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Adding power to your 3sge

Discussion in '3sge' started by Mafix, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Mafix

    Mafix Owner Staff Member Administrator Donated!

    Not all of this will apply to everyone and use your best judgement when using any of these. In majority, these modifications are for the GE motor.
    Intake and Exhaust

    - Air Filter - switch to a conical cotton filter and try to make it get cold air. I do not recommend not using a paper filter. You can also invest in the drop in filters for the stock air box.

    - Intake Tubing - There is a balance between length and diameter. You'll want a tube that is larger than the throttle body but not dramatically larger. Always use an intake tube because you'll net better power gains. Obviously a 6" intake tube will not work, be realistic about it. 3" tubing should be a basic start and then upgrade from there. Cold air intakes are nearly a must for making power in an N/A. Heat is the #1 enemy and eliminating heat means making power. You do have to be very careful using these in any weather besides dry. It only take one puddle to detonate your motor. The other trick would be to make a box for the intake to keep the heat away and protect it from elements as well.

    - Exhaust - Get an aftermarket manifold. A cat back system will yeild some power gains but nowhere near what a proper manifold will. If you are required to use a catalytic converter then by all means do and don't fall for sales gimicks like "high flow" because they don't exsist. With most GE cars, you'll want to start with 2.5" tubing. Use nice soft bends and always use a flex section. Stainless steel will last the longest but normal aluminized tubing will work for 5+ years. And remember shorter systems and less bends are typically better but too short and you'll loose needed backpressure.

    - Intake Manifolds - The factory sidefeed is a great manifold and I see no need to change it aside from some port matching. Amazingly I've learned something new. The shorter the intake manifold runner length, the lower your peak torque will occur. I've seen intake manifolds with all kinds of crazy designs. Just be sure and research and find something to fit your needs.

    - Exhaust Manifolds - Manifold upgrades are very good to do. Whether they are porting out the stock manifold or replacing it completely, it will net nice power gains. When replacing or porting these it is critical that all the necessary research and developement, material used, and design are looked over completely. Tubular manifolds are the only option i'd look at for N/A. The tube design and length are critical and require lots of time researching. 4-1 are better for top end power while 4-2-1 yield better torque and a broader range of power. you can invest in torque step designs as well.

    - Throttle Bodies - These are a good idea but on our cars rather complicated to do. They are not needed until higher horsepower numbers are attained.


    - Gauges - In any sport driven vehicle you should have the appropriate gauges. A good mechanical oil pressure gauge, fuel pressure gauge (doesn't matter which type), and electrical A/F gauge are a must! Of course there are plenty more. Just research what gauges will work best for your application.

    - ECU - Being that we all own toyotas, there is something that is always holding us back. The damn unbreakable/layered toyota ECU. Nobody makes a chip whether they say they can or not anymore. Piggybacks work until you hit a certain point which may be within your limits and be fine. But for some of us there is a need for more and then you have to look at a new Electronic Control Unit. There are a lot out there and once again research to choose what is best for you. On a side note: make sure there is a dyno/tuner that can and have programmed the ECU that you want. Another mistake typically made. Dyno time is a must for an ECU. With preloaded base maps and a good running motor, one day at the dyno could save you weeks of headaches and possibly save your motor.

    Bottom End

    - Pistons - Stock pistons can take some abuse but they certainly have their limits. Putting in a nice new set of forged pistons will raise this limit as well as giving you the peice of mind that you aren't going to melt one. The factory pistons are cast pistons and will actually melt in high heat. It is always a good idea to weight balance the new pistons before installation. It is very important to know what compression rating you want for your pistons as well as the silica content of the pistons.

    - Piston Rings - Make sure and get a matched set for your pistons and make sure they are the correct type of ring for your application. The gap on the rings is extremely important so be sure and do this correctly.

    - Connecting Rods - Our factory connecting rods are good for their purpose but these parts are 15-20 years old. You can replace them with new aftermarket ones (like Eagle H Beams, Carillo, Pauter, ect.) or get new stock ones and have them shot peened. Again do your research before buying. Weight balancing of the rods is a good idea.

    - Crankshaft - There are many thing that can be done to the crankshaft to improve this. Knife edging, balancing, tear dropping (champhering) the oil passages, and polishing the journals are great ways to improve performance, durability, and smooth operation of the entire motor. If needed you can custom order a crankshaft but plan on spending upwards of 5000 dollars.

    - Oil Pumps - Our factory oil pump works just fine and as long as it does, leave it alone. If you plan on high revs or moderate mods then you'll need to upgrade. There are a couple ways to do this: you can shim the factory pump with each shim adding nearly 5 psi or you can buy an aftermarket one made for the application. You can also swap pulleys to a smaller one to gain flow rate.

    - Oil - Oil weight and type are very important and will vary depending on your setup. I might note in here that synthetic oil actually makes more HP. Make sure you know what you are doing and what oil to use. Be sure to know what temperature your oil needs to be at to operate.

    - Oil Pan - This is not commonly a problem a lot of people will have but in some applications where high rpm 4K+ will have to be sustained for a long amount of time, you'll need to get more oil in your system. The easiest way is a sumped oil pan. Sometimes you'll also want a baffled one. Auto cross guys might want to look into these. They are designed to keep oil at the pick-up tube. You can also go big and get a dry sump pan. This is a whole engine modification to use a dry sump system.

    - Windage - This is another item that is not conmmonly used but incorporated in all aftermarket pans. This keeps the oil in the oil pan and increases HP output.

    - Crank Scraper - Very similar to windage. Pretty much scrapes the side of the crankshaft and keeps the oil in the pan. They also keep the oil from splashing up. Just to note be very careful with these on all blocks but the 3sgte. The GTE block is the only one that has squirters under the pistons.

    - Oil Coolers - A common problem is the fact that shit gets hot. Really hot. Optimal temp for non-synthetic oil is around 210 degrees F. Synthetics have various temps and be sure to refer to the oil manufacturer for this spec. You'll need a gauge to tell you this while you are driving but if you are exceeding these temps then you'll need to add a cooler. Some vehicles have a stock oil cooler which can either be used as a precooler or removed in favor for an air to air. I have found that the Gen1 GTE factory oil cooler seems to work just fine in stock to low modification applications.

    - Fasteners - Another commonly overlooked part in the motor. High strength fasteners hold the whole thing together. ARP or L19 where it can be used and SS everywhere else and when absolutely needed at least a grade 8. Be sure to follow install procedures and torque specs.

    Top End

    - Camshafts - the stock cams are good but there is always room for more. Do your research really really good before deciding on a new set of cams. Anything over 264 degrees of duration will cause idle problems. Contrary to what is believed you need both lift and duration to make more power. Be sure and check all the specs of the cams before buying. The single most inportant number for N/A guys is overlap. Too much and you'll be wasting power. Too little and you'll be over pressuring the the cylinders and loosing tons of power.

    - Timing Belts - Again another commonly overlooked part. Timing belts are one of the most important parts on your vehicle. If it goes everything goes. Just keep it in good check and if you are running high power or track time plan to change at every 20K-40K miles, even if it looks fine.

    - Cam Gears - Another little thing that can add quite a bit of power. You can extract the maximum amount of power your cams can produce by using these and a good dyno. By degreeing the cam ever so little can make big power gains or big power losses.

    - Valves, Retainers, Springs, Lifters, Locks - Well for us this is a pipe dream but there are a few options out there. All of the lifters can be swapped with echo (2nzfe?) ones to make our 2 peice lifters a one peice design hence making them lighter. You can also use 4ag or 7mg shim under bucket (cheaper). Then new springs (4ag) and a good 5 angle valve job and that's about it. Unless you upgrade the entire head to a 2nd gen. Now, if you do, then you can use oversized or stock 3 angle ferrea valves,retainers, and springs that are made of much better materials. Weight in the valvetrain plays a huge role on rev speed so again, research.

    - Cylinder Head Ports - These can be opened and knife edged to help maximize the amount of air that can be moved. If you try this yourself, make sure you know what you are doing. One slip-up can ruin the entire head. The exhaust and intake ports are very close to being just about right from the factory. In fact i never touch the intake side. I always just clean the exhaust ports up and leave it alone.

    - Cylinder Head Polishing - Polishing the combustion chambers on the cylinder head cuts down on detonation. Do it.

    - TVIS - Aside from what may be believed by many, TVIS is a very good system and unless you have a drag specific car (and only drag), keep it. In fact every dyno sheet that I've ever seen comparing with and without TVIS see a drop in torque. Service the system, LockTite the little screws and reinstall.

    - Spark Plugs - Use iridium plugs. Platinum are a waste of money. Don't fall for any of the gimick plugs like splitfire, e3, ect. None of them work. Make sure you set your gap right and learn how to read the plug heat range and wear characteristics. Your spark plug heat range will greatly alter the power output of the engine.

    - Coil on plug - I've come to find that this is much easier to accomplish with an aftermarket EMS.

    - ITB's -

    - Venturi (Flutes) -
  2. Mafix

    Mafix Owner Staff Member Administrator Donated!

    no where near done yet
  3. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!

    Sorry Sean, our JDM gen2 GE does not come with squirters, the lands are there but they are blank

    Synthetic 10-20W-50 is probably your best bet

    "Is there a list somewhere of the top tips for modifying rev1 3sge engines at all?i know that from factory Toyota did a pretty good job,but be nice to know which swaps work and which don't." - Quote from a discussion

    There's not much you can do besides porting, polishing, branches, rods, compression, flywheel, balancing, lightening.
    There are cams for them but they are expensive and converting to solid shims is also expensive, not to mention bigger valves or titanium retainers, fancy springs.

    I'm trying to do that on a limited budget and the clear path for me is a modded gen2 GTE head/gen3 head with branches, flywheel, 5S block/crank and oil squirters.
    With the later turbo head I get to keep my ECU and inlet and it gives me better shims and a far wider cam upgrade path.
    With a gen2 GE/gen3 head you are forced to change ECU/harness and branches which is not viable for me at this stage.

    At this stage I've struggled to sell good gen1 parts and I can tell you that shims are discontinued which tells me the Gen1 will soon be a distant memory.
    Doing the math and seeing whats available in your area is the best advice I can offer.

    It's really hard to say what does and doesn't work without dyno charts to prove it, I built my current Gen1 motor with more compression, some chamber porting, a GTE head, modified gen2 exhaust, TRD filters, 300cc injectors etc and it is a very strong capable motor but I don't have dyno figures to show just how strong.

    The only way to know what works is to add 1 thing at a time and then dyno it, "seat of the pants" dynoing doesn't work and -
    trust me more often than not you end up going backwards and end up with a pile of junk.

    Someone once told me something I will never forget - "Your motor is only as good as your top ring!"
    Sounds silly?, but if you build two identical engines the one with the better sealing compression rings will always make more power.

    Power is also a compromise, race engines run huge piston and bearing clearances which cannot be used reliably on the street in a daily car - and to do that they also use expensive oils, far more fuel and tedious warmup proceedures.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  4. Mafix

    Mafix Owner Staff Member Administrator Donated!

    as to the last part of your post stig...
    yes typically race engine are loose. hell even mine is as far as toyota specs go but...
    there are engines that are so f'ing tight that they need to be warmed to not be seized in place (f1). i thought i'd add that little bit. i always found that interesting.
  5. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!

    I find that hard to believe seeing that metal expands when heated but I know there is a lot of advanced secret shit in F1 such as Teflon and ceramic parts.

    The proceedure in most top-level race teams is as follows:
    Pump the oil and water thru a heater slowly getting the block to operating temperature.
    Remove plugs, disconnect ignition and fuel pumps.
    Spin the motor slowly till oil pressure is correct (some have an inline piston device to pressure oil 1st)
    Re-fit plugs, switch on ignition and fuel pumps
    Fire it

    Not the way you want to go with your car every time you want to use it?
  6. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!

    Did some reading and what you say is true with Alu rods.
    Bearing clearances have to be smaller as the rod expands when warm, it also grows in length and interesting is that they are becoming common in race engines as they absorb a lot of shocks which normally would break a crankshaft, not to mention the weight loss.
    Due to the expansion you can't use press-fit pins in them either.
    The downside is the lifespan - Top fuellers only do one run with them fitted! ouch
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012
  7. Mafix

    Mafix Owner Staff Member Administrator Donated!

    i never knew the reason. good find. but i'd think f1 cars are using a different/stronger metal but with similar properties.
  8. Seank90

    Seank90 Well-Known Member Donated!

  9. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!

    I don't think so, you can get titanium for your car - think exotic like Inconel
  10. jwagner162

    jwagner162 Well-Known Member Donated!

    from a summary of the rules...09' i think.

    -Pistons must be manufactured from an aluminium alloy which is either Al-Si ; Al-Cu ; Al-Mg or Al-Zn based

    i would guess theres alot being gained here....

    -Coatings are free provided the total coating thickness does not exceed 25% of the section thickness of the underlying base material in all axes. In all cases the relevant coating must not exceed 0.8mm.

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