Bet you forgot about the MRS, Didn’t you?

Bet you forgot about the MRS, Didn’t you?

Most likely you have forgotten about Ever’s MRS, or maybe you just thought he abandoned the project. I would also venture to guess that some (new readers) didn’t even know this project was going on… Lets go back to June 2019, It’s Ever’s birthday and all he really wants is a Toyota MRS. You see, Ever already has an NSX that he does HPDE events with, but when it comes to us comparing lap times and being competitive among ourselves we just weren’t on a level playing field. Since my 4 door is a very slow, sohc, econobox, and Ever’s NSX is a Mid engine super car, things aren’t really fair. To keep everything fair we agreed that he needed a car with less power and pedigree. Before you freak out, yes I know the MRS can be a very potent track weapon, but we have rules (that mainly i’m making up) to keep the playing field level.

If you want to get up to speed on Ever’s MRS project, you can click the link below. That post goes over everything he had to go through to get the MRS, what the plans are for it, and what rules we have set in place for our gentleman’s racing league.

https://functiontheory.com/2019/07/the-mrs-that-almost-wasnt/

So hopefully you read that post and are up to date with everything MRS related. Since we did that post, Ever has been busy behind the scenes getting the car up and running. He started first with

  • Replacing the old rod knocking 1zz with a jdm 1zz (that you saw in the other post),
  • Fabbed up a custom exhaust system.
  • Designed and welded in his own roll bar.
  • Put a Sparco seat in (made his own seat rail)
  • Bought some 15×8 wheels (max size for our league)
  • Installed battle version rear lower control arms (because the OEM one was bent on the passenger side)
  • picked up some carbotech XP10 pads for the front and rear.
  • SS brake lines.
  • Project Kics R26 lug nuts.
  • Federal RS pro tires (205/50/15 max size for our league)
  • Speed source solid shifter bushings
  • Speed source solid shift cable bushings

 

Below I’ll go thru a quick time line of the build thus far.

He ordered a motor, and a bunch of other stuff for the car (as you can read about in the link above) but then began to lose motivation as regret and depression began to rear their heads. One afternoon I decided it was time to kickstart his heart and get the motivation turned up to 11. I headed over to his house and told him… we are doing this, let’s get this motor out.

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He kept trying to tell me excuses about how it was going to be too hard because he needed to drop the subframe to easily remove the motor. Nonsense I said, just jack it up really high and drop the motor out the bottom. (this wasn’t the safest or even easiest way,  and when he put the new motor in he removed the sub frame and it was much easier)

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Every part about this car was just neglected to the max, and it was beginning to become more apparent why he got it for so cheap. Just look at how filthy the motor is.

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We used a cherry picker to lower the engine down, set it on an old creeper, and just rolled it out the back.

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He converted to a 2zz water pump on the new motor. Below you can see how the 2zz pump has more impellers, and this translates into improved cooling.

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Monkey wrench racing under drive pulley kit.

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His new JDM 1zz had a different style knock sensor plug, so he couldn’t use it with the USDM harness (which he needed to use) SO what you can actually do is just take the JDM knock sensor off, and remove the post from the block, then thread in the USDM into the hole where the JDM knock post was.

JDM one is the left USDM is the right

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As far as everything else, it’s all just swaps over. He is running the USDM harness on the JDM motor and using the stock USDM ecu too. Remember they are both technically 1zz’s. A 1zz comes in multiple chassis so its important that you know which one is a direct replacement for your car

For some strange reason he was really enjoying this build now. (maybe it’s because of his desire to beat my 4 door on track) The next thing I knew is he’s making a roll bar. (which I still think is cheating since I dont have one in my 4 door)

 

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We have a JD2 bender as well as a JD2 notcher

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He claims it’s just a basic roll bar, and since my car has a roof and his doesn’t it’s fair. I’m not sure I’m buying that, just look at the bars he has going forward… This is more than just a 4pt roll bar!

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While the motor was out Ever decided to “Everise” the car. This is a term that those of us close to Ever use when we describe what Ever is doing to his car. This is usually something that he does to express some artistic energy, and really isn’t necessary but you gotta love his thought process. Ever loves to be creative and Fabricate things, so often times he looks for any reason to cut, delete, modify, or mostly ruin a car. It’s not that it ruins the integrity of the car, but often time it just isn’t necessary, and the car would be fine without having done so. So when people ask what he’s doing to his car now, I just reply… “he is Everising it” and everyone knows exactly what ludicrous things he is doing to his car. Below is a perfect example of “Everising” Or even that stupid roll bar rendered his soft top useless because no longer can he have the top go easily up and down. He now has it bolted in, so he pretty much needs a hard top now. This is exactly how his builds spiral so outta control so quickly.

There is a stock brace in place that stabilizes the hood latch (or is it a trunk latch?) he felt that he would cut it out and add some sort of three point triangulated strut brace to increase chassis stiffness.

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Im just happy he can still utilize the OEM hood latch and hood release in the stock location.

The next thing to “Everise” was to make a rear bumper/jacking point. With inspiration from his drifting roots he fabbed up this rear jack point, which again is really cool and may even make life a litter easier. For myself though I much prefer the simplicity of OEM/bolt on mods. He could have easily just jacked up the car without this bar, but where the fun in keeping it simple.

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With all that fab work done, the motivation that usually runs dry after a few weeks was flowing stronger than ever. He put the motor back in the car all by himself, and decided to fab up a custom exhaust for it. Since the pre cat is notorious for breaking apart and getting sucked back into the motor it had to go. He bought some mandrel bent pieces, two “race style” silencers, and preceded to hack up the stock exhaust to create his own.

 

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With the motor in, the last thing we needed to do before being able to drive it was replace this bent rear lower control arm. Obviously the car had been in some sort of crash on one side. Everything else seemed to line up pretty good, even when he removed the rear subframe there wasn’t any signs of bends, cracks, and no binding when it came to removing it. We assumed this is was designed to crumple or bend before anything more major does.

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some pictures and the process of the brake pad installation. (which ended up being more work than we had planned for, but when is it ever easy?)

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The easiest way to completely evacuate the old brake fluid is by using a power bleeder.

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Above you can see the wheels he purchased. He randomly came across someone selling these Varrstoen (te37 rep) wheels on Spyderchat (mr2 spyder forum) for a deal too good to sleep on. He immediately jumped in his truck and drove to southern California, picked these up and then drove back to Las Vegas (7 hour round trip). They came with some small amounts of curb rash, horribly stretched 195 tires up front, and some beefy 225’s in the rear.

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If you’re planning on really tracking your car then you should make sure you are using Chromoly lug nuts. The extreme heat will cause issues with aluminum ones.

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We usually remove all the brake dust shields from our cars. Yes it is a barrier to stop heat from melting/prematurely deteriorating the rubber boots, and it will keep the brake dust lower. We have just always done this because for us it seems to make working on the brake system easier, and in theory helps lower brake temps. (not up for debate)

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Doing this on the MRS is as easy as just unbolting the x4 bolts that hold the hub on, no pressing required.

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Doing the brakes is just like any other car. Leave the brake caliper bracket bolted to the hub, then loosen both bolts that attach the caliper to the bracket, and completely remove one bolt so the caliper can swing down like so. Then slip the pads in.

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Use large channel locks, or a C clamp to squeeze the piston back in to the caliper. This allows the caliper to accept the new pads, since there is more “meat” on the new pads, and the piston will have been out farther since the older pads are usually worn down more (less “meat”)

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Swing the caliper back into place, and re tighten the bolts.

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The power bleeder uses an air compressor to create a constant vacuum to completely suck out all old fluid. Make sure you do this at each corner to ensure there is no old fluid that will contaminate the system.

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Below you can see the SS lines installed.

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Old stuff removed.

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Installed on the other side.

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It was a cool 39 degrees out when we were working on his car. Not really the ideal situation, but when you have a super car in the garage its what you gotta do.

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We finished the front and moved to the rear of the car. In the picture below you can see the new battle version arms, and can kind of see the custom exhaust.

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The rears are a slightly different procedure than the front. Since the rears have an E brake you will need to manually thread the piston back in to the caliper (you can’t just compress it back in like the front). This can be done a few different ways. There are specific tools that make it very easy or you can just use some needle nose pliers.

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At first we tried using the plier method, but after some bloodied knuckles, and cussing we accepted the fact that we needed to just go and buy the tool. Pictured below is the tool (box on end of extension) there are nipples that fit into grooves on the piston that grab it and allow you to turn in (tighten) the piston.

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As it turns out, the reason we were having such a tough time was because the piston was sized in the caliper. This now sent us back out on a wild goose chase trying to source some replacement calipers for the rear. We decided it would be best to just replace both of them while we were out since we didn’t want to run into the issue on the other side.

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Another thing worth noting for the rear is, the pads are actually different sizes and shapes on board vs out board for each side. Make sure you are paying close attention to which pad is which when removing the old pads.

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After all the running around we had to do, it ended up getting dark (thanks daylight slavings) Below you can see the new rear calipers installed.

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All reassembled with the SS lines installed.

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Since we completely drained the fluid out of the system, we had to make sure we bench bled the brake master cylinder to ensure there would be no air trapped in the brake system. The trapped air will leave your brakes feeling spongy and working less efficient.

To do this you will need to remove the hard lines coming from the brake master cylinder. Then using a bench bleeding kit, take the threaded nipples supplied in the kit (blue things coming out of the master pictured below)

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Attach hoses that come supplied in kit, and run them back into the reservoir. Fill with new fluid, making sure the hoses stay submerged as someone easily pumps the brake pedal. You will see how the air bubbles will eventually all go away,  and that’s how you’ll know when its bled properly.

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Once all air is evacuated, simply remove hoses, and unscrew the blue nipples out. You don’t have to worry about air going back in once removed, since the fluid coming out will stop the air from going back in. Quickly re thread in the hard line and tighten.

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Now that you have completely bled the master you can begin to bleed the brakes at each caliper, starting with the caliper furthest from the master cylinder and ending with the caliper closest to the master cylinder. In our case we had to do this cycle multiple times since there was a lot of air in the system from the new lines and new calipers we installed.

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Put the wheels back on and lower the car on the ground.

As ugly as the car looks right now in its current “in between stage”, I still wanted to go and take some pictures of it. Ever has made a huge accomplishment by getting the car tuned around and running properly. Yes the ride height it terrible and the stretched tires look hideous, but I truly felt that we needed to celebrate the momentous mile stone.

Below are the RS pros he will be fitting to the wheels. 205/50 15 is the largest size he can run in our gentleman’s league.

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After taking almost 8 hours to do what should have just taken 1, Ever wasn’t too excited that I wanted to go take pictures. It was literally almost freezing, his car looks horrible, and it was filthy from being outside in the recent rains but because he loves me he went along with it.

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In the past six months We literally built the entire car right in his driveway. Even though the hot summer weather made it difficult to work on, he remained focused and kept his motivation. Im incredibly proud of this guy for actually following this project thru to completion (or at least near completion). He’s had his fair share of incomplete project cars, and deep down I felt like this was headed towards the same fate. As it sits, obviously the car isn’t pretty, its covered in dirt from sitting outside, and has a little way to go before it looks good in pictures. Not to worry though, since Ever is full of style and nothing he does ever looks bad, this post is only to mark the accomplishment he has made thus far.  I’m excited for the things he has planned for this car, but I’m even more excited about seeing how far this car has come. When we first went to buy this car I was certain he was making a huge mistake, and he was only headed down a road of regret. His prominent competitive spirit with this build is inspiring to say the least, and the drive he has to beat my lap times means he’s committed to making this car the best it can be. The end result will certainly not disappoint.

Even as I type this, Ever’s Feal suspension coilovers with swift springs are being built, and he has a cusco rear sway bar on its way from evasive motorsports. Hopefully mid to late January we will be able to do a final photo shoot and write up on his car, so we can properly show the fruits of his labor.

I know this chassis isn’t as popular as the usual Honda’s that we talk about on here, but I appreciate that you took the time to read the write up on his car. There is so much cool stuff thats actually going on in his car, but it’s just overshadowed right now  by how gross it looks sitting stock height with stretched tires. If you managed to look past that, then you will have learned quite a bit about this chassis. I joke about how I’m going to beat him in my 4 door, but secretly I’m scared that this thing is going to mop the floor with me.  Hopefully we will be doing battle early next year.

Thanks for reading some mindless chatter about a car that most likely you’re not too familiar with. Hopefully this car will motivate you to see through the instagram hype about what a HPDE/Track car should look like. You dont need crazy money, a clean car, or a garage to work in. As long as you’re passionate, you’ll find a way. Please dont hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you may have about this or anything else on the blog. Email Billy@functiontheory.com, instagram @functiontheory, or just comment on this post below and I’ll be sure to respond to you.

 

 

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