WIP - Comprehensive Aussie 2GR Swap Guide
Work in progress - Please feel free to contribute any info below
The 2GR swap. Probably the best V6 swap we can currently do. Great power, reliability (except for my alternator problems) and an amazing sound. You will smoke tyres and have an absolute blast. But, this is not an easy swap.
There is information on the internet for those interested in doing a 2GR swap, but most of this is American information. Any Australian information has taken me a long time to find and sometimes I have had to spend money or dig through heaps of files to get the information I seek. I also felt that some info was very vague.
Please note this thread is a work in progress, I will update things when I can. I will also link to other threads and technical data.
If anyone has anything they wish to contribute or if you see I have made a mistake, please feel free to post below and I will add and consolidate the information. I want to make this as comprehensive as possible!
Now, onto some things that need to be cleared up before you get too involved in this swap. Preconceptions and Misconceptions
I’m not here to shoot down anyone’s ideas or plans of what they want to do, but after doing this swap and receiving feedback from some people, I need to clear up a few things. 1. Generally speaking, you will not do this swap for less than approx. $10k when starting with an NA car.
Turbo owners may be able to do it for cheaper pending their gearbox. Yes, maybe you know a guy or have some hook-ups, but a lot of the builds I have seen go over and above this. Mine too.
If you can do it for less, I salute you. 2. A shop will not do this for $10k.
I wish they could because it would have saved me a lot of stress 3. An S54 is a bad idea.
You will kill it. 4. Take your time.
My biggest mistakes cost me money, all because I rushed.5. We have an excellent community. Finding and Choosing a donor engine
In Australia, 2GR’s are very common thanks to Aurions. As the car of choice for a lot of taxi’s, it means they are very easy to find. The difficulty is finding a decent engine. In my hunt for an engine, I noticed that different states have very different market prices for 2GR’s. Queensland, for example, charges a premium for 2GR’s. An engine in QLD is approximately $5k, whereas in other states they are $3k on average.
Of course this is simply my observation from wreckers and doesn’t reflect private sales. Don’t be afraid to buy interstate and have the engine shipped too. Mine cost me $150 shipping from Victoria.
In Summary, Victoria and South Australia seem to have the best pricing for 2GR’s. From what car? (in Progress)
2GR’s came in the following vehicles (Transverse Layouts):
Toyota Rav 4
Really any of these options are ok. Lexus vehicles will pull a premium due to their badging.
It should be noted that the Rav4’s utilise a different alternator which is ECU controlled.
All 2GR’s in Australia come with a Water –to-Oil Oil cooler. I imagine this is due to the adverse climate conditions.
After 2012 a lot of the vehicles electronics changed and became slightly more complex. ECU size, shape and plugs became different sizes.
All of the vehicles will have different ECU pin outs. My experience so far has only been with 2011 Aurion gear.
Summary on Differences to come…. Whole car or just the engine?
If you can get an entire car for say $6k or less, and you have the space and time to wreck it, it can be worth it. You get peace of mind knowing more of the cars history, you can see it running before you remove it too.
For those that do not have the room or time to wreck, buying an engine is convenient. This is what I did. You will need to buy the engine with appropriate parts that are listed below. Parts
I am going to update this into a table in the coming weeks. I will include part numbers where available. Donor Parts:
Intake Manifold with throttle body
A/C Compressor (Optional)
Engine Wiring Harness
Key Antenna Coil
Key Transponder Box
Water Hoses (Optional but handy to have)
Air Box (Optional – this will be covered later on) Other parts
Turbo driver and passenger side engine mounts
Turbo front engine mount
Turbo or NA rear engine mount
Fuel pressure regulator
Fuel pressure gauge
1555mm 6 Rib belt (if you have A/C) – 7 ribs are hard to find but apparently Toyota now stock the correct belt size. This comes from later model 2GR’s that had electronic power steering
Once you receive your engine, it’s a good idea to go over everything and check its not damaged. I found the strapping snapped some plugs off a VVTI solenoid and had to replace it. Gearbox
A gen 3 turbo box is best. LSD is recommended for traction. Unfortunately 99% of gen 2 boxes won’t fit. There are some crossover years that had different bolt holes for gen 2.
If going from NA, you will need turbo shafts and hubs plus shifter cables.
Pre Installation Maintenance
Once you have your engine, you should replace some components relating to oil supply.
A common fault with earlier 2GR’s relates to oil hoses. There are 2 VVTI pipes that run from the block to the head. Earlier models have rubber half way along which is prone to pin holes. These can be replaced with steel pipes from Toyota for about $90 or less. Great for peace of mind but unfortunately with the steel pipes on, you cannot
remove the rear banks rocker cover as the bolt will foul on the strut tower. Make sure you replace the washers that go on either side of the bolt. You may need to nip these up a little more after 1000kms or so.
On the oil cooler, there are two rubber lines on earlier models. Sometimes these will get pinholes and leak. At this stage you cannot buy the steel replacement ones from Toyota as they are for recalls only. Adrian and peter have just informed me that GSV50 Aurion steel lines do now fit. Picture below for reference. Approximate price is $170
My sump had some damage so I removed it to straighten it out. Usual sump reinstallation procedures reply.
If you’re like me and enjoy painting cam covers, you will need to buy some things first. I removed the top section of the intake manifold. You will need to buy two sets of rubber gaskets to replace if you do so.
Cam covers also require new gaskets. You should do the spark plug holes but I didn’t bother (because I was slack).
When you paint the covers, ensure that the metal surfaces where any electrical item bolts onto has the paint removed and a clean surface. Coils use the cam cover to earth. I used a dremel with a small sanding tool on the end.
There are some machined surfaces on the cam cover. DO NOT paint these. Cover well.
When reinstalling the cam covers, on the front end of the mating surface you need to put a little gasket goop to seal up the join of the timing case to the block. Preparing the Block
The block needs to be modified to accept the gearbox. When looking at the back of the block, you will see a hole on the upper right hand side that is untapped. You will need to helicoil this. (Will update with the exact specs for the helicoil soon)
Once you offer the gearbox up to the engine you will also see some additional pieces on the block that need to be grinded away to clear the axle and bell housing. Some engines also have additional bolt holes to others.
Part of the gearbox needs to be notched where the supported shaft exits on the plate. Once again you will see this when you offer the box. You can also add a flat bar “Brace” that bolts on to stop the gearbox twisting. Get creative!
Your slave cylinder will not clear the engine number. You can somehow modify a slave cylinder from a different car to clear or you can modify part of the engine no. (the last two to 3 digits are removed and the embossed “2GR” lettering.). It is possible to restamp the number somewhere else. The engine number is impossible to see once the engine is mounted in the car so make sure you write it down! Additional Modification and Preparation
- Supported Shaft
The bearing has to be moved inward by 8mm’s to allow the axle to seat correctly. Will post a diagram for this later. My machinist charged me $80
- Engine Mount
If you have the original gouky mount, you have to modify the original turbo mount to clear the water pump pulley. More photos to come of this.
- Fuel pump
If you have an NA you will need to install a turbo fuel pump or an aftermarket one. I installed a Wallbro 255 E85 compatible pump incase I ever decided to go for gold. Testing the pump before you put the tank in is highly recommended. Absolute worst job. Fuel system is also covered later.
- Heat shields
Put these back in before you install the engine otherwise it’s impossible
- Forward torque mount
This needs to be installed on the engine before installation. The receiving bracket for the forward mount needs to be bolted on too. The rear torque mount can be bolted on after.
- Rear torque mount spacer
You need to make a spacer piece that goes between the sub frame and the mount receiving piece. You can do without it put it puts additional strain on everything. Mine was comprised of two pieces of 3mm alloy stacked on top of each other with the 3 holes drilled in them. This sat the engine perfectly (Pictures to come)Installing the engine
The easiest way to get this massive lump in is to install without headers. I have gouky headers and these go in very easily after the engine is installed.
Bolting my engine in took less than an hour without a hoist.
How I did it:
1. Install drivers side engine mount and lower plate for the passenger side. Subframe should not be installed at this point.
2. Bolt the upper part of the plate with the mount for the passenger side in the car and have the bolts ready.
3. Using a dolly, slide the mated engine and gearbox under the wheel well and into the bay.
4. Position it where it will clear the car. Slowly lower the car down over it and adjust positioning when necessary.
5. Once the car is on the lowest setting of axle stands (I had mine under the sills) move the engine crane into position and hoist the engine up using a seatbelt or whatever. I deliberately lifted mine drivers side end first .
6. Lift the driver’s side mount up and into the mounting bracket on the chassis. At this point you should be able to slide a bolt through it and get some turns on the thread.
7. Using a trolley jack, raise the gearbox up until the upper and lower part of the mounts touch and bolt them together.
The engine is now hanging in the chassis. You will note that the 2GR twists forwards towards the firewall naturally.
Seating the engine
Install the sub frame at this stage and put your mount on with your spacer plates.
This should line the front mount up. Once that’s all bolted on you can start doing all the other fun stuff.
The exhaust system can prove difficult and expensive in Australia. Standard aurion headers won’t fit, and the Australian Dollar doesn’t help us out much either.
I spent a lot of time trying to weigh up the best option that would be cost effective and still provide a performance gain.
I went to a lot of performance exhaust shops around Brisbane and most were not interested in making headers or said it would take them months to do so. For those that did want to do them, the general consensus was approximately a month and around $2-3000 for headers and a y pipe in mild steel to join up to the standard system.
I opted to go with gouky headers (stainless) and have a Y pipe made in stainless to match up with my twin tipped exhaust. Stainless provides the best look and a great sound with the 2GR.
When I purchased the header s a few months ago in a group buy, they were landed for approximately $1100.
I had quotes’ for Y pipes independently and these came in around $600 in mild steel. My stainless y pipe (pictures to come) was designed to have as best flow as possible in the layout and also had some fancy “accordion” style flex joins. I opted for a 100 cell cat to retain emissions gear without impacting flow.
Once all was said and done, this set me back approximately $1500. The shop decided to make the y pipes come down lower and in front of the sump to offer some protections, as the sump is approximately 20mm lower than standard.
Specs on the y pipe for those who wish to get an idea:
2 inch from the header merge with an oxygen sensor bung just after the flanges (Important as the gouky headers do not have bungs)
2 inches into a custom designed merge, expands into a 2.5 inch cone to accept the 100 cell cat.
2.5 inch into 3 inch to join into the rear section of the exhaust. I then placed two bungs in this section for the post cat reading that the aurion takes for cruising lambda.
There is a couple of different options that you can use here depending on the look you are after. You can modify the standard aurion airbox to fit, or you can make up a custom intake. I opted to do this for look and sound.
The MAF sensor used needs to be in a 3 inch pipe to read correctly. I see that there are 3 options for custom piping.
1. 45 Degree elbow with air recirculation nipple welded on and plastic maf sensor flange glued on.
2. 45 Degree elbow with air recirculation nipple welded on and a metal maf sensor flange welded on
3. Get creative and use a variety of bends to get the intake into the air vent (I did this)
I accidentally bought the wrong maf sensor fitting. I will update this when I find the correct one.
Due to the 2GR having a return less fuel system, you need to modify the MR2’s setup.
The easiest way is to simply add a pressure regulator in the engine bay (Diagram to come)
I used a 2 way reg with a T piece, but it is far easier with a 3 way reg.
You will need approximately 43psi at the rail. Now is a good time to replace the fuel filter as well.
The 2GR rail has clip on fittings. You need to modify the stock 2gr fuel line.
To do this, grab a Stanley or exacto knife and cut the standard hard line from the top of the connector to the bottom. Then simply put your 8mm fuel hose on and clamp it on. Be sure to use high pressure line.
post edited by Eric - 2016/02/09 10:14:20