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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.

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. >:D That's why I would not trust anybody but myself to oversee such a swap.
 

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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 :lol:. 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. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
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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Discussion Starter #24
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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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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Discussion Starter #26
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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Almost 1/2 Million Miles!
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:wink:My budget is 15k. Been saving up since 2012. Already found a local shop that said yes.

Wow!:surprise: $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/inventorylisting/viewDetailsFilterViewInventoryListing.action?sourceContext=&newSearchFromOverviewPage=true&inventorySearchWidgetType=AUTO&entitySelectingHelper.selectedEntity=d471&entitySelectingHelper.selectedEntity2=c8413&zip=32825&distance=50&searchChanged=true&modelChanged=true&filtersModified=true#listing=204376542


 

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Dynamotorsports (DMT)
40 Millwick Drive, Unit 11
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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Discussion Starter #30
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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Discussion Starter #33
Hey thanks for the article. Fortunately I do know the complete owner history of my car. It was in the extended family since date of purchase.

I am still shopping around for a competent shop to do it, but the one shop that has contacted me back with a ballpark estimate has quoted 15,000 to 20,000 Canadian dollars.

Guess I'll have to wait a bit more to spend money on my rust repair.:frown:
 

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94 Lexus SC300 | 99 Camry
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I have a spare LC3 (supercharged)
Too bad I don't have my old Fiero... sold it years ago when I was still living with my parents and they were tired of looking at it. Was a dope black body with a perfect interior... Paid $500 in great shape but not running.. could have made a lot parting it out but Dad trailered it to the junkyard ;_; I miss that thing.. worst part is I'm a competent enough mechanic these days I could easily fix it
 

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Almost 1/2 Million Miles!
92 Toyota Camry XLE
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Hey thanks for the article. Fortunately I do know the complete owner history of my car. It was in the extended family since date of purchase.

I am still shopping around for a competent shop to do it, but the one shop that has contacted me back with a ballpark estimate has quoted 15,000 to 20,000 Canadian dollars.

Guess I'll have to wait a bit more to spend money on my rust repair.:frown:

No problem, NOTAMR2! Keep it up and save! There is no rust repair, just your ride that you Love!:wink:


I had to do a little research myself as I didn't know what people meant by saying "LS SWAP IT">:D


Here's a great Video about it!:laugh:
 

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Too bad I don't have my old Fiero... sold it years ago when I was still living with my parents and they were tired of looking at it. Was a dope black body with a perfect interior... Paid $500 in great shape but not running.. could have made a lot parting it out but Dad trailered it to the junkyard ;_; I miss that thing.. worst part is I'm a competent enough mechanic these days I could easily fix it

Yeah I bought it because STS-V's are super-easily totaled when you crash them, and I got a great deal (plus low-mileage CA-spec cats that somehow stayed attached to the engine cough cough). Northstar Fieros are pretty awesome, and assuming the supercharger clears the bay that would be a death machine worthy of turbo MR2s (I could swear I saw one fishtail in a drive-thru, lol). Now if only they didn't have leftover parts-bin suspensions from Chevettes (and some other crappy GM product I can't remember)...
 

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Discussion Starter #38
I found a local MR2 with a 3S-GTE swap in it already. Guy is asking 7500 OBO for it, :smile:

Should I jump on it and ditch this crazy idea of mine? The caveat is, guy says there are a "few things here and there" that need fixing. Money pit?:surprise:
 

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IMO, an MR2 would be more fun to drive, but it's all about what you want. The MR2 and Fiero are fun, small, mid-engine cars. You need to learn how to actually drive them and learn about weight transfer so you don't snap oversteer, but they will carve corners like crazy and you can throw them around the road and really have some fun while still roughly following the legal speed limit

For me, there's a lot of other cars I'd be happier with for $10,000 (save a few Ks for repair), but again, it's all about what you want.

Oh yeah, also, if there's a few things here or there it could easily be a money pit, especially if you're contracting out the labor to a shop. This is why used cars tend to go for more money in stock condition (look at how rare and expensive a stock Supra is)... sellers don't always do the best job and buyers don't want to get stuck with someone else's problems
 

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Discussion Starter #40
I had a test drive with that seller's MR2 today, and it was really fun.

I am still wary of this though, as it is neither unique or my own project, since the 3S-GTE was swapped by a previous owner. There's something about buying someone else's project car that doesn't sit right with me.

Besides, a MR2 will attract attention no matter what...
 
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