Need help deciding between 2nd, 3rd, or 4th gen 3S-GTE

JDM GT Four, ST185RC and ST205.

Need help deciding between 2nd, 3rd, or 4th gen 3S-GTE

Postby ThePerfectLine » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:09 am

Hi all,

My first post here at Alltrac.net! I've been lurking like a madman for a few months as I get ready to do my race car build, and I am at a point where I need some guidance, so here I am.

BACKGROUND
I bought a 1990 ST185 Celica race car that is 90% ready to go, the only thing is needs is a motor. Its an ex-Long Beach Grand Prix Celebrity Race car that has been heavily modified (Coilovers, Wilwood monoblock calipers, full cage, Fuel Safe fuel cel, stainless braided fuel and brake lines, Walbro 255 fuel pump, fully stripped interior, custom rear lower camber arm setup). It used to be a Celica GT (I think) and is definitely strictly a Front Wheel Drive car.

The only thing it didnt come with is a body wiring harness and a motor. I have an E153 from a v6 CamrySolara and found a factory LSD diff to put in the e153. So now I am at the point where I need to buy a motor for this, and I am DEFINITELY going for a 3s-gte, the big question is which one.

WHAT I WANT TO GET OUT OF MY MOTOR
I want to have a motor that is ultra reliable, and can take being driven at or near rev limit for long periods of time (it is a race car after all). I think even at stock boost levels this car is going to be fast, and after a little tweaking getting near 275hp or 300hp at the crank is plenty for me. I am not willing to sacrifice longevity and strength for 20-50 HP and do NOT plan on doing any major upgrades to it, other than cat-delete, free flowing exhaust, cold air intake, manual boost controller, dyno tune for the ECU, and any other simple tricks I can find online that dont involve major modding up upgrading the motor. I already have a very large front mount intercooler, a front mount oil cooler, and a front mount transmission (or maybe power steering?) cooler that came with the car.

MY DILEMNA
I have the transmission, so I am good there. But I can not decide what to do on sourcing a motor. An ST185 2nd gen, a ST205 3rd gen, or the ST215 4th gen 3s-gte.

At first I thought the ONLY way to go was the 2nd gen (since it is the same year as my car), but a deal for a 4th gen (st215) very low mileage motor came up and I've been told that its really the same to swap in the 4th as it is the 2nd. Which is partly because it is a stripped down race car, it's needs are very minimal, and I am OK with having someone custom build me a harness so that I can hook up my gauge cluster, and ignition. But even then, if I have to run aftermarket gauges, so be it, if I need to press a red button to engage the starter, thats fine as well.

I know the st215 4th gen 3s-gte is rated about 30-40HP more than the gen2 st185 motor in stock form. I can not figure out what exactly are the differences between the 2nd gen, the 3rd gen, and the 4th gen motors. I DO know the following, and please correct me if I am mistaken;

1. All three versions seem to be easy to get, with ST215's looking to be in the best condition (which makes sense, since they are 10 years newer than the st185's) and the prices seem to all be the same.
2. I wont be using the top mount intercooler, so it doesnt matter whether its Air-to-Air or Water-to-Air to me, since its getting punted anyway.
3. I know that the 4th gen (st215) exhaust manifold and turbo are married, and that you can't just replace the turbo, but this is fine by me, since I don't ever want this car to have a ton of power, 50-75 more than stock would be fine by me assuming it doesn't hurt durability and longevity.
4. I read somewhere that the 4th gen st215 turbo uses ceramic fins/blades and that they are possibly known to break off?
5. I like the idea of the 3rd and 4th gen having 550cc injectors instead of the 440cc injectors on the 2nd gen.
6. I also like that the st215 motors are just generally cleaner, newer, more modern, and seem to be better bang for the buck.

The things I DON'T know and make me nervous about doing an ST215 or ST205 3s-gte instead of the st185 version are;

1. Are the blocks basically the same? Do they use all the same parts? When I go to do a water pump, starter, timing belt, etc. are they all the same parts I would buy for an ST185 motor?
2. What about technical manuals, is it possible to get a manual for an st215? Maybe from Australia or some other country? Or does the manual from the 1990 ST185 Alltrac basically cover everything you need to know about wiring, vacuum, etc.?
3. What other things might come up that I don't know about that will be a deal breaker when I am trying to get an st215 4th gen motor running in my car?


So basically I am just looking to get some guidance here, but from my perspective (which is really based on about 3 months of internet research) the st215 looks like the way to go. I can do a Cold air intake, a free flowing exhaust, manual boost controller, and a good dyno tune with a little more boost and hopefully get a car with a solid 300 crank horsepower that will rev all day long.

-=Rodg=-

[Here is the car right before I bought it]
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Re: Need help deciding between 2nd, 3rd, or 4th gen 3S-GTE

Postby DeeCee » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:41 am

found it: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=34543
and: viewtopic.php?t=18371

1. Are the blocks basically the same? Do they use all the same parts? When I go to do a water pump, starter, timing belt, etc. are they all the same parts I would buy for an ST185 motor?
st185 is different from st205 and st215. Different cam, oil cooler, water pump etc. Cambelt 205/215/246 has -1 tooth on it compared with 165/185.
440cc injectors on 185 vs 540cc injectors on st205/215. Different cams as well as different turbos, sumps, compression, ignition (st215 uses COP) and inlet/exhaust manifold bolt spacing is different between 185 vs 205/215. St215 is side feed inlet manifold vs centre feed inlet manifold on 185/205. TB is bigger on st215 by a couple of mm over st205 which is bigger again than st185

2. What about technical manuals, is it possible to get a manual for an st215? Maybe from Australia or some other country? Or does the manual from the 1990 ST185 Alltrac basically cover everything you need to know about wiring, vacuum, etc.?
Only known manual for st215 is in russian to my knowledge. Others have figured out wiring though. Manuals available for st185 and st205 are the toyota service manuals and cover everything (at least I haven't found something not in the manual..) here for links to manuals: viewtopic.php?f=50&p=405694 Thanks to MWP for hosting. Otherwise available around the net as well
3. What other things might come up that I don't know about that will be a deal breaker when I am trying to get an st215 4th gen motor running in my car?
available parts in your country and in your region and aftermarket parts bin as well. Parts availability is the big one. Gen2 would be commonly available in the states vs gen3 and 4 being very uncommon. General parts like cv's come off a camry or a corolla lol

Parts are always required for race cars. If you dont' have a parts bin then you are down on time waiting for overseas parts or need to look to aftermarket.
MR2 turbos are prevalent in the states and there is a small aftermarket for the gen2 engine because of this. Just my 2c as my friends have racecars and unique cars become expensive cars.
GT Four Adovansu "I want to enjoy the powerful and nimble agility behavior."

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Re: Need help deciding between 2nd, 3rd, or 4th gen 3S-GTE

Postby WarTowels » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:38 pm

Just to nit-pick, you bought a 1990 Celica ST184* Only the awd chassis is ST185.

If it were me, I'd go with a 205 swap. It's a little bit harder than a 185 swap, but you get a good bump in HP, and since you're not going to be modifying the engine much you might as well start off a bit higher up. Unlike the 215, parts 205 are easier to come by and many from the 185 will work too. I don't think the same can be said for the 215.

Basically, as I see it, as you go up in generations the difficulty and costs go up as well. Are you prepared to source out engine parts that never touched this coast in any vehicle? That could get costly, time consuming, and difficult!

I'm making an assumption you live in the US. But maybe not the case?

-Towels
2003 S2000
1985 300TD
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