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Thread: 77 celica (RA24) needs a new heart

  1. #1
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    77 celica (RA24) needs a new heart

    Hi, this is my first forum and my first old car. I recently obtained a 1977 celica gt coupe which I am in love with but it has been an emotional battlefield fighting rust, leaks, and mechanical issues. The celica is equipped with a 20r/22r hybrid but recently over heated so now I'm in the market for a new engine. I would like to know what y'all think would be a good swap /bang for the bucks/reliable/power/balance/and out right fun and awesome/

    some of the swap i had in mind
    ~ beams 3sge
    ~ 1jz-gte
    ~ 1uz-fe
    ~ rb20det
    ~ f20c
    this machine will be for street and occasional track use.
    ~thanks for all the advise and input


    IMG_1044 by RustyRedemption, on Flickr


    IMG_1064 by RustyRedemption, on Flickr

  2. #2
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    Re: 77 celica (RA24) needs a new heart

    Samurai knob is bad ass.

  3. #3
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    Re: 77 celica (RA24) needs a new heart

    That is a truly beautiful example of a celica. Props to you.

    Couple of questions though..
    1) How mechanically inclined are you?
    2) What do you want the car to do specifically?
    3) What drive characteristics do you want the car to exhibit?

    I often have complicated builds for myself in the past by making them too ambitious or complicated.
    Couple of thoughts:

    1) Beams engines are really nice, and in that chassis it would make sense. But expensive for power achieved. I know a guy doing a beams swap and parts sourcing has been a nightmare for him.

    2) 1jz-gte is an awesome engine and very reliable for a turbo motor and will give you much more power than needed,.. but is heavy and will certainly effect control differently than the 22r (different is not always negative though). Parts are easier to come by, and a few different trans and clutches will work on them (w58, R154). This would be my vote if you are brave about turbos.

    3) 1uz-fe are great engines, and I've actually seen a couple carbed examples if you wanted to keep it simple. Adapter plates are getting easier to come by for both w58 and r154 transmissions, and they are far lighter than a 1jz. (aluminum makes a difference I suppose)

    4) I'm not ignoring the other engines you mentioned, but I'm not a huge cross polination fan unless there is a compelling reason to do so, and in this case not so much. The rb20 is inexpensive, but will not be as satisfactory as a 1j, and the f20 is far too expensive, and the transmission is geared funny. Instead, for the same power of an rb20, and for less money, you might look at NA 2jz engines from the early 90's. Easy to work on, cheap, and if the turbo bug ever bites you, they handle it like a champ.

    Anyways, I hope that was some helpful perspective from a guy that (me) always bites off a little more than he can chew..

  4. #4
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    Re: 77 celica (RA24) needs a new heart

    Thank you! (MrHolister) for your enlightening advise.
    Alittle background on myself, most of my car history and experience are based on Honda fwd platform (em1,eg6,da9)
    I'm also serving in the Air Force training to become a machinist with access to a water jet, cnc, mill, lathe, tig and mig welder.

    I hope to make the celica responsive and handles like a go-kart. It currently handles like a golf-kart with a lawn mower engine.
    I have decided to go with a 1uz-fe swap because it is a strong, reliable and smooth powerplant. I just cant deny my infatuation for N/A + ITBS

    However I'm not exactly sure what rear end and drive shaft would be a suitable match, and what cross member is required to make this swap happen. And when it comes to wiring and electronic I'm completely clueless! ops:


    IMG_1046 by RustyRedemption, on Flickr

  5. #5
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    Re: 77 celica (RA24) needs a new heart

    Hello rustyredemption from a fellow air force mechanic

    Looks like you got a great project ahead of you. That car with a 1uz is going to be amazing if you do it right. You might want to check into ae86 rear ends or earlier supra rear ends. I would make sure whatever rear end you use already has the rear disc brake setup and get rid of the drum brakes your running. In addition to upgrading your brakes with the swap you can get upgraded aftermarket diffs with a little searching. I believe with minor modification you can make an ae86 rear end fit with only little fabrication. There is a write up on it somewhere out there, I will see if I can find something for you. Only downside, a lot of those rear ends stateside didn't come with disc brakes however you can order all of that from Japan pretty easily.

    Best of luck on your swap, keep us posted on progress

  6. #6
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    Re: 77 celica (RA24) needs a new heart

    My 77 Coupe has a 1.5JZGTE with a T61 single and W58 trans. It just burns the tires up once the boost comes on. If I could go back, I probably would have went with a NA 2JZGE. Would have been alot easier without having to mess with the turbo stuff, and still could put 200hp on the ground. Meaning you could drive it with lots of throttle and revs without just spinning the tires everywhere like the turbo JZ. If you use a W58, it will fit in your car using the stock driveshaft and transmission mount.

    As far as handling, my car handles awesome, corners like a snake. Here's my setup:

    Entire front suspension and steering is from an AE86. Crossmember, Rack, column, struts, brakes, spindles etc. Modified some S13 front coilovers welded to AE86 spindles.

    Rear has a '80 Supra axle with disc brakes and adjustable 4 links with heim joint ends. MX83 Cressida springs and crappy stock shocks at the moment. Aftermarket AE86 rear swaybar.

    So there's my input, take it how you see fit LOL. Good luck

  7. #7
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    Re: 77 celica (RA24) needs a new heart

    Quote Originally Posted by RustyRedemption
    Thank you! (MrHolister) for your enlightening advise.


    IMG_1046 by RustyRedemption, on Flickr
    No problem. I've been down the road of the "what swap is best" highway before, and sometimes we tend to look at things through rose colored glasses.

    Good luck with your swap, I love the car. Never part with it. 8)

  8. #8
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    Re: 77 celica (RA24) needs a new heart

    Have you considered the 3RZ 2.7 liter from a Tacoma/T100?

  9. #9
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    Re: 77 celica (RA24) needs a new heart

    Quote Originally Posted by kingtoy
    Have you considered the 3RZ 2.7 liter from a Tacoma/T100?
    I second this! 2RZ or 3RZ would be a good choice. These were basically Toyota's replacement for the 22RE. Easy fit and very good engines. Lots of aftermarket including turbo stuff.

  10. #10
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    Re: 77 celica (RA24) needs a new heart

    These are all great ideas! Now where is a good place to buy engines with low miles and not have to worry about getting screwed over? I've heard horror stories.
    here is my Kirin Ichiban beer tap shifter, I've made an adapter on a lathe to go over the stock shift lever.

    IMG_0995 by RustyRedemption, on Flickr

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