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Old 06-30-2012, 09:41 PM   #1
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Smile The MI LW Pulley "Not a Big 'Car Guy'" Review

Intro
This is my review of the new MicroImage Light Weight Crank Pulley, which is in the same vein as my previous review of the MI SSK. Long story short, I'm still a "noob" when it comes to cars and mods, but I'm learning.
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The Install
For this install I decided to go over to my buddy's house and borrow both him and his more extensive selection of tools from his garage. It was also a big help having someone else there to lend a hand and to hold things in place when need be. I'm sure that I could have easily done this install by myself, and I'm far from mechanically inclined.

Compared to my last install (the MI SSK last year) this one is very straight forward and you've got a lot of room to move around and get tools to where you need them. I mean all there is to do is:
  1. jack up the car and remove the passenger-side wheel,
  2. remove the plastic wheel liner,
  3. loosen two alternator bolts and move the alternator,
  4. take the belt off of the crank pulley,
  5. remove and replace the crank pulley, and
  6. put everything back together in reverse order.
The best part about it: I managed to pull off the whole install with just hand tools!
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The Ride Back
I had read that that first rev you take after installing it will be awesome, and let me tell you it is. Personally, I think that you can definitely tell that some power has been freed up for the engine to transfer to the wheels instead of that heavy OEM pulley (on a side note, the difference in weight between the OEM pulley and the MI pulley is night and day!).

Acceleration seems to be improved a bit, and it feels like a pretty decent power increase for being such a simple bolt on mod. Floored it, and it seemed like the engine had a little bit more to give when getting up to speed. Another thing I noticed was that the revs seemed to "float" a little bit while shifting, instead of dropping like they did before, which I definitely like!

Also on my ride back home I kept it at my usual steady 65 on the interstate and saw that I could maintain that speed at around 2800-2900 RPM instead of 3000-3100 RPM. Hopefully this translates to a couple extra miles per gallon on my commute to work/school!
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Overall
Overall, I'd have to say that this is one of the "must have" mods for anyone that's starting out with modding the Yaris, or is moving from cosmetic mods to ones under the hood. The install is relatively easy, and the payoff in performance (according to my posterior dynamometer) is pretty noticeable.


9/10 Driving Smiley Guys!
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:55 PM   #2
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Thanks, wow 9/10 that's good.

We should post the torque spec for the crank pulley bolt, but I can't recall it off the top of my head. It's VERY tight, maybe 96 ft/lbs?
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:06 PM   #3
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Thanks, wow 9/10 that's good.

We should post the torque spec for the crank pulley bolt, but I can't recall it off the top of my head. It's VERY tight, maybe 96 ft/lbs?
Install was easier than the SSK. Now that install was a tight squeeze! This was a walk in the park in comparison.

I'm 99% sure that it's 96 ft-lbs. Right now it's on "as tight as we could get the damn thing without breaking our arms" ft-lbs. Going to get my last "cover my ass" oil change at a shop this week as the 3 year warranty on the car is about to end, so I'll have them check it while it's on the lift.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:41 PM   #4
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I think when I was looking it up I found that the bolt was listed at 95ft-lbs. Mine seemed to be way lower than that when I took it off, but when I put it on I went somewhere just north of 90ft-lbs before the rope i had tied between the control arm and the pulley broke. but if you find something else that says the bolt should be something else please post it
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:59 PM   #5
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^ Ha, we used 550 cord looped between the pulley and the control arm too! Mine also seemed like it was a lot less than what it should have been. One decent tug on the breaker bar and it broke free.
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:04 PM   #6
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Wow, I thought it was really hard to break that bolt free, interesting.....
How much is the pully and what's it made of?
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:09 PM   #7
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Wow, I thought it was really hard to break that bolt free, interesting.....
Either I'm very strong (which I'm not) or I got lucky and it came off easily (I think that's closer to the truth).

Quote:
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... How much is the pully and what's it made of?
Right now it's on sale for $139 over on MicroImage. Don't know how long that price is good for... maybe Garm'll chime in and let you know.

It's made out of aluminum and the OEM one is made of steel.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:52 AM   #8
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hey do you think this would be a good mod for a/t or does it make more of a difference on m/t ?
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:41 AM   #9
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hey do you think this would be a good mod for a/t or does it make more of a difference on m/t ?
I think it doesn't make a difference, as the transmission isn't really mated to the crank pulley or any of the accessory pulleys.

Should be good on an auto as well.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:45 AM   #10
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We are currently still running the "introductory" price of $139 shipped:

http://shop.microimageonline.com/MI-...LWCP-Yaris.htm
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:35 PM   #11
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it is a good mod for everyone. No reason for the stock one to be so bloated. Light weight one makes the car feel better.
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:15 PM   #12
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I've found out that it's really noticeable on those hills where you're going, "Ah, this hill sucks, it's lugging in 2nd gear, but I'm going to fast for 1st..."

Definitely a nice boost in power when you need it the most.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:57 AM   #13
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I cant wait to receive mine, im anxious to see what It'll do.
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:02 AM   #14
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My MI pulley installed

It took about 90 minutes to install, started at 10pm and was out for a test drive before midnight. The drive was 5 minutes (low fuel warning blinking ominously), mostly to see if anything was going to fall off.

According to my kitchen scale the MI pulley is 12 ounces and according to my bathroom scale the stock Toyota pulley is about 48 ounces.

I will be driving 250 miles on Friday, hilly coastal roads. I will write another note on impressions when I get back. I think this is a good comparison test as I did the same drive last Sunday.

I am still not used to working under a car that's not constantly filthy. My MGA gave itself continuous rust inhibiting undercoat treatments.

Brian
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:31 AM   #15
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did you torque it down to 95ft-lbs, that is the factory suggested torque for the pulley bolt
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:01 PM   #16
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thanks for the post, looking forward to your review. good point about the MGB, I have a Datsun Roadster that was like that until I fixed the "last" leak.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:36 PM   #17
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Torque

Yes. I have a 1/2 drive torque wrench.

I used the rope to the control arm trick mentioned earlier in this thread to break it loose. That did not work for taking it up to 95 ft-lbs for installation, the rope is too stretchy to get a reading on the wrench.

To keep the engine from turning I stuck a socket extension through one of the holes in the pulley, braced it against the block and held it with the other hand.

As other people mentioned, I don't think it was torqued up that high originally; I'd guess the factory installed it with about 50-60 ft-lbs.

This is the first car I have owned with an automatic, I am used to simply putting it in gear and blocking the wheels to keep the engine from turning.

It's a pretty part, too bad no one will ever see it.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:42 PM   #18
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Can the MI pulley handle road salt like we see lots of in the NE?
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