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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 91 MR2 that with a 5SFE engine and it has a bad No. 1 cylinder. (Compression was below 30 PSI and no change during a wet test which may indicate a valve problem). My friends are mentioning that an engine swap is the best way to go.

I called a local shop that sells Japanese engines and the sales rep that I talk to said that the 3SFE is a direct replacement for a 5SFE engine. The cost between the two engines is significant. They were selling a 3SFE for $450 and a 5SFE for $800. He says that even though the 3SFE is a 2.0 liter and the 5SFE is a 2.2 liter, it should work.

I have been doing some research online and found that they used the 3SFE in 87 to 91 Camrys and in some Corollas in the late 90's. One article mentioned that they used it in some MR2s although my friends and I have never seen an original MR2 that came with a 3SFE engine.

Has anyone done this before and is there any problems that I should know about and is there a problem with smogging the car with a different engine in California? Any suggestions is appreciated.

Thanks...
 

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Yea its kinda of a direct drop in you will have to swap over some parts of the 5SFE that are MR2 specific since the 3SFE probably wont be from a MR2. Which yes they did come in MR2s in Europe which offered the MR2 in 89-90 with a 3SFE.
 

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It's a viable alternative to the 5sfe. Your performance will suffer, but if the alternative is junking the car, I say go for it. Try to get one from the same year as the 5sfe you're replacing.

You will want to transfer all of your manifolds and wiring from the 5s to the 3sfe. A 5sfe ecu will run the 3sfe. At that point, it should be perfectly fine for California.

In europe, the base model mk2's got the 3sfe.

There is a performance hit. Some on this board will say it's absolutely horrible that you would consider this. The 5sfe was the compromise motor for this car to begin with. The 3sfe is just a bit more of a compromise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Guys, thanks for the suggestions. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and I have checked a couple of local shops and their prices is about the same. If you heard about a $300 5FSE in my area, please let me know.

Thanks again.
 

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I did it worked great, just swap all your parts over to the new engine. honestly I didn't notice a major diffrence in power.
 

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Talk to Su at Aggressive Performance in San Jose. He has a 5sfe in his shop that I don't think he has plans for.
 

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3s would change from a long stroke to a square engine. Would make the car a little torquier, sooner. I could totally get why there may little difference in how the car feels zipping around.
 
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