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Toyota Mr2 Roadster


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#1 hooligan

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 08:10 PM

they seem to be awfully cheap these days as in similar money to our mk1s

i currently have 2 mk1s and am thinking of getting rid of one for another roadster type car.

does anyone have any real world experiance with the mr2 roadster?

i know they apparently have an engine issue but if i can find one that been rebuilt/replaced in my budget then is it a decent option?? im thinking £1500 should get me a half decent one going by prices on the web.

am i asking for trouble....
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#2 Vindi (Russell)

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 09:26 PM

They seem a lot of fun... a friend got an MR2 Turbo that he bought for £1200, ragged around for a year (including 3000 miles around Europe) and then sold it on for about the same money...

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#3 miles

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 09:50 PM

Great fun to drive, but the lack of any real boot space killed them. No one's gonna buy a car that you can't get even the most modest shopping in. Hence short lived and poor resale value.
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#4 robd

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 10:00 PM

I take it you're talking about the MK3 MR2 which is the roadster? Most Toyota engines are bullet proof and the 3SGTE engines in the MR2 Turbo's were great engines that can take endless amounts of abuse and don't need much work to see them over 300bhp.
I believe the issue on the MK3 was to do with the CAT breaking up and apparently being drawn back into the engine causing damage, think it was only on certain years though! There's plenty of threads about it over on the MR2OC and lots of knowledgable and helpful people on there, it's not like the 5 OC.

Never owned a MK3 but had two MK1's and a MK2 Turbo, great cars and the MK1's are excellent fun although they're rust nightmares! Plenty of engine conversions to be done on the MR2's as well, there's a whole site dedicated to it, TwoBrutal, take a look there if you want to see some good stuff. :)
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#5 m1tch

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 10:19 PM

Everyone I know who have had an MR2 have had it come off the road at some point, as its mid engined its very hard to catch in a spin etc
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#6 trashy

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 10:40 PM

I had a passenger ride in a Toyota MR2 Mk3 TTE Turbo at Bedford on Saturday. It was on BC Racing coilovers and Advan Neova tyres. It handled well and had about 200bhp.

http://www.evo.co.uk...toyota_mr2.html
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#7 hooligan

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:29 AM

yes i am talking about the mk3 roadster convertible.

lack of boot space is not an issue for me as it would just be a fun car and 10 years of driving rear wheel drive cars should mean i dont go and put it into a hedge! plus i dont drive like a knob...

may well be an option as the prices are very low for a newish car that looks quite nice
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#8 RYAN R LTD

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:05 AM

Garath, my ex wanted one and we looked at a few and owned 1 for ashort while. Great little cars that handle really well.

Biggest downside it the boot space though, oe lact there of.

I would say the only version that you should stay away from is the tiptronic version, i know they are prone to failure and its a big cost to replace.... im talking 3k! i spoke to toyota after driving one which beeped when pullting away and then hit limp mode for a few minutes.
They said to me its not a good system and they have seen lots of failure, to which they genuarrly convert them back to manual after.

other than that i remember there was a recall for some thing but good luck on the serch - awesome handling little car :thumb-up:
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#9 Methers

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:43 AM

Hi,
I've owned a mk1 and mk3 and they are 2 of the best cars I've owned. The mk3 seemed bullet proof to me and handled fabulously.
I'd have one again like a shot, it was a close call between a mk3 and the mx when I was recently buying.
Cheers
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#10 Gimmeablackun

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:43 AM

My Dad had a 300bhp twin entry turbo with full border kit, sports recliners with harnesses, HKS suspension, TRD brakes etc. He didn't buy it until he retired at 65......scared the shit out of him at full chat! Lol. Just sold it for nearly 4k! Foooookin quick in a straight line.
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#11 RYAN R LTD

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:47 AM

Remember guys this is the MRS not the MR2.... still i would prefer a MR2 turbo anyday, oh the memories of that noise right behind your head....
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#12 5charlie46

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:10 AM

We had a MR-S (import version) awhile ago, such a great laugh and my dad constantly bangs on to me about how it was a better car than any of my 5s, which to some extent I agree. Definately worth a look, ours handled like nothing else but it did lack a bit of punch (some how my 5 feels a bit faster although it isnt). We too had engine issues resulting in new cat, piston rings etc...

A common conversion is the Celica 190 engine, different from the 1.8 they come with and from Vids on youtube a lot more fun
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#13 Ekona

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:18 AM

I owned one for three years, was one of the first people in the UK to turbocharge one and the pre-cat guide you see on the OC, TOC and MR2ROC? I wrote that ;)


They are brilliant cars, full stop. Ignoring the lack of boot space which is either something you can live with or not (you can wedge a surprising amount of stuff in the cubbies behind the seats and in the frunk on top of the spare) and just focusing on the rest of the car, then it really is a bargain. The pre-cats are the biggest foible on the engine, especially on pre-facelift cars, but they're easily removable and doing so will stop the engine lunching itself if they start to break down. Earlier cars can suffer from oil passing the rings, which isn't a huge problem if you're removed the precats as it's just a case of keeping an eye on your oil level, but if the precats are still there that's when you get the serious issues. Later cars had improved rings so this is a non-issue. Aside from that, the chain driven engine is very solid up to about 300bhp. After that you'd want to do the rods and pistons really, but you'd have to be looking at changing the gearbox first. They're happy up to about 250ftlbs of torque, much over that and you'll eat them at a pretty decent rate. If you stay N/A, you'll have no issues at all. Early JDM 5-spd has slightly better ratios for acceleration, later UK 6-spd would be my choice though as the 6th gear is good to cruise with.

Not a lot to go wrong on the suspension side, although the droplinks seem to come from the factory rusted so any changes to those will necessitate you cutting and drilling them off. Dampers are good for about 80k miles, worth seeking out ones with the TTE or Eibach springs on them (they're identical) if you can. Front strut brace is almost a necessity on these, as is some form of underbody brace: TTE Turbo x-brace copies are great, but anything that braces the centre of the car together really helps (Corky or Che are the names to find). The hardtop does a similar job when fitted.

Roof is a great piece of kit, not easy to replace though as it's quite fussy and fiddly. Doable yes, but not a task I relish. Make sure the roof is rip free would be my advice, it can be cheaper to replace a blown engine than the roof. Very waterproof though, so no fear there. Glass window isn't replaceable, so if it breaks you have to replace the entire softtop.

Interior is cheapy plasticky Jap stuff, but everyone here knows what to expect if you own a '5. On the upside it's pretty hard wearing, and the leather seats especially are good. Cloth ones disintegrate pretty quickly though. Driving position is very good.

Handling is arguably better than a '5, however as a caveat I will say that it's not as easy to drive quickly due to the MR layout. Ignore anything anyone says about them being snatchy on the limit as they're really not, they're very docile compared with something like an Elise or the mk2 MR2. Make sure the tyres are the same type all round but most definitely NOT the same size: They must be wider at the rear else you'll constantly be playing a game of Kill The Oversteer, and not in a good way! If you can drive one smoothly, you'll easily make up for the relative lack of power and can make some seriously good progress.




If you want any specific advice on anything, just let me know and I'll try my best to help you. :)
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#14 Riknos

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:19 AM

Maybe some people here getting confused between mk2 & mk3 MR2s - completely different cars.

MK3 roadster has a bit more poke than a 1.8 mx5 and has much better fuel economy too - the issue with the pre-cats only affected pre-facelift cars (03 onwards should be fine) or if buying an older, pre-facelift then just remove the pre-cats yourself.

A lot of car for the money.
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#15 hooligan

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:21 AM

all sounds promising, may well be going shopping in late september/october prices may have even dropped a touch by then.
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#16 Ekona

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:33 AM

the issue with the pre-cats only affected pre-facelift cars (03 onwards should be fine)

Common myth, I've seen two facelifted cars with broken pre-cats, one of them was only 40 miles old too...

The only reason that the early cars suffered with pre-cats more is that the rings were more likely to pass oil, which in turn caused the pre-cats to break up, which then meant pre-cat material got sucked back in and scored the bores allowing more oil to pass and then the pre-cats broke down quicker. Vicious cycle. The later cars didn't have the oil ring problem, so the pre-cats only broke up through mechanical means, and as they're ceramic it's not that difficult to see happen.

Interestingly TTE used metal precats on their turbo kit, probably for this very reason. A little birdy working for them might have commented at the time that the ceramic pre-cats were cheap and nasty.
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#17 HMSMotorsport

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:35 AM

My mate Adam had a Mk3 after he sold his Elise to fund his racing. He said it was "Like an everyday elise, with more body roll"
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#18 hooligan

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:36 AM

how easy is it to remove the pre cats? and is it expensive and mot legal? ie could i do it myself? im reasonably handy with the spanners
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#19 Simon TCV

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:23 PM

They seem a lot of fun... a friend got an MR2 Turbo that he bought for £1200, ragged around for a year (including 3000 miles around Europe) and then sold it on for about the same money...

Russell.


Yes that was me, and i would have another in a heartbeat. I miss my Tubby soo much, its different to a MX5.
5's are more pratical, but if you want a GT car for peanuts a MR2 Turbo is a cracking car and the 4AGE engine is simply stunning.
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Fast is Good, Fast is Fun, But can be Chuffin Expensive

#20 hooligan

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 08:23 AM

even the bloody insurance is cheaper on one of these! did a quick confused.com quote on one and it came in at £247! thats £60 cheaper than im paying now on my mk1 1.6.

im sure a specialist could reduce it a bit more.

and there really does seem to be some bargains around found a black one with red leather and a hardtop for £1650
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