C-One Rear Under-panels

Typically, the piece that covers the underside of the engine bay in the rear is referred to as the diaper”.  This is made up of 2 plastic pieces that cover up the engine pieces and prevent some splashing upward from puddles.  They also help to direct air in some cases.  C-One makes replacement panels that help to keep the underside of the car nice and flat.  It also has some fins that create a rear diffuser.  All of this helps out in the aerodynamics department.  They also look pretty cool.

When I bought the under panels, I got them from a forum member that had the panels, but not the mounting hardware.  After some searching, I was able to find the mounting hardware at a shop in Orlando...

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Kumho V710 Autocross Tires

Going fast has a LOT to do with your tires.  If you do not have good traction, then it really doesn’t matter how powerful your engine or how low your suspension is set.  The tires are the one thing on your car that make contact with the ground.  Well, they’re supposed to be the only thing.  So unless something went horribly wrong, they are the 1 and only thing in contact with the ground.  You can autocross on street tires.  There are many performance tires for the street that are good tires to use for a street tire class in autocross.  However, even stock classes allow for R-Compound or race tires.

R-Compound tires are tires that have a really soft rubber compound to them that grip very well at the cost of shear.  This means that you will not get many miles out of them...

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Frunk Enhancements

Some modifications require a bit of fabrication or cutting of the stock components.  And while they are functional modifications, they may not look very good when done.  Here are a few mods that I’ve done in the frunk area that require some extra help in the aesthetics department…

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Going fast? Stop fast too.

The stock brakes on the MR2 Spyder are really good.  It’s hard to improve over them.  There are kits that have larger calipers with more pistons, etc.  But those add a little more un-sprung weight and they cost a lot of money.  I think most kits start around $1,100.00.  I haven’t looked at prices lately, so there might be a cheaper option out there now.  But still they would be quite a bit of money.  So, to still get some performance and some cool looks too, I chose to replace the rotors and pads.

I went with cross-drilled and slotted rotors.  I know, I know.  They are competing technologies.  Cross-drilled is meant to cool the rotor, where slotted will heat them up.  But, the slotted rotors help to move the heat better and provide a little better bite...

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Stainless Steel Brake Fluid Providers

Adding beefier brake rotors, calipers, pads, etc, will only help so much if your lines are soft and flex.  Hydraulic fluid works best when it is confined to a constant volume.  Regular rubber brake lines flex and can expand when the fluid is under pressure.  This results in less than predictable braking and softer braking.  Neither are what you want in any kind of performance driving situation.  How do you fix this problem?  With some Stainless Steel covered brake lines.  The brake lines are essentially the same rubber lines as normal, only there is a woven mesh of stainless steel that covers that rubber.  Then the stainless steel is usually covered in something so there is less chance of corrosion.  The effects of this type of brake line is that the steel does not flex or expand...

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Autocross Trailer / Tire Trailer

Race tires, while legal to drive on the roads, will wear out quickly due to the soft compound.  So, when going to an event, it’s best to bring your race wheels and tires with you and change them at the track.  This isn’t so easy with the MR2 Spyder.  There is not much space.  Although, I have seen people store 3 tires in the passenger seat area and 1 in the frunk.  But where is the room for your helmet and tools, etc?  The solution?  Tire Trailer!  I bought a 4 foot trailer from harbor freight with the 13″ wheels (Bigger wheels on the trailer is better.  Imagine how fast those tiny 8″ wheels are spinning when you’re going down the highway.) to go along with my Twos-r-Us detachable trailer hitch.

The trailer hitch uses threaded rods and connects to the rear tow hook locations on op...

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E-Brake Cables

One, or at least one, of my e-brake cables snapped on me a few years back.  I’ve been putting off replacing it since that job requires lowering the fuel tank.  However, with the possibility of a lift on the horizon, this may not be as difficult.  So it’s very possible that during the engine swap process to go to the Engine 2.0, I’ll also fix these cables.  I might even try to get a Hard Dog rollbar by then and do that install too.  But we will see.

One thing I’m not sure of is if there are any stronger cables or of any tips and tricks or best practices to getting these cables routed properly.  I’m also not sure of the best way to support the fuel tank once it’s lowered enough for the cables to clear.  The goal is to try to avoid as much scope-creep as possible...

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Scissor Lift

The easier way to do this might be with a scissor lift in the garage.  I’ve been pricing these out for a while now and a friend of mine actually has one that he’s happy with.  It will run on 110v so no special 220 outlet required.  It’s low profile, but I’ll still need to build ramps and some other stuff to be able to get the car onto it. However, this, combined with maybe some sort of chain/winch that rests on the top and connects to the engine hooks, could be an easier way to go than the shop crane and transmission jack.  It would probably be about $1500 shipped and weighs 1000 lbs, but it would be used for many things and vehicles.  Plus, I’ve always wanted one.

This lift will require easy storage, so the MR2 will need to be parked on top of it at all times...

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Shop Crane

So in preparation of doing this swap, I’ve been watching the sale ads for Harbor Freight and looking at the shop cranes.  I’m also looking at Transmission Jacks as well as some other lift type things for raising the engine.  One thing that keeps me going back and forth on a final decision is which route should I go?  Should I get a shop crane and then use some jack stands on top of something else to lift the car in the air?  Or should I spend way more money on a scissor lift that I would use for other jobs too?

And, I’m not sure how easy it will be to get the crane in place inside my garage to be able to lift the car.  As you can see from the pic below, I’m going to need to get this under the car, then raise it up and then secure the car on stands of some type...

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Mostly assembled

Nearly all parts are ready on the new engine.  Serpentine belt is installed and new/remanufactured AC compressor is bolted on.  Same with a newer alternator.  Other pulleys are installed and looking good.  New colored coolant/heater hose is on hand and will be put on where appropriate.  Pictures will come soon enough, but I wanted to get some thoughts down and also hopefully provide some motivation to make more progress on this project.

I still need to figure out what thread size and pitch the water fitting holes in the IHI turbo from Power Enterprise are.  I will try to go to Home Depot on an upcoming weekend with the turbo and just keep checking bolts in the hardware section until I find the exact match and then get a good fitting in that size...

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