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:



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


Front Brake Theory Part 2 – Stage 2 Brake Upgrade

Welcome to part 2 of my Front Brake Theory! I left off with alot of material from my first post…some of you have messaged me about a follow-up. I have to apologize for a late response. Since, I have selected my setup and have been testing it for over 4 months.

DISCLAIMER/WARNING: This is simply a guide, written to be and is intended as informational tips. This is not a 100% accurate or guaranteed foolproof guide. Work on your own vehicle at your own risk. If after reading through these tips, you do not feel comfortable doing the work yourself, please seek the help of a professional mechanic. I cannot be held accountable for your safety or vehicle. I do not take any responsibility for any damage to personal property or injury to yourself.

Here is the Stage 2 Brake Upgrade:

I’ve selected: Brake Bracket – Celica GT (95-99)

Part Numbers:

RH 47721-20420

LH 47722-20120

 96celicafrontbrakebracket3a 96celicafrontbrakebracket396celicafrontbrakebracket1

Rotors – Lexus LS430 (01 – 06)

Part Number: 43512-50220

Ls430rotorCalipers – Toyota Avalon (95-97)

Part Number:

RH 47730-07020

LH 47750-07020

avalon96frontcaliper avaloncalipers

Pads – Toyota MR2 Turbo (92-95)

Part Number: 04465-17060

Here are some reference shots: Rotor Comparison…Lexus LS430 (01 – 06) on the left and the Rav4 (96-00) on the right. IMG_8925 Test Fitting…the Celica GT (95-99) Brake Bracket. The dust shield was bent slightly to accommodate the larger 315mm diameter rotor. IMG_8924 More Test Fitting…the Celica GT (95-99) Brake Pads (these were too thick to seat properly into the brake pads clips). IMG_8928 Here is the caliper mounted and the complete what I’ll call “prototype” version of this setup.



There are few spots on the Celica Brake Bracket that need to be grinded to support the (1)thicker rotor, (2)the larger diameter as well as (3)the offset of the rotor. The newer setup will not work with the stock 16 inch wheels unless you use a wheel spacer (25mm thick)…I’m using the H&R one on my stock 16 inch wheels and it barely fits. Its probably better to use the Celica GT caliper over the Avalon calipers because the master cylinder will work much better with the single piston setup. I need to install a larger one with my setup, which means more $$ …which is what I was trying to avoid.

Driving Impressions

It’s a tight fit that will create a front brake bias (with the twin piston calipers) but works with no brake fade unlike that stock setup. Since I did not change/upgrade the master cylinder, the pedal travel has increased…while its good for pedal modulation, its in need of a larger bored cylinder due to the larger hydraulic volume in each caliper. Brake fade resistance has definitely improved. I plan on upgrading the rear brakes, changing the master cylinder and adding some stainless steel brake lines. Good luck, drive safely, and have fun!

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.


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.


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