Fitting an oil gauge sender to a 2GR-FE

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Re: Fitting an oil gauge sender to a 2GR-FE

Post by shinny » 20/06/18 18:49

In mass manufacturing, all costs are significant. Toyota made 130,732 SW20s... if a switch is £1 and a sensor is £3, then it would already cost £261,464 more. However just fitting a sensor is a useless unless you're going to do something display that information, so factor in a £5 gauge to display the analogue information. We're now at a cost of £915,124 before we start talking about the increased R&D costs.

So, what does Toyota gain? How many extra MR2s would Toyota have sold due to the gauge? How many MR2s within warranty would have had an oil problem AND been driven by a clued up enough driver to actually switch off the engine rather than ignore the light? And of those, what's the value of the parts and labour saved by an extra 30s? Is all that worth the cost?

Don't forget, we are generally talking about engines designed 2-3 decades ago by a technologically conservative company making mass market cars. Now we expect computers to be able to do almost anything, but when these engines were made, the power and capability available to an automotive grade chipset was limited, the development costs higher and conservative Toyota would not have been pushing the boundaries. So when asking what an ECU could do with the information, when thinking 3S the answer is pretty much nothing. Although technology would have moved on by 2000ish when the GR series was being developed, the question would still be what the value is to Toyota to do some really clever monitoring of oil pressure? Maybe a couple of engines get saved, but that's pocket change. What are the risks if they get it wrong; false positives leading to wasted diagnostic time and negative press? Recalling cars for ECU reflashes? Nah, use a simple, reliable, cheap pressure switch, configure it so it only illuminates when there's a blindingly obvious problem and accept it may illuminate 30s later than would be possible. The value of the ideal design is simply not worth the cost.

Now much more modern engines or those from more adventurous companies may be doing the cool kinds of things we're talking about... although I still don't see the business case on any car that's not squarely aimed at an enthusiast. 99% of modern car buyers don't give a scooby about a stock oil pressure gauge and the value to the manufacturer of doing something complex but hidden in the ECU is minimal.

So, why do enthusiasts care? Well, we want to know what our engines are doing! We want to make sure our engine is in peak health and we only want to rag it when everything is looking sweet. We want to check our modifications aren't having a negative effect on a crucial system. On engines we've invested time, energy and money into, we want that extra 30s warning of a problem. We've not covered by warranties, so the cost of a replacement engine is significant to us. Also, didn't you know that he who has the most gauges wins?




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Re: Fitting an oil gauge sender to a 2GR-FE

Post by MRHAPPY62 » 20/06/18 19:19

Interesting read :clapping:

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Re: Fitting an oil gauge sender to a 2GR-FE

Post by jimi » 20/06/18 20:00

Interesting speculation, I wonder why Mr T dropped the oil pressure gauge from the MK2 when the MK1 came with a gauge (but no oil pressure light) as standard. Also interesting is that the MK1 gauge has an arbitrary scale from L to H and no indication as to whether its in PSI or BAR
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Re: Fitting an oil gauge sender to a 2GR-FE

Post by gavsdavs » 20/06/18 21:48

I wasn't suggesting the oil pressure is shown to the driver. I wasn't anticipating it be necessary to fit another gauge or analogue wires into the loom. I was really only on about having a pressure sensor report into the ECU and the reason I think they might have done it would be see problems coming and warn the owner they need to take it for a service.

Owners like cars that tell them they are unwell and they need to take it to the garage to fix it, or even fix it themselves.

Manufacturers like this because if an engine does go bang and they have an irate customer shouting about compensation, the ECU has recorded when the low pressure event first happened and how long the fault code had been stored saying what to do do fix it. There are a few positives to a little extra cost of instrumentation and toyota value their reputation for reliability highly :)

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Re: Fitting an oil gauge sender to a 2GR-FE

Post by shinny » 20/06/18 23:25

Jimi, I think there's a slow trend towards cars becoming simpler to own. Back in the day you needed to understand what to do with a choke and the push it in once the engine got warm, you needed to know how to do you points, etc... I was driving a Clio hire car last weekend and it didn't even have a temperature gauge; just a little blue light telling you the engine was cold which would go out after a few minutes. The knowledge required to own and run a car has significantly reduced over the last 50 years so the requirement to display information has reduced too. (Although in-dash LCDs now make it much easier to display any data the ECU knows)

Alternatively, you could just say that the mk1 was more of an pureist / enthusiast car, and the mk2 is just a dumbed down copy designed to have a broader, mass market appeal at the expense of the true petrolhead :th:

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Re: Fitting an oil gauge sender to a 2GR-FE

Post by jimi » 20/06/18 23:41

shinny wrote:
20/06/18 23:25
Alternatively, you could just say that the mk1 was more of an pureist / enthusiast car, and the mk2 is just a dumbed down copy designed to have a broader, mass market appeal at the expense of the true petrolhead :th:
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However inthe interests of harmony I can't possibly agree with that statement ;)
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Re: Fitting an oil gauge sender to a 2GR-FE

Post by shinny » 21/06/18 0:17

Gav... I like your ideas and it's generated a pretty interesting discussion. But your question is ultimately "Why didn't Toyota make a better, more sophisticated car?". The answer to that is they are running a business and trying to make a profit by making a car to a price point for a certain section of the market. Like it or not, they are not making the best car they can, they're making a product to make money.

I currently work as a software product manager and some of the things I ask of every product idea are:
1) Is the value we'll get from it really worth the cost of doing the work?
2) Are customers going to see value in what we've done?
3) Will the "cool" thing actually end up annoying customers?
4) Is it worth delaying the release date for?

Toyota should be asking exactly the same kinds of questions about everything they do.

I am forever reigning back engineers from getting carried away and building the very best widget they possibly can. That's not because I don't want the best, but because I only need good enough (ie. what my customers will be satisfied with / pay for) and I generally can't justify the engineers spending 5x longer on it to satisfy their understandable desire to build the very best things they can.

From that perspective, I really do not blame manufacturers for not over complicating their oil pressure warning systems. As enthusiasts, we want our MR2s to be the best they can be, for whatever we define as "best"; this is why we make different decisions to Toyota.

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Re: Fitting an oil gauge sender to a 2GR-FE

Post by gavsdavs » 22/06/18 7:57

shinny wrote:
21/06/18 0:17
Gav... I like your ideas and it's generated a pretty interesting discussion. But your question is ultimately "Why didn't Toyota make a better, more sophisticated car?". The answer to that is they are running a business and trying to make a profit by making a car to a price point for a certain section of the market. Like it or not, they are not making the best car they can, they're making a product to make money.

I currently work as a software product manager and some of the things I ask of every product idea are:
1) Is the value we'll get from it really worth the cost of doing the work?
2) Are customers going to see value in what we've done?
3) Will the "cool" thing actually end up annoying customers?
4) Is it worth delaying the release date for?

Toyota should be asking exactly the same kinds of questions about everything they do.

I am forever reigning back engineers from getting carried away and building the very best widget they possibly can. That's not because I don't want the best, but because I only need good enough (ie. what my customers will be satisfied with / pay for) and I generally can't justify the engineers spending 5x longer on it to satisfy their understandable desire to build the very best things they can.

From that perspective, I really do not blame manufacturers for not over complicating their oil pressure warning systems. As enthusiasts, we want our MR2s to be the best they can be, for whatever we define as "best"; this is why we make different decisions to Toyota.
Yep - Good stuff. My comments aren't really about the engines they put in MR2s, they're about all engines that manufacturers make.

It does look like on the value scheme, it isn't worth the extra effort of having a slightly smarter oil pressure sensor and they've managed with a simple on/off switch. It suggests engines don't generally fail due to a slight low oil pressure condition which a sensor would have spotted, they fail when oil pressure is totally lost. I think you'd have to go back to the 70s/80s where manufacturers regularly fitted pressure sensors and gauges to display it on the dash.

Ditto widebands in exhausts. Most cars can manage with narrowbands as there's a couple of them there to keep each one honest.

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Re: Fitting an oil gauge sender to a 2GR-FE

Post by TonyleFrog » 22/06/18 9:55

gavsdavs wrote:
22/06/18 7:57
I think you'd have to go back to the 70s/80s where manufacturers regularly fitted pressure sensors and gauges to display it on the dash.
Yep. Oil pressure gauge bottom left.
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I think most petrolheads will be able to identify the car make and model. :)
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Re: Fitting an oil gauge sender to a 2GR-FE

Post by gavsdavs » 23/06/18 19:34


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Re: Fitting an oil gauge sender to a 2GR-FE

Post by jimi » 23/06/18 21:06

TonyleFrog wrote:
22/06/18 9:55
gavsdavs wrote:
22/06/18 7:57
I think you'd have to go back to the 70s/80s where manufacturers regularly fitted pressure sensors and gauges to display it on the dash.
Yep. Oil pressure gauge bottom left.
Image

I think most petrolheads will be able to identify the car make and model. :)
:no:
image not displaying for me
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Re: Fitting an oil gauge sender to a 2GR-FE

Post by dawesy » 30/07/18 15:28

worth noting that the switch point for the stock pressure awitch is 7psi. if that comes on while driving it wont take long to do severe engine damage

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