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Thread: Mr2 spyder 1mz-fe swap, need input

  1. #1

    Icon4 Mr2 spyder 1mz-fe swap, need input

    Hello, I live in the United States, in MA and at 23 years old I finally started my mr2 spyder 1mz swap. I知 recording and taking as many pictures I can as I値l be doing a YouTube series documenting my every move to help bring as much clearing to the swap for those who also want to attempt it. I値l also update this thread as much as possible, and I知 also going to start one on the spyderchat forum. Anyway, I致e done the research however there are still some bits I知 not sure of and I知 hoping for some help, hopefully Paul gets back to me. Im going to be doing as much fabrication as possible in house.

    1mz-fe is coming out of a 2001 Toyota solara with a 5-speed manual transmission. I知 going to be using the solara ecu and mr2 ecu in tandem.

    The question I have is regarding the transmission. Can I use the Camry/solara 5-speed from the v6? Or should I source a NA Mr2 transmission s54? Can I use a celica transmission out of the 5sfe? Also what about axles?

    I知 trying to use as much as possible from my donor Toyota solara, To save me some money. Please keep in mind I知 in the United States and some transmissions aren稚 as readily available.

  2. #2
    Woodsport Paul Woods's Avatar
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    Hi, i will help where i can without giving away trade secrets (there are garages out there that copy my work and pretend it's their own)

    We never got the Solara here, but i am presuming it is an E series variant, similar to the E153 in the Mr2 turbo, in which case it will fit, and being a V6 manual gearbox should be nicely geared for the V6, however it comes at a weight penalty. I personally much prefer to use the S53 from the Celica St202 JDM import, great gearing, you can install an LSD from the original Mk3 gearbox which you have, and also the Woodsport extended 5th gear mod for a better motorway gear (another mod stolen by a garage now claiming it as theirs), i really should lock all of my information down and not share anything, but goes against what TB is about, no win situation for me, anyway....

    The gearbox you choose determines which shafts you use, Solara box will mean Mr2 turbo E153 shafts, but with the outer CV joints changed to St185 items and a spacer ring added to compress the rear of the wheel bearing.

    Using the S53 means you can use your original 1zz shafts, but you will need to make a carrier bracket for the supported shaft bearing, so far nobody outside of a professional garage has ever installed a 1mz or 2gr V6 into a roadster and very few garages at that, i know of us and one other. It's right up there in terms of difficulty.

    I use the roadster shift cables and cabin shifter with all variants of gearbox, but modify the linkages at the gearbox end, this is perhaps the hardest part of the swap, and i'm afraid you will need to figure that part out, i cannot share info on that or supply parts for it, sorry.

    Technically the engine doesn't fit, you need to recess some areas of the bay to get the engine sitting in the sweet spot for the axle location to work, i do have a jig i can supply to get the engine sitting perfectly, but you will need to be able to weld, you aren't going to be able to do this swap without good fabrication skills and welding.

    Rear subframe needs notching out and reinforcing.

    Wiring, i use the Mk3 and 1mz ECUs in tandem, there are things i can help you with on wiring but other things i cannot share, i hope you understand.

    A Mk3 V6 is by far the hardest of all Mr2 engine swaps, i will help you where i can but just be aware of the huge task ahead, there are Mr2 specialists who have never done it.

    TB Quote of the month:"I split my ear open whilst masturbating" - Jasper Full story Here

  3. #3
    Hi Paul,

    I realize this is going to be a very difficult swap. My experience comes from rebuilding cars totaled cars, I’ve done a couple Honda engine swaps, and some exhaust fab. I will outsource anything I cannot do on my own. But I got my mr2 spyder for specifically a v6 swap about two years ago and I’ve obsessed daily over the project, so there’s no going back.

    The solara is a Toyota Camry in every way drivetrain wise, 97-01 1mz-fe non-vvti. Turbo mk2 axles are hard to find in these parts, if I go that route.

    The Celtica we got here I think has the s54, because it comes with a 5sfe. Would I be able to use that instead? Will it bolt up to the 1mz? The difference between the celica s54 and the mk2 s54 is the shifter location.

    Mounting and the axle carrier isn’t a big issue, I’m only afraid of buying the wrong set up and having the axles sit well. I don’t want to make more work for myself and take apart the solara and have it not work out as well, if I can just go pick up an s54 for a couple hundred bucks.

    Also my original trans doesn’t have an lsd, not sure if we didn’t get that option here in the states or mine simply didn’t come with one

  4. #4
    This is what the 5speed from a 92-99 celica gt looks like here in the states
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Woodsport Paul Woods's Avatar
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    It sounds like you might have the skills/tools needed to pull it off, i will certainly help where i can, just making you aware of the mountain there is to climb with this particular conversion.

    Yes that Celica trans is the one i would go for, much better suited to the 1mz, it will bolt up and allow you to use your 1zz axles. The selector exiting the rear on the trans is what you want, i make up my own version of the way it is done on the stock Mk3 and the Celica box gives the ideal starting point.

    These things are not something i usually share or publish, for the reasons above other garages just steal my ideas and pen it as their own, so while i am happy to help you with the more technical aspects i don't want them all over the internet, it's self harming, i hope you understand that although i have helped hundreds of people complete their home builds over almost 20 years i also have a business to take care of.

    So i'm happy to share my knowledge with you, providing it stays with you. I have a real conflict of interest being so involved with TB, but over the years i've managed to help the man at home while not helping arsewipes steal my business.

    Anyway on with the show, that's your gearbox and shafts sorted.

    TB Quote of the month:"I split my ear open whilst masturbating" - Jasper Full story Here

  6. #6
    Feel free to pm me for specifics, I don’t want to hurt your business or have people take credit for your work, this is simply my dream project build that I’ve always wanted to do, it’s not about having a fast car, just want something unique and built by my own two hands.

    I’m going to get my hands on a celica trans and another 1mz this week and sell the solara.

    Regarding the ecu, can I get away with a auto one or do I need specifically the ecu from a manual 1mz?

  7. #7
    Woodsport Paul Woods's Avatar
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    You have the luxury of manual ones there in the US, so go with that, but if it was auto it would still be ok to use.

    TB Quote of the month:"I split my ear open whilst masturbating" - Jasper Full story Here

  8. #8
    Placed my orders. Picking up 99 celica S54 Thursday, with 130k miles for $250usd, and a 97 Camry 1mz with 91k miles on Monday. What clutch/flywheel do I need ? The 1mz is an auto unfortunately but it’s only $300. I’ll try and source a manual ecu from a solara since they’re most abundant here

  9. #9
    Woodsport Paul Woods's Avatar
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    PM sent.

    TB Quote of the month:"I split my ear open whilst masturbating" - Jasper Full story Here

  10. #10
    Update: Picked up a 99 celica s54 5-speed, and a 2000 Toyota Sienna 1mzfe.

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