2AR-FXE Lexus Hybrid Synergy engine swap project.

Started by threepot, November 4, 2022, 22:59

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threepot

In the USA people seem to be banging on about 2AR-FE swaps from the Camry or Scion TC, but we are less fortunate when it comes to suitable donor vehicles here in the UK. I've been cruising the OEM parts catalogue for some sort of parts bin conversion that can be done in the UK.

It turns out lots of the Hybrid Synergy modern Toyota Lexus vehicles are running the 2AR-FXE which is a variation of the 2AR-FE but runs some very wonky cam timing in the name of fuel efficiency and low RPM torque for running the Synergy motor drives. The concept of this conversion I was sent a video link of a guy called Marc who has setup as Frankenstein Motor Works in the USA, seems a bright guy indeed, doing his own thing and appears to be enjoying himself.

So it started a couple of weeks back by ordering this engine from a 2017 Lexus NX200h with 30k miles on the clock, nice clean fresh engine for £750! Then I found an EB60 transmission from a Toyota Avensis with 3ZR-FAE engine which is a 2.0 with Valvematic, quite rare these are in the UK. But I found a pretty nice gearbox from a 40k mile car.



But it turns out not all EB60s are created equally, when I got home the bolt pattern from the bell housing was wildly different, I was expecting the lack of starter motor mount and was planning on machining something but the bell housing bolt pattern was a kick in the nuts. But then on ebay USA I found this bell housing, part number 31105-33041 from a Scion TC manual... eurika!

It has a starter motor mounting position any everything I could ever dream of, just got to sell a kidney to ship it back from the USA... but it arrived, along with a lightweight flywheel and puck clutch kit from a scion (£250 to my door!) and its fits like a treat...



As you can see I now have a starter motor 28100-28041, which came from a Lexus RX300 which has the correct bolt pattern and fitment.

It turns out the 2AR-FXE do not have an Alternator, or even a place to mount one, I bought this thermostat/waterpump housing from Ebay USA (I'm becoming a EbayGSP loyalty customer!) from a 2009 to 2019 Toyota Highlander 2.5:-



And mounted it with an Alternator that looked the same as a USA spec 2.5 car from an ebay UK Toyota Alphard Estima 3.0 part number 27060-20170, which is a 3 wire alternator thus being very easy to wire up with just a couple of lives then one for the charge warning lamp...

But it didn't quite fit, nearly nearly, but a small amount of grind and drilling to the water pump housing and it fits, AND its clocked in a better rotation for clearance on the cabin bulk head.




Coupled with a Frankenstein motorworks bottom AC delete pulley kit, and a thermostat house..... and then it turned out the bottom pulley is different (the hybrid only has a tiny narrow belt for the water pump and its is ofset different), you can buy a Febest TDS-2ARFE crank pulley that just fits and solves this problem along with a Febi Blue Print AD04R1100 belt (4 groves 1100mm long). Now we have a full alternator and coolant system.... and a Frankenstein cast RH engine mount. So with all this together it would be sad not to give it a little tickle at least!


And more goodies came tickling though the post.... a brand new Inlet camshaft from the 2AR-FXE direct from Japan via Amayama.com Toyota part number 13501-36030, which is going to replace the exhaust camshaft as that is tiny, these Hybrid cams apparently have massive wide specs, I've yet to measure it, but that is a job for next week. Now the problem is, when a Toyota ECU runs it expects to see the cam sensor notches line up with the crank signal like this, but as you can imagine, when you put an inlet cam in an exhaust cam spot, then totally shift them away from the factory timing marks these sync patterns are going to be well out.




Thus the normal thing would be to buy an OMEX or AMS etc etc aftermarket ECU. But I want to run some sort of factory Toyota ECU so I need to move those cam sensor teeth. The plan is to put the cams in the lathe, turn off the cast in castellations to a smooth 40mm surface, then fit some of these clamp on reluctor rings I've designed and sent away for CNC cutting which was cheaper than I expected! Here is the model, parts yet to arrive...


Then I need to try to align them with the crank sensor waveform until Mr Toyota ECU says yes, I'm in sync and tries to start up. The ECU I have opted to use is from a 2007 1.8 Yaris T Sport as it shares pretty much all the same sensors and coils etc as the Lexus NX300h so the factory bits just work except 1 or 2 small wires need joining up.... so I built a little test harness so I can start the engine on the workshop floor. And figures out a wiring table, that is this weekends job to tackle the first wire up attempt. Plan is, do each sensor one by one, then I can use the scan tool to make sure its all legit. A man can easily get lost in this jungle.




Once I can make the standard 2AR-FXE run in the garage, then I will remove the camshafts, modify the pulse wheels, refit and time up the cams to this non Atkinson phase setup. Now I know NOTHING! about cam timing and engine building, so I've just come up with this timing as a complete f'tard. If anyone has any wisdom on performance cam timing etc then I'm all ears. I've drawn it on this degree wheel for easier visualisation. Does it look viable? I'll find out when I compression test it.



jvanzyl

That's awesome that you're doing this- but I'm curious as to why you're doing all this exploration when Marc has already established a very viable way of doing this all?

https://youtu.be/mS2dSP2ay-g
https://youtu.be/wmiXak7MwPc
https://youtu.be/4azNPRvo9hE

Surely it's going to work out a better use of your time and money to take his approach? Sorry if I've missed something... it just sounds like you're trying to work it out for yourself?
01 Silver 1ZZ<br />The Smile Machine: viewtopic.php?f=88&t=59837

threepot

#2
Quote from: jvanzyl on November  4, 2022, 23:12I'm curious as to why you're doing all this exploration when Marc has already established a very viable way of doing this all

I think my first Paragraph answered that question my friend :)

Marc lives in a country with 2.5 Scion TC's and Camry 2.5 manuals in "wreckers" yards  ;) 
Little old me in Blighty doesn't have these bits to pick from unfortunately.
"This is a local forum for British rusty MR2's, we'll have no Spyders here"

If you go on his very good webshop, and add all his swap kits bits in the basket you end up at $3896, plus import tax, and then get a 2AR-FE engine and box here from the USA, another £3000 maybe if you can find a manual one? Plus the rest of the missing bits you need etc. £7500 sir? Fancy chipping in?

But we do get an abundance of single VVT 2AR-FXE's.... and the extra camshaft was £210 to my door brand new
We don't get those dual VVT heads here either, again it's a USA import job.
And an aftermarket engine management system, few quid goes in that little adventure if you've ever walked that walk.
This is already adding up way out of proportion for a dirt box MR2, even on the cheap - I guess that's why there aren't lots of 2AR swap Mk3 in the UK maybe?

The gearbox is the tough bit here in the UK, if we had gearboxes it would be easy picking. But just that rare Avensis 2.0 gear box and the USA import bell housing has £900 in it together... and I have to take that box of cogs apart one night to swap the bell housing  :o  Wish me luck, I might end up with a DannyDC2 gearbox!

But if there is solid power in 2AR-FXE single VVT on a stock Toyota ECU, well it saves best part of £1500. And if I break an engine there is an ebay full of £800 low mileage engines. Maybe just maybe, the stock ECU solution with the little clamp on cam tone wheels will open a door for others. It's a £1500 cheaper door that might be a good one. And that might help Marc's concept gain more traction. I support his crazy idea entirely, he seems a decent guy, his products I've received are tip top.

I've bought some of his bits - thermostat housing, aux belt gear, RH engine mount. But the other mounts are going to be MIG welded cut and shut jobs of what came with the gearbox etc. His bits are reasonably priced but I want to enjoy the fabrication of engine mounts and the shift linkage bits, this is tinker time at its best. I support Marc, he is a good guy.

I live for built not bought. Tinker time is where the fun is.

Some of the other parts he suggests are not available here, e.g. the Gates belts, the drive shaft combination (£600 to import that lot). I'm going to find bits we can actually buy here, just like I've found with the starter, bottom pulley, drive belt and alternator.

jvanzyl

Got it- I'd ventured down (theoretically) about 60% as far as you have and hadn't realised the that we couldn't get so many of the additional bits.

In conversation with @Marc I thought I had found an eb60 over here in the U.K. from the T27 petrol Avensis but it sounds like this would have ended up being a misadventure like yours! Close one.

Good luck with the build and please do crack on with lots of photos!
01 Silver 1ZZ<br />The Smile Machine: viewtopic.php?f=88&t=59837

threepot

#4
Tonight I thought it would be a good idea to profile the 2AR-FXE camshaft I bought new from Toyota in Japan, part number 13501-36030

I have no idea what I'm doing in any of this, but I've got the jist you've basically got to put the lumpy bits in the best place for the right time with some compromises, so a good starting point would be to understand the lumpy bits you've got to play with maybe?!


 

And this afternoon while youngest kid was on nap time, I've bodged a 1zz-fe dipstick tube to sort of work, some very gentle slow straightening and bending to avoid any kinks.


 

After looking at the measured cam profile, and applying the suggested timing from the spinny wheel drawing, I get a cam lift graph like this:-



jvanzyl

#5
I'm assuming you've seen @Marc latest video? https://youtu.be/ni-bH9InNwQ

If you're able to wait until he confirms it (last couple of mins) you "might" not have as tough a road ahead of you... though it would mean that you might not have needed to buy your dual vvti stuff..

Hope I understood what he was saying anyway...
01 Silver 1ZZ<br />The Smile Machine: viewtopic.php?f=88&t=59837

threepot

I saw that vid 40 minutes after its release, he said he was editing yesterday. There is a good place for these cams without dual VVT, running the solid sprocket. There really is a solid build in here with this 2AR-FXE stuff without so much extra bits to buy and swap over. Even he is suggesting the idea that we might be able to run this on a stock Toyota ECU, which would be a game changer too.

Also I mean this in all due respect, but who is to say that where Marc sets his cam timing is the best place, and best for what exactly - idle or high rpm....  this is a world of compromises. I want to look at this as maybe we both get it wrong, and it's good to learn about these things. There is a couple of people I can pick their brain about this.

Anyway, tonight I have done the wiring for the harness, that was a big push indeed, and it all went perfect first time so my cheat charts above are absolutely spot on for a change! I only get 1 fault code, every sensor and actuator reads perfect. If I activate the fuel pump with the scanner the motor runs.

My next hurdle is the immobiliser, then this baby is going to run on the garage floor. Once I know it runs on this ECU with the stock cam setup, then I will start messing about with the cam timing, but just one step at a time means the problem solving won't get too messy. Excuse the janky wiring, I thought doing screw terminals would be a good idea until I know its wired up right, then I will sit and solder/splice/heatshrink it all up.






thetyrant

Good effort sir :)

always interesting to see someone working outside the box and doing it for themselves, keep up the good work :D

Ex-2005 roadster  owner, i will be back :D

threepot

Cheers :) Although it is easy when someone else has laid most of the pathway.

So last night at 1:50am I figured out how to bypass/disable the immobiliser, but that was to late to fire the quad cannon.

So feeling pumped this morning.....


Lets get my head round this.... A 2018 Lexus 2.5 Hybrid Engine, running on a 2007 Yaris T-Sport ECU.... and it just fired up first time  :o  you wouldn't believe that in a million years.

jvanzyl

Quote from: threepot on November  7, 2022, 12:04Cheers :) Although it is easy when someone else has laid most of the pathway.

So last night at 1:50am I figured out how to bypass/disable the immobiliser, but that was to late to fire the quad cannon.

So feeling pumped this morning.....


Lets get my head round this.... A 2018 Lexus 2.5 Hybrid Engine, running on a 2007 Yaris T-Sport ECU.... and it just fired up first time  :o  you wouldn't believe that in a million years.


WOW! that's great going! well done!
01 Silver 1ZZ<br />The Smile Machine: viewtopic.php?f=88&t=59837

Gaz2405

Cracking work!

The 2-AR's sit in the bay with the inlet at the rear of the car don't they?

2.5/7 supercharged engine anyone?
1zz turbo. Home built and home mapped.

Now 2zz turbo. Home built and home mapped

Build thread https://www.mr2roc.org/forum/index.php?topic=67004.0

J88TEO


jvanzyl

Quote from: Gaz2405 on November  7, 2022, 14:03Cracking work!

The 2-AR's sit in the bay with the inlet at the rear of the car don't they?

2.5/7 supercharged engine anyone?
There is the 8AR-Fts... but that's turbo...
01 Silver 1ZZ<br />The Smile Machine: viewtopic.php?f=88&t=59837

threepot

#13
I have a suspicion even with the entry point super budget cheap bodger build like mine, it is estimated at about 220hp at the wheels maybe - this is going to rip pretty hard in a roadster! And with an inlet manifold and tuning maybe about 250/260hp ?
These are all back of a fag packet pub dream talk numbers, but it'll be in that sort of ball park i'd imagine.

Yes inlet manifold is at the back bumper end, but the compression ratio is like 12.5:1 already stock so forced induction without doing internal work may not be that viable. But I know nothing about engine building and tuning.

I'm just looking for reliability and lots of usable torque all round the track.

Alex Knight


threepot

Yes, a friend whatsapp's the first video of the series to me a couple of months back.

It is what made me aware of this whole 2AR-FE "scene"! Those videos are more entertainment than technical.

Prior to this I was thinking about v6 conversions, but there is quite alot of bodyshell fabrication involved.

At least this is basically a bolt in conversion. The crux is sourcing a damn gearbox! The engine is certainly the cheap bit of all this.

1979scotte

V6 is probably easier than this tbh.
Gearboxes are easy to find standard drive shafts work.
Plenty of info out there.
Good on you for trying something different.
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Free Ukraine 🇺🇦

threepot

v6 also comes with a very nice sound track! And that is worth far more than a few grand here or there. It was actually my preferred route but....

Suitable v6 engines are becoming harder and more expensive to source. There are only a limited number of donors, e.g. rx300 and rx350 to takes engines from and most of which are high mileage 20 year old neglected cars now. A high mileage old engine at strong money wasn't to my taste. These Toyota v6's are quite in demand nowdays, and the scrap yards know this.

Getting a 20-30k mile 3 or 4 year old engine certainly appealed in a massive way to me. Especially when there is a nice steady supply of them too. They are barely worn in, OEM paper stickers still present! There is one on ebay at the moment with 4k miles on it for £1200. I bought mine for £750.

10 years ago you could pick up a 65k mile T-sport corolla for £500, and wham bam 2zz your MR2 in a weekend. But those days are gone now. All we have is expensive cars, and shagged old scrap yard engines. Times change, and thus the 2AR thing becomes more attractive.

I suspect the 4 banger will be a fair bit lighter and also the gearbox will certainly be lighter, but probably only a combined 15 to 20kg total. Which if I went on a diet for a few months that would cover that  :))

threepot

Also if a gearbox is such a big issue to folk, you can do a 2AR on other gearboxes which have the same bolt pattern I believe. You just have to notch the rear subframe like the v6 conversions.

threepot

Which reminds me, these photo probably would have saved me from buying the EB60 Avensis gearbox etc. Probably I would have found a gearbox that the bolt holes lined up, and then notched the chassis etc. So if I leave these photos here the next guy who is shopping for some compatible bits will have something to go on. Nice square on photos so you can photoshop them about to find the bolt pattern compatibility.

- 2AR-FXE

- Avenisis 2.0 Valematic 3ZR-FAE EB60 gearbox (doesn't fit the engine above :( )

The first 2 photos are mine, the last one is from a forum post of a guy in Australia or NZ who made the same gearbox error as me. He bought a 2wd Rav4 gearbox which is identical to the Avenisis 2.0 Valematic 3ZR-FAE engine, then found it doesn't fit. But he bought a brand new bell housing which is now discontinued/out of stock at Toyota.

Scion TC / Toyota Camry 2.5 Manual 2AR-FE bell housing

If someone figures out xzy gearbox is bolt on, and plentiful in the UK/EU, then all the better for everyone :)




Gaz2405

Quote from: threepot on November  8, 2022, 15:34Which reminds me, these photo probably would have saved me from buying the EB60 Avensis gearbox etc. Probably I would have found a gearbox that the bolt holes lined up, and then notched the chassis etc. So if I leave these photos here the next guy who is shopping for some compatible bits will have something to go on. Nice square on photos so you can photoshop them about to find the bolt pattern compatibility.

- 2AR-FXE

- Avenisis 2.0 Valematic 3ZR-FAE EB60 gearbox (doesn't fit the engine above :( )

The first 2 photos are mine, the last one is from a forum post of a guy in Australia or NZ who made the same gearbox error as me. He bought a 2wd Rav4 gearbox which is identical to the Avenisis 2.0 Valematic 3ZR-FAE engine, then found it doesn't fit. But he bought a brand new bell housing which is now discontinued/out of stock at Toyota.

Scion TC / Toyota Camry 2.5 Manual 2AR-FE bell housing

If someone figures out xzy gearbox is bolt on, and plentiful in the UK/EU, then all the better for everyone :)






I'm going through a similar struggle looking for a Toyota gearbox that will mate up with a 2zz (turbo) other than the e153 with an adaptor plate.

Currently got an Evora EA60, that I've just about sorted.
1zz turbo. Home built and home mapped.

Now 2zz turbo. Home built and home mapped

Build thread https://www.mr2roc.org/forum/index.php?topic=67004.0

threepot

I looked at Evora gearboxes.... they have a little Lotus extra billet bit bodged on the side to accept the starter motor.

SKU: A132F0013F $68.87 07 Adaptor, starter motor



See it here....





I know your struggle well! Sitting looking at pictures of gearbox trying to ID which is what till your eyes go googly.

Looks like Lotus literally took a Toyota gearbox and boshed a hole in the bell housing to take the starter, because the OEM engines had the started popping through from the crank case side.

I thought this might come in handy on the 2AR journey, but as I found a bell housing that fits its no use. But for someone else it might hold an answer!

threepot

Quote from: Toyota Repair Manual for the Lexus DonorStandard Injection Volume
87 to 105 cc (5.3 to 6.4 cu. in.) every 15 seconds

Difference between each fuel injector assembly
18 cc (1.1 cu. in.) or less
Standard Resistance
Tester Connection    Condition    Specified Condition
1 - 2    20°C (68°F)    11.6 to 12.4 Ω

87 to 105 = 348cc to 420cc =  2AR-FXE injectors... 23209-39175 = 384cc injectors

Nominal pressure in the fuel system = 304 - 343 kPa (3.1 - 3.5 kgf/cm2, 44 - 50 psi)

So in theory, using the calc here https://www.rcfuelinjection.com/technical at a max duty cycle of 80%, at the factory 45psi rail pressure, the injectors are good for 238bhp, and if you abuse them up to 90% duty cycle you can get 268bhp out of them.

This is just an idiot researching stuff they know little about, so correct anything that's wrong.

shnazzle

I think we've established you're far from an idiot 
...neutiquam erro.

threepot

I ain't no freakin' tooona!  ;D

And seriously, I have zero experience in building non OEM stuff. Last weekend was the first time I've ever even thought about how cam timing even works - apart from putting the pegs in OEM or lining up the marks. I know exactly how an EFI system works, been doing diag work for years... but never had to actually calibrate one etc. I've never "chose an injector" etc... just opened a few bleed valves in my youth >:D

I've been having trouble starting this engine, it floods the plugs unless I WOT it at crank. But I had it running a little longer with the manifold on it with the lambda attached..... blub blub sounds a bit better (can't run it for too long as no water in the jacket)


Once I get some moving coolant, I will run it till its hot, then I can watch its Fuel trims etc. I think it runs mega rich because of the weird atkinson compression cam timing... it's pushing part of the fuelled up mixture back into the inlet manifold every cycle.

I've also got the mapping stuff en'route so I can delete these codes I get while it runs, because the sensor is just hanging in fresh air.