View Full Version : st165 upgrade/swap?

08-13-2006, 05:19 PM
Hi guys, a little new here, just got a 88 celica all trac and interested in getting some work done to it. Its got decent miles on it, around 140k, and i was wondering whats the best route to take on upgrades, swaps, and what ever comes inbetween. I sitting at around $2500 US to dump into my car. And i am also interested in having the full potentual of my car done, meaning all parts putting into it will hopefully stay in it even through turbo upgrades and maybe a swap even. If you guys suggest me to do the swap and sell my old engine and tranny, what engine would you suggest? Note i do understand the swap will cost more than $2500, and if thats the best way to do it i will hold off till i have the proper fundings. Well anyways I understand that the st185 is a straight on bolt to my mounts and that the most difficult part of the swap will be the wiring, but is there any chance a st205 will fit in my celi, ie new mounts and the fittings from a full clip? And if your advice is to stick with my st165 whats the upgrade list i sould go though via parts to get first, brand and tuning? Thanks for reading and any advice.


08-13-2006, 05:23 PM
oh yeah and i forgot to add, my all trac is LHD obviously, and the st205 will obviously be a RHD, is there a way to make the conversion without it being too big of a hassle?

08-13-2006, 08:39 PM
Well your main man to talk to is mr w0t about st165. imho if I had 2500 bux to play with I would invest it in a st185 clip and swap from there. Im not exactly sure what upgrade turbo wise are availible for the st165. Theres little aftermarket support for that engine. But think of it as you can get a st185 clip for around 2k.. by the time you get it into your car with a downpipe exhaust and a few little extras your right at 2500.

08-13-2006, 09:05 PM
I`d disagree. there are plenty of upgrades you can do to the st165. you can't say theres a bunch for the 185. with a turbo you'll just have to get an adapter for the manifold. if theres nothing wrong with the engine, why swap it? just fix what needs to be fixed.

08-13-2006, 09:24 PM
^^ lol.... not going to highjack your thread but there are a ton of aftermarket parts for the st185.

08-13-2006, 10:27 PM
^^ lol.... not going to highjack your thread but there are a ton of aftermarket parts for the st185.

Most of which are interchangable with the 165. You can find the same basic things such as injectors, cam gears, cams, pistons, rods, etc. for the 165. When it comes to custom fabricating things the 165 gets a little iffy.. such as with the turbos and such. Anything decent for an alltrac is custom anyways. We all know that. Plus.. the CR on 165's is better than that of the 185. There are differences in all the engines, but all can be made into powerful machines. There's no point in swapping a 185 in a 165 if it is still in good condition. spending 2000 plus for an extra 20 hp and an engine in which you don't know the condition of, is rediculous.

08-14-2006, 03:42 AM
There are aftermarket parts available for the gen 1, but if you plan on keeping the car for the long haul, I'd swap to a gen 2 head. Only because it's far easier to get aftermarket service parts for the gen 2 head, then gen 1 block is just fine. Your biggest gains will come replacing the turbo and the exhaust with a free flowing setup. Though if you plan on making under 300whp I would stick with the CT26.

That being said, I would strongly advise you to take your money and put it into your suspension. My 165 makes plenty of power, but I really don't enjoy driving it all that much... mostly because I can't come close to utilizing all of that power with the current suspension. If I had to do it all over again, I would definetly take care of the suspension FIRST before modding for power. You won't regret it.

08-14-2006, 05:20 AM
what are your goals for the car?

but i do agree with MrWOT...you might want to look into some suspension upgrades first if you are still on stock stuff.

08-14-2006, 03:26 PM
Heres my suggestions. You have to think long term here. Your goals may increase, or you may decide that you are happy and dont want more mods after this.

For any goal, I would suggest that you *not* consider an ST185 front clip. Unless your engine is dead, then consider it. But if your engine is in good health I wouldnt even think about it.

So I'll lay out 2 goals here.

1) All out, modifying everything you can over time. Big turbo (bigger than CT20b), forged internals, big fuel (bigger than 540cc/min injectors), big power (more than 300whp). ---> I would suggest keeping the ST165 engine and modifying it. Build the engine up with your $2500 and start from there. Get an EMS. Get a big turbo. Do it all over time. No point changing to a different gen if you are going to swap out all the parts that make them better than what you currently have.

2) Spend your money now and be happy with the results.
---> I would suggest an ST205 swap. Yes the engine will fit. This is a superb engine that has a TONNE of potential without touching the inside. The tough part is wiring but it can be done or there are people out here who can do it for you. I would not spend one penny on the ST165 engine. You will be blessed with a great engine, great performance, and be the envy of many. And it will make you happy.

08-15-2006, 03:22 AM
thanks for the post everyone i assure you ill think over carefully what everyone had said, however a new challenge came up.... when i was at work the other day my dad "borrowed" my car and drove it in 110 degrees heat with the A/C blasting, long story short it over heated and i might need new gaskets. I was actually thinking that i can rebuild the engine using parts towards a turbo upgrade. Although the st205 is very tempting, i have the wiring diagrams btw dunno if theyre vaild or not but anyways the st205 is a twin turbo, do you think thats benefital for a 2 liter? Oh and if i do get the st205 i do intend on modding it in the long run :)

08-15-2006, 03:25 AM
oh yeah and if i get the st205 swap should i get the clip or just the engine and tranny? and how hard would it be to convert it to LHD?

08-15-2006, 03:27 AM
errr and one more thing hehe i would need to have a hood scoop for any swap wouldnt i? and even if i do choose to stick it in my st165 i still would want a hood scoop, would anyone know where to get a carbon fiber hood for the st165 with a hood scoop?

08-15-2006, 03:39 AM
205 isn't twin turboed. I'm confused.

Get the clip. You can sell the parts you don't need. It's not hard at all to "convert" to LHD. The engine has nothing to do with the steering column. So in otherwords.. there is no converting.

If you got a 205 engine, you wouldn't need a hood scoop. It's a water to air intercooler, just like your engine. Just happens to be 10 times better. THere's a heat exchanger that you'll have to put behind the front bumper.

08-15-2006, 06:11 AM
He's probably thinking of the "twin entry turbo" and misunderstanding it. The twin entry means it uses a split turbine housing to seperate the exhaust pulses. It helps the response time of the turbo a bit, but it's still a single turbo.

08-15-2006, 08:33 AM
Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance.

08-15-2006, 03:23 PM
Well, if your engine is dead or the head gasket is shot, I'd just do the swap myself to the ST205. Head gasket is very expensive and you dont yet know if the head is cracked or something more serious inside is bad.

ST205 is single turbo. You should probably do more research based on what I've read so far. You might not be a good candidate for a swap if you dont have the base knowledge.

08-16-2006, 02:59 AM
again thanks for the posts, the reason why i didnt maintenance it was because i just bought the car 5 days ago and was working full time. And ChirsD has a very good point replacing my head gasket is going to be really hard, and replacing all those other things in it is going to be timly and some what pricy. ChisD has another very good point i do need to do alot more research on the car, but my best bet from what ive been looking into (price, availibility, time, work) my best bet is to look up on the st205 find one for a good price and hire a professional to do the wiring, and yes i do understand the person wiring my car will be pricy in labor but it will be alot less cheaper to fix/mod my st165 to reach 245hp(not including cooling probs and "potental" issues). So again thanks for all your help guys im going to start saving some more to get my swap.


08-16-2006, 03:16 AM
would you guys happen to know a place where i can start my research? links, books, personal refs? anything will help guys, again thanks alot.