View Full Version : Help! 1988 Toyota Celica GT Convertible!

03-18-2010, 02:47 PM
i have a 1988 Celica GT Convertible...picked it up last year may and I enjoy every minute of driving it. I noticed that white/blue smoke comes out of the car when i start it up...and the engine gets hot relatively quick...i change the thermostat already...in any case...i am thinking about doing a JDM engine swap on from the stock motor to a 3SGTE motor and rebuild the 2WD with new parts since i have it open already....will this work? any opinions?

03-18-2010, 03:08 PM

Guessing it's a 5sp transmission.

White smoke out of the tailpipe is usually coolant burning in the cylinder, a good indication the headgasket has failed around one or more of the cylinders.

Blue smoke is burning oil, generally either spark plug tubes are leaking (a little bit of blue loctite takes care of that), or the valve seals need replacing.

When it heats up, does it eventually overheat? Is there any water in the overflow or radiator? How's the oil (color/etc)?

Either way, the engine needs some TLC.

Cost-wise, it would be cheaper & simpler to yank the head, have it cleaned & machined, replace valve seals/guides/rods if necessary, and replace the head gasket (providing the bottom end is Ok). Hell it'd be cheaper to source a used 3sfe engine and just drop it.

There's TONS of information and threads on the 3sgte swap. Check out the Forced Induction forum for some more information. The link in my siggy is to my project thread with my 89 Celica. I'm dropping a Gen4 3s-gte engine from a 99 Calidina with an e153 lsd transmission. This should give you a general idea of the work needed for a 3s-gte swap.

03-18-2010, 05:24 PM
Well....it the engine gets hot...but the guage i dont think works properly so i do not know for sure if it really over heating... i was thinkin a 1st or 2nd Gen 3sgte swap...would it entail about the same amount of work?

03-19-2010, 02:41 PM
Either swap requires about the same amount of work. The biggest part of the swap is doing the engine harness wiring. There's threads that show how to re-wire/extend the JDM harness to fit in the USDM vehicles.

I'd go with the 2nd gen 3sgte swap, it's a much more common swap.

Have you tried getting an aftermarket temp. gauge and installing that to see if it's overheTing?

03-19-2010, 05:04 PM
i was thinkin that since i the 3sgte has turbo and the stock engine doesnt....i was gonna run a 3 gauge pillar pod....one gauge for boost...one for air ratio.. and one for the temperature.. i think i might just the motor only because i believe the previous owner has changed the motor and it had alot of miles on it...the body of the car has about 147K...hopefully i get a decent JDM with low miles...but i shall decide on that in the next few weeks...i would love to make it a convertibile that is AWD but that would cost alot of money...

when you did your swap....did you use the second gen 3gte? if so...does the top mounted intercooler interfere with the hood?

03-19-2010, 05:58 PM
You should go check out all the stickies in the Forced Induction forum.

You will have to do the engine wiring harness. There's some plugs missing/unnecessary, as well as the JDM engine harness is about 3' too short (RHD vs LHD).

I'm not using the gen2 3sgte, I'm doing a gen4 3sgte (st215) swap.

Don't bother making the vert AWD, it's not worth it time or money-wise.

I'm going with a FMIC, but I will be putting in a st205 scoop for heat exhaust as well.

03-19-2010, 06:13 PM
I was thinking about the FMIC because i heard that i may have to modify the hood hence why i asked...my ultimate goal after i get the mechanics worked out is to put the Kaminari Kit wit hood scoop.. I also would have to downgrade my rims from 17"s to to 16"s

03-19-2010, 06:59 PM
just do the alltrac bodykit.....looks a little better than the kumari one.plus you wouldnt have to downsize your rims

03-19-2010, 07:22 PM
i been lookin for a the all trac kits or the aeroform kit..but cant find them...do you know where i can get one?

03-19-2010, 07:53 PM
Kevin, screen name RedRkt01, is an Aeroform dealer. They're made to order at this point, won't be cheap.

The only way to get the All-Trac kit is to get lucky and find one in the junkyard, or buy the pieces from someone who's parting one out.

03-20-2010, 06:02 AM
I was thinking about the FMIC because i heard that i may have to modify the hood hence why i asked...my ultimate goal after i get the mechanics worked out is to put the Kaminari Kit wit hood scoop.. I also would have to downgrade my rims from 17"s to to 16"s

The st165 came with a W2A TMIC. It's small and fits neatly under the hood. The gen3 3sgte TMIC is also W2A, but it's bigger than the gen1's. Any A2A TMIC you will need to open the hood left air flow through the core.

03-22-2010, 01:54 PM
thanks...so i guess i can just run the piping and move the IC to the front...or do a complete change to FMIC

03-23-2010, 07:29 PM
Will a 1990 All Trac Hood fit on a 88 Celica?

03-24-2010, 05:23 AM
Not without a lot of modification.

03-24-2010, 05:30 AM
would it be better off to buy an aftermarket hood scoop and install it on my GT hood... or by a 5th gen hood and modify it?

03-24-2010, 05:39 AM
Better to buy a scoop and install it.

04-02-2010, 07:21 AM
theres a couple of kits on alltrac.net....but be careful buying over there..(not that im saying what your thinking) ...... theres one guy on there that has a post and he selling the whole kit with everything i believe but i cant find or remember the price.

04-04-2010, 07:57 AM
I had an 89 that overheated... at certain speeds... I punched the cat it ran great after that... no overheating... i'll get flamed for this but if the car has antifreeze, high mileage, and it's pushing fluid... try the cat man...