Now I know why so many look to a used motor

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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby brutekiller787 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:26 pm

CSAlltrac wrote:Lumbercis said it best. Nothing beats a factory assembled engine. Save a million headaches and go 205 swap, fresh head gasket W/ ARP, fresh hoses, water pump, and timing belt. Then enjoy for a very long time.


Again, if you are in there for the timing belt and head gasket, why not just put new pistons in too? What is so great about a factory assembled engine? Especially with mileage on it? If you can properly torque a head gasket you can build a motor.

Swaps are a cop out if you ask me. The money you put into a swap can be spent in much better places, like an ems. How much is spent on a swap, 2000 to 2500 for a clip? For that you can still do your machine work, rebuild the motor with brand new parts, get mega squirt pnp, injectors and a fuel pumpand make more than a 205 swap and still delete the AFM.

Don't be lazy, you will have a much more intimate knowledge of what you are doing afterward, instead of just falling into the mindset of "if it's bad, replace it.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby UtahSleeper » Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:08 pm

CSAlltrac wrote:Lumbercis said it best. Nothing beats a factory assembled engine. Save a million headaches and go 205 swap, fresh head gasket W/ ARP, fresh hoses, water pump, and timing belt. Then enjoy for a very long time.


I will be doing my research before deciding anything, but I am sure I wont be going a st205 motor only cause parts availability is going to be less here. Plus, are there many cheap options for a side feed on the st205? While my plans are to winter drive my trac I would like to know that most parts should be reasonably attained locally and/or cheaply in case the car ever gets put to DD duty for any reason. Or do the 205's share a lot of parts as the 185 and 165 engines?

Right now I am considering getting the kit brute used, 3sge cams(since my head is a first gen) and rebuild the motor myself.

One reason I am still throwing around a used motor is cause I also plan on going standalone............and it make me uneasy to take a fresh motor and then try and get it running and tuned when it should be getting broke in lol.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby brutekiller787 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:15 pm

The only "cheap" side feed for a 205 is a 215 and they aren't cheap or easy to find. Almost everything on a 205 isn't compatible with a 165 especially. Ge cams are a good choice but don't give you much but a few HP is better than nothing. Retarding the exhaust cam will get you more than that, 6 degrees I think the consensus is?

Tuning on a new motor shouldn't be done I agree. Put it together stock, break it in, then start tuning.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby underscore » Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:20 pm

Why are you bothering with a standalone anyways? What are your power goals? If you're going to be bumping up the power much you'll want to upgrade the internals of whichever motor you go with. If you're going to stay with stockish power levels IMO a standalone is a waste of money.

CSAlltrac wrote:Lumbercis said it best. Nothing beats a factory assembled engine. Save a million headaches and go 205 swap, fresh head gasket W/ ARP, fresh hoses, water pump, and timing belt. Then enjoy for a very long time.


If you're getting down to a new headgasket you should be getting the block and head surfaces checked anyways, at which point there's not much left still factory assembled. I would hate the have the engine down to a block with a rotating assembly and an assembled head, only to spin a bearing or something shortly after reassembly.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby UtahSleeper » Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:39 pm

underscore wrote:Why are you bothering with a standalone anyways? What are your power goals? If you're going to be bumping up the power much you'll want to upgrade the internals of whichever motor you go with. If you're going to stay with stockish power levels IMO a standalone is a waste of money.


Because the 165 and 185 ECU's suck royally and I like the idea of having a great reason to redo the engine harness since the stock ones are pretty cooked by now. From what I have read you can get some decent power gains and better MPG just by getting rid of the air blocking MAF and a good tune. Is my knowledge wrong that the tunes on the 165's weren't very good?

And MS3's are reasonably cheap and easy to assemble. I have a MS2 in my 80 Corolla and love the options I can mess with, plus not having a distributor is nice to.

My power goals are 300 if I am lucky, but I would like to be prepared if that changes also lol. 300 would just be a number and not really a concern. I know I liked the 190/200 the 165 put down, but as with most car people, I did want more lol. I just plan to build, drive during winters and add parts for more fast lol.

And guess I will have to do more research on the cam thing. I want to keep most of what I do limited to bolt on, so the cams were kind of an after thought anyway lol.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby brutekiller787 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:30 pm

Sounds like you already know what you are doing, just needed some Alltrac specific advice. Mspnp is only 820 for our cars and with all the options it can provide, it is extremely cost effective. I just find it silly that people will spend 600 on an exhaust but not spend 820 on a plug and play ems.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby UtahSleeper » Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:15 pm

brutekiller787 wrote:Sounds like you already know what you are doing, just needed some Alltrac specific advice. Mspnp is only 820 for our cars and with all the options it can provide, it is extremely cost effective. I just find it silly that people will spend 600 on an exhaust but not spend 820 on a plug and play ems.


I am close to knowing what I want to do lol. I know everything OUTSIDE of the engine that I want to do lol.

Where my problem starts is the engine.

-Engine rebuild costs vs used engine + time spent researching wiring, etc
-Install engine with old harness or new harness(guess I could make the harness with the engine on the stand and finish it after break in)
*Just would prefer to get it all how I want it before installation :/
-Concerns with having a machine shop do the machining then me assembling(standard noob fears)

The most I have done with engines has been with this car. I have never even replaced a HG, so everything seems daunting and I am just trying to research everything and make the best choice I can.

I do thank everyone for their input and welcome anymore you can give.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby CSAlltrac » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:01 pm

brutekiller787 wrote:
CSAlltrac wrote:Lumbercis said it best. Nothing beats a factory assembled engine. Save a million headaches and go 205 swap, fresh head gasket W/ ARP, fresh hoses, water pump, and timing belt. Then enjoy for a very long time.


Again, if you are in there for the timing belt and head gasket, why not just put new pistons in too? What is so great about a factory assembled engine? Especially with mileage on it? If you can properly torque a head gasket you can build a motor.

Swaps are a cop out if you ask me. The money you put into a swap can be spent in much better places, like an ems. How much is spent on a swap, 2000 to 2500 for a clip? For that you can still do your machine work, rebuild the motor with brand new parts, get mega squirt pnp, injectors and a fuel pumpand make more than a 205 swap and still delete the AFM.

Don't be lazy, you will have a much more intimate knowledge of what you are doing afterward, instead of just falling into the mindset of "if it's bad, replace it.

There are so many more factors that play into the rebuilding of a rotating assembly than there is with doing a HG. The great thing about a factory assembled engine is that Toyota is proven. The best machinist you find can't stack up to the factory. The more you stray away from what Toyota did, the more headaches you gain, such is the tuning world. The mileage concerns have been discussed as well, finding the cleanest, documented mileage motor you can poses the biggest challenge. I've done all three methods,
My rebuild lasted a long time, 80k+ miles. But that was to stock spec.
My "built motor" from ATS lasted a year with probably 10k miles. Granted, a smaller turbo, it probably would have lasted a bit longer.
My current set up (low mileage motor) with basic maintence and upgrades tuned on my AEM is the best the car has ever run.
Each scenario has it benefits and its cons. as well as aspects not discussed. I can tell you that the rebuild with quality new parts or built short block route is very costly. It also feels the worst when something that should run like new gives you nothing but issues and doesn't last long at all. Bit of a bias opinion here. :shrug:
The 205 swap into a 165 has been done successfully many times by members here as well
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby UtahSleeper » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:13 pm

On the 205, what is the availability of parts? (alt, PS pump, starter) Just curious. My issue with the 205 is I want a front mount and side feed manifold for cleaner appearance.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby lumbercis » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:18 pm

@CSAlltrac: Wow! 10k on the built ATS motor? That's terrible! Was it a tuning issue/detonation that killed it or do you feel the build itself was not up to snuff?

@UtahSleeper: You can compare part numbers between gen2 and gen3 on toyodiy.com. Or there may be a list on mr2oc.com. You can get any replacement parts that are specific to the gen3 from most of the specialist mr2 vendors. If you're really dedicated to a side feed I'd do a gen4 swap. These guys are specialists in this regard and you can get engine parts from them as well http://www.primemr2.com/
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby CSAlltrac » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:30 pm

lumbercis wrote:@CSAlltrac: Wow! 10k on the built ATS motor? That's terrible! Was it a tuning issue/detonation that killed it or do you feel the build itself was not up to snuff?

@UtahSleeper: You can compare part numbers between gen2 and gen3 on toyodiy.com. Or there may be a list on mr2oc.com. You can get any replacement parts that are specific to the gen3 from most of the specialist mr2 vendors.

I do not think it had anything to do with the build itself. I did have a part fail that caused a massive detonation where everything went downhill from there. But in my opinion it all circles back to, "if I would have just left it alone it would have lasted longer" Alltracs are NOT big number cars. Yeah you can make it one but how deep are your pockets. A great example is BADNEWS. His car is amazing and a complete monster but he has seen every single type of issue there is. I'm pretty sure he can pull an alltrac motor in an hour flat, his at least. Need updates for that thing BTW!
I have found that my reliable 260AWHP and 280TQ is loads more fun and enjoyable than the entire year of the bigger setup I ran.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby UtahSleeper » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:46 pm

lumbercis wrote:@UtahSleeper: You can compare part numbers between gen2 and gen3 on toyodiy.com. Or there may be a list on mr2oc.com. You can get any replacement parts that are specific to the gen3 from most of the specialist mr2 vendors. If you're really dedicated to a side feed I'd do a gen4 swap. These guys are specialists in this regard and you can get engine parts from them as well http://www.primemr2.com/


Thanks for the link. Seems like they have some good info there. May have to do some heavy research there.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby underscore » Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:07 pm

UtahSleeper wrote:Because the 165 and 185 ECU's suck royally and I like the idea of having a great reason to redo the engine harness since the stock ones are pretty cooked by now. From what I have read you can get some decent power gains and better MPG just by getting rid of the air blocking MAF and a good tune. Is my knowledge wrong that the tunes on the 165's weren't very good?

And MS3's are reasonably cheap and easy to assemble. I have a MS2 in my 80 Corolla and love the options I can mess with, plus not having a distributor is nice to.

My power goals are 300 if I am lucky, but I would like to be prepared if that changes also lol. 300 would just be a number and not really a concern. I know I liked the 190/200 the 165 put down, but as with most car people, I did want more lol. I just plan to build, drive during winters and add parts for more fast lol.

And guess I will have to do more research on the cam thing. I want to keep most of what I do limited to bolt on, so the cams were kind of an after thought anyway lol.


To me it seems silly to replace a working wiring harness (admittedly I don't know exactly what condition your current one is in, if you want to replace it and keep it simple just copy the layout of the OEM one) and convert to a standalone for a few MPG, unless you know a good tuner (with a good dyno) who is familiar with the 3SGTE and the standalone you choose I think you'd be more likely to lose power compared to a stock ECU. MPG gains are a bit of an irrelevant point since I doubt you'll make large enough jumps in MPG to negate the cost of the standalone and tuning time. If you just want to get rid of the MAF you could convert to 205 electrics, as I recall Corey did it for around $500.

Of course that leads back towards just getting a 205 halfcut again, it'll get you the updated tuning & electrics you seem to prefer, I think stock power is 245/240 which is a nice bump from the 190/200, and if you find a good importer you might be able to get the 205 rear LSD thrown in with it for cheap, the downside being the difficulty of getting a sidefeed like you said. Or you could rebuild your 165, convert to 205 electrics and a CT20B. To me that seems like the most economical way of getting the setup it sounds like you want.

For the cams I know there's a trick where you can get the 6* change on the exhaust (if you stick with 165 or 185) without having to get adjustable gears, the writeup is on CelicaTech I believe.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby GT4times2 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:25 am

It all depends on what one wants and expects out of a swap/build. I have three different Alltrac projects going (No comment, that's a different story :doh: ).

After some research, I have my ST185 with an ST215 Caldina swap (on going), (waiting on the wiring to get done). I may later go with a turbo upgrage, AEM FIC etc, but for now, I wanted a BPU+ set up. I wanted some newer technology, lower mileage and reliability. I felt like giving it a try, so I went for it. I will eventually post my progress soon on this swap in the Projects section.

I have an ST165 with a built ST205 set up (pistons, rods, MLS gaskets, ARP all over), along with a big turbo, fuel system upgrade, side feed entry intake manifold, EMS for more power. Some could argue I could have done the same to a 165 or 185 motor, but what's done is done. That's the route I wanted to go with this car, and we'll see how it all works out. My goal is Mid 11s in the 1/4 mile, and respectable and fun track times with it. Posts to follow as well.

Then comes the "hybrid project" coming up (Not sure why I call it a "hybrid" since it's all 3SGTE, just a built bottom end 1st gen block). I found a relatively clean local ST165 (in a color I've always wanted), plus I had so many parts laying around.
So far, built ST165 bottom end (that came from my ST185), and a complete 3rd Gen head along with EMS (I have an SDS EM2-F ems, but may go more modern AEM EMS4 or DIY auto tune), TD06-20G turbo etc. The reason for this was an abundance of parts, and I just thought I'd give it a try. I was initially going with another Caldina ST215 swap, but decided to use the parts I have laying around. We'll see how it all goes. I'm also going EMS, because by the time I find harness and ECU, I could have my own clean unit built with a programmable set up that'll control boost and many other things. Keeping it simpler than chasing harness, ECU and having to pay to make it work, when the EMS is light years ahead anyways.

Everything's a gamble. From rebuilding a 20+ year old motor, to buying a "low mileage" JDM motor that may show low mileage on paper, but not show all the abuse it went through before being yanked out and sold to us JDM crazed Americans.

Just buying a 20+ year old rare car is a gamble, so do what works for you.


OH, to add more fun (and misery) to the stable, I've been eyeing a late 90s Corolla fwd sedan for a 3SGTE swap (One of the many engines I have laying around). In 100 years from now, none of this will matter, but I'll be damned if I don't enjoy doing it now. :)
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