5th Generation 3SGTE swap into my 1989 GT Hardtop (ST246 engine)
Hi everyone. Well, I blew the head gasket of the 34 year old 2nd Generation 3SGTE when sending it up the M1 earlier in the year.
I don’t believe the engine has ever been out of car so Dad and I thought we may as well drop it and fix the head gasket, and fix up a few other little things while the engines out. We didn’t fancy the headache of taking off the head with the engine still in.
I’ve had a 3SGTE from a wrecked ST246 Caldina sitting in the garage from 2021 that I had wishful thoughts about tuning up and one day putting it in.
Well, if I’m gonna drop the engine, may as well put the new one in. So I’ve spent the last few months gathering all the bits a pieces and working on the new engine with dad, getting it ready.
Here’s the list of parts I’ve ended up gathering for the swap:
- Racer X air intake box
- Intercooler kit from PrimeMR2 (the popular one everybody has)
- Stainless down pipe with flex piece (cat was deleted but will have a high flow cat welded into my exhaust further down)
- Racer X Coolant tree+Coolant neck
- Go fast bits TMS Respons blow off valve
- Go fast bits fuel pressure regulator
- Walbro 255lph fuel pump
- AN6 Raceworks braided fuel lines from the tank.
- Raceworks inline filter
- Haltech Elite 1500 with wide band 02 sensor
- Haltech 3 port boost control
- Clutch masters fx300 sprung clutch kit
- Racer X lightweight alternator bracket
- New ebay silicone coolant hoses
- TCS low profile oil cap
- OEM Gasket kit for 5th gen 3SGTE
- New water pump, timing belt, idler and tensioner.
- 1000cc matched bosch injectors
Started by reconditioning the new engine with seals and sent the turbo off to get rebuilt and serviced. It came back looking better than brand new! Thanks to precision turbochargers in Wetherill park for that.
Also got the rocker cover painted in black with metallic flake and gave most of the parts a good cleanup and burnish. We gave the bottom end and oil pump a good clean out as there was some old oil in there that had gunked up. It helps to have an ultrasonic cleaner for this, especially for the oil pickup.
Before (did mock reassembly of engine to help plan)
Just a note with the new alternator bracket. You have to use the alternator and harmonic balancer from the MR2 as the caldina engine uses a different belt and also won’t align. Pictured is the caldina alternator so we had an idea of how it worked.
This is where the oem boost controller was mounted so we reused it. (It’s not in it’s final configuration in this picture but this is where it was mounted.)
Last weekend we set aside to get as much of the swap done as we could. The engine came out without too much drama. We lowered the old engine on to a dolly. We took the hubs off so that we could roll the engine out underneath the car through the wheel arches, and then jacked the car up to get the clearance.
^old photo from when the car was getting painted of the OEM engine bay.
I was very happy to be deleting the factory intake system. The AFM is gone too. Heaps of room and hoses disappeared.
Also good to delete the silly coolant filler hose.
Standby for Part 2!