View Full Version : Build Thoughts and Ideas

10-29-2015, 02:21 PM
So as my shell is a few months away from being able to put an engine in it I've come to a point that I'm starting to plan the engine build.

For a while I was torn between doing a very stockish engine vs. going all out. In the end I decided that I've invested enough into the body of the car I might as well build the engine once.

I should start with my personal goals for the car and uses.
-Mostly used as a cruiser. Go to the occasional meet (mostly with muscle car guys) maybe an autocross or lapping day for fun. This isn't a race car
-I'm more concerned with mid range power than high end horse power.
-It must maintain Air Conditioning.

The Basic's I've decided on.
2.2L bottom end with a 3rd gen head (for the extra $500-700 why not)
I'm also heavily leaning towards a twin scroll turbo for faster more efficient spool and part of me really wants to buy the full race twin scroll manifold and GT35R for how awesome it would look when you pop the hood.

What are everyone's thoughts with regards to compression ratio, cams, intake manifold and heck the whole plan overall.

10-29-2015, 11:00 PM
Why not just go with a Gen4?

10-30-2015, 01:44 PM
I second that.

I'm going for nearly identical results in this next swap. The Gen4 motor is quite the different beast. I don't know what the high range power was as I rarely took it over 6k. Between the 2500-4500 range though it pulled like crazy.

10-31-2015, 11:13 PM
If I was sticking with a stockish engine Bay I would 100% go with a Gen 4. I already have a Gen 3 motor kicking around around and have always wanted to build a 5sgte.
I will also be running gen2 wiring to go with the AEM ecu I have already.

Any particular reason your both suggesting the gen4

11-01-2015, 09:07 PM
From what you're looking to do the 215 motor looks like it'll do just what you want. Personally I would ditch the gen4 turbo and manifold and throw a gen3 manifold and turbo on there. That's the only thing I'd change off the 215 motor. Other than that I have no complaints on how it performed.

11-02-2015, 01:43 PM
I'll disagree with those guys just maybe. Do you have standalone EMS in your plan? That will help you take advantage of a 2.2. I built a 2.2 and saw a huge improvement in midrange. Absolutely worth it to me, with gains in the top end too. My downfall was building it off of a gen 3 block. Use a 5S block if you can, there should be a few Camry's in a local junkyard at any given point in time. Take the couple hours to go get one.

Based on what you are saying, the GT35r would not be a good choice (maybe you were a bit kidding haha). I'd keep it GT30 frame or perhaps even a CT upgrade (20b or 27). On the build, keep valves stock size if you value midrange. For compression ratio, I would keep that to 8.5:1 - I think high comp on these engines doesn't work too well, run into detonation walls. Cams, I am a fan of HKS personally, but don't go bigger than 264. Intake manifold depends on your overall power goal - you may sacrifice mid range here but if you are looking for more than 325whp, then it might be a good idea. If less than that, maybe a replenum manifold might be better to retain your midrange while getting some top end. Exhaust manifold, depends on your goals really. Maybe more than 400whp I'd do it, with RacerX or maybe full-race.

Other than that, need more info on your goals, where you might be willing to sacrifice. Get quality pistons and rods that are suitable to your goals. Check piston to wall clearance. I'm starting to be a believer in torque plates as well for the block machining. Use a 5S block too if you weren't already as I mentioned above. Use good bearings, plastigauge them to make sure clearances are within spec. And then, upgrade cooling in every way you can!

So there's some tips based on a build - but to be honest, need more info on your ultimate goals. If less than 300whp is your goal, maybe a build isn't worth it. Above that and with lots of boost, it starts to make a lot of sense. How much power are you looking for?

oh and if you did want a gen 3 head - I have a spare one if you were interested. I was debating using it myself, but I already have a manifold that is for gen 2 so I might not.

11-02-2015, 04:14 PM
Thanks Chris!
This is where I am going bat shit crazy and the main reason for the post is all about the wants vs. needs for the car. I've owned a celica for 15 years now and doing the top to bottom restoration. When I think about the engine my head spins.
I've got 2 kids now and what I will end up using the car for mostly is a Sunday drive with friends, going to meets and ripping up to the cottage. So I don't need 400whp. The problem is... I've owned a celica for 15 years and I want tonnes of power..... lol Plus my best friend has a close to 500whp mr2

Time and money also come into play. My car has been off the road now since September of 2011 which I'm totally ok with. However when I think about the time and cost associated with the full build which in my head I budget $10,000 that puts the car back on the road for 2017 or 2018 before I can drive it again. Go the st215 or heck use the gen3 motor I have in the garage and I could drive it this summer after spending say $3000-$4000....

Decisions... decisions... Until the past few weeks I didn't even consider the engine. Over the past few years I just kept telling myself to worry about getting the rolling chassy taken care of and ignore the thought of the powertrain as until the car was movable it didn't matter. So here I am going back and forth... back and forth on thoughts, goals, how I'm actually going to use the car vs. how I think I can use the car (I didn't have kids the last time I drove it)

11-02-2015, 04:36 PM
For what you want, the easiest and cheapest way to do it is to just do a gen4 with cams, or the gen3 if you have one laying around. Having driven several gen3's with nothing but cams and the normal intake/intercooler/exhaust upgrades, I can say from experience thats exactly what you are looking for. If you want an aftermarket turbo then I'd suggest something int he GT28 range, MAYBE a GT30 series if you have a standalone, fueling, and want something more than 320whp. Anything bigger than that is gonna kill your mid range and make it way top end heavy. If you aren't going full racecar with it, I'd strongly suggest you just keep a stock gen3/4 in there sitting around 300whp and leave it at that. Its not too expensive, its not hard to work on, its FAR less complex to do, and it'll likely end up being way more reliable in the end.

11-03-2015, 06:09 AM
Just my opinion, I love the 4th gen 3sgte/st215 so far. Very responsive and cheap to buy. Coil on plug is also nice. I decided when I went with this motor I wanted something that wouldn't cost me too much just to buy a used one. These motors are cheap and plentiful right now.

Biggest issue from a stockish standpoint is the turbo/manifold.

11-03-2015, 02:58 PM
This conversation is really making me re-consider my thought process and leaning more to the st215.
I can drive the car in 2016 and have the reliability of a Toyota engine.
You may see a big for sale post soon with things like a 90-91 AEM EMS... lol

11-03-2015, 04:00 PM
This conversation is really making me re-consider my thought process and leaning more to the st215.
I can drive the car in 2016 and have the reliability of a Toyota engine.
You may see a big for sale post soon with things like a 90-91 AEM EMS... lol

Just do your research :) For me it was just all the modern electronics and the fact I could use the stock ECU for awhile. I do plan to eventually go stand alone, but there is no rush for me right now.

11-04-2015, 06:51 PM
Based on some of the things you have said now I'd probably lean towards a Gen 3/4 swap. Reliability becomes a very relative thing when you start shooting for bigger power. You have to expect things to break, and sometimes it costs a bunch to get back going again. Plus time. Since you have small children it may be a lot to commit to to go down a big build path. The swap path will be cheaper, more reliable, and will certainly be a fun car.

Wait until you have more time and resources for the build down the road, if you really decide you want more power.

Swap it. Sounds like the right decision to me. :)

Sent from my LG-H812 using Tapatalk