Yellow fever

Started by Mark A, May 14, 2021, 18:13

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Mark A

Part 1 and WiP
Bored at work so I thought I'd describe my experiences in developing my current MR2.
About 2 years ago I sighted an advert (on MR2ROC) for a MR2 hard top and went to have a look. The guy was selling up with both a hard top and car being sold separately. When I viewed the car I fell for the colour I'd not seen a yellow MR2 and really liked it, it also needed a bit of TLC and can't resist a project. He had a new car coming in a week so was keen to move it on asap, I made a cheeky offer and he agreed to sell the complete car and hardtop for less than £500.

This is Yellow Fever on the day I bought her

I then had to break the news to my wife as I already had 2 other projects and being a man I opted to hide it round a mates house until I could announce my new purchase. Well that day arrived when we went round to a party and in the night the car cover had blown off. My wife knows of my MR2 collecting habits and my mate's complete lack of interest in cars, plus I already had a spare mr2 round his, she exploded with joy on seeing the the car sitting in the corner of his drive! The good news was I was able to move the car round to my house the next week. Unfortunately the alternator had seized while parked up and I struggled to jump start it for obvious reason, shortly after finally starting the drive belt snapped so the towed it back home.

This rolled the dice for me, rather than change the drive belt I decided it was easier to swap the engine. A couple of months earlier I'd bought a display 2ZZ engine and received a call a week later asking me if I'd be interested some other items and I ended up agreeing to buy two other display 2ZZ with zero miles in exchange for some expensive hydraulic rammy thing, although I did manage to get a significant discount after some chatting and explaining why I was buying the machine.

The throttle body is off so I could check the intake and I also looked in the bores.

So started my 2ZZ swap of Yellow Fever.
I spent a little time checking the engine selected, changing the oil pump for billet gears and adding a superlight flywheel 

I found the product code for an Aisin Corolla SC clutch kit so I used this, the cover is different to the standard 2ZZ one.

With some window dressing to create this.

Patrick Chambers helped with the Celica gearbox and the manifold so out with the oil burner and in with the new, getting the arse up high and using  an engine crane made it easyish, the gravel made it a nightmare to move! Hence the cardboard, wood and plastic panels. I must have built 5-6 dollies a number of which broke un the weight gravel and crappy Screwfix wheels. 

I also noticed the rear subframe had been welded up by an ape so I got on the phone to Paul at TCB for a new one and a list of other bits which soon pushed the budget north.

New one going in

With the engine in and all plumbed up including oil cooler and some gauges to monitor temps and pressure I set about the suspension etc. I'd picked up a set of used BS and refreshed them and had the bases powder coated.

Its taken me 6 months of fiddling to get them "Setup" and they are still really to hard for the roads near me, once on smooth roads it gives such fluid feedback and is so predictable. The are connected to Whiteline ARB (TCB) and it SuperPro'd across all the bushes except one set which was already done. I also fitted the subframe spacers only because the subframe was off any they were cheap, understand the science not sure i cant tell the difference but its about small contribution leading to a cumulative effect.

Including BRD engine mounts.
Rear Arms bought off here

New front wishbones from USA and a Matrix, again not expensive, one of the advantages is that most of the parts I've used are cheap because its a Toyota or I've found 2nd hand parts.

I'll keeping adding to this over the next couple of days



Why the "No entry" symbol on all the photos?

Mark A

Don't know, can anybody else see the pictures?


No joy - guess it's a permissions issue with sharing.
Mark - Project Stop Gap - 03 Roadster in blue


No pics. And no, no entry sign. Just space between paragraphs.
Viewing on phone.


Looks like a Google permission error to me.

I get the grey no entry symbol too.
2004 FL, Black, Matt Brace, Team Dynamics Monza R, Tein Springs, TTE Exhaust, heated black leather seats, black leather armrest,  Zunsport grills, Midship front badge,  TRD spoiler, Halo DRLs with LED fogs, large clear wind defector, Krissg kick panels,  small mongos.


Yesterday no pics but a very small square outline, this morning the pics are there in glorious technicolour on my iPad.


Good work getting the photos sorted. The car work isnt bad either.

What is a display engine? Never heard that term before.
"Racing" tax disc holder (binned), Poundland air freshener, (ran out), Annoying cylinder deficiency,  (sorted),
Winner of the Numb bum award 2017
Readers Ride

06 not V6 readers ride

Mark A

It was gifted to a college from Toyota and had a plaque on the block so I assume it was on display somewhere.


Pics working fine now.


 :) that looks nice bit work :)
pictures all good now :)


Hi Mark, looks like an interesting build. you're only about 30mins away from me, maybe we can organise a little Kent meet up sometime?
03 Astral black MR2 OEM+


That's bizarre!  I have a Dakar yellow Z3, with a blue hard top. I love the colour combination, that's why I bought a yellow MR2, and added a blue hard top to it at the earliest opportunity. I'll sell the Z3, because it's got a fat a$$, and won't fit into the garage in my new flat. 

Mark A

Time for a quick update and thanks for comments, sorry photo heavy.

I'm waiting for the weather to improve before changing the coilovers to KW variant for the sake of my back and arse :)

I've also an ECUMaster Black sitting under my desk which needs installing and I need to spend sometime seeing if I can map the thing or it needs a RR and an expert.

Big wing sump fitted but leaking very slightly so I need to refit

Oil cooler and Whiteline ARBs fitted

Couple of extra braces fitted

Rear brace, its also now has a really aggressive 4 wheel alignment which I might want to dial back a bit for road use.  Rear carbon duck tail fitted to.

This is how she's looking at the moment managed a few thousand miles. I've also some Spec-C side scoops to fit

Plan for this summer includes fitting a turbo, watching a project to see what power that produces before buying a turbo, tidy up the bodywork and make my daughters MR2 project road worthy and return it to stock, plus potentially help my friend do a 2ZZ conversion.

This thing still puts a smile on my face every time I turn the key and head out to smooth roads :) its a great tonic. Still a few little niggles like occasional EML light for cam timing even though I know its ok and I've changed all the sensors, it still goes ballistic in lift to just short of 8500rpm. Lithium battery is tiny and weighs nothing but struggles after a couple of days so its always on a trickle charger.

If anybody is considering a 2ZZ swap you won't be disappointed and it can be done on a budget.



 :) when its yellow it can never be photo heavy or enough  :)
you are putting the work  so why not show it :)
 its does sound like your having fun at the same time  8)  8)

keep going as there is not enough yellow around at the this moment now were is the SUN ;D  ;D 

Mark A

A little yellow update.

Car overheated last Saturday while in traffic, it was fine while driving but when stationary it got pretty hot, drove  home fine just did not stop. I had a look by the roadside but could not find any issues or leaks but I plan to drop the coolant and have a proper check and replace with some fresh coolant, i've been advised to check the eBay coolant blanks for small leaks. I also have a high capacity radiator so I'll fit that while the coolant is out.

On a more interesting front.

I've also been thinking about adding a little boost :) so I've bought a 2ZZ turbo manifold and Holset HX27 from Compressor Racing which I'll mock up on my spare engine before fitting. I already have the other parts W2A intercooler etc.

I'll keep you update on my progress. 

Mark A

So a little update,

Overheating was traced to a very slight leak from my aux temperature sensor for the in car temp gauge, so hopefully a simple fix and no long lasting damage.
My cheap Chinese exhaust flexi piper has split so I need to resolve this soon as its leaking and a noisy, I sent a drawing off to a company and they've not got back to me despite chasing so I think I'll look elsewhere.

I've fitted two rear engine cover struts which looks pretty cool but does not aid performance.

The HX27 has arrived with a flange made by a FB 2ZZ member. 

Mark A

So not a good week, I had total brain failure on Thursday and misjudged a gap causing some damage to my pride and joy, absolutely gutted for being a knob.

I'm currently sourcing some panels, a headlight and having the alloy assessed, hopefully it can be welded.

I'll post up the pictures shortly.

I was only using her because my 4x4 has a failed HPFP.


Saw this on Facebook, gutted for you. These cars seem to invite more opportunities for brain failure than others, I've never had any close shaves in my auto everything daily express but had a couple in dodo.
Best regards,
Essex - "Always happy to meet up for a weekend drive"
Making demented squirrel noises since 2014
TTE "Turbo Dodo" -
TTE Turbo "Friday" -

Mark A

Gutted about the wheel I'm hoping it can be welded. These are the ones you sold me a couple of years ago, rare as hen teeth now.


Quote from: Mark A on April  3, 2023, 14:57Gutted about the wheel I'm hoping it can be welded. These are the ones you sold me a couple of years ago, rare as hen teeth now.

Wow, didn't know they'd become so rare. Looked on ebay and the prices are yikes. Fingers crossed you can save that wheel.
Best regards,
Essex - "Always happy to meet up for a weekend drive"
Making demented squirrel noises since 2014
TTE "Turbo Dodo" -
TTE Turbo "Friday" -

Mark A

Yep first thing I did was search ebay, annoying thing is I have two other sets but for the Impreza.

Mark A

Mark A

Reverse order unfortunately

Mark A

A little progress, MR2ROC member has kindly offered a headlight in good condition for sensible money so hopefully I'm arranging collection/drop off this weekend. Similar I've been offered a wing in colour and hopefully work permitting I might collect this weekend.

I've been recommended someone to repair the alloy wheel and after sending some pictures he's estimated a cost, I just need to get the wheel to Birmingham.

Front bumper is work in progress, I think I might have a spare in black, I just need to find it amongst all the clutter in the garage.