1st gen 3sgte vs 4th, cost wise.

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1st gen 3sgte vs 4th, cost wise.

Postby UtahSleeper » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:32 pm

So, I think I am a few weeks out from getting a new engine in my st165 and I have decided on 1 of 2 paths. Rebuild the 1st gen to stock or by a 4th gen. Not looking at major performance here as I have only driven a trac consistently for 2 months in my life lol. Need to drive one for longer before going balls deep.

My reason for posting is to figure out estimates for both. So I will post what I think I know and just want people to add what they know or what I am forgetting.

1st gen rebuild:
400 for block and crank machining and cleaning EST.
350 for rebuild kit
??? for head cleaning/machining

4th gen install
1000 for engine on ebay EST
200 for engine shipping EST
??? for flywheel, since most engines on ebay are auto
300-600 for wire harness conversion EST

Thanks for any input. I am leaning towards a 1st gen rebuild due to cost, but the power bump on the 4th gen is very tempting.
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Last edited by UtahSleeper on Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1st gen 3sgte vs 4th, cost wise.

Postby Anoo21 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:28 pm

I am kinda in the same situation. I was thinking of just doing a 3rd Gen swap
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Re: 1st gen 3sgte vs 4th, cost wise.

Postby 88st165 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:12 pm

Wow I'm in the same situation too. I'm currently just evaluating costs and trying to think of things that could potentially nickel and dime me right out of my budget. Currently not in a situation to drop lots of money on a car that I barely drive as well so I'm being patient at the moment.

The way I see it is that the rebuild on the 165 engine is the most direct, easiest, potentially cheapest way to get the car back running. Plus A part of me would like to keep the original engine in the chassis since they both have 56k original miles. However, the appeal of the newer 4g engine is tempting.
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Re: 1st gen 3sgte vs 4th, cost wise.

Postby UtahSleeper » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:17 pm

88st165 wrote:Wow I'm in the same situation too. I'm currently just evaluating costs and trying to think of things that could potentially nickel and dime me right out of my budget. Currently not in a situation to drop lots of money on a car that I barely drive as well so I'm being patient at the moment.

The way I see it is that the rebuild on the 165 engine is the most direct, easiest, potentially cheapest way to get the car back running. Plus A part of me would like to keep the original engine in the chassis since they both have 56k original miles. However, the appeal of the newer 4g engine is tempting.


Agreed it would be cheaper. My old motor is dismantled and needs more then a quick rebuild, thats what has me looking at the 4th. I just want to see all the other costs I am not aware of before even considering the plunge.
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Re: 1st gen 3sgte vs 4th, cost wise.

Postby monkey8oi » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:56 pm

Speaking from experience, there is a lot more involved in rebuilding a motor than expected.. Things like new water pump, oil pump, clutch, misc hoses that should be replaced while the motor is out, timing belt, misc belts, spark plugs, wires, cap n rotor, all fluids, etc..

But on the other side, a gen4 would not be my first choice as parts are hard to come by.. Gaskets and such in the future.. Not to mention, modifying the hood to work with the ATA intercooler. U really gotta think about the long run of the motor and how to source parts and the price of those parts to get..

My opinion is to get a gen2 or gen3 with the harness & ecu, get a new gasket kit, new oil and water pump and swap it in.. Dr. Tweek can make a patch harness if needed for around $250.. There's probably more that I'm missing but this is some of the things to consider when making your decision..
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Re: 1st gen 3sgte vs 4th, cost wise.

Postby UtahSleeper » Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:16 pm

The gaskets part was one of my other concerns.

My other concern is I already have a 3sge intake for the first gen. From what I racall, that doesn't work on the second or third gens, right?

My thing is, if I am going to have to get most of the stuff in a rebuild kit just to run a second or third gen motor, why not rebuild the first gen and keep costs down? Are there that many issues with 1st gen stuff? Just trying to understand it all.

Thanks for replying.
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Re: 1st gen 3sgte vs 4th, cost wise.

Postby UtahSleeper » Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:22 pm

This price is what has me considering the motor, since its COP and newer, but part availability could be an issue as stated.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/JDM-Toyota-MR2-Celica-Caldina-4th-Gen-2-0L-Turbo-ST215-Engine-Wiring-3SGTE-ECU-/261590056033?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item3ce7fb7c61&vxp=mtr

The maintenance type items(hoses, belts, etc) I didnt feel the need to calculate as those costs will be present on either motor, so it's kind of a wash in my mind. I know whats easiest, but I am just trying to see if I could get newer motor tech for a price I would be okay with.

And it seems most of the 3rd gens are fetching a high price, and when I am not looking to go high power, it doesn't seem worth it.
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Re: 1st gen 3sgte vs 4th, cost wise.

Postby monkey8oi » Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:55 pm

You are correct regarding the intake manifold.. Will only work on the 1st gen..

And u are correct that anyway u go, it is recommended to get new gaskets, pump, belts, etc..

I guess it all boils down to what your machine shop will charge to do the work of cleaning, honing, an machining the block and head.. I would imagine u would also be replacing the bearings, piston rings and head, main and flywheel bolts while u were at it? I guess once u figure the out the door price from your machine shop, then u can compare that to what it would cost to just buy a motor swap..

When I was done, I ended up paying the machine shop around $1100 -$1200 out the door.. But I'm in Cali so pricing might be different where u are at.. So the cost would have been pretty much the same as swapping another motor in.. If the cost is around the same then why not upgrade to a later gen, right?
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Re: 1st gen 3sgte vs 4th, cost wise.

Postby bmt » Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:50 am

What's the problem with your current first gen motor? Blown head gasket? Or something more serious?

Since I am balls deep doing this exact swap, (viewtopic.php?f=44&t=42754),
my advice if it's a serious problem with the current motor then swap to Gen 3. Easier for parts, than a Gen 4. This and it's easier for turbo swaps/options. On a Gen 4 the factory turbo exhaust side is part of the manifold. It can cause issues if you decide to upgrade later on. Probably a LOT easier for wiring with access to Dr Tweek.

If funds are tight stick with the Gen 1. You already have everything just need to refresh it. You will gain some power with a refresh, (Not a lot, dont get your hopes up!).

I have poured thousands and thousands into my car when I got caught up with the, "While I'm there may as well...." Eventually it WILL pay off :rofl: It is VERY tempting to do this in the pursuit of more power.

Just remember when it comes to car projects, think what it will cost and THEN TRIPLE IT. There are always hidden costs, you aren't going to risk using an old cambelt, flywheel bolts, bearings if you've spent time and money on doing the motor machining are you?

My 2 cents anyway. Good luck!!
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Re: 1st gen 3sgte vs 4th, cost wise.

Postby zaluss » Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:35 pm

Gen3 is the way to go. That is the way I'm going anyway.

See this link also for a bit of info:

http://www.st162.net/forum/showthread.p ... C!!!/page6
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Re: 1st gen 3sgte vs 4th, cost wise.

Postby UtahSleeper » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:35 pm

My old motor was "rebuilt" by one of the PO's. When I got the car and finally got it all back together and running, it started knocking bad after about 45 min of running in my hands.

After I removed the motor, one rod had alot of play and the other 3 had a small amount of play. Also there was metal in the pan and oil pick up. All rods still had a bearing, but they were marked up.

One machine shop I was referred to gave me a quote of about 400 to have the block cleaned and honed, have the crank area checked and rounded back out. This also included having the crank cleaned/machined(forgot everything he said lol).

I guess I should look up how hard it would be to get parts. I know I had seen an MR2 site that seemed to stock alot of parts for the motor. I am avoiding the 3rd gen motor cause the price is higher and it just doesn't seem worth it for my minimal needs. If your long term goals is 250 to 300, is the 3rd gen really worth it? I am open to being educated if I am just being ignorant lol.
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Re: 1st gen 3sgte vs 4th, cost wise.

Postby UtahSleeper » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:51 pm

zaluss wrote:Gen3 is the way to go. That is the way I'm going anyway.

See this link also for a bit of info:

http://www.st162.net/forum/showthread.p ... C!!!/page6


You going to be able to fix her?
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Re: 1st gen 3sgte vs 4th, cost wise.

Postby lumbercis » Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:02 pm

the mr2 shop that specializes in these swaps is http://www.primemr2.com/

I'll say if cost is a factor rebuild your existing engine.

For the gen4, you need a new harness if you can't do the wiring yourself
A custom or swap downpipe in order to mate the turbo outlet to the stock exhaust location (prime makes these now)
A tach adapter
Possibly a custom intake (at the least a custom intake tube to mate the IM outlet to the stock airbox)
Upgraded fuel pump (need a 550cc rather than the stock 440cc)
Custom fiddling to get the stock hood to clear the top mount intercooler, or a custom intercooler setup

+whatever maintenance parts you need
consider installation costs if you can't do any of that stuff yourself
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Re: 1st gen 3sgte vs 4th, cost wise.

Postby zaluss » Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:21 pm

UtahSleeper wrote:
zaluss wrote:Gen3 is the way to go. That is the way I'm going anyway.

See this link also for a bit of info:

http://www.st162.net/forum/showthread.p ... C!!!/page6


You going to be able to fix her?


Ah not my car. Just wanted to point out the gen3 swap in a ST165.
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Re: 1st gen 3sgte vs 4th, cost wise.

Postby UtahSleeper » Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:33 pm

lumbercis wrote:I'll say if cost is a factor rebuild your existing engine.


The more I have thought about it, this is probably the smart choice since my performance goals are lower then most. I dont have desire to shot for high numbers since I have never even driven an alltrac with basic bolt on lol.

This car needs alot of odds and ends(new exhaust since it was all welded together as 1 piece with stock pipe, wheel bearings, bushings, etc). So I do think it makes more sense to go mostly stock so I have a chance of getting her running sooner rather then later.
80 Corolla Hatchback - Power (In Progress) http://www.3tcgarage.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3208
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