2zz Engine Removal & Swap

Using a flathead screwdriver to pop up the five (less if you tend to lose them like me) plastic clips that secure the bumper skin along the top.

Carefully pulling the bumper skin off. Make sure you have an adequate space already lined up for this joker to sit. Basically, its flimsy, oddly shaped and is something you do NOT want to scratch up. I ended up putting it on the roof of my Two Door.

Removing the two vertical bars behind the bumper skin that are held on with a 10mm bolt and 10mm nut.

Removing the rear strut brace. This is held on by two 14mm nuts at the struts and two 14mm bolts at the body. Once you have them out, it lifts up and you can set it aside out of the way.

Don’t forget about these little clip things that secure the third brake light wiring when you go to remove the hood. Also embarassing in front of your friends if you forget.

Removing the four 10mm bolts that hold the rear deck lid to the hinges. Don’t be a dumbass, get a friend to help you with this. Have them hold up one side while you remove the bolts from the other. It is possible to lay a towel out and work one side at a time but its easier to have a buddy hold up one side while you do the other. They can help you put the rear deck lid on a clear horizontal space as well. Be easy, scratching this piece will hurt your feelings.

Just taking a step back to admire the handy work…of the disassembly…the exhaust work is nothing to write home about and I’m glad that I’m finally getting rid of it. It used to be two mufflers, but I blew one out and had to cut it out and weld a piece of pipe in its place. I had to do this pronto because the muffler gave on a Thursday evening and I needed to be at work Friday morning. btw – This nastiness was what I learned to weld on. I expect the next exhaust system will reflect my improved metal sticking abilities (grin).

This documentation in no way replaces the Toyota MR2 Repair Manuals. The purpose of this content is only to provide supplementary information to fellow MR2 enthusiasts. Midship Runabout and its contributing authors will not be held responsible for any injury or damages that may occur as the result of practicing any of the methods or procedures described within this website. Article and photo submissions are property of the contributing author.

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4 Responses

  1. Tony Higgs says:

    You sir are a star! i have to do this job in a week or so and this write up will help no ends. your right about the best tool being common sense, i didn’t use mine once to do a small job on a fiesta, you know how it is” i’ll just nip under this car without axle stamnds as its only a quick one” then the car falls off said jack. A night in hosptal and resulting brain damage tends to make you think twice about stuff lol lesson learned me thinks.
    Thanks again for the write up. wish there were more people who took the time to do great work like you with the photos and so on.


  2. Jared says:

    I cannot believe I go online to find a tutorial to re-install a motor in a spyder and I find my car used in a step by step picture guide! I recognize it by the tape pulled off mark behind the license plate, the stick welds on the modified header, and the way the wire was poked through the firewall grommet next to the main harness wires! Out of curiousity, why was the motor dropped for this tutorial? Was that when it was opened up and some of the rod caps not installed back onto the correct rods? I would love to know some more history for this car from before Brad owned it!

  3. Jeff Dickey says:

    Thank you. I’m glad the write up has proven to be handy. I had originally hosted this document on my own personal web site and was not aware of this site until I was looking for other 2zz related details and stumbled across it. Just as a reference for anyone who finds this document instead of the other; I totally glossed over the disconnection of the coolant lines. I imagine it would be fairly obvious to someone performing the work, but just in case, they get disconnected after the coolant has been drained from the car.

  4. Jeff Dickey says:

    Hi Jared, I apologize for missing your post. I don’t recall it being there when I posted my response to Tony several months back.

    I dropped the motor for this tutorial because I needed to weld some coolant ports for the 2zz swap. Truth be told, this engine may as well been installed with a zipper because I removed it so often for various repairs/modifications after the swap. I had rolled the car during a Fall Dragon Run and the 1zz started using oil afterwards so on a whim, we decided to swap the drivetrain while I was visiting Little Rocket. This was David’s first 2zz swap and we didn’t know to weld the ports at the time. We used rubber coolant caps as I recall and they failed which was allowing coolant leak hassles. Sadly, those aren’t stick welds on that header. I just had no idea what I was doing back then.

    If you’re curious about finding more of the car’s history, my username on SpyderChat.com is dmc-4359. I owned it from 2001 until I sold it to Brad in 2005. If you still have the car, and are ever interested in selling it, please hit me up on SpyderWeb or on SpyderChat.