TOYOTA 3S-GE [BEAMS]
There’s occasions when you don’t even need a reason to swap a different motor in, other than that there’s an empty engine bay waiting to be filled by something — anything! Shane Hopcroft had seen 3S-GEs put into MX-5s overseas but had yet to see anyone doing the same locally — so, with a chassis without a power plant, it was an easy decision to pursue with his MX-5 NA.
Shane explains that the motor, sourced from a ’98 Altezza, sits quite high dimensionally and a custom sump would be required to clear the steering rack and front sway bar properly. In the interim, he has opted to chop the bonnet and remove the sway bar for clearance.
“I whipped up the engine mounts and trans mount, which suits the J160 six-speed Altezza box, and needed to make a custom upper hose fitting on the head; otherwise, everything fitted well,” explains Shane. “The shifter sits around 50mm forward of the factory unit, and the sway bar had to go to clear the forward-sitting placement. However, that will soon be changed with the new sump.”
With the project still really in its infancy, Shane tells us that the car handles as it always has and still turns in well, but, as he’s only had it out once, it’s hard to gauge fully and he looks forward to doing some more testing over the next few months.
“I’d say it’s an eight out of 10. I loved doing the work, and am really happy with how it goes, but there’s always room for improvement,” he says.
3S-GE (BEAMS) SPECS
ORIGIN CHASSIS: 1998 Toyota Altezza CAPACITY: 1998cc CONFIGURATION: Straight-four BORE/STROKE: 86x86mm COMPRESSION: 11.5:1 POWER: 156kW WEIGHT: 143kg NOTES: Breakthrough Engine with Advanced Mechanism System (Beams), dual VVT-i, electronic throttle control