Getting a 2grfe, am i getting a good deal? - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old September 7th, 2019, 16:10 Thread Starter
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Getting a 2grfe, am i getting a good deal?

Guys, i have a 93 na, i want to do the v6 swap and build it for fi. I found a low mileage 2grfe from a lexus es350, it was involved in a side collision. Im getting the motor for $700 with a partially cut/crushed harness, no ecu, no transmission.
I havent seen it yet but im told its a cut harness. Do you think its a good deal and i should rush out and buy it or is it what you would pay for one with no ecu and cut harness? Or am i getting ripped off?

Also how hard would it be to source an engine harness and ecu?

Thanks
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old September 7th, 2019, 16:30
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This is a good deal.

The ES350 ECU would not do you any good anyway. Like the Camry ECU it requires very special techniques to be de-immobilized or requires that you obtain the key, the key sensor and the immobilizer module/ECU to pair with the main ECU and for these reasons is generally not used for a swap.

Look for a 2006-2009 RAV4 ECU these are the ones that can be de-immobilized and probably have the best roadmap for enhancements in the future. Be careful when buying used ECU's that the header is not cracked or pins broken. Also be sure to buy a 2GR ECU NOT a 2AR or 2AZ or whatever available for that vehicle they look the same but not at all the same inside.

Harness is not that hard to find but could run you up to $300. Get a Rav4 2006-2009 harness for easiest re-wiring. Newer harness can be used but requires extensive (read: expensive) repinning to be compatible with de-immobilized ECU as the ECU pinouts changed completely in 2010 or 2011 and the 2010+ ECU also requires special techniques that are not widely available.

For these used items look on ebay and on car-parts.com.

Last edited by merryfrankster; September 7th, 2019 at 16:32.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old September 8th, 2019, 10:07
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The engine price is really good, go for it.

Something to keep in mind on the ECU, if you plan on buying the ECU with the immobilizer removed and a tune from me the core return is optional, so only get one if you can beat my core charge minus the value you assign to your time to acquire it and ship it. Right now i have 16 valid 2-plug cores and 17 5-plug cores on the shelf.

5-plug: https://frankensteinmotorworks.squar...fq5676nqfb0vew
2-plug: https://frankensteinmotorworks.squar...d-earlier-rav4
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old September 9th, 2019, 09:24 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by merryfrankster View Post
This is a good deal.

The ES350 ECU would not do you any good anyway. Like the Camry ECU it requires very special techniques to be de-immobilized or requires that you obtain the key, the key sensor and the immobilizer module/ECU to pair with the main ECU and for these reasons is generally not used for a swap.

Look for a 2006-2009 RAV4 ECU these are the ones that can be de-immobilized and probably have the best roadmap for enhancements in the future. Be careful when buying used ECU's that the header is not cracked or pins broken. Also be sure to buy a 2GR ECU NOT a 2AR or 2AZ or whatever available for that vehicle they look the same but not at all the same inside.

Harness is not that hard to find but could run you up to $300. Get a Rav4 2006-2009 harness for easiest re-wiring. Newer harness can be used but requires extensive (read: expensive) repinning to be compatible with de-immobilized ECU as the ECU pinouts changed completely in 2010 or 2011 and the 2010+ ECU also requires special techniques that are not widely available.

For these used items look on ebay and on car-parts.com.

valuable info, thank you!
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old September 9th, 2019, 09:25 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gouky View Post
The engine price is really good, go for it.

Something to keep in mind on the ECU, if you plan on buying the ECU with the immobilizer removed and a tune from me the core return is optional, so only get one if you can beat my core charge minus the value you assign to your time to acquire it and ship it. Right now i have 16 valid 2-plug cores and 17 5-plug cores on the shelf.

5-plug: https://frankensteinmotorworks.squar...fq5676nqfb0vew
2-plug: https://frankensteinmotorworks.squar...d-earlier-rav4
appreciate the heads up!
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old September 9th, 2019, 14:57
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Originally Posted by Gouky View Post
The engine price is really good, go for it.

Something to keep in mind on the ECU, if you plan on buying the ECU with the immobilizer removed and a tune from me the core return is optional, so only get one if you can beat my core charge minus the value you assign to your time to acquire it and ship it. Right now i have 16 valid 2-plug cores and 17 5-plug cores on the shelf.

5-plug: https://frankensteinmotorworks.squar...fq5676nqfb0vew
2-plug: https://frankensteinmotorworks.squar...d-earlier-rav4
Glad to see you're still supporting this Marc! These are invaluable resources compared to when I did my first swap!!!
post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old September 9th, 2019, 20:45
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Glad to see you're still supporting this Marc! These are invaluable resources compared to when I did my first swap!!!
Thanks, I appreciate the good words. (shameless plug time...) But honestly this stuff is nothing compared to how far i went to support the MKIII/2AR-FE swap. I even made a full video series and documents on how to do the install:

For a bit I was expecting this stuff would be ending but the 2GR seems to be hitting a resurgence lately as the USA market actually picks up. Until about a year ago i barely had any USA sales at all but this year it's over 90% USA.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old September 9th, 2019, 23:01
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Good to hear business is picking up. I think people are coming around to realize that it's really not that much more money and it's worth the money to do it.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old September 10th, 2019, 04:46
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Good to hear business is picking up. I think people are coming around to realize that it's really not that much more money and it's worth the money to do it.
Yeah, it really is. The more business picks up the more i can turn it around and reinvest in better parts for everyone I've got a pretty long list of stuff i'd like to get to if there's a market.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old September 12th, 2019, 15:34
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Yeah, it really is. The more business picks up the more i can turn it around and reinvest in better parts for everyone I've got a pretty long list of stuff i'd like to get to if there's a market.
It seems like every day or two there is another facebook post that reads either "should I do a 2GR swap" or "I want to do a 2GR swap - how?" and even one some days there are multiple posts that ask the same thing.

Of course we do our best to get these pointed in your general direction. I hope this does translate into more business for you.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old September 12th, 2019, 16:25
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Originally Posted by merryfrankster View Post
It seems like every day or two there is another facebook post that reads either "should I do a 2GR swap" or "I want to do a 2GR swap - how?" and even one some days there are multiple posts that ask the same thing.

Of course we do our best to get these pointed in your general direction. I hope this does translate into more business for you.
Frank, while i can't quantify how much that has helped out it really does help and i sincerely appreciate it.

The MKIII 2ar-fe install video series was received really well. It hasn't lead to really any sales yet but i think it's bringing people around rather quickly. So i actually decided I'm going to do an MKII 2AR-FE video series starting right after i get back from my next race in mid October. It should actually be a simpler video since the 2GR takes less work to install. I'm also working with Alex on this since he makes parts that helps the whole thing even easier to install. Between both our parts the only thing we need to make is the wiring harness and i will cover that step-by-step to maybe get people to be a bit less scared of that aspect. I'm also debating throwing some MWR cams in at the same time to demonstrate how that is done.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old September 12th, 2019, 16:39
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Thanks, I appreciate the good words. (shameless plug time...) But honestly this stuff is nothing compared to how far i went to support the MKIII/2AR-FE swap.
Its amazing to me that anybody is spending any money on MK3s. I have one I can't give away. MK2s on the other hand really seem to be coming back around.

If I can't sell this spyder I may EXO it and throw a 2AR in it. They are building a road course here in town so I can finally get back into and use my cars again! woohoo
post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old September 12th, 2019, 17:09
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Its amazing to me that anybody is spending any money on MK3s. I have one I can't give away. MK2s on the other hand really seem to be coming back around.

If I can't sell this spyder I may EXO it and throw a 2AR in it. They are building a road course here in town so I can finally get back into and use my cars again! woohoo
Honestly i kinda screwed up on the MKIII by spending all that time and effort to support it. If i knew then what i know now about the market i would not have done any of it. But at the time the MKII was down to levels where it wasn't worth my time to support anymore and i needed to decide if i was going to pick up another car or quit Frankenstein Motorworks entirely, essentially go big or go home. So i decided to "go big" and make a kit for the MKIII that solved all the problems that everyone complained about the 2GR offerings i had.

The end result is i figured out the abysmal state of the spyder engine swap market, it's a bunch of K stuff with some pretty sketchy parts that bend and break all the time. But despite the really high quality parts i made I'm a few horses below what people's vision of the K-Series is so everyone is just saying it's junk.

At this point I've got all the parts designed and to get the price point where it is I've got an absolute *TON* of inventory (maybe even literally a ton, most parts were made in qty 100x and some even higher) So i might as well sell it. I really do think people will be happy with it once they actually drive it. I know I'm having a blast thrashing the car on the race track. The MKIII really does stick to the track a fair bit better than the MKII (though i suspect if i get Alex's bits it'll fix many of the issues). It's also much cheaper in consumables to track, I can do 20-30hrs of racing in a weekend on about $700 in consumables.

So with that said, that's why i'm circling back and seeing if there's anything i can do to the MKII 2GR a bit more to improve it. I just dropped the price on the motor mount by $271 by switching to a casting, I'm working on a bolt-in axle carrier bracket, a proper cold air intake kit for my MAF pipe
and i'm also working on releasing a stock ECU tubro/SC tune that will support around 500-600whp at the moment. I'm also putting that video series together which will explain a step-by-step on the wiring which should hopefully drop the required skill level. There will also be a paper document just like the MKIII on how to do it.

So yeah, spread the word as much as you guys can, the more people buy my stuff the more funds i get to make this happen

Heck, i'm even paying for a bit of advertizing to see how well it works. check it out at 12:05 in this video: https://youtu.be/QTvV_zLZiRo?t=726 and there will be a few more videos on that stuff.
As long as the market is there I'll keep making more parts for you guys I'm even open to suggestions as long as it isn't that damn TRD supercharger that completely destroyed the motor's feel and makes 45hp by using 8.5psi of boost.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old September 12th, 2019, 17:15
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I had exactly the same experience in the spyder market, and quickly got out. I'm so glad the MK2 is making a resurgence. I want to eventually sell my 3S and put a 2GR in the MK2, but it runs so well there is no point until later when it becomes too much to maintain.

I also agree with your experience on the chassis, my supercharged spyder (which is also the one you helped me stuff a V6 into when I was trying to get that market going) was the best handling car I have ever owned. Period.
post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old September 12th, 2019, 18:19
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The best explanation that was given to me about the Spyder market is that many if not most of the people interested in swapping motors in the spyder are not actually Toyota folks wanting a motor swap but rather they are Honda folks wanting a chassis swap to get a RWD setup. So imagine trying to sell a toyota motor to go into a Honda, you're never going to get traction with many.

But with that said, i do feel that i'm getting a bit of traction and if i keep at it i think i may develop a market of Toyota folks that haven't gotten any support beyond the 2ZZ interested in swapping motors. I suspect it'll take another 1-2 years to get there though unless i can get a big name over there to swap one.

As for the chassis, I really am amazed. I've done some very basic stuff, coilovers, sway bars, trd rear strut bar and i welded a few reinforcements up front. I've gone to 16" wheels so i could fit better brakes and 215/45r16 Falken 615k+ tires which are sticky but not race tires by any stretch of the imagination. The car hooks like crazy so i added telemetry and to my amazement the damn thing gets 1.2g's in a flat no camber corner. There's just so little drama when tearing around a track with this thing. With the MKII i was able to go just as fast around the track but i really had to work the hell out of the wheel to get it there. All of my non professional drivers can drive the 2AR-FE MKIII faster than they drove the 2GR-FE MKII. Around Barber motorsports park one of our amateur drivers in the 2AR MKIII was just a touch less than 2s slower than a professional indylights driver in my 2GR MKII and 12s faster than any of the amateurs in the 2GR MKII. I'm going to keep slowly tweaking things to make the car faster and i bet we'll knock down those 2s per lap and even more than that, another second after that and we are at the spec miata lap record around that track and they are using full on race tires. It just does not make sense how that car sticks so well to the track.
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old September 12th, 2019, 18:35
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Marc I know that you're not a fan of the 2GR swap into the Spyder and I'm not either. However this swap has a powerful hold on the public's imagination. I think you're almost there with the EB transmission, linkage, mounting, and axle stuff you've done for the 2AR. Most of the wiring stuff for the 2AR harness should carry over to the 2GR. The BEAN stuff is great. You have a pedal adapter. You have the headers already, and I think the y-pipe from Alex can be cut back and fitted with a flange to work for the chassis. A bridge between the engine bracket and the spyder isolator is the only thing missing. I think it's mostly a matter of marketing your stuff as "2ar AND 2gr swap stuff for the Spyder."
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old September 12th, 2019, 19:07
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Frank, You're not entirely wrong. I do feel like i am somewhat a victim of the 10yrs of work i did talking up the 2GR.

I am actually seriously considering making a right engine mount for the 2GR Spyder but it would be a low volume affair because it would not be nearly as easy as you say. My header does not fit in front, you have to relocate the water pipe to go around the motor, you have to cut and move the firewall about 2" forward, there is also no y-pipe that fits.

What would probably be cheaper, easier and way more fun, I'm not sure if you've noticed but the new Supra engine is shockingly short I've done some video analysis of some disasembly shots, knowing that the bore is a tiny 82mm across and the length of the motor appears to be between 20 and 21" long. Then, the timing cover on the engine is in the back which the transmission actually bolts to the timing cover so you can get a zero length bellhousing adapter by making a new timing cover. On top of that it's a reverse flow head so the exhaust would actually point backwards, the giant intake would not fit but that's a relatively small problem compared to the 2GR's problems.

So yes, there, i said it. I think it would be cheaper, easier and better to stuff a turbo supra motor in an MKII than the 2GR how's that for a very possibly true yet super trolly statement?
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old September 13th, 2019, 17:41
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Does the EB62 bolt up to the 1MZ like the S5x does? I wonder if a 1MZ or 3MZ might fit in a Spyder with less drama than a 2GR? I know a few have been done (first at lest 10 years ago), but can't recall if frame surgery was required for the front headers.

I love the handling of the Spyder. But I also love the sound and feel of a V6.

Just throwing that out there.
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old September 13th, 2019, 18:04
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Jim, Looking up the dyno charts for the 1mz and 3mz in NA trim in MR2 swap it looks like they make 175-185rwhp or so. The 2AR fits better and already makes more than that at 205rwhp. The peak torque for both motors appears to be about 190lb*ft but without studying it to hard the 3L engines likely have somewhat wider torque curves.

Keep in mind, all the complication with swapping the 2GR i was mentioning above are mostly caused by the idea of using the 2AR part I've already made to mount it. If you were to start from scratch and make a custom rear crossmember then everything would fit a bit better. Crossmembers are a rather large weldment though so the cost is a rather high. Plus, if that's what you want you can already get it from DDPR, he sells a crossmember and mounts for the 2GR/E153 in the spyder for $3000.
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old September 13th, 2019, 18:34
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I put a 1mz - e153 in a Spyder and I would not recommend it, way too much work.

2AR seems like a much better fit.
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