This will be a log of my Rotrex build, In keeping with the trend first started here: Which was my 1ZZ to 2ZZ swap thread. I only managed to rack up about 20 miles on the swap before I was off to lovely Tikrit, Iraq for a year long study abroad program sponsored by everyone here. While there I decided I wanted to step it up a bit, and after a little research, decided to add Web3.0’s Rotrex kit to my Spyder.

You can read all about the kit here:

Since getting back, I have been feverishly working at getting the car transformed. I’m just now getting to a stopping point, and decided I should play a little catch up and post a build thread.

This thread will not be limited to just Rotrex specific modifications, as I am doing a whole lot more at the same time. It just seemed more practical to do all the work simultaneously, with the car on stands and half tore apart.

The Upgrades (over my previous mods discussed in first link:)

Lower mileage 2ZZ with Celica style IM

Piper Stage II Cams

TurboSmart Kompact dual port BOV

Custom IC tank by Corky

Custom Borla dual out stainless exhaust

Custom oil cooler w/ additional sandwich plate for sensors

Performance Division down pipe w/ racing cat, coated by Jet-Hot

Little Rocket 2zz swap header, coated by Jet-Hot

TRD Quick Shifter

Spherical bearing shifter bushings

Matrix C60 6-Speed w/ Euro Celica final ratio and TRD Helical LSD

ACT HDSS pressure plate and 6-puck sprung clutch

J&S 8-Channel Safeguard

Billet aluminum fuel rail w/ Marren damper

Aeromotive AFPR and return setup

Walbro 255lph pump

EBC slotted rotors

OE Hard Top

Urethane suspension bushings

Innovative motor mounts

Deka battery on Corky’s Mount

And a myriad of other associated odds and ends….

Here’s a simple diagram of the overall setup of the air, vacuum, and emissions lines.

Plumbing Setup

1. The car was put on stands and stripped of its bumpers, plastics, engine lid, wheel liners, suspension links and of course engine and transmission. From there I wanted to clean up the engine bay, but without having a means of rolling it, I devised this:


Baby pool under the car, with the hose run in from outside. Several cans of engine degreaser and a lot of scrubbing had it looking very clean.

2. I then masked everything that I didn’t want painted, and basically built a paint booth around the engine bay. I ordered a couple cans of color-matched (6R4) spray paint online, and commenced to painting my tired engine bay.


Now this wasn’t a professional job, but it turned out pretty good in my opinion.

3. While the cross-member and suspension parts were out of the car, I took the opportunity to sand blast and paint each one. I was going to install new poly bushings from Twos-R-Us, so all the rubber bits were removed as well. I set up a paint booth in the lean-to, heated with a propane heater. Everything received several coats of semi-gloss black.


Here are several small parts (Corky’s Deka mount, tensioner, fuel rail, Megan Raching Toe Rods, dipstick tube) after paint.


4. I already mentioned the new bushings. Dev’s tool was used for 90% of these. I had to use a BFH and a few other mean looking tools for some of the OE rubber removal, but it worked out. In the process I discovered a torn ball joint on my front right lower control arm. I replaced it with a junkyard part off of a Scion xB (same part.)


5. While the wheels were off I also replaced a torn front right fenderliner, had my left front fender repainted, and installed some EBC slotted rotors. My old ones were previously turned down and paint wasn’t keeping the rust at bay.


6. Since I had the freedom to work in an empty engine bay, I went ahead installed a number of other necessary items. To make the install clean, I picked up a nutsert (aka rivnut/rivet nut) to give me threaded mounts through sheetmetal. I used these all over the bay, mostly in M6-1.0 flavor. Here you can see the twin tank Saikou Michi oil catch can and Rotrex reservoir (also shown is one of four Innovative Engine Mounts):


The Saikou Michi cans are each custom made to the customer’s specifications. I based these on a Lotus Elise catch can. The inlets/outlets and mount were modified at my request. The Rotrex oil reservoir comes with two mounts which I ditched in favor of a Moroso stainless T-Bolt clamp mount.

7. I had previously installed a MWR oil cooler, which had lines that leaked like a sieve. I would have to make new lines, but I also wanted to modify the mount. So I took the supplied aluminum mount, cut, bent, and drilled it to mount to the firewall instead of the wheel well.


Also shown in this photo is the right Innovative mount. Pay special attention to the plug, which looks like a O2 sensor plug (because it is.) I had a spare O2 plug (male & female) so I made a patch for my LC-1 WBO2‘s power and ground. Now the LC-1 is no longer hard wired into my engine harness. Well actually it is, but only up to a certain point. I did this to allow replacement of the LC-1 if necessary. The power is drawn from the 1ZZ Harness’ upper left O2 sensor(unused in a 2ZZ application.)

8. I used the same nutsert technique to mount my OBX 5 port vacuum manifold. I cut some aluminum angle bar for the actual mount, which was placed just to the left of forward engine mount. The feed for the manifold traces the same path from the IM as the throttle cable, which you can see run underneath the mount. The large hose barbs will be replaced with properly sized ones for the various size vacuum hoses (3/16, 5/16, and 1/4.)


9. Now onto the engine. Here you can see both new and old together:


10. I mentioned I was going to be installing Piper Cams Stage II (from JNZ) and here’s it in the process:


I used the procedure outlined in the Toyota Celica TSB for lift bolt removal. It shows the easiest way or removing and installing cams that I’ve found. The timing chain is held in place with some safety wire.

And speaking of lift bolts. This engine had the older style blunt bolts. You can see them in comparison to the newer “silver” bolts on the right:


Probably the most overlooked step during cam installation is the VVT unlock procedure. It’s fairly easy, but will require an air compressor. You can read about it here: I was one of the folks who forgot the step and had to take the cam back out. Sure enough, it was torqued in the locked position (basically eliminating VVT.)


When you are buttoning everything back up, also don’t forget to lock the chain tensioner in the compressed position as pictured below. When you turn the crank counter-clockwise it will expand and take the slack out.


11. The all so crucial valve shim adjustment is next. This step is what delayed me the most. Come to find out that these shims are generally not stocked, and many are on back order. You must follow the updated BGB procedure, as there have been changes. There are also some handy guides on that cover some of the tricks. A nice tool to have is the Toyota SST which allows you to remove shims while leaving the cams in place.


To help keep things organized, I simply drilled a bunch of holes into a 2×4, each marked accordingly. The long needle noses also came in handy to fish out dropped shims.


To measure the thickness of the shims I used a micrometer. In order to do this I used a small bolt to fit down inside the cup of the shim. The digital micrometer allowed me to set a floating zero, so that all subsiquent measurements were of just the shim’s thickness. If your shims aren’t too old, you should be able to still read the number printed on the sides. My old engine had ~60k miles on it, and I could still clearly read theses markings. You should still verify their thickness so that you get the right replacements.


continued on next post…


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