Jump to content

Recommended Posts

So as most of you probably know, about 12 months ago I finally pulled my finger out and get started on an engine conversion that I've been umming and ahhing about for the last ~10 years.  Over the course of that time my mind would sway every few months, from a supercharged 20V to a high-comp smallport 7AGE, to a redtop BEAMS 3SGE, and then off to more exotic pastures like a 1MZFE or 2GRFE.  Eventually though I decided that most of the standard conversions out there (A- or S-based) are getting long in the tooth design-wise, and I should probably look at something more modern (but not too modern that would make the electronics a nightmare) - enter the 2ZZGE.  Good power straight out of the box, aftermarket support, locally delivered so parts aren't hard to find, plus the added fun/awesomeness of Lift and a 6-speed manual.

So with my annual bonus from work fresh in my pocket, I started trawling Gumtree/Carsales/Facebook for cheap ZZT231 Celicas to rip the drivetrain out of (my main reason going with the Celica rather than the Sportivo is the better final drive ratio for cruising, plus Celicas tended to be cheaper and more plentiful)  Initially started to get slightly depressed when I realised I'd still have to burn half my budget buying a rego'd runner only to scrap 90% of it, until one day a wrecked but "complete" low-k 2000 SX fell in my lap for the ridiculously cheap price of $700 (the gearbox and engine combo alone can go for $2k).  Cue a mad rush to clear space in my garage (because the wife wouldn't want a shell sitting in the driveway and I needed cover to rip stuff out) as well as organise a trailer/tow-car - borrowed my mate's diesel Ranger and found a local guy who rented out car trailers for $50 a day.

39768859343_0e00f301dd_b.jpg

Just to make things more fun, picked up the trailer the afternoon before but none of the lights worked.  Checked with my BiL's Jeep and everything worked fine (couldn't take the Jeep though as the brakes needed to be replaced), so figured it would have to be in the wiring on the Ranger....turns out whomever did the wiring harness for the trailer plug used Scotchloks instead of braincells, and had basically disintegrated.  A morning-of patch job by another mate saved the day, however no trailer brakes (ute didn't have them fitted at all) left me a bit nervous negotiating the steep hills of the F3 on the way home with 2 tonnes of car trailer behind (turned out to be completely unwarranted though, the Ranger towed like an absolute champ).

45818262635_1c8b3dcdf6_b.jpg
What will hopefully await me whenever I open the bonnet in the future

45818262165_e4338a2385_b.jpg
Back home and tucked away

First purchase was an MWR order to get the ball rolling - JDM ECU w/ no immobiliser, short-shifter (the Celica 6-speed housing bolts directly in to the Corolla), new dipstick (ring had broken off), solid shifter bushes, and the obligatory lift bolts.

31792441287_4e06e0c054_b.jpg
The beginning of the strip - battery, ECU and air intake removed.  Over the next few months I would slowly chip away at the engine bay, focusing on making room and getting rid of anything that I didn't need and would just get in the way - radiator, air-con condenser, overflow bottle, by the end of it I had basically stripped the entire front of the car (one of the good things about the Celica is that you can unbolt practically _everything_ from the front end).  Then moved my attention to the gearbox and the driveshafts

46733838251_ec6306fc2b_b.jpg
46009099284_f9e4c32e3f_b.jpg
Turns out that you really do need to un-stake the axle nuts before you whale on them with a 300Nm rattlegun.....ended up with 2 stripped axles (wasn't planning on re-using them anyway) and 1 nut in particular that was stuck on because it had stripped but there was still thread either side of it on the axle (part-drilled it out and then pried off with the biggest bar I had).  Gearbox oil was green too, which was a bit concerning as I hope it isn't the dreaded Redline Shockproof (which would indicate that the synchros could be on the way out, despite being only 130k).  Equal-length driveshafts will be a bonus though.

Then made a start on the plethora of pipes and hoses in the engine bay - heater hoses, power steering lines, fuel line (got to love factory-fitted quick-connects) vacuum lines, air-con (at which point I "accidentally" released the entire load of R134a in to the atmosphere as I assumed it had already leaked out from the accident....turns out noooooooooooope), and fitted the engine lifting hooks (figured it best to lift the engine the way Toyota intended, rather than via seat-belts/random bolts etc) - the rear one was a real prick as there is basically no room between the back of the head and the cowl
45818239205_50a25b1bcc_b.jpg
46733834071_377bf12460_b.jpg

At this point I realised that the only thing holding the engine in to the car were the 4 engine mounts...........so I thought "bugger it, this thing is coming out today".  Of course I chose to attempt this with the car parked in just about the worst position possible, had literally millimetres of clearance between the engine, gearbox, chassis and roller-door.
46009094894_7915585819_b.jpg
39768818473_5457581b6b_b.jpg

46009090944_bc8810595e_b.jpg
Success!  Note for future conversions - load leveller is worth its weight in gold.

And I only tested the tensile strength of a single ground wire strap.....guess who won.
31792423477_aa7923cf88_b.jpg

Next step was splitting the engine and gearbox so I could measure the bolt lengths required and get the block up on the engine stand (stupid fine-threads...).  Block and gearbox were slightly harder to separate than I expected until I realised the wiring harness was still attached to both.....oops.
46009073464_896d0fd095_b.jpg
46009073074_20210879bd_b.jpg20190112_190806 by Ian Rigby, on Flickr

So that's how things stand at the moment.  At this stage I'm considering starting the 7A removal around Easter (depending on when my bonus comes in and when rego is due on the Corolla, so I can have it off the road for the maximum amount of time possible without rego cancelling).

List
Timing-end engine mount from a Euro-spec 4ZZ ZZE111 (the E11x has essentially the same chassis as the E10x) - the 3 other mounts should essentially bolt straight on (benefit of the C-series transmission)
MWR adaptor mount (used to fit the 2ZZ in to the 1ZZ-powered MR2/S)
Fuel pressure regulator (so I can keep the returnless fuel rail)
Custom exhaust headers as the Celica ones will hit the firewall/steering rack
New clutch and flywheel (Fidanza probably, not sure on the clutch yet)
New intake (might need to relocate battery too)
New CVs (mix-n-match from a couple of different cars to get the splines and lengths right)
Obvious shits-n-bits for power steering, brake booster, clutch lines, air-con etc etc


Oh, and something about wires....meh, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it
 

Edited by Hiro Protagonist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Members dont see this ad

oooooohh look at all this exciting progress. 

That engine is really going to wake up the mighty corolla. Wheels look great too. 

Edited by ke70dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day +next - engine is now on the stand. Had to take the flywheel off as the mounting arms were hitting the pressure plate dowels, and could probably use a washer or two on the top gearbox bolts as they just bottom out in the block.
Currently pivoting around the crank which makes it super hard to turn (2ZZ is quite top-heavy too), need to try and lower it as much as I can so it doesn't turn in to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  Actually ended up re-fitting the exhaust manifold just to try and balance it in the short-term.

31914734437_22581a22c9_b.jpg
31914734327_b32cf26bb8_b.jpg
46856051001_198c8a482d_b.jpg
46803878942_9c7c56a949_b.jpg by Ian Rigby, on Flickr

Next step (after balancing the stand) will be to label and strip off all the hoses etc, get the manifolds off and then pull the cam cover to do the lift bolts (and get an idea on the general condition of the engine).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So that's how things stood at the start of this year.....basically nothing has happened since. Still got to pull the shifter cables out of the Celica shell (which requires disassembling most of the dash) along with some of the body harness (for the engine bay fuse box) but in the meantime I've started hoarding parts for the eventual conversion.


First things first - some tools, and something to put them in. Been wanting a decent roll-cab for ages but never really had enough to fill it, but eventually got sick of all my stuff being scattered between two separate toolboxes, a builders-bag, and the floor, so I snagged one of the limited edition Mighty Car Mods roll-cab set when they went on special. Knew we bought a hatch for a reason...

48610006868_f33352bea7_o.jpg

48610368891_d960a599b1_o.jpg

 

Then decided it was time to make the swap from Ryobi One+ to Milwaukee, much better tools as well as being smaller (with inline batteries too, much better for engine-bay/undercar work). Got a 1/2" power ratchet, 1/2" stumpy impact wrench and a 13mm hammer drill (for house stuff).  Also just picked up a 1/4" hex-chuck impact driver for the small stuff (not pictured)

48610532222_937c6e78e7_o.jpg


Then came the parts hoarding. First up was a plug-n-play Adaptronic E440d ECU modified by Kaizen Garage, which Jason Purcell had running in his AE82 2ZZ race car. This will allow be to do away with the factory immobiliser, run a bigger intake without the factory MAF (has onboard MAP sensor), as well as tweak lift and redline rpms to my liking (not to mention being able to support bigger cams).

48610104743_5869176327_o.jpg

48610466286_22328f9c4c_o.jpg

Next was a bunch of little bits and pieces to try and spark my motivation again - a 6-speed TRD ball shift knob (from the Tacoma/FJ Cruiser), height perfectly suits the MWR short shifter. Also got the MWR underside WP and ALT pulleys for some extra bling, a 77° TRD thermostat, Speed Source extended slave cylinder pushrod, and an MWR MR2 2ZZ engine mount adaptor. Along with that I also sourced the RH engine mount from a 4ZZ Euro ZZE111, so between that and the MR2 adaptor I should have something close to built-in.

48610368336_1d8b1fd012_o.jpg

48610368351_70fbd0b1ee_o.jpg
48610521022_149aaa875d_o.jpg


Next up will probably be clutch/flywheel, and maybe start looking at cams (but that opens Pandora's Box, because then I'll need valve springs, then might as well get new stem seals, then might as well get new valves, which means the head has to come off etc etc)

On, and the Celica shell is a bit breezy now too...

48610379871_0311cd8319_o.jpg

48610017943_381e07b4e4_o.jpgby Ian Rigby, on Flickr

kr

Edited by Hiro Protagonist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been a little while since the last update - 12 weeks/60 days and 48 flights worth of travel for work on one hand, plus my old man passed away in September on the other has meant that this year has basically been a write-off as far as car updates is concerned, but that didn't hamper much the accrual of parts.  Latest haul below:

49267587902_1d1cb8e289_o.jpg
20191224_160022 by Ian Rigby, on Flickr

Fidanza lightweight flywheel (3.4kg vs 5.9kg factory)
Xtreme HD clutch
ARP flywheel and pressure plate bolts (the only Toyota bolts that ARP list for the pressure plate are to suit a Hilux and cost a fortune for no reason, however Skyline ones are dirt-cheap by comparison and same thread, just a little longer)
New VVT and VVL solenoids and OCV filters
Full VRS kit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No good to hear about your old man.

Good to see the project continues regardless.  I find projects help keep the mind at ease during difficult times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just bought a second-hand set of Yellowspeeds (no, not Godspeed or maXpeedingrods or any other eBay crap), was never really certain that I wanted to go to coilovers but they came up at an absolute bargain so couldn't resist.

Interestingly they appear to be 7/4kg F/R which is a little different from the usual 6/4kg and 8/6kg sets out there

Will pull them apart and give everything a clean and oil (the threads look like they could use it) and maybe a bit of paint if I can be arsed).

49660435471_8c6d4bed2b_o.jpg
by Ian Rigby, on Flickr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...