I haven’t posted anything about the MR2 for a while. Time for an update! I finally got around to installing the modified header, new downpipe, and cat from SV3Power for MOAR POWWWAAAA!!!

Top: old and shitty, Bottom: Shiny-new and Awesome!!!

When I swapped in the 20v Blacktop 4AGE in the the car, I had to use the exhaust manifold and downpipe from the original 16 valve motor since the 20 valve header interfered with the starter motor. The smaller ports and the ancient cat on the old exhaust meant I wouldn’t be getting the full power of the 20v, but I was eager to get the car back on the road.

Fast forward to today and the remedy came from SV3Power. They only make exhaust components for the Mk1 MR2 so a pretty niche market. They modified my original 20v header by adding about 2 inches to it so that it would clear the starter motor. I could have tracked down a C52 transmission from a later MR2 that has the starter motor on the other side, but tracking down MR2 parts can be a pain and this header mod only cost me about $60.

(Image from SV3Power)

Install went very smoothly (with the exception of a broken 14mm deep well socket) and only took a couple of hours. I then eagerly hopped into the car and turned the key.


I was greeted with a whole new sound. The MR2 sounded angry...in a good way. I was quite surprised since I was still using the same muffler/exhaust after the cat. I’m assuming the old cat was super restrictive and/or clogged. The test drive did not disappoint. There’s more power everywhere, but the big difference is at the top end from about 6000-8400 rpm.

I’m now looking into a new exhaust setup for the cat-back portion of the exhaust because it sounds a little to ricey to me right now.