Woodsport - Engine Conversion Specialists

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 5VZ-FE V6 Turbo project

We have been working away on this project now for the best part of 18 months, both restoring its bodywork from a wrecked shell and also giving it a totally one-off engine transplant.

This particular engine originates in the Toyota Landcruiser, yes that's right a 4x4 truck!

The engine was sourced and built by Johnny Riglietti of Sea2sky in Canada, and at great expense the fully race built motor was shipped to the UK ready for us to work some magic on it. Here is the raw freshly built motor as it arrived in the UK at Woodsport.

Before hanging the engine we needed to make a drivers side engine mount for it, here it is in the first stage of construction.

We also ditched the single stock turbo fuel pump in favour of a twin walbro design.

With the E153 turbo gearbox, fidanza flywheel and RPS clutch all assembled onto the engine we were able to hang it in the bay for the first time.

Not content with having a 3.4ltr tuned v6 in the bay it was time to add some forced induction, the specs for this turbo are below....

Compressor
67.8mm inducer
94.0mm exducer
52 trim
0.72A/R

Turbine
77.0mm Wheel Diameter
78 trim
1.06A/R
Free floar

0.95A/R Turbine housing.

Suffice to say, that this will be pushing around 65lb/min which we're hoping will be north of 550bhp, but very drivable with positive boost from 2400rpm and holding easily to the red line. Here is the turbo first positioned exactly where we need it to sit in order to keep all of the plumbing happy.

We then fabricated the header to turbo exhaust pipes.

With that done we could mount the external Tial wastegate.

We had to fabricate the entire intake plenum from scratch on this build.

Then we added the Nissan Q45 throttle body.

With that done all of the boost pipework to and from the chargecooler could be made.

An overview of the whole set up.

The engine harness was then made to fit every sensor and connector on the engine, and 1000cc injectors installed.

With all of the additional plumbing added and everything detailed the finished engine bay looks like this.

The final chargecooler set up.

Ryan Griffiths from 2bar-tuning came and installled the Solaris S6GP ECU onto my harness and we fired it up for the first time.

With everthing completed the roadtesting and mapping has now begun, initial results look very very good indeed.

0.2bar @ 1800rpm
0.5bar @ 2400rpm
0.9bar @ 3100rpm
1.1bar @ 3300rpm

Because of the conditions (bad winter snow!), Ryan just mapped in 5500rpm and 1.1bar of boost so there is a lot more to come from this insane project.

This car is now featured as the cover car in issue 20 of Mr2 Only Magazine.

 

 

Later this month this car gets mapped again, rev limit raised and boost taken to 1.7 bar, that should see it producing some pretty scary figures.

 Wide arched Mk1 Mr2 V6

The car in question is a Mk1 MR2 V6 that we built last year, the owner just wants a pair of wide arches to the rear and also a way to make the factory side-skirt fit it like it would, had Toyota done a wide arch version. No problem!

This guide will help those just wanting to fit the arches without the skirt mod, but it will help both.

OK. I started by making sure the rear wheels were aligned properly, this is VERY important! Both tracking AND camber angles have to be spot on. I used my camber gauge to check it and i found the passenger wheel had too much negative camber which would make the wheel arch about 20mm narrower on that side. So its imperative that you get the wheel geometry perfect before even attempting this.

After I had adjusted the camber to get both wheels sitting as good as possible, you then need to determine how wide you want to go. Some wheels have huge offsets and big dishes on them so don't really need any spacers but these wheels although already dished did need a little spacing to make the arch look fuller. So before i went any further some longer wheel studs where added.

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These allow a 25mm spacer,which will then make this particular wheel stick out this much....

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We are not going wild width on this car due to the fronts staying standard so this will be plenty while still giving the wide arch look we love.

The next job is to place masking tape on the body just around the arch line,this is to give us reference points for measuring where to cut the new arch and by how much....

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Take some very rough measurements (within 20mm will do) of the needed arch width at 4 or 5 points around the circumference, then place a wide strip of masking tape on the new arch to "catch" the area we are about to cut, if you mess this up just add more tape.

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Now we are going to mark out some datum points, I start with one line drawn at 12 o'clock and then make several at various points on the radius where i think the arch distance is changing. Make the same marks at approximately the same place on the new arch.

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Now the method of measuring exactly how much arch to cut away from each datum point is as follows, obtain a straight edge, about a meter long, i use a plank of wood, but anything straight will do. Place this on both edges of the tyre and then measure from your quarter panel on each datum point to the straight edge.

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Transfer this measurement to the new arch at each datum point and then join them up with a solid line, the more datum points you use the more accurate it will be, but i find 5 or 6 ample.

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Then, get the grinder out and cut along your line, stay on the inside edge if you are unsure. You can always remove more!

What you end up with is this, I've taped it to the car to assess the fit.

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It might take a few goes with a little more measuring and trimming but it will get there eventually, take your time!

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Now we aren't going to talk about securing the arch to the car just yet, for now i have bigger fish to fry! Making the bespoke side-skirt section.

What I've done here is cut the original triangle so that it is in two sections, one part sits just before the arch and the other bit sits around the arch lip.

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Cover the arch in masking tape on the empty area between the two parts of skirt.

Then apply a good thick layer of fibral into this void joining both sections back together. We are just going for structure here, it doesn't need to be particularly pretty at this stage. This is going to be a detachable panel just like the original triangle with a rubber seal on it.

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After a few more skims of fibral and a bit of profiling we have this.

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This section will now peel off the arch and can be hand finished later on, we think it should look almost OEM when done.

The rear part of the arch has also been trimmed and profiled to suit.

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 The next step is to mark a line where the arch meets the bodywork.

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Then cut the outer arch lip away to just leave the slope. Make many slices in the slope right up to the line, we will then bend these tabs outward to give the arch a good surface to bond onto.
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There was quite a lot of filler in these arches so i had to grind that away.

Bonding of the arch will happen next, for now I did the other side as well, which is a lot easier because you don't need to repeat the whole process of doing the first, just mark out the measurements you cut on the first arch and mirror them onto the new arch, it takes all of 20 minutes to do the second one.
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With the arches now bonded to the car i have been putting some time into the sideskirt sections, these are slowly being built up to fit better than they did before, I've always found the standard fitment a bit "gappy" where it meets the body.

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These are still in the rough n ready stage, but it won't take long before they are ready for final paint, hopefully you will see the full effect!

The arches have now been blended and several coats of spray can primer added just to keep an eye on how its progressing,its very hard to judge the blend when its all different colours so priming it as you go helps a lot....

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The sideskirt triangles are now completed....

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I think these have turned out better than expected,they will look 100% different again when painted and trimmed with new rubber on the top edge,very OEM look.

The arches themselves have now had a thick high build primer layer,just happens to be white which will help with coverage on the final top coat of paint....

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 Today i got the arches painted... the keener eyed painters among you will notice it still needs flattening and polishing but you get the idea...

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here are the new triangles trimmed with a rubber seal and fitted,now tell me that doesn't look like an OEM fitment....

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All that remains is a custom wheel arch liner and sealing the arch inner against the elements. 

The finished car below...

 

Mk1 MR2 Conversions and Bodywork

Here are just some of the Mk1 Turbo Conversions we have carried out, at Woodsport.

We start with what we call a "rear clip" which is essentially a Mk2 MR2 Turbo cut in half so that it contains all of the parts we need for the engine swap.

From this clip we strip out the engine/gearbox/driveshafts and everything else that is needed.

Here we have the Mk1 that the engine is going into.

This gets the old engine removed,engine mounts cut off the chassis,new mounts fabricated by us and welded in.Then the whole engine bay gets resprayed the same colour as the car.

The engine is then fully detailed and installed with new timing belt/filters/clutch etc.

We also make custom intercooler pipework to suit each application. In this case it was a boot wall mounted intercooler set up.

The ECU is then wired up.

More Mk1 MR2 3SGTE Woodsport Conversions

We were the first in Europe to carry out this conversion so as you can imagine we have carried out quite a few of them since the first one in 2002.

Below another 3SGTE conversion this time with a Celica GT4 Charge Cooler set up.

And here is the intercooler set up for this one,we can mount the IC virtually anywhere but this placement works very well.

We modify ANY Mk2 MR2 exhaust system to fit into the Mk1 MR2 so that it fits the 3SGTE engine.

The engine bay of the car that got this system.

We also transformed the bodywork on this car from this.

We cut out all of the rot, welded it solid and then fitted a Eurosport bodykit before priming the car.

And then giving it a high gloss black respray.

Our attention to detail is second to none.

Here is another project Mk1 MR2 we undertook, it arrived at Woodsport with a blown engine and poor bodywork.

All conversions come with the option of having a lightweight Fidanza or Chromoly flywheel as below.

We even clean and detail the gearboxes before installing the whole package.

This particular Mk1 got a TRD supercharger fitted to it's 3VZ-FE V6, the first time in Europe anyone had done this to a Mk1.

We also gave the car a wide rear arch conversion.

The completed car, a V6 supercharged Mk1.

Another Mk1 MR2 that came in for a wide arch fitment and full respray.

All primed up and ready for paint.

The completed car below.

One happy customer.

Here is another Mk1 MR2 3VZ-FE V6 conversion we carried out.

And below the finished car being shown at the NEC with Mike Brewer and Ed China (from wheeler dealers) inspecting our work

 

Here we have a Mk1 Mr2 4AGZE (Supercharger) conversion. This engine was rebuilt/fully detailed to our usual high standard.

Another Mk1 MR2 V6 (3VZFE) that we built.

This car also had a Woodsport wide rear arch conversion.We also made bespoke sideskirt triangles for this car that gave it a very OEM look.

The finished car below.

 

 

Interesting one this one,we took the original 4a-ge engine out below.

And replaced it with a revision 3 Mk2 MR2 NA engine, again the first time this had been done anywhere in Europe.

Below is a 1MZFE V6 installed into a customer's Mk1 MR2.

And yet another Mk1 MR2 V6 we built below.

Once again,another Mk1 MR2 V6 that we completed last year, we made a custom brace on this one too.

All of our Mk1 MR2 conversions require a battery relocation, be that in the front compartment or relocated elsewhere in the engine bay.

It's the attention to detail that separates a Woodsport conversion from the rest, here we even gave the cam covers a crackle finish as per the customers instruction.

Finally the car that started all of this many years ago, my own Mk1 MR2 3SGTE engined custom bodied car, everything you see below is what we do best, hand-crafted bodywork, and a beautifully detailed engine conversion.




 

Woodsport Messenger

Testimonials

Dirans 2gr-fe powered Mk1 Mr2 Testimonial 

 

Glorious day on 21st of May 2010 and I find myself with a day’s holiday to get the train to Durham and then coast back down to the smoke. 

I arrived within 10 min of quoted time and spotted Paul’s E36. After escaping the station we got to chatting about work at WS and the amount of comments the project had been getting (!). This was not my aim and the car is not quite show-worthy despite the high standard of WS (it needs a bit of welding and paint on the original panels that I hadn’t budgeted for in the conversion) but it’s always nice to know there are like-minded people on the scene.

Arriving at WS, the car sat gleaming in the yard and I had already failed to suppress my grinning enthusiasm, much to the amusement of Phil and Anth! Pleased to meet you both gents 

I chatted with everyone and took ”the tour” – a captioned peek around many, many tasty MR2 in various states of undress / surgery, including a couple of 2GR powered examples besides my own (Owen’s Mk2 scarlet 355 and Phil’s Vader-esque MK2), as well as Moustachio’s v. Tidy MK1 1MZ, Rexer’s soon to be 2ZZ’d Mk1 and a certain, lesser known 4.2 litre, 32 valve Mk1..... A veritable sweet shop for any petrol head!

After a quick squirt around the yard in my car (I managed not to stall but was very pedestrian so Paul kindly demonstrated the G-forces available – suffice it to say I left a crease in the seat!), I handed over the obligatory pack of hob-nobs, we said our goodbyes and I set about dismantling 260+ miles of motorway. Of course, the M1 meant a disproportionate number of 50mph average speed check zones (yawn!). Bit of a waste, but one has to get home eventually!

The driving bit:

The first 50 miles or so were spent taking things easy and undertaking the customary vigilance on temperatures and pressures etc.. I’d filled up with 97RON which the car seemed to approve of. My immediate observation was that the car felt familiar yet completely different. The throttle seemed to have zero slack and combined with the less tolerant (but still manageable clutch) and uber short 1st gear meant decisive but restrained action was need to pull away smoothly at relatively sane pace. If you try to slip it, it will chatter – better to either feed it in swift and smooth with little or no throttle, or use semi-race technique of blip the throttle and let it in all-of-a-piece. This is fun but unsubtle because the revs flare angrily if you’re clumsy. It is hugely satisfying when you get it right though and I think a couple more weeks (I only drive on weekends). 

Tip: Setting off in 2nd or even 3rd is possible and much less likely to result in skippy-type antics. The rest of the time, you just launch like a jet being catapulted from an aircraft carrier (only with a better sound track).

The car is so ridiculously over-endowed with torque that third (to get going) and fifth (once rolling) are all that’s necessary if you like. 

Better still, the noise is intoxication personified and despite our effort brazenly loud  Three-fifths air-cooled 911, two-fifths Alfa V6, with a racer-ish blare as the revs get up. It remains relatively subdued on light openings but nice and exuberant with a tickle, rising to something truly intimidating (yet still melodic) when you explore the full travel. Exactly what such performance deserves in other words!

The brakes are strong and easy to modulate although I’m taking it easy on them to bed in the discs and pads. I’m still perfecting my rev matching (something that was very easy on the standard car) due to the slightly long travel on the brake pedal – perhaps a M/C upgrade will help firm it up? – and the throttle which is set quite high and is very sensitive (a good thing, if making inconspicuous progress tricky at very low speeds!). I might try relocating the throttle pedal to help as well – I do like a bit of heel and toe. 

The Drive By Wire itself is easy to get used to (had it before) although occasionally you get the sense that the engine is “adulterating” small inputs (perhaps for emissions purposes on the factory ECU) as no matter how smooth you are going on and coming off the throttle in normal driving, it will occasionally give you more than you were expecting or cut the fuelling more abruptly. I’m sure this can be cured as time goes on or calibrated with a bit of judicious tweaking but if not I’ll learn quickly to be even smoother with my inputs!

The SW20T gearbox is short and positive in a way the factory AW11 5 speeder could only dream of (in my opinion at least). Although it’s occasionally notchy it’s nicely weighted and satisfying to use – more so than the SW20 N/A’s I’ve driven. The Final drive is clearly shorter than ideal for the engine characteristics (it could happily pull a 3.6 ratehr than 4.2) but is entirely usable – a lower rev count at a cruise would be nice but you wouldn’t need a higher top end.

There’s no doubting the engine dominates the car. It’s not overbearing but you can definitely feel the proximity of a large (for the car!) lump and hear the valves / fuel pump clicking and zizzing away. Personally, I find it generally no less refined than the standard car, although for some it would not make for a sensible city or long distance car.

The pay off is a level of performance that is borderline scary. I’ve not fully explored this fully (understandably!) but even brief instances of more than 20% throttle get MiFu lunging at the horizon like it has afterburners instead of exhaust tips. Hard acceleration is violent, as Paul described, even before you get to half throttle and it feels no less nimble or wieldy so far despite weight gain and a bigger set of boots – just more planted. It also generates nice forces in the corners, allowing you to carry huge amounts of speed (as if it was necessary given the straight line fireworks).

The sense of a small car being hurled up the road by a quad cam V6 complete with ASBO-spec pipes is one of the most surreal and gratifying motoring experiences I’ve yet had - and I’ve been lucky enough to drive some fairly interesting cars. 

It is part fierce concentration, part fear, part exhilaration. After about 3-5 seconds of acceleration, you brake (backing off gives good engine braking effect but you’ll be going too fast anyway) you just pause, hanging on the inertia reel and marvelling at the noise, the ability of the car to outsprint your internal organs and blur your peripheral vision. Then you give an evil cackle.

It is an addictive trip having that sort of performance at your disposal. Almost as addictive is making people’s eyes pop out on stalks when a tiny, girly blue Toymotah makes a noise bigger than a TVR as it rockets up the road with a twitch of throttle - 5th is sufficient; 4th is showing off; 3rd is plain offensive as far as other road users are concerned. A declaration of violent intent, if you will. 

I hope to try a few vids this weekend to give you guys another taste, although no warranties as to quality or irresponsible antics!

This car is made of pure and unadulterated insanium and I love it.

There are some compromises and some work still to do, including improving the ventilation to the rad to avoid some of the heat soak issues I’ve been suffering during town driving (it has been hot weather lately – I plan on moving the license plate and getting a vented frunk lid asap); the fact I need to address the odd bit of bodywork (25 year old car = rust spots) and work out how to insulate the trunk from the rear bank (the access panel gets v. warm!) and make the frunk luggage friendly now there’s no spare…. but so far this car is everything I’d hoped for and much, much more