GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE – Any takers?

It pains me to write this but up for sale is my beloved ’96 Toyota RAV4. This is no ordinary RAV4, its rare, unique and more of an enthusiast car then your typical grocery getter. It’s been modified to receive a ST215 Toyota Caldina 3SGTE engine and its E150F transmission. It’s AWD, has dual sunroofs, power accessaries, working AC as well as some more goodies!!

Check my eBay auction at:

RAV4 GTT EBAY AUCTION

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If you’re interested contact me at scubastevoviii@aol.com. 

3SGTE Engine Swap Tips

When a car enthusiast like myself buys a new car, we often have a plan…a collection of ideas of what we want. I’m no different. Before I purchased my Rav4 I knew this was going to be something big in more ways then one. If you recall, in my blog introduction, there was one specific requirement that the Rav4 doesn’t meet…having “More then 200hp.” Not satisfied by what choices I had amongst the cars I looked at, I figured if I can’t find everything I want…I’ll just build it!

I’ve received a bunch of messages from you fellow enthusiasts, asking tons of questions, looking for tips and advise. This has lead me to the hiccups…the giant ¿question-marks?…so lets highlight those:

1) Does the 3sgte bolt right up to the Rav4 engine mounts?

Yes, all S-series engines (includes: 5sfe, 3sge & 3sgte) will “bolt in” the Rav4 chassis with no modifications. And technically there is only 1 engine mount that actually bolts onto the engine…and that is the passenger side mount. The other 3 mounts connect directly to the transmission. I would advise replacing and urethane filling the engine & rear differential mounts.

2) Will the 3sgte fit stock E250F transmission?

Yes, all S-series engine share the same transmission bolt pattern thus the 3sgte will mate up to the stock E250F transmission.

3) These leads into,will the stock Rav4 clutch & flywheel fit as well?

Yes & no. Yes, they technically share the same bolt patterns and yes, you could reuse your stock flywheel (I recommend machining it before reuse). But the stock clutch is only made to handle 120-130hp and are too weak to handle the added power. So you will definitely need a new clutch kit with the 3sgte swap. On another, there has been a debate on whether or not the stock Rav4 3sfe has an 8-bolt or a 6-bolt flywheel setup. From the information I’ve gathered, the early versions of the 3sfe from late 80s Celica & Camry had a 6-bolt flywheel setup. Sometime in the 90’s Toyota made the switch from 6 to 8 bolts. Lastly my Rav4 had an 8-bolt setup.

4) Does the Celica or Caldina E150F transmission swap fit?

Yes, it bolts right up, reuses other 3 stock engine mounts…the shifter cables & shifter itself work just fine…but you’ll need a Rav4.2 driver side axle. Also the clutch line, .  Note that the speedometer will not be accurate. And lastly note that the Caldina transmission doesn’t have a VSS or Speedo Gear Ring. See my post regarding this situation HERE.

5) Is the 3sgte wiring harness plug and play?

No, you will need to either custom fabricate a harness yourself or reach to a specialist like Doug at WireGap

6) Will the stock fuel pump work?

No, the fuel pump will not flow enough volume for the injectors. You will need an upgraded pump. Check out my MOAR Fuel N Stuff post. I’d also recommend servicing the injectors.

7) Does the stock Rav4 have a returnless fuel system? Will the 3sgte required a fuel return line?

Yes, the stock Rav4 has a returnless setup and yes, this swap will require adding a fuel return line to the gas tank.

8) Are there any clearance issues in and around the engine bay?

Yes, the 3sgte turbocharger interferes with the stock Rav4 radiator fan. So a slimmer fan (less the 2.5inch thick) is needed. Since I’m using the stock Caldina air box, I had to modify the lower half to fit in properly. It also interfered with the stock coolant reservoir which I have moved slightly from it’s original position. Please note that a custom intake setup will eliminate this issue.

9) Where do you mount intercooler?

This will be your choice. If you want a front mounted intercooler, you will most likely have to sacrifice your AC condensor to create space to fit one. I opted to keep my AC and retain the stock Caldina top mounted intercooler. This required cutting the hood, adding a hood scoop with splitter to direct air flow thru the intercooler.

10) Are there any miscellaneous items that need attention?

Yes…here’s a summary of the smaller things that you will need address:

Throttle Cable – the stock Rav4 cable is too long for the Caldina intake manifold setup. So we made bracket relocating the mounting position to correct this issue.

Cruise Control – works but continuously tries to spool the turbo and once it hits boost, it cuts off. Since this has been a low priority, I really haven’t looked into it much but I suspect acquiring a 3sgte cruise control ecu would fix this.

AC Compressor – since the AC lines on the Caldina compressor are arranged differently then the Rav4’s, you’ll have to reuse your stock Rav4 AC Compressor. Also note keeping AC will limit the space in the front to mount an intercooler.

Alternator – if you choice to retain the stock Rav4 AC system, you will also need to retain the stock alternator as well. This is because of clearance issues from the turbo and the oil dip stick. I also needed to fab up a lower alternator bracket as well…to prove extra clearance.

Exhaust – since no such exhaust system exist for this type of swap, you will have to create your own custom exhaust setup.

Custom Intake – in general this is an easy one to handle, nonetheless you will also to create a custom intake setup. As noted above, I’m my setup consist of the stock Caldina air box custom fitted to the lower portion of the stock Rav4 setup. I will be upgrade to cone filter setup in the future.

OBD2 – like nearly all JDM engine swaps, you will lose OBD2 functionality. This means, depending on your region, you may have or may not have issues with inspection.

Why The Caldina Gen4 3SGTE?

One might ask why….why the ST215W Caldina 3SGTE?

I’m not going to get into the performance specs or numbers, you can just Google that yourself. I’m going to simply provide you with a personal opinion and how I came to my conclusion for this particular project.

Now I contemplated this for months…do a choice a BEAMS 3SGE, Gen3 or Gen4 3SGTE? While I also considered a V6 1MZFE and even 2GRFE. The 2GR was just not economically efficient…on top of the fact that the V6 platform interferes with the transfer case. I just didn’t want to go there, especially for only 200hp from the 1MZ. Now the BEAMS, this was definitely more inline with what I’m use to & absolutely love, high revving NA power…BUT, on average its almost the same price as a Gen3 or Gen4 3SGTE…and there it was…I was left between two choices.

I have to take a step back and ask the question, I’ve asked so many plotting to do an engine swap…what is your vision? what are your goals…what are you looking to get out of this project?

My vision was to create something I couldn’t find or buy anywhere else…the motto “built, not bought” sums it up! If you go back go back to my intro post you’ll find I wanted something with “More Then 200hp”. Well a stock Rav4 doesn’t cut it but thankfully it had something else I was looking for, “Engine Swap Potential.” With a 3sgte, I was now looking at 250-300hp. With that said I was going to exceed my vision and goals. The swap also had to be as reliable as possible, just as any other factory Toyota would be.This leads me into why I chose the Gen 4 3SGTE.

As I read forum post, after forum post, I gathered more and more info & data. I soon came across a well known and growing Northeast MR2 shop called PRIME. They have been specializing with these engine for quiet sometime. Their presence on the forums (MR2.com & MR2OC.com) and Facebook have influenced my decision.

So here it is….I’ve taken PRIME’s “Top reasons why you want a Gen4 3SGTE” and gave it a Rav4 twist:

1) Newest breed of swappable 2.0L 3SGTE engines for a Rav4.1. Built from 1998-2003.

2) Coilpack ignition, 550cc injectors, 1-piece turbo and manifold, high volumetric efficiency intake manifold.

3) Gen4 has the most modern electronics, which means every system operates more efficiently.

4) You have to drive one to understand how much better it runs, drives and goes than any other gen 3sgte motor.

5) Optimized for high response, this super fast spooling turbo 3SGTE engine drives like a naturally aspirated engine with no turbo surge or lag. Drives like a modern day turbo car – not one designed in the 1980’s (Gen2 3SGTE).

6) Has more then twice the power over a stock 3sfe…and with a basic boost control, it’s an easy 300hp at the flywheel.

7) The Gen4 is by far the easiest 3SGTE to work on in the engine bay once your swap is done – due to the lack of the spider web of hoses typically associated with Gen2 and Gen3 3SGTE motors. Yields for a cleaner and less cluttered engine bay.

8) Prime supplies a custom wiring harness that creates a plug and play solution for the Gen4 motor. No cut wires or hack jobs. Their harnesses retain the functional factory diagnostic port (not OBD2 port), cruise control, and A/C!

9) With its increased turbo response and torque it’s the best 3SGTE engine for autocross or road racing hands down. Nothing is more responsive than a Gen4.

10) Don’t take our word for it. COME FOR A RIDE IN MY RAV4 GT-T OR GO TEST DRIVE ONE OF PRIME’S GEN4 MR2’s FOR FREE!

Here is one of Prime’s Gen4 DYNO RESULTS. NOTE…these are wheel horsepower figures (AWD will yield slightly lower #’s). Engine flywheel power is ~280HP and ~300TQ. The test car was a 1993 MR2 with factory catalytic converter and running a  Prime Stage 1 setup.

With that said, this was certainly enough for my to pull the trigger on a Gen4 3SGTE. The biggest take-a-ways for me were: reliability, responsiveness and power potential. The Gen4 was the perfect match me.

gtte

Lastly, there are some pros to a Gen3 3SGTE:

– It has a better air-to-water intercooler

– If you have a 96-97 model it will be easier to wire up the distributor and stock tachometer

– The Gen3 manual transmission will have a Differential Speedo Gear Ring

– The CT20B will yield more peak boost and peak HP

– The exhaust manifold will make it easier to upgrade to a larger turbo

Need A Wiring Harness?

For many years people dreamed of engine swaps but always hit the big hurdle, WIRING!

Well, those days are long gone. Back in 2006-07 I needed a harness conversion for my 20v 4age AW11 project. Luckily the MR2 community has been a big spot for DIY guys. A board member named MR220V did his own plug & play wiring for an MR2 project of his own. Shortly after, the demand grow and MR220v began making harnesses for guys like myself…helping us to achieve our goals and complete our projects. After almost 6 years of using his harness and never having an issue…it was a no brain’er!!! I needed to reach out to him again for my Gen 4 3SGTE Rav4 project.

Today, MR220V aka Doug Copeland has founded WireGap…”a place that provides custom engine harness wiring for Toyotas. With ten years of wiring experience, his engine harnesses are plug & play, reliable, and have an OEM appearance.”

WireGap gives people like myself the opportunity to take an idea, a Gen 4 powered SXA10 and execute it. Doug’s services are proven, my MR2 is still going strong…and as an experienced Toyota engine swapper…I HIGHLY RECOMMENDED his services! Doug has always been there with a quick reply to any and all of my questions over the years.

Now you’re probably wondering, how do this work?

It’s simple, you disconnect your uncut factory engine harness from you car. Next you disconnect the engine harness from the motor being installed, in my case the Gen 4 3sgte harness. Then you fill a WireGap Order Form, send Doug an email, get a quote…then box it all up & ship it away. Now I took an extra step to reduce down time, I picked up a spare stock Rav4 engine harness. This allowed me to continue driving my Rav4 while waiting for the final product to be sent back to me.

The end result, a plug & play harness…so once you’ve mounted your new engine & hardware, you just turn the key and go! CHEERS!

For more info go to:

http://www.facebook.com/wiregapinc

http://www.wiregapinc.com/

Or contact Doug at (404) 276-5555 or sales@wiregapinc.com