2zz Engine Removal & Swap

Popping the clips that secure the wires for the license plate lights.

Removing the rear bumper from the sub frame rails. There are three 14mm bolts holding this on each side.

Removing the O2 sensor. 2zz’s only use one for A/F ratios, plus its common to do a custom exhaust when you put one in your Spyder.

The exhaust for a 1zz would look nothing like the one pictured in this project.

After 30 minutes you too can have a spyder as light as this one.

Using a 19mm socket, loosen the accessory belt tensioner so you can take the belt off while you have the car on the ground.

Lift the car and pop the coolant drain plugs. There are two 12mm bolts. One on each coolant line. As an aside, the draining is helped if you pull the resevoir cap off the tank in the back of the car. As you can see from all the mud under my car, I hate dirt roads. Mine is finally paved but not before a few weeks of extremely nasty rainy weather got to visit and decorate the underside of my car.

Have a catch can of some sort for when the plugs come out.

Pictured here is me removing the two 12mm bolts that hold the clutch slave cylinder to the bellhousing. I used a ratcheting wrench to get these as my air ratchet wouldn’t clear very easily.

Using the impact to zip the transmission mount by the clutch slave cylinder apart. As I recall, that was a 17mm. It may seem strange that I am taking this bolt out, but it needs to come out anyway because it keeps the mount bracket out of your way when you finally lower the engine from the car.

Removing the two 14mm bolts that secure the mount bracket to the bellhousing.

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.