Custard Tart - MR2 hand-me-down

Started by The Arch Bishop, May 23, 2021, 16:35

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The Arch Bishop

Firstly a recap - I dabbled with the Custard Tart in my previous thread- Bargain Bucket MR2 , but with the bucket gone and its new owner taking over that thread to continue the journey (it's having a far more interesting life up north), it's time for the Tart to have it's own limelight!

So this car was previously owned by my dad who, having been impressed by the buckety goodness of my first mk3, decided to go on the hunt for one himself, albeit with a far bigger budget. He found the brightest, most lairy example he could find in Wales, a relatively short hop from where he lives. Bodily, the car was in good condition thanks in part to having had a paint job at some point and also due to the lowish mileage of just over 50k.

Having bought it back with him, he set about sorting out the rather budget maintenance the car had been subjected to over the years. All fluids were drained and refilled with Toyota-spec oils and coolant, the Landsail tyres were swapped for Yoko AD's, the standard manifold removed and a stainless one put in complete with three Denso lambdas. It was polished to within an inch of its life and then because the car, resplendent in Solar Yellow with not-so-contrasting black and yellow leather interior, wasn't yellow enough, the calipers were painted in matching yellow. He topped it off by buying brand new headlights as the expensive cherry on top!

The result, other than the inside being akin to sitting in a bumblebee, is actually rather striking.







After a year tooling around in it, he decided he needed some garage space back and told me to come over and collect it. Never looking a gift horse in the teeth, my eldest and I grabbed a lift from my father in law and trekked up to Wiltshire. After a natter, a bite to eat and watching the F1 qualifying, we set off back down to Sussex.

Other than the strident exhaust note provided by the stainless manifold and the TTE backbox, it was an uneventful trip back. After a quick stop at the excellent Fleet services (it's like a cross between a Centre Parks and a service cafe somehow), we made it back in short order.



It was clear that it was quite a different car to my crumbly pre-facelift bucket. It was a lot more stable and chuckable around the bends due to the TTE lowered springs and the sticky tyres, but felt quite flat engine wise. The brakes were on another level though and my goodness it was tidy! The 6th gear was a grateful addition on the motorway too!





So what is it? It's an early facelift in what I'm told is a pretty rare colour for that year. It also has some factory/dealer TTE bits as mentioned above along with the unusual black and yellow seats and door cards. I'll be honest and say that I'm not sure if this was a dealer-special interior or something from the factory - any info helpfully received!

The spec is relatively unique, but was explained somewhat when I went looking for other facelift yellow MR2s on Google images. There weren't many other than a couple of scans from EVO magazine....hang on! That's my reg plate!





It seems that the Tart was a press car given to EVO to run as part of their fast fleet. I seem to remember they had a bit of a thing for yellow cars in that mag (I presume because the colour photographs well), so perhaps the spec makes sense in that context?

So what's been done so far? Well very little mileage so far, but it has required a bit of tinkering here and there.

The classic chronic handbrake was once again present despite the rear calipers being in good nick, so I had a fun day wrestling the fuel tank out and threading it through the nest of AC pipes to get to the handbrake cables. Two Euro Car Part specials to replace them and a bit of confusion to get them set correctly (thank you Carolyn) and we had a really decent handbrake - it can be done!!

The standard facelift stereo, in contrast to the fab Sony unit that came in the pre-facelift cars, was utter cack, so just before the first lockdown, I bought a second hand Kenwood DAB double din to replace it with. I like these Kenwood units and this one was chosen because it has adjustable lighting that I could use to match the rest of the dash. With the surround from the Bucket it fitted with the dash really well and works brilliantly.



I bought a replacement DAB aerial for the windscreen and after fighting with the soft-top catches and trim, managed a neat install. All works a treat!



With lockdown in full effect and with nowhere to go, the Tart sat down the drive with the Bucket going nowhere. Once lockdown eased, it was decided that four cars on the drive barely moving was insane, so the Bucket was sold to Adam for an agreeable fee so it could go from a life staring at the garage door to a life ragging around race circuits.

That just left the Tart, which, if I'm honest wasn't my favourite of the two. It felt a bit too nice to use as I did with the ropey old one, I preferred the styling of the early cars and the engine felt about 20BHP in deficit. The bucket may not have stopped or steered all that well, but it went really well in a straight line!

First world problems eh?

When Adam came down to pick up the Bucket, he dropped off some mountain bike bearings for me to use as a gear linkage upgrade. The standard bushes we're a bit on the floppy side and I quite like a mechanical feel for the gear change. These dropped in well and the change is a lot more precise. Little satisfying things!



Anyway, with winter approaching, I set to the Tart with a plethora of cleaning products and got it back up to standard. Then I painted out my rank old garage and stuffed it in there out of the way.



Earlier this Spring, I dragged it out to make room in the garage, but didn't do anything with it. The MOT expired and with the prospect of some better weather and with a daily Hyundai that seems to be constantly broken, I thought I'd get it sorted. Out with the battery charger, it fired up rather reluctantly and sat there on a lumpy 800rpm cold idle. Conversely the idle increased as the car warmed up, peaking at 1600rpm. Well, that's not right!



While it was warm, I did an oil and filter change (proper Toyota filter - pointless but fancy).



I'll be honest that I just took a stab rather than trying to work it out. The only things that seem to go wrong with these in terms of engine management are the Lambdas (less than 100 miles on those) and the MAF. So I bought a new Denso unit from eBay and slapped that on.



Initially the warm up still misbehaved in the same way until we hit the proper running temperature at which point the revs dropped down to 850rpm. I left it and came back the following day to test the cold start and it fired up smoothly and sat at 1400rpm - nice.

With that little peccadillo out of the way, I went for the MOT which it went through with insolent ease.

So I better start bonding with it a bit! It was my turn to get stabbed by the NHS last week and the nearest place I could get was about 40 mins away cross-country, so what better car than an MR2? I had forgotten how much fun they are to be honest and I had a brilliant little blast in it. I also found out that the MAF was the reason for my lack of grunt - it felt a lot zingier and instant. It must have been slowly failing for a long time.

So that's the Tart up to date with it's own thread! Hopefully more to come!

rusty0273

Great looking car. Love the colour.

Ardent

Nice read.
Did you keep the old maf?


Iain


Topdownman

Not sure what you are going to write about now that you have fixed it all!
"Racing" tax disc holder (binned), Poundland air freshener, (ran out), Annoying cylinder deficiency,  (sorted),
Winner of the Numb bum award 2017
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Carolyn

Quote from: Topdownman on May 23, 2021, 17:31Not sure what you are going to write about now that you have fixed it all!

No, I'm not sure either, but please do keep writing, I love your style.
Perry Byrnes Memorial Award 2016, 2018.  Love this club. 
https://www.mr2roc.org/forum/index.php?topic=63866.0

Chilli Girl

Great to read your write ups Lee, I've missed them. ;D
Ex owners of Chilli red facelift 52 reg called Chilli, silver 55 reg called Foxy and blue pfl W reg MR-S called Sapphire. Now 2 less!

s12vea

What a great write up
What a great looking 2!
Love the car and love the interior

** FL Sable Grey **
** Ex TTE Turbos **
Another one won't hurt  .....

The Arch Bishop

Quote from: Ardent on May 23, 2021, 17:00Nice read.
Did you keep the old maf?


I did yes. I've had experience of broken MAFs on the Bucket. They can cause all sorts of wind and weird issues but a reverse cold start is a new one on me

Quote from: Topdownman on May 23, 2021, 17:31Not sure what you are going to write about now that you have fixed it all!

There's a fair bit of tinkering to do still. It's a very clean car, but people have still tried to 'improve' it over the years and it has some very minor issues to sort.

Quick list

- Speaker setup is woeful. It has some sort of crossover kit on it that was well regarded back when it was new, but it sounds pap. I'll start with an active sub and go from there. I'm not after a bass bin of a car but it needs something to drown out the bass-heavy exhaust! I have sound dadening but no idea where to apply it as of yet.

- Wheels are flaking due to a previous budget refurb.

- Seats are un-torn but the yellow is pretty worn.

- Cam chain O ring needs replacing, but paying £5 for a set of five of which I only need one seems a bit silly.

- Rust proof the potential rusty bits. I have some Bilthamber stuff for this but the whole car is rust free.

- Clean up the suspension parts which are surface rusty.

Other than those minor things, it's all good!

Quote from: Carolyn on May 23, 2021, 17:52
Quote from: Topdownman on May 23, 2021, 17:31Not sure what you are going to write about now that you have fixed it all!

No, I'm not sure either, but please do keep writing, I love your style.

Thank you for the handbrake advice and for all the other nuggets of wisdom you've posted around the forum for when I've needed them!

Quote from: Chilli Girl on May 23, 2021, 18:05Great to read your write ups Lee, I've missed them. ;D

Aww shucks! I've missed being on here, but I haven't really had anything to post for ages!

Quote from: s12vea on May 23, 2021, 18:43What a great write up
What a great looking 2!
Love the car and love the interior


The interior I'm still getting to grips with, but I'm warming to the 'LOOK AT ME' colour as time goes on. It got me a free parking ticket the other day and it's the only car I've ever owned that people have shouted 'I love your car mate!!' across the supermarket car park!

Ardent

Quote from: The Arch Bishop on May 23, 2021, 20:59it's the only car I've ever owned that people have shouted 'I love your car mate!!' across the supermarket car park!
Priceless

Carolyn

PM your address to me and an O ring will be wending its way.
Perry Byrnes Memorial Award 2016, 2018.  Love this club. 
https://www.mr2roc.org/forum/index.php?topic=63866.0

1979scotte

Great looking car.

The interior as far as I am aware is a dealer option I have one in my loft in much worse condition.
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 🇺🇦

The Arch Bishop

#12
Quote from: Carolyn on May 24, 2021, 08:43PM your address to me and an O ring will be wending its way.
Amazing - thanks Carolyn - PM sent!

Quote from: 1979scotte on May 24, 2021, 10:03Great looking car.

The interior as far as I am aware is a dealer option I have one in my loft in much worse condition.
It certainly hasn't worn the mileage well. Other than a slight rip, the factory leather in the Bucket was in much better condition at 125k miles!

Makes sense that it was a dealer jobby though. The matching door cars are a nice touch.

puma2

 :) this car has lived in Cardiff at some point has i have 2  pictures of it.
1st was parked out the New Theatre on double yellow lines with disabled badge.

2nd pic was outside Halfords under there cover on Newport road.
i did wait for ages to hopefully see the owners and ask about the seats but gave up after some hrs wait.

i have spotted it in the Roath and Penylan areas of Cardiff as well and the date of pictures was 17 Oct 2014.

it looked good and clean each time i spotted it.

puma2

Quote from: 1979scotte on May 24, 2021, 10:03Great looking car.

The interior as far as I am aware is a dealer option I have one in my loft in much worse condition.

the interior was on on in the optional accessories   broacher with most colours to match the car i believe 

The Arch Bishop

Quote from: puma2 on May 26, 2021, 08:19:) this car has lived in Cardiff at some point has i have 2  pictures of it.
1st was parked out the New Theatre on double yellow lines with disabled badge.

2nd pic was outside Halfords under there cover on Newport road.
i did wait for ages to hopefully see the owners and ask about the seats but gave up after some hrs wait.

i have spotted it in the Roath and Penylan areas of Cardiff as well and the date of pictures was 17 Oct 2014.

it looked good and clean each time i spotted it.
That's about where my dad bought it from. I did get a message from someone who said it was in their family for a time and had some history on it, but I hadn't checked the forum for a few months and I never heard back when I did reply.

Would you consider PM'ing me the images you took at the time or posting them on here? Seems this car has gotten around a fair bit!

The Arch Bishop

Spot the stupid error; :-[



Little tip - the car recognition system on Tanya Batteries' site is incorrect...

Now I have to send it back somehow. That'll teach me for being lazy and not checking the dimensions!

tricky1138

Quote from: The Arch Bishop on May 26, 2021, 14:28Spot the stupid error; :-[



Little tip - the car recognition system on Tanya Batteries' site is incorrect...

Now I have to send it back somehow. That'll teach me for being lazy and not checking the dimensions!

You need a Yuasa 5053 - thats what I've got on mine.

PS I too love your writing style - its fantastic. Keep it up.

PPS - Dibs on the car! haha
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.

The Arch Bishop

Quote from: tricky1138 on May 26, 2021, 14:39You need a Yuasa 5053 - thats what I've got on mine.

PS I too love your writing style - its fantastic. Keep it up.

PPS - Dibs on the car! haha

Well I know that now! :-D

Thanks for the compliment and for reading of course!

PPS - I think I have a few dibs on it now!

1979scotte

Quote from: The Arch Bishop on May 26, 2021, 15:53
Quote from: tricky1138 on May 26, 2021, 14:39You need a Yuasa 5053 - thats what I've got on mine.

PS I too love your writing style - its fantastic. Keep it up.

PPS - Dibs on the car! haha

Well I know that now! :-D

Thanks for the compliment and for reading of course!

PPS - I think I have a few dibs on it now!

Custard Crew members get frist refusal on on yellow cars sold on the ROC irrespective of DIBS.
it's in the rules.
@puma2
@StuC
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 🇺🇦

The Arch Bishop

#20
Can we also get it added to the forum rules that the custard crew get first dibs on all hardtops that are not astronomically priced? Hmm...

Anyway, @puma2 has sent me the images of the the car tarting it right up in Cardiff back in 2014 - he's right, it's looking well looked after in these as well.





*Little known fact - double yellow lines denote a parking bay for cars of a flaxen hue.

We can tell from this that the (presumably Raymond) replacement roof was done after these pictures were taken.

I love these little titbits of information! Intrigued to see if I can find out any more old history. The car itself didn't really come with anything at all.

StuC

Quote from: 1979scotte on May 26, 2021, 16:22
Quote from: The Arch Bishop on May 26, 2021, 15:53
Quote from: tricky1138 on May 26, 2021, 14:39You need a Yuasa 5053 - thats what I've got on mine.

PS I too love your writing style - its fantastic. Keep it up.

PPS - Dibs on the car! haha

Well I know that now! :-D

Thanks for the compliment and for reading of course!

PPS - I think I have a few dibs on it now!

Custard Crew members get frist refusal on on yellow cars sold on the ROC irrespective of DIBS.
it's in the rules.
@puma2
@StuC

Urban Custard Collective FTW! 😂😂

Great to see another one on the site. Welcome to the inner sanctum. 👍😂

Cracking looking car you have there.

Btw did someone say yellow hard top? 😎😎

You cannot view this attachment.
URBAN CUSTARD COLLECTIVE FOUNDING MEMBER

Iain

Love that you have some pics from its previous life, really cool to see

1979scotte

Great pics of her the yellow really pops.
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 🇺🇦

Topdownman

I cant help thinking that you need the rest of the bodykit, poor form for a press car!

I seem to remember that some online guides mix up the mk2 and mk3 batteries? If its their error then the company should surely arrange the return if you have bought it in good faith?

"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