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3SGTE In a NSX - Please Don't Flame Me

12 May 2003
Hi...I don't have a NSX yet, but I've been shopping.

I currently have a MR2T with 433 rwhp and I have another motor waiting to go in that should make well over 500 rwhp.

BUT...I don't want a MR2T anymore...I WANT A NSX :) Anyway...so I want to sell my MR2 but I won't get what I paid into my built 3SGTE if I sold it...AND my buddy is selling a black/black 91 6SPD (upgraded) with a front end wreck.

He, however, also wants to keep his motor/tranny cause he said he had just rebuilt the motor and has a 6spd NSX custom geared or something...

Anyway...so I could potentially buy a front wrecked NSX with no engine/tranny...

OK, here's my plan: Complete widebody kit (w/ Type-R hood) and 2002 light upgrade to solve the body problem :)

Now....I'm sure you guys know where I'm going with this: swap my 3SGTE and it's tranny (cause its geared for the motor)...get custom axles, custom mounts, run custom lines and use my universal AEM EMS...

What do you guys think? I know you guys think I'm crazy for wanting to put a 2.0L 4 cyl engine in a NSX...but under the circumstances and the fact that I should lay down 500 rwhp easily...maybe this can be the exception :)

What do you guys think? *puts on flame suit*
The deal's not done yet but supposedly: $5K. I figure I'd spend another 5 for the widebody kit, another 5 for paint and wheels, ~3K for the headlight update, and another 1-3K for custom work (depending on how much work it will actually take)...so for under 20K I can have a 500 rwhp widebody thats "as good as new."

I'm still looking for other options...like the black/ivory 91 with front end damage posted on nsxprime.com's market place...but his car is in PA (shipping) and I don't know if the frame is straight (or if suspension pieces are damaged)...HOWEVER, his does have a good condition NSX motor/5 spd in tact, so...I have a few options open to me.

All this doesn't matter though cause I'm deployed overseas till next month so who knows what may be for sale by the time I get back.
If you know what you're doing, and it sounds like you do, it seems to be a deal. Keep us updated!!!
Well it's definitely not a horrible idea...433whp is 433whp...and the NSX is maybe only 100 punds heavier than the MR2 with that motor in it.
I think it sounds like a cool idea. None of us here are all that married to the NSX motor. It's a good plant, but only develops around 300 at the crank.

You are making 400+ at the tires which is in a whole 'nuther league. Who's gonna ever give you beef over being ridiculously fast?
Bonus points if you can turn the extra space you'll have in the engine bay into a luggage compartment! :)
Thanks for all the feedback so far.

As for reliability and maintenance issues...as long as it's not a NSX part that breaks, I'm good :D I get Toyota parts at 50% off list price and I've built a few 3SGTEs. I'm pretty familiar with Toyotas...have a Honda bike...not venturing into a Honda vehicle :D

One huge benefit is that the NSX with its longer/wider body and much fatter wheels is the ability to lay power to the ground. On my stock MR2 body, I can't fit fat enough tires to lay the power to the ground...(that applies to both straightline and turning).
I think it would be an interesting thing to do. Some would see it is downgrading from 6 to 4 cylinders but I certainly don't because I know the potential of the 3S -GTE. I say do it! And it's a big plus that you are installing it into a wrecked 91, that way you won't have to butcher a newer NSX. Let us know what your plans are and be sure to update us on the project! Should be one hell of a beast!

From your opinion, do you think this would be an easier swap to do since the 3S-GTE was originally designed to be mid mounted or would it not be much different from say swapping in an SR20DET? I know both require some heavy custom work but just seeing if the original mid mount design has any advantages in terms of running the cooling system and all that stuff.
Keep in mind the Top Secret Supra that ran the 0-300km/h in 12 something seconds was pushing a 3S-GTE..it's a bad-ass motor that's for sure.
ak said:
Cool idea but I think it'd cost hell of a lot more to do it than 20k total.

Ditto. Sounds like an interesting project, but I think you're vastly underestimating the cost. Check out some of the other widebody NSXs here - the cost for that alone is probably double what you've estimated. And only 1 -3K for custom work? I'd think it would be much more, even with you doing much of the fabrication.

Good luck and keep us updated!

I say if you got the money and the time go for it :biggrin:
do you think the cost that you spend to custom fit a 3S-GTE will be significantly less than if you built up the stock C30 engine with turbo that can push over 450hp? it certainly won't need any custom work to fit it in that's for sure
I'm not sure about the SR20DET, but I'm sure the tranny issue will be easier with the 3SGTE than the SR20DET from the 240.

1-3K for custom work I think is about right. IF it is how I picture it (and we all know projects never are)...the only major work I can think of:

mounts (my friend had custom mounts made when he swapped his 3SGTE into an old (forgot the model) Toyota and it ran about 500 bucks.

axles - know a custom drive shop that (depending on how it lines up) can take a NSX shaft, toyota shaft, some measurements, and make a custom axle at 1000 a set (maybe less).

shift linkage adapter - this one I haven't really looked into

I'm not worried about wiring too much as I'm already using a standalone EMS.

I'm not too worried about the lines either as I'll just run "adapter hoses" for fuel and coolant (meaning an adapter of appropritae length that would mate the 3SGTE line on one end and the NSX connector on the other).

I will swap out stock fuel pump with my WALBRO pump.

I'm running an A/W IC mounted right above the valve cover so it shouldn't need any new piping...just run coolant lines and mount heat exchanger (may require me to buy new/longer lines)

I will need new intake pipe before turbo and downpipe modified to mate with exhaust...and I guess (forgot to calculate this) a new 3" exhaust since I doubt the stock NSX exhaust was designed to flow for a turbo.

My dumpipe dumps straight down anyway so that shouldn't be a problem...

hmm...feedback much appreciated...

And I do understand that I may be underestimating my cost...projects usually take longer and cost more than initially planned.

I hope this project goes forward...only thing keeping me from doing it would be: 1) the car sells and I'm not able to get something of similar situation 2) I get blown up here

It sounds like an extremely cool project. It sounds like you have the driveline portion of your project estimated correctly. Some folks here are pointing to your estimates of the body work. As you know the NSX has a great deal of aluminum (and not just the body panesl themselves). Thus, bodywork becomes tricky, and perhaps more expensive to "make it right".

I would reccomend that you talk to some folks here who have done the widebody conversions so you can get a more accurate estimate on the cost. Otherwise, keep us posted!
how bout a 4g63?? =)
QUOTE]I would reccomend that you talk to some folks here who have done the widebody conversions so you can get a more accurate estimate on the cost. Otherwise, keep us posted![[/QUOTE]

I defiantely need to do this. I was looking into the Cantrell Studios widebody kit...which if I am understanding right, is a 1 for 1 replacement of the panels? If so, painting and attaching shouldn't cost too much...since there's no molding and fitment adjustments needed...but I don't know much about this so I will use the search button :)

As for the 4G63...I think that and the SR20DET are all good (4cyl) motors (along with the 3SGTE)...I just chose the 3SGTE since that's the motor I have and know :)
how much boost do the 3S-GTE and SR20DET come with from the factory and how much extra boost and hp can it handle on the stock bottom end?

I think the 4G63 is boosted to within an inch of it's life at 19.5 psi from the factory (on the Evo 8's) and I personally know how much more it can take before giving out.

I still think it's a rather interesting idea because I am a really big fan of small turbocharged 4-cylinder engines that manage to put out huge amounts of power!!!

Now what would be even more cool and fun (although not too reliable) is to custom swap in a 13B-REW (RX-7 rotary)
FormulaRX said:
Now what would be even more cool and fun (although not too reliable) is to custom swap in a 13B-REW (RX-7 rotary)

I can't see how that could be 'fun'. It's totally the wrong layout, would require a lot of work to mate to an MR transaxle, and on top of that the 13B is pretty tempermental to start with.