MRtwins | Mar. 18-22

11:04:00 PM GRIPSET Co. Founder 0 Comments

John S. &  Gerard V.
"MR2 Toyota 1991 & Toyota MR2 1993"

Another one of our newest photographers from Cali #reppinhard, Phillip Awad, who traveled to a perfect location for this shoot, in Gripsets opinion. We are surely glad to have him in our family. This is his first feature with us and many more to come.   He's been enthusiastic and supportive of Gripset from the jump.

It's a small world after all. We recall seeing these MR2-zies at the DNA meet, in Industry, CA late last year, and here they are now. We remember plain as day how clean they were; and we mean clean. Fitment game was on point, paints were glistening, just living lowered just a few things that came to mind as we recant that day. It seems teaching an old dog new tricks is a sure win these days, well at least for this duo. It's rare to see the cars on a regular basis let alone modified and or preserved. So many cars to choose from these days, it's confusing finding your cup of tea. Now it kind of makes you wonder how much hidden technology is in the world doesn't it? Examples like these factory forced induction cars always stir that thought in my head. If you've never thought of that before we encourage to do some research or reading on factory FI cars from the days of old. Lexus/Toyota itself really have some pretty fascinating cars out there. These 90's MR2's just add to the laundry list of cars built well to preform. Some of the dying giants in today's Eco-crazed society.

John S - MR2 1991


The Motivation
First off, this is my 3rd MR2. My first one was a stock 1991 non-turbo, followed by a stock JDM turbo engine (swapped from a non-turbo), then this. After seeing this car for sale, I had tried to put my second MR2 (yellow) for sale on the forums, in hopes that I'd be able to grab the red one. Long story short, I sold the yellow MR2 and got the red one. Of course, the red car didn't look as it sits right now, although it was somewhat similar. The interior on the other hand never really changed, that's one of the things that caught my attention in the first place. It had re-upholstered leather seats, a Nardi steering wheel, w/ the NRG quick release, basically very clean, simple. Another plus was the AC, as my yellow one didn't have any. Living in Temecula, CA can be quite a pain without AC, especially because I drove the car to school too. So, I bought the red car (current) and took it home. First nature of business was maintenance.  New spark plugs, wires, caps/rotors, change the oil - some really minor maintenance, then I took it for a spin. While the engine was hot,  I got curious and did a compression test, just to see how healthy the car was 1st cylinder, 165psi, good; 2nd cylinder, 165psi, good; 3rd cylinder, 165 psi, good; 4th cylinder, 80psi, FML, I exclaimed. It was my fault for not doing the compression test  before I paid for the car, or asking the previous owner if he had did so, but that was my own stupidity. I still drove the car around without boosting too much and it lasted for a good 7k miles before it overheated. To add a story to that, I was on my way to Vegas from Temecula and right before the 210/15 freeways, when It overheated. I was thankful that it overheated there and not in the middle of nowhere. I guess my Dolce (car's name) saved me from that one.


Since then, the car was garaged and I began taking parts off little by little, as well as scouting for cheap parts on the forums (mr2oc.com) for the rebuild. A short 7 months later, I was done. A complete engine rebuild with upgrades here and there. After breaking the engine in, I've been boosting here and there enjoying every single bit of it. I'm happy that I stuck with the rebuild, as there were times when I really wanted to drive the car but there was nothing I could do about it, then there were the times when I thought of just selling the whole thing as is. I even checked a 2004 E46 ZHP BMW and was lucky that the sale fell through, as the MR2 would have possibly be sold. I believe my ''Dolce" didn't want to leave my side.  As time elapsed the whole stance setup started with a set of Gold Enkei Algernon Intelesse that I picked up from a friend. They were 18 x 8 +32 and 18x 9 +36, it was really "Flush" on the MR2 fenders. I was really happy with them and content. That was until 2 of my friends (Gerard De Dios and Armand Pranadi) started with the poke/stretch/camber scene. I was really jealous on how their setup was, so I went ahead and saved up enough cash to have my Algernons re-lipped. After sending my Algernons to Wheel Flip, I ended up with 18 x 9 +20 (5mm spacer) and 18 x 10.5+19, with about -4* camber on the rear, and around -3.8* up front. That setup lasted for quite a bit, until I saw a pretty decent deal on a set of Work VS-XXs that were more aggressive. Logically,  listed the Algernons for sale, someone snagged them off me - Then  I went out and got the VS-XX's, they were in a pretty dirty shape, almost all lips had curb damages, and so I had to rebuild them. I disassembled all lips, inner barrels and spokes, and had the spokes blasted/poweder coated and the lips polished by some shops, and I just semi polished the inner barrels. I also polished 160 gold plated bolts myself. After the rims were assembled and sealed, it was time to play around with camber. All in all, I ended up with about -5.5* camber all around, with almost the same poke on all 4 corners. I  then upgraded my springs on the coils from 6kg/8kg into 18kg/24kg just so the fenders did not smash the newly polished lips.


Mods
Exterior
Factory Crimson Red | Holy Lip (front bumper lip) | '94 Wing | Solid Side Moldings | JDM turn signals | JDM taillights | Muteki lug nuts 


Wheels
Sky White Work VS-XX | Front: 18x9.5 +3 | Rear: 18x10.5 +3 | Hankook 215/35 Falken 245/35

Interior
Reupholstered Leather Seats | Nardi Classic Steering Wheel | NRG Quick Release | Razo Shift Knob | LED Gauge Cluster | Factory Toyota Navi AVN | AEM Tru-Boost Gauge/Controller | AEM AFR Gauge


Suspension
Circuit Sports Coilovers | K-Sport 18kg/24kg Springs | OBX Crash Bolts | TRD Strut Bars/Sway Bars


Engine
3SGTE | Wiseco Forged Pistons | ClutchMasters FX500 Clutch (Stage 5) | Aeromotive AFR
| KO Steeetbrawler T3/T4 Turbo 46trim | 3" down pipe  | Kirkosaurus Urethane Engine Mounts | Spearco Intercooler Kit (2.5" piping) | Berk full 3" dual exhaust | HKS filter
EMS Powered Fan Shroud w/ x2 11" Spal Pullers Fans

Future Plans
As of now, I really like how the car sits and drives, although as like everybody else, modding cars is endless. As far as future plans, I will eventually refresh the paint job (same color), as well as fill up the holes from the previous spoiler. I will also be getting some kind of a standalone and have it tuned, which will also include fuel upgrades. All in all, my aim before 2013 ends is 350WHP.

Shout Out
Gerard De Dios | Steven Pan | Armand Pranadi | Tee Giang | Bruce Amurao | Aissa Socorro
And some others that I'm forgetting, for lending me wheels to fit,
ideas on stance, and so much more.


Gerard V. - MR2 1993


The Motivation
 As a high school student my dream was always to drive a nice car. Back then is was all about who had the best body kit and nicest interior. Now a days it's all about fitment and stance. To me, the mr2 had the potential to be stanced just as good as any 2013 car coming out of the factory. The mr2 has subtle yet aggressive body lines that I always wanted in a car. Not to mention its turbo straight from Toyota. My car may seem "clean,"  but there are still some things I want to change and/or add. For the most part, my exterior is finished with maybe the exception of sides skirts. Honestly, I have never been a fan of my turquoise pearl but it has since grown on me. I get compliments wherever I go. I have come to realize there are only a handful of TP mr2s here in So Cal. That's where and why I take pride in always keeping my car clean. Currently the 2 is sitting on custom Sprinthart Cprs 18x9.5 and 18x11. Even though I love these wheels I'm sure I will be wanting to change my setup in the future. I don't know what it is yet, but, I just always want different wheels and setups. Kind of like the saying,"dress to impress". A new fit never really hurts. These are actually my fourth set of wheels on the car now that I'm on the subject.


Mods
Exterior
Factory Turquoise pearl | Madpsi/krux front lip | '94 wing | Solid side moldings | JDM turn signals | JDM taillights | Muteki lug nuts

Wheels
Custom Sprinthart CPRs | Front: 18x9.5 +12 | Rear: 18x11 +17 | Federal tires 215/35 and 245/35

Interior
Reupholstered tan seats | Personal steering wheel | Works bell quick release | Razo shift knob | LED gauge cluster | Panasonic double DIN | DEFI control unit | DEFI boost and EGT gauges | AEM AFR gauge | JL 10" subwoofer | Greddy turbo timer

Suspension
Tein Flex coilovers | Toyota crash bolts | CUSCO style strut bars | CUSCO underbrace


Engine
3sgte | KO Steeetbrawler t3/t4 turbo 50trim | KO 3" down pipe | TRD spark plugs
Kirkosaurus urethane engine mounts | Twos r us MBC | Racer X 2.5 one piece hot pipe | Berk 2.5 cold pipe | Berk full 3" dual exhaust | Greddy style intercooler | Greddy catch can | HKS filter | EMS IC fan shroud w/ 9" spal puller | EMS fan shroud w/ x2 11" spal pullers


Future Plans
As for more plans would probably have to be an engine rebuild with a more aggressive tune and clean engine bay. It's all about clean and simple these days. My mr2 is ever changing and will never stay the same. I'm always in the market to be original and stand out from the crowd. I just hope the crowd loves my car as much as I do.

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