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Discussion Starter #1
The shop I'm getting my custom exhaust done at is also offering engine porting work. It isn't cheap so I don't want to try it unless I can be sure there will be noticeable improvements. Do you guys think it would be worth it? Here's a link to what the shop offers and their prices:

http://www.hiperformanceart.com/enhancements/machinework.htm

I've read on other forums that the 3s-fe is somewhat of a lump of an engine and will take more work than others to achieve good results. I'm not interested in a swap to a 3s-ge (waaaay above my head), but I do want to try and extract more power for a more enjoyable driving experience and a unique RAV (at least in my area).
 
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The 3S-FE is a low rpm engine, and porting will increase the performance slightly, but not as significant as the 3S-GE. So save the money and get something else instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've got a Secret Weapon intake and will be making my own shroud and a bigger air scoop (once my finals are over), and the exhaust is scheduled to be done later this week. What other mods would be recommended that provide good improvements for the money? electrical system enhancements? performance chip?
 

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Well, J-san, the head is the key to unlock the power in any engine. If you see the 3SGTE, and other engine. The difference beside forged piston and cranks, is the Yamaha head. The more air and fuel you are able to get in and out of an engine. The more power it will make. Checkout this article posted by Toysport.com. I've followed it to a t. You know what, they are right.
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Toyota FE Series Engines

(3/5SFE / 4/7AFE / 4/5EFE / 1ZZFE / and V6 / V8s)

The various FE series engines (using the FE head design) are the most thoroughly developed and purpose tuned Toyota power plants. In the USA, 98% of current models Toyotas use this engine/head design. The FE 4 valve per cylinder, narrow-angle Twin Cam heads (on the various Toyota blocks) are the reason for the amazing response and smoothness of the current generation Toyota motors. The high torque characteristic designed into these engines give the driver all the advantages of the Twin Cam head design- plus low-end torque and fuel economy. Torque is the reason why these engines respond quickly and smoothly. The performance band has been engineered to provide power from low RPM to the designated redline.

There has been a lot of requests for parts and modifications for these engines, but unfortunately trying to raise the RPM band (or changing cams) will negate all the built-in attributes of these engines. A camshaft change to raise the power band higher, will result in the loss of low-end torque and idling problems. Drivability will suffer and the trade off will leave the customer with a compromised engine, trying to work against the ECU program and engine design.

By comparison, the performance oriented GE versions of the same series engines, (if available on the sporty models)- offer about a 20% horsepower advantage- but at a loss in low RPM response and torque. The GE heads are more of the true Twin Cam design: wide-angle valves, long duration cams- suited for high RPM and high output- but at the sacrifice of throttle response in the lower RPM levels.

There are improvements that can be made to the FE engines- but the Toyota engineered power band should not be altered. The ECU program and Camshaft profiles, if changed will result in a loss of drivability and risk internal damage. You cannot do a better job than Toyota on coaxing power from these series engines, and needless to say, stay street-legal.

Upgrading these engines, is of course still possible: intake systems, exhaust components, ignition upgrades all help in fine-tuning these engines. The rule to follow and keep in mind is that all modifications are basically external in nature. The only exception being pistons- to increase or decrease compression- within the same RPM band. Turbocharging and/or supercharging will help- but keep in mind that based on the design parameters (again) these engines were designed for response- meaning lightweight internals: con rods/crankshaft (as compared to the sportier GE series engines).

The short answer is- if you are seeking a true high performance engine and high HP outputs- upgrade to the GE version of your engine (if available).
===============================================

Following this article, all the mods that I've made to my engine are exterior, I haven't touched internally. I won't either, until I install the turbo engine. I also have some other goodies in my garage like a performance oil pump and a turbo kit ready to go. But until I have an excuse to be able to take the engine out. I'm still on a stand bye. If you are married, you will know what I mean.:roll:

How do my external mods work? Great, I'm not complaining. Their isn't a SUV in this same category that can keep up with you. Even some V6 have all been punished by RAV4orce.

I your case, not all is lost. Checkout http://www.toyotanation.com. Try to get in contact with 88 LE. This guy is the guru of the 3SFE engine. Hope this helps.

:thumbs_up:
 
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To be honest with you, the 3S-FE is not design for performance, but more of an economical cruise engine. Hitting the high note will wreck the engine into bits quicker.

Having a proper exhuast and intake will definitely change the response rate of your engine as well as gas mileage. This provides much needed overtake time on the highway.

Try replacing the standard coil with a MSD blaster coil 2 without the MSD ignition. You will realise a better low end(lower rpm range) torque compare to before. Leave the ignition cables as they provide little difference at low rpm.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the article, Mensajero. No, I'm not married (not even a girlfriend) so the only thing holding me back is money and time (both of which are mostly funneled into school). I don't ever plan on touching the inner workings of the engine (getting bike derailleurs to work flawlessly is complex enough), so I will follow your route. How much HP and torque do you estimate your RAV4orce is putting down? After reading about all the various mods you've done, I don't doubt it is fast.

Is it possible to transplant the 3s-ge head onto a 3s-fe?

What exactly does the MSD things do? How would you install it? Sorry, I'm not very knowledgable into car performance parts yet.
 
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No, J-San, the 3S-GE heads will not fit the 3S-FE. Even though the bore/stroke is identical. Pistons hugely differ. 3S-FE runs on a sprocket twin cam while the GE runs on individual belt driven cam shalf. Water and oil compartment in the GE head differs from that of the FE as well, head gasket etc, etc. THe only simple head transplant that I have come across is the B18C black top using a B16A red top head(from Honda). It revs the damn engine to 9300 sweet.

Also, the GE pistons will not fit into the FE engine. Don't even think about it. It will not work.


Refering to the MSD coil, not the MSD itself. Standard coil voltage measures around 13500-15000volts that pass onto the plugs. MSD Blaster coil 2 states it will give out 45000volts, but I guess it's probably 40,000volts at best. More voltage at the plugs means higher potential energy for a spark. It's a difference between the strike of a huge lightning and a small one. More spark means the better potential of your air/fuel mixture being burnt properly. More burning means more power.

As with installing the coil. You need to unplug the existing coil cable, get an adaptor and figure out the positive and negative part of the cable. Put those on the MSD blaster 2 coil and pretty much everything is straight forward from there. I can only tell you how to do it if I see the vehicle since I'm not a qualify mechanic, but does plenty of mechanical work for the past few years to crunch up the skills and knowledge.
 
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No, it is totally different in shape. I'll see if I can take a picture of it somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great, thanks! On a different note, How much power increase does a header provide? I'm having the shop install from the downpipe back and making it a dual. I am considering ordering the Pacesetter header mensajero installed. Even though the header is designed for the Celica, does it matter being that the engine is the same? I've heard of headers actually "tuned" for producing max power within a certain rpm range.

Where is the greatest restriction in the exhaust system? At the muffler and catalytic converter? I think they will be using Magnaflow parts for a hi-flow cat and muffler. Not sure what diameter pipes they will use. Was it 2.25" optimal for the 3s-fe?
 

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J-san, first of all, listen to kidong, even though he isn't a qualified mechanic [neither am I] but he has a lot of experience. The Celica header will fit your 3SFE engine. Then only thing you have to watch when installing the header is the oil filter and the O2 senor. They kind of make the installation a little uncomfortable. But if you remove them, it's very easy to install. I've posted pictures on this forum. Take a look at them. The diameter for the 1997 3SFE engine iwould be 2.25. If you are going turbo, 2.50 would be the preferred diameter.

Regarding performance, I just installed a header about a year ago. This will give your RAV4 from 8 to 10 horses. Also a premium muffler and catalytic converter will make the engine breath a lot better. The rest is just having the engine run very efficiently. A good electrical system. To tell you the truth, my engine still has the OEM timing despite the installation of the header. Some people say you should give it at least 2 to 3 degrees more. Mine, in stock 8 degrees works fine. The 3SFE engine runs well. Like kidong said, it is not made for racing. But for the street it gets the job done and sometimes even surprises a lot of people. Turbo is the way to go if you are planing to get some serious power out of it. I'm just planing to install performance pistons and performance rods. Crankshaft, if I can get a 3SGTE crank, better yet.

This is the MSD coil blaster you would need. About 35.00 at Summit Racing



The kit for your RAV4 would be something like this. you will need a Toyota Adapter for the Tach. This part is exclusively for Toyota's. The MSD 6A. will work on your RAV4. Of course MSD will tell you the grey MSD for 4 cylinder. Of course, it's more expensive. It's your call. Here is a link to their catalog http://www.msdignition.com/1freecatalog.htm



Regarding the installation of heavy duty parts, ask kidong. He gots my back every time I post something. He's like the quality control of the forum. So all the information posted is correct. Thanks kidong :thumbs_up:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Many thanks to you, Mensajero and Kidong. I really appreciate the help.

So, I need all those MSD units just to increase the voltage of the spark?Ugh, I must be getting stupid or something - don't quite understand :?: :oops: And timing? You mean like advancing the time of when the spark fires in relation to when the piston fully compresses the air/fuel? I thought timing measured in degrees was only for electric motors (like the degrees the endbell is turned in relation to the magnets in RC racing applications).

The header sounds promising, I'll definately look into it when I can afford more upgrades. Perhaps I'll try the installation myself and ask my friend if he can help me weld it. No, I don't have any plans for a turbo - way too involved and I'll probably blow up something.

After reading kidong's guide for the engine swap, I have no doubts he is very knowledgeable in these matters (you as well, mensajero). I was under the initial impression that most of you gurus are Toyota mechanics or have a similar line of work. I hope to learn more about my car and about tuning and all. Very interesting stuff! Sorry about all the dumb questions :oops:
 
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J-San, I was once an ignorant person with my vehicles and pay the price for not understanding them earlier. However, none of us are too old or too young to start learning.

If you want something cheap and ignore the timing, do not get what Mensagero has. Also if you want to have a nice sound system, do not use the MSD 6A, 6AL, 7AL etc. Use the blaster 2 coil only. This is pretty much easy swap and give you more voltage(less current).

To understand more about how the msd coil works, you have to know the basic principles of Direct Current(DC). As you put a new coil in replacing the old one, the power directed to the coil remains the same, hence we say this is(Pmax). The difference between the standard coil and the blaster 2 coil is amount of turns inside them. Pmax = Imax(max current) X Vmax(max voltage).

Stock Coil(Cs) and Blaster 2 Coil(Cb) will recieve the same power, but in order to get more voltage, the Blaster 2 coil will have to lower the amount of current.

Cs=Is x Vs = Cb = Ib X Vb

Since Vs is claim to be 15,000volts and unknown amount of current(we give it a rough estimate of 0.05amps or 50 miliamps), so the formular will be:

Cs = 0.05 x 15,000 = Cb = ?Ib x 45,000volts.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So it's not current, but voltage that matters in making a bigger spark. I have no idea about timing and all that, nor do I plan on doing anything with the stock sound system. I'll look into the new coil. Thanks for the explanation.
 
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Pretty much yes. The main importance is the potential difference in the spark plugs. The bigger the potential difference provided, the better the spark.

As with the timing, just ignore it because the standard factory timing is set within 5deg of detonation. If you want more gain out of the higher revs, you retard the timing more, say around 15deg and if you want mostly on the lower end(eg: diesel engine), you will need to set the timing as near 0deg as possible.
 
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