Woodsport - Engine Conversion Specialists

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Toyota MR2 Mk2 V6 Engine Conversions

MK2 with V6 powerplant (1mz-fe)

So why go V6?

A question thats asked a lot and a good one too,the V6 is toyotas best kept engine secret.They tucked it away in the big cruiser of the range the toyota camry,if only they had the foresight to use this unit in the mk2 like we are doing today! It really doesnt serve its full purpose in the heavyweight camry and is further strangled to death on a horrible auto gearbox.Having said that it still hauls the camry to 60 fairly quickly.But its in the mk2 Mr2 where it comes into its own.The V6 in stock form,simply transplanted from camry to mr2 with no mods,will give you stock mr2 turbo performance but with big differences. (this performance claim is proven)

The differences being driveability,bottom end torque,silky smooth power delivery,an engine that purrs at idle and then roars like thunder on full throttle like only a v6 can.Quite simply the noise these things make is to die for but by far the best advantage is the throttle response....no lag with these fellas! The torque curve from 2000rpm to 2500rpm is practically vertical.

What are they like to drive?

The V6 in a mk2 totally transforms its behaviour on the road.Mr2 engines in general need plenty of revs to get them off the mark,this leads to clutches burning out quicker than in other cars,blame yamaha's engine design for that one! With the V6 you can drop the clutch in 2nd gear and still pull away with minimal revs.On the road its very civilised,will happily cruise all day without you even knowing its got an engine in there at all (Mr2 owners that have test driven our V6 demo car have commented they couldnt hear the engine running at junctions).But when opened up it will pick up from 4th gear at 20mph and launch hard as the revs rise,no need to change down to get power out of this engine,it throws you back hard and keeps you there.

On top of that theres total reliability,just look at any mr2 forum's mechanical section,littered with engine problems and in particular turbo engine problems.I love the 3s-gte but it does have its reliability issues,theres exceptions to every rule of course but they do seem to have problem areas.O2 sensors,AFM's, underboosting , overboosting , turbos blowing up,knock sensors failing the list goes on.....none of that nonsense with the V6 . What you get is a bulletproof (that word's used a lot for some engines but this one really is) engine that will go on for 300k no problem,no issues at all with cranks/rods/pistons or rings...indeed we have seen a 200k+ engine with perfect bores and still with the factory honing marks!

If theres a weak point with the V6 its head gaskets, they are known to fail from 100k+ but we replace these as routine on every conversion so its not an issue.

So thats a little insight into why people go v6,it transforms your mk2 into a silky smooth cruiser and into a snarling beast when opened up.Turbo performance with NA response and reliability.

What levels of performance can i expect?

Theres been a lot of debate about this recently so i thought it best to clear it up.Simply put a stock v6 will perform to stock rev1/2 turbo levels,i believe the stock turbo does the 1/4 mile in 14.6 secs...here is a video of one of our TB members returning a 14.2 sec 1/4 mile.

MK2 V6 over the 1/4 mile (youtube link)

Can my car be converted?

Yes,any mk2 mr2 either NA or Turbo, 5s-fe,3s-ge or 3s-gte can be converted,it will simply use your existing gearbox and driveshafts.Both NA and Turbo gearboxes will handle the power of the V6 easily.With each conversion a new clutch is also fitted.We are currently looking into wether the V6 can be fitted onto the mk2 auto gearbox too although this is a limited market and unlikely to be popular.

Can i keep my air con system with the v6 swap?

Yes,the camry v6 has an air con pump fitted as standard,but it will mean custom pipes being made to connect it up and will need recharging so it will add £190 to the cost of the conversion if you want to keep it (£115 for re-gassing and £75 labour/pipe modification).Most v6 owners are opting to ditch the air con as it costs a few bhp,but retaining the air con is not a problem.

If i have a turbo or NA mk2 exhaust fitted with the conversion will any future exhaust still fit?

Yes,we modify the v6 downpipes so that whatever silencer system is first fitted it has the same attachment point....meaning if we do a v6 conversion and use an NA rear silencer then any NA rear silencer will bolt straight up afterwards from then on.

Likewise with a turbo exhaust,if i fit a turbo mongoose for example,that could be removed in future and ANY other turbo rear silencer replaced,its part of the swap that i insist on doing so that v6'ers arent constantly needing custom made exhausts in the future.

If an NA exhaust was first used and you wanted to convert to a turbo one the v6 downpipe would only require minor modifying.

Does anything need cutting? firewalls etc?

No,the V6 will fit in the mk2 bay without modifying any firewalls or chassis rails,apart from the drivers side engine mount on the engine that needs fabricating nothing is altered on the car itself.In fact once fitted they look like they belong in a mk2 engine bay.

Theres about 10-15 more man hours involved in getting the TRD charger to work on this engine and as a result will require around £300 more in labour to go down this route.Power will be in the 280bhp region at 4psi.

Can the cambelt be changed easily with a v6 in an mr2?

Yes,there is more room to change the belt than when the v6 was in the camry it came from.There is about the same space to change the timing belt as a normal 3s-ge engined car.

What other supporting mods will i need ?

None really....but upgrading the brakes to late spec is always better with an engine upgrade.Also running wider tyres on the rear might be wise! I use 225's but 235 or 245 would be ideal.

Will my gauges and warning lights work as before?

Yes,all of your gauges and lights will work,even the check engine light.The tacho signal is getting a 6 pulse signal instead of 4 so it reads higher than normal but we swap the camry tacho circuit board into the mk2 clocks to rectify this.On turbo models having the conversion done your turbo boost gauge will no longer work for obvious reasons.

What level of finish can i expect?

Each engine is fully degreased and jetwash blasted clean,then repainted and detailed to whatever colour scheme you like.Its a full nut and bolt detailing job and all major components are done.....heres the typical level of finish on a v6 prior to install.

How will it affect my insurance ?

Not as much as you'd think,we have received quotes that are only £50-£100 more than a 3s-ge NA mk2 model and actually cheaper than insuring a tubby as the engine isnt rated that high (200bhp/200lbs/ft).

All of the packages come with the following.

• V6 engine degreased,engine detailed,both head gaskets replaced (wether they are gone or not),cam belt changed,new oils,filters,antifreeze etc.
• A new clutch kit,either NA or turbo depending on what model mk2 you have,supplied and fitted,if you are happy with your current clutch then the job is cheaper by the cost of a clutch,but of course its always better to fit new on a job like this.
• A custom flywheel supplied and fitted
• A bespoke drivers engine mount supplied
• Mk2 engine bay cleaned and if need be repainted in stock colour or colour of your choice
• Induction kit and AFM adapter ,or if you want to use your current one?
• Exhaust downpipes modified to fit your current exhaust system or any other exhaust system you may wish to have installed.
• Tacho modified and calibrated to accurately read the v6 engine speed.

  • All engines now have fully rebuilt bottom ends with every conversion. 

What is the cost of conversion ?

Cost wise we offer a few packages. For your conversion i need to buy a complete camry and then overhaul its engine with fresh head gaskets/timing belt as above etc.

1mz-fe (from Camry) supplied and fitted with everything above - £4450

1mz-fe with VVti (from Lexus Rx300) - £5500


Some completed conversion pics

Just a handful of the Mk2 Mr2 V6 engine conversions we have completed, they total over 180 successful conversions to date.

A Woodsport Mk2 V6 at Harewood Hillclimb

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Woodsport Gallery


Woodsport Messenger


Dirans 2gr-fe powered Mk1 Mr2 Testimonial 


Glorious day on 21st of May 2010 and I find myself with a day’s holiday to get the train to Durham and then coast back down to the smoke. 

I arrived within 10 min of quoted time and spotted Paul’s E36. After escaping the station we got to chatting about work at WS and the amount of comments the project had been getting (!). This was not my aim and the car is not quite show-worthy despite the high standard of WS (it needs a bit of welding and paint on the original panels that I hadn’t budgeted for in the conversion) but it’s always nice to know there are like-minded people on the scene.

Arriving at WS, the car sat gleaming in the yard and I had already failed to suppress my grinning enthusiasm, much to the amusement of Phil and Anth! Pleased to meet you both gents 

I chatted with everyone and took ”the tour” – a captioned peek around many, many tasty MR2 in various states of undress / surgery, including a couple of 2GR powered examples besides my own (Owen’s Mk2 scarlet 355 and Phil’s Vader-esque MK2), as well as Moustachio’s v. Tidy MK1 1MZ, Rexer’s soon to be 2ZZ’d Mk1 and a certain, lesser known 4.2 litre, 32 valve Mk1..... A veritable sweet shop for any petrol head!

After a quick squirt around the yard in my car (I managed not to stall but was very pedestrian so Paul kindly demonstrated the G-forces available – suffice it to say I left a crease in the seat!), I handed over the obligatory pack of hob-nobs, we said our goodbyes and I set about dismantling 260+ miles of motorway. Of course, the M1 meant a disproportionate number of 50mph average speed check zones (yawn!). Bit of a waste, but one has to get home eventually!

The driving bit:

The first 50 miles or so were spent taking things easy and undertaking the customary vigilance on temperatures and pressures etc.. I’d filled up with 97RON which the car seemed to approve of. My immediate observation was that the car felt familiar yet completely different. The throttle seemed to have zero slack and combined with the less tolerant (but still manageable clutch) and uber short 1st gear meant decisive but restrained action was need to pull away smoothly at relatively sane pace. If you try to slip it, it will chatter – better to either feed it in swift and smooth with little or no throttle, or use semi-race technique of blip the throttle and let it in all-of-a-piece. This is fun but unsubtle because the revs flare angrily if you’re clumsy. It is hugely satisfying when you get it right though and I think a couple more weeks (I only drive on weekends). 

Tip: Setting off in 2nd or even 3rd is possible and much less likely to result in skippy-type antics. The rest of the time, you just launch like a jet being catapulted from an aircraft carrier (only with a better sound track).

The car is so ridiculously over-endowed with torque that third (to get going) and fifth (once rolling) are all that’s necessary if you like. 

Better still, the noise is intoxication personified and despite our effort brazenly loud  Three-fifths air-cooled 911, two-fifths Alfa V6, with a racer-ish blare as the revs get up. It remains relatively subdued on light openings but nice and exuberant with a tickle, rising to something truly intimidating (yet still melodic) when you explore the full travel. Exactly what such performance deserves in other words!

The brakes are strong and easy to modulate although I’m taking it easy on them to bed in the discs and pads. I’m still perfecting my rev matching (something that was very easy on the standard car) due to the slightly long travel on the brake pedal – perhaps a M/C upgrade will help firm it up? – and the throttle which is set quite high and is very sensitive (a good thing, if making inconspicuous progress tricky at very low speeds!). I might try relocating the throttle pedal to help as well – I do like a bit of heel and toe. 

The Drive By Wire itself is easy to get used to (had it before) although occasionally you get the sense that the engine is “adulterating” small inputs (perhaps for emissions purposes on the factory ECU) as no matter how smooth you are going on and coming off the throttle in normal driving, it will occasionally give you more than you were expecting or cut the fuelling more abruptly. I’m sure this can be cured as time goes on or calibrated with a bit of judicious tweaking but if not I’ll learn quickly to be even smoother with my inputs!

The SW20T gearbox is short and positive in a way the factory AW11 5 speeder could only dream of (in my opinion at least). Although it’s occasionally notchy it’s nicely weighted and satisfying to use – more so than the SW20 N/A’s I’ve driven. The Final drive is clearly shorter than ideal for the engine characteristics (it could happily pull a 3.6 ratehr than 4.2) but is entirely usable – a lower rev count at a cruise would be nice but you wouldn’t need a higher top end.

There’s no doubting the engine dominates the car. It’s not overbearing but you can definitely feel the proximity of a large (for the car!) lump and hear the valves / fuel pump clicking and zizzing away. Personally, I find it generally no less refined than the standard car, although for some it would not make for a sensible city or long distance car.

The pay off is a level of performance that is borderline scary. I’ve not fully explored this fully (understandably!) but even brief instances of more than 20% throttle get MiFu lunging at the horizon like it has afterburners instead of exhaust tips. Hard acceleration is violent, as Paul described, even before you get to half throttle and it feels no less nimble or wieldy so far despite weight gain and a bigger set of boots – just more planted. It also generates nice forces in the corners, allowing you to carry huge amounts of speed (as if it was necessary given the straight line fireworks).

The sense of a small car being hurled up the road by a quad cam V6 complete with ASBO-spec pipes is one of the most surreal and gratifying motoring experiences I’ve yet had - and I’ve been lucky enough to drive some fairly interesting cars. 

It is part fierce concentration, part fear, part exhilaration. After about 3-5 seconds of acceleration, you brake (backing off gives good engine braking effect but you’ll be going too fast anyway) you just pause, hanging on the inertia reel and marvelling at the noise, the ability of the car to outsprint your internal organs and blur your peripheral vision. Then you give an evil cackle.

It is an addictive trip having that sort of performance at your disposal. Almost as addictive is making people’s eyes pop out on stalks when a tiny, girly blue Toymotah makes a noise bigger than a TVR as it rockets up the road with a twitch of throttle - 5th is sufficient; 4th is showing off; 3rd is plain offensive as far as other road users are concerned. A declaration of violent intent, if you will. 

I hope to try a few vids this weekend to give you guys another taste, although no warranties as to quality or irresponsible antics!

This car is made of pure and unadulterated insanium and I love it.

There are some compromises and some work still to do, including improving the ventilation to the rad to avoid some of the heat soak issues I’ve been suffering during town driving (it has been hot weather lately – I plan on moving the license plate and getting a vented frunk lid asap); the fact I need to address the odd bit of bodywork (25 year old car = rust spots) and work out how to insulate the trunk from the rear bank (the access panel gets v. warm!) and make the frunk luggage friendly now there’s no spare…. but so far this car is everything I’d hoped for and much, much more