View Full Version : My forever onging project "The Dragon"

04-03-2012, 11:51 PM
It dawned on me that although I post up threads on this mod or that mod that I have done to this car, I have never had a thread about it. It is my never ending project and my test platform for ideas over the years. The car is a 1993 NA hardtop MR2 which I purchased in 2002 and for the first couple of years the only mods I did where seat covers and a cup holder. The car was great stock and such a fun car to drive. I had a great time cornering and even tested the top speed once on a lonely road in the middle of nowhere. Here it is as it was back then:



The day came though when I was bitten by the power bug, like so many others, and that is when the project really began to take on a life of its own. Of course the first thing that people recommended was that I do a 3sgte swap. At the time though I was too poor to plunk down that kind of cash in one go so I started looking at other options. That led me to the 5sfte and the few who had done it in the MR2 community. After months of research and reading the horror stories of grenading motors I thought I had figured out a way to make it work based on the few successes they had had.


Long story short... it worked and it worked well. That was the point where I started realizing that much of what was said about the 5sfe in the forums was just dead wrong. From then on this car became my test platform to try out new ideas and find out for myself if something was real or just an internet myth.

I have had my share of setbacks. After 6 months as a turbo, it had an oil leak that caused a bearing to spin around a sweeping right hander. But that just allowed me to upgrade some of the internals and try again. A few cheap used turboes later I stepped up to a t3/t4. That was when I got cocky and blew some ring lands trying to run too big a turbo without proper tuning. I kicked myself but decided it was just a chance to do more upgrades. And that has been pretty much how this car has evolved, in small increments as money allowed.

04-04-2012, 12:04 AM
Reserved for Luni

04-04-2012, 12:26 AM
Reserved for Luni
Haha you snuck in there! But back to business...

Today the car has a few more mods... ok actually it has a LOT more mods. The one you are all probably dying to hear about though... the car is turboed again since about two weeks ago running 10 psi on a GT3071R. So far so good. It has a safe tune although timing is probably too retarded. I estimate it is making about 210-220whp at 10psi but the car feels fast and is very smooth coming into boost and pulls strong. In first gear the tach is not fast enough to keep up so I bounce off the rev limiter just after I see it pass 7000rpms. Hopefully I will have some videos soon.

Here is a list of all the mods on it currently:

5sfe Engine Mods
87.75mm Bore (+0.030") Yes its a true 2.2 liter
Custom AtomicSpeedware 9:1 forged pistons
Totalseal Nitride rings
Eagle H-Beam 3sgte rods
Clevite 77 bearings
1mm 98 5sfe MLM head gasket
ARP 3sgte head studs
ARP 3sgte main studs
Ishihara-Johnson Crank Scraper
98 5sfe oil pump shimmed 1.25mm
Fidanza lightened flywheel
NST underdrive pulley
Rotating assembly balanced end to end
+1mm oversized Manley SS valves (2jz valves)
Ported and deshrouded head
2jzgte valve springs
2jzgte HKS cam gear (machined to fit)
Webcams 229@0.050" 0.351" lift cams - 101 grind
ATS Racing 170 degree thermostat
Custom intake manifold
Custom 2.5" aluminum intake pipe w/ K&N filter
Gen III 3sgte throttle body
Garret GT3071R turbo
Custom exhaust manifold
Custom 3" downpipe with 45mm wastegate and bypass
KO Racing 2.5" catback exhaust
Spec Stage 3 - Stage 4 disk clutch
Perfect Power SMT6
460cc RX7 injectors
Zeitronics wideband
Turbo radiator and fans

Koni Yellow dampeners
Falken customized springs
Tein Pillowball upper mounts
Front Camber bolts
ST front and rear sway bars
KSport end links (front) TwosRus end links (rear)
TwosRus full urethane bushing kit
Stock turbo rear strut tower bar
EMS Front and rear strut tower bars
ADR M-Sport wheels - 18x8.5 front 18x9.5 rear
Falken 452 tires - 225/35/18 front 265/35/18 rear

2 gauge pilar pod
Custom 2 gauge column pod
Autometer Boost and Oil Pressure gauges
2 Westach dual EGT gauges
Zeitronics wideband display
Blitz Dual SBC Spec-R Boost Controller
G-Tech Competition Pro
Racing pedal covers
Isotta 350mm steering wheel

Custom fiberglass Border front bumper
Custom fiberglass Toms sides
Custom fiberglass Veilside rear bumper
Carbon fiber border style vented hood
94 Tails
Aftermarket clear corners
Custom lowrise HID headlights

And of course more pics:




I decided to see what the sticky tires and black rims from The Black Knight would look like on the Dragon:


04-04-2012, 12:29 AM
Space for sale

04-04-2012, 02:27 AM
nice mr2. I want a built engine for my 5sfte :( lol

04-04-2012, 04:06 AM
When you say "custom" low rise HIDs... do you mean Rev 6 lights or really custom?

04-04-2012, 05:09 PM
I used parts from a kit but added my own features. So really custom. Here is an old writeup I did with pictures: http://warp.scl.utah.edu/mr2/lowrise/index.html

04-04-2012, 05:33 PM
How do your headlights compare to stock in terms of brightness, etc?

The Captain
04-04-2012, 05:44 PM

Riding bitch! LOL!

Nice car.

04-04-2012, 10:22 PM
How do your headlights compare to stock in terms of brightness, etc?
The HIDs are very, very bright so I had to angle them down to keep from blinding oncoming traffic. They also do not have a bright setting so technically they do not pass inspection in this state. Th one problem I have with them is that the power requirements are sometime to great to fire both of them up if the car has just started and is idling.

Riding bitch! LOL!

Nice car.
Haha yeah and she loves to go for rides. If only the noise didn't freak her out and make her start clawing to get out. :)

04-05-2012, 03:59 AM
I think I have been in this car before. That thing was slow it had a 5s in it like yours but with out boost. Looking good man.

04-05-2012, 02:56 PM
Whats the lines on the exhaust mani for? Coolant?

04-05-2012, 05:41 PM
Whats the lines on the exhaust mani for? Coolant?

EGT probes

04-22-2012, 03:02 AM
Video of the back of my head while I am driving:

NA Mr2 5sfTe (The Dragon) - Various Clips in 1st and 2nd with a little boost - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbAonWTHfEk)

04-22-2012, 07:06 PM
I think I have been in this car before. That thing was slow it had a 5s in it like yours but with out boost. Looking good man.

Thanks. It went faster then one on jackstands!!! :cheesy: Actually it was probably the fastest NA 5sfe powered MR2 in the world... at least that I know of. Just shows how little people mod the 5sfe.

EGT probes
Yep. After I had an injector fail and dropped a valve seat I decided I wanted to see the temp on each cylinder. You can see the 4 EGT gauges (Westach double gauges made for airplanes) on the pillar in the video.

05-05-2012, 07:45 PM
Did some G-Tech runs this morning after I calibrated it to better read my RPMs and set the car weight to the same as my most accurate previous runs. The results surprised me. Honestly I don't know if these are that dead on but I can't think of a reason they wouldn't at least be close. The other night we did some runs but I had the car weight set for a 2nd gear pull and the rpms were reading 1000rpms low. The result was about 220whp which was where I thought it would be. If you weren't aware I am using vehicle weight on the G-Tech to adjust for my altitude here at 4200ft. The magic number in 1st gear seems to be 4700lbs as that is what gave me the same numbers as were actually achieved with these cars on a Dynojet with altitude compensation. This time I got the rpms reading within a couple hundred. Here are the results:


Black - Bone stock 92 5sfe powered MR2
Red - Dragon before the turbo
Blue/Green - Runs this morning with the turbo and 10psi boost

Timing is still stupidly retarded. It is the same as it was NA before I advanced 5 degrees to get the red line in the graph. I can also tell because it falls off so quickly on the top end. I thought I was going to have to run over 17psi to get 300whp but if this is at all right it may be quite a bit less.