Ok so this is not a diet post. It's been a year since the EP71 went through a major modification. I've been putting off writing this - but better late than never. So here goes! In my previous blog post I mentioned that the humble 2E engine was really nothing to write home about and I did mention how it like many old carbureted engines would develop weird symptoms of it's own. Around 3 Months into ownership I was a little tired of the ailing engine and when it failed the emission test I was looking forward to get that sorted. I had initially thought of doing a 4EFTE swap but that was really stretching my budget and to be honest I was in a bit of a hurry to get the project rolling so I decided to settle for a 4EFE. Around Christmas time (2019) I managed to source a complete 4EFE Engine (off an EP91) with an Automatic gearbox (with ECU and wire harness) combo in Kandy. But a few days of Christmas revelry ensued and when I call the seller the ECU and the wire harness has been sold. Undeterred I decided to go for the engine and gearbox combo and source the ECU separately since the engine and gearbox was priced quite fairly. A trip to Kandy on a poya day in a Mahindra Bolero and we were able to haul the 4EFE home. (This also provided me my first Bolero driving experience - it was surprisingly fun. The 2.5 L engine on that's pulls really well). The choice of gearbox was something I lost a wee bit of sleep about - but eventually decided an Auto was ok as the main aim of the car was to be a beater, a nimble city runner and a lendable car that anyone could drive and whenever I had masochistic thoughts I could always borrow my dad's Datsun B110 and feel depressed about my diminishing stick driving skills. So it was eventually a very easy decision.
With the engine and gearbox secured I asked my mechanic to start work on the car - while I source the ECU. And then I had to travel overseas for work for a couple of months. During this time my friend managed to source a recon steering column and shaft from an EP91 . This was 2020 now and Covid 19 happened. I barely made it home before the borders were closed. For the next 3 months the project stalled (sadly during this time a rat had managed to chew one seatbelt while the car sat at the mechanics) Around June things were getting back to normal and the project recommenced in earnest. Eventually we managed to source an ECU and wiring harness from a guy who stocked his parts in an old shed in his parents house deep deep inside the backwaters of Minuwangoda. After rummaging through a pile of car parts in the shed at 9 PM in the pitch dark, with the thrilling possibility of being bitten by 32 different species of indigenous snakes, we finally managed to find the wiring harnesses and a few more parts we needed.
There was a few more things to be sorted - such as the condenser, A/C compressor, break and accelerator pedals and also the gear cable. Being a Toyota parts were quite easily found. The gear cable though was a bit tough to find and eventually we found out that a slightly modified AE110 gear cable would do the trick. Below are a few pictures of the engine swap.
Transporting the Engine in a bolero
The Original engine was a 2E with around 80Hp which was reasonable for a car that weighed 720 Kg.
The old 2E being taken out.
Out with the old - in with the new : 4e about to go in. The retro-style gear shifter that came with the Automatic versions of the EP71 would have looked a lot cooler than the EP82/91 gear shifter unfortunately which looks slightly out of place with the boxy/spartan interior of the car.
Notice anything weird in the first pic? Things got tidied up a bit before I took the car for emission tests.
Another change that I was not quite able to capture was the power steering conversion - which was basically swapping in an EP91 Steering column
Tune in for the next post - where I will write about the overall driving experience.
Edited by matroska