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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
3MZ-FE - 3.3L, 6 Cylinder, Normally Aspirated, AWD, 230 HP Engine Ordered

Day 1, I procured the 3MZ-FE engine for ¡Ay, Caramba! along with all it's attached accessories except the transmission. The man even threw in the starter and gave me a 14% discount. I chose this particular engine because it was the most complete that I have seen in several weeks, it has fairly low miles, and it is a US domestic so the OBDII is fully operational.
  • 2004 LEXUS RX330 ENGINE 3.3L VIN A AWD 3MZFE TESTED, VIN 2T2HA31U14C020185, miles 102,000, $900.50, J&V Auto Salvage Southampton & Westhampton Beach, NY
  • ECU from same engine, 100.00, J&V Auto Salvage Southampton & Westhampton Beach, NY
  • Unfortunately they had already disposed of the car and they didn't pull the drive-by-wire accelerator pedal, ignition switch with immobilizer, and keys
Free shipping, it should be here in Okeechobee, FL by 19 Jul 2020.

Salvage yard photos:


 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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2,011 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
While I wait on the engine to arrive, I'm pulling my engine and transaxle and prepping everything. Anyone needing a working but leaky 3S-FE engine let me know.
I'll run over to a salvage yard and pull a fly-by-wire accelerator pedal
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Before any negative comments flow, this is not about you, your opinion or your values so please keep it to yourself. I like this little beast and I want to keep her going as long as possible. I also love a challenge and doing things no one else has done and yes I know that there are several 6 cylinder swaps out there but I think this is the first 3MZ-FE.
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Discussion Starter #4
I am going to attempt to use my current E250F 5 speed 4WD transaxle but if it won't bolt up without major issues I'm prepared to switch to the U151F AWD automatic transmission. I will miss the manual 5 speed if it comes to this. I know the E250F may not be the best choice but it's what I have at the moment and it's in great shape.
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Looking through the MR2 forums and other locations it appears that it's recommended to use stock exhaust manifolds. Also, most of the headers I've seen have the catalytic converter installed in the header which won't work because there just isn't room and I don't want all that heat in the engine bay. Does anyone have any inputs on this?
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Discussion Starter #6
I just got the 2004 Lexus RX330 online maintenance manual from ALLDATAdiy.com. I wish we still had those old huge hardcover Chilton's manuals from years ago.
 

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I am curious to know your progress as I was considering the same project. Glad you jumped on first! I would keep as much heat out of the engine bay and find a place for the catalytic converter underneath. Routing proper diameter exhaust seems tough. I believe the motor mount should work along with the transmission ones.
 

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I'm following your 3MZ swap! I would love to swap one in my RAV4.2 for the low rpm torque. :)
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I'll keep good photos, I just got a 4K camera to record it all so, I'm going to wait till I get the camera to do any work on ¡Ay, Caramba!

I've been putting together parts lists and conducting research. I'll provide parts lists, suppliers, and any custom work that has to be accomplished. I already know the right side engine mount will have to fabricated. Many of the parts will be dependent on a compression dry and wet compression test, what is exactly on the engine and what may be damaged. Not to mention how well my current transmission mounts up to the new engine.

Getting things ready to launch, I'm striving to have this knocked out within a month or so.
 

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That's an agressive timeline, but it definitely sounds like you are getting your ducks in a row, which should aid in that process. Having this all documented will be awesome. I'd do the same swap if my 3s ever dies, if I can make it pass emissions here in CO easily.
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Discussion Starter #13
I received the engine today, about 5 days before I expected it and I haven't prepared much for it's arrival due to other life events. Fortunately, it appears to be in good condition and everything is there that was in the photos as promised. I'm going to pick up a compression test kit tomorrow and check it for compression.
Also received was the ECU.
 
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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Discussion Starter #14
Bad weather and family doctor appointments has kept me from getting anything accomplished. I did pick up a sandblaster and ground walnut shells to clean the engine up.
Items ordered/procured:
  • Drive-by-wire accelerator pedal, $18.00, eBay
  • Abrasive Blaster Gun With 1 Liter Canister, $24.00, Harbor Freight
  • Course walnut media, $34.00, Harbor Freight
 
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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Torsen Differential

Picked up a Toyota Celica GT-FOUR ST205 Rear Torsen Differential on eBay for $450.00. Thanks tom1977 for the heads up.
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Not much to bring this up to date. I had a close family member put in the hospital (not COVID) so the RAV4 has taken a back seat. Life events always takes priority.
I did receive the Torsen differential and it appears to be in good shape, can't wait to get that baby installed.
I ordered an engine stand and received it today. The people that boxed it must be mentally deficient, it was a large thin walled cardboard box with 86 lbs of metal parts that were thrown in loose without any packing material, the small parts were also loose in the box so of course I'm missing some key parts. This wasn't the fault of the UPS, it was entirely the fault of the packer.
I'm getting a list of parts together to pull at a junk yard but it will have to wait a week or two.
Now we have a hurricane that may be heading our way in a week or two so I have to get everything ready for it, so no more work on ¡Ay, Caramba! till everything is secured.
 
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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Discussion Starter #17
Family member is out of the hospital, at home and doing better so I'll be able to get back to the project soon. However, now there's a hurricane that will be here soon so that's an issue. The engine stand and missing parts is also a problem.

Worked out the issues with the engine stand, I should have the arms in about a week, I can't do much till I can get the engine up.

Hurricane Isaias will be here soon so I'm getting everything tied down.

Trying to find exhaust manifolds without the catalytic converters welded on and not having any luck. Unfortunately the salvage yard butchered the exhaust manifolds when they cut the catalytic converters off so they're beyond salvage I believe.

After talking to a local fabricator for some parts that I would need made, I decided to purchase a multi-process welder and do it myself, the welder will pay for itself. There are lots of projects I don't take on because I don't have a welder so I'm looking forward to getting it.

I had to upgrade the sand blaster so that I can use ground walnut shells as the media. That will clean the engine nicely and complete a few projects around the house.

After the hurricane is gone and things dry up a bit, I'm going to hit the salvage yards.
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Radiator choice for ¡Ay, Caramba!

I did a lot and I do mean a lot of research looking for a radiator for the 3MZ-FE engine that would fit in the RAV4.1 with just fabricating a radiator mount. I couldn't find any information from people who had performed 6 cylinder transplants into the RAV4.1 or other Toyota vehicles on radiator issues or choices. Searched over dozens of sites and looked through 100's of radiator specifications. Could there be a better choice out there? Of course, and I'm sure some people may have differing opinions but as I narrowed my search I did get it down to just three, based on quality, fit, ports, capacity, and price.
  • The radiator for the 2004 Lexus RX330 is way too wide to fit in a RAV4.1.
    • The radiator inlet is 1.3" and the outlet is 1.5"
  • The 3S-FE radiator in the RAV4 is just wrong
    • The radiator doesn't have the cooling capacity for a 3.3 liter engine
    • The inlet and outlets are too small, 1.25"
    • The inlet and outlets are in the wrong position
So, I researched and compared. There are no online sources that I could find that let you search for radiators by the radiator's characteristics except for a few racing sites and their radiators were out of my price range or had poor reviews. Radiator requirements:
  • It has to fit size wise, I fully understand that I will have to fabricate a new mount
  • Inlet port is on the upper right side and the outlet port on the lower left
  • As a minimum the inlet port should be 1.3" and outlet port 1.5"
  • To fit a radiator in the limited space and with enough cooling capacity for the new engine I determined that it would have to be a 2 core radiator. A 3 or more core is just too thick.
  • I'm keeping the AC so the condenser has to fit after all is done.
  • As far as cooling fans go, I'm going to wait to see what clearance issues I have so that I know what I'm going to have to do to get the fan(s) in there. Currently I'm looking at two 12" fans or if there isn't room perhaps I'll go with one large 16" fan.
So, it came down to just 3 choices.
  • AFCO 80101FNP Cooling Performance-Fit Aluminum Radiator. This radiator is designed for early Ford/Mopar with small block 8's so I knew the cooling capacity would be more than adequate.
    • Cons
    • Will require fabricating the radiator mounting method (all of the radiators I researched will require this), although this radiator has mounting flanges on each side which will make an easier bolt on install.
    • Pros
    • Inlet port is 1.5" and outlet is 1.75". The larger outlet port is easily reduced.
    • Inlet ports in the proper locations
    • 2 in. wide mounting flange on each side which will make mounting much easier. It won't be a slide in like the current radiator but a bolt up.
    • All aluminium construction
  • The 1984-1989 Toyota MR2 AW11 MK1 Radiator
    • Cons
    • Will require completely reworking the radiator mounting method (all of the radiators I researched will require this)
    • No filler neck although an inline filler neck could have been installed
    • The inlet and outlet ports are only 1.25" - showstopper
    • Pros
    • Mounting points preinstalled on the radiator
    • Inlet ports in the proper locations
    • All aluminium construction
  • The 90-98 Miata MX-5 Aluminum Dual-Core 2-Row Radiator
    • Cons
    • Will require completely reworking the radiator mounting method (all of the radiators I researched will require this)
    • The inlet and outlet ports are only 1.25" - showstopper
    • Marginal capacity for a 3MZ-FE engine - showstopper
    • Pros
    • Mounting points preinstalled on the radiator
    • Inlet ports in the proper locations
    • All aluminium construction
So I chose the obvious, the AFCO 80101FNP radiator from Amazon.com at $274.00 with tax $294.24

AFCO 80101FNP RadiatorStock RAV4.1 Radiator2004 Lexus RX330 Radiator
Overall Height (in.)*19 1/219 1/4 (not including mounting pins)unknown
Overall Width (in.)*27 (not including mounting flanges)28 3/4unknown
Overall Thickness (in.)*3 1/42unknown
Core Thickness (in.)2 1/415/8
Core Height (in.)18 1/213 3/419 1/4
Core Width (in.)22 3/827 5/826 1/2
Weight (lbs)14.2Unknown14
Radiator StyleCross flowDown flowCross flow
Row Quantity211
Inlet Size (in.)1 1/21 1/41 1/3
Outlet Size (in.)1 3/41 1/41 1/2
Tube Size (in.)1unknownunknown
Radiator MaterialAluminumPlastic tank, aluminum radiatorAll aluminum available
Inlet LocationUpper right sideUpper left sideUpper right side
Outlet LocationLower left sideLower right sideLower left side
Mounting MethodMounting flanges on each side, 2"Slide inunknown
Drain Valve IncludedYesYesDepending on supplier
Made in U.S.A.YesNoDepending on supplier
* actual measurements

 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Good researching! Nice updates.

As for the MX-5 radiator, it's tiny. I replaced the radiator in my wife's 93 2 years ago and it was a tiny radiator.

I like the look of the Afco you found.
I know it was for inline 4's and it appeared too small. With the 2 cores by calculations it was marginally within specs, I editted my post to show this.
 
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