Category Archives: Toyota

Lost My AC and Some Self-Esteem

Junk in the Frunk

AC junk in the SW20 frunk: (A) Low side port, (B) Refrigerant sightglass, and (C) High side port.

Around April I turned on the air conditioning for the first time this year in my Toyota MR2. Have you ever had that experience where the initial result was lukewarm airflow?  Then you’re in denial. You wait a little longer to let it “cool down” thinking maybe it will take a few minutes. Of course it doesn’t.

Then you’re kind of sweaty and feeling a tinge of guilt for not having paid more attention to maintenance. Guilt gives way to remorse, “Oh, I should have… turned it on more often. Or had it checked. Or…”. Then you think the worst, “It can’t be fixed. It will cost too much. Parts aren’t available and no one knows how to fix these old systems anymore. I’ll have to buy a new car.”

You start shopping in your mind and mourning the loss of your car while you’re still driving it, “If I had to buy another car it won’t be the same. I’ll never find another car like this one. It’s the only one in the world for me.”

Finally, despair sets in when you see even the sorry excuse of a new econobox with the too high seating position in the next lane at the stoplight has cold air conditioning. And a cupholder.

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24 Hours of Le Mans Review [SPOILER ALERT]

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The 2014 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is now in the books. One of the three top contenders won the race as expected… but a whole lot of other things happened too. Here’s the short, short version of  events:

LMP-1

Audi took the overall and LMP-1 win with a 1-2 finish, an amazing 13th victory in 16 attempts, though it was not without drama. The third Audi (#3) and #8 Toyota were involved in a crash in wet conditions about 90 minutes into the race. The Audi was unable to continue while the Toyota limped back to the pits and was in the garage for about 50 minutes to repair the damage.

The winning team consisted of Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer in their R18 etron quattro. Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen was part of the team that finished second in the sister Audi after the car experienced turbo problems. His teammates were Lucas Di Grassi and Marc Gene, both ex-F1 drivers.

Gene was called in at the last minute to replace Loic Duval, who was not cleared to race as a precaution following the massive practice crash on Wednesday from which he fortunately emerged largely unscathed.
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Project MR2: Aftermarket Wheels

1991 Toyota MR2 with ASA wheels from Tire Rack

Toyota MR2 With Aftermarket Wheels

I’ve had my eye on new tires and a specific set of wheels for a while but had to hold off until after my recent move due to space constraints. I wanted to keep the stock wheels but they sure weren’t going to fit in the car with all my other stuff.

It’s hard to believe Toyota equipped 1991 MR2s with 14” wheels. More attractive 15” wheels were offered from the 1993 model onward. These are what was on my car until I chose 17” diameter (a +2 in wheel lingo). To keep the effective diameter fairly close I had to go with a lower profile tire. Still, the end result is a slightly bigger overall diameter.
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Adventures In Moving, With A Sports Car (Part 2 of 2)

Adventures In Moving, With A Sports Car

The whole MR2 enchilada. Everything that came out of the car.

[Continued from Part 1]

Prior to leaving I checked the basics like fluids, drive belts and tires – especially the tires since I don’t carry a spare. Everything was fine so off I went toward South Carolina to visit a college friend, the car slightly heavier with what I gather was about 250 to 300 pounds of stuff.
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Adventures In Moving, With A Sports Car (Part 1 of 2)

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Life with a two seater is not nearly as practical as it is with a sedan. That much we all know. It’s a lot more fun.

Aside from the minor challenges of not being able to use it for hauling certain stuff – stuff often found at Lowe’s, furniture stores, on craigslist, or in bike shops – and other people, it has its advantages. It forces you to prioritize better and helps prevent a certain laziness that’s implicit with SUV ownership.
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