A fair amount of work has now gone into our custom deep sump, baffled oil pan for the 1MZ. At this point it is nearly complete, only an argon tank refill away from completion.
Since I have owned it the 190E has had a variety of annoyance level running issues. Initially it was virtually impossible to start but ran fine once it got hot… I later realized the ECU was unplugged! Turns out with CIS the ECU is really only there to do startup enrichment and cold start stuff. Lately the car has started fine but won’t stay running when cold AT ALL. Ie it fires on the first crank, revs to 1500ish, then dies immediately. Keeping it going when cold is an exercise in throttle feathering, but once it warms up it usually stays idling fine but the idle speed is a bit erratic. I had previously fixed a number of broken wires, cleaned the idle valve and cleaned all the relay and fuse contacts, but seen little improvement.
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!
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.
When I first bought my 1985 190E 2.3-16v (back in 2010), the A/C worked. It didn’t work all that well though, and I assumed it was a bit low on refrigerant. It spent a year or so up on blocks while I did a bunch of things to it which should not have taken a year, but after getting it back on the road the A/C no longer worked. Inspection showed that the system was completely empty now (zero pressure at all).
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!