door card off, looks like its going to be a busy weekend.

{quote="swampy"]I agree, it is a difficult thing if you don't know your way round the underside of the car. I think suspension work requires more knowledge/experience and 1/2" socket wrenches and associated tools (bigger and stronger stuff). In the Mighty Car Mod's series "Gramps the 11 second car" (cant remember episode # but it is before 11), their experienced mechanic Turbo Yoda sets the bushes in a vice and presses them out with the new ones slotting in straight away. Also in the link GDII shared it mentions taking off the undertray, which I've found to be a challenge. I suggest finding small jobs to do and then gradually start more difficult stuff. :idea:[/quote]

I remember that now, will have to look through the episodes again. I think I will leave it for a mechanic to sort out. I will do the small jobs as you suggested and work my way up. I'm quite far from being anything like turbo yoda!

Thanks for all the advice and feedback, really appreciate the input!

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Re: My MR2, Knuckles61

Postby GDII » Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:24 pm

knuckles61 wrote:
GDII wrote:Crazy idea but sort of works. To check if it is not working properly you would need to take off the caliper and see if the piston will go back in when you turn it.


Will try that if I can, shouldn't be too hard to take it off, I have looked into this before and seen that I need a tool, but some people use long nose pliers, is that okay to do?


Last time I did this to my car I got air in the brakes and they stopped working properly. :oops: I suggest getting someone to look at them or bleed them after you are done checking them.

knuckles61 wrote:
GDII wrote:Doing these bushes is harder than you might think. Have a read of this. http://www.imoc.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=146258
I'm just about to do mine. You can take the suspension arms to a garage to get the old bushes pressed out. I'm still trying to decide what I do with mine.

Yeah I am quite out of my depth for this, I will look into just taking it to a garage when I have a bit more money, until then in terms of safety the car should be okay right? Keep in mind at this stage I'm driving quite safely and not asking much from the car.


Just because we tell you it could be this or that doesn't mean it is. Check the condition of the suspension components for wear and tear as well as knocking or unusual movement. I'm pretty sure the bushes on my car are 25 years old now but still safe. I'm only changing mine to improve the handling feel as it feels a bit woolly. I want to tighten it all up.

knuckles61 wrote:
GDII wrote:If you do get another set of wheels go 15" or 17". You can't get any decent tires for 14" wheels on an SW20 anymore. Have a look at this section of the forum for some information. viewtopic.php?f=30&t=9358


I was thinking of getting 16s, 17s do seem rather big. The tyres that are on currently are in pretty good condition so I might just keep it still I can get something nice. 17x7 and 17x8 and make it kind of look like this Image But for now seems like i have more important things to deal with!


As long as you have good tires then you should be OK. These cars don't like cheap tires. A lot fall off the road because the tires are wrong but also the driver is as much at fault.

knuckles61 wrote:
GDII wrote:Respray would look good. I wrapped mine in vinyl after sanding off the part numbers on the front. viewtopic.php?f=27&t=9444&start=75#p92853

Your build thread is great! I am only 1/3 of the way through (can only read during breaks) but looking forward to seeing what happens next. Also love the photography aspect!

Thanks, been working on this car for 7 years now.
1996 AE101 Corolla Sprint NZ New Daily
1990 SW20 MR2 G-Limited
2005 DY3 Demio
1990 EP81 Starlet XL (Sold)
1990 EE90 Corolla XL (Sold)
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Re: My MR2, Knuckles61

Postby ptayler56 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:04 am

"I was thinking of getting 16s, 17s do seem rather big."

You'll probably find 15s or 17s are a lot easier to get, a wider selection, and cheaper in most cases than 16s as that is not a popular size. You'll also find a much better selection of tyres. IMHO 15's are a great choice for ultimate performance (lighter weight, etc.) but def 17's with low profile tyres for the looks (and will grip well too - just a little heavier).

Just make sure you get the right offset to fit without rubbing, otherwise you have to start rolling guards etc. which can be done but is extra hassle.

Note - if you are buying second hand check the centre bore size of the wheels. The centre bore size needs to be 60.1mm for your MR2. Most aftermarket wheels are 73.1mm. You might already know this so forgive me if I'm covering old ground, but a lot of people still don't realise that the wheel is held in the right position (vertically) by the fit of the centre bore of the wheel to the lip in the middle of the brake disk/hub assembly. The wheel studs aren't to centre the wheel, just to hold it on to the hub, so if the centre bore of the wheel is too big you can get vibration which is potentially dangerous. Easily fixed though (as long as the centre bore of the wheels is larger than 60.1), you can get locating rings of all different sizes for just $30 a set e.g these from Mag and Turbo http://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/car-par ... 647160.htm

Good luck with your wheel hunting, when you find something you like this website is excellent for showing you visually how they will fit compared to what you've already got - http://www.willtheyfit.com/
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Re: My MR2, Knuckles61

Postby knuckles61 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:57 am

ptayler56 wrote:"I was thinking of getting 16s, 17s do seem rather big."


Note - if you are buying second hand check the centre bore size of the wheels. The centre bore size needs to be 60.1mm for your MR2. Most aftermarket wheels are 73.1mm. You might already know this so forgive me if I'm covering old ground, but a lot of people still don't realise that the wheel is held in the right position (vertically) by the fit of the centre bore of the wheel to the lip in the middle of the brake disk/hub assembly. The wheel studs aren't to centre the wheel, just to hold it on to the hub, so if the centre bore of the wheel is too big you can get vibration which is potentially dangerous. Easily fixed though (as long as the centre bore of the wheels is larger than 60.1), you can get locating rings of all different sizes for just $30 a set e.g these from Mag and Turbo http://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/car-par ... 647160.htm


Thanks for the input, I wasn't aware that there was an additional measurement I wasn't looking into. I thought I had it all covered! I imagine I will end up getting the locating rings. To be honest I think I will wait to buy off someone that already has an MR2 since I would like the wider wheels at the back. I want to have the car in the way it was meant to be experienced (with minor changes). I will go with 15 or 17 I guess depending on what comes up first. I initially got this car as something to learn in and not spend much money on but I think I will end up holding on to it and trying to fix it up as best I can.

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Re: My MR2, Knuckles61

Postby JasonFriday13 » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:23 am

knuckles61 wrote:
GDII wrote:Tree'd but I'll leave what I have said in there even if it is a double up on Jasons info.

How do you control your central locking from outside the car? If you unlock the car with the key in the drivers door it should unlock both doors but if you unlock the passenger door with the key only the passenger door will unlock.


Correct, however sometimes the key in drivers side wont operate the passengers door, sometimes it will.

Mine must have been rewired at some point because mine locks and unlocks the central locking on both doors with the key.
Jason Ross, current cars:
Project: 1990 SW20, G-Limited, ex EssDub car, 1992+ brake swap, 1992+ subframe swap, 1996 Celica turbo engine swap, 1996 MR2 LSD gearbox swap, Caldina Turbo coil-on-plug ignition, Link G4 Storm, 161kw @ 10psi.
Daily: 1997 Toyota Tercel 3dr hatch, petrol 4sp.
Sold: 1991 SW20, G-Limited, ex EssDub car
Scrapped: 1992 SW20, G-Limited, ex EssDub car, donor
Scrapped: 1989 SW20, GT turbo
Sold: 1987 AW11, Supercharged 5sp

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Re: My MR2, Knuckles61

Postby GDII » Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:02 am

JasonFriday13 wrote:
knuckles61 wrote:
GDII wrote:Tree'd but I'll leave what I have said in there even if it is a double up on Jasons info.

How do you control your central locking from outside the car? If you unlock the car with the key in the drivers door it should unlock both doors but if you unlock the passenger door with the key only the passenger door will unlock.


Correct, however sometimes the key in drivers side wont operate the passengers door, sometimes it will.

Mine must have been rewired at some point because mine locks and unlocks the central locking on both doors with the key.


I could be wrong then. I haven't used my key to open my MR2 for 6+ years...
1996 AE101 Corolla Sprint NZ New Daily
1990 SW20 MR2 G-Limited
2005 DY3 Demio
1990 EP81 Starlet XL (Sold)
1990 EE90 Corolla XL (Sold)
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/sw20glimited/