Can my tranny hold this power???

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

Can my tranny hold this power???

Postby speedlabracer » Sat Sep 11, 2004 7:54 pm

Hey I swapped a 3sgte into my 90 celica ST and the shop who did it said that by upgrading to a 92 GT tranny it would be able to hold the power of the GT4 motor with no problems. Do you think my tranny will eventually go out, or have problems if I am occasionally driving it hard. To me it feels risky running the GT tranny on just a stock 3sgte motor, but I'd like to eventually do some sort of upgrades, such as a boost controller and possibly a fmic. Will mt stock tranny handle this power?? Do you think the ST204 tranny with lsd would bolt up??? Thanks. -KYLE
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Postby RedCelicaTRD » Sat Sep 11, 2004 8:37 pm

Some people have gotten it to hold. Others havnt been so lucky. It depends on the shape the tranny is yo begin with. They asking over at celica.net you should get more answers.
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Postby alltracman78 » Sat Sep 11, 2004 10:36 pm

It will probably hold for a while, especially since you have a stock 3s, but I wouldn't reccomend leaving it there, especially if you plan to upgrade pwr.
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Postby CelicaGT4 » Sat Sep 11, 2004 11:56 pm

i used an mr2T tranny...If you want to upgrade to a stronger transmission and axles...I have a spare tranny that came with my friends BEAMS motor that I bought off him incase my tranny gave out. It's a FWD tranny and is built for some power. PM me if you're interested. I didn't know they made an ST204 LSD tranny? But yes, it would work....you'd have to have LSD axles. I also doubt a stock GT tranny would handle the power over a certain amount, especially if you have any upgrades planed in the future.
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Postby Trance4c » Sun Sep 12, 2004 5:06 am

Do not under estimate the strength of a stock GT 5S-FE S53 tranny. I have run on these tranny's since the beginning of having a 3S-GTE in my car.

The first transmission crapped out 2nd gear just after a torque steering incident by Garage Advance in Orlando. The guy behind the wheel gave it to much gas and the wheels came to a stop while the dyno kept rolling.

My second transmission I'm still running on. This one I purchased from a local junkyard. Both are/where far from new with a lot of prior mileage on them.

I've also had a 6 puk unsprung clutch in my car with the S53 tranmission on my 3S-GTE with an upgraded 60-1 trim CT26 and numerous other mods. I would say that the engine was making at least 270-280hp at the crank. Interestly enough when shifting one night I could not get into the next gear or any other gear. I had thought that the tranmission let go again but come to find out the transmission actually ate the teeth off the clutch around the tranmission spline. The transmission was fine and I still infact use this same unit in the car to this date.

Picture of 6 puk teeth after damage:
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The 6 puk after damage:
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Compare to worn stock clutch -

Picture of stock clutch teeth, no damage:
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The stock clutch, no damage:
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The common belief that the stock GT transmission can not hold up I think is untrue. This transmission can hold up well into the power as long as maintained correctly and in good operating specifications to begin with.

We don't hear a lot of people having tranmissions blowing up infact, in the almost 3 years and number of people that have done it.. we don't see people crying out because they blew one up on any kind of basis.
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Postby CelicaGT4 » Sun Sep 12, 2004 6:02 pm

you're forgeting a couple things. Upgrading trannies would not only give him a stronger one...it will also give him better gearing and higher top speed. :D
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Postby Trance4c » Sun Sep 12, 2004 7:53 pm

CelicaGT4 wrote:you're forgeting a couple things. Upgrading trannies would not only give him a stronger one...it will also give him better gearing and higher top speed. :D


Gearing -

In most aspects the MR2 tranny to many has better gearing, but its not from a top speed point of view. I infact will hit a top speed before the MR2 tranny would, but the real difference is in the 2nd to 3rd gear shift points. To many, the MR2 tranny is better gearing because its more progressive which the NA tranny is not. The 2nd gear is a decent amount shorter, but I'll tell you what.. its a lot more fun than the MR2 tranny. Friend of mine that has the swap with that tranny in is almost boring to drive.

Stronger one -

This was exactly my point for my post, if you didn't get it. The common notion that the S53 is weak and the MR2 tranny or other is stronger is not necessarily the truth. Look at my post above.. thanks for your reply.
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Postby alltracman78 » Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:07 pm

That's interesting Trance. I had always assumed the gt/gts tranns wouldn't hold the pwr ('cause that was the "rumor"). However, it makes sense it would. Toyota is known for thier strong trans.
I wonder if this is another one of the "facts" around here laid to rest. :|
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Postby Keoni » Sat Sep 18, 2004 6:51 am

Using a E-153 tranny (MR2 Turbo/V6 Solara) in a swapped celica has its good points and its bad points. The good point is that you have that cushion for more power without really worrying about tearing apart the tranny or axles. The bad point is getting the E-153 tranny to properly work in a celica. I have been using the Solara V6 tranny for awhile and its getting irritating grinding 2nd gear at the track not because the 2nd gear in the tranny is messed up or the clutch malfunctioning, but because I cannot figure out what is going on with the shifter and the cables.

Its come to the point where I am gathering all the S53 parts to convert back to the GT tranny. I have heard that the shorter/closer gearing is great for acceleration and if maintained properly the S53 tranny can be a very good choice for the 3SGTE swap.

John Stokes had a T3/T4 turbo kit on his 3SGTE swapped Celica and nealry 300whp with the S53/S54 tranny without any problems. Clayton(Trance4C) has almost that much power also. I am just going to find out if I am going to be better off with the GT tranny in about a couple of weeks.
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Postby liveXwire » Sat Sep 18, 2004 4:12 pm

I have a buddy around here and in his swaped 6th gen he was putting 450hp to the wheels on a stock gt tranny and axels. They did give out but they can hold quite a bit of power. The mr2 tranny and axel will be plenty of holding power for most anything a mild to moderate 3sgte can throw at them.
Now as for your st tranny I'd definity look into getting the gt or mr2 one in there sometime soon. In general Toyota builds some beefy transmission for their cars compared with the other companies though. For sure talk with some of the swaped guys over on celica.net, there might be some other people in that were in the same spot you were.
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