Why do so few ST165 engines get modded?

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Why do so few ST165 engines get modded?

Postby JRWperformance » Mon May 02, 2016 4:57 pm

I'm new to the Celica game. I found an 88 AllTrac with a broken pressure plate for $800 and could not let it go. The car is in great shape and the motor supposedly has VERY low miles...like, less than 20k miles low. It was pulled from a wrecked 165 years ago that was totalled with 31 miles on the odo. The engine was pulled and donated to an auto shop school. The motor was never messed with and remained in storage. It found its way into my 165 around 2009. Great compression, runs awesome and pretty clean. So, it seems I have a great basis for a project.

But I don't see that many of the gen 1 3SGTE motors getting built up. (Or maybe I have not searched far enough...) I don't really want to swap the engine for a later one because it's in great shape and shipping a motor to Alaska is a bit expensive. I'm not looking to make massive power. Just about 350-400 max. Are there any reasons why I should not build up this engine? I was looking at a full rebuild with eagle rods and wiesco pistons. Is the stuuf for the next Gen engines going to fit mine?
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Re: Why do so few ST165 engines get modded?

Postby zaluss » Mon May 02, 2016 5:30 pm

JRWperformance wrote: I'm not looking to make massive power. Just about 350-400 max.

JRWperformance wrote: I was looking at a full rebuild with eagle rods and wiesco pistons. Is the stuuf for the next Gen engines going to fit mine?


I think you answered your own question here but hopefully someone with more experience with gen1 can answer that for you. That being said, a lot of basic maintenance parts are NLA (looking at you, oil cooler hoses) which makes it a pain to pour a bunch of money into it. Gen 2/3/4 still have parts that can be bought from Toyota which is why I went gen3.
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Re: Why do so few ST165 engines get modded?

Postby JRWperformance » Mon May 02, 2016 6:41 pm

Hydraulic hoses are no big deal. I've done some weird and custom ones before. Not too worried about that stuuf...I know the cams are there own thing. But pistons and rods and some of the major spinny chunks are what concern me.
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Re: Why do so few ST165 engines get modded?

Postby buffalohunter7321 » Mon May 02, 2016 7:20 pm

Well you could always do the normal mods like Port and polish intake to the head; remove the tvis; fuel regulator mod, so it would always have 13.+ psi at the fuel pump. Deck the head. Use co matic metal HG; Front mounted intercooler; t3t4 turbo and a external oil cooler. Side feed intake. 3sge head with the 3sge cams. Off set the cam gears one tooth ahead and behind but this will cost more then what you will gain in Hp.. But you will have to decide if it is worth it to you or not!! There is a lot more that could be done to the 1gen. but you will have to make sure you can source the parts to do and achieve what you want.
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Re: Why do so few ST165 engines get modded?

Postby TRDTurko » Tue May 03, 2016 12:29 am

there are several reasons why the first gen motor is not a popular choice to modify:

1. factory parts are getting hard to come by (as mentioned)
2. Aftermarket supposed is very thin (the first gen only came in the 88-89 Alltrac so there is not much of a market for manufactures) ex: I have only ever seen one set of aftermarket cams for the first gen and have seen several for the second.
3. it has the worst cooling and oil delivery of any of the blocks. there is a visible difference even in the water necks.

that being said though, allmost everything from the second gen fits on the first except for head internals like the cams. A friend of mine swaped alot of the periferals and turbo system from his 185 RC onto a 165 engine when his motor started to let go. There was some modification and ingenuity needed to get it all to work but he is happy with how its running.
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Re: Why do so few ST165 engines get modded?

Postby CTechBlueDragon » Tue May 03, 2016 2:16 am

I would say basically for less than what you would spend just to get it up to par with a Gen 4 you could just buy a Gen 4 engine. Then add in the complication of modding an unsupported long-block and your much better off swapping. Take it out and sell it to someone that wants to keep their 165 stock that has a ruined engine and buy a Gen 4 and never look back. They go for as low as 850 shipped these days and come with 260hp on stock boost pressure, and you can turn that up to 17 without any other mods other than maybe a fuel pump. The Gen 3 and 4 have a MUCH better oiling and cooling system as well as pretty much everything else. Save yourself the headaches and swap it if you are capable.
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Re: Why do so few ST165 engines get modded?

Postby JRWperformance » Tue May 03, 2016 3:52 am

Wow...I was actually looking at eBay for gen 4 engines from the Caldina. I'm suprised...these things are cheap. I might actually go with this method. Are the Ebay dealers ok? Anyone know good dealers on the west coast?
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Re: Why do so few ST165 engines get modded?

Postby CTechBlueDragon » Wed May 04, 2016 2:31 am

As with any used parts its a hit or miss thing and it does not necessarily mean the dealer is bad if you get a bad one. It all depends how they deal with the warranty. Most places have a 1 year warranty in case you get a bad one. I would say your best thing to look for is a compression test. Most of them will supply that. It does not mean everything is 100% but its a great indicator of the condition. There will always be some little thing here or there that is missing or broken so be ready for that. I would say stick to the ones that show actual item pictures not just a stock picture and look for a compression test. Check out their feedback. You will not regret going Gen4! The main hurdle tends to be the harness, but there are reputable people and companies that can do that for you for a big charge. If you can read a wiring diagram and have a little patience you can do it yourself its not that bad; I did it and I didn't even know how to read one I had to learn as I went. I have the Caldina electrical PDF if you end up doing it yourself I will give it to you. I'm sure I can find you the 165 wiring diagram as well.
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Re: Why do so few ST165 engines get modded?

Postby JRWperformance » Wed May 04, 2016 10:22 pm

There is a lot of mention for the generation 4 engines...but wouldn't a gen 3 be a better bet? I belive the 215 engine would be OBD2 and it has the bulky air to air top Mount intercooler that does not seem to fit uner the hoods of 165/185 cars. I have been eyeballing st205 engines with the transmission. I think that is the way I will go. I just need to know if the trans will be compatable with the ST165 chassis/ rear diff/ side and center drive shafts.
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Re: Why do so few ST165 engines get modded?

Postby All-TracDreams » Thu May 05, 2016 1:20 am

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe OBD2 is/was only a USDM standard. Shouldn't have to worry about that on a Gen 4.
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Re: Why do so few ST165 engines get modded?

Postby CTechBlueDragon » Tue May 10, 2016 4:27 am

It might be a better choice for you since you already have the heat exchanger and stuff for the water to air intercooler.
The rear end stuff and drive shaft will all be fine. I am not 100% on the front CV axles but probably at-least one will work and 185 axles are super cheap at any auto parts store if you need one. There is no OBD2 on ST215 or ST205.
If you plan to upgrade to a better turbo or go for big power your going to end up ditching the 205 intercooler for a front mount so keep that in mind. The 205 trans is definitely the way to go though they have better synchros. My POS 185 trans likes to lock me out of 2nd gear at redline shifts. Changing from cheap wall-mart trans fluid to Redline hoping it helps! What sucks about 205 is you still have to deal with distributor cap and wires which really sucks for maintaining high load high hp spark. The 215 has COP so your tune up consists of plugs and oil and filter instead of Cap plugs rotor wires oil filter.
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