V6 MR2 CONVERSION Project MR6: A 3.0ltr 24valve V6 MK1
V6 MR2 CONVERSION
Project MR6: A 3.0ltr 24valve V6 MK1
By reading this guide you are accepting you have also read the
disclaimer at the end of the document.
Foreword:Why would anyone want to build a horrendously powerful 3s-gte equipped MK1
turbo and then go looking for more??? It simply doesn’t make sense, and I'd be
the first person to admit that I'm probably a few sockets short of a toolbox but
working on and modifying the MK1 is what makes me tick. So with that question
about my sanity out of the way lets continue...
The engine I'm going to try to fit to a MK1 is again a big brother Toyota unit and
its from the Camry. It’s a huge 3.0ltr 24 valve quad cam V6, that’s right 4
camshafts! Its not about building a very powerful sports car, although that is
reason enough, its loosely based on the Everest theory. Dare to ask Sir Edmund
Hillary why he climbed that big snowy hill and I'm sure he would reply that it
wasn’t to get away from the wife for a bit! Its simply a case of its there, it might be
possible, it’ll be a real challenge, so lets try! There's a few guys like me around
the world who live for modifying or putting silly engines into our cars and in the
MR2 world there's none better than these two chaps - Mr. Bill Strong and Brad
Bedell from the States. Bill is installing a Cadillac Northstar V8 to a MK1 (details
on the northstar V8 engine here:
nicknamed the “Toystar” it promises to be one of the most unique and highly
modified MK1s on the planet, check out Bill's amazing project here:
Mr. Brad Bedell is a veteran at the V6 into MK2 swap having completed two such
beasts, his projects are a valuable resource for my swap and well worth a read.
His FAQ section more or less answers every V6 related question you need to
know http://bedellracing.home.comcast.net/v6/V6FAQ.html and pictures of his
amazing MR2s are here http://bedellracing.home.comcast.net/ nearly all of
Brad's info is common between the MK1 and MK2 apart from final wiring, so this
will be a valuable resource.
One of Brads MK2 V6 swaps completed, this is what I'm aiming for in a MK1 bay.
As with any project like this, the end result is not about 0-60 times or creating a
drag strip weapon but just to say I've squeezed a really big engine into a very
small space and the enjoyment in trying to do that and overcoming all of the
problems along the way is what makes it all the more worthwhile. My V6 MK1
project has been dubbed the MK1 MR6 for obvious reasons. So with the above
clearly justifying a reason to do this huge project (very tongue in cheek) - lets
Preparation:Just like the MK1 turbo swap I began research into this project not long after the
engine lid was shut on the MK1.5, what can I say, I need a project. Its taken over
a year of in depth foraging around the internet and reading every single forum I
can to collect as much information as possible. Once again I've got pages of
wiring diagrams, photos and schematics of just about everything.
Here is my donor car - this engine is as powerful as the 3s-gte used in the MK1.5
but with buckets more torque right from the moment the throttle is touched.
Reliability is totally uncompromised with this engine whereas the 3s-gte has a
tendency to break now and then and in my opinion is plagued with faults, not
Toyotas usual high standard of engine if you ask me. Imagine how this V6 shifts
a big 2 ton Camry along to 150mph without breaking a sweat - now imagine that
same powerplant in a lightweight MK1 - lovely stuff!
Originally I had planned to use a 1MZ-FE engine from a '94+ Camry but the cost
of one and their availability made it easier to get my hands on the 93 model 3VZFE, its heavier than the 1MZ and has a slightly different ignition system (mine
has a dizzy set up whereas the 1MZ has a one coil per cylinder distributorless
design). The above picture was taken from my new purchase, I bought the
vehicle from the local salvage auctions for - and get this! - £100! Yep the whole
car for a hundred quid, its only damage was a broken headlight and damaged
wing and would have taken very little to put it back on the road, but that was not
to be its destiny. This thing came fully loaded, full leather, ABS, power steering,
electric everything, cruise control, air con, the works! Shame to chop it all up, ah
well! Its all in a good cause! To add to the ridiculous price of this vehicle (I really
should complain) it started straight up and drove back to the garage, it came with
¾ of a tank of petrol too! Around £35 worth I reckon. I've since sold the four new
Continental tyres it was sitting on for £50 and a few bits and pieces to a local
chap for a tenner, so this big V6 engine now stands me at £5, laughable! Its at
this point I should say that the bargain price will soon escalate upwards once I
start looking for all of the other bits and bobs to make the project come together.
I need to find a MK2 turbo gearbox, a manual Camry V6 flywheel, a MK2 turbo
clutch (I found out during the 1.5 swap that a GT4 clutch works well at half the
cost so this will do), MK2 turbo drive shafts, a pair of MK1 Supercharger or
Celica st165/185 outer CV joints and some form of exhaust system. Um, I'm
forgetting something I just know I am??????? Oh yes! A MK1 MR2 to actually fit
this into!!! Not to mention the brake and suspension upgrade that must follow to
cope with a V6 sitting in it. All of that shopping list is going to cost a fair bit but
I've got a great head start!
The project begins:- Day 1 - 5/03/04
I must have spent a full day just playing with the engine revving it up and
listening to that awesome V6 growl, the sound of this V6 engine is absolute
perfection and there's simply no substitute for more cylinders and displacement
when it comes to getting an engine to sound like this, makes my turbo sound like
a lawnmower engine. Anyway enough drooling, it can't stay in that engine bay
The very first thing I've got to do is reduce the Camry donor vehicle to the base of
its parts, I've got to get the whole engine and automatic transmission out of that
bay while retaining all of the ancillaries, the wiring harness and every conceivable
part I might need before the car is sent to the big Toyota dealership in the sky. A
lot of the engine stuff was chopped through or binned as I really don’t need it,
such as power steering pipes, air con, cruise control etc. In all it took over 8
hours just to safely remove the ancillaries and wiring harness from the engine
bay before I even began to lift it out, probably one of the most difficult engines I
think I've ever removed.
Here it is with almost everything detached, still looks pretty complete, what a
lovely looking engine though.
After another few hours I'd removed the bonnet, unbolted the drive shafts,
exhaust and any remaining engine mounts and strapped the engine hoist to the
V6 and began to lift. Sorry Toyota but I do believe this engine is in the wrong car!
It's at times like these I really feel sorry for Toyota mechanics, I can't imagine
having to take a Camry engine out day in day out for a living. To say it was tight
coming out of the bay is an understatement, there was about ¼ of an inch either
side and I had to bend various pipes out of the way and rotate the engine a bit to
get it clear. It has to be said that most of the trouble was caused by the huge
automatic gearbox rather than the engine, which is actually quite short (only 3
cylinders wide). I will leave out the next sentence I said as it contains much
swearing and obscenities but basically not long after the whole engine and
transmission was clear of the car.
Note MK1s looking on with interest! The red ones saying “you’re not bringing that
anywhere near me!” and the blue ones saying “please let it be me, please let it
be me!” OK maybe my imagination has been doing overtime. Look at the size of
that gearbox. Next step was to get that off my lovely V6 and throw it away. A
short while later and the auto was off just leaving me with the engine, I have to
say it looks a lot smaller and more compact on its own.
Here you can see the auto flywheel, the torque converter was bolted onto this
which must have weighed 20 kgs easily. I now have to remove this flywheel and
fit a flywheel from either a post 97 V6 Camry or a late model US spec Toyota
Solara so that I have something to fasten a clutch onto, both flywheels will bolt
straight onto my 3vz-fe engine. The third option is to have a flywheel custom
made, which is currently being done to a friend of mines MK2 V6 conversion.
To get this engine mated to the wheels is fairly straight forward, as it happens an
E-153 MK2 turbo gearbox will bolt straight onto this engine. The gearbox won't
match up with all of the bolt holes but it will hit most of them and I've been
informed by several chaps in the US that it gets enough hold on the holes it does
line up with. The fact that the MK2 turbo box does bolt on makes life a lot easier,
as you know my MK1 turbo has the very same gearbox in it with MK2 turbo drive
shafts and MK1 Supercharger outer CV joints allowing it to fit the rear hubs so I
know its all going to work. The day ended with me looking into the Camry engine
bay to see if there is anything else I need to take off before it goes to the crusher.
Those exhaust down pipes are a must, I don’t fancy trying to fabricate those!
Nice flexi joins on both pipes will allow for engine movement. Look at the size of
that engine bay, looks a lot bigger than a MK1 bay that’s for sure!
Its already apparent that engine bay space is going to be critical, I'm not at all
concerned about the length of the engine, in fact it looks about the same as a 4age so I will have plenty of room to change timing belts or other maintenance work
when the engine is in situ. The main concern is going to be width, this thing looks
a lot wider than the 3s-gte I installed into my MK1 and that’s a tight fit!
I have already assumed that this engine is not going to go in from underneath
like it normally does on a MK1 (the bottom of the MK1 bay between the chassis
rails is just too narrow), so I'm going to have to take radical action to allow
fitment. The plan is to completely remove the rear firewall between engine bay
and boot, this will allow the engine and gearbox to be lifted in from above and
behind and lowered into the bay. When all of the engine mounts have been made
and its in its final position the rear firewall will be reconstructed around the engine
leaving a nice gap for movement. The end result will mean I will have lost a few
inches of boot space and also the engine lid catch will be redundant. So the plan
is to make the engine lid and boot lid all one section. The boot lid will have to be
removed from its hinges and solidly welded with support bars onto the engine lid
making an all in one rising engine lid and boot lid panel, which will of course
close and lock on the boot lid catch. The two gas rams that currently support the
Camry bonnet will be used on this new lid to help it rise on its own. It should look
pretty cool seeing the whole rear of the car open up and I may even sacrifice the
boot totally and put the exhaust silencer in there with twin exit tail pipes coming
out through the back panel either side of the number plate, all just theory at the
moment, only time will tell. For now that’s as far as the project can progress until
I've sourced more parts from around the UK and found a decent donor MK1 to do
this to, but the seeds of the project are well and truly sown. Updates on this
project will be much slower than on the MK1 turbo so please bear with me Rome wasn’t built in a day! And neither was a V6 MK1!
Day 2 - 14/03/04
The parts hunting for this project is perhaps a bigger challenge than the engine
install itself! Trying to find a manual Camry flywheel may end up with me finding
Lord Lucan and Shergar along the way! But in the quest to make this engine a
reality I've found that a Toyota 4runner V6 3vze engine has a flywheel on it that’s
going to fit on my Camry 3vz-fe V6. Its taken over a week to find one and its in
the USA but at £16 for it I can't complain although the shipping has cost me 3
times the price of the flywheel itself. I'm just glad a flywheel has actually turned
up! I may have to experiment with clutches to find one that works but I'm
expecting either the GT4 clutch to fit straight on or a combo of GT4 and 4runner
The 3vze flywheel above seems to share the correct bolt pattern for my 3vz-fe
engine, I can always have it machined if it’s a little out. The important thing is that
the ring gear engages with the starter motor on the MR2 turbo gearbox, it’s a
disaster if it doesn’t and a fresh flywheel will need to be sourced, I'm fairly
confident this will work though.
Day 3 - 18/03/04
Well things are certainly picking up speed! I've stumbled across the donor MK1
for my V6 engine. A chap recently contacted me about a MK1 he owned that
failed its MOT rather badly on some welding (no surprise there), coupled to that
the exhaust is falling off it and a few other problems with the car he decided to
sell it so here she is!
Meet the recipient of the V6, a mica blue 88 T-bar with full leather. The engine is
sweet and no doubt will end up in a customers MK1 in need of a good unit. Body
wise its fairly typical, corroded front wings and rear sills holed. The floor has a
few holes in it too but its overall condition is good and definitely worthy of saving.
In general I shouldn’t have any problems making the car solid again but it was
just going to cost the owner too much to put right. The top windscreen panel has
gone and the windscreen is cracked as a result, that’s a high priority job.
Here’s the business end of the operation, this is where the V6 is going to sit. Well
maybe a little of it in the boot but most of it will be in here! I will take a few
measurements soon to find out exactly how much engine will sit rearward, I'm
guessing 1-2 inches into the boot. The battery will be relocated to the front
compartment as it was on the MK1.5 to give more space back here. I will be
taking the engine and gearbox out in about 2 weeks time, for now the car must
As an aside I'd just like to address a recent issue some critics have raised, they
are concerned that a V6 weighs too much in a MK1. I can answer that in three
ways, one the V6 engine weighs about the same as the 3S-GTE in my other
MK1, and that is by no means unbalanced, in fact the MK1 turbo handles better
and feels more stable at 100mph plus with the extra weight (many of you will
know exactly what I mean when I say a MK1 feels very light and hairy at high
speed). If you get the later 1MZ-FE all aluminium engine then its actually lighter
than a 3S-GTE, that should be an interesting fact for the MK2 turbo owners
reading this, same power but lighter and torquier engine. Secondly, engine
swaps into MR2s aren’t really affected by weight, you have to remember that
they handle so well because the engine is sitting right where the center of gravity
is, not up front wallowing around like in most cars so putting a little extra weight
right in the center of gravity means nothing in an MR2, plus the suspension will
be uprated to match. Thirdly, who cares if it weighs more? Its still 200 kgs lighter
than a MK2 and we are effectively doubling the power to weight ratio anyway.
Below I'm already day dreaming about what the cars going to look like, these are
the wheels that are going to help put the power onto the road, 17” rims are my
weapon of choice, shod with some good quality 205/40/17 tyres on the front and
225/40/17s on the rear. Ive found 17’s on 40 profiles give no tyre flex going into
corners, a bit unforgiving in the wet and heavier steering at lower speeds but I've
tried all rim sizes and 17’s work and look best for me and I'm going to need a big
footprint on the rear to get all of that torque onto the road (255nm/4400rpm), 15”
rims on 195/50 just won't cope. These rims are AZEV A’s and really set the car
off well, very Ferrari in style don’t you think? - lovely.
My imagination was at work again with the two red MK1s in the foreground
gossiping “who does she think she is.” “oh I know, don’t those wheels look tarty”
End of day 3 and I do believe I've lost the plot!
Day 4 - 22/03/04
It occurred to me that I'd better get a side by side comparison of engine and car
to get a good idea of what I'm up against and see if this huge V6 was going to
physically fit! Well I have a fair idea that it won't sit in the engine bay as it is but
lets find out, the pics are pretty daunting let alone the swap itself.
Just look at that picture! That engine bay doesn’t look anywhere near big enough
for that engine…brilliant! Makes me giggle every time I look at this. It's going to
be a bigger challenge than I thought, just what I like! Maybe if I just photoshop
that engine into the MK1 bay you will all believe I did it? Ok, maybe not.
Pretty big engine for such a small bay, access is going to be limited when
working on that, good job the V6 is a very low maintenance unit, I've heard tales
of these things lasting 300,000 miles and still purring. On the maintenance issue,
answers on a postcard how you change the 3 spark plugs that are buried directly
under that big aluminium inlet manifold? “take the manifold off” you say? 4 of the
bolts that hold the manifold on are under the manifold too! I think I need to delve
into my Camry manual for this as I don’t relish the prospect of having to remove
the engine to change 3 of the spark plugs! Note the oil filler cap, putting oil in
might be an adventure too, nobody said a V6 MK1 was going to be user friendly!
It is vital to get as many reference shots as possible before actually doing the
swap and as many measurements as possible from both engine bay and engine
to be fitted.
From the top of the front firewall to the top of the rear wall is approx 620mm,
plenty of room for the top of the V6 engine, although the problem is that the V6
bulges out severely in the middle so I took measurements here as well. From the
widest part of the engine bay near the exhaust manifold to the rear wall is approx
680mm. I needed to compare that to the engine….
To quote a line from “Jaws”… “we’re gonna need a bigger boat!”
I've allowed 2 inches at the exhaust manifold for clearance and an inch at the
rear and this measurement is 720mm at the widest part. Clearly a 720mm width
engine plus clearance is not going to fit in a 680mm bay! which is just what I
thought, I'm going to have to use 50-100mm of boot space around the engine,
not a problem as we have plenty of space to play with in the boot. Of course the
project would be a total no go if the engine and gearbox were too wide for the
bay as there's no easy way to move the chassis rails inside the MK1 bay. End of
day 4 and there's no major surprises, the engine will fit with a bit of rear wall
modifying, I can't wait to get this project moving along, a V6 MK1 really is an
interesting prospect, makes me wonder what will I do for a project next year? I
wonder if NASA have a pair of solid rocket boosters lying around I can use!?
For now the project has hit a wall until my flywheel arrives from the States and I
source a MK2 turbo gearbox, next step is to drop that oily 4a-ge out and clear the
MK1 bay out of unwanted parts, I expect this to happen over the next few weeks.
Day 5 - 28/04/04
Sometimes you just have to grab the bull by the horns and take a chance on
something, that’s what I did on the flywheel issue. I had no idea where I was
going to get a 3vz-fe manual flywheel from, that car simply doesn’t exist in the
UK, they are all autos. So a bit of bravery was needed to order a manual flywheel
from America for the not too distant cousin Toyota 4 runner v6 3vze engine. The
flywheel arrived yesterday after a 5 week wait so I was pretty anxious to try it on
….Success! A perfect fit! I love the way Toyota parts are so common among, not
just marques of the same vehicle, but across the whole Toyota range. It was
pretty vital that this worked or the whole project was going to be delayed trying to
find a flywheel that works with this engine.
The flywheel has now been sent to the local machine shop to have the surface
refaced to make it perfect. I've sourced a MK2 turbo clutch which fitted straight
onto the 3vze flywheel so that’s pretty much one of the biggest hurdles
overcome. No one has ever proved that a 3vze 4 runner flywheel works on the
3vz-fe so this should be priceless info for others following and doing the swap.
Now I took the liberty of checking my old automatic flexplate/flywheel against a
friends 1mz-fe engine while it was out of his car and it was identical so this also
means that the 3vze 4 runner flywheel will definitely work on the later 1mz
engines too. I also needed to source the eight bolts that hold the flywheel onto
the crank as the original flexplate bolts were very short, so a quick trip to Toyota
was needed, never a good financial experience!
After bracing myself at the parts counter for the shock price the parts guy
announced £1.27 each! No second mortgage this time. They arrived 2 days later
and work perfectly with the 3vze flywheel. The Toyota part number for these 8
bolts is 90105-10207 for anyone else attempting the swap.
A friend happened to have his 3s-gte engine stripped for a rebuild/upgrade so he
kindly sent me this highly detailed engineering diagram (cough) of the clearances
between his block and flywheel (cheers JJ) as I'm using the MK2 turbo E153
gearbox I need to make sure my flywheel shares these dimensions or the starter
won't engage properly and the clutch won't have the correct travel. To get this
right I may have to either shim behind the flywheel or have some material
removed from the back of the flywheel to get the correct offset.
Here is the machined flywheel in situ, the offset from the block was correct and
this is now finished, its taking a lot of effort to convert this engine from an auto to
Next step is to wait until my MK2 turbo clutch kit arrives and check it all fits onto
this flywheel, I've been told it does fit but if not I've got the 3vze 4 runner
pressure plate from this flywheel that will work with the turbo friction plate.
Day 6 : 13/5/04
It was time to turn my attention to making sure this engine wasn’t going to let me
down after the swap so I've fitted a new timing belt, inspected all of the pulleys
and water pump for freeplay, all seems sound. Nothing worse than installing an
engine only to find you could have changed a hard to get at pulley beforehand.
The V6 is a beautifully designed engine with a tensioner shown bottom left that
constantly takes up the slack in the belt and keeps it perfect. Most engines have
a fixed tensioner that doesn’t allow for the belt stretching over time.I love this
Now because I'm not using the power steering pump or air con and all I need to
drive is my alternator I needed to source a suitable fan belt. This was done by
cutting the old belt until it was the correct length and then measuring it.
A quick phone call to the auto parts supplier and he sent me a 6 rib poly V belt
that was 925mm long. This fitted perfectly with loads of adjustment left. Its
important to get stuff like this done before the engine goes in so you know its all
going to work.
I've also taken a blanking plug out of the oil gallery on the block and adapted it to
take this banjo fitting…this is now an external oil pressure feed for………………a
In the States the guys that do these swaps during their lunch break to MK2s
usually run TRD superchargers on the V6, basically they can run at around 5psi
on the stock set up with no need to alter compression ratios or mess with the
The banjo will provide the turbos oil feed and I will need to take the sump off to
drill and weld an oil return fitting too. I think I will use the fitting that’s on our MK1
4a-ge sumps for the oil cooler return line, that should work well, come to think of
it I can use the MK1 oil cooler flexi pipes to feed oil to and from the turbo too.
Here is a MK2 V6 fitted with the TRD Supercharger
Now TRD superchargers for the Camry are £1500 a time, hardly worth it for 5psi
of boost, also I'm not a huge fan of superchargers (excuse the pun!) because
they are driven off the engine which consumes power and aren’t very efficient so
I thought why not run a small turbo off one exhaust bank and create the 5psi that
way? So not only is this going to be the first MK1 V6 this side of the pond but its
going to be a MK1V6 turbo - bring on the men in white coats!
Obviously to create a fully blown V6 turbo I would need to lower the compression
ratio to around 8.5:1,fit stronger con rods, toughen the crank, fit a standalone
ecu, uprate the fuel system and start looking at cam profiles…a lot of money and
a lot of work. With an all out turbo though you get really good power but at the
expense of lag, the one thing I like about Na’s is the instant response so fitting a
small turbo and running at 5 or maybe 7psi will give the best of both worlds. The
turbo will be good for an extra 60bhp without consuming energy from the engine
like a SC does. If I fit larger fuel injectors and retard the timing I might be able to
run 9 or 10psi with a really good intercooler system in the boot. Of course this
whole plan depends on whether or not I can actually find space for a turbo in an
already cramped bay, time will tell.
This is the type of turbocharger I'm hoping to fit, its from a 3.0ltr Supra and I think
adapting the exhaust manifold to fit onto the inlet will be fairly easy, if it proves a
problem I will make a new exhaust manifold from scratch that the turbo can bolt
straight on to. The exhaust outlet on the right of the turbo should be easy to join
back onto the exhaust system. Judging by the angle of the turbo compressor
outlet, this should face rearward which is convenient for taking the boost into the
boot for intercooling before returning it to the engine bay. I think this should work
really well although I will have to make sure boost is restricted to 5psi, from
memory that actuator opens the wastegate at 7psi. I've just found out that the 3vz
has stronger con rods than the 1mz and also has a lower compression ratio at
9.5:1 which is good news for running some low boost. Note in the pic above that
the turbo also has a lambda sensor plumbed into it so I won't need to worry about
that if I have to make an exhaust manifold from scratch (one of the current o2
sensors is in the V6 manifold).
Day 7: 17/05/04
The clutch finally arrived so I needed to check that fitted onto the 3vze flywheel
properly…it did! So once again the interchangeability (is that a word?) of Toyota
parts has proved successful, so for future reference a MK2 turbo clutch fits a
Camry V6 engine of any year….cool eh? I now have drive to the gearbox.
It was time to stop messing around with flywheels and clutches and actually get
“LILY” (LIL 5672) ready for the engine, so I removed the oily 4a-ge in about 2
hours, this engine had oil leaks everywhere!
Now with the bay empty its time to get rid of all of the parts from the bay itself, off
with the battery tray/oil cooler/coil and ignitor pack/map sensor in fact anything
that’s 4a-ge related has to go including the extractor fan above, which should go
Here is the bay minus engine, battery tray and all other clutter, its basically like
starting with a clean sheet of paper. Note I've removed the bootlid for the next
step….these pictures are not for the fainthearted!………out with the rear firewall!
This came out in minutes with a cutting disc on my grinder, the bay looks a hell of
a lot bigger all of a sudden! As previously mentioned the rear wall will be
reconstructed around the engine when its in its final resting place, however I'm
not going to build a solid wall as that will stop me doing maintenance work. It will
basically have an angle iron frame supporting the top edge, sides and base with
a one piece bolt on aluminium checker plate panel that can be removed to get
access to the engine. There will be no loss of strength doing it this way, in fact it
will be a reinforcement over the original as it was just a section of thin wall steel
when I removed it with very little bracing to it at all. To be on the safe side I'm
going to fit a rear strut brace between those two struts if I've got enough space
above the engine, if not a custom engine lid will allow me to do this.
Lily doesn’t seem to mind the open heart surgery, you can just see the
pulmonary aorta hanging out of the front bulkhead! This is the approach that the
V6 will take going in as there's no way it would go in from underneath. The left
radiator pipe will have to be rotated 180 degrees as both coolant inlet and outlet
pipes on the 3vz-fe are on the right. I will move this pipe when I drop the fuel tank
out to fit a larger Supra fuel pump. I will simply cut it somewhere under the tunnel
and use a rubber sleeve with two jubilee clips to rotate it around. The heater
hose pipes above are both facing in the correct direction as both heater pipes on
the 3vz-fe are above the gearbox.
All that’s left in the bay is the fuel lines, gear shift cables, heater and rad pipes,
throttle cable, speedo cable, brake servo pipe and a small amount of harness
that joins everything on the engine up to the fusebox and to the rest of the car
like dashboard instruments. The connector that's used to feed to the MK1 4A-GE
ECU and engine harness is called the N1.This has been left in the boot with the
ECU side of the plug cut off so that I have somewhere to attach the new wiring
Pictured is both sides of the N1 connector, the yellow line shows where I've cut
the harness off and where the new connections will be made. There will also be
charging and starting wires to join at the big grey plug at the base of the
passenger rear strut tower, more on this later, for now I have to concentrate on
physically getting the engine and gearbox into that bay and driveshafts
Day 8: 19/05/04
Next step was to remove the old engine mounts from the chassis rail. Having
done this before on the MK1 turbo I remember it being a pig of a job and it wasn’t
any easier this time around. Nevertheless they needed to come off and with a lot
of grinding, chiseling, drilling and swearing they met with the bin.
During the MK1 turbo swap I had to make new chassis engine mounts and I had
the foresight in making templates out of card that had the perfect shape so that I
could scribe around them on some flat steel plate and cut them out. These
templates are now used by all new MK1 turbo builders around the world and are
stored in PDF format here on Bill Strong's site for anyone wishing to download
them. They are stored in pdf so that their size doesn’t alter during printing which
has been a problem in the past sending via email.
templates will be used to create my V6 mounts too as I'm using the same
gearbox. So using the original templates from the turbo swap I arranged them all
on a sheet of 4mm thick mild steel in a manner that allowed as few cuts as
possible, I went through 6 cutting discs to get the mounts cut out, I really must
buy a plasma cutter…that reminds me, I really must win the lottery.
Above is a pic of the mount plates marked out for cutting.
A:Front torque mount sides, two need to be cut out
B:Top bracing plate for the O/S chassis mount
C:O/S mount frontmost plate
D:N/S mount rearmost plate
E:O/S mount rearmost plate
F:N/S mount frontmost plate
After a lot of hard work the mount plates were removed, cleaned up their edges
with a grinding disc and trimmed them here and there to suit my cars chassis
rails. Cutting these mounts out is a horrible job and it would be a lot easier to
take the templates to a local machine shop and ask them to do it for you,
probably only cost a few quid for them to do it too. Still its all about job
satisfaction and accomplishment I suppose.
The engine mount holes wont be drilled into these plates until im happy with the
final engine position. Last time I used 5mm plate, this time its 4mm which is fine
but I wouldn’t use anything thinner than 4mm even though the original mounts
are approx 2.5mm thick…strength is the name of the game when you’re
fabricating engine mounts from scratch.
So Lily is more or less ready for the V6 to go in, I just need to source a MK2
turbo gearbox and lift the whole lot over the back panel from behind and lower it
all into the bay, that’s when I expect the fun to really start! In preparation I've
removed the rear bumper so that my engine hoist will move closer to the bay, I'm
still not sure if it will lift that big V6 plus gearbox high enough to clear the rear
panel, I may have to take the rear wheels off and let the car sit on its brake discs
during the initial fitting. What if it won't actually fit? I'm going to look a right idiot!
Ah well it will be good entertainment value if nothing else.
DAY 9: 7/06/04
Driveshafts are a major part of getting any big engine swap to work, you have to
get a shaft that will fit the gearbox end but also fit into the MK1 hub spline. Now
I've been down this road before with the MK1 turbo so I know a MK1
supercharger outer CV joint fits onto a MK2 turbo driveshaft, this is all that’s
needed to make it fit both gearbox and hub. However the supply of MK1 SC
outer CV joints in the UK is just about nil and they are a fortune to buy from
Toyota as they are only available as a complete driveshaft. There is a solution
though, it turns out a Celica Gt4 st165/185 front driveshaft has the same outer
CV joint as a MK1 SC (that should prove useful to a SC owner needing a new
joint). A few months ago I bought two such st165 driveshafts off ebay for £5
each…for nothing! I removed the outer CV’s from them and slotted them onto my
MK2 turbo shafts.
Here are the two turbo shafts on the left with ST165 outer CV’s fitted and on the
right two Camry driveshafts for length comparison. The ST165 shaft is
somewhere between these two. This MK2 turbo/st165 CV combo shaft is
identical to a MK1SC short shaft. So if you do either the turbo or V6 swap to a
supercharger model you are one step ahead.
Also I received a Supra turbo fuel pump this week so I decided to get this nasty
job out of the way before any of the engine swap began. The AW11 pump just
won't supply enough fuel to a 3.0ltr V6 and seeing as I'm applying light boost I
thought what better pump to use than the Supra turbo, that already supplies a
3.0ltr 6 cylinder turbocharged engine with enough fuel so I know its going to work
perfectly without having to work out flow rates and pressures etc. The Supra
pump is identical to a MK1, only it supplies more pressure to the fuel rail. Nearly
all of Toyotas fuel pumps interchange like this from the Celica/Supra/MK2
MR2/Corolla and many more.
Time to drop the tank, poor picture but basically all of the plastic undertrays are
removed, then all of the handbrake linkages. The breather pipes and filler/return
pipes are disconnected in the engine bay and two straps hold the tank in situ.
When these are removed the tank is free to come down and only has the
electrical connectors on top of it for the fuel pump and gauge to disconnect.
Here is the tank removed ready for the pump swap, it’s the fitting on the left with
the blue shrouded wires that needs to be undone. 8mm bolts hold the pump
carrier onto the tank and it then lifts out.
Above you can see the AW11 pump is identical in size to the Supra and it’s a
straight swap into the AW11 carrier. The whole tank removal procedure is now
reversed and that’s that out of the way, not a nice job but it has to be done! This
car is now supplying more fuel pressure to the engine bay than my MK1 turbo is,
this is also a common mod done by MK2 turbo owners wanting more power as
Supra turbo pumps are cheap and easy to come by.
Day 10 : 23/6/04
Perhaps the hardest part to find for this swap has been the gearbox, I've
searched everywhere for one at a sensible price but I've finally located one
equipped with an LSD so that should help with all of that V6 torque. Problem is it
had a destroyed 5th gear but I managed to buy two damaged gearboxes to build
one good one. Thanks at this point should go to Michael Wright (Mike McFly as
he is known to his friends) who went out of his way to help, cheers mate.
So with the gearbox repaired it was time to offer it up to the V6 block and see
what sort of fit it was going to be. It’s a bit of a grey area fitting a MK2 turbo
gearbox to a Toyota V6, the later 1mz engines don’t line up with all of the
gearbox holes on an earlier E153 transmission, but I was told that post '93 LSD
gearboxes lined up with every hole, but this was on the later 1mz engine, so
there were no guarantees that my '93 LSD box was going to mate up with the
earlier 3vz-fe engine - nervous moments!
Heres the ‘93 E153 LSD gearbox fitted to the 3vz-fe V6.
The swap gods are looking down on me! luckily every single bolt hole on the '93
LSD gearbox lined up with a respective hole on the 3vz block, overjoyed! There
will be a little altering to do though, I've noticed on the two rearmost holes that,
although they line up, there are threads in the holes on the block AND in the
gearbox, so I'm going to have to drill out the threads in the block so that I can
enter a bolt from behind and into the gearbox, no great hardship to do, I'm just
happy the bolt holes all line up!
These two holes (yellow) will need the threads removing from the block so that
the bolts pass through to the gearbox. Also I've had to remove the electronic
speedo (red) as this won't work on a MK1 and I will need to insert the mechanical
speedo in here instead.
With this done it was time to check driveshaft fitment into the right side - this is
the side that has the supported output shaft that bolts to the engine block and
carries the shaft in a bearing. There was an excess engine mount on this bracket
which isn’t used on the MR2 so I hacksawed that off. It would probably foul on
my MK1 rear crossmember and it’s a bit of weight saving too.
On the left the V6 auto supported output shaft, on the right I've cut the engine
The next big dilemma concerning this shaft is its location. Now I've used the V6
3vz-fe auto shaft that was in the Camry as I've been told it will work and indeed it
slotted into the gearbox without any problems, once again an instance of Toyota
parts interchanging. The problem lies however in that the bracket holding the
shaft onto the block sits slightly further away from the gearbox than it would do if
it were a 3s-gte engine. It has been mentioned before that this difference is as
much as 10mm on some 1mz-fe swaps with certain Toyota shafts but its still a
little unclear exactly which supported output shaft sits further or closer to the
gearbox, certainly no one has yet to find a Toyota shaft that bolts up to the block
and is perfectly located into the gearbox be it LSD or non. Using the 3vz-fe auto
shaft I found that the shaft was sitting 3mm too far to the right when bolted up to
the block, meaning the shaft itself should be sitting 3mm further into the
differential than it was. Obviously its important to get the shaft fully located to
minimize the chance of it ever popping out, that’s the last thing I want. So other
MR6 swappers have found that if you remove the bearing on the shaft and then
machine the shaft so that the bearing sits 3mm more to the right this will make
the shaft locate fully into the diff. Also a new groove needs to be machined into
the shaft for the bearing retainer clip to slot into. I did this machine work myself in
10 mins with a grinder and it will all still be central as the majority of the bearing
is still located on the original part of the shaft, just my newly ground off 3mm that
won't be. Quite hard to explain but if you ever attempt the swap you will see what
I mean. The best way I can illustrate is in the diagram below.
The red line shows where the bearing retaining clip currently sits to stop the
bearing moving on the shaft. The yellow area shows the part of the shaft that I
machined flat so that the bearing could be moved 3mm to the right. The blue line
shows where I've machined a new groove into the shaft for the retaining clip to
sit, now you can either do this or have a 3mm spacer ring made up that sits
between the bearing and the original clip position. In doing this mod the whole
shaft will now move 3mm closer to the gearbox when its bolted to the block.
Alternatively you could elongate the four holes on the carrier bracket to make it
bolt up 3mm nearer the gearbox.
Here is the output shaft bolted to the block and fully inserted into the LSD. Note
I've got some tidying up to do on that carrier bracket.
So this is the complete engine/transmission combo that’s going to fit into Lily, it
doesn’t look half as big now with the turbo gearbox on it compared to when I first
removed it from the Camry with that massive auto box on it. I've taken some
quick width measurements and the approx distance between the chassis rails in
the engine bay is 3ft 1”. My V6 engine/box is approx 3ft ¼” ! So this means it will
fit.... just!!! But I will probably have to take the engine out to do the simplest of
tasks like changing the timing belt or replacing the water pump!... I must be mad.
The engine is now ready to be lifted over the back of Lily and into the engine bay,
so the next time you see this engine it will be sitting in a MK1 - exciting stuff!
Day 11: 12/7/04
Well it was time to stop beating around the bush and actually see if this thing was
going to fit into a MK1….the moment of truth has finally arrived, for me getting an
engine to run and plumbing it up is child's play but if it won't actually fit into the
space provided there's not a lot I can do about that!
The day started with taking the rear wheels off Lily to get her as low to the
ground as possible so that I didn’t have to lift the engine and box as high and
minimize the chance of damaging something.
With the car ready it was then time to put a strong chain onto the V6 and bring it
up behind the car on the engine hoist.
Its at this point I thought no this engine is just too big, there's no way its going to
physically fit in there, but no point in turning back so I gingerly lifted the engine up
until it was above the rear boot panel.
Its at times like these when the initial idea of fitting a V6 to a MK1 doesn’t seem
like the best way to pursue a hobby! I had visions of that chain somehow
breaking, impossible I know, and the whole lot coming down and writing off Lily
and the engine in one go.
With the engine hoist needing to sit under the car I had to jack the back end up a
few inches to let the legs of the hoist go under, this in turn meant the engine had
to go up a few inches more. Pretty dramatic pictures and you can see I've hit the
first problem. When I took engine bay measurements I measured from chassis
rail to chassis rail and didn’t give a second thought about the strut tops, which do
of course lean in slightly at the top. In the pic above you can see the crank pulley
just won't go past the right hand strut top mount! The gearbox to strut clearance
on the other side is just as tight and I really began to panic!
I had to swivel the engine slightly sideways so that it went in at an angle and this
enabled it to squeeze past the strut tops. At the same time the engine was
beginning its descent into the bay and the next hurdle was to get the whole lot
over the rear crossmember.
In these pics you can see the angle it has to enter at, I really couldn’t believe it
was slowly going into a MK1 bay.
You can see how tight things are this side, its touching the strut tower and
skimming over the rear crossmember, very, very tight.
With the engine and gearbox dropping over the crossmember lip the whole thing
could be straightened up again and centralized. Note the rear exhaust bank
lambda sensor and how close it is to the chassis crossmember, more on that in a
With the engine twisted slightly there was just enough space for the crank pulley
to slip past the right chassis rail.
AND ITS IN!!! Another little piece of MK1 history is made as this is the first MK1
in Europe to see a V6 in its engine bay. I was running about like an idiot and
getting far too over excited but I just couldn’t believe after the months of research
and work that a Camry V6 engine was actually sitting in the engine bay of a MK1
What a sight! A few months ago I joked about pasting a pic of a V6 into the
bay…this one definitely isn’t photoshopped!!
Not only was the engine in but I was astounded at the fit, it looks totally at home
in there and as if its never been in another vehicle. The engine is sitting on a flat
movable trolley (the same one used in the turbo swap) so that I can move the
engine around in the bay to get its location right. There was a slight fitment issue
concerning the rear lambda sensor, although it cleared the chassis it sits
dangerously close to it and I imagine any rocking of the engine under torque
being enough to finish it off, so I had to cut out a notch from the chassis rail
which will be welded up solid.
Here you can see the section I've removed and I've also taken the lambda
sensor off for the time being just in case I catch it by accident. This is the only
modification I've had to do to the surrounding engine bay chassis rails to allow
clearance…I can live with that!
The next thing to do was shut the engine lid and see what sort of clearance
issues there are, it closed fully with a good ½ inch between engine lid and
manifold so success there.
Here you can see how little of the engine actually impedes into the boot, actually
none of the engine itself does, just the inlet manifold uses about 1 ½ inches of
boot space. This is great as I was worried that I was going to lose a good section
of the boot. The rear firewall will be reconstructed around the engine as a
removable panel in case I need access to the rear spark plugs or other engine
work including having to take it back out if need be.
From the drivers side, sump to ground clearance is actually better than on the
MK1 turbo and looks about the same as a 4AGE…note the crankshaft pulley bolt
almost sits in the notch in the chassis that’s meant for the 4AGE pulley bolt.
In the next pic you can see that the output shaft runs parallel with the rear
crossmember, this pic was taken low down so it gives the impression that the
engine is sitting too low but in reality the output shafts top edge is level with the
chassis. This is the same guide I used to get the 3SGTE situated in the MK1
So today was an unbelievable success and now that the engine is in the next
step is to get driveshafts to fit properly, that will ultimately decide the engine's
left/right location and following that I can tack weld the engine mounts in place
and hang the full weight of the engine on them. Then the engine will be dropped
down to the floor as far as it will go to allow me to weld the mounts up solid and
paint them mica blue. Once I've welded the left side gearbox mount in place I
don’t think the engine and gearbox will come back out the way it went in so if it
ever has to come back out the gearbox will have to be unbolted from the engine
and come out the conventional way from underneath and then the engine could
come out via the top…owning a V6 MK1 is going to be an experience when it
comes to maintenance!
Day 12: 15/7/04
Driveshafts are never easy to figure out when it comes to fitting a different engine
and gearbox to a project car, and although I have in fact fitted a MK2 turbo
gearbox to a MK1 before, the fact that I'm using the V6 Camry automatic
supported output shaft instead of the MK2 turbo output shaft did throw up a
problem. As described a few pages up I had to move the carrier bearing on the
V6 shaft so that it bolted to the 3vz-fe block in the correct place and also slotted
fully home into the LSD. Now I had been told by some US swappers that the V6
auto output shaft is the same length as a MK2 turbo shaft but when I tried to bolt
the MK2 turbo driveshafts up there was far too much endfloat on the shafts…ie
they had too much space to move around (about 16mm each side) and would
probably have popped out with suspension travel. So knowing that there was
5mm of endfloat on each of the MK1 turbo shafts I knew something wasn’t right.
A quick measurement of the supported output shaft on the MK1 turbo confirmed
that the V6 auto shaft was in fact 33mm shorter than its turbo version! This was
no good at all and I was panicking that I'd have to have a custom set of
driveshafts made up. However I suddenly remembered that the Gt4 st165 front
driveshafts that I'd bought for their outer CV joints were longer than turbo shafts
so I quickly measured them. Very luckily for me each Gt4 shaft is exactly 15mm
longer than a MK2 turbo shaft which means all I had to do was fit the CV joints
back onto the Gt4 shafts and the extra 15mm each side would negate the 33mm
shortfall in total driveshaft length…now that is lucky! Its hard to fully explain this
in detail so I've drawn a quick sketch below
You can see from the above that both of these supported output shaft and axle
set ups make the overall width of the drivetrain the same (give or take 3mm), its
only when you try to use the V6 auto shaft with the MK2 turbo axles that the
overall length is 33mm shorter which could have lead to a shaft popping out. All
depends what parts you get for your swap but both of the above work well.
Above is the drivers side Gt4 shaft in situ, the driveshaft is at its shortest length
when the suspension is uncompressed and the shafts extend longer as the
suspension rises…so as long as there’s acceptable endfloat on both sides on full
suspension extension then it will work fine when fully compressed. So with the
driveshafts now in place the exact engine and gearbox left/right location could be
finalized. This is done in exactly the same way it was on the MK1 turbo swap.
Basically each outer driveshaft nut is unscrewed until its flush with the end of its
shaft…then the nut is pushed hard as far in as it will go until the inner CV joint
bottoms out and will go no further, then the distance the nut has traveled is
measured. When you do this on both sides it will show whether the gearbox
needs to go left or right to get the transmission central. Slight levering of the
whole engine/gearbox and constant checking of the driveshaft endfloat on both
sides soon sees it in the correct place. It took me about an hour to make sure this
was right as its pretty much the most important part of any engine swap. The
engine and gearbox are then chocked in place so it cant move ready for its new
engine mountings to be fabricated to hold it in that location. With the end of the
day looming I turned my attention to the starter motor. Due to the fact that I've
used an odd flywheel I didn’t know if the ring gear on it was going to lie in the
correct offset to engage the starter motor properly so I made sure I measured its
position from the face of the block. The back edge of the ring gear was 12mm
from the block face and when I attached the starter motor and threw its drivecog
out to full extension I found that it was overshooting the ring gear by 6mm, that
means half of the ring gear wasn’t being driven by the starter….not good.
So you can see above that I had to insert a 6mm aluminium spacer ring between
starter and gearbox so that the starter drive cog throws perfectly onto the
flywheel ring gear, without this spacer it would overshoot the ring gear with
maybe only 3mm of the starter cog meshing with the gear. I don’t believe this is
an issue at all if you manage to source a 1mz-fe manual flywheel and the starter
should engage perfectly with that flywheel with no spacer.
Day 13: 20/7/04
So with the engine in and located it was time to make some engine mounts to
hang it from. I'd cut the templates out for these mounts weeks ago and they were
dummy fitted onto the gearbox mount first of all (the drivers side mount hasn’t
been made to fit the engine yet and this will be done when the gearbox side is
located first). Both plates for the mount are tacked lightly in situ around the
gearbox mount and the hole position marked onto them. The plates are then
broken off the chassis (very light weld) and the holes are drilled 10mm higher up
the plate than marked. This 10mm allows for the rubber sagging with the full
weight of the engine on it. Once drilled the mounts are offered back into place but
with the gearbox bolt secured onto them. A final check that the driveshaft
endfloat hasn’t changed and I'm ready to weld the mounts up solid.
After welding they are treated to a coat of primer to help stop rusting…welding
accelerates rust something shocking! These welded areas will be finished off with
seam sealer on the welds and a few good coats of mica blue. There will be a top
plate to add to this mount to bridge the two plates together for strength, these are
over engineered compared to the original MK1/V6 Camry mounts.
With the engine still supported it was time to make my MK2 turbo drivers side
mount fit the engine, then it can be made to fit the chassis. The mount couldn’t
be bolted directly to the cast bracket on the block so I had to work out a way of
adapting it to fit, the mount had two pieces of angle iron attached to it so that the
mount can be unbolted easily from the engine.
Here you can see the bottom angle piece is bolted to the mount, the heads on
the bolts are in the gap between the two angle iron sections. The top angle is
then marked up and drilled to bolt onto the engine bracket. When this bracket
has been proven to fit properly its removed from the engine and welded onto the
section that’s attached to the mount to create the mount you see above.
As a matter of interest I managed to get a hold of a complete set of TRD mounts
for this swap, they should be good for whatever the V6 can throw at them.
Here you can see the mount from another angle that better explains it, the two
holes on the longer angle section allow the whole mount to bolt onto the engine
bracket and the smaller angle section that the mount is bolted to is welded to
that. The mount needs tidying up but otherwise very strong and well up to the
Above shows the mount bolted to the engine, now I can start making the chassis
plates that will attach the mount to the car.
Again two plates are placed each side of the mount and the hole location scribed
onto them, the plates are then removed and once again drilled 10mm higher up
than marked to allow for rubber sag.
The plates are then solidly welded onto the chassis and I've taken care to make
sure that the mount will actually remove and come up past the chassis mount
bracket if I ever need to take it off for timing belt changes etc. On this side too a
top plate will be added to strengthen the mount up.
One part of the swap that’s hit a barrier was my plan to run a small turbo on this
engine and run some light boost. Now that I've got the engine in the bay I've got
practically no room at all for all of the turbo manifold, the turbo itself and not to
mention the intercooler piping and intercooler as well. For now I will have to put
this idea on hold and complete the V6 swap as it is. I can always add the turbo at
a later date although I do think I will have to sacrifice the boot to do so. Its more
of a priority at the minute to get the engine running with no issues before
applying boost, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow,… but soon!
Once I had seam welded both chassis mounts up I removed the jack and trolley
from underneath, the engine and gearbox is now connected up to the hubs and
the full weight of it is hanging on its new mounts! There's still the front and rear
torque mounts to make and a long way to go but by far the majority of the
structural and alignment work has been done. Note if you do this swap on a MK2
there's no engine mounts or torque mounts to make on the gearbox side, it all
bolts straight up…only the engine mount needs fabricating on a MK2 and all of
the MK2 turbo shafts will fit without worrying about left/right location, although
you will have to fit turbo hubs if doing this to an NA model. Also on a MK2 there
are issues with both exhaust manifolds fouling the front and rear firewalls and
custom manifolds need making, not so on a MK1 it seems, although in fairness I
have totally removed the rear wall!
Day 13 of the swap ended with a trial fit of Air flow meter location, I've had to
shorten the rubber intake piping and fit a 45 degree aluminium elbow to allow it
all to fit into the MK1 bay, there's still an induction filter to fit onto the AFM too.
Also I've started to plan the rear strut brace that must be fitted with this swap to
improve rigidity between the strut tops, damn that engine looks sweet in a MK1,I
Day 14: 01/09/04
The following weeks since the last update have been spent strengthening the
chassis engine mounts up with top plates and side plates to make them as strong
as possible plus I've been on holiday for a much needed break. So on my return
it was time to make the rear torque mount. This mount is a combination of MK1
engine mount bracket and MK2 turbo rubber mounting block.
I've actually used the front torque mount from a MK2 turbo to make this rear
mount as it has nice strong plates attached to it and fits better. I've cut the rear
chassis mount section off the old MK1 mount (arrowed) and welded that onto the
top of the MK2 mount as you can see above. This is attached to the rear chassis
crossmember and a bracket now needs fabricating to bolt onto the gearbox and
onto this mount, once again the key is strength in everything that’s done.
The bracket I'm using for the gearbox is actually a MK1 front torque mount
gearbox bracket, its holes almost line up perfectly with the gearbox holes, I had
to do a little reaming out here. This bracket is then bolted on and then various
pieces of bracket welded onto this to catch the surrounding holes on the gearbox.
Here you can see the side brackets catching two holes on the gearbox, I'm sure
its not needed but the more strength the better. Everything at this stage is just
tack welded to make sure its in the correct position.
Now the whole mount is fitted to make sure it all lines up properly, I have of
course dummy fitted it as I went along but its common sense to check it before
seam welding the mount up.
This is the whole mount fitted to the car, you can see the bracket I've added this
side to catch another gearbox hole. This mount is very compact and very strong
to deal with all of the engine flex which I'm presuming will be quite a bit given the
V6’s reputation for producing huge amounts of torque.
There’s another two holes on the side of the gearbox that I could have used with
more brackets, I don’t think its needed though.
Having spent a full day just cutting up engine mounts and welding I turned my
attention to the engine bay, the front engine torque mount will have to wait for
another day. I finalized location of the coolant expansion bottle, I managed to
squeeze it in between the engine and drivers inner wing. It’s the expansion bottle
from the Camry that I've used but the MK1 bottle will do if you can find a place for
In the picture above you can see it fits rather nicely and a short run of piping
connects it to the pressure cap. I've also connected the brake servo vacuum line.
You can also see I've connected the top radiator hose as well, this was originally
a section of MK1 hose that happened to fit well. Its important to keep as many
bits of hose/clips/brackets/bolts and wiring as possible from your old engine, its
amazing how much of it you can use again.
I also fitted the air flow meter and induction filter, I've made two brackets that
hold the AFM in place. Also attached is the throttle cable, no modification at all
with this, it just went straight on. The rubber air intake tubing that joins the AFM
to the throttle body had to be significantly cut down to reduce its length and I've
added a 45 degree aluminium elbow between this and the AFM to make it all fit
into the MK1 bay, I will have this elbow TIG welded onto the AFM to make a neat
job of it. Today also saw the engine wiring harness being fitted to the engine,
although not wired up to anything it was good to get it fitted and all of the
ancillary components were fitted to the engine bay walls such as coilpack, ignitor
and various resistors. If it was attached to the Camry engine bay and part of the
engine harness, it needs to go into the MK1 bay. I've also fitted two very thick
earth straps to the engine, one is bolted onto the gearbox and onto the
passenger side chassis, the other is bolted to the engine block and onto the
drivers side chassis. There are also a few smaller earth cables running from the
heads in case something has trouble finding an earth. This is very important, if
you don’t supply adequate earthing for the engine (its all rubber mounted
remember) then the component that’s getting a power supply, say starter motor
for instance, will use whatever it can for an earth even if it’s a poor earth. Cases
of throttle cables melting on poorly earthed engines are common.
I also fitted the exhaust downpipes onto the engine and you can see that the exit
pipe sticks out far to much under the boot floor leaving no room for a silencer to
be added. So I removed this section as far back as the flexi join just after the
sump. Its just as well I did remove it as you can see the restriction in that last bit
of pipe, it goes from 2¼” round to 1” oval and its very flat indeed and not what a
V6 should be breathing through at all.
This is the exhaust cut at the flexi, this is where the rest of the system will be
joined onto. I still haven’t decided on the final exhaust design, it will definitely
have a single silencer under the boot floor but I'm not sure if its going to be a
single or twin exit system. In the future I'm going to redesign the whole system
including the manifolds as I think they are a bit restrictive for a 3.0ltr V6, theres
definitely room for improvement here bhp wise.
Today also saw the engine lid joined onto the boot lid, its been attached with a
variety of brackets and support bars, this needs more work to strengthen it all up
so that it behaves like one panel but the basic idea is there. I've added a tailgate
gas ram from a Citroen (is that swearing?) to assist the engine lid rising and
falling. Grey primer on all of the welded areas is giving some protection until the
car goes into paint (cellulose primer is porous and won't protect against rust for
very long so I will have to paint as soon as I can)
You can see I've fabricated a bracket that bolts onto the engine lid hinge. The
gas ram then attaches to this and a similar bracket was welded onto the lower
strut tower. It works extremely well, all I need to do is eliminate a bit more flex
from the joined panels to make it perfect. To recap, the reason I've joined the
boot lid and engine lid this way was because I've lost the engine lid catch in
removing the rear firewall. This whole panel now locks onto the boot lid catch,
just means everyone gets to look at the engine when I'm loading my shopping
into the boot at Tesco!
Above you can see the new induction filter, I got this from a supplier in the USA
who was able to send me the filter and its adapter to fit onto a camry AFM for
£15! It cost £15 for the postage and arrived in 3 days - a total of £30, these filters
cost double that from any UK supplier, America is really good for aftermarket
The day ended with Lily lowered onto the ground for the first time with temporary
wheels on it and the full weight of the new engine and gearbox on the
suspension. Anyone care to explain to me exactly why the ride height hasn’t
altered at all?? Surely a rear bumper cant weigh that much??? It’s a head
scratcher that’s for sure, I was expecting it to sit with the wheels tucked under the
arches, until I got my sports suspension added, with all of the extra V6 weight,
but it hasn’t dropped at all! I've bounced up and down on the suspension all day
thinking it wasn’t sitting right but this is as low as it wants to go - very odd,
perhaps it doesn’t weigh as much as I thought it was going to? Who knows? Its
certainly good news so I'm not going to complain. I'm still going to uprate the
springs and shocks anyway just to be on the safe side.
As a point of interest I've just read that Toyota are going to produce a lightweight
sports mid engined V6 in the next two years, looks like I'm going to beat them to
it! It would certainly be funny if they did use the Camry V6 unit to power their new
Day 15: 9/09/04:-
So with most of the ancillaries connected up I fitted the clutch slave cylinder and
gear change cables. The clutch slave is a pretty easy part to fit, I used the flexi
from the MK2 it came from and this is fitted onto an extended bracket on the front
firewall where it attaches to the solid line (the MK1 flexi has two female ends
whereas the MK2 has a male and a female).
In this pic you can see the clutch flexi bracket just needs extending out to house
the flexi line, it would have stretched onto the original bracket but would be under
tension which isn’t good. Below that is the MK1 part of the front torque mount,
this has two plates added to either side of it and extends upwards onto the
mounting block, more on that when I get round to doing it.
The clutch is very hard to bleed and thanks go to Michael at the garage for 30
minutes of non stop clutch pumping, he now has a left leg like Arnold
Schwartznegger, but eventually all of the air gets bled out and the clutch works
fine which is a relief given the amount of flywheel concerns I've had. The
gearchange cables seem to have a mind of their own on a MK1, on my early B
plate the cables went straight onto the MK2 turbo gearbox with no mods and
However when I connected up the cables on this late spec to the MK2 turbo
gearbox the left hand cable (at the stick end) controlling movement across the
gate wasn’t allowing full movement to the left,so 1st and 2nd were nigh on
impossible to select. It seems there must be length differences between early
spec and late spec cables. The solution was to cut the cable at the stick where it
goes into a solid bar and extend it by 15mm using hollow tube welded in - the
gears now select perfectly.
The arrow shows the extension piece welded in to allow the gears more
movement across the gate between 1st and 5th.
Where the cables run into the engine bay they seem to sit pretty close to my front
exhaust manifold, in fact one of them is touching it so I'm going to have to make
a thick alloy heat shield for this to stop it melting. I also filled the gearbox with oil
and it was then I hit my first V6 teething problem! I was losing lots of oil via the
driveshaft oil seal on the supported output shaft side, luckily I had a spare seal
from my gearbox parts bin and 30 minutes later it was fixed. The old seal had a
small split in its edge, good job it made itself known now rather than lose oil when
With that done I decided to make my exhaust system, the manifolds and
downpipes are already in place but I was undecided about what system or design
to install. In the end I've gone for a more conventional system, in fact the rear
silencer I'm using is a Magnex box from a MK1 - it has the same 2” diameter pipe
running into it which is the same bore as my V6 downpipes, I figure if I keep the
size the same throughout I can't go far wrong.
Certainly the stock Camry exhaust system was so big and bulky, not to mention
restrictive, that anything I design and fit will be much better than it was on the
Camry in terms of performance and sound. The beauty of using the Magnex is
that it already hangs perfectly on my rear exhaust mountings and its inlet pipe is
sweeping round towards my V6 downpipe so all I needed was a 90 degree bend
to mate the two together. One concern I had though was the two skinny rear exit
tailpipes, they might do the job on a 4AGE powered car but they look far too
small for a 3.0ltr to vent through (maybe designed like this for back pressure
reasons?) so I had a nice 3” 5zigen tail pipe handy to replace them with. I cut the
exit end of the silencer away and removed the tail pipes only to find that the last
3 inches of silencer is in fact an empty cavity that the gas collects in before
finding its way into the twin tails. I modified this so that my 3” exit pipe was
feeding straight from the pipe running through the silencer with only a little
escaping into the “end chamber”.
The above shows where I cut the silencer twin tail pipes off and welded on the
5zigen tail, this will breathe better than it did.
Exhaust system design and fitting is very much experimental with engine swaps,
I may find its useless, or too loud, or I may just have got it spot on, I will only
know when the projects completed. For now it certainly looks the part if nothing
The section between the red lines shows what I've added to join the Magnex to
the V6 downpipes, I've welded in an unboltable flange so that the rear of the
system can be removed without disturbing the downpipes. It also has a
fabricated hanger bracket just after the bolted flange to hang from the original
exhaust mount on the rear crossmember.
So far this tail pipe is the only hint from the outside that something more sinister
lies within! Unlike the MK1 turbo, which screams fast just by looking at it, the plan
here is to keep things looking as stock as possible on the outside - a real street
sleeper. Note the “twin cam 16” sticker on the left tail light will be changed to
“quad cam 24” as a final touch.
I've also started to refit the rear firewall around the engine, this must be an
unboltable panel so that I can get access to the engine.
Above you can see I've started to use aluminium angle so that the whole wall can
be unbolted. I've still got a useable boot though which is a bonus, on the turbo a
lot of it was lost to intercooler piping and the intercooler itself. I like having a boot
to at least get a tent in for JAE! Oh, and beer!
The day ended with me making brackets to hold the Camry ECU onto the firewall
and I've modified the engine loom to come through a rubber grommet just to the
left of the ECU.
Day 16: 15/09/04:With the exhaust fitted it was all tack welded in place, so this needed removing
for seam welding before its final fitting, I thought this a good chance to take a pic
of the exhaust on the ground to show potential MK1 V6 builders what it should
look like (there are now two more MK1 V6’s in the planning stage in the UK).
This is the entire system seam welded, ok it needs cleaning up and some heat
resistant paint to smarten it up but it’s a quality job, I wonder what it will sound
like? Those down pipes will be redesigned next year, see how the rear bank
feeds back onto the exhaust gas flow? Although I really do think redesigning the
exhaust will give me a great opportunity to squeeze that turbocharger in
somewhere. I've noticed sometimes Toyota do strange things in their designs but
then again the car it was in was never intended for sporty performance, indeed
the “f” in 3vz-fe denotes an economy tuned engine whereas “g” denotes a sports
tuned engine 3s-ge, 3s-gte, 4a-ge etc. so I don’t think they were interested in 060 times and perfect exhaust flow design with “f” series engines.
Structurally all I had left to do on the engine was build the front torque mount, the
MK1 floor section of the mount is used and the MK2 turbo mount on the gearbox
is joined onto this using 4mm thick steel plates on the sides.
Above is the front mount seam welded, bolt A onto the floor, bolt B onto the
gearbox, tack weld plates C onto them both and remove for final welding - not
exactly rocket science but it works. Good quality welds are essential and maybe
a few bracing plates joining plates C to each other for a bit more strength.
The engine is now in and everything is connected up, theres only the electrical
stuff to do - ”only” he says! Perhaps the hardest part is going to be the wiring,
even if and when it starts there will be error codes on the ECU to eliminate, such
as auto gearbox shift solenoids not being present, the wires that used to go to
the auto box will need fooling with resistors into thinking the auto transmission is
still there. The big problem with this swap is not in fitting the engine but in making
it think its still in a Camry!
Far too clever for its own good, I can't seem to remember my old MG Metro
powered Mini refusing to start because its points and condenser weren’t happy in
a mini bay??? That’s Toyota for you.
This is the V6 end of the engine harness,anyone know where these go???
Theres maybe 60 wires coming off that loom and only 20 or so on the MK1 to join
onto these at the N1 connector.
The following day to be updated will contain nothing but wiring diagrams and
ECU pinouts, all very dull and boring reading but essential information for anyone
else following. Then pretty much everything will be done, a matter of making a
new battery tray in the front compartment, routing some heavy duty battery cable
down the tunnel and onto the starter motor terminal (this is where the charging
circuit and fusebox feeds also join together), then I will be turning the ignition key
for the first time!
I'm also going to try to add a link to a soundfile of the engine being started and
that mighty V6 roar coming from the bay of a MK1!
Day 17: 27/9/04:3vz-fe engine wiring:-
THE INFORMATION I AM ABOUT TO GIVE IS CORRECT FOR MY
PROJECT (SPECIFIC TO AN ’88 MK1 AND A 3VZ-FE AUTO ’93
CAMRY) AND INDEED EVERY WIRE DESCRIBED HAS BEEN
CHECKED AND DOUBLE CHECKED. THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN
TO GIVE AS MUCH HELP AS POSSIBLE TO OTHERS ATTEMPTING
A V6 CONVERSION BUT WIRING IS VERY MUCH MODEL SPECIFIC
AND I CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY WIRING
FAULTS THAT MAY OCCUR ON YOUR VEHICLE. EVEN IF YOU
ARE DOING THIS TO THE SAME YEAR VEHICLES PLEASE STUDY
YOUR OWN WIRING THOROUGHLY. HAVING SAID THAT PLEASE
GET IN TOUCH IF YOU ARE UNSURE ABOUT YOUR WIRING AND I
WILL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HELP.
Right, now that I can't be sued to death I will try to make the wiring simple but yet
detailed at the same time for others as I know this area frightens a lot of people
away from attempting an engine conversion. As long as you study both diagrams
from the Camry and MK1 so you know exactly what each wire does and where it
goes to you can't go far wrong. Having said that its vital that every wire is double
checked before a battery is connected up, last thing you want is to fry a perfectly
good engine harness or the ECU. In general Toyota tend to keep wiring colours
fairly similar, on the MK1 for instance the starter motor energizer wire is black
with a white stripe, on the Camry its black with a red stripe. Many of the wires are
identical though which helps enormously, you still have to check them all though.
It almost goes without saying that no wiring should be attempted with the battery
I check wiring by using a mulitmeter set on continuity, one probe goes onto the
ecu pin that the diagram says is for a specific component eg coolant temp sensor
and the other probe goes on the end of the wire at the sensor. You can use this
method to work out where wires go to that aren’t on the diagrams as it’s a
nightmare trying to trace a wire that disappears into a loom and re-emerges
somewhere else. Given plenty of time, and a sticky label on each wire it shouldn’t
prove too difficult. I already know what each wire on the MK1 N1 connector is for
having studied it before.
Combination Meter: Check Engine Light
Combination Meter: Oil Light
Stop Light Switch (w/o spoiler)
Injector Relay - Pin 4
Combination Meter: Water Temp Gauge
EFI Main Relay - Pin 4
Engine Fuse - 10 amp
Combination Meter: Speed Sensor
Cooling Fan Warning Light
Engine Main Relay - Pin 4
AM2 Fuse - 7.5 amp
Combination Meter: Tachometer
Charge Fuse - 5 amp
Fuel Pump - Pin 1
Stop Light switch
Cooling Fan Relay
Above is the N1 connector circled in the boot as it is on a MK1, the left side of the
connector goes to the cars chassis, the right hand is the engine harness (4a-ge),
so if we cut the old harness at the yellow line all of the new engine harness
connections can be made here so we still have an unplugable engine harness.
The four wires on the M2 connector.
And this is the M2 connector found at the base of the passenger rear strut tower
in the engine bay. Its grey and has four wires on the right hand plug, the left plug
is redundant. A thick black and a thick white - these are power feeds for the
fusebox and power for the rest of the cars power needs. These two wires are
joined to the thick black wires and white wires on the Camry loom and are the
same wires that go to the alternator power output and battery + on the starter
motor feed. The third wire on the M2 is a black with white stripe starter motor
energizer wire, this comes from the MK1's starter relay and needs joining onto
the black/red wire on the Camry loom for the starter motor. The fourth wire on the
M2 is a blue/black wire for the engine bay cooling fan and is redundant. The
cooling fan will need rewiring yourself in whatever way you like, on with ignition
or on a switch or connect it up through a temperature switch. On the turbo mine
runs constantly with ignition on.
With these basic power feeds and starter circuit connected up I temporarily
connected a battery up using jump leads in order to test the starter circuit. The
engine cranked over beautifully at the first time of asking not only proving my
starter wiring was correct but that my flywheel and starter spacer ring I had made
were spot on. If it didn’t engage properly I was looking at having to remove the
gearbox to rectify the problem. Getting it to turn over is one thing but actually fire
up and run is another, still its all going to plan so far. One of the biggest problems
I've got is my wiring diagrams. The ECU pinouts from my Camry Haynes manual
are all for US spec cars, I've found a lot of the ECU pins are in different locations
or missing altogether compared to my UK spec Camry so I'm going to have to
trace each and every wire to see what it does….oh joy!
Now as for actually joining wires together, you would be an idiot for wrapping
wires together and using tape, that’s a recipe for disaster, a certain short circuit
or electrical fire in years to come without a doubt. Those blue plastic scotch block
connector things are also useless in my opinion, ok for putting a radio in but even
then I still think they are a nasty way of joining wires. For me it has to be a
soldered connection on every single wire, that way you will be 100% sure it won't
come apart over time. As for insulating the connections, tape is fine if that’s all
you have, just be sure that there are no sharp bits of solder or stray wire on your
connection or it will end up poking through the tape and shorting onto something.
The only way, for me, is electrical heat-shrink wrap, if you haven’t seen this stuff
before its hollow rubber tube that slides over your wire before you solder it, then
when its soldered you slide the tube over the join and then use a hot air gun on it
for a few seconds, the heat instantly shrinks the rubber onto the soldered joint
leaving it totally sealed and waterproof, perfect….and the only professional way
to join wires as far as I'm concerned.
Above is the relevant wiring connections I've made to get it to the point where I
can turn the key. As per the disclaimer at the top of this day note that the colour
codes for my N1 connector wires may not be the same as other year MK1 NA’s.
Above is every connection made and all of the wiring wrapped back up again
with good quality insulating tape, you can see the N1 connector on the left and 4
inches to the right of that is all of my joins to the V6 harness. On the right you can
see the green circuit opening relay, this was in the dashboard of the Camry so it
had to be freshly wired in at the ecu instead, pretty easy. You can see there's a
few spare plugs containing maybe 10-15 wires per plug. These went off to a
multitude of things on the Camry like power steering ecu, ABS, air con etc. etc.
but simply aren’t used on a MK1 so they can be left as they are. I've maybe got 8
wires on the last ecu plug (D) that aren’t connected, these go to the auto gearbox
plugs that aren’t connected to anything of course. Its here that I may have to wire
in a resistor or two if error codes come up.
Taking a brief break from the wiring I thought I'd get round to making that strut
brace that would stiffen the bay back up. I won't go into detail as its not V6 swap
related but after a few hours I'd made this brace which sits perfectly in the bay.
Well this was it, the big moment had arrived, all the months of research, parts
gathering (flywheel shipped from America), endless hours poring over technical
websites just to extract a snippet of info all came down to this one moment…..if it
didn’t run it was all in vain, I'd have to get a standalone ecu or maybe rethink the
project entirely, after all a V6 in a MK1 is nothing unless it won't actually run.
I connected the battery up and turned the ignition on, I could hear all of the
engine bay relays click! So far so good, then I turned the key to crank. At first all I
got was cranking, no sign of life at all….but I had forgotten that this engine hasn’t
run for quite a few months. I cranked it again and was getting a bit worried but
just as I was about to stop and go over my wiring again it then coughed once and
roared into life! What a moment that was!
It purred beautifully for a good two minutes then just died! After frantic checking I
had lost the spark, fuelling, injector signal, everything! My heart sank again. A
few hours of checking revealed nothing, why did it run perfectly then die
completely? Oddly if it was left for a few hours it would fire up again but yet again
it would cut out after a few minutes. It took most of that day to discover that the
earths for the ignitor/coilpack and ecu were using ground from a temperature
sensor instead of their own true earth. There was a thick white and black wire in
the engine loom that wasn’t connected to earth, but it was capped off on the
Camry and didn’t need to be connected on the Camry so I suspect this earth
branches off somewhere else on the Camry and provides a proper earth for the
ecu and ignition components. Either way once I'd connected this earth it ran
faultlessly and has never cut out since. I was absolutely elated, the sound this
thing makes is awe inspiring, its been worth every hour of work and I haven’t
even driven it yet. I need to now cancel out any error codes that happen over the
next few weeks and with that will come the final update which should include a
link to some multimedia of it running.
Thank you to everyone who has helped along the way, JJ for flywheel diagrams
and bouncing ideas off, Stuart Wilson for a gearbox output flange, Tony “jinxed”
Froude for an oil pressure switch and engine lid gas ram, Michael “mcfly” Wright
for providing a cheap gearbox and going out of his way to send, Phil Tuck for
having someone to talk to about all things V6 ( he owns the UKs first MK2 V6),
huge thanks to Mr. Mac Sheavills who did an outstanding job of skimming my
flywheel and making the starter spacer, thank you Mac, but also I'd like to thank
all of the people who said ”it’ll never fit” or then when it did fit “it’ll never run”, they
are the ones that give me the drive to make a project succeed. If I've missed
anyone please forgive.
For those attempting a V6 MK1 if you don’t find what you’re looking for in this
article please get in touch, only too glad to help.
This file was downloaded from twobrutal.co.uk and may not be altered in any way
whatsoever without prior notification and permission given solely by the author.
Neither the author nor the filehost accept any responsibility whatsoever should damage or injury
occur to persons or property using information contained in this guide.
For insurance purposes persons carrying out any modifications to a motor vehicle in the UK are
required by law to divulge such modification details to their vehicle insurers and the DVLA.