I'm letting you guys decide my car's fate! To engine swap or not to engine swap?
Hello and welcome! As I have newly been made to the leader of the "Toyota MR2 Owners Club" (thanks Ben), I figured I should begin this leadership with a bang. So I'm putting it in the DriveTriber's hands whether or not I should 2zz swap my Toyota MR2 Spyder. If your verdict turns out to be in favour of the engine swap, I'll consider creating a video series (hopefully on YouTube) that I'll post on my DriveTribe page, consisting of different stages of the swap and a review. I might also begin going to track days and other events which I would also post on my DriveTribe page. Before I just throw in a poll and you guys vote for which you prefer, I think I should at least give some background information before you make your vote!
Why the engine swap?
The short answer: Power. The longer answer: The Toyota MR2 Spyder could do with some more power. While it does have a pretty fair power to weight ratio, making up to 141 hp and only weighing about a ton, you really can't help but wanting more. The low profile and decent suspension gives you more confidence when using the power, meaning that you pretty quickly run into the dilemma of wanting more. Compare this to the Fiesta ST mk5 or an Abarth 595 were the hatchback shapes makes the "lower" power to weight very justifiable and unless you drive rally or are utterly insane, you are pretty happy with what you have. This is were the 2zz swap comes in. The 2zz as some of you might know was in the Toyota Celica and the Lotus Elise. It's a fantastic 1.8 litre 4 cylinder engine that can make north of 200 hp and is surprisingly easy to swap with the original. It's not a Honda K20 (probably the better option if money and time wasn't an issue), but it's damn good. Looking past the power, an engine swap would also mean that I can change to a 6-speed gearbox instead of the 5-speed original, I would be able to add an entirely new exhaust system and possibly even a dry-sump if I wanted to.
Here's a video summarizing the 2ZZ swapped Toyota MR2 Spyder:
Why I wouldn't do the engine swap.
Well, money is probably the biggest reason. I'm an 18-year-old cashier soon to be studying mechanical engineering, so it's not like I have bags of cash around. What I make would be what I would use. The second problem is the fact that this would be my first modification to the car. Other than oil changes, VVT-valve swaps or O2 sensors being exchanged, I haven't done any modifications to the car. I want to, but again, I don't have much money to play with. Some of the stuff I want to change (other than the engine of course) include coilovers, sexier rims (Testarossa lookalikes), new brakes, better summer tires, and other esthetic stuff. According to other 2zz owners though, suspension & brakes aren't key swaps, they are nice to have but you could do without them. But if you ask a 2zz owner about whether it was worth it or not to do the engine swap, I promise you they'll say yes.