24th May 2003, 05:25
Yes the 5sfe really lacks horsepower. However, you cannot say that it has a slow acceleration. I have a 1990 Celica GTS (Manual) with a cold air intake and exhaust. I can easily beat a 2000 Civic Si (Manual) by a car length on first gear. After that, the Si horsepower kicks in and then its my turn to look at tail lights.
The best way to get horsepower is by swapping to the JDM 3sgte engine. A turbo kit for the 5sfe costs approx. $2,500.00 and cannot withstand more than 6ibs of boost without chances of engine damage. (Even if you did everything to the 5sfe engine.)
Instead, you can just invest in a 3sgte. A complete swap ranges from $1,500.00 - $3,500.00 depending on the year of the engine. If you have dough, then invest in the 3rd gen 3sgte which is approx. 245 hp at 6-7psi. You can easily turn the boost up to 8-9 psi and run the car at 260-280hp!
If you are cheap, then get the second gen which is about $500 less and runs approx. 225hp.
By adding another $3,000 to $4,000 to your engine, I can guarantee it will run 400+ horsepower if you have the right modifications.
You'll probably spend approx. $9,000 w/labor to gain 400+ hp.
If you think that is expensive, imagine owning a honda civic. You'll probably spend up to $15,000 just to get that amount of horsepower.
An h22a prelude engine runs approx. $3,000 - $4,500. That is the engine only! Imagine having to get the tranny, turbo kit, guages, axles/suspension and another four to five grand on engine upgrade! All that totals approx. $13,000...without the labor work. Believe me, my friend claims to have spent $8,000 on the complete H22A swap including labor! This is only for the engine, tranny, and suspension work! He could have just bought himself a 98 prelude for all I know. (My friend says the Prelude is too heavy... Which I agree.) A GSR motor with all the modifications will run approx. $10,000 without labor.
Compare to Mitsubishi. My brother spent $8,500 turbo charging and upgrading his 95 Eclipse GS. His car only runs 345hp, and that is at maximizing his boost to 16psi!!!
If this is too much work for you, then just go get yourself the actual JDM Vehicle and work from there.
Dollar for dollar, the 3sgte engine is probably the cheapest conversion with the most amount of Horse Power in the import scene!
Toyota's are by far the most reliable and least expensive cars to upgrade.
14th Jul 2004, 21:56
First of all, the only difference between the 3sgte and the 5sfe is the head, which will work on either block. Whoever told you the 5sfe would only handle 6 psi was obviously... huh... wrong! Just look around on the net and you'll find several.
Secondly, not everyone has to spend such large amounts of money to do those things. Most JDM H22 come with the tranny, and they sell the transplant hardware, and if you do it yourself it's 4000-5000. I can't understand why someone wouldn't want to do at least most of it themselves; paying someone kinda... kinda... well... misses the point.
Oh yeah, the trick to getting an automatic to run is the torque converter. If your stall speed etc. is right, it will make faster, more consistent runs than a five speed, although a five speed is faster for road racing I think.
Everyone thinks they are slow because the factory stall is so low. Check with Level 10 - they can change your stall speed, etc.
Anyway, don't fall into the trap of hearing and just believing guys. Use your heads and think about things, before just accepting it to be true, no offense.
I know 5sfe engines that run 340 hp at 15 PSI and have more low end torque than the 3sgte, because that is what it was designed for. It has forged crank, rods, and is actually quite strong when done right. Don't forget though, if you run over 6 psi, you have to increase the fuel to the engine, you can't just crank up the boost.
I'm tired... just believe what you want.
22nd Aug 2004, 11:29
I have a 1990 Celica GT, but I'm putting a GTS engine in. I know that it is the same, but not really. Yes, they both are 5sfe engines, but if you know anything about the 5sfe engines, the GTS and the GT have the same amount of horsepower, but not torque. And the ports in the engine are slightly bigger.
9th May 2005, 13:21
I was wondering about the 3sgte engine. I have a 1990 Celica GT with the 5sfe. I wanted to know if the stock trans will hook up to the 3sgte?
7th Dec 2005, 10:03
Well the guy that said that the 5sfe was a weak engine was wrong. The 5sfe can take 14psi of boost with a straight face once the fuel and timing are right, and you bypass the MAP sensor.
The kit sold for 2500 dollars for 7psi will give you about 60hp more to the wheels, which brought the test car to 162.4 WHP without intercooler. They cranked up the boost up to 19psi and the PISTON RINGS were the only things to go in 2 cylinders, they managed to bring it up to 254 WHP last I saw.
1990-1993 5SFE pistons are the strongest of the years.
The 3SGE, 3SFE, and 3SGTE all use the same crankshaft and can use the same trannies (except the 3sgte, which never came in a front wheel drive only tranny), the 5SFE is different, but you can use it with a 3S by using the 3s flywheel, pressure plate and the clutch disk from the 5s (or some combination like that; toyotacelicaonline.com will tell you)
2nd Oct 2008, 19:53
I have had a 1990 GTS (5Sfe) for nearly six months now. When I bought the car it had a bunch of electrical problems, hydraulic fluid leak, coolant leak, oil leak (more like spray), power steering fluid leak due to a bad rack and pinion, terrible struts, bad wheels, corroded paint job, leaky sunroof, broken and replaced sunroof switch that didn't fit in the headliner, no a/c, really bad acceleration, scratchy sounding clutch (sounds like a bad throw out bearing), and low top speed. You're probably wondering why the heck did I buy this piece of junk. Well, I fell in love with it the first time I drove it! I owned a 1996 Mercury Cougar XR7 before, and if you've driven one you know they are amazingly fast cars for their looks with a hell of a lot of power.
I tried fixing the electrical problems one at a time until I realized that the fuse panel on the driver's side foot compartment wasn't getting power to it. One wire ran straight from the battery fixed it all! Ran some White Sheppard in my power steering, slowed the leak down a lot. Changed a few seals, stopped the oil leak. Changed the radiator, no more coolant leak. New slave cylinder for the clutch; feels like a brand new clutch! Still has noise but I've discovered it is not a problem. The sunroof still leaks; the seal around it is WORNNNNN out. I should really replace that... I replaced my struts just last weekend, but still can't hit bumps very hard. I didn't replace the bushings between the strut and the mount under the hood, being cheap gets you nowhere people. Tinted windows, got a 950 watt amp and two 10s put in :). Car sounds great with the fat exhaust the previous owner put on. Now I gotta get the a/c fixed. And the power and paint after that.
I put a short ram air intake on because I was too lazy to route the entire induction system because you have to remove the front quarterpanel for a high flow intake. I'll do that soon though. Let me tell you people, that was a mistake. Actually lost some power doing that. Sounds real nice, though. Went from top speed of 125 to 110. 115 downhill. The car sticks to the ground. There are highway interchanges that say 25 MPH on them I can do at 60 (I actually gotta take it to like 55 then accelerate hard to pull out at 65). Intake manifold and fuel injector cleaning restored some of the power, too.