The truth about ST215 3sgte engine

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Postby lumbercis » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:19 pm

Re: the ST215/ST246 debate, they are not identical. The ST246 went back to a center-feed manifold and also was available as Auto-only whereas the ST215 can occasionally be found as a manual. There are other minor differences, but it's arguable whether those differences are significant. I can't find any definitive reference that says that they don't make the same power though.

For a more detailed rundown of the differences, check this thread on mr2oc:
http://www.mr2oc.com/showthread.php?t=3 ... ht=caldina
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Re: The truth about ST215 3sgte engine

Postby Killtodie » Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:22 pm

I am looking to buy a Caldina motor. ECU, Harness, top mount IC. The works.
From my understanding the ST215 motor drops in, and bolts right up with no modification except for different IC, intake plumbing, and exhaust.

What is the biggest challenge to complete this? I am trying to work out a place to get this done, and only have a spot for 3 days. At bare minimum I need the engine in, and running to street park the car, and figure the rest out later.
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Re: The truth about ST215 3sgte engine

Postby abraxxa » Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:20 pm

I've done this, built a stroked one based on a ST215 engine.
Mechanically everything is fine, the engine mounts fit, the transmission too.
I'm not entirely sure about the intake and exhaust headers because I've used the ST215 intake header and got a custom made exhaust header.
You lose the dizzy so you need a standalone ECU or you use the ST215 ECU which might be a problem if it was an automatic.
It has no oil level sensor in the oil pan so the oil warning light will be on if you don't install a resistor.
The water temp sensor in the water outlet is different, it has three pins instead of two sensors, one with two and one with a single pin.
I think the electronics are more work than the actual swap.
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Re: The truth about ST215 3sgte engine

Postby CTechBlueDragon » Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:16 am

You could get it in physically in that amount of time without much problem. The wiring is the big thing so if you are restrained to 3 days start to out the door running you need to send your caldina harness and your 165 harness off to someone to modify/mate them. I got the mechanical stuff all swapped to my Camry in only a few days but messing with and learning the differences in the wiring and teaching myself how to read wiring diagrams and stuff took a long while.
You will have to swap at least the passenger side mount from the 165 over and I think possibly the front also. I have only put 215 into ST184 Celica and the SV25 Camry so I am not positive on the mounts for yours. The downpipe has a different flange on the bottom, but you could easily start it up and drive it without hooking the exhaust up. I think what a lot of guys do is cut off the flange from their 165 or 185 downpipe and weld it to the 215 one and problem solved. I am about to deal with that myself so if I get that done I will give you more insight on that. There are several companies that make bolt on downpipes if you do not want to deal with that. TCS makes a 3 inch full stainless which looks to be the best. There are always little things that you cannot plan for.... I can't even remember all the little things that had to be swapped around or tweaked a little. I think its almost an impossible goal to do the entire thing and be driving in 3 days in my opinion.
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Re: The truth about ST215 3sgte engine

Postby underscore » Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:22 am

The only way you could confidently attempt it in 3 days is to take a running, driving swap out of another of your gen.
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Re: The truth about ST215 3sgte engine

Postby GT4times2 » Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:53 am

Not impossible to do it in 3 days with everything lined up (which will require more than 3 days to coordinate and source), but Murphy's Law will show you who's King!! :D

Realistically speaking and not being a Debbie downer, it will be hard to get it done in 3 days. (Everything would have to be ready before you get the spot)
You have to source all the parts, make sure the engine you're getting has all sensors, the harness is clean and make sure all is complete. If you plan on getting maintenance parts for the engine, you have to wait for those and to make sure everything fits, you have to do some work there as well.

*Keep your ST165/ST185 mounts intact. Transfer them onto the ST215.
*There are a few experienced guys that do harness work. It may take you a week or so to get the harness back to have a plug and play affair. (Depending on their workload). You won't need an aftermarket EMS. Check out Wiregap or Dr. Tweak. Email them and decide who you would prefer working with. That will simplify your swap.
*If you have an ST165, you'll have to find a way to relocate your intercooler or cut your hood (unless tastefully done, try not to :( )
*ST185, you'll be ok with the top mount unless you want to go FMIC
*The ST215 has a decent bolt-on aftermarket. (shop around. Some shops carry a good amount of parts for the ST215)

You'll enjoy the engine once in. But plan wisely if you only have 3 days to get it all done. Best of luck!
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Re: The truth about ST215 3sgte engine

Postby alltracman78 » Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:02 pm

GT4times2 wrote:*ST185, you'll be ok with the top mount unless you want to go FMIC


From everything I've read the intercooler won't fit under the 185 hood. I don't remember if that was just the ST215 or the ST246 also.
This was the main reason I went with a 205 set.

For the record, I've never done this, so if someone has actually done it and can confirm the hood will close completely with no cutting please correct me.
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Re: The truth about ST215 3sgte engine

Postby Killtodie » Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:40 pm

abraxxa wrote:T215 ECU which might be a problem if it was an automatic.


How is that a problem?


My friend who is giving me the spot in his garage can do all the wire work, welding, hood cutting. But at a later time, I just need the new engine in, and the car ready to start and move to another parking lot.

He can then come in and hook up the sensors, fit the exhaust, figure out the hood vent situation later. just cant leave a non running car in his garage.
Car will start and drive without oil pressure senders, coolant temp, etc.
Any work to the throttle cable?
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Re: The truth about ST215 3sgte engine

Postby CSAlltrac » Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:42 pm

Stock ATA IC does NOT fir under 185 hood. Bracing does have to be cut out, the stock ATA sucks bad anyways. Not worth cutting a hood up IMO.
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Re: The truth about ST215 3sgte engine

Postby GT4times2 » Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:17 am

Mine fit. I will reinstall it and double check. I'm pretty sure it does. Now, is it a clearance issue with the RC/CS hood affecting fitment?

I still have the stock All-Trac hood for now. And, I do agree with not cutting the hood. Unless you have some really nice vent set up for it, try not to hack it.
Killtodie wrote:
abraxxa wrote:T215 ECU which might be a problem if it was an automatic.


How is that a problem?


My friend who is giving me the spot in his garage can do all the wire work, welding, hood cutting. But at a later time, I just need the new engine in, and the car ready to start and move to another parking lot.

He can then come in and hook up the sensors, fit the exhaust, figure out the hood vent situation later. just cant leave a non running car in his garage.
Car will start and drive without oil pressure senders, coolant temp, etc.
Any work to the throttle cable?


About the ECU, it does not matter. I am running an Auto ECU. If you have Doug at Wiregap do it for you, just let him know.

Also to save time and headaches (since you have a 3 day deadline to do it), I'd suggest sending it to the pros to save on the headaches and second guessing.

It'll save you a lot of aggravation, money and time. It'll be a PnP affair. Don't forget to get yourself a tach adapter once you get the harness back.
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Re: The truth about ST215 3sgte engine

Postby alltracman78 » Wed Dec 16, 2015 7:05 pm

GT4times2 wrote:Mine fit. I will reinstall it and double check. I'm pretty sure it does. Now, is it a clearance issue with the RC/CS hood affecting fitment?

I still have the stock All-Trac hood for now. And, I do agree with not cutting the hood. Unless you have some really nice vent set up for it, try not to hack it.


I would think the CS hood would fit better than the regular hood.
But that's irrelevant IMO; there's no sense in using the ATA TMIC with a CS hood.
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Re: The truth about ST215 3sgte engine

Postby Killtodie » Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:33 am

Hood aside, does the ST215 harness replace the current one, or do they both need to be unwound, and spliced?

Like how much of the ST165 harness gets used?
I assume there are issues going from RHD to LHD
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Re: The truth about ST215 3sgte engine

Postby rallygarage » Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:30 pm

I will be doing Gen4 into ST185 this winter. Will keep original hood (not RC). Will keep ATA. It is most adequate for street.I plan no mods. Will give it to Prime to do the work. Wiregap harness, clutch etc. Front mount ATA or WTA is better but the most heat my intercooler will see is Manhattan NY trafic. ATA on top will not kill the engine in that.
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Re: The truth about ST215 3sgte engine

Postby CSAlltrac » Thu Dec 17, 2015 2:44 pm

The stock hood does not fit and needs some bracing removed. Note the exposed E-Coat on the underside of the hood in photo. Running a RC hood is pointless with the top mount and the A2A cooler will heat soak very fast if that's the way its ran.
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Both harnesses need to be de-loomed and reworked to mate the two together. I would use nobody else other than Doug @ WireGap. He has been through hundreds of these and has it down to a science. He also alleviates any RHD to LHD issues, note where my harness exits my engine and the fact that my stock bulkhead boot is utilized. A harness from him makes everything as plug and play as it can be.
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Re: The truth about ST215 3sgte engine

Postby rallygarage » Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:43 pm

Thanks for pics. Harness looks good.
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