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Hello,

Very old member but first post. Long story short my 5mge died, RIP, and so I have been researching the things I need for a 7mgte swap.

I live in Troy NY so I only found one donor in a reasonable distance, but has the following

-blown head gasket
-149k miles
-1990 manual 7mgte
-$3500

Question is a blown head gasket salvageable?

Now I found a lot of lower mileage JDM 7mgte. I have done some research already with difference between JDM vs USDM, but has anyone here in the US has done a full JDM 7mgte swap (runningJDM ecu)?

I am leaning towards the JDM route and aware of some annoying bits going this route like overpriced, oil sending unit, shorter engine-ecu harness, speed limiter, etc. But it's hard to find a good donor or complete USDM 7mgte these days.

Let me know what you think, I was going to post all the links I found about the 7mgte swap but trying my best to shorten this post:)

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The local Supra i found posted on Facebook(can't post links yet so add www and Facebook to below)
"/marketplace/item/2049374211943928"

And one of the JDM 7mgte for sale I found (add www, ichibanjdm, and com in beginning below)
"/product/jdm-7m-7mgte-turbo-motor-supra-engine-3-0l-87-88-89-90-91-92-7m-gte-1jz-2jz-r154/"
 

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3500 for a bhg car is a bit steep in my opinion. If the body and interior were immaculate i would pay it. From the pics, the paint and interior are rough and you don’t know the condition of the drivetrain. I woud pay 2k maybe 2500 if the r154 tranny is solid with no issues. Getting a donor car is definitely the way to go on a 7m swap or really any swap. I paid 2450 for an 89 turbo car with a running motor but the r154 was jacked up. I ended up getting the motor and tranny rebuilt and spent a shit ton more than I expected. Don’t get me wrong I love the 7m motor. Once built right, it will last forever. I love the idea of staying true to the M series motors on our cars.

Honestly if i had to do it again, I would get a JDM 1jzgte front sump with a mated r154 from a Soarer. Low mileage and solid from the start. Here in DALLAS those go for about $3700 bucks and they have plenty in stock. That’s the same price as a JDM 7mgte with an r154. The prices keep going up. Two years ago these were about 3k. And the 2jz are getting more too. You would need to source the inter cooler and piping, motor mount brackets from drift motion and of course the wiring conversion. You’ll need that for any swap. There’s a good jz swap faq on this site with a ton of info.

If you’re dead set on a 7m, I would keep looking for a better donor car. You can bet though pretty much any donor will need at least a head gasket and probably machine work to the head, arps and a metal head gasket if you want do it right. Unless you can find someone who really knows the 7m and did it right. You can basically take out the drivetrain and sell the shell. That’s what I did. The body on mine was completely straight, no rust. I should have kept it and did another swap. OH well. Good luck on your project. Plenty of info out there on whatever direction you decide. There’s a ton of Facebook groups too that have parts for sale and people doing various projects. I know some people on here hate facebook but these are the times.
 

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Buy a donor car to get all the parts from. REBUILD THE ENGINE!!!!!! even if it seems to run ok, REBUILD IT! These engines have seen hard lives, and your better off starting with a proper rebuild. Also, if it runs before being removed from the MK#, then it will run once placed in the MK2. If it doesnt, then you didnt wire something correctly. Hopefully you didnt kill the ECU, igniter, etc.. in the process.

Also, NEVER clean the afm. If you spray a cleaner into it, it will be destroyed and you will be buying a new one.
 

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Thanks for the insight guys!

I am aiming for the 7mgte swap over the 1jzgte/2jzge/1UZ because of greater potential higher creep cost with JZ/UZ (example - bell housing, engine mounts, oil sump, fuel pump, etc.). My goal is to have decent power over the stock 160hp, when new, old 5mge with a budget target max cap of $8k. Plus getting a good 5mge these days are also getting expensive, I was quoted $1500 to 1700. So might as well swap it since I have some saved up money originally destined to clean up the chassis, modernize my wheels, brakes, and suspension first before aiming for power.

Additional info about my project is I am hiring my car mechanic shop since I have no garage nor a set of advance mechanic skill. I consider myself more of info gathering and designer like at my job, I design things and work with engineers to implement them. I trust this shop since they have done similar projects but mostly with euro (mostly British) sport cars like Jaguar and Triumphs. Plus this is the second 5mge that died on me, they did the second 5mge transplant but it was my fault to limit the cost by not asking them to rebuild it.

So based on highly advice of getting a running donor car, I am narrowing it down to $3.5k local Supra Mk3 90 turbo. I will try to haggle that price since I also think it is too steep for the condition of the car based on the pics. I could also sell the r154 to cover the cost, it is tempting to use the r154 that comes with it, but this will add additional cost and I do not plan to make monster HP/Torque. Furthermore, it might be a very long time for me to find another Supra mk3 turbo locally-ish. I also hate to part out a donor car if the body is straight, fortunately this does not look clean :) but it is running just with a BHG :(

As for the rebuild, seems like either way I need to do this. I will dig more info about this, so far a lot of info is rebuilding it for more power which adds creep $$$ costs. My guts tells me is have the shop inspect the engine and rebuild all worn parts with stock-parts with exception of the headgasket and ARP bolts.

Also thanks for the tip of NEVER clean the AFM! Little tips like that can get buried by overwhelming info :)
 

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Buy a donor car to get all the parts from. REBUILD THE ENGINE!!!!!! even if it seems to run ok, REBUILD IT!
I totally agree! You are far better off this way and ultimately will save time and money. I highly recommend you find a reputable machine shop there locally who knows and has experience with the 7M motors. Have them machine the block and head mounting services and basically replace all the internals with brand new parts except for the crankshaft of course. You are looking at least $1500 for the machine work and all new bearings, pistons, piston rings and connecting rods. That's all stock parts. If you want to upgrade to forged pistons and all that built stuff it's even more. Get a new oil pump for a cressida. It's front sump. You'll need to source the cross over tube. Willam here sells a hard line or you can get a soft braided line from driftmotion. There are some details that the shop needs to pay attention to when rebuilding the internals. The shop you identified to do the swap and install the motor sounds fine. However, they will need to how to do the wiring conversion. you can help do the research and provide to them. Or you can build the sub harness yourself. It's not that difficult. Just need to read some wiring diagrams and research everything. Having an engineering background i would guess you are familiar with these or at least can decipher them. The r154 is a great transmission and can hold tons of power. If you're going to do any sort of mods and make more power I would keep it. Some would argue the w58 is smoother and will hold fine at stock hp levels for the 7m. In my mind if you're going to rebuild and do everything may as well do it all the way. It's a pain the a$$ to change out transmission down the road.
 

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why don't you just rebuild you 5m and put a ct26 turbo you should be good and it shouldn't break anything either which is a plus
 

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Hello,

I had a 7MGTE put into my 1983 Celica Supra by a mechanic who specializes in Toyota's (supposedly), issues to be aware of:

-To keep original instrument cluster you will need to swap out one of the resistors on the small circuit card inside the instrument cluster (found detailed instructions on this forum somewhere).
-If using the R154, you will need to modify the floorpan as the transmission sits further to the rear.
-Driveshaft will need to be modified for proper length.
-Also the mechanic I used was never able to get the car to idle properly when it is cold..I personally swapped out several Idle Speed Control Valves but nothing ever seemed to fix the problem...fyi
 

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I totally agree! You are far better off this way and ultimately will save time and money. I highly recommend you find a reputable machine shop there locally who knows and has experience with the 7M motors. Have them machine the block and head mounting services and basically replace all the internals with brand new parts except for the crankshaft of course. You are looking at least $1500 for the machine work and all new bearings, pistons, piston rings and connecting rods. That's all stock parts. If you want to upgrade to forged pistons and all that built stuff it's even more. Get a new oil pump for a cressida. It's front sump. You'll need to source the cross over tube. Willam here sells a hard line or you can get a soft braided line from driftmotion. There are some details that the shop needs to pay attention to when rebuilding the internals. The shop you identified to do the swap and install the motor sounds fine. However, they will need to how to do the wiring conversion. you can help do the research and provide to them. Or you can build the sub harness yourself. It's not that difficult. Just need to read some wiring diagrams and research everything. Having an engineering background i would guess you are familiar with these or at least can decipher them. The r154 is a great transmission and can hold tons of power. If you're going to do any sort of mods and make more power I would keep it. Some would argue the w58 is smoother and will hold fine at stock hp levels for the 7m. In my mind if you're going to rebuild and do everything may as well do it all the way. It's a pain the a$$ to change out transmission down the road.
Thx, I just contacted the guy with the Supra mkiii so I can check it out in person. $3500 is a bit too much but it is a running donor car! I might think about swapping the r154 but maybe in the future. I know r154 is going to add more $$$ to fit it in my Mk2
 

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why don't you just rebuild you 5m and put a ct26 turbo you should be good and it shouldn't break anything either which is a plus
Originally I day dream of 5mgte, but I think it is not cost effective. I would want a custom ecu, sensors, tuning, and more if I go for a reliable 5mgte. I read about some megasquirt piggybacks to help tune a 5mgte but to me that is the risk that made me go 7m.
 

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Hello,

I had a 7MGTE put into my 1983 Celica Supra by a mechanic who specializes in Toyota's (supposedly), issues to be aware of:

-To keep original instrument cluster you will need to swap out one of the resistors on the small circuit card inside the instrument cluster (found detailed instructions on this forum somewhere).
-If using the R154, you will need to modify the floorpan as the transmission sits further to the rear.
-Driveshaft will need to be modified for proper length.
-Also the mechanic I used was never able to get the car to idle properly when it is cold..I personally swapped out several Idle Speed Control Valves but nothing ever seemed to fix the problem...fyi
Thanks for the heads up.

- I do plan to keep my original cluster and I know I need a MSD tach adapter. My references are:

7mgte swap FAQ in the forum
http://web.archive.org/web/20010619114312/http://www.celicasupra.com:80/7mgte/Intro.html
http://web.archive.org/web/20081014034610/http://andy.supras.org.nz/wiring_files/wiring.
TSRM online

I will keep the resistor swap in mind though thx.


- I am still on the fence about the r154. Like you said, need to massage the tranny tunnel, custom drive shaft, relocate shifter, source out an auto tranny brace, and possibly more. Yeah I may hold off on this until I get all the parts I need and the 7mgte inspected and rebuilt as necessary.


- For idle and tuning I guess I will just put my faith to my mechanic that the 7mgte behaves properly. Let me know if you figure d out your cold start idle and if I ran into the same issue and somehow solve it, I'll share the knowledge:)

By the way, did you use a donor car, JDM, or collect all the bits and pieces?
 

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Thx, I just contacted the guy with the Supra mkiii so I can check it out in person. $3500 is a bit too much but it is a running donor car! I might think about swapping the r154 but maybe in the future. I know r154 is going to add more $$$ to fit it in my Mk2
Why would it be more money to fit? You just need the front of an MK3 auto driveshaft for it to fit, or the pinion flange from the front 7.5in toyota IFS 4runner diff to use the r154 complete driveshaft.(both should be easy to find at the junkyard) Swap your center support bearing over no matter which it is, get an MK2 Auto trans cross member(asl in the wtb section here), bash one spot in the tunnel with a sledge, and it bolts in from that point. Might need to make 2 small cuts in the shifter hole and then bend the metal up, but thats it. it is so EASY to fit an r154, why wouldnt you?
 

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Btw, the cold start idle issue is likely the +B power is not coming from the proper relay, so is not providing power for a few seconds after the engine is shut off as it should to allow the ISCV to move to its "home" position. Easy fix. M-Rel pin out of the ECU needs to be connected to control the main relay. Then the main relay should supply power to +Band +B1

 

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Ok I am convinced in keeping the r154. I found a post about it. I am going to do more research about it. I might also end up hunting a 3.72 final gear drive and convert it to TruTrac if my 4.3 speedo gear from my w58 is not transferable.

I am getting the local 91 Supra mk3, it runs aside from the BHG. The owner said the previous kid did not install a metal head gasket and ARP bolt. He said the kid probably did not deck the block and head when he installed the metal head gasket or picked the wrong gasket.

He has an OEM head gasket I can use. What do you think about the OEM gasket? Can I re-use the current claimed ARP headbolt with OEM? Or should I just get a new head gasket, ARP bolt, and deck the head and block mating surface?

The turbo is also not stock and using bigger than stock intercooler that might be an EBay brand. The turbo is a modified ct26 with 16g. Not familiar with the 16g and all I found is it’s a Mitsubishi turbo with different performance than the ct26, not sure what gain though since it is still stocked tune with a slight bigger intercooler.
 

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EBay IC is fine if its sized right. Typical is 24x12x3. I have a 24x12x4 for my car. As for HG, get an HKS 1.2mm mhg. not a cometic, not stock. use HKS. Also, make sure the head is surfaced to the proper RA. The block, well, its not going to be able to be decked unless you tear it all the way down, which I would recommend, then have it honed and tanked as well. When you get it back, do not assume it is clean. Buy the oil passage brushes and lots of brake clean and clean the oil galleys like you would the barrel of a rifle. Clean clean clean, then clean some more! Gap the new rings properly. have the rods checked out, reconditioned if needed. I recommend ARP rod cap bolts. Cheap insurance. ARP head STUDS!!!!!!!! not bolts.

Also, when the machine shop does your head, have them ream the head bolt holes from the top with a 9/16in reamer, to a depth of 0.210in and then use the ARP insert washers. Part number 200-8574. You will need 2 packs as it takes 14 washers, and are only sold in packs of 2 and 10. two 2 packs is almost the price of a 10 pack. Nice to have spares.

https://www.supraforums.com/forum/showthread.php?683040-finally-an-answer-to-the-7m-head-gasket-issue&p=9423545&viewfull=1#post9423545

That thread goes over why you should do this. I plan to do this on my 7mgte rebuild, 6m build, and 2jzgte build. Cheap insurance.

Have the crank polished only if its good at Standard, only have it turned if necessary. Get new bearings, make sure you check the clearances, recheck them, then check them a 3rd, maybe even 4th time to be sure. If they aren't right, take the crank back to the machine shop and let them know what the clearances measured out to, and what you want them to be.

If you arnt capable of inserting the oil pump drive shaft bearings int ohe block with the oil holes lined up properly, pay the machine shop to do it. It is basically installing cam bearings in a SBC or SBF. but there are only 2.

Use lots of assembly lube. Seriously, you dont want a dry start, and once the engine has run for 10-15min to make sure there are no leaks, you should be changing the oil and filter anyway.

When you tq the head to the block, be sure to do so in the proper 3 step sequence. Then back them off in the proper removal sequence. Repeat the tq process, then the backoff process again. When you tq the 3rd time in process, it should be good at that point.

TAKE YOUR TIME AND DO IT RIGHT!!!!!!!! Rushing to finish is what ruins most builds as you overlook something, or dont clean something properly. CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN!!! I cannot say it enough. I have torn apart engines that local guys have built with as low as 10 miles on them and rod knocking, and there was trash embedded in the rod and main bearings, mainly rod #2 as it gets the most pressure from the oil pump due to the block design.

Make sure the freeze plugs are seated properly. They do not sit flush with the block. If you leave them flush, they will pop out. Look at them closely before removal, you will see they are recessed to a slight lip. They need to be reinstalled to this same depth.

If you do not have emissions in your area, dill the egr port off the back of the #6 runner and tap it for a 3/8NPT pipe plug. Then plug it! Do the same on the intake manifold, but make sure you have all of the metal cleaned out of it once it has been drilled and tapped. I have pics in my tips and tricks FAQ. Also tips for getting the flimsy paper gaskets to seal really well and stay in place while you mount the front lower timing cover, intake manifold, etc..

Mount the front timing cover to the block BEFORE installing the head! This is a must or you will ruin your HG trying to put it on afterwards.

https://www.celicasupra.com/forums/showthread.php?38080-helpfull-tips-and-tricks!

I recommend using the 10an oil pump feed tube I offer to go from the front sump oil pump to the block, but its up to you.

I highly recommend Heli-coiling the exhaust manifold studs in the head. M10x1.25 thread. Use the proper TOYOTA exhaust manifold nuts. They are the only nuts that will tq properly. This will keep the manifold tqed properly and the holes in the head from stripping out.

Do all of these things, and follow the specs in the TSRM and you will have a very reliable 7mgte.
 

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The block, well, its not going to be able to be decked unless you tear it all the way down, which I would recommend...

Mount the front timing cover to the block BEFORE installing the head! This is a must or you will ruin your HG trying to put it on afterwards.

https://www.celicasupra.com/forums/showthread.php?38080-helpfull-tips-and-tricks!


Do all of these things, and follow the specs in the TSRM and you will have a very reliable 7mgte.
I agree with everything William said - the 7mgte is very reliable when done right. Bulletproof even.

One more thing, if you have the block decked, make sure the front timing cover gets shaved down, too.
I've acquired two '85 Supras with freshly rebuilt engines real cheap over the years. In both cases the previous owners had the block decked during their rebuild process. Also, in both cases, they gave up in disgust after getting it all back together again and finding massive oil leaks from between the head and block around the front of the engine upon start up. One was a 5mge and the other a 6mge but it also applies to the 7m, too.
 

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Forgot to mention that as any competent machine shop will request that front cover to be brought in with the block. Just automatic in my head.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks william82! That's a lot of info. Very interesting read on the Supra Forum link you gave. Shows how noob I am, now I know the difference between a head bolt vs stud. So using this insert technique prevents the lost of the clamping of the head and block over time? Do I still need to check the head torque annually or does the insert make this maintenance less frequent say 2 to 5 years?

On the EGR it is interesting you posted on the other link that deleting this will have cooling improvements on the back end of the head. I thought the purpose of the EGR was to cool down the combustion to help emission. I guess it cools down the combustion under limited conditions, but outside that envelope it is very detrimental that affects the head cooling performance? I also assume it does not affect normal driving conditions with a blocked off EGR and a stock ECU?

Once again thanks. Finally got the donor car and the shop will inspect the condition of the engine at some point. Going to start ordering other parts to get this swap rolling. Also planning to get a short throw shifter for the r154, it does feel like more of a truck like everyone I read from, especially that I am spoiled with modern manual transmissions (I also drive a 2013 STI which I like how the gearing is and shifter feels).
 

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The EGR puts exhaust gas into the intake, which takes up space in the combustion chamber during cruising to burn less fuel. This is what helps emissions. By burning less fuel, it does lower combustion temps, but at wide open throttle, the EGR is off, so the temps at WOT are not affected by disabling the EGR. You may get slightly less gas mileage, but it will keep your intake manifold and runners cleaner.

as for the back of the head, that cover is call the EGR cooler. it cools the exhaust gas before it is dumped into the intake. This puts more heat into the back of the head.

as for head tq, yes, those inserts are to prevent the aluminum of the head at the top from collapsing in on the bolt, allowing the tq to be lost. I have never checked mine annually. I dont even do a retq after 500 miles. The procedure I gave of tq'ing, removing, tq'ing, removing, tq'ing is to seat the gasket so the retq isnt needed. You can if you want, it is up to you. I have never been a fan of backing off bolts and retqing them after the engine has coolant filling all of the water jackets.
 
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