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.
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