Woodsport - Engine Conversion Specialists

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V8 conversions

V8 engine conversions for all three marques of the MR2 coming very soon!

A V8 engine in an MR2 has been the holy grail of MR2 engine swaps for many years now with enthusiasts in the UK and US trying to find a viable way to make this a reality. The goal is not ultimate horsepower or outright performance but rather the glory in owning a V8 powered MR2, it will also be pushing 350bhp in standard form so no slouch by any means but there are easier ways to get to 350bhp using the 3S-GTE engine. However, it's not a V8 engine! The whole sound/behaviour/experience of owning such a conversion is something so special that it has been driving people for years to find an option that works.

At Woodsport we have a V8 engine and gearbox package that will work in all three marques of the MR2, all with their own varying degrees of difficulty. All three variants will require major chassis and bulkhead modifications, this will never be a drop in swap and a lot of cutting of the car will be needed to make this work, but it can be done.

This conversion will also be the ultimate package for Ferrari replica owners (using the MR2 as a donor).

Updates on this conversion will appear on this site as they happen, there are a lot of hurdles to overcome.

All subscribed members will be notified via email with updates on our progress with this.

Update 23/04/09

We have now dummy fitted the first V8 into a Mk1, it is the Audi AHC (340bhp version) with 6 speed gearbox, this engine and gearbox combination will fit into any MR2 with enough fabrication work.

This is as extreme as MR2 engine conversions get!

Update 18/5/09

We have now sorted out the gear shift assembly at both the stick and gearbox end, all 6 forward gears plus reverse engaging as they should, this is a major milestone as we thought it would be one of the trickier aspects of the conversion. This was done using MR2 parts modified to fit the Audi selector fork.

We have also managed to sort a workable drive shaft solution, by cross referencing Toyota CV joints with Audi ones we managed to find a Toyota outer CV joint that also fits the Audi A4 driveshaft.

This has produced a complete shaft that plug n plays onto the drivers side of the gearbox. The passenger shaft was trickier, it needed to be cut and shortened but again uses the same outer CV joint as above. So both drive shaft solutions are now done, this solution will also apply to Mk2 MR2's undergoing the same conversion.

More updates to come when they happen.

Update 13/6/09

The fuel tank has now been shortened, this will be necessary on all conversions.It has been cut and shortened by about 4" at the red line.

Boxing in around the new engine position has also started, this gives strength back to the bulkhead and will also provide access panels to the front of the engine. There is a lot more work to do in this area but the proof of concept works, I fitted my seat in and there is still plenty of room.

Update 11/10/2009

The V8 project has now progressed quite well and we are still on course for producing the UK's first V8 Mk1 Mr2. Work has been completed on the rear subframe which now looks more like a Mk2 Mr2 design....

Here it is test fitted to the car, this will provide a lot more structural rigidity at the rear along with the planned rollcage.

Work has also started on the exhaust system which is a TVR T350 silencer modified to fit...

We have also had the engine harness modified and VEMS ECU package sourced that will run this package.

So we are not that far away from making this project a reality and achieving what many said was impossible, more updates soon.

Update 25/11/09

 Well we are proud to announce that the "MR8" is now born! We hooked up the ECU and cranked the engine for the very first time.


 Still a lot to do before it is roadworthy but this is a massive achievement for us.

Update 5/4/10

The V8 engine has now been removed for final detailing and engine bay preparation. The front firewall has now been heatproofed and all Evap,fuel and servo lines hard piped around the bay.

The engine now detailed to the usual Woodsport standard and nearly ready for final fitting...

Exactly the same attention to detail will go into every customers build.


Some arty pics of the complete V8 engine now ready to fit for the final time...


Update 1/6/10 

The V8 is now back in the car for final fitting and tuning.

All of the custom subframes and mountings now added.

Induction pipework and oil filter relocation kit also fitted.

Final tweaking and setting up is all that remains of this conversion. 

Update 28/09/10 

The mechanical aspect of this conversion is now 100% completed, and the car has been driven for the first time. We are now in the "let's try and break something" phase to fully test it before it ever sees the road. Video of this first stage of testing is below, and of course it's good fun!



Having proved this conversion works, very well in fact! We are now offering the same conversion for all 3 marques of the Mr2, please enquire directly by phone or email about the costs and options involved. Obviously a V8 Mr2 is the pinnacle of what owners are looking for, especially Ferrari and Lambourghini  replica owners, so we aim to cater for anyone thinking of fitting these kits. 



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 Williams review....


On the train up to Durham I, in reality, I had some idea what to expect. As a previous customer of Woodsport for a 3vz-fe conversion, a 2gr-fe conversion would be similar, right? But how wrong could I have been!  

The results of Pauls work an hour later when at Woodsport were simply stunning! The car was pristine, the engine and the engine bay were immaculate and it was hard to believe it was the same car I had dropped off a few weeks earlier.   

Turn the key in the ignition of a 3.5 litre MR2 and from the moment it fires up there are only two things that are guaranteed. The first is you know just from the sound, that it is going to be a powerful car. The second is that, every time you drive it, you will have a smile on your face! The only thing putting a downer on that moment was knowing I had a 270 mile trip back to London when I couldn’t explore the full potential of growling V6 behind my ear.

Having filled her up with premium gasoline (defiantly recommended!) I joined the A1 ready to settle into the running in stage.  At a cruising speed of 65mph she ate up the miles effortlessly, refined and relatively quiet, a general nice place to be. 

Then you go for an overtake.  MY GOD! Drop to 4th gear and bury  that right hand pedal and the noise! The torque! The acceleration!…. One word…  Beautiful! In the words of Jeremy Clarkson, ‘you turn the big thing in the middle to make it turn, you push the middle pedal to slow it down and you push the right hand pedal to make more noise! And what a noise!   

… Well that was a few months ago now and I’m pleased to say she still puts a smile on my face every time I drive her. If anything, an even bigger one as she’s now fully run in and I can now unleash her full potential. Where better to do this than at Brands Hatch. To see the look on the face of a 944 driver in his dedicated track car as he gets lapped by a 20 year old Toyota. To be able to out drag XXR’s and M3’s. This engine is a brute! And I absolutely  love it!     

Last but not least to sum up Paul…

I truly believe there are three types of people in the world:

  1. The type that when a challenge is thrown at them just walk away.

  2. The type that will take on a challenge and fail hopelessly on so many occasions they just end up giving up, but hay they had a go… (this is me!)

  3. And then there’s Paul. A person who seems to conquer any challenge thrown at him and just for good measure, makes it a little better.

Paul, you’re a legend. Big thanks for all your hard work and I will no doubt be seeing you shortly for a supercharger as I have officially now managed to ‘Tame the Beast’! 

All the best, and keep up the good work!