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The 3sgte Engine Block Thread

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:35 pm
by l0ch0w
In the 21 years the 3s block has been produced, toyota has had several incarnations of the same block. Each "generation" has its benefits and drawbacks to it and this thread will attempt to debunk some of the myths surrounding the max power output and features of each block. Each section will have an approximate power rating for the internal components and the block itself as well as notable changes for each generation.

GEN 1&2 SPECS:
Block Max HP: 650-750
Crank Max HP: 1000+
Rods (w/ arp bolts): 500-600
Pistons: 350-450

Notes:
From 88-93 the First and second generation motors used essentially the same block. Some argue that the first generation block was a little beefier, but their differences arent enough to warrant two separate sections.





GEN 3 SPECS:
Block Max HP: 500?
Crank Max HP: 1000+
Rods (w/ arp bolts): 500-600
Pistons: 350-450

Notes:
From 94 to 99 the 3rd generation motor was produced. From 94 to mid 97 many 3sgte blocks were cast using inferior quality iron, and were much more prone to cracking due to voids and casting flaws. After 97 the casting material was improved and flaws were reduced. Other changes included a water outlet on the block for the HFHOE that used to come out of the water pump in the gen 1/2 and a size change for the turbo oil feed line.


GEN 4 SPECS:
Block Max HP: 900?
Crank Max HP: 1000+
Rods (w/ arp bolts): Weak... Just get Forged...
Pistons: 350-450

Notes:
from 99 to 2007 the 4th generation was produced in Japan for the Caldina GTFour. These are the holy grail of 3s blocks as they are made from very high quality casting material, they have an upgraded water pump area, but they also have a plethora of differences externally and one major difference inside. First, the oil cooler mounting location will not accept the older gen 2 and 3 style coolers without modification. Also, the HFHOE tube is smaller on the gen 4 than on the gen 3. That major difference inside is that the rods are much thinner, Their supporting power is unknown, but because they are thinner, most people modifying gen 4 blocks scrap the rods anyways...

This block is still largely untested for its maximum power output as I have yet to see one break, or see a 700+hp build for that matter either. But because this block shares its casting material and upgraded water pump area with the 98+5s block I am going to estimate its power as slightly lower than the 98+5s block.


*A side note*

The 98+ 5s block is often used for high power applications due to its thicker casting, superior casting material, and strengthened water pump area. Some simple modifications are required to get this block to work with the 3sgte top end.

Also, the 503e block used by TTE and other racing teams is also rediculously strong and was used in 700+HP pikes peak cars for several years.

Re: The 3sgte Engine Block Thread

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:12 am
by tubasteve
I agree with the info read. Should sticky this.

You can go years back and find all this info, or let people keep asking.

Gen 3/4 parts aren't AS easy to get parts for if doing a rebuild. It can be done as most parts work, but oil pump, oil pan ect. Are not usdm friendly.

There is a thread that shows gen 1-4 blocks side by side and the little changes and such that go further into detail. Just a thought. To add onto this for depth. And i like pictures. Esp the 503e engine torn down.

The 3sgte Engine Block Thread

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:37 am
by celigts
Good info or new builders like me. Sticky I think is a must :)

Re: The 3sgte Engine Block Thread

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:00 pm
by Mafix
fyi gen 1 and gen 2 are not even close to the same block. the max hp is easily debatable and will always be an unknown figure. hp depends on tuning/fuel/boost/ect not wall thickness. wall thickness only distates how long it will last at said hp figures. other than some small things you've missed and the need for much longer notes in the sections, i like it.

Re: The 3sgte Engine Block Thread

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:53 pm
by ZeroDrift
Can anyone comment on the durability of the blocks? Say differences with the 5S block vs the 3S, and say common failure points.

Re: The 3sgte Engine Block Thread

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:34 am
by l0ch0w
Mafix wrote:fyi gen 1 and gen 2 are not even close to the same block. the max hp is easily debatable and will always be an unknown figure. hp depends on tuning/fuel/boost/ect not wall thickness. wall thickness only distates how long it will last at said hp figures. other than some small things you've missed and the need for much longer notes in the sections, i like it.


Im not claiming to know everything about these blocks (im especially unknowledgeable about the 1st gen block...) Ive worked on gen 2 through gen 4, but never got to see a bare gen 1 block.

Feel free to post up any knowledge anyone may have on these, and I will be happy to edit the OP :)

ALSO* The horsepower levels I put up are the most common failure points that I have heard of at that given horsepower given adequate cooling and quality tunes. Knock happy motors tend to be more likely to crack, as well as motors that develop hot spots from inadequate cooling.

Everything is up for criticism here :) I just wanted a place where people could go to to see what their limitations are, cuz im sorta sick of seeing alot of misinformation floating around, and the shear number of times it comes up in threads that arent necessarily directed at it.

Re: The 3sgte Engine Block Thread

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:37 am
by tubasteve
interesting post when reading for a base map


http://forum.aempower.com/forum/index.php/topic,22813.msg122870.html#msg122870

this talks about cracking at 4XX hp. i guess with d.t. loss its close to 500 maybe? but im not flaunting numbers :)

Re: The 3sgte Engine Block Thread

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:32 am
by l0ch0w
Blocks have cracked at lower power, but for the most part, with a correct tune, most people can sucessfully squeeze 600whp out of a stock gen 2 block. I personally know several people who have made over 600whp on a stock gen 2 block, it all came down to their tune...

Only a retard would sleeve a 3s block in an MR2 seeing how easy it is to just run the 5s block...

Re: The 3sgte Engine Block Thread

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:36 am
by tubasteve
Rofl, true, but my post on the other said i read it somewhere, I've read 600 all day fine, and rare to crack.

My machinist is finishing up on the engines this week for me, I'll test it out ;-)

Re: The 3sgte Engine Block Thread

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:20 pm
by l0ch0w
Anyone gonna help me out with the gen 1 block differences and power levels?

Re: The 3sgte Engine Block Thread

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:48 am
by Mafix
when i get time bro.

also block cracking...i have yet to see a new block crack. only 10plus year old ones.

Re: The 3sgte Engine Block Thread

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:10 pm
by Toxygene
Does anyone know or can we list what shops are known for making the later 5s blocks work with the 3s head? What shops in general are known for making reliable builds based on these blocks? Or in other words, who has a good reputation for making reliable power with any or all of these blocks?

Also, if I were to want to order any of these blocks or if I wanted to make sure I was getting what I asked for from a clip, do we have Toyota Part numbers for all of the blocks mentioned?

Re: The 3sgte Engine Block Thread

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:23 am
by l0ch0w
^um... me :)
Ive built a few...

Near you the only ones I would recommend is Chico Race Works, they are located in Rio Linda.

BTW, the only thing you need for the 3s head to work on the 5s block is the ATS head gasket...

Also you need to grind down the back side of the block so that the transfer case can fit right... other than that, its not really that hard to do.

Lastly, if you are going the 5s block route, just go to your local junk yard and find a 98+ 5sfe camry... No need to purchase a brand new factory 5s block for 10 times the price... If you want the revised block, you might consider finding a grey top 3sge and turbocharging it... Its essentially a gen 4 swap, with vvti... and less money than a red-top :) I figure if you are going to be pushing the power levels that would require you to run a strengthened block (which the grey-top has), you might as well get better flowing heads and variable valve timing while ur at it.. At those power levels you're already running a bigger turbo, custom manifolds, forged internals and standalone management anyways right?

-Andrew

Re: The 3sgte Engine Block Thread

PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:38 am
by Puffy
There appears to be another late variant of GEN III floating around in rare quantities.
It seems Toyota used a Caldina block as a base for machining a handful of 205 applications.

Re: The 3sgte Engine Block Thread

PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:01 pm
by built2run
That's the infamous crack that half the 94-97 gen 3 blocks get when making power. The cracking at the water pump area isn't due to power. An other thing to note is that when using standard ARP head studs the usual power limit before they stretch is about 600 and that can and has cause the block to crack so yeah the tune will get you reliability only if the engine is properly built to make the target power

I guess it should also be mentioned that the pre 98 5S-FE block can take around 850 whp as well