RORERI: A JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

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Re: RORERI: A JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby underscore » Fri Jun 03, 2022 4:44 pm

That's exactly what mine looked like. The 2 that are the same were the ones that were leaking, but I replaced all 8 while I was in there. Even if they don't leak, a 30+ year old cap is likely to start drying out.
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Re: RORERI: A JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Roreri » Fri Jun 03, 2022 5:56 pm

@Tippo: The pictures are of my caps in my Toyota 89661-2B280 ECU.

The caps that are presently visually bad are C810--the narrower 10uF50v one you can see without lifting the top plate--and C512, also a 10uF50v that is closer to the center on the top plate. The very same ones that went bad for FC Zach, and I am guessing others too.

So, from what I can figure out, there are eight caps that are prone to leak or dry out that optimally ought to be replaced at this point.

6 x smaller--various types (circled in red) at C500 and C512 on the top board, and C101, C810, C804, and C810 on the bottom board.

2 x larger--different types (circled in blue) at C002 and C109 on the bottom board.

ECU Interior with Caps Circled.JPG

I have zero soldering experience. That said, I am not stupid and I can learn, and I'm game to try, and this is a reassuring sort of thread on the MR2OC forum: https://www.mr2oc.com/threads/ecu-capac ... de.559625/ and this thread is also extensive but discourages me from trying it: https://www.clublexus.com/forums/ls-1st ... citor.html

Regardless, I have this equipment on the way:

Soldering Supplies and Equipment.JPG

I am at DigiKey now and I'm sorting out the caps:

C002 47µF63V
C004 33µF35V
C810 10µF50V
C801 15µF35V
C101 100µF10V
C109 220µF10V
C512 10µF50V
C500 100µF10V

From the clublexus.com thread: "I have fixed different ECUs and what I can say is that you have to be very careful for selecting the electrolytic capacitors. The internal impedance or the ESR is the key to select. The capacitance value was not very strict. Sometimes +200% did not cause any problem. For an example, I have used 100uF instead of 47uF and it was fully OK. But when I have used a regular type of capacitor, it did not fix some problem.

Those who could not succeed or who are about to fix the ECU, I suggest you to use low ESR type capacitors such as Rubycon type ZLH, Nippon Chemicon KZH, Panasonic EEU and other equivalents."


I guess I'll definitely change out the two that are demonstrably bad, for sure. Depending on how those go, I'll proceed with the others...
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Re: RORERI: A JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby underscore » Fri Jun 03, 2022 8:52 pm

Roreri wrote:I have zero soldering experience. That said, I am not stupid and I can learn, and I'm game to try, and this is a reassuring sort of thread on the MR2OC forum:


What I'd suggest doing is grabbing some old scrap electronic device and practicing on that a little first to get a feel for it. Like an amp or VCR or something. If you have access to a junkyard go find any 80s/90s Toyota and grab the ECU.
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Re: RORERI: A JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Roreri » Fri Jun 03, 2022 9:44 pm

Thank you for the advice. I will look for a junkyard and get an ECU.

It will take a couple of days for the capacitors I ordered from Digi-Key to arrive:

Capacitor Purchase from Digi-Key.JPG
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Re: RORERI: A JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Domspun » Fri Jun 03, 2022 10:46 pm

Maybe try to fix some broken electronics, do a custom LED project or take a working cheap electronic device, desolder the components, solder them back in and see if it works.
Panasonic and Nichicon caps are the best, take the ones with the highest temperature ratings, they will last the longest.
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Re: RORERI: A JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Roreri » Fri Jun 03, 2022 11:18 pm

Absolutely, Domspun. That sounds like a good idea!

As I'm moving in a couple of weeks, and no matter what, I have to get the Lorelei on the auto trailer, I think I'll wait until I'm safely at the next residence to tackle this. This will give me some time to get a junkyard ECU and try my hand at it, to test the concept and build my skills.

I could see going as far as getting a second Gen2 3S-GTE ECU and recapping it--I did get twice as many capacitors as I needed--and then seeing whether it works when I throw it into the Lorelei.

As for the caps I got, the Nichicon is rated at 3000 hours at 105°C, and all the others are Panasonics rated at 5000 hours at 105°C. These were the brands and types recommended in multiple threads and as I recall underscore went with Panasonic EEUs for the most part for his recap job. The Nichicon is the correct microFarad rating and overstrength on voltage which I was told was acceptable or even a good thing. But I have Panasonic EEA-GA1V150B 15µF35V capacitors which I assume worked for underscore, as a backup if I come across information waving me off using the Nichicons. I just wanted a long endurance capacitor to set the ECU up for as long a life as possible before it dies.

To test a theory I had, I cleaned the electrolyte the capacitors puked out onto the board with vinegar and then cleaned the area with denatured alcohol. Then I closed the ECU up put it back in and took the Lorelei for a 22km loop.

No CEL. So, I figure I eliminated the ground fault that was causing the CEL to light. I'm not observing any grave irregularities in how it runs. I don't know how much time I bought by doing this, but probably at least enough to make it to Colorado and then approach the deed on my own timeline.
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Re: RORERI: A JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Roreri » Tue Jun 14, 2022 10:24 pm

This was the first week where I found myself thinking, "This is more of a pain in the ass than I really wanted." But, I'm about to move and I'm pinching off projects and out-processing and arranging matters for our move and so that was definitely a factor. Here's what I've done in the past couple of weeks.

Caliper Lube

I'd been hearing a pretty pronounced creak from the rear calipers. I applied some silicone grease to the slide pins. I was only able to figure out how to access the pins that unscrew. The other side, I couldn't figure out. That fixed it, but it's come back a little, so I might have to apply some more.

Coilover Adjustment

When I installed the Feal 441s I left them at stock dampening (15/30). This was okay but I was curious about what softening them up would feel like. I adjusted them five clicks softer (counterclockwise) and I've been riding that for the past week. It's pretty good--definitely noticeable. I also dropped the rears another half inch while I had the tires off as I was doing the caliper slide pin lube job. I think that's where I might leave them.

After Rear Coilover Drop One Half Inch 9JUN2022.JPG

Tire Replacement

As I was going to put the tires back on after lubing the brake caliper slide pins, I realized I'd picked up a nail outside of the repairable area on my left rear tire. As I only had 5000 miles on this set of tires I decided to replace just that one.

Antenna Motor Disable

The audio head unit logic started trying to raise and lower the antenna for some reason. I unplugged the antenna motor back underneath the left rear panel in the cargo area. I just had to remove the rear panel and then the left panel to get to it. Much better solution than trying to get at the wire at the head unit.

Antenna Motor Unclipped 10JUN2022.JPG

ECU Capacitor Replacement

I got my hands on some soldering equipment, the required capacitors, and a backup ECU, Toyota 89661-17380--a JDM 1993 MR2 ECU visually identical to my 1992 JDM GT-Four ECU.

GT-Four and MR2 ECUs Compared (Identical).JPG

There are some small differences, specifically in some of the chip part numbers, but the capacitors appear to be the same. I tested it in the Lorelei and it worked just fine. Armed with a safety net, I decided to tackle the job before moving, because I knew that once I got to Colorado, I might not get to it for months.

I started out with the GT-Four ECU. I replaced the visually failed and leaking capacitors at C810 on the lower board and C512 on the upper board. Then I swapped it back in and fired up the motor. The CEL lit for a moment until the new caps took on a full charge, then went out. Performance was normal on a test drive.

I then cracked open the MR2 ECU and replaced the C810 and C512 capacitors--on this one the C810 capacitor had failed and leaked onto the PCB but no CEL yet. After replacing the capacitors, I took the Lorelei out on a test drive and all was well.

Feeling confident, I replaced the C500, C101, and C109 capacitors on the GT-Four ECU. This time, when I swapped it back in and fired up the Lorelei, the CEL lit and stayed on. It was immediately obvious the motor was struggling to maintain a stable idle, then it slowly starved out. I could keep it running if I fed it gas, but the CEL never went out.

I drove the Lorelei with the MR2 ECU for a couple of days while I gave it a think. I decided that I'd not done a good enough job on one of the joints for the C109 capacitor, so I added some more material. That did the trick--when I swapped it in the Lorelei fired right up and idled strong. The CEL faded on and then faded, remaining ever so slightly lit like the ECU was making its mind up about my work, then it faded out and stayed off. Performance was normal on a test drive.

I felt pretty good about pulling this off, and I definitely stretched my skills, though I was pretty exhausted. It's nervy work. Plus working in my garage under a shop light in Northern Virginia is hot as balls in June. I practiced a little, but it's still precise work. My joints look like hammered dogshit. Lead free solder is pretty miserable for this--I would recommend leaded solder, though perhaps I just need to level up. I think I'll re-approach this sometime to clean up my work, or complete the task--I replaced two caps on the MR2 ECU and five caps on the GT-Four ECU. Or...I'll just ride these two stock ECUs out and eventually go for a standalone way down the road. I'm pretty close to moving, so I think I need to lay off and not press my luck!
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Re: RORERI: A JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby simple » Wed Jun 15, 2022 3:21 pm

What is this Colorado move plan? Details man!
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Re: RORERI: A JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Roreri » Wed Jun 15, 2022 5:37 pm

I’m moving out to the north side of Colorado Springs and will be there from 1 July. We’re moving into the forever house. So, I’ll be looking for all kinda resources and car friends there. The Lorelei will be a mountain car.

EDIT: To add some observations about the Lorelei's performance. This is entirely subjective, but it felt smoother overall. I imagine that the failed capacitors were very much a major cause of the hesitance and occasional dropouts. So, if anyone has similar issues, I'll certainly recommend considering it, in addition to all the other normal causes.
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Re: RORERI: A JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Roreri » Sat Jun 25, 2022 5:46 pm

All loaded up and ready to start the westward movement!

30067CC5-E3D4-40B3-8EAA-16DD86F7BA7A.jpeg

Lately the original 1992 JDM GT-Fout ECU that I replaced five capacitors on started doing some weird stuff. I’d turn the key to the ON position and the gauge cluster boost gauge needle would flick to full turbo indicated. When I’d turn the motor over, it would drop down toward the zero mark and the motor would stall out.

Sometimes it would do this, sometimes not.

I didn’t have time to figure it out here, so I switched out to the backup 1993 JDM MR2 ECU I replaced two caps on. Which has worked fine so far.

I’ll continue to look into it once I get established in Colorado Springs.

I am applying maximum superstition in an effort to ensure a smooth trip:

BC7019E0-D799-4EF6-87BE-276476ECEE56.jpeg
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Re: RORERI: A JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Roreri » Wed Jun 29, 2022 2:33 am

The journey across the United States is underway. We reached our overnight digs in Kansas City without incident. I got some appreciative looks as we traveled, and got chatted up by a dude at a Rest Stop who was pretty amazed at the Lorelei.

I had occasion to meet grip-addict tonight, who owns a very cool AllTrac himself! I’m always impressed by the resourcefulness of the AllTrac owners I meet.

I guess my luck held. When I pulled the Lorelei off the trailer, I discovered that the ratchet strap securing the front right wheel had been frayed very badly and like to snap.

04F0E7C9-3FA2-4765-8EA3-D9F7A34D6469.jpeg

U-Haul is sending someone to replace the strap tomorrow morning so we can continue onward.
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Re: RORERI: A JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby grip-addict » Thu Jun 30, 2022 8:21 pm

It was great to meet another alltrac owner as well! Your car is incredibly clean and I'm impressed with just how well all of the seals and seems line up - it's something to be jealous of for sure :)

Safe travels for you, the family, and the Lorelei. I hope you find plenty of useable garage space in your new digs.
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Re: RORERI: A JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Roreri » Mon Jul 04, 2022 1:14 am

Thanks much—The Lorelei is safe in Colorado Springs. I took her out to pick up coffee for my cousins who have descended on our new home to sort out our belongings. Unsurprisingly the first zoomy car I saw was a Subaru.

I immediately encountered a little gathering of car people at the coffee shop I went to:

900E3F09-2A73-4BB8-A4A7-19A753ED0F23.jpeg

“I don’t know who you are but you are my people.”

It’s good to be in the front range again.

0D86BD0D-AE6C-4FBD-9A5D-48181357354A.jpeg
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Re: RORERI: A JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby Roreri » Mon Jul 18, 2022 3:01 am

After correcting a weird settling in of my coilovers that had me rubbing a little, I took the Lorelei on its first long mountain drive this weekend, clocking about 200 miles all told from Colorado Springs to Bailey and back.

The route to Bailey was through Manitou Springs and Woodland Park and then north on the 67 through Deckers. Caught this great view:

78937CF4-FAEA-4697-B50A-2F236785858C.jpeg

The route back was east on the 285 then around the southwest quarter of the Denver Metroplex until reaching the 85 then south to Sedalia and then jumping over to the 105—a great twisty path through the hills fronting the Rockies.

Saw two Gen7 and one Gen6 Celicas and this grand old warrior along the way:

41627A18-9578-483D-AF20-8FB5B5F6FB04.jpeg

Performance was great on 91 octane and a bottle of Lucas Octane Boost. I used the boost controller on low which allowed me to make 8.5psi even at altitude (stock is 5.7 at 6000feet plus).

Even though the roads are reputed to be over-crowded on the weekend I was well able to enjoy the drive.
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Re: RORERI: A JDM 1992 ST185H-BLMVZ

Postby simple » Mon Jul 18, 2022 1:19 pm

Nice loop! We ride motorcycles out by Deckers. Good stuff out there
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