MR2 Ichi Part 2

Unfortunately, I had some conflicts with the storage facility. Basically, I bought Cory’s entire wrecked car and after we took the engine out, we were left with the shell of his wrecked car. I didn’t want to rent a whole garage just for the car so I rented a little spot outside way in the back corner of the lot. They said it was fine, but after a while the owner of the facility saw it and said it was an eye sore. They said I couldn’t leave it there even with a car cover over it, and only gave me a few days to move it after they told me. This was after they said I had to move it in one day. I argued with them about it by saying that they initially gave me permission and that I paid through the next month. They did all this even though they have people living in and operating businesses out of storage lockers there. Luckily, I made more friends in the MR2 community, one of which, a dude named Abner, allowed me to rent his garage for storage in exchange for some parts off of the car. Me and some friends moved the car to the garage and took as many parts as we could off before he had to move. I found someone on Craigslist to take the rest of the chassis away. Sometime during all this, I found a great little garage for rent (for really cheap) in Shoreline and I bought a 2004 GMC Sierra 1500 with 85k on it for $7000. Little did I know that I would have a setback which would delay my MR2 ownership by another year.

My engine started blowing large clouds of smoke out of the tailpipe on start up when cold. I did a bunch of things to try and fix it, including swapping turbos and replacing the valve stem seals. Swapping turbos did change the character of the problem (it would only smoke when warm instead of when cold), but nothing fixed it. Then while testing a new boost setting on the highway, the water temp gauge pegged at fully hot and I noticed smoke pouring out of the engine bay. I pulled over, shut off the engine, and opened the engine lid. Coolant, steam, and smoke were spraying everywhere from the water pump area. I had my poor little car towed. Even though the compression was still good, I decided to remove the engine and take off the cylinder head to figure out what was wrong. Upon doing so, I discovered that the water pump was missing a screw which holds the two parts of the pump together. The gasket between the two pieces failed where the screw was missing. I also discovered that something metal got into one of the cylinders. The top of the pistons, bottom of the cylinder head, and the cylinder walls in some of the cylinders were damaged. My machinist thought the engine ate a washer. The cylinder head was salvageable, but the pistons and block were done for. Sometime earlier, I also learned the frame was damaged on the front end of my chassis and the wiring was a complete disaster. Time to look for a new chassis and a new engine.


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