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Premium Member
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

Some artist in order to get in the zone, they choose a privet suite in the Rivera Maya or a cabin deep in the French alps. some people listen to Ricky martin, hard core rap or classical music.
in order for me to DECIPHER the secrets of the 24X LS1 ECU. and some how make it smaller I need to get in the zone.
I am a simple man, a CUBANO cigar and a high octane drink its all I need. it will relax me and will make my neurons fire happily ho...also some Metallica cover songs by Apocalyptica in the back ground.
If the dilemma its complicated, I will pull the TEQUILA some grass, and I will play TOOL. that will take care of things.

Well after couple hangover's I was able to figure out the LS1 brain transplant to the 1UZFE.
Once it was done I decided to take a brake from the UZ project to figure out if is possible to download a LS1 engine in to the tiny MR2 engine bay.
to do that I had to down shift. open a bottle, light a cigar, and play Tool.
if I combine this four elements all rules get broken.

For years the Fiero guys had an advantage over the MR2, thanks to the large engine bay. large enough to fit V8 engines whit some modifications and the courage to cut, notch the frame etc.

which I think must of the MR2 owner are afraid to do so, may be its the uni body construction style that steer away guy's from doing it, its really easy to gain one inch on the right side and another inch on the left side whit subtle notches. and it wont effect the integrity of the car at all.
if I remember correctly its possible to gain four inches all together if you'll go deeper in to the rails, doing so it required to reinforce the back end. a well design tubular engine bay "cage" will take care of any integrity lost and you'll will have a 40" engine bay. 40" is a good length to fit a transverse V8.

North/South configuration its a different animal at all, their is no other way but cutting in to the cabin or stretching the wheel base.
Their is some Warriors out there that they have a FIESTA cutting the MR2 in pursuit of V8 power.

Whit some well though out moves I'll should be able to put an end to that advantage,
and gauge war to those V8 Fieros.

The GenIV V8 that makes more sense for a transverse layout is the LS4. its design for such layout from the factory. its a really compact package but the water pump will intrude in to the cabin, also the Displacement on demand turns me off. am not sure how well this engine will response to a GM LS1 stand alone.
ether way the LS4 need to go to the operation room for surgery to fit in the MR2

The LS4/F40 combo is about 38"/39" long. its possible if the rails get cut. again its not a big deal to notch the rails. but the engine will need water pump modification to fit as well the flywheel, not a terrible set back. but takes time and money.
For those that dream of V8 power. everything on live is a choice. and the time to chose will arrive if you're contemplation a V8 swap
there is only two roads to archive V8 power
1st cut the rails
2nd modified the ancillaries like I did on the 1UZFE. and the tranny

keep in mine that if you'll decided to keep all the accessories intact, it will force you to go deeper in to the MR2 rails
I think the LS2/LS6 are the shortest engines available. ( I need to do more research in to that)
Or you can reconfigure the accessories layout, and the tranny, doing that you'll may not need to cut in to the MR2 rails.

its up to you to chose the path.

if you are one those lunatics that crave V8 power. (like my self) to succeed you need to make a budget and a time frame to completed to project.
once you have that. the must important thing to do is to double or triple the budget/time frame you set at the beginning.

I am a big fan of the LS1 Corvette/Camaro engine, there for it will be the engine I will chose in the attempt to swap in the MR2
Its a compact engine not as compact as the Audi/North star but it will be ALLOT easy to get a ECU Stand alone and they make grate power

So fastened your seat belt, grab in to something Cu's we going in a wild ride.


Premium Member
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Mr2 v8 ls1


I like to give credit to the owner of this pictures, but I don't know who it is.

This is the LS1 that came in the C5 Corvette '97/'04
In is natural state its obvious that it wont fit the Mr2 engine bay.
its to long and to wide, on the left picture you can see that is over 12" from the center line
on the right side, more than that an it will hit the fire wall
noted on the right picture the dimension are way over 23" which is the maximum length. more than that and you can forget the swap whit out cutting the rails of the MR2
notice on the right image, from the back of the block to the face of the harmonic damper is about 24" which is not to far from the 23" need it to do the swap
its impossible to get the engine under 22.5"
I may be able to get the engine to 22.7" whit some machining but I think its not worth it.
the must I got it down to is 23 1/4" once you'll get it to this dimensions one can have a shot. 23" is the magic number, after that all depends on how much patience, time, money. some one has to do the swap

A naked LS1 has the right (wide) dimensions

also the right length. well.. its 1/4" over but we cant be picky, can we??

here's another shot of the length just in case some one has a doubt

This is one of the best features this engine has, it comes whit a shallow oil pan 41/2". which allow to get the engine closer to the ground, getting a dry sump will get it down to about 2" or so. the down side it will set me back like 3K. and we not talking PESOS

This are the villains in this fairy tail, the water pump has a mammoth pulley, and the balancer is 3 3/4" I don't understand GM way of thinking. when design this water pump or any other LS/Vortec pump, alternator, AC compressor, and brackets. there are way to big and heavy.
May be GM should look at Subaru ancillaries and realize that some times small its better.

You can even see the water pump in this engine, the pulley is about 1"

I mention that the LS2 may be the shortest LS engine available base on the water pump on the left which belongs to a LS2, it has a short pulley, but still a bit to long. I need to get creative and come out (not from the closet) whit a solution for this water pump problemo.
also the water outlets are in the wrong side. I guess I need to get extra creative.

Premium Member
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Mr2 v8 ls1 swap

As you can see half of the battle its over, modified the tranny and the accessories and the assemble is 36 1/2" not to bad. the extra 1/2" is killing me
but I tell you I will not rest, take a shower. till I get it down to 36" (hopefully)

Premium Member
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
This is one of the extra F40 flywheels of the 1UZFE Project. it needs a LS1 bolt patter, new ring gear and some modifications as well, other wise it looks right at home

Tring to do some work in the background leaves very little progress
but every step forward its one less step to the goal
perhaps using a electric pump will make this transition a bit easier.
just a litter, electric pumps comes whit the own challenges.
one its cost, EWP for the LS its some where $600US to $800US that's a big hit in the wallet. not to mentions the pluming and so on an its no way around it, an EWP its a must or the water pump from the LS4
both reasonable choices but they come whit a full set of luggage of their own
For a moment it seems that the goddess of engine swaps was on our side. water pump, alternator, balancer, AC? bolts to the LS1
life its good!! is not. joy its short live

It seems like the goddess of engine swaps was having her nails done or she was having a bad day
almost everything bolt the LS1, except the belt tensioner an the AC(am not sure I don't have it) some times the manufactures cast the blocks whit the bosses event if they don't need it for some applications, drill and tap its all its need it. here is a shot of the LS1/LS4

this differences kills what it seems plug and play scenario

The LS1 ad the LS4 are blood related, but they are different. if you ask me this is a clear case of adultery

Like I mention before the LS1 need a Electric Pump or the pump from the LS4, its a easy choice?
not for me unfortunately my Demons an I can make a choice till we reach a consensus, after figuring out the LS1 water pump its clear that its a better pump than the previous takes cooling
to a different level.
the Chevy GenI/GenII have endure what it seems a poorly cooling design, the Chevy engineers went all out on the GenIII cooling system, whit a new thermostat, bypass, steam ports, pressurize reservoir an so on.
the early design work but it was ......primitive

GM expend a lot dough an time to design the cooling system it will a shame not to used this well though out system
it looks like I came to a cross road
I ben playing a little whit some ideas for the water pump this is one of them, it will work out whit the electric pump. but I'll will loose some of the circulatory properties of the original water pump, which I believe are necessary to keep the temperatures down on the HOT! Caribbean environment

Premium Member
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)

I got a LS4 to play whit it seems like the perfect engine for the tinny MR2 engine bay having almost the right dimensions
before anybody get to excited. it is a wolf in sheep camouflage
El Diablo its in the details a 5.3L V8 its a giant leap from the anemic 2.2L not to said that the 2.0L its a slug.
in the realm of big displacement the 4.8L an the 5.3L are consider light weight. some consider this engines undesirable just cuz the lock of CC's, hard core motor heads will choose the 5.7L over the 5.3L whit out moment pause. to me anything over 4 Litros its welcome.
everything on pairs is better i.e. boobs, girlfriends, two banks of four cylinders, kids..... (no comment)

This LS engine remains me of a sample size model very slim

Whit the weight to back up such statement (minus the AC compressor)

And attractive as well. mad respect to the engineers responsible for this layout

Such layout makes this engine ALMUST PERFECT! @ 23" long all you'll got to do dropped like its hot

OK before you'll go and do something illegal to get some cash to buy a LS4 thinking it will be a walk in the park swap, its time to get back to the real world of engine swaps.
their is no such a walk in the park swap, a swap its just like life whit its ups an downs more downs for that matter and some downs impossible to over [email protected]" its couple inches to wide, but before anybody stars crying it may be doable if we spit on or rub the engine whit KY and it may go in

The firewall needs some sweet talk to let us download the engine. if manners don't work we could choose black mail an tell her that we getting the blowtorch.
on the UZ swap if I remember correctly from the center line to the fire wall its about 14" clearance.

This guy its against Japanese engine bay's

The oil pan as well. it will be tricky to mount the engine whit out a cross member.
A crossmenber can be fab, but it will raise the engine couple inches

The alternator lives in the penthouse, and the oil pan lives in the basement this is the perfect example of two forces against each other
the alternator will hit the engine lid and the oil pan don't allow a cross member

Premium Member
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Ls1 v8 mr2

This call's for some sort of celebration!
LS4 married to the F40 Tranny such union yield a promising 36" 1/2"

I don't now about you guy's, Am celebrating! 5.3Litros destine for the MR2 its justified. besides if I don't drink I won't load pictures of the swap

High octane drinks also help endure the riddles ahead. it won't be easy! What I learn from the 1UZ-FE swap, there is about 12 critical point whit in 1/2" of each other. but it has to be done. so far this are the obstacles to over come. the belt tensioner seems destine not to be part of the LS4 or the LS1 for that matter.
interferes whit the CV joint it makes me drink more! the LS4 front end its epic and functional. like the LS1 water pump. hard choices ahead!
the exhaust manifold its dispensable, alternator an oil pan not so much.

KY its my friend.
2.2L relieved of duty by a 5.3L, it demands the engine bay to be modified to its spec's.diva's demands are meaningless to me. but I will do an exception this time.

Modern age, from 3D printers to lazer measuring systems, there is an array of super cool tools ready to help you save time and make everything easier . per instant you can go an buy a plasma cutter,a welder, microprocesor controlled of curse. or if you feel frisky get a Faro Arm and digitize the MR2 engine bay and a V8 engine
and find out What works and what not.
taking a ride on the digital wagon. will get you faster to the finish line
A small furtune its need it to get this toys, don't forget training and so on but who cares! thats what credidt cards are for.
couple years back it will be easier to spot a yeti than a V8 MR2 as illusive, complicated, imposible one is, we can hope to see one in not so distance future
lucky there is a tool capable to help conquer this summit.
a tool driven by the most complicated microprocessor known to man so unique that there is only one mammal in the planet equipt whit this processor from he factory. you can ask one for xmas, that's how affordable it is.
I own this tool it is responsible for the 1UZ-FE/LS4 swap!
it mekes me feel like THOR (minus the blond hair) if you are contemplating a V8 swap I highly recommend this tool

Word of advice, don't get Hammer wile you'll work on the engine swap. well lets not go crazy! you can get Hammer just measure twice
last time I measure the LS4 water pump some how I was couple inches off.
I had plan a Gurney bubble 3" deep for the LS4 water pump, which included a firewall cut of 4"X13"
I did the bubble just not as deep whit the help of my trusty Hammer whit no cutting necessary

Now for the good news... their is no good news here's a quick summary of my findings
both of the exhausts manifolds are a no GO!
Also the oil pan its fired, I need one that allows the exhaust to go under the engine thankfully there is couple to choose from.

I welcome this challenge whit open arms


Premium Member
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
LS4 Engine Stand

I don't like telling anybody what to do. but some times I have to.
this guy its just standing there, getting in my way doing nothing
So I find a job for it

I send some body to the Ferreteria to get some hardware

(Its mucho CALIENTE outside)

Damn, I need a DRINK!!:beer:

Cutting the FAT

It docent look like a nightmare anymore

Is it Just me? I think that the Tuck intake it's COOL.
I will used it on the LS4 when the time comes.


Premium Member
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Have you check the LS4 water pump? its suppose to be the smallest of all
It is, shaving the length of the engine was easy the challenges is, what to do whit that shave mass? it has to go somewhere! the engineers decide to directed to the front, there for it will hit the firewall
Check post 4

Can you remote mount an electric one, and mount it anywhere you want?? Or do they have to be mounted to the block?
EWP can be mounted anywhere, it comes down to the plumbing an how messy the engine bay will be. also see post 4

Swap pulleys for chain drive? Custom fab but may give you 1/2" you need.
Am up for custom fab but the less custom fab the easier this swap will be

916 Posts
It is, shaving the length of the engine was easy the challenges is, what to do whit that shave mass? it has to go somewhere! the engineers decide to directed to the front, their for it will hit the firewall
Check post 4

EWP can be mounted anywhere, it comes down to the plumbing an how messy the engine bay will be. also see post 4

Am up for custom fab but the less custom fab the easier this swap will be
If you skip the AC it will be easy as the ac clutch belt to chain conversion is beyond me. The sprockets, idlers, and chain are all off the shelf parts otherwise. Sprockets for Drive Chains | Sprockets | Power Transmission Products | TSUBAKIMOTO CHAIN GROUP

Premium Member
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Oh damn. This is going to be baller !

I've got a '99 Corvette, LS1's are pretty dope. I want to put a rear turbo on it, but I've got a bunch of smaller upgrades to do first.

Get a HPTuners to unlock the LS1, its pretty easy to do upgrades and change things.
I got a '98, the Gen III/LS1+ its not what Grandfathers/Fathers small block they used to drive.
it came to life whit on all-out design from gaskets to the must powerful ECM offer by a car manufacturer. nothing bolts/swaps to the early design or vice versa everything its different except bore, stroke, an gratefully the bell housing bolt pattern
Its what an American Engine should be!! it comes very, very, closed to Japanese quality. hope was misplace on the early design seen an engine whit over 100K was rare base on people that had own one, the need to overhauled an engine became the norm. a subliminal command was broadcast an the non stop innovation and the relentless search for power help create what is now the best aftermarket you'll will ever see for an engine.
In the past buying a American car whit over 75K miles was fools gold longevity was not there, Japanese engines had an are on a different spectrum when it comes to miles per engine life span one whit over 150K its consider middle age
LS/Vortec engines takes miles without regrets. While searching for a more affordable LS/Vortec engine its comment to see engines whit over 200K and if I'll may add affordable
to be clear the LS all aluminum are pricey VS Vortec Iron/Aluminum which can be have at one third/half of the cost. regardless of what the name imply, LS- Vortec its the same engine at the core. the only difference? MASS

Premium Member
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Keep it up! Way more interesting than my boring V6 swap.
C'mon there is no such of thing as a BORING SWAP or slow V6+ the fact that we are defying nature
an fighting, not whit swords, guns, but whit wrenches, hammers and risk bloody knuckles
just to get a extra set of pistons makes us part of the resistance
A brotherhood that chooses to ignore the pain of frustration and capable to watch the bank account go negative every time a new custom part its need it.

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