Build Thoughts and Ideas

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

Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby Locker » Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:50 pm

Thanks guys.
I'll be doing the swap myself and will definitely send the harness out to either wiregap or tweaked performance to make the install as simple as possible.
I suppose the most important thing is to make sure the engine I source has all the sensors etc attached to the harness.
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby GT4times2 » Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:00 pm

3SDNA wrote:
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.


Quite a few All Tracs running the Gen4, myself included (Lumbercis as well). It's relatively simple. You won't regret it.

Simpler and more cost effective than any monster build/potential garage queen you're thinking of (if you're looking at 300whp-400whp).
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12 Toyota Sienna LE (The Daily Pacifier)
05 Toyota Avalon XLS
90 ST185 Gen4
88 ST165 Gen3-The works
89 ST165 Gen4-on the way
+ Many other projects, under covers....
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby 3SDNA » Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:11 pm

GT4times2 wrote:
3SDNA wrote:
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.


Quite a few All Tracs running the Gen4, myself included (Lumbercis as well). It's relatively simple. You won't regret it.

Simpler and more cost effective than any monster build/potential garage queen you're thinking of (if you're looking at 300whp-400whp).



Dude, no kidding, I love this engine. I want to put a Caldina engine in everything now!
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby underscore » Thu Nov 05, 2015 6:48 pm

Locker wrote:Thanks guys.
I'll be doing the swap myself and will definitely send the harness out to either wiregap or tweaked performance to make the install as simple as possible.
I suppose the most important thing is to make sure the engine I source has all the sensors etc attached to the harness.


My personal preference is to replace all the sensors when you do a swap like this, they don't cost much and that way you know the ECU is getting accurate readings.
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby GT4times2 » Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:18 pm

3SDNA wrote:
Dude, no kidding, I love this engine. I want to put a Caldina engine in everything now!



Same here. Finalizing some things for the ST215 swap that's about to go in my gray ST165. :D (That'll be 2 All Tracs powered by a 4th Gen under one roof)

I initially planned to drop a different motor that I have (1st Gen built bottom end/with a 3rd Gen head, along with other go fast parts, but it's likely going in an old school RWD Toyota project or sleeper fwd Corolla down the line, if all the items are not sold). That's how much I like the 4th Gen.

I also believe it will be the future swap for most All Tracs and MR2s. Especially for those who are tired of issues with 1st and 2nd gen set ups, and people who want to make reliable 300-400 whp with relative ease (not having to upgrade ignition, side feed intake mani, cams/head work, etc).

Maybe 1st and 2nd Gens will power old school Toyota projects... :shrug:

Plans for one of the set ups include a GT2871-R, AEM FIC-8, injector upgrade. Hopefully by next summer. We'll see how it will fare on the dyno.
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05 Toyota Avalon XLS
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby CTechBlueDragon » Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:44 am

3SDNA wrote:Dude, no kidding, I love this engine. I want to put a Caldina engine in everything now!

No... seriously. First engine I have ever bought 2 cars for. Well I traded my 99 V70XC for a 93GT with a 215 swap that had a melted piston. Then I did a Gen2 block swap (not easy) and put it back in and it blew the tire off so bad I actually bought another car entirely for the purpose of housing the engine lol Now I have a 215 swapped 90 Camry alltrac! And... my poor 185 I stole the block from is under the car port looking all sad and neglected. Have not had the time to put the 205 engine in it that I have... and I really like the 215 so much I am debating changing plan and doing a 215 into it as well! :shrug:
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby bmt » Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:46 am

I too have 215 motor in my st165. Running a 2871 turbo and aftermarket ecu, eagle rods, wiseco pistons. 299hp atw on 19lbs. The wiring was the most painful part.

My advice? Either do a completely stock swap or build the motor you want off the mark. Dont start down 1 track and then upgrade as it will burn a hole in your wallet AND more importantly your time.

I should listen to my own advice sometimes....
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby Locker » Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:45 pm

bmt wrote:I too have 215 motor in my st165. Running a 2871 turbo and aftermarket ecu, eagle rods, wiseco pistons. 299hp atw on 19lbs. The wiring was the most painful part.

My advice? Either do a completely stock swap or build the motor you want off the mark. Dont start down 1 track and then upgrade as it will burn a hole in your wallet AND more importantly your time.

I should listen to my own advice sometimes....


I think this is the mistake everyone makes and more than likely the one I will make on this project. I think we all start with good intentions of leaving it stock... then you get bit by the mod bug. lol
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Re: Build Thoughts and Ideas

Postby zaluss » Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:08 pm

Locker wrote:
bmt wrote:I too have 215 motor in my st165. Running a 2871 turbo and aftermarket ecu, eagle rods, wiseco pistons. 299hp atw on 19lbs. The wiring was the most painful part.

My advice? Either do a completely stock swap or build the motor you want off the mark. Dont start down 1 track and then upgrade as it will burn a hole in your wallet AND more importantly your time.

I should listen to my own advice sometimes....


I think this is the mistake everyone makes and more than likely the one I will make on this project. I think we all start with good intentions of leaving it stock... then you get bit by the mod bug. lol


Yup. I'm hoping to avoid the modding bug but... :D

While I don't regret going with gen3, I probably should have gone with gen4 for my swap for the flexibility as noted in previous comments.
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