All posts by Bill Strong

3.3 liter 3MZ-FE V6 Powered 2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder Build – Part 1: Parts assembly

I have grown tired of having to rev the snot out of my 200hp 2ZZ-GE powered 2001 MR2 Spyder. I want the grunt of the V6 in my lightweight sports car. So now the build begins…

2001 Toyota MR2 GTv6
2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder GTv6



    • 2005 3MZ-FE, used, 103,000 miles. I’ll refresh the belts, tensioners, water pump and a few other bits.
    • 2001 1MZ-FE 3 liter VVTi engine harness. This is plug and play on the later 3MZ using the 1MZ VVTi ECU. This allows the use of a non-electronic throttle control. The what? Old fashioned wired throttle.
    • 2001 1MZ-FE knock sensors.
    • 2001 Toyota Avalon ECU, Toyota part number: 89661-07311. I believe this may have had the immobilizer hooked up to it. Cost was $75 for him to zap the ECU back into virgin mode. So I will send it off to:
          Joseph Mensh
          8052 elm Dr
          Ste G
          Mechanicsville VA 23111
  • 1997 Toyota 1UZ-FE V8 70mm throttlebody. I’ll have a RSm 1UZ to 3MZ adapter to make this fit on the 3MZ plastic intake manifold.
  • OBX 1MZ-FE stainless steel exhaust headers. These need to be modified to fit the V6 / manual transaxle configuration. They are designed for the Camry. But are easily adapter to work on the MR2. These are some nice flowing Chinese made headers, we also use them on the MK2 yellow endurance racing MR2.
  • Stock modified 3SGTE steel flywheel. Street car, so standard street stuff will be used. Makes driving in traffic easier. Clutch is an ACT HD pressure plate and friction plate.
  • Mishimoto MMRAD-SPY-00 Aluminum radiator. Crash damage protection. The only radiator that RSm uses.
  • NoobieMR2 1MZ/3MZ E153 engine mount adapter set.
  • Moroso 1.5 Quart oil accumulator, for those days that we do track the car at VIR or Summit Point.
  • K&N bigass air filter and BPi Flow Stack intake with Jet Performance Mass Air Flow Meter.
  • Woodsport Performance 6-Speed gearbox with Quaife LSD.
  • 1995 Toyota MR2 turbo axles and intermediate shaft modified using the RSm mount on the intermediate shaft. ST185 26-spline outer CVs.
  • Walbro High Pressure 255LPH fuel pump, internal returnless FPR.

The chassis is already pretty sorted with Eibach Pro springs and Koni struts, RSm chassis reinforcements, and 245 40ZR17 and 215 40ZR17 tires with matching big wheels. Brakes are stock with Porterfield pads.

More to come as we start putting it all together. And when I am done, you will know how to build your own MR2 Spyder GTv6!


How to build a MK1.22 5SFE powered 1985-1989 MR2

How to build a quick and dirty MK1.22 5SFE powered MK1 AW11 MR2

Remove engine latch and latch mounting sheet metal on chassis. this gets in the way. Use hood pins to hold lid in place.
No need to cut battery box out. Keep battery right there. Move later if you want. we see no performance gains in real life. maybe on the internet, but not in real life.
use a 93+ 5sfe with the 93+ S54 5-speed that goes with the engine. Better setup than 90-92 5SFE. But if that is what you have then use it.
Use a Rav4 3sfe exhaust manifold. – lighter and actually more power and it last. cheap too.
hack together an air box or do what I did with a good K&N filter. makes pre-made mounts that you weld in. I did not use the jig, I just placed the engine in where I wanted it. mounted the side mounts to the engine, then tacked them in place. Pulled engine and welded to frame. painted.
I used the Speed-Source front mount and welded up a rear mount using the speed source chassis side for the rear.
Get a Celica 3sgte alternator mount as this moves the alt to the exhaust side and up high. Unless you want to notch a hole in the rear trunk and frame to fit it down low. I just hacked a hole.
stock MR2 1990-1995 5SFE N/A axles fit the transaxle and the MK1 hubs.
Replace electrical speedo sender with mechanical off of earlier S54.
Stock 4age fuel pump works fine. You can upgrade if you want to either 5SFE replacement. I suggest people do that so they know they are getting a good pump.
send 5SFE injectors to for cleaning.
use stock 1990 to 1995 MK2 5sfe fuel lines. The connect up to the AW11 filter and tank return. Replace fuel filter. Charcoal canister from the AW11 works fine as well.
Wiring is really easy. Call David Hawkins to come out and do it for you. Kidding. Use the Paul Woods MK1.5 wiring diagram. 1/2 the wires in that are not used as the 5SFE is really a simple ECU.
have your radiator professionally cleaned. use a new stock MK2 5sfe MR2 engine side hoses. that is the fun part, just slice and dice to make it all fit.
I use a 90s Corolla over flow.
Use the MK2 coolant fill tube and cap.
change oil pump, water pump, cam belt, clutch before putting the engine back in.
Use the MK1.5 SpeedSource clutch hose.

that is it. should take 3 to 4 days to do the swap, maybe 5 or 6 if you have to borrow a socket set. seriously. If you can’t, then please go back to changing air filters on hondahs

Stolen cheap race car building ideas

I have found ideas ion the web to make for cheap and to add some professionalism to your car build. Here are a few we have off the ChumpCar forum..

-RWD Driveshaft Shortening/Building – If you need to shorten a driveshaft or pair the front of one with the rear of another, this method works very well. You’ll need to cut the originals apart, and you’ll want the seam to be as close to either end as possible for balance reasons so keep that in mind when you prep them.Fit them together in the car, paying attention to be sure the yokes are aligned. Start by tack-welding and truing with a poor-man’s dial-indicator: a vise grip clamped to the car so it nearly touches the driveshaft. Keep turning the driveshaft and smacking the tacked weld joint until it turns true in reference to the Vise-grip, then finish the weld. Cheap, easy, and they actually come out balanced really well. Tools Needed: Saw of some sort, MIG Welder, Vise Grip (or some other method of indicating the trueness of the driveshaft)


-Body/Spoiler Bracing from Fuel Line – Fuel line with the ends flattened in a vise and drilled makes for very nice, lightweight body bracing. It’s zinc-plated so it won’t rust, and since it’s meant to be formed, it’s very easy to work with and straighten either when building, or after you get crunched. Buy a straight length of 5/16″ or 3/8″ Steel fuel line from your local parts shop, cut pieces to length, flatten both ends in a vise, then drill holes in both ends, you can radius the flattened ends with a grinder or sander to clean them up. Secure with 10-32 or 1/4-20 Screws and Nylock nuts. Quick, easy, light, strong, cheap, and professional looking. Tools Needed: Vise, Drill

For circle track racing it’s used to support skinned body panels, but in Chumpcar I’ve used them as spoiler braces in place of purpose-built adjustable ones that usually run $20+ each. Beyond that, you could use them as splitter supports, dash supports, etc.

This shows some purpose-built ones used on the inside of a late model nose:


– Get rid of washers under nuts that fall off.  Take a wizz wheel to the nuts face to add some grip to the nut/surface interface.