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Looking at buying a 2nd gen MR2 turbo

Discussion in 'Other Vehicle Discussions' started by lsvtec, Jul 1, 2004.

  1. lsvtec

    lsvtec GNU/Linux Evangelist

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    Any advice/information on what I should look for in this car?
     
  2. dohcvtec_accord

    dohcvtec_accord WRX Sellout

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    Didn't SCC do a "Buyer's Guide" to used MR2's a while back? Can anyone verify? I know they did one for NSX's, and I was pretty sure for MR2's as well.
     
  3. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    Middle aged seller. The aftermarket brands should be TRD, Greddy, Apex`i, Bilstein and HK$. Anything else is garbage.

    There is no such thing as a 1990 MR2.

    In the front bonnet, remove the plastic and inspect the radiator. Chances are, it's rusted to shit. Even if it is, it's prolly still good but you'll use it as a bargainning tool.

    Look under the lower airdam for mud and wet leaves. It's a common rust point.

    Rust also begins at the rear bumper mounts. Feel around the inner fender wells as well.

    Make sure the steering wheel is tight, and that it turns crisply. The car should corner like a Lotus - but the front links are weak and the factory bushings last for about a month. It's indicative of what kind of roads it's been on.

    Rusty exhaust pipes means those miles AREN'T highway miles. When people say "It's nothing but highway miles" the exhaust pipes should be black, but not rusty.

    Give the rear wheels a quick alignment check. Look for tweaking to the passenger side. If the wheel is further out on one side than the other, the axles are worn, the bushings and the members may be bent. It happens from doing continuous torque-stands.

    Finally, unclip the rear trunk panels, and inspect the seams and welds under the mats. Look for rust, nuts and rat droppings etc. It's a common place for water to collect and rust (You can drive an MR2 with the trunk popped and not ever know it)

    Finally, avoid cars with 17+" wheels, and cars with replaced aftermarket wings. They simply don't work.

    -> Steve

    Aftermarket and quality stuff for the second gen MR2 is costly and rare. an HK$ exhaust, for example, is 48 inches total yet costs $800.
     
  4. lsvtec

    lsvtec GNU/Linux Evangelist

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    Thanks for the info. I am not looking into modifing this car. I want something that is fun to drive with out tons of money in aftermarket stuff.
     
  5. JDMilan

    JDMilan Senior Member

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    my buddy had one for a while, pretty quick car even though he hated losing to NA honda power.lol

    hmm. I always noticed that the MR2's turbo especially were priced pretty high, much like RX7's, not as much but their value held on pretty well. The only issues he had with the car was when he started to install some HKS electronics, such as the VPC, etc. The car never ran right after he rebuilt the motor. The T tops leaked a little so I guess check for that.

    If you are going to upgrade anything the blitz nurspec sounds dope on the MR2, :thumbsup:
     
  6. lsvtec

    lsvtec GNU/Linux Evangelist

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    I have a couple of problems with Honda NA power.

    1. It only drives the front wheels unless you have a bunch of money to drop into an S2K, and NSX, or a custom project.

    2. Making a lot of power in a Honda is very expensive. I have put far more than $7,000 into my car (including initial purchase) to get it to where it is, and it is finally making good power and is fun to drive.

    3. As soon as anyone sees a modified Honda they want to race and I would just like for once to drive a whole day without some asshole mullet boy in his 454 powered mulletmobile or some stupid ass ricer revving on me.
     
  7. dohcvtec_accord

    dohcvtec_accord WRX Sellout

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    :bo: :lol: :bo:
     
  8. SolReaver

    SolReaver Senior Member

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    excellent choice with a mr2...a lot of people will try to overcharge you for them cause they are so rare- so watch out for that

    rear calipers are known to lock up- make sure the parking brake works properly

    obviously be sure the headlights pop up normally
     
  9. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    It's odd, I race MR2's with my CRX and I beat them. Turbos and SC's are an exception. I have the Supercharged one, and it's a fucking lunatic.




    Hondas have always been weak platforms to start, but modifying a Honda is the cheapest endeavour in the hobby. Making power in a Toyota costs, on average, Twice what it does in a Honda. Think that's sick? Try building a Vette. Think that's nuts? Try owning a Lotus Esprit. Still think it's too much? The shop I work at just charged $450 for an OIL CHANGE in a DB7 V12.



    The Rear brakes have a semi hydraulic, semi mechanical ebrake. The Ebrake will plunge a small hydro-piston, then it will actuate a mechanical brake for when that fails. Right now I'm on just the mechanical ebrake. The rear hydo system is clogged, and the calipers don't work at all. Yes, MR2s have a problem holding fluid in the rear cylinder bosses. Repair is pretty simple, but it's tight in there. Headlights are electrically actuated, and I have NEVER in all my years seen one with a busted light. As far as being Rare, typical production figures for the second gen Turbo are about 3000 a year.

    -> Steve
     
  10. JDMilan

    JDMilan Senior Member

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    lsvtec, I can see where your coming from and why you want to try out other options. I just don't like the notion of putting down like 10k for a car that is ten years old with high miles.

    I hear your pain
     
  11. MaaseyRacer

    MaaseyRacer Senior Member

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    I am going to strongly disagree with whoever said the car will corner like a Lotus, that is very far from the truth. These cars are quirky as hell, and I think in the end it is going to handle like your honda.
    The car is RWD yes, fun? No. These things plow and push like a motherfucker, and then have snap oversteer. They eat up rear tires, and are not that reliable. My roommates miata will walk all over them at the track.
    The funny thing is, they "feel" like a Honda. They feel nice and tight but have a little understeer. The problem is once you get the car to come loose, there's no holding it back. It'll spin and there's nothing you can do about it. A nice suspension and some tweaking can overcome this, but it takes work.
    Conclusion: MR2's are not all they're cracked up to be. Nice looking cars, but they handle like pigs and are a bitch to work on. You will end up modding this car as much as your civic to get it to what you want. They are great looking cars, but not a great handling car.
     
  12. dohcvtec_accord

    dohcvtec_accord WRX Sellout

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    I disagree.

    $1000 spent on my old Honda: 10-15 hp to the wheels (2 of them), depending on the parts

    $1000 spent on my WRX: 35-45 hp to the wheels (4 of them)

    Making power in a factory turbo car will almost always be easier than a factory N/A car.
     
  13. lsvtec

    lsvtec GNU/Linux Evangelist

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    I can find MR2 Turbos here in TX for around 6K.


    I am not going to race this car. I don't plan on modifying it at all either. The main reason I am selling my Integra is that I have no place to race it where I live. Las Cruces, NM is completely devoid of any legal racing. So I think it is kind of a waste to delegate the Integra to driving back and forth from class. I want a car that will be amost as powerful as my Integra is, be relatively comfortable and that is it. I just don't want to step into a Civic or something because no offense to the D series guys, in stock form those motors suck big time.
     
  14. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

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    fuckin' A

    i've been doing it all wrong all this time.

    fuck the 240, i'm getting an mr2 for a drift mobile
     
  15. dohcvtec_accord

    dohcvtec_accord WRX Sellout

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    Any chance you can find a 98 (or so) 2.5RS for 6-7k down there? They can't be in as high demand as they are up here.
     
  16. lsvtec

    lsvtec GNU/Linux Evangelist

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    I'd love to get into a 2.5 RS but they want 10-12K for them around here.
     
  17. asmallsol

    asmallsol Super Moderator

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    werd. I would love one too, but around here the 2 doors are just damn expensive.
     
  18. TurboMirage

    TurboMirage YEEAAAHHH VIP

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    sounds good, but i bet it drives more like claytons corolla during drift.
     
  19. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    No no no.. What Maasey means is valid. The MR2 will plow badly. But it's easy to correct, only to go to the opposite - Where the ass end kicks out on you Lightning fast.

    And I do mean lightning fast.

    With that short wheelbase, when the assend breaks loose, it will go 90 degrees on you in an instant. You have to be expecting it and know how to use that wheelbase to get it to work. Also, during acceleration the car will put all of it's weight on the back tires, and with LSD that car won't drift for shit. It's all grip.

    If you were to take the MR2, any generation, from a wheel-cut standstill in a parking lot, then suddenly take off to initiate a spin, the car won't do it. It will plow straight forward. The key to MR2-dom is inertia-flicking and using torque steer. By letting off the gas momentarily to shift the weight off the rear tires, then gunning it - You'll break the rear free and go to town.

    That's why, I think, you don't see many MR2s in Drift. It's difficult to get the tiny wheelbase to skid, and once you do the wheelbase is so short that it immediately whips around and bites you in the ass.

    Which, is exactly like a Lotus. Only Loti lack the heavy wheels, and out-board brakes (Some Esprits have in-board brakes in the rear, located near the diff pumpkin) to reduce unsprung weight. The MR2 doesn't do that too well. The result is that the car will DIE trying to give you maximum grip. They don't like to slide, by design.

    After the many years of my exposure to my gf's MR2 I can now finally get the ass end to kick out, and control it. But the result isn't impressive at all, in other words, I wouldn't take it to drift.

    How I do it:

    I initiate both the acceleration and steer at the same time. This is the worst way to accelerate in track racing, as it puts all of the inertia on the outer rear tire. (Think "accelerating into the apex"). Then just before the apex, I'll cut the wheel MORE to initiate the skid (Again, doing everything you're not supposed to do). Then I'll let off the gas for a millisecond to slap the inertia forward, and then the ass comes out. Gunning it to keep the spin, I am allowed about 15 degrees of lateral slide, before the car will whip around and face me in the wrong direction. It's a lot to go through for an almost undetectable slide.

    The MR2's braking design is pretty neat, especially if you're an aircraft engineer. The engine is seated so low in the chassis, that during braking the weight distribution puts a "more than 80-20" ratio Front-Rear braking power. It's closer to 60-40 Front-Rear. This means that the car will remain stable in upwards of 1+g braking. Also, the brakes are biased to control the rears alittle more, for shaving distance off the brake skidpad. If the engine were pushed back more, the rear tires would see more sprung weight during braking (and thus more braking traction) but if you threw a corner in the mix, the ass end would come out. So everything about their choice of engine placement is important to that car. And that, in and of itself, makes it difficult to work on.

    You have to drop the engine, at least in the first gen (Which I have most experience with) to do anything. The air path is the stupidest thing I've ever seen (It goes back and forth across the bow of the car 3 times before it's air intake mouth) and the trunks are rendered mostly useless.

    -> Steve
     
  20. JDMilan

    JDMilan Senior Member

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    6k in texas is a pretty good price, around florida they all run to almost 10k and some of them well above,
     
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