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Thread: 85 MR2 Project

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2010
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    Wisconsin
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    85 MR2 Project

    I thought I would make a project page for my 85 MR2 that will be going back together after some years of sitting.

    Back Story:

    Bought this 85 4 or 5 years ago. Took it apart. Got bored with it. Bought an 87. Now that the 87 is to a point where I like it. Time to get back to the 85!

    When I brought it home. Had a leaky transmission, but no RUST!


    Ok, maybe a little surface rust but still really good shape for Wisconsin.


    This is what it looked like up until this year. Engine, tranny, and interior taken out.


    This is what I bought when I got bored of the 85 being apart for 2 years and no progress. An 87!


    Now lowered and raced up at Road America







    So, what did I do to the 85? Why strip it down even more











    Stripped off the old UnderCoating to make room for POR15









    Have this to put back in: Celica 2.2l 5sfe w/ 140k miles. Leak down test PASSED




    That is as far as I got. I tested the POR 15 process on one of the tow hooks to get down the process before I do the whole under body. Just waiting for a full free weekend with low humidity. Wait for more updates as I get more parts together.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2011
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    Paramount Ca
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    Re: 85 MR2 Project

    Cool project man :tu:
    I own a SW21 myself, there a blast to drive.. If you need parts MR2oc.com its a great place to find parts and info..

  3. #3
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    United Arab Emirates, Dubai
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    Re: 85 MR2 Project

    Great to see you posting a build thread on the MR2. There are a couple of members on here who own them but nobody has posted anything.
    MR2īs are (in my opinion) one of the most underrated cars of the 80īs. Brilliant design, brilliant engine and an exciting driving experience that requires skill, commitment and understanding of the mid/rear layout.
    Most people who speak negatively about them have never driven one or have driven a badly modified version which tends to mess up the geometry and turn them in to a bit of a death trap (especially in the wet!).
    They are a mid-engined car and throwing on a set of 17" rims and cutting the springs just does not work. Driving them like you drive your mothers FWD drive hatchback is not going to work either.
    The series 1 Mazda MX5/Miata/Eunos Roadster (or whatever you call it in your parts of the world) has grown in appreciation over the last decade and is now considered a drivers car.
    The MX5 is instantly rewarding as a driving experience as its front/rear layout is familiar.
    The MR2 requires taking a step back and adapting your driving technique to its different layout. How many of us have mid/rear driving experience these days? Improvement by modifying is also a skill although it is definitely possible.
    Jinba ittai is not just applicable to the Mazda.
    Anyway, looking forward to your updates and progress.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2009
    Location
    Death Star, Tx
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    122

    Re: 85 MR2 Project

    looks like you've got a good start on the MR2.
    should be pretty fun with the 5sfe swapped in.
    are you going to keep the body painted black or go back to the original teal blue?

    my husband & I have an 87 hardtop we've been working on restoring for about a year now - a 4agze will be swapped into it.
    before that we've had an 88 sunroof & then a 89 hardtop.
    one of these days I'll post up a thread w/pics.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2010
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    Wisconsin
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    Re: 85 MR2 Project

    Sorry for the lack of updates. I'm taking 15 credits this semester and I have some harder classes (calculus, chem+lab, engineering course). I have some more pictures of the 3/4 quarter of the bottom chassis por-15'd (will do a write up in another thread in what I learned doing this).

    The big news is that I am probably going to sell the chassis+5sfe to a friend of mine. :cry: He wants to build a rally car and suggested my rust free shell for it. I need to help him complete the shell and the swap, plus putting the interior back in. It's kind of sad to let it go at this point but the room that I make in the garage(stuffed into the corner for winter so I can get the silver Mr2 out of the elements) will help make room for another project. The good news is that once done its running I will be able to drive whenever I want, get to buy it back first if he wants to sell it, and we will rally-cross it together.

    So........wait for another thread on the build of my 87 Silver Mr2 that is pictured. I have a e153 transmission (2nd Gen Turbo) for it, so I will be on the lookout for a Camry v6 to put in.

  6. #6
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    Re: 85 MR2 Project




  7. #7
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    PA
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    Re: 85 MR2 Project

    Quote Originally Posted by ToolZ
    Great to see you posting a build thread on the MR2. There are a couple of members on here who own them but nobody has posted anything.
    MR2īs are (in my opinion) one of the most underrated cars of the 80īs. Brilliant design, brilliant engine and an exciting driving experience that requires skill, commitment and understanding of the mid/rear layout.
    Most people who speak negatively about them have never driven one or have driven a badly modified version which tends to mess up the geometry and turn them in to a bit of a death trap (especially in the wet!).
    They are a mid-engined car and throwing on a set of 17" rims and cutting the springs just does not work. Driving them like you drive your mothers FWD drive hatchback is not going to work either.
    The series 1 Mazda MX5/Miata/Eunos Roadster (or whatever you call it in your parts of the world) has grown in appreciation over the last decade and is now considered a drivers car.
    The MX5 is instantly rewarding as a driving experience as its front/rear layout is familiar.
    The MR2 requires taking a step back and adapting your driving technique to its different layout. How many of us have mid/rear driving experience these days? Improvement by modifying is also a skill although it is definitely possible.
    Jinba ittai is not just applicable to the Mazda.
    Anyway, looking forward to your updates and progress.
    It's funny how you compare the Mazda and MR2. I have both and I'm really starting to prefer the MR2.

  8. #8
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    Wisconsin
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    Re: 85 MR2 Project

    Long Time Update (AKA finally some time to work on the chassis):

    When I bought the car, the PO said anything under a 1/4 tank made the car not drivable and sluggish.

    Upon removing the gas tank, you could hear the sediment/rust roll from one end to the other.

    I had the tank Hot tanked and cleaning chemicals run through it at a radiator repair shop. Cost $94.

    I am using Por-15's Gas Tank sealer. I skipped the "Marine Clean" step as the hot tanking did that for me. Next was "Metal Ready" Soaking. Washed out with water. Now waiting for cooler temps to coat with their sealer.





    Picture of Tank:









    After radiator shop's hot tanking:








    After Por15's Metal Ready:






  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    May 2012
    Location
    COSTA RICA, CENTRAL AMERICA.
    Posts
    192

    Re: 85 MR2 Project

    Quote Originally Posted by ToolZ
    Great to see you posting a build thread on the MR2. There are a couple of members on here who own them but nobody has posted anything.
    MR2īs are (in my opinion) one of the most underrated cars of the 80īs. Brilliant design, brilliant engine and an exciting driving experience that requires skill, commitment and understanding of the mid/rear layout.
    Most people who speak negatively about them have never driven one or have driven a badly modified version which tends to mess up the geometry and turn them in to a bit of a death trap (especially in the wet!).
    They are a mid-engined car and throwing on a set of 17" rims and cutting the springs just does not work. Driving them like you drive your mothers FWD drive hatchback is not going to work either.
    The series 1 Mazda MX5/Miata/Eunos Roadster (or whatever you call it in your parts of the world) has grown in appreciation over the last decade and is now considered a drivers car.
    The MX5 is instantly rewarding as a driving experience as its front/rear layout is familiar.
    The MR2 requires taking a step back and adapting your driving technique to its different layout. How many of us have mid/rear driving experience these days? Improvement by modifying is also a skill although it is definitely possible.
    Jinba ittai is not just applicable to the Mazda.
    Anyway, looking forward to your updates and progress.
    excellent comment



    the comparison between the MR2 and the Mazda has surprised me

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Everett, WA
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    148

    Re: 85 MR2 Project

    I loved my 86 MR2! I chose it over an 84 RX7 with an IMSA widebody kit! I'll admit that it took a little bit to get used to driving it, about five minutes :lol: , but it was a really easy car to push hard, and it was very forgiving if one got it wrong. I think a lot of people that have bad things to say about them either haven't given them a good try, or have ruined them by messing up the very excellent suspension, trying to look cool. My car was bone stock, but stuck like glue at 80mph to the 90 degree turn onto the Boeing freeway where I live. I really miss that car, and I can't believe I betrayed it by turning it in for a motorcycle :roll: It still haunts my dreams.

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