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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
:surprise:
Now before some of you say that I should do this sort of thing in a Celica or MR2, I have already thought about it, and I've decided that it's been done to death. I haven't seen a lot of truly modded or tuned 4th gens Camrys out there, and I wanted to do mine right. I am looking to have a performance shop do the swap for me (I have NO room to do it myself).

I've done a bit of research, and have learned that the 3S-GE and 3S-GTE can be relatively easily installed into an engine bay holding a 5S-FE.


Another option is the 1MZ V6 + TRD Supercharger, but I've heard that the 1MZ can't be built up as easily as the 3S.

If anyone has ever dropped a 3S into a 4th gen Camry, get back to me. I've love to hear your story about it and the costs involved.

Thanks in advance :smile:
 

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You forgot the most important bit of info: how much money are you willing to sink into this endeavor?

You can swap anything you want with enough dough. 2JZ-GTE RWD conversion? $15-20k will get you just that!

If you're not doing the work yourself, you need to talk to a shop that's going to be doing the work first. Many shops won't touch custom engine conversions at all, others may give you a price tag that's going to leave you far less enthusiastic about the project.

1MZ would be easy, as you can get all the stock parts. The supercharger is going to be hard to find and at least $2000.
3SGTE can be done with custom rear mounting bracket and custom wiring harness (guys at wiregap can hook you up, expect to spend $800-1200 for the harness). PrimeMR2 guys had done a 3SGTE swap in Gen2 Camry in the past, they were asking $10 or $12k for the car afterwards, though it also had a nice paint job and I believe was AWD. They would be happy to slot a Gen4 3SGTE into a Camry of your choice, expect the bill to be $6-10k.
2GR is a popular swap nowadays. A lot more custom work though, but a great engine. You'll have a hard time finding a shop to do it though.

This post should be enough to close this thread. Good luck otherwise!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am leaning more towards the 3S-GTE. Or perhaps even a 3S-GE, unless those engines are too rare?

Appears that a 3S series is the way to go!

I found a local shop willing to do the swap. I just have to wait till Sept to even get the car in, and June is the earliest I can book an appointment. They specialize in Nissan and Honda though. Most other shops in my town are American Muscle stricly, and none of those returned my e-mails or phone calls. (They thought I was joking)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
would you be mating it with the a541e, a140e or s51 trans?
I was thinking a E150F would be the way to go. I see a few JDM Caldinas on sale at my local importer, It might be worth it to buy one just for the parts. There's one on sale for a little over 4K CAD!
 

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Both 3SGE and GTE are readily available.

E150F is an AWD tranny - that's what "F" indicated I believe. Unless you're going AWD, you'll need to convert it to FWD, which requires the FWD diff and tranny cover. Easier to find an E153 out of a V6 Camry or Solara, which are already FWD. MR2 E153 has shifter linkages setup from the other side due to being mid-engined.

AWD and V6 are NOT compatible - the block and transfer case will interfere with each other, not to mention the exhaust headers.

Also consider emissions laws in your state to make sure you'll be able to register the car on the road afterwards. This is a huge deal in some states.
 

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Also consider emissions laws in your state to make sure you'll be able to register the car on the road afterwards. This is a huge deal in some states.
That won't stop ppl. My room mate has a car he pays $250-$300 a year to smog it. We live in Cali.

3S swap is possible but will be alot of work.

So will you be using a stand alone ecu, the one from your 4th gen, or one for the 3S?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
E150F is an AWD tranny - that's what "F" indicated I believe. Unless you're going AWD, you'll need to convert it to FWD, which requires the FWD diff and tranny cover. Easier to find an E153 out of a V6 Camry or Solara, which are already FWD.
How much HP can the V6 tranny handle?:horsepoop-1:
 

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I'm going to give my usual troll answer, Northstar swap! I have a spare LC3 (supercharged) sitting around if you want to ship it to you and promise to go through with the project :lol:
 

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Can't resist!...

 

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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. :D
 

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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. :D
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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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 :lol:

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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