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  1. #1

    Default Engine Swap Wiring Secrets REVEALED!

    I'm not sure if this is the right forum but I was asked to write a post about engine swap wiring, so here it is.

    Keep in mind that this is not a step by step guide to wiring a 3SGTE swap, but is a general guide to wiring ANY Toyota swap. Also, yes, I am willing to help people out over email with wiring problems, but I'm not going to tell you step by step how to do it. You need to figure that out. If you would like to leave the wiring headaches to someone else, then you can send the wiring harnesses to me and I will do it for you, save for a couple wires that usually need to be wired directly to the car. Usually the cost is $350 including shipping back to you.

    Basically, there are three methods of engine swap wiring:

    1. Modify the COMPLETE donor car (new engine) wiring harness to fit your car

    2. Modify the COMPLETE stock car (old engine) wiring harness to fit the new engine

    3. Take half of one harness and half of the other and put them together (most common option)

    Now, before we get too far, let me explain a few terms. First of all, the "engine harness" is the thick bundle of wires that goes from your fuse box and engine in though your firewall and to the ECU and other plugs in the car. The "engine harness" includes MANY wires that have NOTHING to do with the engine. The "engine harness" is in fact, two parts. Many people refer to the part that has to do with the engine as the "engine harness", and the other part (which is a lot of car related stuff) as the "body harness". Technically, this term is not correct as the "body harness" is the harness that goes all around your car and does all the switches and rear lights and so on. Keep that in mind.

    Also when I use the term "donor harness" I mean the one going to the new engine that you're putting in. When I say "stock harness" I mean the one going to your old engine.

    The term "dash harness" refers the the harness behind the dash. The "engine harness" plugs into the "dash harness" in several places, with most swaps.

    I will briefly touch on the first two options. The first method can be used in cases where the two harness are very similar. For example, if you are swapping a a 2ZZGE into a car that had a 1ZZFE, you could do it. The tricky part is, you need the COMPLETE wiring diagrams from BOTH cars. Since most JDM engines we swap only have the engine wiring diagrams available, this option isn't feasible. It is an option if the donor engine is USDM and you can get the original car diagrams. Basically, you will using the entire donor harness and running the wires for the car related stuff to the original plugs for you car.

    By the way, if you ever need any diagrams from any USDM car, just email me and I can get them for you for around $20.

    Now, second option. This option can be used when the new engine and the old engine are quite similar in how they are controlled. For example, you can use a stock 3EE engine harness to run a 4EFTE. However, several changes will need to be made to the 3EE harness. Basically, you will take the stock engine harness and make it into a harness for the new engine. You will need to swap over some plugs, add a couple wires, and change some wiring around.

    Then we have the third option. This is the most simple, most common, and in my opinion the cleanest way to swap. It is sometimes more work than the above options but gives less trouble in my opinion. So here is how you do it:

    First, remove the stock engine. Then sit the two engines (new and old) next to each other. I like to do my harnesses still attached to the engines. Most of the time you don't have to totally disconnect them. Now, remember how I said the engine harness is really two different parts? Here's how it goes:

    The first part is the *engine related* wiring. This is everything between the ECU and the engine itself. This is the easiest part. You DO NOT, at any time, cut, alter, or in any way molest this wiring on the donor engine!

    The second part is the *body related* wiring. This is everything between the dash harness (where it plugs into the engine harness) and the fuse box, and some things on the engine. This part is a little tricky. Sometimes, if the engine has come from the same model car as yours, the body related wiring is almost exactly the same. Other times it is incredibly different! This is where you can decide if you want to use option 1 or 2 (if the harness is very similar). Keep in mind, NOTHING in this part of the harness is on the engine wiring diagrams! So that 20v silvertop diagram that you got is NOT going to help you here at all. On the other hand, if it came from a USDM car, you can get the complete diagrams and figure out what the wires do. Then you just need to swap the plugs at the fuse box and the dash harness. That's option 1.

    Now, with lots of engines, and the 3SGTE is one, there is a third plug on the ECU that goes directly from the ECU into the dash harness. Normally these plugs are very similar between the old and new engines. However, on some swaps the old (or new) engine doesn't have this plug! This is where you need the engine wiring diagrams. Figure out what each of the wires goes to, and there should be a corresponding wire on the other harness.

    Okay let's move on. So you already know about the third plug, that's easy, there are usually one or two other ECU plugs, and you know not to touch any of those wires on the donor engine harness. However, on the stock engine harness, the wiring is not needed and can be cut right out if you need to.

    Here's what you're going to do. Starting at the ECU/dash plugs end, strip off the looming. Be careful not to cut any wires as you do so. You will notice that with many engines there is a kind of 4-way intersection of wiring right on top of the tranny. One part goes up into the engine, one goes to the firewall (ECU and other plugs) one goes to the fusebox, and the other might go off to AFM and that kind of thing or maybe the tranny. Now listen, the wiring that goes up into the engine towards the injectors and whatnot does NOT need to be unloomed on either engine, MOST of the time.

    So, unloom all of the wiring from the ECU plugs and dash harness plugs right down to the 4-way or 3-way intersection, and keep going towards the fuse box plugs.

    Now, I like to do this a little at a time on each engine harness, working back and forth, but you can do it with one at a time if you wish. With the stock harness from your OLD engine, you carefully trace all the wiring from you dash plugs, that is your *body related* wiring, down into the fusebox and whereever else it might go (sometimes the windshield wiper wires are in there, etc). Remove this part of the wiring from the harness.

    Now pay attention: the body related wiring and the engine related wiring DO interface in several places. The biggest ones to keep in mind are the starter circut and the charging system. This is when it's handy to have the stating and charging system diagrams on hand. Normally, these systems are very similar, and you can usually use either one. Just take note of where the wiring interfaces and cut those wires, always labelling what they went to. This is why I like to do both harnesses side by side, so that I can compare them.

    Keep in mind this whole time, the body related wiring that you are pulling from your stock engine harness is going BACK into your car. So take care of it. You should end up with a bunch of wires going from your fuse box to your dash harness, and a few wires cut that went to the engine. (Some of these wires will be a/c related items, oil pressure and water temp for your guages, and so on.)

    Now move over to the donor engine harness. Remeber all the body related wiring that you pulled from the other harness? You're going to do the same thing here, the difference being that you want to keep the *engine related* wiring intact, so be careful with it. The body related stuff can be cut as you need to and remove it from the harness.

    Then, take your body related wiring from the stock engine harness and place it next to the engine related wiring from the donor engine harness. See what's going on here? You're taking half of one harness and half of the other and making one NEW harness! Just remember, you want ALL the engine related wiring from the NEW engine, and ALL the body related wiring from the OLD engine harness.

    Now you need to integrate the two. If you did a good job when taking them apart and labelled any wires you cut, you will basically be able to match them up! However, all harnesses have some differences. Sometimes, you will just leave some wires hanging that you didn't need. So don't panic if you get done and there's no home for some wiring, some of it is not needed. Also remember your wiring diagrams. They will be essential during this entire process.

    Once the connections have been made, you will be all set. It should basically be plug and play. Now I will go over a couple of technical items.

    Items that you need: Knife, multi-meter, wire cutters, soldering iron, solder, flux paste, wire strippers, shrinkwrap insulation, electrical tape, masking tape to write labels with, etc.

    Always label a wire before you cut it.

    Never loom your harness back up UNTIL the engine has been installed and it running great. That means test it for a few days first. It's a MAJOR pain to unloom a harness that you just loomed up because you forgot to hook up a wire!

    Soldering: once you have the two wires you want to solder, cut a peice of shrinkwrap insulation and slide it up the wire. Then bare the two wires. You don't need a lot, just enough so that you can twist the wires around each other. Do so. Then use an acid brush or whatever and brush some flux paste onto the bare wire. Next, have your soldering iron (hot) in one hand, and the solder in the other. Hit the wire with the iron and it will sizzle and heat it up, then touch the solder to it. The solder will melt, and then it will get sucked right into the wiring. The flux paste makes it happen, it's really cool. Let the join cool naturally. Then slide the heatshrink insulation over the bare wire, and heat it up with the handy soldering iron. It will shrink over the bare wire and protect it. You're all set!

    And remember, zip ties are your BEST FRIEND! Especially when putting the harness together in preperation to dropping the engine in, use them to hold the harness together and in the right places.

    That's about it. Questions? Post right here.

    Written by the MASTER: Dr Tweak

    Last edited by Dr Tweak; 10-24-2005 at 09:23 AM.

  2. #2

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    On other item to keep in mind. Sometimes a wire that goes to one place on the new harness goes to a different place on the old one. Let me use and example: on some harnesses, the wire from the engine coolant switch (that turns the fans on and off) goes from the switch up the engine wiring harness and into the dash harness. But on the old harness, it might go right from the switch into the fusebox! Basically just match up the wires from the engine itself right to where they should go on the car itself.

    Also I wanted to talk about A/C wiring. Usually the a/c wiring is pretty similar and you can trace the wires out with a mulitmeter. Most Toyotas use an a/c "amplifier". However, some of the new ones skip the a/c amplifier and are run directly from the ECU! In this case you will need the a/c system diagram from your car, and lengthen the wires from where they used to go to the a/c amplifier so that they now go to the ECU. Usually the wire designations are the same so it's not too hard.

  3. #3
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    Wow thats a lot of writing. Awesome contribution Mr. doctor.

    A few comments, since I have quite a bit of experience in this...

    I wired my engine using the #1 way that Dr. Tweak outlines above. This was an ST165 to ST185 engine swap. I describe the full details here: http://www.gtfour.ca/howtoswap.html . I did this almost two years ago now, and no longer advise this method.

    One thing that should be stressed, since it is by far the most difficult portion of the wiring, is the fuse box. You need to spend many hours devising a chart like I did in order to do it right. It is very involving.

    The only advantage is that in most cases, you get a newer harness, with newer plastic plugs.

    Today, I only recommend going with option #3. This is also the option I personally use when I do wiring harness jobs for people. I use this route no matter what job it is.

    You can do a much cleaner job of the install. Plus, the vast majority of your work is from the "TCCS" or "engine control" sections of the EWD book. With those, and the ECU pinouts, you can really get the most of it accomplished. This is because you do NOT need to touch any of the wiring that goes into the chassis of your car. Eg. the fuse box. You only need to alter the engine control functions.

    The easiest way to approach this is to take the ECU pinouts. Look at the new engines pinouts, and start one by one. Pick one wire, then find its system in the EWD. ADD that system, as shown in the EWD, to your original harness. Remove any old / irrelevant wiring that was present in the old engine. In many cases, you can use the existing wiring using the new plugs and some slight modification.

    If you are unsure of your abilities, I'd advise sending it to someone who knows what they are doing. I have done several harnesses now and am able to provide this service. There are other people as well that can do it.

    As for diagrams. We at celicatech have almost every diagram you would need. We dont charge for this. Just check out the BGB online link from the main page at www.celicatech.com . If you need a diagram that is not posted, PM me, I will have it, just not uploaded yet. But I can easily get that for you.

    As for the A/C. Many different engines use different set ups in the A/C wiring from the ECU. If your system is incompatible, the easy fix is to do what is suggested by Clayton here: http://www.celicatech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=414 . Basically, you want to connect a switch that will send 12V power to your magnetic clutch. You can find this in the A/C section of the EWD. It is usually a black wire with a white stripe. You can test this by connecting the 12v power and watching/listening to see if the clutch engages. Follow the precautions that Clayton sets out.

    As for soldering...many different techniques out there, ive never seen two people do it the same really. I dont use flux paste. Basically just strip the two ends of the wires, twist them in the direction that the wire is coiled. Then before trying to connect the two wires, heat each up individually and apply solder to it. Never try to force the solder to 'take'. (cold soldering!) Once it is hot enough the solder will spread out through the wire. This is called silvering. Then I take a stubby needlenose plier, make hooks on the ends of the wires. Hook them together. Then crip the two wires so the hooks are locked. This will be your mechanical connection, which is half of the equation. Then heat up the connection, apply solder where need, and they should fuse together. Thats your electrical connection. Thats how I do it. I'm sure many other people do it differently as well.

    Anyways good write up! I'm sure I'll sticky this or send it to the archives at some point.

    1988 ST165 2.2L @ 370awhp
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  4. #4

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    GREAT info guys. chris, i'd like to see some pics or your slodering prosses, sounds real solid, i do almost the same type of deal, did you learn that in a class or book or some sort? i got lucky and had a NASA certified solderer teach me a few years back..lol

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    for the specs of my 5sfte

  5. #5

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    for soldering.... i strip the 2 wires, and twist the 2 wires around eachother for the mechanical connection, then solder everything up together.

    i HIGHLY recomend everyone got to radio shack and buy a butain soldering pen. i have a few high power soldering guns that i bought during my swap, and nothing comes close to the power of the pen. you can solder any gauge wire on your car with no problems.

    Boosted. Tuned. Ready.

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  6. #6

    Default Great info...

    I can use some of this to figure out why my swap won't start now... might of been caused by a loose wire. Thanks for the great info boyz!
    "To fast to be seen but to nice to be missed..."
    91 Celica GTS - JDM 3sgte swap
    custom interior
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    1.5" drop all around
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  7. #7

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    Great info, just need a little help I need a wiring dig. on a 1994 st, I went to the BGB but when I go to the wiring nothing there?

    almost done with the swap I am doint at the present just the wiring If someone point me in the right direction

    Thanks

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by twisted
    Great info, just need a little help I need a wiring dig. on a 1994 st, I went to the BGB but when I go to the wiring nothing there?

    almost done with the swap I am doint at the present just the wiring If someone point me in the right direction

    Thanks
    Your diagram should be here: http://www.celicatech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=81 (scroll down)

    Im still working on finding the ECU pinouts.
    1988 ST165 2.2L @ 370awhp
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  9. #9

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    I've got a 2nd gen 3SGTE right here, if you want the pinout just let me know and I can grab it.

    -Doc
    Last edited by Dr Tweak; 06-09-2005 at 11:31 PM.

  10. #10

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    hi Chris D i will like to get a wiring diagram for a 7A- fe engine. Can You help me?

  11. #11

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    no, I need the wiring diagram for the 7afe. Thanks for your help though

  12. #12
    bedbull
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    i would love to get st185 diagrams

  13. #13
    Resident Certified Toyota Mechanic Rix86 is on a distinguished road

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    I did #3 on Joe's car.
    I had a 96 3rd gen 3sgte harness cut at the fuse box.
    ae86+3sgte+supra=fun........


  14. #14
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    Yeah it was the ghey.

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  15. #15
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    7afe: http://www.celicatech.com/vfewdsou/1...c/engcon7a.pdf

    All of the diagrams that I have are on the BGB online. Go to www.celicatech.com and click the BGB Online link. They are all there.

    Or go to the forced induction forum and click the sticky thread, there is a thread called "Thinking about swapping? Read this first."

    Click that.

    All the diagrams are in there too.
    1988 ST165 2.2L @ 370awhp
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  16. #16

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    Hi..

    I just had engine swapped a 3sgte engine into a toyota kijang body. The gearbox is still using the standard toyota kijang's gearbox. My friend wanted to give me a JUN flywheel ex drag race use. I would like to know do you think it is possible to install this flywheel into my car ?? Pleaseeeee need reply urgently.

    The original trans/axle's number is: 058 BO4A

    David L

  17. #17
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    This isn't the thread for questions like that.

    Head into the Forced Induction section and make a thread for your question.

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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisD
    All of the diagrams that I have are on the BGB online. Go to www.celicatech.com and click the BGB Online link. They are all there.
    Some of the BGB links are broken. You can also find some of the BGBs in PDF form around the net.

    I did a st205 engine swap into a 1992 st185. I used the st185 harness. a 92+ harness is easier for the swap than the 90-91 due to pin locations and some of the wiring.

    Most of the sensors are in the same place, so I only had a handful that I had to change the plug to use the 205 sensor. I had to use the egr temp wire to become the THAM sensor and move the pin on the ecu. Ialso had to use a couple wires from the AFM for the THA sensor. I had maybe ~5-7 pins I had to shift on the ecu side. Most of my wirteup is on alltrac.net.

    Since my harness has no wires for the IC pump, I wired the pump in directly and had to use the code 54 solution.

    I plan on using the A/C so I will need to tap the water neck so I can install the sensor for the A/C.
    Coldiron (Cold - Iron) | Dragon Meet OG

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  19. #19

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    Some Helpme
    I Am Toyota St185 Jdm 1990 And My Afm Is Bad Buy Afm Of St185 Rc But Afm Is 5 Pin Like Work In My Car This Afm

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by diegocelicagtfour4
    Some Helpme
    I Am Toyota St185 Jdm 1990 And My Afm Is Bad Buy Afm Of St185 Rc But Afm Is 5 Pin Like Work In My Car This Afm
    I think you might want to put this post in the Maintenance/Troubleshooting section. You should probably talk to Dr. Tweak........he'll have your answer. Good Luck!
    Shadow's Minion Army - Storm Trooper

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by diegocelicagtfour4
    Some Helpme
    I Am Toyota St185 Jdm 1990 And My Afm Is Bad Buy Afm Of St185 Rc But Afm Is 5 Pin Like Work In My Car This Afm
    Definitely would have been a good idea to start a new thread for this, but to answer your question, no, the RC AFM is totally different and won't work. I have some ST185 AFMs here if you need one, email me at drtweak@phoenixtuning.com

    -Doc
    -Dr Tweak, Toyota engine swap wiring expert extraordinaire

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  22. #22

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    Alright Swapping A 3sge into St, Witch had a 3sfe, im pulling the 3s-ge's harness completely... will i be able to just rip the FE's fusebox, and engine leads, comp, and ect... and replace it all with the ge's equipment? And will the rest of the wiring plug in to the ge's leads? (headlights, heater, an such?) Both are ST162 chassies, both same gen 4, only diffrences are the extra option leads (power locks, windows, mirrors, seats,) and the heater is the ST type (slider), The fe has a sunroof, the ge didnt, that might be a prob. i dont think it matters for the wiring, but the GE is from a hatch and the fe (swap victim) is a coupe......
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  23. #23

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    You could probably just swap the engine harness over and it would likely plug right in.

    -Doc
    -Dr Tweak, Toyota engine swap wiring expert extraordinaire

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  24. #24

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    W00t this be what i needed.... cheers can do it myself now! you're my hero tweak, have my babies.

  25. #25

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    Another couple things I would recommend.

    When you have a wire disconnected for what ever reason untangle it from the harness. This will make it easier to troubleshoot any problems later on & makes it easier to bundle the wires back together when you are finished. I know my harness has a knot in it from where I tried to get a little bit more slack in the wire to zip tie it into place. Factory harnesses are tangled sometimes.

    Check the condition of the wire the whole way from one end of the wire to the other when ever possible. I have had a wire become brittle from being to close to a header once. When I tried bent the wire during the cleanup/bundling phase I broke the wire internally.

    Always check the continuity of a wire with a multimeter. You can get a digital multimeter for as cheap as $10 dollars that has a continuity buzzer built in. Use it to make sure your wire is connected to the other end.

    When ever you need to splice a wire to make it longer use the same color wires. I had an extra wiring harness that I was able to use to extend all my wiring for a wire tuck. This resulted in a nice tidy clean engine bay & still let me use factory wiring diagrams.

    Always make a new wiring diagram when you change any wires in your car for whatever reason. It can be a pencil & paper drawing or a nice computer generated diagram. Because you might not remember how you had something wired years from now, & you will save yourself a lot of headaches later on if something goes wrong. Also this updated wiring diagram may help you sell that engine swapped car easier down the road. As the buyer will have confidence that the wiring was done properly or at least that he can figure it out if there's problems.

    Sometimes you can depin a connector using a safety pin or a thin strip of metal or a tiny screw driver. Not all connectors can be disassembled this way. But it may make it easier to wire something up that way. You can also use this to clean up a connector that has extra wires that are not used hanging from it.

    After you get everything running & you have tested your swap for a while, then you can remove those extra unneeded wires from your harness. Once you have all the unnecessary wires removed from the harness check that everything still functions properly. Then bundle up your wiring using wire loom. Zip ties & electrical tape come in handy at this point.

    I always make a few extra ground wires when I swap an engine, just to make sure I have good grounding between the nicely painted engine block, trans & body.

    Always use the proper gauge of wire especially if relocating a battery. Avoid crimp type connectors. Learn to solder. Practice on some wire scraps first if needed.

    I hope these tips come in handy for someone not familiar with wiring an engine up.

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