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 Mint 1985 AW11 MR2: Is it worth tuning and building up?
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Rootwyrm
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2 posts [100%]
Dunkirk NY

 Mint 1985 AW11 MR2: Is it worth tuning and building up? Reply  Edit


For starters, I'm very new here, and this is my first post. I normally would hunt for as much info as I could, but after looking for nearly a month, my question simply is not answered...

So I post to all those here, as I need convincing: I am in a position to purchase a 1985 Toyota MR2 MK1 (AW11) in absolute mint condition, with only 39,000 original miles on it, and overhauled by a Toyota Dealership who is selling it. Of course, it has a 4AGE in it.

While I know much about the 4AGE, and know how much potential it has, along with the prestige and nostalgia behind it... I'm not so sure about the AW11.

Compared to my current vehicle (1998 Subaru Impreza L Coupe) and another vehicle I was consider pursuing (1995 Nissan 240SX SE), finding after-market parts for the MK1 seems to be fairly difficult. Further, the more I read about it, the more I'm learning that the vehicle is difficult to tune (suspension) and balance. I fear the day I go into a corner slightly too fast, and find myself squirreling around, snapping back, and seeing my life flash before my eyes...

On the other hand, its a light, mid-shipped sportscar with the famed 4AGE, and after talking to Hasselgren Engineering about its potential (and $14,000 later), I could find myself with a 350hp 4AGE Formula Atlantic Engine, Turbocharged, with a 9000rpm redline...

The potenial seems absolutely incredible with such a car.

So I ask, compared to the AE86, and other smaller-displacement JDM vehicles, what are the current opportunities to tune and build up the AW11? Beyond the engine, how far can you take the brakes, suspension, transmission, chassis, and so on? How "incredible" can an AW11 be made? What are the limitations?

What it comes down to is, if I can fully comprehend the AW11's potential, I can justify the investment I plan on making into it. And, money is not an issue... Any vehicle I get I expect to put $30k-$45k rebuilding it into a proper sportscar, both in costs of parts and labor.

If I can't justify this car, I'll simply contract Crawford Performance in Cali to strip my Subaru down to bare frame and rebuild it into a JDM WRX STi from the ground up, and I'll be without a vehicle for a couple months...

I look forward to hearing stories of success stories and other's experiences building up this unique car.

~ Rootwyrm




n0tis 82


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26 posts [100%]
City of Wind IL

 Re: Mint 1985 AW11 MR2: Is it worth tuning and building up? (Rootwyrm) » Reply  Edit


As an owner of an aw11, its a very fun car in stock form. If you have driven any 4age powered car you know they are all underpowered, but fun in the corners, the aw is no exception. But the mid engine makes it rewarding when driven at the limits, it feels like you can tame any corner with any car when you do it in a mid engined car. I like how somebody else has put it "the aw11 dances through corners".

It isnt a powerful car buy any means but can be made into one. Most people never leave the realm of cams, intake, exhaust, headers. But like any 4age car you have the 20v and the GZE or like you mentioned turbo. But what the mr2 has available it can be swapped in easier then most other 4age platforms is the 2zzge, 3sgte, 3sge, 1mzfe, 2grfe and much more. Pretty much every inline 4 and v6 from toyota has been put into an mr2. People have even put honda engines in them even gm and audi v8's and somebody is working on a v12.

There are youtube videos of an aw11 with a 3sgte chasing down and passing porches corvettes and lotus cars with just bolt on's. If I had the money I would go with a 3sgte its proven to make 700+ hp reliably. Suspention is out there an brakes so thats a non issue.

Rootwyrm
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2 posts [100%]
Dunkirk NY

 Re: Mint 1985 AW11 MR2: Is it worth tuning and building up? (n0tis 82) » Reply  Edit


Just realized I already mentioned the Formula Atlantic engine... deleted that bit.

I realize I can drop something else into it, but the point of me getting the car is because of that 4AGE. I want to push it to its limits and see just what I can do with it.

... and I guarantee that it will smoke a Porsche GT3. Took a lot of searching, but finally found a good shop to build the engine... that's what sold me in between the last post and this one. But, hearing your words were definitely encouraging, and I'm looking forward to securing the AW11, and starting its rebuild.

I know custom brakes can be made for the car, but I'm still concerned about what suspension to go with...

n0tis 82


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26 posts [100%]
City of Wind IL

 Re: Mint 1985 AW11 MR2: Is it worth tuning and building up? (Rootwyrm) » Reply  Edit


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