Rebuilding a 3SGTE

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Rebuilding a 3SGTE

Postby Aaron » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:34 am

I'm thinking about buying a project ST185, but I don't want to get in over my head. I have tons of mechanical experience including owning and repairing/modding a 1990 Trac for 7 years, but I've never rebuilt a motor. Is this something I can do with a manual and YouTube? I just feel like I'm going to be missing out on a lot of important tips I would get if someone experienced were actually there doing it with me.

The other option is of course to have it rebuilt somewhere. I found this site that will rebuild and modify the motor with lots of goodies for $4800. Is that a good deal? Are there other places I should look? I'm thinking this might be better than doing it myself just for the machine work alone. Having the intake/exhaust ports matched is not something I could do myself anyway, for example. And I would have the peace of mind that the heartbeat of my car isn't going to blow up because I forgot to torque a bolt. What do you guys think?
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Re: Rebuilding a 3SGTE

Postby zaluss » Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:57 pm

Aaron wrote:I'm thinking about buying a project ST185, but I don't want to get in over my head. I have tons of mechanical experience including owning and repairing/modding a 1990 Trac for 7 years, but I've never rebuilt a motor. Is this something I can do with a manual and YouTube? I just feel like I'm going to be missing out on a lot of important tips I would get if someone experienced were actually there doing it with me.

The other option is of course to have it rebuilt somewhere. I found this site that will rebuild and modify the motor with lots of goodies for $4800. Is that a good deal? Are there other places I should look? I'm thinking this might be better than doing it myself just for the machine work alone. Having the intake/exhaust ports matched is not something I could do myself anyway, for example. And I would have the peace of mind that the heartbeat of my car isn't going to blow up because I forgot to torque a bolt. What do you guys think?


I'm not familiar with racetep.com so I can't comment on the quality.

Here are some companies I've dealt with before and I believe some others have as well.

http://www.atsracing.net/Parts/Index/ATSFORGED20 -$1800
http://www.atsracing.net/Parts/Index/ATSHEAD -$1250

http://koracing.net/viewproduct.php?fol ... roduct=610 - $4200
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Re: Rebuilding a 3SGTE

Postby CSAlltrac » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:08 pm

I would go the swap route. Either Gen3orGen4. I am bias to this option simply because I have been through all other options (with Gen2) None of which are as good as my swap performance and reliability. You can also get it running and driving for the $4800 you questioned. :shrug: Just my opinion, everyone has one.
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Re: Rebuilding a 3SGTE

Postby WarTowels » Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:35 pm

I have a forged 2.2L 5SGTE stroker up in Maine if you want it. 0 Miles on it. I won't charge $4800 and it would be a hell of starting point. ^_^

Port and polished head, 1mm OS valves, upgraded springs, shimless buckets, 264 HKS cams, adjustable cam gears, forged pistons, metal head gasket, upgraded water pump, stainless steel hardware, powder coated VC, HD ACT Clutch and Pressure Plate, Lightweight flywheel and so on and so forth.

:D
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Re: Rebuilding a 3SGTE

Postby Brad.Miller » Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:04 pm

A helpful link if you do not want the 2.2, if you do not I am very interested!!!

http://www.turbomr2.com/MR2/HowTo/Engin ... GTE-01.htm
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Re: Rebuilding a 3SGTE

Postby Aaron » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:38 pm

I love this forum. I posted that question this morning before work and by the time I get home, there are multiple super helpful replies. Thanks.

I used to have a mental shopping list of everything I wanted for my Trac, but I've been out of the game for so long, I completely wasn't even thinking of a 4th gen swap. I just looked on eBay and they're going for around $800 which seems like a steal. Anything to look out for when choosing one? It looks like I'll need the wiring harness and manual ECU, so I'll check for that; anything else? It comes stock with 256HP, but I'd like to get to a streetable 300-350 if it's not too expensive. Honestly, though, 256 + bolt-ons would probably be good enough. I still want to buy an RA29 too, after all. :)

WarTowels, that 5SGTE is very tempting, but I'm going to be tapped out after buying the car, so the upgrades won't start for some time yet. Honestly, I wasn't even going to think about buying a Trac until I moved to a new place that has a garage, but I stumbled upon a deal too good to pass up. It's a black `92 and it only has one instance of actual body damage -- a gash about 6" long in the right quarter. The interior is normal for a car that age -- hell, the driver's seat is in better condition than my `90's was. 169,000 miles. It's been sitting for a few months and doesn't currently run, but everything's coming out anyway. Anyway, point being, I'm probably not going to be able to actually crack it open for about a year unless some stroke of great financial luck comes before that. If you still happen to have it at that point, I'll keep it in mind.

Damn, look at me talking like I already own the thing. I gotta get the last of this money together and rent a trailer...
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Re: Rebuilding a 3SGTE

Postby CSAlltrac » Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:23 am

You wont need the Manual ECU, the Auto ECU works just fine but does store a code that does not show up on dash. Check out http://www.primemr2.com and dont have anyone else do the wiring other than Doug at WireGapinc.com. Go Gen4, you will not regret it. As far as choosing an engine, its really just luck of the draw and hard to get a bad one. Just do the due diligence, Timing belt, water pump, seals, cleaning, and a few oil changes in the first 1000 miles with a detergent oil and you will be fine. Prime offers all parts you need to convert and are amazing for support.
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Re: Rebuilding a 3SGTE

Postby WarTowels » Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:48 pm

Sure np, was just throwing it out there =)

If anyone is interested in it, PM me for more details.

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