4th Gen Camry 3SGTE swap - Page 2 - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Camry 3rd & 4th Gen (1992-1996 & 1997-2001)/1st Gen Solara (1999-2003) Toyota Camry Discussion for years 1992-1996 & 1997-2001, as well as Solara discussion for years 1999-2003. Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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post #16 of 109 Old 05-07-2018, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by NOTAMR2 View Post
My budget is 15k. Been saving up since 2012. Already found a local shop that said yes.
I'm sure they are happy to take your money. Prove me wrong and get this done.
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post #17 of 109 Old 05-07-2018, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 71Corolla View Post
I'm sure they are happy to take your money. Prove me wrong and get this done.
Of course they are happy. They're a business. No way I can do it myself anyways.
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post #18 of 109 Old 05-09-2018, 09:45 AM
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More things to think about- if the shop does a swap is it just getting the engine running? What about cruise control, air conditioning, power steering etc? If custom AC/PS lines are needed prepare for $ to go up lol. If this is a toy car, you can probably live without CC and possibly A/C, but if it's a daily driver I wouldn't go without A/C, PS etc.

For the engine- are you going to leave it stock, or mod the engine too? You could change the cams, turn up the boost etc. If you change the cams it may not even idle like before.

What about the big picture? I get it you like the car, you've likely done many mods to it- but realistically a 3S-GTE in a heavy sedan (vs a Celica/MR2) with the boost turned up isn't going to be too reliable unless you really build it = more $. If this is your only car, are you ready for the downtime for the swap itself- the tuning, the inevitable repairs/tweaks and other upgrades that will come? The 1MZ swap as mentioned would be easiest too, if you can get a good deal on one that's low miles and rear ended for instance, but then it might be more cost effective just to find a used 4th gen with the v6 already in it and sell your existing car.


I realize the "uniqueness" of the project too but if more power is what you're after you're better off just getting a different car. Spend all this $ and effort modifying a 4th gen and you're still left with a late 90s/early 00's FWD family sedan. Even a newer used Camry with the larger 2GR VVTi v6 will have better performance and modern features right off the bat. $15K can go a long way.

I thought strongly about a similar swap (might have saw my post about the 2GR in a 98 Camry) - but in my situation, the car is an extra & I would be sourcing the parts and doing the work myself, mainly for the educational experience and hobby aspect, knowing even then- I would never get my $ back and that modded car would STILL not come close to touching my 98 Corvette when it was stock.

Just being devil's advocate.

Last edited by cbrc5eric; 05-09-2018 at 09:57 AM.
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post #19 of 109 Old 05-09-2018, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by cbrc5eric View Post
More things to think about- if the shop does a swap is it just getting the engine running? What about cruise control, air conditioning, power steering etc? If custom AC/PS lines are needed prepare for $ to go up lol. If this is a toy car, you can probably live without CC and possibly A/C, but if it's a daily driver I wouldn't go without A/C, PS etc.

For the engine- are you going to leave it stock, or mod the engine too? You could change the cams, turn up the boost etc. If you change the cams it may not even idle like before.

What about the big picture? I get it you like the car, you've likely done many mods to it- but realistically a 3S-GTE in a heavy sedan (vs a Celica/MR2) with the boost turned up isn't going to be too reliable unless you really build it = more $. If this is your only car, are you ready for the downtime for the swap itself- the tuning, the inevitable repairs/tweaks and other upgrades that will come? The 1MZ swap as mentioned would be easiest too, if you can get a good deal on one that's low miles and rear ended for instance, but then it might be more cost effective just to find a used 4th gen with the v6 already in it and sell your existing car.


I realize the "uniqueness" of the project too but if more power is what you're after you're better off just getting a different car. Spend all this $ and effort modifying a 4th gen and you're still left with a late 90s/early 00's FWD family sedan. Even a newer used Camry with the larger 2GR VVTi v6 will have better performance and modern features right off the bat. $15K can go a long way.

I thought strongly about a similar swap (might have saw my post about the 2GR in a 98 Camry) - but in my situation, the car is an extra & I would be sourcing the parts and doing the work myself, mainly for the educational experience and hobby aspect, knowing even then- I would never get my $ back and that modded car would STILL not come close to touching my 98 Corvette when it was stock.

Just being devil's advocate.
I'm going to argue against some of the points you brought up here...
2GR swap you were considering is very ambitious. But, a 3SGE or GTE swap is a lot more reasonable - most motor mounts line up, transmission will bolt up, architecture is similar so far less custom work. AC and PS would all bolt up. 4th Gen 3SGTE is 250HP and relatively easy to modify to 300, so that's no slouch compared to the ~280hp 2GR.

You're never going to get your money back argument: yea, so? That's true for probably 99.8% of new cars out there, and probably over 90% of used cars you can buy. That 2019 Camry is going to cost you $10-15k in the first 3 years you own it, even if it sits parked in your garage. And lord help you if you splurge for a luxury car. But, if modifying your older Camry with it's excellent interior and so on gives you just as much satisfaction, if not more, for same "loss", then it starts to looks like a pretty good deal. And unlike any 'vette ever made, you got a true sleeper you can cruise around in and go anywhere without scheduling an appointment with a chiropractor.
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post #20 of 109 Old 05-09-2018, 12:42 PM
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Points definitely taken- you seem to know your way around vehicles, especially Toyotas. I did not know the power steering, AC etc all bolted up. Do you know if the cruise control still work too? Not being sarcastic, genuinely curious- When I considered the 3S-GTE in my 90 Camry back in the day, the thought never occurred to me since that base model I had never had cruise to begin with

As for the $ lost - yes nearly all vehicles depreciate and all mods (or money spent for almost any hobby for that matter) you'll never get back but that was not what I meant. What I'm saying, for the OP to think about - at what point are you throwing away good money for bad? The OP mentions $15k budget- but $15k budget for 300 HP (even 400 hp) seems like a really poor value to me. I don't know what the torque values are of a 3s-gte either but in my experience these turbo 4 cyl motors have their most performance in the upper RPMs. Great on the track where you can wind it up but if it's a daily driver I'd rather have v6 torque. Yes it will be double the potential power the OP was used to, and yes it is unique but is the juice worth the squeeze? Unless OP is really well off $15k is a good chunk of change to most people- considering OP drives a 4th gen Camry and has been "saving since 2012" I'd venture to say it's a significant amount.

And today- 300 HP in a Camry is NOT a sleeper. What would that run in the 1/4 mile? 13s? There are plenty of 4 doored vehicles with 300+ hp from the factory. So you spend all this $ and you're left with a sedan that only approaches or matches the performance of something modern - and by modern I didn't mean 2019 Camry- even 2008 would have had the 2GR.... let's not forget the Camry itself is a very nose heavy vehicle that has a lot of understeer, it really doesn't handle all that great no matter what you do to it.

The main point I'm trying to make- I just wanted OP think about- in 10 years looking back, will he be like "I'm really glad I did that" or "that was a complete waste of money I never should have done..".
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post #21 of 109 Old 05-09-2018, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbrc5eric View Post
Do you know if the cruise control still work too?
I personally don't care about CC - I never use it for several reasons, so I have not looked at the wiring for that and don't know for sure, but I don't see why not. The issue will be getting the correct length cable, or making an existing one work.

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Originally Posted by cbrc5eric View Post
As for the $ lost - yes nearly all vehicles depreciate and all mods (or money spent for almost any hobby for that matter) you'll never get back but that was not what I meant.
What I'm saying, for the OP to think about - at what point are you throwing away good money for bad? The OP mentions $15k budget- but $15k budget for 300 HP (even 400 hp) seems like a really poor value to me. I don't know what the torque values are of a 3s-gte either but in my experience these turbo 4 cyl motors have their most performance in the upper RPMs. Great on the track where you can wind it up but if it's a daily driver I'd rather have v6 torque. Yes it will be double the potential power the OP was used to, and yes it is unique but is the juice worth the squeeze? Unless OP is really well off $15k is a good chunk of change to most people- considering OP drives a 4th gen Camry and has been "saving since 2012" I'd venture to say it's a significant amount.
Your money arguments are valid, and I agree with them. But, this kind of thing is a car hobby for the soul. 20 years down the road, nobody, not even oneself will bring back memories of driving the stock car with whatever HP. But, you will never forget the car that was special and unique.

That is, of course, unless the shop doing the work completely bombs it and the project turns into a total f-ing nightmare of never-ending issues. Then you'll never forget it but really wish you could. That's why I would not trust anybody but myself to oversee such a swap.
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post #22 of 109 Old 05-09-2018, 09:51 PM
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Amen to that. I don't want to completely hijack OP's thread but this is a great discussion - I think we can both agree we're auto enthusiasts with different perspectives. If everyone had the same perspective and just agreed with everything it would be one boring place.

As for stock and being memorable- well, up to this point my Corvette was basically stock minus an intake and bolt on suspension & mufflers from a later (z06) model. That "almost stock" car gave me by far the most satisfaction beyond the 90 Camry, Maxima or the 98 Camry. I hate to keep bringing up my Corvette on a Toyota board but it's literally the car I used the longest in my lifetime. I put 160k on it on my own, drove it every day (rain, shine and even snow) for almost 15 years straight. It took me to plenty of road trips, went on plenty of dates, went to the track, drove me to work at 3 different companies, drove it to class, even towed trailers to Home Depot for home improvement projects. The car I hated- the Nissan Maxima I got it when I was a teenager and my parents wouldn't let me get a sports car. I mildly modded that car too and once that thing kept giving me pain I promptly pitched it for the 'Vette . The 90 Camry was "ok"- it was memorable being my first car and what got me into tinkering with cars but dang it was s-l-o-w.

I am the type of person who will keep a car forever if I'm happy with it. Heck, I'm about to hit 70k on my Honda sportbike I've had new since 2001- again, almost stock down to the exhaust.

So I rambled a bit but that being said to the OP- if performance is what you're after- a stock car that was geared towards performance to begin with should be a consideration. No, it's not unique but it could save you lots of headache. I've seen too many people get in wayyy over their heads with major modifications that left them completely broke or with no reliable transportation. Further-if this Camry is your only car, I would try to talk you out of doing such an undertaking. If it's a toy and you have the extra funds, realize what other options are out there, understand the risks of going to a shop that specializes in Nissans and Hondas, you've thought about it and are sure you want to go this route- go for it.
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post #23 of 109 Old 05-10-2018, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replys so far. I haven't had a face to face meeting with the shop techs yet, so if they haven't had too much experience with Toyotas, I just might bite the bullet and get a RHD import instead. I found an Aristo for about $7500 CAD on a local importer's site. Cheaper and already fast, but damn I can't stand RHD. Every left turn has me paranoid.

Then again if they HAVE done plenty of Toyotas, and won't ask for too much, I still might steam ahead with the project.

A built 3S-GTE for 350+ HP is the goal I am actually aiming for. I was leaning towards the 3S because it's got more aftermarket support than the 1MZ. Once again, it all hinges on what the shop says they have done in the past regarding those engines.

A 2018 V6 Camry is 301 BHP, $40,000+ CAD, but weighs approx 3600 lbs. 350B HP in my 2000 Camry (approx 2890 lbs now) for 10-15K$ CAD is still better value IMO.

Also, around these parts (Edmonton)

Nobody expects a 4th Gen to have 350+ HP.

There's several caveats here, I can save a bit of money by upgrading the suspension, shocks and brakes myself, since that sort of thing is 1st-year stuff (I was a 2nd year apprentice when I got out of the trade).
The body & engine only has 160,000K (99,500Miles) on it. For a 18 year old car in Canada, that's astoundingly low. Most cars around here reach that by 5-7 years. My uncle never took it onto the highway.
I can likely sell the old 5S-FE engine (same as NA 4th gen MR2 IIRC).
The interior is absolute MINT.
And I have a second car I can use.

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post #24 of 109 Old 05-10-2018, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Also something else to notice, round these parts a Sports car is infinitely more expensive to insure than a family sedan. If I ditched the Camry and got a USDM MR2, my insurance would double (or more). If I got a RHD vehicle I would get raped in the insurance department even more.

Performance cars get attention. Sometimes, the WRONG kind of attention. Police, jealous vandals, carjackers, thieves. In my cul de sac, there are numerous BMWs, a Lexus or two, many Infinities, even a Lincoln. I bet you those will get stolen or keyed long before anyone takes a second look at my bone-stock looking Camry.

sorry for DP.
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post #25 of 109 Old 05-10-2018, 10:40 AM
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Sounds good like you've thought it all over thoroughly and at this point it depends on the shop. I probably don't have to tell you this but if/when it gets to that point - make sure you go over EVERY line of the contract- down to every gasket and nut they plan on using and what kind of guarantee (if any) they offer. If you get the RHD vehicle you could always use it to deliver mail ;-)

Just one more note about insurance- sounds like you've done your homework there but you may be surprised. I too, thought I'd be hosed- I got the CBR sportsbike at age 19 and it was US $400 a year for full coverage. The Corvette I got when I was 21 and also thought insurance would be prohibitively expensive, but it actually was not much more then the Maxima. There was no deception- I was listed as the primary driver, not my parents or someone else. I asked why and it just happened to be the formulas the way they work the average Corvette driver is older and usually keeps them as garage queens. Yes there are the idiots out there who wreck them but in the insurance company's eyes it was actually a lesser risk vs a mass produced "common" car like Accord/Camry/Maxima that had more claims and thefts.

So the next point- are you going to disclose to insurance that you're modifying the car? If you do not and wreck and they find out it has a high performance engine- there's probably some clause in the contract that allows them to get out of coverage. On the other hand, if you disclose to them your mod- the insurance will likely go up too. YMMV (or YKmMV?)
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post #26 of 109 Old 05-10-2018, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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So the next point- are you going to disclose to insurance that you're modifying the car? If you do not and wreck and they find out it has a high performance engine- there's probably some clause in the contract that allows them to get out of coverage. On the other hand, if you disclose to them your mod- the insurance will likely go up too. YMMV (or YKmMV?)
They might consider a V6 Supercharged engine as performance, but now there's turbocharged inline 4 engines in lots of economy vehicles.

There's nowhere on an Alberta registry or license that we have to list our car's displacement anyways.

AFAIK, I only have to notify them if I change the vehicle's COLOR.
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post #27 of 109 Old 05-23-2018, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Bump because some of my IRL friends think I'm crazy and not for real

Hey Eric H.
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post #28 of 109 Old 05-23-2018, 08:19 AM
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My budget is 15k. Been saving up since 2012. Already found a local shop that said yes.

Wow! $15,000 US BIG ONES!


Muscle car is the end result, right? It can't be self satisfaction of doing-it-yourself (DIY), right?


If it was me with that kind of CASH then, I would get myself another 1971 LeMans T-37


https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/invent...ting=204376542


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post #29 of 109 Old 05-24-2018, 12:47 AM
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North York, Ontario
M9L 1Y3
CANADA

can build you a monster for $15k, and Tony's 1MZFE smokes almost any 3SGTE


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post #30 of 109 Old 05-25-2018, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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One local shop in Edmonton already gave me a ballpark estimate of 15K to 20K in CAD. For the 3S-GTE swap.

How much aftermarket support is there for a 1MZFE anyways? It's another option I am considering.
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