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I have been away for quite a few weeks and I apologise for not responding earlier to all the replies for your needs.

Background:

An engine conversion in a lot of countries is a cheap way of getting more HP without any serious modification and lowering the life expectancy of the original engine. Some countries will have harder rules on conversions due to the strict exhaust fume regulation. Generally, it is fun, but costly and will take up a lot of time and personal effort. Not to mention the ability to run the vehicle and servicing it. I have noted down problems and tips that may be able to help you all as I may not possess the 4.1 RAV4 soon(my baby).

1. Fuel consumption.

As more HP means more fuel consumption and it is a fact in every part of more HP either with or without engine conversion. You will notice a lot of difference in fuel consumption and I will list what Andrew and I have came across. All units are in Metric as I do not know what the imperial measurements are.

Andrew made a 3S-FE to 3S-GTE(gen II: ST185) conversion. He once said the most he ever get was 8km/L and in worst case, 6km/L. Also, he couldn't run any low octane gas, but must be above RON96.

I made a 3S-FE to a 3S-GE(gen III: ST202) conversion. I have highs and lows depending on the weather, fuel pressure regulator pressure and driving conditions. Generally, in summer, it uses less gas and uses more in Winter. In summer, I have managed to get a maximum of 9.3km/L and 8.5km/L in winter. Standard Toyota fuel pressure regulators(fpr) run at 2.5bar(35psi) on idle even they claim to run 2.1bar(30psi). This contributes to a lot more fuel consumption when idling after the conversion, hence an after market will be needed to lower this tolerance. Leaning the fuel out may be good for economy, but if you run too lean, you risk of over heating your pistons and kput them.

When starting up the 3S-GE engine cold, starving the fuel system will give your engine jolts on idling and will not settle until water temperature reaches above 60 deg C. Running rich is good, but you will barely make 350km/tank of petrol.

During racing, I have had the worst fuel consumption ever. I fill half of my tank ~27L. This will provide me with less than 100km or track mileage. Which works out to be 3.5-4km/L or more. Also you must set your fpr to above 2.5bar during idling with vaccuum on. I normally set it to 2.8 bar as this will run richer and prevent overheating of the pistons.

2. Engine mounts.

As you all know, all the engines above I mentioned starts with the 3S, whether it's a FE, GE or GTE. They all share the same engine mount(ahhh.... the greatness of Toyota). So they will bolt on perfectly to the existing engine mounts.

3. Gearbox and clutch.

As you all will know the history of the 4.1. It comes out of the corolla, Celica GT4 and Camry platform. Pretty much anything goes on it, and Toyota shares all it's components on similar vehicles. So any of the 3S engines will bolt onto the existing gearbox. However, how you transfer all those power depends on your clutch and pressure plate. As with the standard RAV4 gearbox will handle up to 250HP, but the rear diff will need a lot more attention once you are able to get those HP to convert to the wheels.

4. Fuel system.

The standard RAV4 fuel pump is not that dissimilar to the existing MR2 or Celica fuel pumps. It has plenty of flow, even for the standard 3S-GTE motor. There is one thing you will need to change. This is the fuel filter located on the bottom of the engine bay. As you require more flow, you will need to allow the filter to filter more fuel.

5. Suspension.

Changing a more powerful engine requires a more stable platform, hence the suspension upgrade. This will not only keep your vehicle balance, but more managable under unexpected environments. Having a tower bar is a must to minimise body and chassis flex. Another tip is inserting foams in chassis to give it more rigidity. use those self expanding foams.

6. Brakes.

The faster you go, the more stopping power is required. I had a few ideas in the past and since I'm not much going to use it, I might as well post them here.

The SXA10 and SXA11 chassis uses a single port brake caliper on the front brake setup. The rotor is 302mm in diameter and a thickness of 18mm with minimum tolerance of 16mm. The cheapest way to gain more brake is change to a slotted rotor and better braking material. But for those who were thinking of changing the brake calipers, there are two options:

a) Do not change anything and settle for the slotted rotors and good pads.

b) Out of my many days and weeks at wreckers, I have realise the ST206(Toyota Curren) brake caliper share the same bolt dimension as the SXA10 and SXA11 brake caliper. This is a direct bolt on, but will require new brake lines as the stock RAV4 hose line bolts on opposite direction to that of the ST206 calipers. Another problem is, the ST206 rotors have a 275mm diameter and a thickness of 28mm and minimum tolerance of 26mm. The center hole is 55mm while that of the RAV4 is 62mm, so you will need to shave it out.

As with heat capacity, the thicker the rotor, the more volume and better heat capacitor it will be. As with simple volume calculations, it comes out that the ST206 rotors have a mere 30% more volume than that of the RAV4 which means it can handle a more more braking power. Setback is, the thick rotor will dissipate heat less faster than that of the 18mm rotors.

7. Tyre choices and alloy wheels.

Once you all have an engine swap, there is a major thing you must know about the RAV4's standard wheel and offset. The standard alloy wheel vary in offset from continent to continent and generally, the stock 4.1 215/70R16 tyres will be sitting 10mm inward the guard in front and same as the rear. If you all are able to get alloy wheels with a +32mm or less offset with either a 6.5" or 7.0" width, you will be a more stable platform at higher speeds and better cornering.

As with tyre choices, all of us will have a different opinion, and this is mine. It may not be correct, but at least this is based on New Zealand condition.

Choose tyres with a directional pattern as this will help better aquaplaning. Also, they will have less road noise, but these tyres are poor on off road performance. I do recommend the BFGoodrich Macadams, but they are not so great during rain as they could give you a glide across high speeds and medium to low grip on wet surfaces.

8. Exhaust system problems.

I have been through 2 full setups before I am satisfy with the flow, back pressure and noise level inside and outside the vehicle.

If you transplant a 3S-GE into your engine bay, you will need a minimum 2" exhaust system to get a good flow, but I would recommend a 2.25" - 2.5". There will be major work needed on the 4WD SXA11/10 mid section as the setup will need to go near the 4WD viscous cupping. It will involve some experience exhaust welders to get this right, do not try to do it yourself as it will take up to 2 hours just on that section alone.

As with materials for exhaust, do not use thin materials. I would recommend materials thicker than 1.5mm as this will create less reconance inside the car. More comfy driving. The 3S-GE is notorious for their noise, hence you will need at least 2 resonators and a huge muffler to get the noise to an acceptable level. I am sure for the SXA11, you can fit 2 12"-14" resonators, 1 medium after market muffler and another silencer. This way, you will have the pleasure of low end power as well as high end flow without the annoying noise.

As with 3S-GTE exhaust setup, I prefer you all to ask Andrew in www.rav4oz.com/forum or some others here who might have the experience.


9. Engine movement.

When you put a 3S-GE/GTE into the RAV4 engine bay, you will realise a lot of movement in these engines. I'm not talking about transverse movement, but lateral movements. This will create some unpleasant vibrations at high speeds or engine loads. Simple solution is to get an engine suspension. If you have the money, you can buy them for around US$200.00 plus fittings. If you are poor like me. I made one out of a gas strut with high pressure. One end mounted on the engine with some durable metal and the other on the tower bar with some custom fittings. DO NOT drill on the tower bars. Also, DO NOT fit the shock on the firewall nor the rosecut(front of the engine bay).

This is for now.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Nice write up! Thanks for the great write-up! Umm.....can we have a mod sticky this thread? That way anyone looking for answers will see this right away.

Thanks a ton Kiddong. :cheers:
 
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May I add, from personal experience:

IF you love your car THAT much and you are willing to put that much time, hard effort and labour, and LOTS OF MONEY into doing an engine conversion - GO FOR GOLD!

I've done a 3S-FE to a 3S-GTE conversion and have reverted back to my 3S-FE. Why you ask? Maintenance was kicking my ass! But it was fun while it lasted! 150kW (200HP) at the wheels easily.

3S-GTE + high performance clutch + sports suspension setup + 4.1 3-door = LOTS of FUN!
 

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oblong said:
May I add, from personal experience:

Maintenance was kicking my ass!
Can you elaborate? What generation 3sgte did you use? what kind of maintenance are you talking about? the 3sgte is very reliable...

Please provide more info... :)
 
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Hey!

Sorry about the late reply! Yes indeed the 3S-GTE block is a very reliable block with a great build. However, the kind of maintenance that was 'kicking my ass' was things like very regular oil changes. For some reason my 3S-GTE chewed oil. Not heaps but more than normal. I don't know if all 3S-GTE are like that, also another thing! It went through a lot of coolant too :( But there was nothing wrong with the engine itself. At first, cold starts were an issue as it wasn't tuned at the time. After a tune-up it ran quite well. Being the vigorous driver I am at times, I would put the engine under very heavy load for certain reasons *ahem*racing*ahem* and the clutch also got a little bit of a work out. I almost rendered my car undrivable once as I was just continuously driving my car up and down vigorously through Akuna Bay mountain pass. Brakes and suspension need to be upgraded which wasn't really a problem unless you use your brakes very quickly like I did.

In general, to put it all in a nutshell - 3S-GTE exposed to normal, easy driving will be perfectly fine! 3S-GTE under constant heavy load will need a little more maintenance.
 

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oblong said:
Hey!

Sorry about the late reply! Yes indeed the 3S-GTE block is a very reliable block with a great build. However, the kind of maintenance that was 'kicking my ass' was things like very regular oil changes. For some reason my 3S-GTE chewed oil. Not heaps but more than normal. I don't know if all 3S-GTE are like that, also another thing! It went through a lot of coolant too :( But there was nothing wrong with the engine itself. At first, cold starts were an issue as it wasn't tuned at the time. After a tune-up it ran quite well. Being the vigorous driver I am at times, I would put the engine under very heavy load for certain reasons *ahem*racing*ahem* and the clutch also got a little bit of a work out. I almost rendered my car undrivable once as I was just continuously driving my car up and down vigorously through Akuna Bay mountain pass. Brakes and suspension need to be upgraded which wasn't really a problem unless you use your brakes very quickly like I did.

In general, to put it all in a nutshell - 3S-GTE exposed to normal, easy driving will be perfectly fine! 3S-GTE under constant heavy load will need a little more maintenance.
Sounds like there was a tiny head gasket leak there somewhere but I can see clutches on a 4wd no matter what one you get is going to get worn pretty quick with that much power. My biggest concern would be something like a half shaft or the rear diff letting go. If a GTE goes into anything of mine it's going to be the Celica, and the 5S-FE if it's still as tight as it is now will be going into my Rav.
 
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Yes all your points are very good and true. The rear diff does need to be reinforced as you can 'rip the CV joint out of it's boot' when under load. The 3S-GTE setup is rear-wheel bias meaning 4WD powerslide and drift will be more frequent if you are cocky on the gas.
 
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My RAV4 has a 3S-GE and with all my time spending on it, on wheel it still gives out 150HP. Not bad for N/A.
 
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I have not had a problem with the standard rav4 drive line with about 250hp. I have made stronger rear diff mounts but that it. None of the "E" series (Rav4 ST165 St185 St205 other) gearboxes
have rear bias they are all 50/50. You can get viscous center diff or a locking diff but this is not a biasing diff aka subaru.
 
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Hey Kidong maybe you can help me

do you know if the 3sge intake manifold and throttle body can fit on the 3sfe? also can the 3sge head fit on the 3sfe?
 
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I don't think so, the 3sge and 3sgte heads are made by Yamaha where as the 3SFE has a Toyota head. This means that not much swaps over all the ports etc are totally different. The manifold and throttle are no better on the GE engines then the FE all I think you would do is to loose a little low down torque, I don't think it would be worth doing. You might get a GE head on a FE block, this was always the case with the 4A but why don't you do the whole job properly and do the whole engine then you get the correct pistons and rods to cope with the extra power and increase the compression. I can buy a gen3 3sge here for $500-800 (450-650ish USD). I think I could do an engine swap cheaper than just a head swap by the time you factor labor and gaskets in.
 
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They are around mid nineties. They are the last of the 3sges before the beams engines. Of interest, a gen2 turbo engine makes about 180hp a gen3 NA engine makes 175hp and a NA beams engine makes about 220Hp. The na engines are far more drivable, easier to install and have fewer problems with heat. The only turbo rival is the gen3 turbo (this is what I have) at about 245hp
David
 
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how much woudl you guys say the total cost would be for the complete swap 3s-fe to a 3s-gte?

toysport sounded like it woudl cost about 2500-3000 USD. not sure. thinking of sending the car up to a big time drag racer for toyota/scion b/c his shop has a 3sgte waiting to go into a car. but i just dunno how much it iwll all cost plus labor willbe a lot. but if i want it done right i'll pay. and i cannot do it myself... im just a chicka.. i can do basic maintenance and i did a swap for a VW b4 but... i dont know if i wanna do it for this.. sound way more complicated than what i am used too.

cher
 
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Hi,
The cost is very dependant on which engine you use (or start with). If you are doing a serious drag car then you will just about throw all the standard pats out other than the crank, block and head then you could use a gen2 for about 2K bare, but this would be a 20K project at least by the time you are done. If the thing is going to be a street/drag car then you want a gen3 (the gen2 turbos have about the same power as the gen3 non turbo std). You also probably want a front cut so you get the intercooler heat exchanger, electronics and wiring these go for $3500-$6000USD. As conversions go it is quite cheap, I would budget on $2000 for the conversion (assuming you want the oil cooler, A/C, fans mounted etc). About $1000 for wiring. I spent 1000AUD on engineering to make it road legal and 600 on a new clutch and timing belt. This brings the total to $5500USD if you do some of the work yourself, don’t use any new parts and are very lucky to about 10,000 if you drive in drive out and everything is perfect and you can’t find a cheap half cut. It cost me $6000AUD (5500USD) but I spent a long time looking for parts, I am in the trade, and a good friend owns a Toyota conversion workshop.
David
 

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Oblong, Kidong, i have a question about the transmission

right now, iv egot a ST185 3S-GTE sitting in my bathroom (its the only place i have space to keep it in my apartment :( ) and im currently stripping it down to the block to get some machine work done to it.

but what i want to know about is transmission options. right now, ive got a 4WD auto, and i want to keep it 4WD. how do i do this? everywhere i look, they only talk about FWD. what information and/or parts do i need to make this happen???

and do you ahve any warnings or tips youd like to give me about the swap??? any major problems or headaches you guys ran into??? I plan on doing the swap myself with the help of a friend that works at a local speedshop, and my roomate whos family owns a machine shop.
 
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Good to hear of another Rav GT!
As conversions go it was easy. The only hard point is that you have to install the whole engine gearbox assembly as a single unit from underneath the car. I had my car on a hoist then used a fork lift to lift the engine from underneath. Replace the rear main seal and the clutch while you are there as it is so painful to get the engine out again later. You may also need more clearance to the clutch master cylinder, use a master cylinder from an AR82 corolla and grind the end off a bit. It is a direct replacement and is an inch shorter. If you want manual you will need to throw out the whole gearbox/transfer case and perhaps the rear diff (sorry I don’t know much about the autos ratios) then buy a rav4 manual gearbox, they should be quite cheap. You could use a ST185/205 etc gearbox as well as they are almost the same but you will have some work to do to make all the brackets to suit the rav. The 4wd system is an integral part of the gearbox. If you have any questions or want some photos email me directly at [email protected]
 
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