GRFE Toyota MR2 Engine Swap

If the original engine in your Toyota MR2 is on its last legs, or you're looking for a serious bump in power, an engine swap may be just what the doctor ordered.

Like a heart transplant, a new engine will give your MR2 a new lease on life. But the surgery is one of the most complex operations you can perform. In addition to the time and labor, you also have to find a suitable engine that will fit your engine bay with minimal modifications and source all of the necessary parts to make everything work. 

For all those reasons, one of the best engines for an MR2 swap is the 2GR-FE. This naturally aspirated 3.5-liter aluminum V6 is lightweight and will more than double the base MR2's power output. While not as legendary as the 2JZ inline-6, the 2GR is a popular swap. We'll explain why and show you what you need in this article.

2GR-FE Engine Background

MR2 engine

Image Credit: MR2.com

It may be overshadowed by the legendary 2JZ, but the 2GR has gained a lot of popularity in recent years and is one of the best choices for an MR2 swap. This 3.5 liter V6 powers everything from Toyota Camrys, to trucks, vans, and Lexus vehicles. But it's also used by Lotus in several of their high end sports cars because of the power output and lightweight aluminum block.

Even though it's naturally aspirated, the 2GR puts out around 300 hp and 260 lb/ft of torque, delivering power with a surprising growl. Combine that with Toyota reliability and it's a winning combination.

Finding The Engine And Parts You'll Need

In addition to the 2GR-FE engine, here's a list of all the parts you'll need:

  • Wiring harness conversion
  • Exhaust Headers
  • Exhaust Y Pipe
  • Modified 2GR ECU
  • 2GR Coolant Hose Set
  • 2GR Water Neck
  • 2GR Passenger side motor mount
  • MAF Tube
  • Air filter
  • Air intake with coupler/kit
  • Stage 3 Clutch Kit
  • Flywheel Kit
  • New OEM Flywheel bolt kit
  • New pressure plate bolt kit
  • Tachometer board modified to function properly with 2GR Engine
  • 02 Extension harness kit
  • 2GR Fuel Kit (fuel regulator, custom lines and fittings)
  • -255ltr/hr fuel pump w/ install kit
  • Gear Oil (Redline MT90 or similar)
  • Other required fluids/filters (oil change, coolant)
  • New battery

You can source all of these parts on your own or go with a turnkey package from a tuner like TCS Motorsports or RAT2 Motorsports.

When To DIY vs. Hiring A Pro

MR2 engine bay

Engine swaps are one of the most complex jobs for auto mechanics. There are literally hundreds of steps and dozens of wires, hoses, bolts, and accessories you have to remove. In many cases, it requires the removal of the hood and other body parts as well as an engine hoist. Ideally, you should also have access to a hydraulic lift and another pair of hands to help lift and stabilize the engine.

When replacing one engine with a different type, things don't just fit together or bolt right in. There's always some degree of modifications that have to happen. For these reasons, it's usually best to hire a professional to do the work unless you have the tools, experience or a lot of time to figure things out.

Other Helpful Resources

In addition to the above-listed tuners, these links contain helpful information about the 2GR engine swap:

If you would like more information about the 2GR engine swap or would like to order parts, we're glad to help! The Olathe Toyota Parts Center is the best place to buy  OEM parts for any Toyota car or truck. We sell genuine Toyota parts at wholesale prices, including  Toyota short block engines. We also offer resources like a free Toyota VIN decoder, diagnostic info for common Toyota trouble codes, and a wide variety of resources just for Toyota and Scion owners.