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Rav 4 Engine Swap


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#1 DGC1

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 02:53 PM

Hi
we own a 5 door Rav with 180000 on the clock .Manual trans
I want to have an engine ready to replace the existing one which i will fit with a sequential injected lpg system.
So what engines will fit with minimal mods? thought maybe a 16valve or something turbo ?
Or are there any mods on the standard engine to release a few extra BHP .
As a footnote the gas systems work best with over 10.1 compressions .
Any ideas people

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#2 chatman

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 03:05 PM

Hi
we own a 5 door Rav with 180000 on the clock .Manual trans
I want to have an engine ready to replace the existing one which i will fit with a sequential injected lpg system.
So what engines will fit with minimal mods? thought maybe a 16valve or something turbo ?
Or are there any mods on the standard engine to release a few extra BHP .
As a footnote the gas systems work best with over 10.1 compressions .
Any ideas people


Bothy is yea man for that....He has two RAV 4.1 models transplanted with turbo engines... :o :o :o

Sure he will be on soon to update and inject his Scottish humour and advice.....

#3 bothwell_buyer

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 03:33 AM

The engine you have is a 3SFE 1998cc lump; naturally aspirated. There's not a lot you can do to this to increase power significantly. It can be modified to run on lpg - course you can put custom exhaust on and other tweaks.
On my Renault minibus, which has the 2.2 Espace engine, its fitted with lpg. It runs better on lpg cos its set up to run on lpg, but starts on petrol as many systems do. However, the engine runs hotter, and with the aluminium head, I've had some problems with the tappets closing up. I do all the maintenance on the engine myself, as no Renault dealer will touch the bus cos its got non-standard lpg fitted. Its a 1997 model, and I can get a LPG garage to look at the system, but as the lpg ecu takes its lead from the petrol ecu, any problems with the petrol ecu are outside their ability.
I had a Jaguar XJ40 running lpg and that was a nightmare as it had never been installed with the proper sized equipment/orifice/mixer.

Back to the 3SFE. This has the same block dimensions as the 3SGTE - a turbo engine designed as a race engine a few years back and fitted to various cars including the Celica and the MR2. It has a Yamaha head, and is quite different - whereas the 3SFE will output 127bhp, the turbo 3SGTE will output up to around 650bhp.

My plan with the 2 3 door 3SGTE engined cars I have is to use one to run well above 300bhp, and the other to remain a more tame 300bhp for the street.
At present the 1st car is running at approaching 300bhp; and has substantial mods - apart from the engine swap, there's upgraded suspension all round; upgraded front brakes; custom straight thru exhaust; and changed interior. As its a turbo, then compression is lower than the standard 3SFE, but we are running it at just short of 1 bar. It should take up to 1.7bar happily. The 3SGTE is set up to be able to handle this ok.

The RAV4 gearbox will handle over 300bhp, altho we had to stiffen the rear diff mount to stop it swivelling out its mount. A sway bar ordered from USA arrived on Friday which will hopefully help to control the rear trailing arm suspension.

This mod to a 3 door RAV has been done on about 4-5 other RAVs throughout the world - the main issues are the space available in the engine compartment. The new lump fits the gearbox, using a sports clutch, but some slight modification is needed to house the clutch cylinder and a slight change to the bulkhead which a hammer effects. The intake is at the rear of the engine and its here where the space is limited. So to change out the engine to a turbo, then add lpg to the system will be uncharted territory/modifications. Sure it can be done but depends on the space needed for the lpg stuff. I couldn't help you regarding the ecu side of things, but the lpg installer might help.

Another chap on this forum has the doughnut tank fitted flat in the rear.


The 3SFE is a reasonable engine, but I think its the head which restricts it.

Another mod you could do is to use the 3SGE n/a engine from an MR2 which will output more bhp and might be easier to do given more space (no turbo). Its a good engine. You can also pick up 3SFE engines fairly easily with low mileage.

Hope this helps - come back with more questions if you like.

#4 bothwell_buyer

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 04:58 PM

Another comment to add - from the guys at The Garage who did my conversions - the intake air temp might cause the lpg system problems if you attempt to use a turbo.

#5 Hoovie

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 06:28 PM

Warning: off-topic ;)

Bothy, am I right in remembering that the Gen 4 (I think - 198x to 1989) Celica GT4 Turbo had the 3SGTE Engine?

I had a 1989 reg one of those and best car I ever had :toast: Boost gauge never went above 0.4 until I took off over a hump-backed bridge and landed hard on all 4 wheels (late for a plane) - went all the way to the stop after that :toot:

#6 bothwell_buyer

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 07:12 PM

Warning: off-topic ;)

Bothy, am I right in remembering that the Gen 4 (I think - 198x to 1989) Celica GT4 Turbo had the 3SGTE Engine?

I had a 1989 reg one of those and best car I ever had :toast: Boost gauge never went above 0.4 until I took off over a hump-backed bridge and landed hard on all 4 wheels (late for a plane) - went all the way to the stop after that :toot:

Ye - the 3SGTE was in the Celica around that time and was in the GT4. Also found its way into Jap MR2s which folk imported here - the MR2 had the n/a 3SGE I think in the UK.
I've taken off in the RAV a few times but really need the rear tightened up a bit as its a bit twitchy...short wheelbase accentuates the twitchiness.
The 3SGTE came in 3 versions I think - ST165 / ST185 / ST205

I'm sure someone from that forum will correct me if I'm wrong. The GT4 charge intercooler is able to take a twin turbo. One is enough for me at the moment until I get the 2nd on the road.

#7 Hoovie

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 07:41 PM

I thought the GT4 of that era had 200BHP but I think it was really the ST165 - great car all the same - I would buy myself another one if I thought Mrs H wouldn't go mental at me.

First experience of Toyota service with that motor....
Exhaust started to blow so I took it to Mr T for an opinion, collected it later that day and found they replaced exhaust system under warranty - on a 4 year old car :eek: .
Had a fan fail for the a/c system - replaced the a/c rad as well as the fan coz' they found a cold spot on the rad :)
But a bit of plastic broke on the electric window and the wanted 200 for a new leccy window switch (no thanks!)

I know it is wrong sub-forum, but I still reckon this is THE iconic Celia Shape
Posted Image
Not got a pic of my own one :crybaby:

#8 bothwell_buyer

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 09:48 PM

I thought the GT4 of that era had 200BHP but I think it was really the ST165 - great car all the same - I would buy myself another one if I thought Mrs H wouldn't go mental at me.

First experience of Toyota service with that motor....
Exhaust started to blow so I took it to Mr T for an opinion, collected it later that day and found they replaced exhaust system under warranty - on a 4 year old car :eek: .
Had a fan fail for the a/c system - replaced the a/c rad as well as the fan coz' they found a cold spot on the rad :)
But a bit of plastic broke on the electric window and the wanted 200 for a new leccy window switch (no thanks!)

I know it is wrong sub-forum, but I still reckon this is THE iconic Celia Shape
Posted Image
Not got a pic of my own one :crybaby:

The ST205 can be taken up to around 650bhp. I've seen it written that it'll go further, but wi the RAV 3 door, improving from 127bhp up to 300 is pretty good!! I'd like to take one of them up past 350.

#9 DGC1

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 08:53 PM

The engine you have is a 3SFE 1998cc lump; naturally aspirated. There's not a lot you can do to this to increase power significantly. It can be modified to run on lpg - course you can put custom exhaust on and other tweaks.
On my Renault minibus, which has the 2.2 Espace engine, its fitted with lpg. It runs better on lpg cos its set up to run on lpg, but starts on petrol as many systems do. However, the engine runs hotter, and with the aluminium head, I've had some problems with the tappets closing up. I do all the maintenance on the engine myself, as no Renault dealer will touch the bus cos its got non-standard lpg fitted. Its a 1997 model, and I can get a LPG garage to look at the system, but as the lpg ecu takes its lead from the petrol ecu, any problems with the petrol ecu are outside their ability.
I had a Jaguar XJ40 running lpg and that was a nightmare as it had never been installed with the proper sized equipment/orifice/mixer.

Back to the 3SFE. This has the same block dimensions as the 3SGTE - a turbo engine designed as a race engine a few years back and fitted to various cars including the Celica and the MR2. It has a Yamaha head, and is quite different - whereas the 3SFE will output 127bhp, the turbo 3SGTE will output up to around 650bhp.

My plan with the 2 3 door 3SGTE engined cars I have is to use one to run well above 300bhp, and the other to remain a more tame 300bhp for the street.
At present the 1st car is running at approaching 300bhp; and has substantial mods - apart from the engine swap, there's upgraded suspension all round; upgraded front brakes; custom straight thru exhaust; and changed interior. As its a turbo, then compression is lower than the standard 3SFE, but we are running it at just short of 1 bar. It should take up to 1.7bar happily. The 3SGTE is set up to be able to handle this ok.

The RAV4 gearbox will handle over 300bhp, altho we had to stiffen the rear diff mount to stop it swivelling out its mount. A sway bar ordered from USA arrived on Friday which will hopefully help to control the rear trailing arm suspension.

This mod to a 3 door RAV has been done on about 4-5 other RAVs throughout the world - the main issues are the space available in the engine compartment. The new lump fits the gearbox, using a sports clutch, but some slight modification is needed to house the clutch cylinder and a slight change to the bulkhead which a hammer effects. The intake is at the rear of the engine and its here where the space is limited. So to change out the engine to a turbo, then add lpg to the system will be uncharted territory/modifications. Sure it can be done but depends on the space needed for the lpg stuff. I couldn't help you regarding the ecu side of things, but the lpg installer might help.

Another chap on this forum has the doughnut tank fitted flat in the rear.


The 3SFE is a reasonable engine, but I think its the head which restricts it.

Another mod you could do is to use the 3SGE n/a engine from an MR2 which will output more bhp and might be easier to do given more space (no turbo). Its a good engine. You can also pick up 3SFE engines fairly easily with low mileage.

Hope this helps - come back with more questions if you like.



#10 DGC1

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 08:56 PM

Hi
the gas side is no problem done loads of conversions and am an approved converter but the engine doesnt need to be 300hp just more efficient with a few more bhp from standard .
Any thoughts

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