2 GR or not 2 GR

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lewiswhitmore524
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2 GR or not 2 GR

Post by lewiswhitmore524 »

I have a choice to make which I hope you can help with.

tl;dr - Do i 2GR my MR2 or keep it as it is?

I know it depends what i want from the car, but I'm interested to hear your opinion on this.


The Backstory

Resale value of the car doesn't matter to me. I never intend to sell it:
Back when i was a kid my Grandad put aside a small amount of money in an investment account. He did this for all of his grandchildren and the amount of money was equal. By the time it came to inherit that money at 21 it had matured to just under £2000. I decided that i wanted to spend this money on something meaningful, rather than some transient thing that would only mean something in the short term. I purchased my turbo for £2200. Now, I never met my Grandad as I was too young to remember him. But in a lot of ways this car is his gift to me. As such, i will never sell it unless i absolutely have to.

Up until now I have resisted making any major changes to it:
Any of you who have followed my vehicle thread, or spoken to me at shows, will know that my overall rule so far has been to not make any changes which I cannot reasonably undo easily. The reason for this was not to preseve the monetary value of the car, but more because I have a respect for the way they were originally produced. I've always wanted an MR2 and have shyed away from making major changes so as to not "ruin" the car.


The Decision

As some as you may know, i recently got rid of my Jaguar XFR. The 5.0L Supercharged saloon was a bit of a beast. The torque and the power delivery were brutal. I got rid of this because it was costing me a lot of money, and after 2 years of owning it i've kind of "done that" now. I've had the silly car which makes silly power, and i've always said during ownership that I would never own a car that powerful again. It's too much to be fun and safe on the road. I want something different.

The MR2 is now my sole source of fun driving, as i've downgraded to something sensible as my daily driver. It's also my source of tinkery. I love working on my car.

The problem is, I'm now itching for a bit more. I'm wanting to play with it some more, and add stuff to it. I miss the torque of my V8 at any RPM.

I now feel as though my decision to keep my MR2 as original as possible is holding me back from actually doing anything with the car.

If i'm going to start playing with the engine, the gen2 3SGTE is probably not the best one to do it with. In any case, i want to remove the engine at some point soon to tidy up the engine bay and try and fix the air con, whilst refreshing any components that need it along the way. The question is, do i put the engine back in?

I can find the money to 2GR the thing. Do i want to mess around trying to keeping the original engine? add some bits where i can? or just get rid of it and wack a V6 in it and give myself a challenge to make the car as good as it can be?

The decison comes down to keeping it authentic, or not. I'm not bothered about resale value, but it would mean making a major modification to a relatively untouched original turbo.

What would you do? 2GR or keep it authentic?


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Re: 2 GR or not 2 GR

Post by peteV6R5 »

chose V6 over Turbo back in 2009 after driving one of each back to back.
loved to smoothness of my V6, loved the torque throughout the rev range but it did lack that extra bit of punch that the 2GR delivers.
Always said if 2GR was around in 2009 when mine went V6 would gone that way.
then you have the wondeful V6 soundtrack as a bonus.
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Re: 2 GR or not 2 GR

Post by dawesy »

You know my answer.
The 2GR makes for a very capable road or track car, it’s worth it for the noise alone.
It’s slowly becoming an affordable swap now too.
Personally I’d recommend importing an engine from the states. You can get them from the UK Lexus but mileages tend to be high.
When all this craziness is over you’re more than welcome to take obi for a test drive.

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Re: 2 GR or not 2 GR

Post by vinp182 »

I’d keep it turbo myself. The only way I’d do an engine conversion is if the engine was knackered already or if I bought a car specifically to do a conversion

Your the only one that can make the decision tho dude
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Re: 2 GR or not 2 GR

Post by andyroo »

Only you can truly decide, i am unable to comment on a 2GR having only driven one still fitted to a Lexus, so for me i would stay turbo unless your engine is in need of a major overhaul.Also there always seems to be a lot of gremlins following an engine change unless staying standard.
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Re: 2 GR or not 2 GR

Post by telgnal »

En France la question ne se pose pas ,changement du moteur par un autre différent ,exige un passage aux mines pour faire homologuer cette transformation ,démarche longue et coûteuse .
Si ce changement n'est pas signalé en cas d'accident grave expertise et l'assurance est annulée .
Personnellement je suis pour laisser la voiture dans son état initial"sortie d'usine".
Sauf une transformation réversible .
Mais chacun fait comme il souhaite cette voiture est une voiture plaisir.
Corfialement .

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Re: 2 GR or not 2 GR

Post by MR2DI4 »

Stay with the 3SGTE its such a sweet engine and the thought of swapping mine out for something else has never entered my head in 20 years. Love the car exactly as it is but if I wanted more power I wouldn't waste my time on a engine conversion these days no need to just buy a new car.

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Re: 2 GR or not 2 GR

Post by jimi »

Get a drive of or in a MK2 with a 2GR fitted, then decide, if your used to V8 torque you'll like the 2GR.
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Re: 2 GR or not 2 GR

Post by Wizzle »

Having had both the 3sgte and 2gr in MR2s I will tell you if you are anything like me you will get used to it very quickly and once you have gone down the route of modifying the car there is no limitation to going further on either builds *IF* budget allows.

Driveability of the 2 engines are like chalk and cheese. Stock a 3sgte will be a little slower than a stock 2gr (my butt dyno) but the feel of the cars is actually reversed. The 3sgte stock I found a little more enjoyable to drive. Gears have to be worked a little more on the tubby and the boost is always nice. Yes I will admit this all you tubby fans :)! The 2gr by comparison is a very lazy engine. The sound is fantastic especially north of 4.5/5k and it pulls like a train throughout the rev range but it does lack a little vitality that a good turbo offers. This is not putting down a 2gr (its awesome) but I would highly recommend a drive in both.

For a daily driver/weekend toy the 2gr is a right hoot. Honestly it will put a smile on your face every time you drive it. Its also highly competent on track/autocross, though for a track weapon I would defiantly consider a tubby. Fuel economy if driven carefully is same on both but marginally better on a stock 2gr as the power is more usable, but you do have 2 extra cylinders/injectors. Note on the 2gr, the E153 is adequate but the ratios do not suit the power delivery of the V6. 1st is rapid, as is second.

I personally went down the V6 route. It was a daily at the time and this was the most logical option for me to look at. Do I regret it? Hell no!!! But the power delivery of the V6 is much easier to get used to and for me I found myself wanting more. If I was to go back and do it again would I change my mind, no I don't think so but with the money I have spent I could have got myself a tasty forged 3sgte build.

You absolutely have to drive both. And try for a couple of different versions of both power plants as people set up their cars differently. You will know which puts a smile on your face when you do and which you prefer, as its a very personal choice. take your time, don,t rush the decision and do your research!


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Re: 2 GR or not 2 GR

Post by Mike »

I dont think you would be disappointed with the 2gr swap after a run in Lee's i was very impressed with it. As for doing the swap i think that if you are doing it the with your attention to detail it would be done really well which would limit the number of teething issues you would have along with the support that is available is better now its a more common swap.

With mine im going to see what some proper engine management (haltech ecu) and a modern turbo (Garrett G25) which will hopefully be done soon ish so you can see what thats like if you arnt making a decision any time soon.

As others have said you need to experience in different cars to see what you like the sound and feel of as 3s vs 2gr are very different drives.


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Re: 2 GR or not 2 GR

Post by lewiswhitmore524 »

Thanks for the replies. Food for thought definitely. I'll take dawesy up on his offer of driving obi at some point. I've been a passenger, but that's different to driving it.


The thing is, the choice really comes down to if I want to keep things stock or not. Will i be ruining a classic car?


The mental battle i have is if i want to deviate from a stock setup or start modifying. For me, if i start modifying my car i'll go all in on it since i'll no longer be restricted by the need to keep it true to the original. The question once i've resolved the above "design philosophy" question, becomes something else: do i want to start playing with a 26 year old rev 2 engine if i'm going to start adding power, and the supporting mods to enable that? I regularly see people swapping gen2 engines for gen3/4 when they start wanting to mod them. Is the gen2 3sgte the right motor to play with?

If it isn't then i see an argument to go V6 instead.


Do i fundamentally mod the car beyond the relatively clean example i have? -> Yes/No

If Yes -> Do i have the right engine to start modifying or am i better off with soemthing else?

If the answer to that is Gen2 isn't the right engine, then it'll probably end up going 2GR.

If the answer is mod the Gen2 then it'll come down to feel and cost.


It was easier when i just had a peugeot 306 :facepalm:
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Re: 2 GR or not 2 GR

Post by peteV6R5 »

Do i fundamentally mod the car beyond the relatively clean example i have? -> Yes/No
I would say keep it stock, you have nice 2 there

If Yes -> Do i have the right engine to start modifying or am i better off with soemthing else?
limited by rev2 architecture , turbo and ecu. most go to rev3 or gen4 itf going for more power

If the answer to that is Gen2 isn't the right engine, then it'll probably end up going 2GR.
I would go 2gr rather than turbo but thats me even though now got M140 after V6. prefere the power delivery of the NA in the MR2

If the answer is mod the Gen2 then it'll come down to feel and cost.
prob less overall cost going 2gr than over 300bhp rev2 engine (ready to be shot down on that one)
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lewiswhitmore524
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Re: 2 GR or not 2 GR

Post by lewiswhitmore524 »

The more i look at this and think about it, the more the answer becomes obvious.

I'm going to buy another Mk2 to play with. It's the only way i can have my cake and eat it.

I'll be checking out a non runner G-Limited Automatic Rev1 this week. If the shell and interior looks OK I'll bring it home. By all accounts this particular one hasn't been modded, and the current owner knows nothing about MR2s. Means I'll need to check out the usual rust spots, but he's graciously allowing me to bring some tools and remove trim etc to check the usual rust spots in the pillars and boot/frunk floor.

Exciting times at the pumpboy household.
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Re: 2 GR or not 2 GR

Post by Mike »

Thats one way to solve your issue hopefully you find a nice car to start off with. Im excited to see your progress and now you can put more of your mark on it too.

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