20 Valve Install

First there was the original 4AGE, then there was the small port out of Whitey, then the small port that eventually ended up in the FX16.  Now it’s finally time for engine number four to go in.

August 14th 2016

So this is our swap candidate.  I got it from a guy who got it from a guy who had it in his MR2 before he wrecked it.  Yeah one of those situations.  The price was good, and it was supposed to be ready to install, with all of the harness and water lines etc figured out.  I assumed I would want to make changes to suite my own OCD problems, but it seems like it will be more like starting from scratch.

While I always want to check out the inside of the engine before I install it, this one was a little different.  This is my first 20 valve engine, and the first with factory individual throttle bodies to play with.

The first real order of business is to figure out the starter.  Apparently this was in an 88-89 MR2 where the starter can be used on the intake side.  Unfortunately my 87 transmission doesn’t have that option.  Some people run the 16 valve manifold, but I’m going to leave that as a last resort.  This manifold looks like it flows quite a bit better, and probably won’t crack like the 16 valve version.

August 15th 2016

So another “minor issue” is that the wiring harness this came with well didn’t.  I got a bucket of wiring which I assumed had the harness in it somewhere.  Turns out it had an extra body harness, but no engine harness. So looks like I’m headed to the pick a part to try and match some plugs.



The trip to the yard was pretty successful. I found all of my needed plugs.  I also picked up some expandable wire loom and heat shrink to start building a harness.


August 22nd 2016

Engine’s in!  And that’s about it.

September 3rd 2016

We should probably make this thing fit now.  I ordered some pipe in the right diamter to be able to extend the tubes.

I made the cut on the band saw as close as possible to the flange.  Then ground the factory welds off.  At this point its pretty easy to weld the 4 extension to the tube and slip things back through the flange and re-weld it.

My first real project with the new TIG.  My welds are far from great, yet still much better than if I had to use my MIG to do this kind of work.

Next up is to figure out the “B” pipe.  Top is the contraption that came with the swap, middle is stock AW11, and bottom is the aftermarket one that has been on Whitey.




While I need the 20 valve specific flange off of this one, I don’t see me using much else from it!






September 5th 2016

I switched gears a bit and worked on the coolant pipes.  I got rid of everything that came with the engine and started from scratch.  I picked up a few J bends and routed both around the drivers side.  Since I wouldn’t be able to re-use the factory radiator cap section I welded a T Section on to the upper pipe to give me a fill location.  Now I just need to adapt a cap to things.  I’ll have to grab a better photo from under the car at some point.

September 7th 2016

Working on sorting out the wiring.

September 8th 2016

Less shit hanging over the back of the car.  This must be progress.

September 12th 2016

Some finished shots of the wiring.  Just a few more things to finish up then I can make sure it all works.

September 26th 2016

I ordered a Vibrant Radiator Filler Neck as a starting point to make a filler neck.  The thing I liked most about the Vibrant piece is that it retains the Toyota style cap.  I have nothing against other caps, but most of the universal pieces use the Chevy style cap which just looks large and out of place to me.  To adapt to a hose, I machined the second portion on the lathe.  Now I just need to try my hand at welding aluminum.


October 1st 2016

Just another late night trying to finish some of the last details.

October 8th 2016

New battery tie down with added bracket to hold the radiator filler neck.

Finally getting to the B pipe.  I started by cutting the 20 valve flange off of the one pipe and removing the upper section of the aftermarket pipe that had been on Whitey.  Next was to make a matched pair of upper pipes pointing in the right direction.. I then joined them together in a subtle merge.  To join everything together I used a new straight section and hammered it into shape around the merge.

October 9th 2016

A couple indications that the MR2 may be making some parking lot shake down passes.

October 11th 2016

Red making a work appearance.  I won’t call this 100% done, but most of the stuff that is left is just cosmetic details.

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