BTD Reader
8/20/19 11:50 a.m.

Hi Everyone,

The time has come to move on from my V6 swapped MR2. This is a longtime Colorado car that has a pretty interesting history that is detailed below. The swap was completed in early 2018, with the majority of work being done by Nixspeed Racing in Erie, Colorado. Since then, I've spent a bunch more time and energy tidying up the small details of the swap and getting the car to a state that I'm happy with.

For those of you with short attention spans, the basics will come first:


  • 1991 Toyota MR2 SW20
  • Hardtop
  • Manual Windows/Mirrors
  • Manual Steering/No ABS
  • 159,990 Indicated Miles, Swap Completed ~18 Months ago



  • 3.0L V6 (1MZ-FE) from a 1998 Toyota Camry
  • 1995 1MZ-FE Return-Style Fuel Rail
  • MR2 Turbo Fuel Pump
  • Woodsport Engine Mount
  • Yonaka Aluminum Radiator
  • S54 Transmission (New diff bearings in mid-2018)
  • S51 5th Gear Swap
  • TRD Helical LSD
  • 1993 MR2 Shifter & TwosRUs Short Shift Kit
  • Modified HKS Sport Exhaust
  • Magnaflow Catalytic Converter
  • Wiregap Wiring Conversion Harness



  • Black Paint
  • 1995+ MR2 Taillights & Center Panel
  • Includes both Amber and Clear corner lights
  • 15x6.5" BBS Mesh Wheels (~12.5 lbs)
  • Staggered 195/205 width Kumho Ecsta 4x II tires
  • Hella Sharptone Horns



  • Koni Inserts
  • Eibach Pro-Kit Springs
  • Full Prothane Urethane Bushing Kit
  • New Inner/Outer Tie Rods (Moog)
  • New Front and Rear ball joints (Toyota)
  • Cyrotech Rotors + Street Pads
  • New Wheel Bearings


Extra Parts that Are Included:

  • Set of Front/Rear MR2 Turbo Brakes
  • An extra set of OEM strut housings with Koni inserts (likely worn out)
  • A newer 3-spoke Toyota wheel from a Corolla S
  • Aftermarket Swaybar
  • MR2 Turbo CD Storage Compartment
  • Yokohama Super Advan SA3 two-piece wheels w/ 215/40 and 230/40 Federal 525 RS-RR tires (for additional cost)


The good:

  • Runs great, starts/idles/drives like factory
  • Working A/C
  • Has passed Colorado emissions 2x since the swap
  • Comes with a fresh CO emissions slip for the new owner
  • Is very cool/unique
  • V6 Torque
  • V6 Sounds
  • 25-30 MPG


The Needs Some Work:

  • Front end has a fairly notable amount of rock chips/pitting
  • Small dents on the driver's door, driver-side roof, and passenger-side quarter panel
  • Some larger scratches present on various panels
  • Driver-side quarter panel has an area of paint where the clear coat had been buffed through. As you can see from photos, it cleans up nicely, but I felt it was worthy to note.
  • Passenger-side suspension clunks over bumps (looking into this, is likely a simple fix)
  • Slight vibration while accelerating in 2nd gear (unsure why, torque maybe?)
  • Sometimes throws a P0441 code, likely due to a VSV that is going bad
  • Passenger door lock is a bit sticky, but is functional


Prices (fairly firm, but open to offers):

$8500 for just the car

$9000 for the car + Advan wheelset (recently refinished)


I purchased this car from a local SCCA member in 2017 as a rolling shell. He had blown the factory 5S-FE at a track day, and had then parked the car for ~1-2 years before I picked it up. At this time it was stock save for a larger front swaybar and the Koni inserts.

What attracted me to this particular example was the very rare options that it was equipped with. To my knowledge, this is the lightest factory 2nd gen MR2 that you could buy - a hard top, manual window, manual steering, non-ABS car. It was purchased new by a local autocrosser who competed in SCCA E-Stock competition when this was the car to have. It reportedly won a national ProSolo championship circa-1995 and was autocrossed successfully for a number of years after that.

Included in my purchase were service records and setup notes dating back to the original owner. I have a 1.5" thick binder with these records, in addition to all of the records from my ownership. Also included in the sale are a set of Toyota BGB's for both a 1991 MR2, a 1998 Camry, and a set of OEM Toyota parts lists on Microfiche.

I purchased the car specifically to do a V6 swap, with the intent to focus on weight. Because of this, I chose a 1MZ-FE, which was sourced from a 1998 Toyota Camry that I bought as a complete donor car. This particular engine/year has a few advantages:

  1. It is the lightest V6 swap possible
  2. It bolts to the OEM transmission and uses three of the factory mounting points
  3. All of the emissions equipment is located in the engine bay (only in 1998/1999)
  4. My donor car had a manual transmission, which means no messing with A/T codes in the ECU

The donor had ~134k miles when I purchased it, and I had Nixspeed do a timing belt service along with replacing a few gaskets, changing the spark plugs, and swapping the fuel rail to a return-style rail from a 1995 Camry.

I chose to reuse the OEM S54 transmission, but sourced a TRD Helical LSD off of Ebay along with an S51 5th gear to help lower the RPM's on the highway. Nixspeed did both of these installs, including swapping the correct speedometer gear to retain the correct MPH readings. After driving it for a bit, the diff bearings started to make some noise, so I had them replaced by Seneff Transmission in Fort Collins in mid-2018.

Both of the shifter cables were wrapped in DEI heatwrap during the swap process, and a '93+ shift lever & TwosRUs short shift kit were installed at the same time.

I outsourced the wiring harness to WireGap, and purchased a passenger-side engine mount from Woodsport UK. Nixspeed Racing completed the swap, including helping to fabricate a custom exhaust based around a period correct HKS Sport muffler, and custom-fabbed A/C lines.

The A/C lines wound up not working due to too tight of routing, and I had them re-made by L1 Automotive in Loveland, who have worked on the car since the swap was completed. The A/C is fully fuctional and uses a new Denso Camry compressor, new drier, and used replacement amplifier. It is running R134a refrigerant.

The OEM taillights have been replaced with a set from a 1995+ MR2, including a matching black center panel. These were purchased from a local enthusiast, and are in very nice shape. The car recently got a professional wash, and presents as you see it in photos. The paint is good from ~5', but does have notable rock chipping on the front end, along with some door/body dings and a few larger scratches from it's 28 years of life. A full paint correction would likely help bring it back even further.

The car has passed emissions twice since the swap was completed, and has a Magnaflow 3-way catalytic converter. It has a working OBD2 port in the trunk, and all emissions equipment was kept during the swap. It will occasionally throw a P0441 code, likely due to a malfunctioning VSV.

I am including a fresh CO emissions slip for the next buyer. I make no guarantee about the vehicle passing emissions beyond my ownership or in any other states.

This is a super fun car to drive, and unlike most swaps you can actually use it since it has working A/C. It would be a great RB class car for the PPIR Time Attack series, or could just be used as a fun street car. I'm posting it to RMMOC and Grassroots Motorsports before going with a public sale, as I would love to see this stay in the community.


Additional photos can be seen here:

Exhaust video can be seen here:

Build thread is documented here:


Please PM me with any questions/offers or to set up a showing.



bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/20/19 2:04 p.m.

Where in Colorado does said MR2 live in now? I'm assuming north of Denver based on where the work is done at but unless I missed it I didn't see exactly. I am missing my old MR2 Turbo.

BTD Reader
8/20/19 2:53 p.m.
bmw88rider said:

Where in Colorado does said MR2 live in now? I'm assuming north of Denver based on where the work is done at but unless I missed it I didn't see exactly. I am missing my old MR2 Turbo.

The car is currently located in Longmont, and I occasionally drive it to Boulder where I work. I can also meet in the Denver Metro area on weekends, depending. 

BTD Reader
8/23/19 4:29 p.m.

Bump! Trades considered as well. 

BTD Reader
8/26/19 11:27 a.m.

TRD Supercharger sold, MR2 still available. 

DrBoost MegaDork
8/26/19 5:41 p.m.

The want is strong for this one. Unfortunately, the bank account isn’t. 

shellb New Reader
8/29/19 9:41 a.m.



What sort of trades are you interested in? 

BTD Reader
8/29/19 11:34 a.m.

Surprise me! I've owned pretty much everything. *



*Car must be able to fit a tall driver, so Miatas and the like are out. 

shellb New Reader
8/29/19 3:11 p.m.

Oh I like!!

Let me do some thinking. I’m in Erie btw. 

BTD Reader
8/29/19 5:05 p.m.

Great, I just sent you a message as well. 

8/29/19 11:40 p.m.

Would you consider a 2004 VW R32 as a trade?

BTD Reader
8/30/19 1:48 a.m.
Mister22 said:

Would you consider a 2004 VW R32 as a trade?

It would depend on color/mileage/options, but I won't rule it out. Feel free to send me a direct message though the forum software and we can talk about it. 

BTD Reader
9/3/19 3:30 p.m.


Our Preferred Partners