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I have 2 cars that I can buy, one NA and one a turbo. Both are dirt cheap but the NA is more mechanically sound. Now I have a daily driver so that's not an issue, I'm just afraid that after all the repairing of the Turbo, I might as well do a swap. I also understand that the turbo motor isn't nearly as reliable as the NA so at 160k it'll probably need a rebuild on top of all that. How easy is the swap? Can I use the NA tranny with a turbo motor?
 

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the turbo is just as reliable as the n/a given good maintenance. maintaining a turbo costs more though. i wouldn't recommend using a 5sfe tranny in a 3sgte because the 5sfe trannies are weak and have shorter gears.
 
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If they're both ?dirt? cheap, then you'll definitely want to buy the turbo now and just give it some of the TLC it's been longing for. It'll be more efficient and more affordable to get the turbo upfront, rather than prohibiting feature modifications with hopes for going turbo with an NA. In addition to that, you did mention that it would be dirt cheap right? Not sure if we're talking about Beverly Hills dirt, or Nevada dirt, but I'd go with the turbo.
 

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lDeeZ lNuTz said:
the turbo is just as reliable as the n/a given good maintenance. maintaining a turbo costs more though. i wouldn't recommend using a 5sfe tranny in a 3sgte because the 5sfe trannies are weak and have shorter gears.
Since when is the 5SFE tranny weak!? If you don't need a daily driver get the turbo I say, but either should make you pretty happy. You could always do the 1MZFE v6 swap if the engine goes.
 

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The only advantage I see to getting the N/A and doing a swap would be lower insurance rates. But the difference is pretty small, I'd get the turbo and avoid all the hassle.
 

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Mister2.2 said:
Since when is the 5SFE tranny weak!? If you don't need a daily driver get the turbo I say, but either should make you pretty happy. You could always do the 1MZFE v6 swap if the engine goes.
the 5sfe tranny isn't built to handle 3sgte power levels, although it certainly works, i guarantee you an e153 tranny will last longer and take more punishment.
 

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i say buy the NA and learn the car's tendencies while you're looking for a nice turbo....almost every time i see an mr2 get wrecked, it's a turbo and they never owned an NA...the car is very unforgiving and it's best to find this out in an NA first, where it'll be easier to recover if the back end slides out in a corner
 

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I would highly recommend getting the Turbo variant. The 3sgte is an incredibly durable engine and I would say that it easily matches the 5sfe's quality. True a turbo is another part that can break, but they also are an incredibly useful tool for extracting power out of a 4 cylinder. If you want your MR2 to be "fast"(yes I know this is a relative term) then the turbo is the choice for you. Now if you just want a car to putz around in that has great handling characteristics get a MkI, just kidding then go with the N/A.
 

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I say get the Turbo. They're alot of fun :)

If you're at all afraid of the way the car reacts, all you need to do is show some restraint. I am 18 and my Turbo is my first car, my daily driver and it was set to 15psi from the day I got it. I have had no problems, no surprises. I drive it rain or shine, fast and slow. It wouldn't be hard to get into trouble, but I think most people exagerate the car's tendency to get out of hand. I have had the back end out, but I don't think it's as hard to catch as people say, it just takes some forward thought and concentration.

Or maybe I'm just a badass driver. Err...
 
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