Build Thoughts and Ideas

Q&A regarding engines, turbos, and intercoolers and power upgrades

Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby Locker » Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:19 pm

So as my shell is a few months away from being able to put an engine in it I've come to a point that I'm starting to plan the engine build.

For a while I was torn between doing a very stockish engine vs. going all out. In the end I decided that I've invested enough into the body of the car I might as well build the engine once.

I should start with my personal goals for the car and uses.
-Mostly used as a cruiser. Go to the occasional meet (mostly with muscle car guys) maybe an autocross or lapping day for fun. This isn't a race car
-I'm more concerned with mid range power than high end horse power.
-It must maintain Air Conditioning.

The Basic's I've decided on.
2.2L bottom end with a 3rd gen head (for the extra $500-700 why not)
I'm also heavily leaning towards a twin scroll turbo for faster more efficient spool and part of me really wants to buy the full race twin scroll manifold and GT35R for how awesome it would look when you pop the hood.

What are everyone's thoughts with regards to compression ratio, cams, intake manifold and heck the whole plan overall.
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby Mr Alltrac » Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:17 pm

Ats offers the super stroker which is a 2.3l not sure how much you actually benefit from it but it's interesting. Ha

If your worried about mid range rather than top end the gt35r might not be what your looking for. Not horrible but there is some loss down low. Maybe a gt30 or precision equivalent.

Good luck on your build, I'll be keeping an eye out for updates.
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby Locker » Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:25 pm

I read about the 2.3L pistons.... its also a thought....

Part of me is also thinking about going a more affordable and reliable build and just doing the st215 swap.... I know its a totally different direction than posted above. It would mean I could probably drive the car next season as its less than half the cost of the full build. If I go big I'm only doing it to say I've got 400+hp. Not because I have goals at the drag strip or anything....
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby CTechBlueDragon » Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:28 pm

The 215 swap is sweet. If you feel like getting it going, I think you would be happy with it at about 16-17lb of boost, its a sweet engine. If you are able and willing to pull It back out when you want more power that's fine. Its a better starting point for mild power builds also. If your only going for 400 you could probably not even touch the cams. You would at-least need some rods, the Gen4 has weaker/lighter rods than Gen2 or 3, might as well get pistons too. Turbo, fuel mods and an ECU/Tune. Of-course Metal Head gasket and ARP hardware. Maybe some cam gears... honestly once you start it never ends. lol Probably want a better charge cooler and radiator by then also.
But honestly the 215 engine is pretty sweet right off the bat. But if you already have an old engine to build it would be cheaper to just do that in the long run. Also keep in mind there is more aftermarket support for Gen 2 and 3 3sgte engines. I think the major difference is the head with the Cam trigger instead of a Distributor and the wiring and ECU are less supported in the aftermarket as far as I can tell.

Hope some of this rambling helps! lol Nobody else is responding so its better than nothing!
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby Mr Alltrac » Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:22 pm

If you go with the 215 I would think you would want to get the 3rd Gen exhaust manifold and ct20. That way if you wanted to swap turbos you could. The 215 exhaust housing is cast into the manifold.
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby Locker » Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:59 pm

thanks for the input guys. The rambling is exactly what goes on in my head every night. One direction then an other. Money, bragging rights and time are things that rattle around in my head.
My best friend has a MR2 built for close to 500 so keeping up with the jones is always on my mind but the reliability, cost and the fact I could actually drive the car this summer instead of at least another year or two makes the st215 an attractive choice. I have a st205 exhaust manifold kicking around the parts bin so could easily bolt on a different turbo in a year or 2 if the st215 turbo isn't enough....
choices... choices... choices...
I think I need to do a bunch more reading on the st215
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby underscore » Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:05 pm

Trying to make more power than someone else is a sure fire way to end up with an empty wallet and a borderline undriveable car that you don't even like. I'd do the 215 swap and drive the car, if it isn't enough you can do the big build while still driving the car and then when its ready swap the motors and sell the 215 setup to someone.
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby 3SDNA » Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:18 pm

Mr Alltrac wrote:If you go with the 215 I would think you would want to get the 3rd Gen exhaust manifold and ct20. That way if you wanted to swap turbos you could. The 215 exhaust housing is cast into the manifold.


I recently finished my Caldina swap into my ST165, and It is by far quicker than my last setup using a CT27 with 3in exhaust on 12psi. This is a bone stock ST215 mill on 8psi, and it put down 235hp and 200tq At The Wheels last weekend! (I will have the dyno sheet shortly). I agree you are limited by the stock manifold/turbo setup as far as switching turbo's, but PrimeMR2 and ATS both have upgrades for the CT15. ATS made 400whp with the upgraded CT15 on corn juice.
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby Locker » Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:37 pm

underscore wrote:Trying to make more power than someone else is a sure fire way to end up with an empty wallet and a borderline undriveable car that you don't even like. I'd do the 215 swap and drive the car, if it isn't enough you can do the big build while still driving the car and then when its ready swap the motors and sell the 215 setup to someone.


I totally agree its a very fast way to become broke and based on the cars I would need an extra 100hp to beat him which is way beyond any reasonable goals for a driveable car.
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby CSAlltrac » Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:49 pm

Go Gen4 and don't ever look back. Its honestly the future for our cars and MR2s. You can take the stock ECU and fuel SO much further than Gen2 or 3. Its also plug and play when you have a harness built by WireGap, and Prime MR2 sells EVERYTHING you will ever need. WireGap also wires up an OBD2 port, this opens up the door for Bluetooth OBD readers and modern engine monitoring apps. It all adds up to a much more cost effective build that is reliable.
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby 3SDNA » Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:10 pm

CSAlltrac wrote:Go Gen4 and don't ever look back. Its honestly the future for our cars and MR2s. You can take the stock ECU and fuel SO much further than Gen2 or 3. Its also plug and play when you have a harness built by WireGap, and Prime MR2 sells EVERYTHING you will ever need. WireGap also wires up an OBD2 port, this opens up the door for Bluetooth OBD readers and modern engine monitoring apps. It all adds up to a much more cost effective build that is reliable.


I second that. I will never regret going Gen4. Doug at WireGap completed my harness, and it is all PNP with new ECU.
I beat the shit out of this engine every time I drive it, and it keeps asking for more.

It was way more cost effective than building a stroker setup out of my Gen2, then having to go with a stand alone ECU.
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby Locker » Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:11 pm

I am loving all of this feedback! I have a lot to think about and potentially some great parts I'll need to sell if I go the gen4 route as I already have 1000cc injectors and a AEM ecu
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby Locker » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:43 pm

I've been doing a bunch of reading on the ST215 and does seem to check off a lot of my boxes.
If anyone has any good links to share regarding doing the swap I'd love the help. Searching on the forums and google I've ended up reading a lot of older posts and haven't found any really good ones on putting into a 185
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby CSAlltrac » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:50 pm

Locker wrote:I've been doing a bunch of reading on the ST215 and does seem to check off a lot of my boxes.
If anyone has any good links to share regarding doing the swap I'd love the help. Searching on the forums and google I've ended up reading a lot of older posts and haven't found any really good ones on putting into a 185

Theres not going to be much as there isn't that many with the swap done yet. The only three sites you need to get the swap done:
http://www.wiregapinc.com/
http://www.primemr2.com/
http://www.alnjdmautomotors.com/
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby 3SDNA » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:11 pm

Locker wrote:I've been doing a bunch of reading on the ST215 and does seem to check off a lot of my boxes.
If anyone has any good links to share regarding doing the swap I'd love the help. Searching on the forums and google I've ended up reading a lot of older posts and haven't found any really good ones on putting into a 185


I just finished my swap, and I know Utahsleeper did his swap as well. Between the few of us, we can help you out. It is very easy to do as far as engine swaps go.

I had a new fuel line made with a different fitting for the ST215 fuel rail. Doug at Wiregap completed the harness so that it was plug and play. You swap your passenger side engine mount bracket onto the ST215 engine, and bolt everything up. I dont imagine it is much different for a ST185. Your tranny will bolt right up as well.
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