The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

overspool
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The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby overspool » Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:51 pm

Well hello everybody... I have been waiting to start a build thread on this until I had some of the things ironed out that I needed, but now I figure it's time that I share what I've been researching and doing. Pretty much I've been an armchair mechanic/fabricator for the past 3 months while I figured out what I still needed for the Beams swap.

Just a little bit about me. I am an Automotive Engineering Major at Weber State University. I went through the Toyota T-Ten program, and have 5 years of experience working on and building race cars, rally cars, and street cars. I’ve worked at several different shops, with positions varying from lube tech to electrical specialist. I love cars.
I currently own two AE86s. One of them is a shell, that I am still trying to acquire a title for. The other one I refer to as Big Red. Big Red was a stock SR5 when I got her, and for the past 3-4 years I have been slowly building her up. GTS swap (minus the rear end), and I have blown more 4AGEs than I should have. The car sits on Megan Spec RS coilovers, Cusco Rear Sway Bar, 25mm extended control arms, T3 NRCAs, Prothane Bushing Kit, Megan inner and outer tie rod ends, manual rack, Megan tension rods, and I’m sure a handful of other tasteful mods. I love the car, but it was time to build the AE86 that I has been turning over in my head for the past 2 years.

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Here is a picture of the back of both of my 86s.

So, as I wait to get a title for the silver car, I've been cleaning it up, locating parts to finish it, etc. Then fate struck. I blew the second or third 4AGE in my red car (honestly, I dunno how many). The red car has close to $3k in suspension alone in it, so as I'm still trying to piece together the silver car, it's time to use the red one to get the Beams 3SGE swap all ironed out.


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Not many people document their Beams 3SGE swaps, so I figured I'd do everybody a favor and do things like ECU pinouts, wiring "how to" guide, etc. I've been working on the pinout for a couple days now...
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So, onto the goals and criteria for this build.

The AE86 is an incredibly lightweight chassis. It can also be extremely fun. It seems that today, auto manufacturers forget about the people that enjoy driving but don't have a whole lot of money, and want something that is economical as well. I own a 93 MR2 Turbo, and it is a blast to drive, but it only gets 25mpg on a good day.

As an automotive student at Weber State University, I have had the opportunity to learn about new car technologies and how they are harnessed to get better fuel economy. Things like high compression, lean burn, Miller-Atkinson cycle engines, direct injection, idle stop, the list goes on. I plan to incorporate as many of these technologies into this build as possible. To graduate with my degree in Automotive Engineering, I need to have a Capstone Project, which incorporates what I have learned into a project. Some students do things like "how ethanol affects fuel lines", etc, but I wanted to build something. I wanted to build a car that is fast, fun, and economical. With lofty goals of 50+mpg and 200whp, I set a budget of $10k for this build, and things are starting to add up.

So, how do I plan to get 50MPG? Well, first I will start with establishing some baseline numbers to see how much fuel economy needs to improve. With the beams 3SGE in a Toyota Altezza, it seems that people have been averaging around 18-25mpg. The AE86 is a much lighter chassis, and I guestimate that just by dropping in the new engine into the car without changing anything else, I should be getting around 30 mpg. So, I still need to plan to increase fuel economy by 20 mpg.

There are several ways increase fuel economy. Engine tuning plays a huge role in that, things like ignition timing, fueling, and valve timing. I will leave most of that up to my tuner, and I will let him iron out the details. I will eventually be utilizing either an Apexi Power FC or (ideally) an AEM unit.
Next up is rotational load. This part should be easy to do. Lightweight one piece driveshaft (I need to get a driveshaft anyway...), lightweight flywheel, and eliminate as many of the auxiliary pulleys as possible. This engine came with a dual mass flywheel that weighs in at the ridiculous weight of 31 lbs. A lightweight flywheel that weighs only 19 lbs should help with that. The engine came with the AC compressor and power steering pump, but I won't need either of those. So I will already be eliminating those. Then I will install a lightweight crank pulley, and if I can locate one, a lightweight alternator pulley (that will be the only auxiliary unit on the vehicle). Then there are the wheels. Lightweight wheels are a must. I currently own several sets of nifty old school racing wheels, and most recently I picked up a set of Volk Racing 13” 3-piece meshies that should do the job.
With all of the rotational load squared away, logically the next is weight reduction. I have already removed most of the interior of the vehicle, and equipped it with a pair of lightweight Bride Vios 3 seats. I will reinstall some of the interior to give it creature comfort again, so it isn’t absolutely obnoxious to drive.
With weight taken care of, one of the trickiest parts about this build will be to reduce drag. Through my rally car days, I acquired a large amount of a heavy duty but lightweight plastic material that we used on the rally car and rally cross car to act as a skid plate. With this, I will be building a complete underbody skid panel to reduce drag. With the help of my auto body consultant, I will also be streamlining the body, to create as little drag as possible.
One of the final pieces to the puzzle is addressing gearing. The Altezza came with a fantastic 6 speed transmission, but the 86 is limited when it comes to final drive options. I will start with the SR5 rear end (the tallest gearing from factory that I’m aware of) and see where fuel economy is at. The silver shell has a GTS rear end that is missing a few things that I am still trying to locate. so while I test with the SR5 rear end, I will acquire the missing bits for the GTS rear end, and swap out rear ends to see how gearing affects fuel economy. If that still doesn’t work out like I want it to, I may end up building a Ford rear end to suit my needs.

I will be taking TONS of pictures during this build, documenting everything that I do so that it can be used for others in the future. I would love to see more people driving Beams powered cars. I think it is the lack of write-ups that is preventing it. Wiring seems to be the biggest hang up for people, so this build thread will contain a wiring guide, and how to get the thing in and running.

Thanks everybody, and I will keep you all posted!

If there are any other Beams guys out there, please chime in. I would love to pick your brains about a few things, as well as see what kind of fuel economy you are currently getting if you are street driving it, as well as a list of modifications and everything.

And here are a few more glory shots of Bid Red.

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ryun84
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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby ryun84 » Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:59 pm

I can already feel this is going to be an epic build with tons of educational potential. I am in.

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby yoshimitsuspeed » Sun Nov 02, 2014 1:55 am

Cool build.
I have always wanted to do a similar build with a 4A.
This is also something I would love to integrate more into my business. Finding ways to make old cars more efficient, and lower emissions while greatly improving power and fun factor over stock.
The only goal that seems tight to me is your budget. If you do almost everything yourself and are resourceful and financially creative it might be possible.
I definitely think aero is going to be one of your biggest hurdles. I remember years ago reading about some guys who put a 200 HP integra motor in a Honda insight and were still able to get something like 60 MPG just because the chassis is so damn slick. On the other hand put an Insight engine and drivetrain in an Integra and it probably wouldn't get much better gas mileage than it did stock.
In a mostly stock motor raising the compression does wonders for gas mileage. My old 4AGZE used to get 22-28 MPG. Then I swapped in a blacktop and even running it on the GZE ECU it gets 28-34 with the same turbo that I was running on the GZE. It also does 0-60 about a second faster at 7 PSI than the GZE did on the same turbo at 12 PSI.
I have wondered though if the rules would change if you are making other big changes. For example running high compression may limit how lean you can go. In this case would lower compression, more timing and a leaner burn be better?
I have looked into these things a little but I'm sure there is a lot of info out there that would give you a pretty good idea of where to start.
I know your budget will be tight but I can get you all kinds of monitoring equipment that would be valuable. Wideband, knock monitoring equipment, pyrometer, data loggers etc.
You mention having a tuner tune it.
I would try to be as hands on and familiar with the tuning as possible. Your success is going to come down to the tune and even if the person is a master of making power tunes it may not help all that much working out an efficiency tune.
I would be very interested to see your results.
In fact I might be able to help a bit. Maybe discounted parts and or services in exchange for being able to use some of the info for my business and development?
I can get most parts, hardware, electronics etc you would need.
I can also fabricate and make a lot of parts in house and have and am continuing to gain connections in manufacturing anything I can't make in house.
I can design parts but that should be easy for you. If you got me models and drawings for a part like for example alt, waterpump etc pulleys if they aren't available I could look into getting them made.

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby overspool » Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:22 am

Yoshi, I will be in touch when I get closer to finishing the project and find things that I need/am missing. I will definitely need a lot of monitoring equipment, and I'm sure that there are other things that I will need. We can definitely work something out :)

I had originally planned to use a turbo 4AGE, but opted for the Beams because of variable valve timing and cool factor haha.

I will be doing everything myself, which is what keeps my costs down mainly. So far I've only spent $2000 out of that $10,000.
Tuning isn't my forte. I have a lot to learn in that area, and I plan to absorb as much information as I can from my tuner. He helped a friend tune an 09 WRX with simple bolt ons get 40mpg, so I am very confident in his work.

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oldeskewltoy
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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby oldeskewltoy » Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:08 am

Great project.... the best of luck with it.

Some food for thought..... J160 6th gear is .869, Nissan S15 6th is .757

The J160 6th gear is not as tall as Nissan's version of this transmission. LEEN has confirmed that the Nissan 6th gear can be fitted inside the Toyota J160.

With the additional torque of the BEAMS... I'd look to run a 3.50 (ish) final drive, the J160 1st gear being 3.8 (the T50 is is 3.5) will allow smooth engagement of first gear.


edit #1 - Oh... nearly forgot.... the LEEN shifter kit will allow you to keep the shifter located in the stock shifter location...

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edit #2 - one thing I've learned about higher MPG... Keep the EGR, you need the exhaust gas mixing into the intake to achieve really high mpg... this is because a lower oxygen environment slows the burn down... so you can add even more timing... and run even leaner (afr approaching 18 to 1) all because your mixing some exhaust into the intake air stream...


edit #3 - Aero.... 1) A belly pan from the firewall all the way back to the rear bumper, 2) a slick smooth front bumper/spoiler, 3) NO deep dish wheels... wheels should be flush to the tire, 4) Bear, or other aero mirrors, 5) minimal tire width - the wider the tire, the more fuel it takes to revolve it
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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby overspool » Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:34 am

I'm aware of the other J160s :) I would rather change the rear end than the 6th gear, but I do have all the gear ratios of the other J160s saved.

1) I will look into that. Leen stuff is spendy, but it would be nice to not have to cut up the interior.

2) this engine doesn't have EGR.

3) belly pan was already addressed... And I want this car to look good. So, although I will address the aero, I won't be building any of the Eco modder style bumpers. The wheels are 13x6 volk 3 piece meshies. But the actual aesthetics of the wheels don't make as much of a difference as the actual weight of them. With larger tire sizes you get extra weight, and larger contact patch. I'm hoping I can get Prius tires in 13", but we'll see haha. Contact patch can be altered by tire pressure as well.

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby yoshimitsuspeed » Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:46 am

Do you have any way to do CFD or wind/water tunnel testing?
If not you may find some helpful info elsewhere that could allow you to do some pretty serious aero mods without going all eco modder.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quDLzxmJl5I

That is pretty simple but still some cool visualizations with some similar body styles.

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby burdickjp » Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:05 pm

EGRish action can be achieved with valve timing. This is why many modern engines do not have EGR; they're using valve overlap to achieve something similar, or sometimes better. I'm not sure if the BEAMS has continuously variable valve timing, but if so, you may be in luck.
Pursuing the ideal

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby overspool » Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:16 pm

Yoshi, not currently. Myth Busters did a similar thing with an f150. I'm hoping that I will be able to achieve my fuel economy goals without major aerodynamic changes.

Burdickjp, that's the idea with the variable valve timing. What you're referring to is a Miller Atkinson cycle engine. Spot on! We shall see how much I can alter valve timing with a standalone computer.

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby burdickjp » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:06 am

overspool wrote:Burdickjp, that's the idea with the variable valve timing. What you're referring to is a Miller Atkinson cycle engine. Spot on! We shall see how much I can alter valve timing with a standalone computer.


I was thinking more about how engines like the 1ZZ VVTi do their EGR cycle. It was a clever idea in that application, but in some cars the catalytic converter was too close to the engine and the cycle would blow catalyst into the engine and cause all kinds of problems.
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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby overspool » Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:10 pm

Correct. A late opening intake valve and a late closing exhaust valve. A little bit of exhaust gasses get sucked back into the intake and combustion chamber to lean it out. The 1zz used it a little bit, but engines like the 1nz (or variant of) used in the Prius are built around it. It's super cool. It does two things actually, leans out the afrs and decreases tailpipe emissions.

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby burdickjp » Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:28 pm

overspool wrote:Correct. A late opening intake valve and a late closing exhaust valve. A little bit of exhaust gasses get sucked back into the intake and combustion chamber to lean it out. The 1zz used it a little bit, but engines like the 1nz (or variant of) used in the Prius are built around it. It's super cool. It does two things actually, leans out the afrs and decreases tailpipe emissions.


I was under the impression that the Atkinson cycle used in the Prius used a late closing intake valve to achieve the difference in compression and expansion, but I'm sure it uses both at different points to achieve awesome things.
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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby yoshimitsuspeed » Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:01 pm

overspool wrote:Yoshi, not currently. Myth Busters did a similar thing with an f150. I'm hoping that I will be able to achieve my fuel economy goals without major aerodynamic changes.


I don't remember the details of the episode to comment on that but mythbusters is about as closely related to science as a Planet of the Apes movie.
I had to stop watching it because the technical side of the show was just so far off.
It was the suspension episode that finally threw me over the edge. Seeing if a Cadillac or something like that shook more going slow or fast. They then proceeded to decide that their results were universally true for all cars and all setups. Not even mentioning spring rates and damper characteristics, and how these things completely change how a vehicle will respond to road conditions. That doesn't even get into chassis harmonics and all these other things. I know that's not what the show was about and they would have lost most their viewers if they had but I couldn't handle it.

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby overspool » Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:12 pm

burdickjp wrote:
overspool wrote:Correct. A late opening intake valve and a late closing exhaust valve. A little bit of exhaust gasses get sucked back into the intake and combustion chamber to lean it out. The 1zz used it a little bit, but engines like the 1nz (or variant of) used in the Prius are built around it. It's super cool. It does two things actually, leans out the afrs and decreases tailpipe emissions.


I was under the impression that the Atkinson cycle used in the Prius used a late closing intake valve to achieve the difference in compression and expansion, but I'm sure it uses both at different points to achieve awesome things.


Once again, you are correct. Sorry, there are so many benefits to the Miller-Atkinson cycle engine, and when posting via phone for a quick response, I often don't explain everything like I intend to. Here are two of the benefits that I hope to achieve: One, you can theoretically decrease the engine displacement by allowing the intake valve to stay open longer so the compression stroke is shortened, and two you get valve overlap which allows an EGR like effect on the intake air.

There is a video that shows what I'm talking about (I'm more of a visual learner myself), I'll see if I can find it.
Last edited by overspool on Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby overspool » Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:14 pm

yoshimitsuspeed wrote:
overspool wrote:Yoshi, not currently. Myth Busters did a similar thing with an f150. I'm hoping that I will be able to achieve my fuel economy goals without major aerodynamic changes.


I don't remember the details of the episode to comment on that but mythbusters is about as closely related to science as a Planet of the Apes movie.
I had to stop watching it because the technical side of the show was just so far off.
It was the suspension episode that finally threw me over the edge. Seeing if a Cadillac or something like that shook more going slow or fast. They then proceeded to decide that their results were universally true for all cars and all setups. Not even mentioning spring rates and damper characteristics, and how these things completely change how a vehicle will respond to road conditions. That doesn't even get into chassis harmonics and all these other things. I know that's not what the show was about and they would have lost most their viewers if they had but I couldn't handle it.



Not that episode, this is one where they were trying to figure out if you get better fuel economy with the tail gate up or down, and why. They simulated a wind tunnel by using a model car and using a water tank, like what that guy did in the video you posted.

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby oldeskewltoy » Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:28 am

overspool wrote:
yoshimitsuspeed wrote:
overspool wrote:Yoshi, not currently. Myth Busters did a similar thing with an f150. I'm hoping that I will be able to achieve my fuel economy goals without major aerodynamic changes.


I don't remember the details of the episode to comment on that but mythbusters is about as closely related to science as a Planet of the Apes movie.
I had to stop watching it because the technical side of the show was just so far off.
It was the suspension episode that finally threw me over the edge. Seeing if a Cadillac or something like that shook more going slow or fast. They then proceeded to decide that their results were universally true for all cars and all setups. Not even mentioning spring rates and damper characteristics, and how these things completely change how a vehicle will respond to road conditions. That doesn't even get into chassis harmonics and all these other things. I know that's not what the show was about and they would have lost most their viewers if they had but I couldn't handle it.



Not that episode, this is one where they were trying to figure out if you get better fuel economy with the tail gate up or down, and why. They simulated a wind tunnel by using a model car and using a water tank, like what that guy did in the video you posted.



and I thought you guys were talking about the Taurus with the "golf ball" skin (clay - adding over 400#s) on it.... where they got substantially better fuel economy even though the skinned car was substantially heavier.....
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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby shagymc » Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:30 am

I'm excited to see where this goes!

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby Jan Pedersen » Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:49 am

Cool Project! 50 mgp is ambitious but I hope you make it!

overspool wrote:1) I will look into that. Leen stuff is spendy, but it would be nice to not have to cut up the interior.

Here is what I did - or at least a mock up ;) :
Image
The shifter bowl was lowered in the final version!

Image
The T50 shifter was modified and reused. I welded in 20 mm like a short shifter and turned it 90 degrees and placed it on a spacer.
Image

It Works really well, was cheap and it looks pretty much stock. The shifter sits 40-45 mm higher butI like it closer to the Wheel...

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby branden » Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:34 am

exciting build

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby overspool » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:06 pm

Jan,

If you've got more pictures, you have me intrigued.

I've been a little busy the past few weeks, it looks like I'm relocating to Michigan. I've been offered a position on Ford's Technical Hotline, and they want me to start in January.

I unbolted the clutch and flywheel, it's a good thing I did because they're bothth toast. I wanted to test the car with the stock dual mass flywheel, but I guess that have happening.

I've seen something on the AU 86 forum about using a flywheel from an 81-88 pickup with a 22RE, but I want to see what else I can find before rigging something together.

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby Jan Pedersen » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:23 pm

I can take a couple of pics of the finished product when I start working on the car Again. Please remind me if nothing happens :)

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby overspool » Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:19 pm

Image

flywheel and pressure plate. Clutch was riding on the rivets. cool.

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby oldeskewltoy » Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:22 pm

dual mass flywheel.... looks heavy
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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby overspool » Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:36 pm

Yup. Something like 30ish pounds. Needs a lightweight flywheel for sure :)

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby grappletech » Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:17 am

For my clutch setup , I purchased an exedy clutch flywheel and bearing kit. I waited until the price went down. Idk what it's at now. Let me k.ow if you'd like more info
87 GTS Coupe Super Duper Clean
87 GTS Coupe Beams 3sge (under construction cuz I'm slow and lazy and broke-FML)
87 SR5 Coupe Shell. (Sold)
86 SR5 Hatch Shell (waiting on a 20v or BEAMS to come cheaply. hell maybe even a 4agze?!)

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby riddleyo » Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:41 pm

Nice build and ideas so far. The way to hit 50mpg is through driving technique and aerodynamics. All other stuff such as flywheel weight are relatively small peanuts.

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby grappletech » Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:51 pm

The stock flywheel is 31 lbs.
87 GTS Coupe Super Duper Clean
87 GTS Coupe Beams 3sge (under construction cuz I'm slow and lazy and broke-FML)
87 SR5 Coupe Shell. (Sold)
86 SR5 Hatch Shell (waiting on a 20v or BEAMS to come cheaply. hell maybe even a 4agze?!)

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby overspool » Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:02 pm

Riddleyo- you can't get 50mpg out of a car and engine rates for 30mpg, no matter how you drive. First you build it to be able to sip on fuel and not chug it. Then you worry about keeping your foot out of it. Aero doesn't play as much of a role, since I'm not designing an entirely new vehicle. I'll get as much out of this as possible, but we'll just have to wait and see.

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby overspool » Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:03 pm

Also, sorry for the lack of updates. I'm almost done moving to Michigan!

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Re: The 50MPG Beams AE86 Build

Postby riddleyo » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:10 pm

overspool wrote:Riddleyo- you can't get 50mpg out of a car and engine rates for 30mpg, no matter how you drive. First you build it to be able to sip on fuel and not chug it. Then you worry about keeping your foot out of it. Aero doesn't play as much of a role, since I'm not designing an entirely new vehicle. I'll get as much out of this as possible, but we'll just have to wait and see.


Those at EcoModder would beg to differ. Aero plays the 2nd biggest role for mpg if you want to hypermile. You don't need a new vehicle, there are many modifications such as undertrays, grill blocks, gap filling, and spoilers you can add on to reach that 50mpg target. A Kammback would greatly help a coupe get a low Cd but I doubt any self respecting AE86 owner would install one. I'm pretty confident you could get a BEAMs powered AE86 to 50mpg but the visual aesthetics would make us all puke. I'm looking forward to seeing your results though.

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