View Full Version : My Street Performance NA 5sfe Build

05-27-2010, 06:47 AM
Hi all. Many of you have seen my progress on my 5sfte over the last few years. The motor has really impressed me and others who have ridden in it and seen what the right mods can do to a lowly 5sfe. It's been a long time in the works, a few wrong turns in the beginning, and I will be continuing to work on it to finally get the turbo on and tune it...

That however is not what this thread is going to be about. Since I have been running my 5sfte as an NA for the last couple of years it has only served to wet my appetite for a true dedicated NA street performance 5sfe. So back in January I finally decided that it was time to build one. I started collecting parts and making plans.

The main goal is to build a streetable 5sfe that can rev to 7500rpms, be civil enough to be my daily driver, get good gas mileage, be comfortable and not too loud but still give me a rush when I open it up. A secondary goal is to do this on a budget and keep the total cost less then what a 3sgte or v6 swap would be with all the trimmings. The third goal of this is to show people what the 5sfe can do if you pick the right combination of mods. Ultimately I am shooting for 150-160whp but we'll see.

I am also going to include the cost of these mods so others can replicate my setup should they want. I will divide the mods into absolutely necessary ones, things you should do when you are in there or because they are needed, power adding or not, and those that I am doing just because I can. Unfortunately I didn't start taking pictures until this week but I will try to be better at doing that. I have appreciated the open minded attitude of the CelicaTech community and it has encouraged me to share the things I am doing. So you guys can take credit for this. ;) Please forgive that this motor is going in an MR2 and not a Celica. :haha:

So here goes!

Parts List So Far...

- Rev1 5sfe - Free
- 3sgte gen2 rods - Free (Thanks Josh!)
- 3sgte gen2 valve springs - Free (Thanks Josh!)
- Full 98 5sfe gasket set - $82
- Crank grinding - $150
- Recondition 3sgte rods - $60
- Main/rod bearings and thrust washers - $58
- Shaving the head - $150
- Cam grinding (Webcam 101) - $604 shipping included
- 315cc injectors - Free (Thanks Luni!)
- SMT6 - $455 shipping included
- 5sfe intake manifold modified with a dual plenum and 2.25" TB inlet - $130 for welding and materials
- 3sgte 55mm TB - Free (Thanks Luni!)

Things I am doing because I am in there that will help power:
- 3sgte gen2 valves - Free (Thanks Josh!)
- 3 angle Valve job - $240 (had to take it to a more expensive shop for the exhaust)
- 0.020" overbore - $80
- 0.020" 98 5sfe cast pistons, pins and rings - $121
- Porting the head - Free
- Ebay 2jzgte adjustable cam gear - $115 from ebay

Things I am doing because I am in there that won't help power:
- ARP 3sgte rod bolts - $40
- ARP 3sgte head bolts - $122
- Timing belt - $31
- Cleaning, line bore and decking the block - $155
- 98 5sfe oil pump - $105
- 98 5sfe water pump - $25

Extras because I can:
- AEM UEGO Wideband - $260
- NST light weight crank pulley - $140
- Ishihara-Johnson crank scrapper - $72

The Old...

I am starting with a 92 rev1 5sfe from another MR2 given to me by a guy who spun the #1 rod bearing and then did a 3sgte swap. The engine had over 100,000 miles on it and was in pretty poor shape. The cams had scratches in the journals, the #1 rod bearing had basically desintigrated and all that was left were flakes in the pan. They had put a leaky cork gasket on the oil pan instead of using form-in-place gasket like you should. Also they had attempted to glue the crank pulley dampener back together after it had come apart. Here are some pics of the carnage but nothing that can't be fixed or replaced:

What was left of rod bearing #1.

Rod #1 big end... it could be fixed but I don't need it.

Scratches on the cam journals. These could only be fixed by welding... I don't need them though so they are scrap metal.

5sfe's seem to always leave a bit of the piston behind on the cylinder wall. Wear like this on the thrust side of the piston is actually pretty common for a 5sfe.

100,000+ miles of carbon buildup.

The Build...

The cams, which I got from a 92 Camry, I have pressed the gears off and have sent them to Delta Cams. I used rev2 5sfe cams because they have a 1.25" base circle as opposed to the 1.1" of the rev1. I am waiting for them to call me back and tell me if they will need to weld on new material to do the grind I requested. I am looking for similar grind to the Webcam 101 or HKS 272. It costs more if they need to weld.

The 5sfe crank has been ground down to fit the 3sgte rods, 0.010" taken off the main journals and polished. The rod bearing journals have been chamfered to increase strength and side clearances set for good oil distribution to the bottom of the pistons. Here is a blurry picture:

The block has been cleaned inside and out, line bore checked, decked, bored 0.020" over and the cylinders honed. Here is a picture of it still in the honing machine:

3sgte rods have been reconditioned and the ARP bolts installed. The box underneath is the 0.020" stock style pistons.

Here is the head having the seats ground for the 1.5mm bigger 3sgte valves. Intakes are done in this picture.
Interesting side note... my friend Pearljammzz has a gen3 3sgte head in being worked on and I noticed the gen3 has back-cut valves. That means they flow like they are 1mm bigger then what they actually are. Makes me wish I could have gotten some gen3 valves but hey these gen2s were free so I am not complaining.

I should have the block, crank and head back by the weekend so I can start assembling the short block and porting the head.

05-27-2010, 07:02 AM
All I have to say is good luck. I tried many years ago and made a truck engine out of my 5SFE lol. It made 143lbs of torque at 2200 rpm and max hp (128) at 4600 rpm.

05-27-2010, 07:24 AM
nice keep it up!

All I have to say is good luck. I tried many years ago and made a truck engine out of my 5SFE lol. It made 143lbs of torque at 2200 rpm and max hp (128) at 4600 rpm.

he knows about all the tricks and improvement spots of a 5sfe. he knows what hes doin

05-27-2010, 07:32 AM
Like I said, good luck. Jim is the only one I have seen to get that type of power from a N/A 5SFE. Where is nuke, he should have fun with this. BTW, your stock injectors will be fine for the amount of hp you are wanting to make, add a fuel pressure reg.

Noob, perhaps you don't know the history of my build.... That's ok

05-27-2010, 08:21 AM
This isn't a discussion lol. Thank you for the comments but I know exactly what I am doing. :)

BTW, your stock injectors will be fine for the amount of hp you are wanting to make, add a fuel pressure reg.

Rev1 injectors will run out somewhere around 150rwhp at stock pressure. Anyway since I already own these I see no reason to go to the trouble to add a FPR. It is much easier, safer and cheaper to add larger injectors then a new regulator. It has to be tuned anyway with the cam profiles I am getting.

FYI I already have a 5sfe that revs to 7700rpms with 9:1 compression (will be 5sfte) and makes 140+rwhp with EGTs in the 1200-1300F range. The idea with this build is to duplicate that but bump compression up by 2+ points because this motor will never see boost.

05-27-2010, 09:06 AM
So, you are using 3sgte rods to correct the messed up rod ratio?

05-27-2010, 09:11 AM
Nope. 3sgte rods are the same length center to center as 5sfe rods so the rod ratio doesn't change. The difference is simply in the strength of the rod bolts. The 3sgte ones are bigger and can handle the forces created when revving the engine higher.

05-27-2010, 11:57 AM
Looking good, wish I would have had the time/finances to get this done to my engine when I was replacing it.

05-27-2010, 10:40 PM
Yeah I hear ya. That is why I decided to do this with a spare engine. This will probably take a few more months to pull together and I would rather have a running car during that time.

05-28-2010, 12:20 AM
Looks good. You can drop it in my celi when ever your done.

08-21-2010, 01:09 AM
Received some toys in the mail this last week giving me some incentive to get back on this project. I originally was planning on going with Delta Cams but communication broke down and I ended up with a set of cams that was not quite what I wanted. They said they were able to achieve a 228@0.050" but when I measured they actually turned out to be 222@0.050" +/- 2 on different lobes. I will have to find another home for those but they were the cheapest I have seen for ground cams at less then $200. So this is what I went with instead:

The Webcam 101s measure up very close to what they claim. Close enough that I can assume my measuring is to blame. Here is how I measured them so it is no surprise:

And the other toy that showed up today:

08-29-2010, 07:18 AM
More progress...

Scribing the head to the block before porting:
I used a marker and then a chisel to mark the edge of where the cylinder meets the head. You need to do this to be able to deshroud the valves without compromising the head gasket. Also it helps cylinder filling at high RPMs to have less of a step on the outside edge. The compromise is that you loose quench there.
Marked the intake ports to the stock gasket. Surprisingly they are very close already. I basically just matched the bowls to the newly cut seats, matched to the gasket and cleaned up any casting marks.
Putting the stock valves back in to protect the seats:
Marked the head with a marker to keep the chambers all consistent:
Finished with the chamber work:
With the new 3sgte valves (+1.5mm):
Valves at lift to see how much room there is for air to get around them:
Aluminum I removed. The ultimate in weight reduction, the kind that gives you more power. :)

09-02-2010, 11:13 PM
Got the head back from the machine shop today. They shaved 0.100" off and did a fine finish for the MLS head gasket:
The 0.100" shave should give me about 11.5:1 CR with the CCs I added to the chamber by deshrouding the valves. I will probably measure them one more time to be sure they are all the same and where I need them.

09-04-2010, 10:23 PM
Can not wait to see the results of this.

09-05-2010, 08:47 AM
Good luck with the build,hope you get the results you want :toung:

09-06-2010, 03:31 AM
I'm curious to see what the numbers will be in the end. Keep up the good work! I'm hoping to see you pull some impressive numbers from this so more people build their 5S's and prove it as a somewhat viable NA engine rather than just boosting it immediately.

12-19-2010, 06:33 AM
Sorry I haven't updated this in a while. I've actually had a few chances to work on it the last couple of months but didn't post any pictures. So this is playing catch-up.

The bottom end is put together. Turns out ITM had the rod bearing mislabeled so when I went to put them in something looked wrong. Always check to make sure the oil holes line up. :) I plasigauged all the main and rod bearing and it is all within Toyota factory spec. Also I checked ring end gap and it was good. Here's pics of that:


12-19-2010, 06:39 AM
Valves have been lapped, the head cleaned:

You will notice where the gray rings are on the seat and valve. If the valve job has been done correctly they will be centered, cover most of that angle cut and be even all the way around:

Ready to start assembly. It is important that once you lap them that you keep the valve in the same place so they match up to the seat they were ground against.

12-19-2010, 06:47 AM
Valve seals were pretty easy, I just used an 11mm socket to push them on. I then had to rig something up to compress the valve springs to get the keepers in. Anyone who had built a head knows this is probably the most tedious, painful part. Drop a keeper and you could be looking for hours on the floor with a magnet. I've done it with a crowbar and jerry rigging before but I am getting smarter in my old age. This time I decided to make it easier and use a big clamp and cut piece of pipe:

Took a bit of balancing but it was much easier then trying to hold the spring pressure while at the same time drop a keeper in the hole in the right place.

12-19-2010, 06:47 AM
And finally... more new toys showed up last week:

01-23-2011, 10:40 PM

01-23-2011, 11:02 PM
Need moar updates jerkface!

01-27-2011, 07:06 AM
Haha it's too cold... as you know because you are still waiting to start working on your clutch!

Thanks for the injectors Luni:
I need to get these sent off to be cleaned and flow tested. Now I can run both of my cars NA if I want.

Sorry no other updates. I have just been contemplating how I am going to cheaply make or mod an intake manifold to work for this build.

01-28-2011, 02:14 AM
i am going to be starting a similiar build here soon as spring comes around. so i can do alot of the work my self, but i am liking ur build so far.

04-10-2011, 05:39 AM
Slowly making progress... here is an update on what I have been doing over the last month.

Cut the valve reliefs wider for the larger valves. Since I shaved .100" off the head it is still interference but doing this gives me 3mm more then before. First I marked them so I could be consistent and then used a die grinder and just followed the angle of the current valve reliefs.

Test fitted the crank scrapper. These are known to fit rev1 blocks without modification so it leads me to believe that this 92 got the new revision block even though the rest of it is rev1:

So I did my best to scribe it and grind it away with an angle grinder:

All done and bolted in:

04-10-2011, 05:55 AM
I also was able to bolt the cams in and check valve clearance:

Bad news here, while the 3sgte valves are longer then the 2jz ones so they are better for rev1 engines, they are still a little on the short side. I measured that I would need 0.030" thicker shims then what I already have. The problem is that Toyota shims do not go that thick. One option is to sink the valves 0.030" deeper into the seat but that puts it far enough down that it will start to impede air flow. The solution is a product made by Manley called valve lash caps:


They sit under the bucket and on top of the valve. I have two sets of 8 on order and they should be here next week. They will need to be machined to the right thickness for me and the bottom cut away so as not to interfere with the keepers but it should be a much better solution. I will have to find a grinder locally with the right machine to modify them. These could be a solution for you guys who want to grind cams past their base circle to get more duration and lift. You can buy them in 0.040" and 0.060" thicknesses so you could remove that much base circle and then you would just have to grind the bottoms to keep them from interfering with the keepers.

Lastly today I went over to my friend's shop and used a lathe to cut the cam gear to the right thickness and enlarged the center hole from 19mm to 20mm:

04-10-2011, 06:50 AM
Glad to see the new progress. Sorry to here about the problems.

04-10-2011, 06:54 AM
Fuck you rizin. You are not. I know you were praying for failure. I know how you roll. :p

04-10-2011, 04:49 PM
I can't wait to see this thing run, keep up the good work!

04-10-2011, 11:11 PM
i want to do my 5sfe also ! but i dont want to spend more than 1500 ! and living in canada shipping would cost me alot of my build !

06-03-2011, 05:45 AM
I demand updates !!

06-03-2011, 06:29 AM
Where do I find friends like you have? I cannot believe the amount of free stuff you got for your build! Update to tell us where you are at on it!

06-23-2013, 09:53 PM
Sorry it has been more then a year since I worked on this project but I am getting back to it. The last piece that I hadn't figured out was how to improve the intake manifold to rev past 6000rpms. You see it is limited by plenum size. When you hit about 6000rpms the runners start to starve each other in a similar way to when happens to a 3sgte when you do enough flow mods to it. A full custom manifold, like I did for my other car, was out of the question because of the cost and amount of work it was. However a couple of months ago I had an epiphany that you could just use a stock 5sfe manifold and just create a plenum lower on the runners. This does two things, it increases the plenum volume and shortens the runners to give better reflections for high rpms. As it turns out if you cut a swath across the back of the manifold below the vacuum ports that is 2.5" wide it shortens the runners by 2" which is about right if you plan raising the power band by 1000rpms. Using a 2.5" aluminum pipe as a base so that half of it is protruding out increases the plenum volume by over 50%. In addition it turns out there is enough material around the TB inlet that you can increase the diameter of the hole from 2" to 2.25" (55mm) or even a little more. Here are pics of the process.

Marking and cutting:
I used a saws-all with some wood cutting blades both 4" and 8". At times I had to use a hand saw or a saber saw to cut places the saws-all wouldn't reach:

06-23-2013, 09:56 PM
Cutting and fitting the 2.5" aluminum pipe:
Cut the ends so I could get it low enough to start marking the lines where the pipe meets the plenum:
I marked the pipe into halves so I could roughly line that up with the runners and old plenum on the back of the manifold:
Marked where I needed to cut:

06-23-2013, 10:21 PM
Started cutting the pipe. This was mostly done with a reciprocating saw:
I used some paper to trace the shapes because the back of the manifold needed to be bent to fit. The pipe of course was round but I wanted the back to be closer to square so that the runners had more room to pull air from the plenum:
After lots of filing, cutting, bending and snipping with tin sheers I got it close:

06-23-2013, 11:14 PM
Did a slight bit of porting to make the transitions not so sharp:
Using a jig and hole saw to open up the TB inlet:
I routed out the IAC inlet on the TB because the 5sfe manifold does not have a place to get air in. Also I used some JB Weld to fill in the places where the 3sgte TB would not have sealed to the 5sfe flange:
The holes for the TB and manifold do not line up in the vertical direction. There is enough overlap though that an 8-32 threaded rod will fit through after some of the threads are ground off. This should be enough to hold it securely but I may also add some steel strapping later to make sure the two never come apart. The problem if it ever failed would be that an open manifold would act like a wide open throttle and accelerate the car. If that happens the driver would just need to have the presence of mind to push the clutch in and turn the engine off but I would rather not take the chance.
All put together:
There was one place that my friend could not weld under
It is hard for me to get a shot of the inside after the welding was done but you can see a little of it in this shot:

06-28-2013, 04:41 PM
Very cool work. That will be cool if the results are as expected.

06-28-2013, 06:47 PM
That's a very cool manifold, I've never heard of anyone doing something like that before.

06-29-2013, 07:44 PM
thats f'n awesome, mrt.
love the way you used the little paper templates and what not.
very happy to see someone still playing with the good ole 5sfe. :)

07-02-2013, 06:46 PM
Yeah, i'm glad to see a little life in this project and what a hell of a DIY ethic!

Your going to make me give up on the N/A 5S because you have already thoroughly owned it!

03-04-2015, 12:53 AM
JhonL or MrTurrari I am in the process of doing the same to my 5fse celica.
I work at a custom metal shop and have access to all the tools and material I need to complete my project. I have constructed a plenum of 0.100 aluminum and I plan on using 0.187 aluminum for the bottom portion. the intake is about 3L. I have 264 delta cams to be installed with a apexi neo 2 afr and a wideband o2 sensor plus im using a Camry v6 TB 60mm. I decided this because I have to do my head gasket and I figured why not upgrade while im in there. I will be shaving the head as well since the head gasket will be replaced. I have a few Questions,
first where did you get the intake port flange? I'm thinking of just hacking my old one off..
second why are the velocity stacks sticking up like that? how come their not flush to the bottom? I was thinking of getting my intake runners flared out at the tops and mounting them flush so they sort of acted like a countersink to direct airflow smoothly.
Also how much should i shave off the head? Im using a 1998 5fse metal head gasket.
http://i1381.photobucket.com/albums/ah212/Rory_McNabb/IMG_20150212_154611_zpsw7sngrru.jpg (http://s1381.photobucket.com/user/Rory_McNabb/media/IMG_20150212_154611_zpsw7sngrru.jpg.html)
http://i1381.photobucket.com/albums/ah212/Rory_McNabb/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG540_zps49a100a1.jpg (http://s1381.photobucket.com/user/Rory_McNabb/media/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG540_zps49a100a1.jpg.html)
http://i1381.photobucket.com/albums/ah212/Rory_McNabb/IMG_20150212_154629_zps19tunlyx.jpg (http://s1381.photobucket.com/user/Rory_McNabb/media/IMG_20150212_154629_zps19tunlyx.jpg.html)
http://i1381.photobucket.com/albums/ah212/Rory_McNabb/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG379_zps977b55fe.jpg (http://s1381.photobucket.com/user/Rory_McNabb/media/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG379_zps977b55fe.jpg.html)

03-11-2015, 03:16 PM
Old thread is back! Looks good though, keep going.