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Brendon

Engine Swap

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I've had my 1998 Corolla LE for about 1.5 years now and its my first car. I was about to sell it, but I just couldn't. Something about this car I love too much. As such I've decided that in the next 2-4 years, I will work on upgrading it to my desire. One thing I cannot stand is how underpowered the Corolla is. It's just such a miscarraige of justice. My Corolla has such potential, and yet it loses out to stupid soccer mom Honda Odysseys on the highways in acceleration. That should not be. Here is my working theory:

 

The current engine max output of my Corolla is 120HP/122 Torque. Given my curb weight of 2414 Lbs, my Corolla is putting out 1 HP for every 20.12 Lbs (not including passengers). Acceleration for my Corolla (in Automatic) is 0-60 in 10.3 seconds. I am thinking of installing the Avalon/Camry engine, the 2GR-FE, which is a 3.5 V6 rated at 268HP/248 Torque. Guessing the larger engine would weigh more, my new estimate would be a Corolla weight of 2500 Lbs. This would give me a power to weight ratio of about 9.33 Lbs. to every HP, which is about the same as the BMW M3. The M3 accelerates from 0-60 in about 4.6 seconds. This nice thing about it is that I wouldn't have to sacrafice fuel cost too much. The Avalon is rated at 22/31 MPG on regular gas (unlike the M3 for example, which barely scrapes 16 MPG city on premium fuel).

 

My general questions are first How much would the swap cost in just labour? I know how much the Avalon engines run. Second, how easy would it be to fit the Avalon's engine into my Corolla? Third, would I need an exhaust upgrade? I was actually considering installing a dual exhaust system and replacing that ugly-looking black muffler.

Edited by Brendon

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What you are suggesting seems a bit extreme to me. Perhaps, something less extreme is in order. I just replaced the automatic transmission in my 'rolla with a 5 speed manual, and I will say again that this is the best mod ever. I mean, the car feels so much quicker with the manual. The manual transaxle is also much lighter than the automatic, so your power-to-weigh ratio will go up. Then, there is the increased efficiency of a manual transmission, which means you keep more money in your pocket book when you leave the gas station. Just so you know I don't know nothing about engine swap, but to manualize the transaxle is quite easy to do, that is, if you can find a donar vehicle.

Edited by texasrolla

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There are a few Corollas with some extreme engine swaps - but almost all have some tuning shops backing them up, sort of a shop project car. Good example would be the FenSport Corolla with the 3SGTE and 4WD system pulled from the GT4 - project ran initially into $30K-$40K, including the donor car - but they also modified and upgraded components over time as they broke or didn't work out - so easy $10K-$15K above that.

 

If you're looking for more power and determined to do a swap - find a Toyota Atlantic 4AGE engine. Those put out 240HP for a N/A 4 clyinder engine. Also don't think having a power to weight ratio the same or better than an M3 will enable your car to run with them - you're looking at two different platforms (FF with your Corolla and FR with the BMW) - couple that with a heavy front end bias makes for some "interesting" handling.

 

If I had to guesstimate - you are probably looking at around $10K-$15K in mods to the chassis alone (basic chassis package at a speed shop). As that is the going rate to beef up the suspension, subframe, weld all seams, add stiffening material to key sections, possibly add a roll cage to stiffen the chassis, remove all steering components and redo the steeting geometry, and make all metal modifications to physically hold the engine. Plus with the increased weight and greater forward weight shift - you would also have to redo the brakes for sure - possible more body/front subframe work to open up the front track or remove all the original suspension and go with a custom tubular setup. This has been done a few times before - mainly with guys cramming an Acura NSX motor into a Civic or Integra, and guys with Geo Metro with small block V8s. But most are single duty/track use only - depending on where you register the car - might not even be a legal swap (due to chassis modifications).

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I've had my 1998 Corolla LE for about 1.5 years now and its my first car. I was about to sell it, but I just couldn't. Something about this car I love too much. As such I've decided that in the next 2-4 years, I will work on upgrading it to my desire. One thing I cannot stand is how underpowered the Corolla is. It's just such a miscarraige of justice. My Corolla has such potential, and yet it loses out to stupid soccer mom Honda Odysseys on the highways in acceleration. That should not be. Here is my working theory:

 

The current engine max output of my Corolla is 120HP/122 Torque. Given my curb weight of 2414 Lbs, my Corolla is putting out 1 HP for every 20.12 Lbs (not including passengers). Acceleration for my Corolla (in Automatic) is 0-60 in 10.3 seconds. I am thinking of installing the Avalon/Camry engine, the 2GR-FE, which is a 3.5 V6 rated at 268HP/248 Torque. Guessing the larger engine would weigh more, my new estimate would be a Corolla weight of 2500 Lbs. This would give me a power to weight ratio of about 9.33 Lbs. to every HP, which is about the same as the BMW M3. The M3 accelerates from 0-60 in about 4.6 seconds. This nice thing about it is that I wouldn't have to sacrafice fuel cost too much. The Avalon is rated at 22/31 MPG on regular gas (unlike the M3 for example, which barely scrapes 16 MPG city on premium fuel).

 

My general questions are first How much would the swap cost in just labour? I know how much the Avalon engines run. Second, how easy would it be to fit the Avalon's engine into my Corolla? Third, would I need an exhaust upgrade? I was actually considering installing a dual exhaust system and replacing that ugly-looking black muffler.

 

Which engine do you have in your car now?

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I've had my 1998 Corolla LE for about 1.5 years now and its my first car. I was about to sell it, but I just couldn't. Something about this car I love too much. As such I've decided that in the next 2-4 years, I will work on upgrading it to my desire. One thing I cannot stand is how underpowered the Corolla is. It's just such a miscarraige of justice. My Corolla has such potential, and yet it loses out to stupid soccer mom Honda Odysseys on the highways in acceleration. That should not be. Here is my working theory:

 

The current engine max output of my Corolla is 120HP/122 Torque. Given my curb weight of 2414 Lbs, my Corolla is putting out 1 HP for every 20.12 Lbs (not including passengers). Acceleration for my Corolla (in Automatic) is 0-60 in 10.3 seconds. I am thinking of installing the Avalon/Camry engine, the 2GR-FE, which is a 3.5 V6 rated at 268HP/248 Torque. Guessing the larger engine would weigh more, my new estimate would be a Corolla weight of 2500 Lbs. This would give me a power to weight ratio of about 9.33 Lbs. to every HP, which is about the same as the BMW M3. The M3 accelerates from 0-60 in about 4.6 seconds. This nice thing about it is that I wouldn't have to sacrafice fuel cost too much. The Avalon is rated at 22/31 MPG on regular gas (unlike the M3 for example, which barely scrapes 16 MPG city on premium fuel).

 

My general questions are first How much would the swap cost in just labour? I know how much the Avalon engines run. Second, how easy would it be to fit the Avalon's engine into my Corolla? Third, would I need an exhaust upgrade? I was actually considering installing a dual exhaust system and replacing that ugly-looking black muffler.

I'm also driving a 98 corolla CE Brendon. Let me tell you, first, since your trim is an LE, you already have a front sway bar. 98 CE's and VE's do not have a front sway bar.........lame! So, your handling is that much better than mine. However, in terms of power, I know enough about auto corollas due to some people i know that have them so I'm assuming that your corolla cant even burn out unless its wet. Fortunately, I have a 5spd manual and let me tell you, I can burn out all the way until I hit 3rd gear if I can punch it just right. My 0-60 is approx 8.0-8.5sec. Your corolla's 0-60 is 10 minutes. Changing from auto to manual is by far something that you will definitely love, believe me. My car has 200k miles and still getting 38 mpg on the stock 1zzfe. I love this engine due to its durability, effieciency, and a long damn life. So your in good hands with the stock engine. Yet, if you decide that the manual transmission is STILL too slow for you. Try upgrading the breathing of the car via intake ($30) and exhaust ($varies). Both mods hp by about 10% each (roughly another 24hp added) plus you get sustained fuel economy if not better.

If perhaps that STILL, doesn't work for you, upgrading the engine is heavy on the wallet and since not many people know corollas with swapped engines, you are going to have to learn alot about your car because a mechanic will have no idea how to work on your car (ie, chassis, enginework, electrical, suspension due to changed geometry, your car will turn into a frankenstein to simply put it and mechanics won't be able to help you much.) If you want the same power but cheaper, get a turbo charger installed for a few grand. If what you want is more power so your car feels "normal" comparatively speaking, dont put a jet engine in there. That's absured. Just boost it a bit.

O yea, with my manual corolla, I can out accellerate civics just so you know. Hope that helps.

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Sounds like changing from an automatic to a standard transmission will improve your cars performance.

That would enable you to keep the car and also be happier with it.

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That sounds like a pretty extreme project. Trying to fit a v6 under the hood of a 4cyl car. Then you gotta deal with the transmission.

 

If you really NEED more power, see if you can find a cheap salvage Celica GT-S and grab the engine from that.

 

Off topic, but I don't want to start a new thread.

 

I have a 05, and I've wondered if a Celica GT ECU would work. I don't know if the last year celica had a drive by wire throttle though. I'm guessing not. If so, are the rest of the engine sensors the same? Has anyone done this? Do they have the same fuel injectors?

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Jesus, I didn't think it would be that much work. I was considering doing it myself, but I don't want to mess anything up. I guess I'll just stick to what I got. How about I throw you another simpler question, how much would you expect it to cost if I just put a newer Corolla engine in? (the 2000-2002 version of my Corolla's gen. engine with VVT-i). Do engine swaps generally cost alot of money if they are near even swaps? I wouldn't mind the extra 5 HP and 4 Ft-lbs torque as well as the better fuel efficiency if it didn't cost me too much ($1000 or less).

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Jesus, I didn't think it would be that much work. I was considering doing it myself, but I don't want to mess anything up. I guess I'll just stick to what I got. How about I throw you another simpler question, how much would you expect it to cost if I just put a newer Corolla engine in? (the 2000-2002 version of my Corolla's gen. engine with VVT-i). Do engine swaps generally cost alot of money if they are near even swaps? I wouldn't mind the extra 5 HP and 4 Ft-lbs torque as well as the better fuel efficiency if it didn't cost me too much ($1000 or less).

If it is a fairly straight engine swap you can DIY. Just buy an engine hoist and a good manual.

It is not too hard to do, especially if it is a straight pull and drop in.

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Yeah, you can do all kinds of crazy swaps - some guy tried to drop the V8 from a Tundra into his 8th gen Corolla. Never made it out of the garage - because he never got the engine to fit in the first place, nevermind the transmission and transaxle.

 

I would not swap in a newer Corolla motor with VVT-i for your non VVT-i variant. Just not enough difference in power to justify the cost. Unless the motor you have blew up - then you can do whatever you want. Probably get bolt-ons (intake/exhaust) to get that difference in power between the two. Some like add an exhaust header to the mix - I would stick with the OEM one and port it. People have shown that the OEM piece flows well, if you clean it up a bit. A swap for around a 1K is possible - depends if you source the engine or if they source the engine. I would keep the swap idea as a last resort - keep the one you have unless it dies on you. If you really have the hankering for more power and want to jump on the forced induction bandwagon (read turbocharged or supercharged) - the non-VVT-i ones are easier to deal with, tuning wise.

 

But texasrolla and twinky64 as one of the best solutions to smaller displacement engines - just swapping the auto for the manual, you gain a considerable amount of performance due to the increase in efficiency and it weighs less to boot. Only down side is that if you never drove a standard transmission, there will be that learning curve and if you have lots of bumper to bumper traffic - it can be a drag.

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That sounds like a pretty extreme project. Trying to fit a v6 under the hood of a 4cyl car. Then you gotta deal with the transmission.

 

If you really NEED more power, see if you can find a cheap salvage Celica GT-S and grab the engine from that.

 

Off topic, but I don't want to start a new thread.

 

I have a 05, and I've wondered if a Celica GT ECU would work. I don't know if the last year celica had a drive by wire throttle though. I'm guessing not. If so, are the rest of the engine sensors the same? Has anyone done this? Do they have the same fuel injectors?

I'm pretty sure the 2003 7th gen Celica had DBW, but I'm not 100% sure. I know that a few have taken the 2000-2001 Celica throttle bodies and intake manifold and modded them to 8th gen Corollas. Most did not see much if nay gains. I believe that the Celica injectors due flow a bit more than the Corollas - but I don't think it was that significant. As the Corolla injectors can flow between 250-280 CCM and I remember the Celicas were around 310 CCM, but that may have been for the GT-S. The ones with the 2ZZGE should work as they are also high ohm or saturated injectors. But I don't know - maybe I should try it this weekend (pull the XRS injectors and test them in the Corolla), but that may piss of the little lady :D.

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That sounds like a pretty extreme project. Trying to fit a v6 under the hood of a 4cyl car. Then you gotta deal with the transmission.

 

If you really NEED more power, see if you can find a cheap salvage Celica GT-S and grab the engine from that.

 

Off topic, but I don't want to start a new thread.

 

I have a 05, and I've wondered if a Celica GT ECU would work. I don't know if the last year celica had a drive by wire throttle though. I'm guessing not. If so, are the rest of the engine sensors the same? Has anyone done this? Do they have the same fuel injectors?

I'm pretty sure the 2003 7th gen Celica had DBW, but I'm not 100% sure. I know that a few have taken the 2000-2001 Celica throttle bodies and intake manifold and modded them to 8th gen Corollas. Most did not see much if nay gains. I believe that the Celica injectors due flow a bit more than the Corollas - but I don't think it was that significant. As the Corolla injectors can flow between 250-280 CCM and I remember the Celicas were around 310 CCM, but that may have been for the GT-S. The ones with the 2ZZGE should work as they are also high ohm or saturated injectors. But I don't know - maybe I should try it this weekend (pull the XRS injectors and test them in the Corolla), but that may piss of the little lady :D.

 

That would be cool if the celica GT had a DBW on it. For my car, I was talking about a ECU from a 140HP GT, not the GT-S. I figured the extra HP came from a more aggressive tune. I thought the engine was the exact same. If the Celica GT ECU would work on a 05 Corolla, that would be a way to get few extra HP.

 

Anyone know how much a salvage ECU and injectors would cost?

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I have bought ECu's at a junkyard and also from e-Bay. You can get them for about $40 for a good used one. New ones are more.

I have never bought any injectors, so I can't help you with that.

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I see you are suggesting I should just go for the turbocharger. Any suggestions you can give as to what type of turbo as well as what power increase I should see on my engine (140+HP). How expensive is it to have someone else install a turbocharger? I was traditionally looking towards engine swapping, but if turbocharging my Corolla is easiest, I could go to that end. I had never really thought about it because I didn't think the little Corolla engine could handle it (sheer force of wear and tear on it).

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