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Old 04-02-2021, 08:51 AM   #1
tmontague
 
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MWR stage 1 cams 2zr-fe - Heads Up

Hey all,

I know I've been MIA for the past year or so. A 4 and a 2 year old, house reno's and a new career will do that to you. I have still occasionally been lurking the forum but am hoping to post a bit more this summer.

Anyway on to the point of my thread - I recently installed stage 1 cams from MWR as I plan on running their cams and long tube header on the track this year. It is reportedly good for about 10-12 hp. Based on real life dyno results from just the long tube header, this seems like a realistic number. The the cams also will help the power band at the high rpm range which is where my car lives now pretty much all its life.

As most of you know my yaris is now a fully stripped out (<2000lbs) track rat that only gets driven 25 minutes on public roads to get to my local road course.

After I installed the cams my car lost all compression and would therefore not start. It was obvious during cranking that there was no compression by the sound the starter made. I hand cranked the engine over before this to ensure timing and clearance was good. I could feel a lack of compression but there was no binding. When compression was checked only cylinder 1 had 20 psi all others had zero.

I have the FSM and was certain timing was perfect. After about 10 times times of removing the valve cover and cams (and minimal help from MWR) I narrowed it down to the intake valves being held open by less than a tenth of an inch. I actually could not measure any compression on the intake springs but I could feel the rockers were more snug than on the exhaust side which did not have an issue.

Take note that I did bleed down all the hydralic lash adjusters (aka lifters) before hand as this can cause this issue if you do not. MWR was convinced I had the timing off or the cams were somehow different, and I was convinced they did not grind down my intake cam enough. Both parties were wrong as it turns out my head apparently had slightly different clearances then any other 2zr that has run their cams.

MWR did offer some insight into what could be the issue, but it was mostly brief, often one word answers with an undertone that it was likely due to my error that it wasn't working. This is based on no one else having had an issue with their cams. In reality there is a very small sample size here as these are not really a hot item nor is the 2zr a highly modified/tuned engine.

I was able to fix this issue by removing the lifter shims on the intake lifters that are sent by MWR. Long story short, make sure you bleed down the lifters and if you cannot wiggle the lifters by hand when the cam in stalled back on the heads, then you do not have enough clearance. Fix this by removing the shims.

I havent taken the car out on the street yet and stretched out it's legs so I cannot report back on any performance change. I will be ordering their long tube header when it becomes available mid April and will put the car through its paces then.

To be frank, I wasn't very impressed with MWR's customer service/communication compared to many other performance companies I have spoken with in the past. To put it on a bit of a spectrum they were minimally available and helpful whereas other companies have been very willing to work with and speak with me to solve an issue, without any undertones if it likely being a fault of my own.

I get it, there are a lot of people who install these parts and don't have a lot of experience wrenching cars and do make simple mistakes while blaming the company. However, it becomes apparent pretty quickly if someone knows what they are doing or not when you get into discussions with them.

Giving the bare minimum support is not a great feeling from a company that you are giving 4 figures to for car parts, but they are the only company in this space so it is what it is. I have purchased many products from then before and they are good at communicating on that end. It was specifically the product support side of things that leave a lot to be desired. They are not available by phone because the individual is working remotely? This seemed strange to me and would have solved a lot of frustration much quicker.

I essentially spent hours and hours of my time to troubleshoot and identify a potential compatability error on their product and in return I was offered nothing for this trouble. A simple offer to cover the shipping of my core ($25USD) would have even been appreciated. They now have the knowledge of how to fix this problem for any future customers and I am out the endless hours of time.

It is what it is, I'm still loking forward to track testing the set up.

I plan on posting pictures of the insides of my 2zr with 190k km on it and it's past 3 years being absolutely thrashed on track using 0w20 QSUD or PUP oil. I will say that Toyota engines are darn reliable especially is cared for.
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Old 04-02-2021, 10:25 AM   #2
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Welcome back! That's a bummer that you had to basically solve it yourself, but good to hear that you got it working.

I'm curious to see how the long tube header works out since it's intended for the Corolla. Hopefully no tunnel clearance issues. My DD is due for an exhaust replacement and I missed the boat on the xD long tube setup from RPM so this would be the next best/only option out there.
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Old 04-02-2021, 11:45 AM   #3
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It's infuriating that "bolt on" performance parts are almost never that. But you kind of have to deal with that since we are not exactly working on even remotely popular tuning cars. If it was a Honda or Miata 12 people would have already had that issue. Lol

Car should be getting fast with that power to weight. :)
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Old 04-02-2021, 01:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankyOldMan View Post
Welcome back! That's a bummer that you had to basically solve it yourself, but good to hear that you got it working.

I'm curious to see how the long tube header works out since it's intended for the Corolla. Hopefully no tunnel clearance issues. My DD is due for an exhaust replacement and I missed the boat on the xD long tube setup from RPM so this would be the next best/only option out there.
Ya unfortunately option are extremely limited for the 2zr. In my case I'm not too worried about fitment as I can take a hammer to my car if needed since it is just a track rat now. I'll make sure I post my experience on here for others so they know what they are in for if they purchase the header.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason@SportsCar View Post
It's infuriating that "bolt on" performance parts are almost never that. But you kind of have to deal with that since we are not exactly working on even remotely popular tuning cars. If it was a Honda or Miata 12 people would have already had that issue. Lol

Car should be getting fast with that power to weight. :)
I'll post up a lap time sheet from the local YT guys Speed Academy to given you some idea if where the yaris sits in terms of lap times.

This isn't to flaunt my driver skill but as a way to show how capable the yaris truly is. It is really one of the few chassis around today that you can get below 2,000 lbs by stripping it down. I am amazed at how quick this car drops laps year after year compared to car that is has no business being anywhere near.

The yaris does however like to be over driven - bad for long multi lap races as it kills tires, but good for time attack style events

I understand how MWR wouldn't have come across the problem I experience earlier. But to not be honest with themselves and me that the sample size is so limited was BS. The one guy I was speaking (read: typing) with essentially acted as if there are a ton if people out there running their cams and no one has ever had an issue. As true as that may be, I bet I could count on two hands how many people are actually using their 2zr cams.

Based on my communication I clearly was someone who was comfortable taking a part and assembling an engine and properly setting up timing. They mentioned I could send them back on my dime and that they would cover the shipping only if they found something wrong with the way the cams were ground. It was always an undertone of assuming their product had no fault and the issue was all my doing with improper assembly.

Based on my situation, I would be out the money and they would be telling me I had made an assembly mistake somewhere even though they have no idea what.

I didn't trust them enough so I spent my own time to at least figure out exactly what the issue was. I'm glad I found it, but now they're using my time and expertise to problem solve their products as they come across new issues.

They also wouldn't tell me what the exact base diameter and lobe nose spec range was for their cams. They would only tell me mine "sounds about right" after I thoroughly measured them compared to my oem cams.

Had I sent my cores to them prior to installing their cams, I likely never would have figured out the issue. They send you a 2mm shim which is good for both the 1 and 2 stage cams. In reality that is much more shim then you would need and it is what caused a tenth of a mm too little clearance on my intake cam.

Like I said, it is what it is and we don't have options so we are stuck dealing w/ them if you want any 2zr engine components. My biggest qualm is that they are very short with you on communication, brief quick answers as if you are wasting their time. I've dealt w/ Carbotech, Gloc and other companies and they always seemed to be more than willing to have a full on convo with me and help me find the best solution for my set up based on their motorsports experience.

It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but at the end of the day I'll still be giving them my money. I wouldn't let my experience deter anyone from buying from them, they are a good company with good quality products. It just seems like they have one or two employees on the customer facing side that leave a lot to be desired in the communication department.
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Old 04-02-2021, 05:46 PM   #5
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I really dont like the MWR flywheels either. apparently they dont make them all the same. mine is slightly wider than then the next person's and i had to freakin space out the starter because it alwasys wanted to engage.
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Old 04-02-2021, 10:07 PM   #6
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yeah i ran into the same issue with my jun “bolt on” cams ended up having to change lifter shims and spark plug gap because the valve clearance was screwed up and i would get random misfires on cold start. so much for bolt on performance. oh well i guess we always fall for their large print on advertising of their parts and we have no choice as nobody esle basically makes anything for our cars unlike hondas
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:00 AM   #7
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I really dont like the MWR flywheels either. apparently they dont make them all the same. mine is slightly wider than then the next person's and i had to freakin space out the starter because it alwasys wanted to engage.
Interesting, I have the MWR lightweight flywheel as well. When I installed a new starter I had to swap over the pinion from my OEM starter as the pinion on the aftermarket one wouldn't fully disengage and would cause a grinding noise.

I chalked it up to an aftermarket starter that was out of spec but it was from a recycler so I didn't know for sure. Now I'm wondering if it was actually the flywheel that was slightly out of spec. I also could have spaced it out a bit too, that would have solved the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by remcafee View Post
yeah i ran into the same issue with my jun “bolt on” cams ended up having to change lifter shims and spark plug gap because the valve clearance was screwed up and i would get random misfires on cold start. so much for bolt on performance. oh well i guess we always fall for their large print on advertising of their parts and we have no choice as nobody esle basically makes anything for our cars unlike hondas
It definitely seems par for the course, aftermarket parts tend to need a lot of trouble shooting. I now leave my DD'ers fully stock. It isn't worth the headache of dealing with aftermarket, especially when I already have a track car for that purpose.
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Old 04-03-2021, 09:35 AM   #8
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I now leave my DD'ers fully stock. It isn't worth the headache of dealing with aftermarket, especially when I already have a track car for that purpose.
Lol, I'm anxiously waiting for Toyota to release a Battery Electric vehicle so I can get one as a daily driver! I'm too old to be tinkering with my commuter car. =)
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Old 04-04-2021, 02:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by remcafee View Post
yeah i ran into the same issue with my jun “bolt on” cams ended up having to change lifter shims and spark plug gap because the valve clearance was screwed up and i would get random misfires on cold start. so much for bolt on performance. oh well i guess we always fall for their large print on advertising of their parts and we have no choice as nobody esle basically makes anything for our cars unlike hondas
my "bolt-on" cams i didnt do crap...well i changed valve springs too, cause its the thing to do. :P
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:28 PM   #10
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I just found out that MWR offers stage 3 cams with the same lift but much longer duration (274 IIRC) These cannot be run on a stock tune or engine but it does make for a future 12:1 compression high revving NA build that much more interesting (and expensive).

Here are some pics of my 2zr engine when I had the valve cover off. My 2zr is from a 2011 corolla and it had 89k km on it when I purchased it and it went into my chassis that had 175k km on it. I am now at 230k km which put the 2zr at 144k km. Much of that is highway miles but that past 3 years have been nothing but track duty at around 1,500km's a year. Full throttle, right up to the redline and 40 minute road course sessions.

It is on a stock Scion Xd tune and the engine internals were all stock (I now have an MWR stage 1 cam installed. The engine has only ever seen full synthetic oil since I purchased it (no idea what was put in it before). I have always run off the shelf oil, typically PUP 0w20 or QSUD 0w20. Oil temp and pressure are always well within spec even in the dead of summer with mid day temps well above 30C. Even idling in the paddock aftter a 40 min session my oil pressure is great on 0w20.

I was surprised how clean the inside of the valve cover is, not even any varnish. The cams themselves show slight color difference where the rocker follows, but there was absolutely no groves or any changes felt with my finger or nail on the surface.











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Old 04-08-2021, 03:04 AM   #11
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just goes to show how well these engines maintain reliability even pushed to the limit, im sure the stock 2zrs have a lot more in them but might tip the scale between performance and reliability, maybe look into a frankenstein 2zr high compression build with the newer prius pistons? hmmm just throwing out ideas
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Old 04-09-2021, 10:37 AM   #12
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I agree - Toyota engines are notoriously under tuned in favor of reliability.

MWR sells high comp 12:1 pistons and forged rods as well as upgraded valve springs and seats. My plan next year is to wire in a standalone ECU so I can run my engine on 93 octane pump gas and slightly increase the rev limit. Once that baseline is established then a bottom end build would be in order with a 12:1 compression and an 8k rev limit.

At that point I would hope the 2zr would make around 180hp but I don't really have anything to go off of to have a realistic idea what it could reliably make.
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Old 04-10-2021, 03:33 PM   #13
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At that point I would hope the 2zr would make around 180hp but I don't really have anything to go off of to have a realistic idea what it could reliably make.
Don't threaten me with a good time!

That's almost 2ZZ territory right there, without all the welding and fabricating. Can't wait to see how that goes!
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