MR2 SpyderChat banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

Registered
Joined
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all y'all arachnid freeks 馃
I am a somewhat new MR2 ('04 Spyder) owner, and brand new to the forum. I find myself researching "after the fact" lol. Smoked my stock engine and now looking for a replacement. I shoulda been here before..., then I woulda known about the oil issues..... grrrrrrr. And oil idiot lite never came on
Anyway, I would welcome some feedback as to what engines will fit, and any recommendations y'all can offer. I'm planning on swapping the engine myself. Have the space as well as all the basic tools. Feel free to chew my ass a bit for not gettin here sooner, but any leads on an engine would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

Registered
2001 MR2 Spyder
Joined
30 Posts
Welcome to the club!

Like you, I spontaneously bought a spyder and later doing a lot of research here as well. At least you have the revised piston oil pick-up ports...

Of course you can rebuild the original motor, The most popular and pretty close to direct swap is the Toyota 2ZZ-GE which is the same engine as the Series 2 Elise. Has valve lift for a extra boost to 180-190hp.

Start here for a good guide:

From there you can search the site and see the myriad of upgrades / motor options.

Good Luck!
 

Registered
Joined
5,854 Posts
Your '04 has the Proper Oil Holes in the Pistons.. What happeded to your Motor?..

Your Looking for an '03 or Newer 1ZZ from Most anything.. It will fit except for the Bearing Mount for the Drive Shaft to the Right Side.. It must be Drilled for it.. SOME 1ZZ Are not drilled..

I made a Fixture to Re-Drill the Holes and tap them, but the last SOB that Borrowed it, Vanished from forum, and so did my Fixture.. so that is not available anymore..

Cap
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gunship Runabout

Registered
2003 MR2 Spyder
Joined
146 Posts
Welcome to the forum. I have a low mileage 03 and it was my understanding that the oil issues were fixed on the 03+ engines but like you I bought the car without thoroughly researching everything about it (originally wanted an SW20 but decided I wanted to drive the car more than working on it all the time). Projects are fine if that's what you're into but I prefer to drive the car instead of watching it sit. What happened to your engine? Thankfully mine has been fine and I've done preventative maintenance on it to help avoid any major issues. I probably paid too much but all things considered I think I did ok.
 

Registered
Joined
93 Posts
I'm in the same boat. In my case, given the very low price of the car and the fact that it had no clutch, I kind of assumed the motor was toast. It ran pretty well but had a rod knock that I could not fix. Once fixed up and back on a stock suspension the car was great to drive, very fun and a usable now and then car. Now that winter is here I am in the same boat. As I see it you have the following choices.

Keep the current motor but get a new Toyota short block, refresh the head, and be on your way. I think this is good option but somewhat expensive and with no performance gain.

Get a 2zz with or without the 6-speed transmission. This is about the same price as above but you get much more power albeit in a very narrow power band. The downside is that the 2zz motors are getting old and the jdm motors are hit and miss.

Toyota 2ar swap. This is pretty expensive due to the transmission and swap parts. On the plus side very late model motors with very low miles are readily available. The swap is supremely documented and the swap engineering is second to none. As good as factory and better in some areas.

Honda swap. This is about the same as above, possibly slightly cheaper. The downside is that it is a more piecemeal approach to finding all of the parts and the swap documentation is not as comprehensive. The plus side is you can be very creative with your budget and the various Honda drivetrains. However, they are also getting older and have some of the same risks as the 2zz swap.

That is my take on the situation. I will probably do the 1zz short block or the 2ar swap. I'm still debating. My wife asked me if the money for the 2ar swap was worth it. It is for the swap kit and the motor, it is the cost of the transmission which is causing me to pause.
 

Registered
2001 MR2 Spyder
Joined
30 Posts
That's good to know. I didn't realize a good 2ZZ was tough to track down. MWR offers the 2ZZ rebuild as an option, and I might have to budget that when the time comes.
 

Registered
Joined
1,635 Posts
The 2ZZ is pretty nice, especially if you can buy a car that's already swapped, but tbh I think I would be pretty happy with a modified 1ZZ (high compression forged pistons, 272/264 nominal duration cams, upgraded valve springs and retainers, and a piggyback) to save a little money and avoid smog check headaches. It's not going to be super fast, but still faster than most Miatas :)

When I had my Spyder, I recall the 2ZZ pulled slightly stronger from idle thanks to the smaller cam, and the fuel efficiency was a little bit better thanks to the high compression ratio, but the difference was really small since at the end of the day, both engines have the same displacement.

The same thing goes for the transmission. I did like my C60's close ratios, and I did like having an LSD, but the car was still fun without those things. You do want the 0.725 ratio 5th gear if you want to open up the C56 and refresh it. The car is never going to top out 4th gear anyways.
 

Registered
Joined
93 Posts
Just FYI, I just pulled the trigger on a 2AR swap. The transmissions can be found which does help with the costs. 2zz or new 1zz short block is still cheaper. This is more hp and torque.
 

Registered
Joined
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Good deal. Thanks for all the feedback. And for the record..., engine was totally my fault. Car had sat for a few months and I didn't check the oil prior to hittin the road. I guess it's time to hit the salvage yards and try my luck on a 1ZZ/ 2ZZ in decent shape.......
 

Registered
Joined
1,405 Posts
I would never recommend doing a 2zz swap without the c60 transmission to go with it. The 2zz makes significantly lower torque than the 1zz and you will notice it drop out of its effective power range every gear change.

Really I would go with Gouky鈥檚 2ar swap if you are looking for some more performance with Toyota reliability.
 

Registered
Joined
1,226 Posts
I would never recommend doing a 2zz swap without the c60 transmission to go with it. The 2zz makes significantly lower torque than the 1zz and you will notice it drop out of its effective power range every gear change.

Really I would go with Gouky鈥檚 2ar swap if you are looking for some more performance with Toyota reliability.
This based on my memory, but I have seen the torque curves of stock 2zz and 1zz laid on top of each other, and the 2zz pretty much matches or exceeds the 1zz everywhere. It may seem less because the 2zz upper rev range is so much more impressive than its low-mid range
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top