The Cosmonauts returned to NJ in May, this time a bit better prepared. The Real Hoopties of NJ 2014 race went quite well. An overall finish of 56th out of about 150 cars was by far our best finish ever, although still not in the top third! It wasn’t mechanical issues that slowed us down this time though.
Our previous track experience indicated strongly that a better oil pan was needed for the 1MZ. Although we installed an oil pressure accumulator our first engine still barely lased an hour and the second about 10 minutes. The 1MZ features a very poor pan design for performance driving. The pan is very shallow and wide. The oil depth when the engine is full is only around 2″ above the bottom of the pan! It is no surprise that this causes issues!
The 1MZ powered AW11 MR2 debuted at the Halloween Hooptifest at NHMS. I didn’t update here for a while due to working on the car around the clock to get it ready!
For our 1MZ swap into our lemons car we wanted to just use the Avalon dashboard since then no engine sensors will need to be swapped. The main issues with this are the fuel gauge sensor and the speedometer (since they are non Avalon parts). The fuel guage so far seems to “work” but we will see what the range is once we fill the tank. The speedo is a problem since the S54 transmission (from a Celica) uses a cable drive speedometer and the ’97 avalon uses an electronic speedo. With a little modification we found the avalon sender could be fit into the S54.
Finally finished the engine mounts for our 1MZ into AW11 Toyota MR2 swap. Most of them were made from bits of the old AW11 engine mounts which seems to have worked just fine.
After our extreme 4AGE failure at the last race we decided to go forward with our engine swap project. After visiting the junkyard and researching online we settled on an early model 1MZFE engine. At my favourite u-pull-it junkyard (Henry’s Used Auto Parts in Blackstone, MA) there were around 25 of these engines available. Most were in Avalon’s but some in Camry’s or ES300’s. We settled on a ’97 unit which was mostly complete and had only 115k miles. Some of the Avalon’s there had over 350k, so this one should last us quite a while!
For the 1986 MR2 24 hours of lemons car we prepped, I did a lot of research on weak points of the 4AGE engine in the car. I decided that one of the biggest problems was oiling, both slosh in the oil pan as well as pooling in the head. Oil temperature is also always an issue. I decided to whip up a custom deep oil pan with internal swinging baffles.