SpeedTECH The definitve guide to EFI transplants


KP 61 Starlet 2TGEU Transplant 

I undertook this conversion on a Friend's car in mid 1997. The end result was quite a lot of fun to drive and a lot better balanced than I thought it would be, but end of the day a 4AGE is a far better engine to fit - it is lighter and will fit a lot easier. All prices are in $NZ.

Be warned - this has the potential to be a pig of a job, but with a bit of planning is actually quite straight forward. This was a ultra low buck project, so we did the minimum possible in order to save money. Obviously you can spend more money if you want. We were told by some dork in the USA that the 2T would bolt straight in - we were working on a 2 weekend project - I reckon it could be done in 3 if you are set up right. (Of course, 2nd time thru would be heaps easier). What we did is as follows:

Firstly - when you strip out the wiring loom - don't cut anything. We had a 1982 TE 71 Trueno as donor. As Scott said, tape label all plugs. I would also strongly advise getting an indelible marker and marking every male/female plug/socket pair with a series of dots etc. We got ourselves REALLY screwed when we had 3 identical plugs mixed up in the right hand side junction box and emissions computer - wasted 3 weekends finding the problem........Pull the ENTIRE loom out of the car.

We cleaned the 2TG up before we put it in, and replaced the timing chains. These are expensive from Toyota so we bought a 2TB lower chain from a parts warehouse (about 20 bucks) and then a 104 link chain (from memory) as the upper chain is 102 links (I think) and not listed (and is $100 from Toyota) so we cut the chain down to fit. Count the links and go from there. The longer chain cost about 30 bucks.

We replaced the cam cover gasket as it was rooted, and the sump gasket. We replaced the timing chain cos it was loose and worn. I always take the sump off - good chance to clean out any crap, and suss the state of things gunge wise - we didn't pull any bearing caps or check the bores as the motor was very, very clean inside (quite a surprise) and there was not a drop of sludge - it is way better than a 4AGE I have. We replaced all the small water hoses as they were choked with rust. A couple of the metal fittings the hoses clamp to snapped off cos they were so rusty, so we replaced those with air line fittings (I have a BSPT thread tap). Painted everything up, and other than exhaust gasket and the others mentioned, reassembled the rest using silastic! (We had the induction stripped right down as well)

Don't try to get smart with the swap - aim to change over EVERYTHING and get it running, then delete stuff and tidy later. Use the entire loom.

I would recommend stripping the Starlet complete where you will be working - ie take out front seats, entire dash, and all the heater etc. Pull the column out too, as you need to get at the firewall. Scott's Starlet had aircon, and we wanted to keep it. We de-loomed the entire car with the exception of rear wiper loom from the hatch junction plug, and the door light switch wires. EVERYTHING else came out. Obviously remove bonnet, grille, bumper, front panels complete. You can leave the guards on. Take out engine, gearbox, prop shaft, radiator etc. Strip out the engine bay of everything except brake booster, and brake and fuel lines. Scott's Starlet is a Jap import so it had a charcoal canister on the LHS guard - we removed this and the line that crossed over at the firewall - if you have one you will see what I mean. Leave the pedals in.

We only put the engine in once, so you must first sort the clutch out. This was the first hurdle. We used the master cylinder from the Trueno. We turfed the Starlet clutch pedal complete, and after a couple of attempts have used a pedal box from a 100E Ford Prefect. The master cylinder is bolted to the pedal box through the firewall - and only has one pedal - we ditched the other, so it has a Starlet pedal for the brake and a Prefect pedal for the clutch. If you look at the firewall there is an obvious spot for the master cylinder. The bolt holes in the master cylinder have to be slotted slightly to match the pedal box. Alternatively use the Prefect 5/8" Girlock master cylinder - it is the same diameter at the Toyota one. We wanted the installation to look factory, and we knew the Trueno MC was OK. We had to move the brake lines slightly, but these were just bent slightly to clear things. We used the Trueno clutch lines as well, and didn't bother shortening them. It would be a little tidier to make a new one, but you can't see it with all the engine etc in place.

I have a nutsert tool, so we bolted everything to nutserts we put into the engine bay panels, but you could use self tapping screws I guess. Nutserts are the ideal solution if you can get a tool. I reckon they are a good investment.

Battery tray has to come out. Drop the front subframe out, and remove the engine mounts off it - we didn't have a spot weld drill, so it took a while to unstitch them! Do the same to the 2TG subframe - it has the mounts on 'ears' that extend forward from the main subframe - leave the mounts on the ears, but remove the ears from the subframe. It is a pig of a job. Drop the engine and box in place. We used the standard cast exhaust manifold and the ENTIRE Trueno exhaust system - it was big bore. This fitted perfectly (even the rubber donuts were in the right place). All we did was cut about 5 inches out of the pipe under the passenger seat . We need to bend the pipe under the boot a bit to get the tail muffler sitting right, and shorten the pipe as it sticks a bit too far out under the back. We will actually replace the muffler as it is a bit stuffed. You will see what I mean, but it isn't a biggie.

Anyway, we located the engine in the bay by where it looked right and cleared the clutch MC by a good amount. There is enuff room - a bit snug but not impossible. It sits real close to the steering column (RHD) but it is not a problem. Second hurdle is engine and gearbox mounts. Put the Starlet subframe loosely in place (take all the suspension off) and bolt the 2TG mounts to the engine. You will see where they have to fit up to the Starlet subframe. We actually have the ears sandwiched between the chassis rails (for lack of a better term) and the Starlet crossmember. And they are welded in place. From above it looks like a factory subframe. The slight mess below will be covered by the splash guard - needs surgery on the guard to clear the bigger sump. Once the engine mounts are done, sort out the gearbox.

We bent some 3 mm steel to be like angle iron, about 200 mm long with 50 mm flanges (it is obvious how long it has to be). We bolted the front end to the Starlet gearbox floor pan mounts. The back end we welded a tag to, and bolted the tag to the inside of the transmission tunnel with a big washer on the inside of the car. It ain't going nowhere! Then just bolted the T-50 gearbox rubber mount to the Starlet single bolt each side crossmember to the angle iron. As luck would have it the Starlet drive shaft was a perfect fit! We chopped a hole in the tunnel for the gearlever. The Starlet isn't finished yet but is on the road and has been in daily use for a fortnight with no problems. We have still to cover the hole in the tunnel, and sort out the handbrake - it hits the gear lever, but once we bend the lever, and the handbrake a bit more (and maybe shorten the handbrake lever, or else move it back a bit) it will clear fine. The console we will mount a little further back - you may find the 2TG console goes well. (Car has now been on road for 4 months - no problems at all)

We have yet to do the instruments (next weekend) but the Starlet speedo cable fits OK, although a bit tight - may put the Trueno one in yet. Speedos seem to have the same turns per K so hopefully the Starlet speedo will read OK off the Trueno gearbox.

Fuel pump was a bitch. Pull the tank out of the Starlet. You need to get the 2TG tank unit (assuming it is an external pump) and bend and shorten it to fit into the Starlet tank. The 5 hole flanges only bolt in one way, and you want it to sit a different way to what the bolt holes are, so you need to slot some of them. We mounted the fuel pump up under the car just in front of the fuel tank on the right hand side. Diff/axle clearance is really minimal (Scott's car is lowered) so make sure it clears everything - we hit the pump with the upper control arm mount first time out, so relocated it. It is held in place with a couple of bolts and some humungous cable ties 950 KG braking strain). Once we go for certification (which we will do once we finish it in a couple more weeks - we should piss thru) I imagine I will have to argue the cable ties! If all else fails we will fab something to suit - not a biggie. We had a really short time frame to do the job, so some shortcuts were taken. Scott got a warrant the week before we did the job, so we have 6 months to sort it all out....

We blanked the Trueno vent line, but used the Starlet one that lead to the charcoal canister. (The Starlet had 3 fuel lines - you need at least 2 - a supply and a return. If you only have one, put in a big one for the supply. Recycle the one off the 2TG) The fuel supply line is the bigger one of the two, and although it is a size down on the Trueno one, so far it hasn't starved. We ran the Starlet tank vent to the front of the car and blanked it. We haven't done any big trips yet, so do not know if we will get tank vacuum problems. If we do, we will put the Trueno charcoal canister in. Otherwise we will leave it out.

The engine bay is fun! We used a heater water tap from a 1988 AE 92 Supercharged Trueno to mount to the firewall on the passenger side as it had the right orientation and a longer control cable for the heater plumbing. And I had one. BTW - engine clearance to the heater pipes thru the firewall is real minimal - maybe shift the engine left a little to give a bit more space. One heater hose runs from the back left corner of the head to the tap, then across the back of the block under the head, between the block and the firewall. The engine is about 10 mm clear of the firewall when you look at the centre back cam cover bolt. The other heater hose runs from the front left corner of the head across the front of the engine (it is actually attached to the radiator support panel) and then under the inlet manifold to the heater.

The air filter and air flow meter sit where the battery used to go. All the stock intake hose fitted. The injector resistors go under the air flow meter. The coil and igniter are snuggled really close to the air cleaner/air flow meter and are bolted to the front of the RHS strut tower. The vacuum source is bolted here also. The fuse terminal box is cable-tied (love those things) to the bracket on the front of the LHS strut tower that used to hold the voltage regulator or something. You will see what I mean. The battery sits in a bracket we made from some angle iron that is bolted to the radiator support panel just inside the headlight on the LHS. The battery basically sits as it did before, but on the opposite side. The washer bottle (I am not sure which one we used - I had a few lying around) is on the inside of the LHS strut tower.

We used the Trueno flexible line for the aircon to hook the compressor to the firewall. The small steel line from the Starlet we reused from the firewall to the front of the engine bay. We will have to custom make the rest of the line from here to the compressor via the drier/receiver.

Radiator is a bitch. We turfed the engine driven fan. The car currently has (I did say it wasn't quite finished!) a first generation Prelude radiator (cost us 40 bucks from pick-a-part complete with 2 electric fans, an oil cooler and both radiator hoses - it was so cheap as the guy thought it leaked, but it was OK!) This is (you guessed it) cable-tied in place to the radiator support panel and bottom grille support. Presently the car has no grille or bumper or bonnet latch mechanism, but all the rest is in place. (Note - the radiator sits in front of the radiator support panel - not behind as the Starlet one did) A guy in Sweden running a 3T notched his front crossmember to clear the radiator (dunno what it was from) but I don't like that idea. Also he runs without a fan, which I guess you can get away with in Sweden!! The easy solution would be to use bonnet pins and turf the centre catch mechanism, but we don't want bonnet pins, so we will try to engineer something up. Bonnet pins will be a last resort. We run the fan using the Prelude sender that is in the outlet pipe.

We were in a hurry to get the car mobile - Scott had to have it back on the road the next day, so you may be able to find a better radiator. Our plan is to re-core the radiator but make it an inch narrower, as it is presently a little too wide to let the bumper go back in, and add some suitable mounting tags. It is a crossflow radiator - one tank each side, so water flows in at the top on the LHS and out on the right bottom. We will probably get the outlet blanked, and a divider plate put in the LHS tank, with the outlet put in the bottom. This will have the water flow in top LHS, across to the RHS, and back to the bottom LHS. This will make the engine hoses fit good too. right now we use one of the really long prelude hoses joined to a flexihose to get the water from the RHS outlet to the water pump inlet, but it works OK for now. We will probably look for a better radiator solution, trouble is, because you have to mount the radiator in front, you have to have a real low one, which tend to be wide and crossflow. This will work with the Prelude radiator. We can only run one fan in the current position, as the AC compressor is in the way of the other. We plan to use a wide low AC radiator in front of the water radiator (came from the AE 92). The engine runs cool enuff on one fan as the radiator is so huge, and the weather is cooler. I dunno if one fan will be enuff in summer when the AC rad is in front of the water rad - we will worry about that if we have to. I reckon it will be OK.

Wiring in the engine bay passes thru the firewall on the RHS where the Starlet loom did. We cut two holes in the firewall on the LHS for the loom -- one low just above where the firewall starts to slope under the car, and the other higher up. Cable-tied the loom to things that were handy, like master cylinders etc. ran it under the air cleaner - it all clears the bonnet, and across the front crossmember, where the radiator hose and AC flexible hose also go. Cable-tied the lot in place to keep clear of fan belts etc.

Inside the car cable-tied the computer and wee junction box in the passenger foot well. the big junction box is cable-tied in the driver's foot well. Had to put the Trueno ignition unit into the Starlet as the Starlet one had too few wires. could have used a really, but decided against it. Swapped the entire ignition mechanism over, with stalks etc, but found it wanted to bolt on upside down. Ended up cutting the triangular plate off the Trueno column, chopping it in half, and using it to clamp the Trueno unit to the Starlet column - have a look - it becomes obvious. (Hopefully!)

We have yet to put the dash in - car has Trueno dash cable-tied in place (to make sure it all worked). Next job is to splice in Trueno loom to Starlet instruments and misc switches. The indicators etc work OK. We had to extend the wires to the front wipers but they work fine. The rear loom plugged into the Starlet lights, fuel gauge sender etc (and fuel pump of course). The tail wiper keeps blowing fuses so it is disconnected until we sort out the wiring. Just spliced the door switches into the Trueno loom. Nothing else was touched other than a wee mod to get the 4 speed heater fan wiring for the Trueno to work 3 speed Starlet switch etc.

As for manuals - there is nothing we could find that had the wiring loom for the 2TG. We had the Corolla manual, but it did not cover the Trueno. Realistically you don't need it - just label everything and swap the lot! We will sort out the instruments by tracing the circuit on the back of the gauge cluster. Switches we will suss with a continuity meter and pull the switches apart if all else fails. Scott’s car is a Starlet S, so it has a tacho.

We finished the car - spliced in Starlet instruments to the loom. Ended up using a Triumph Herald radiator! (Had one lying about). Recommend getting one made to fit. Ended up with bonnet pins. 


Copyright © 2000 SpeedTECH Last modified: January 23, 2000