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> 94 Celica GT ST215 Transmission Advice
post Apr 24, 2018 - 6:40 PM
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Kevchek

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First off, my names Kevin. Iím new to the forums over here. Iíve owned my st215 swapped gt for about 2-3 years now. It was stock when I bought it, the turbo went so I slapped a ctx15b 58mm on there and drove the piss out of it until I finally threw a rod and piston out the side of the block. It sat for about a year and a half and Iím finally buying a new motor and bringing Cali back to life. I pulled the motor and trans this past weekend and decided to see how much a rebuild would cost on the s54 transmission. The trans would grind third on downshift unless I revmatched and shifted without the clutch. I figured it would only be as simple as syncros. Well that wasnít the case, turns out everything needs replacement. I got a quote from a very reputable shop, that Iíve used for years, with a price tag of 2100$! For a transmission that was only meant to handle 200hp. I thinks thatís insane. I was looking into an e153 lsd from an Mr2. If thatís even possible how can I achieve it. Basically Iím looking for a better alternative than the piece of garbage s54. Suggestions ?
post Apr 24, 2018 - 8:50 PM
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richee3



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The “garbage” S54 has held significantly more than just 200 hp. wink.gif Grinding on downshift into third is common and fixed by replacing the gear oil with Redline MT90 or Syncromesh, and is well worth a try before getting the $2,100 estimate. The E153 has been done several times and there’s plenty of info on the site about it. The search function is your friend. The E153 will definitely be better for your setup but in the meantime, you may try the gear oil.


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"Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others labored hard for." -Socrates. Even Socrates told us to use the search button!

Mine- 1997 Supra- TT 6 speed, BPU.
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Also hers- 2019 Rav4.
Also also hers- 1994 ST205.
post Apr 24, 2018 - 9:06 PM
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Kevchek

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QUOTE (richee3 @ Apr 24, 2018 - 8:50 PM) *
The ďgarbageĒ S54 has held significantly more than just 200 hp. wink.gif Grinding on downshift into third is common and fixed by replacing the gear oil with Redline MT90 or Syncromesh, and is well worth a try before getting the $2,100 estimate. The E153 has been done several times and thereís plenty of info on the site about it. The search function is your friend.

Yeahhhhh I know it ďcanĒ hold more than 200 wink.gif But it wasn't built for 300+. Iím looking to make this car as reliable as can be. And I figured I got everything out now might as well do it all. I know the trans is in rough shape and itís very old with a lot of hard abusive miles on it. The last thing Iíd want is it get it running again and then grenade the trans. Iíll be sure to search that up because Iím really interested in going with an e153. Thanks for your response.
post Apr 24, 2018 - 11:00 PM
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Box



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You can use the E153 from the MR2, but something about the shifter/gear selection is opposite of what it is in the E153 used in the Camry/Solara and needs reworked for use in FWD applications. Though for what it's worth plenty have used the S54 in V6 and 3S-GTE applications without problems, so long as you aren't pushing crazy numbers and don't drive like a gorilla a lightly used S54 should serve you fine. The other thing with the E153 is the mount/axle carrier bearing and axles as it was never used in the Celica. There are a few V6 and 3S-GTE swap threads in the project section that went into detail on what all was needed to use the E153 though. If it's a car you plan to keep it'd be worth the hassle and expense of the E153, especially if you're wanting to do 300-400+ hp. Also don't worry too much about a factory LSD E153 as they were viscous, so they sucked new and by now they're most likely worn out and operate as an open differential. If it were me I'd find an E153 out of a Camry/Solara and go with an aftermarket helical or 1.5 clutch unit.

This post has been edited by Box: Apr 24, 2018 - 11:02 PM


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post Apr 25, 2018 - 2:05 AM
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HardHead93

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I have a ST215 swap with a S54 transmission and it has been great. I put the MRS/Lotus LSD in the transmission and it feels great. About 2 months ago my 3rd gear started to grind. I put 2 quarts of Redline MT90 and topped it off with a synthetic 75W-90 gear oil and the problem went away (the car even shifts better). That was $35 well spent. I am now pushing 305 hp on 91 octane and 340 hp on e85. I track the car so I am really hard on the gears. The tranny and so far it is holding up. It is only a matter of time before the tranny dies, that is why I am planning to source and build a spare tranny for when it happens. When you throw big horsepower at drivetrain something is going to break. If it is not the tranny, it is the axles. All the guys who I track with say that is part of the deal of building a car. Sorry for the bad news. You could go e153 and that will fix your horsepower issue but now you are dealing with a unique mix of drivetrain parts that will be harder to replace when something breaks. It is a tough decision.
post Apr 25, 2018 - 6:23 AM
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Kevchek

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Thank you all for your great feedback ! I actually found a JDM e153 trans(which came with helical LSD) with only 50k on it! The price tag is $2k. So common sense tells me to go with that. But Iím still a bit nervous about doing this swap because like someone in the reply, I havenít found a decent how to on this swap. The axels seem pretty straight forward. But my main concern is the linkages. MR2 linkages would point to the fromt of the car no ? Wouldn this require me to do some fabrication to the transmission ? And what about the clutch ? I just donít wanna jump on this and then be stuck trying to figure it out on my own. And then in the back of my head everyoneís telling me the s54 isnít as bad as I thought. So do I avoid all the work of swapping an e153 in there and just go with a brand new s54? Theyíre both literally the same price. But one requires a little more time and labor to accomplish. Thank you guys.
-Kevin
post Apr 25, 2018 - 3:36 PM
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Box



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If you could find a lower mileage S54 out of a stock Celica you'd be ok I believe to use it as is outside of putting in a LSD and changing the gear oil. Realistically you'd be in around $1,500 or less for the S54 and LSD, maybe half as much if you found a good deal on the trans and an used helical LSD. That and it's direct fit since it's a direct replacement, and all your accompanying parts are easy to find still as they're o.e.m. replacements. Yeah it's not as strong, but I think if you stay in the 300-400 hp range and aren't abusive you'll be ok. The info is around here somewhere on using the MR2 E153 and the E153 in general. I think Smaay may've used a MR2 E153, I think kurt95gt used a Camry/Solara E153, and I'm unsure on SnapshotGT but I'm sure he used an E153 as well. All of those were MZ V6 swaps. Then more recently njccmd2002 did a 2GR swap, but I can't remember if he reused the S54 or put in an E153. For the E153 I think you use a MR2 turbo clutch. At some point I could tell you indefinitely what all was needed off the top of my head, but it's been years since I looked into doing all of this for myself. Try searching through the forum via Google, since forum searches usually are bleh and this one you have to search more than 3 characters I think which rules out just searching E153. The first page of results looks promising:
https://www.google.com/search?q=6gc+e153&am...me&ie=UTF-8


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post Apr 25, 2018 - 5:06 PM
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HardHead93

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If I were you I would just change the gear oil to the Redline MT90. Hold off on the rebuild as long as you can. That is all I did and I am pushing 340 hp. Check out my video of my 340 hp tuning session:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoYzDhaDjEM...uuujpdbk0h00410
post Apr 25, 2018 - 6:50 PM
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slavie

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$2k for an E153 is a LOT. Generally, the MR2 gearbox is about $400, and the factory LSD is around $400 as well. Then you'll also need the LSD axle stubs, which are yet another $400 for the pair. The S-series axle shafts are no go, and the non-LCD shafts are different as well. Unless the $2000 already includes the drive shafts, it's a high, high price.

Like others mentioned, you will need to convert the box to FWD configuration from the RWD - in MR2, shifter cables come up from front and not from back like in Celica. I don't remember whether it's a bolt on affair or requires opening the box. In either case, you will need the corresponding parts from a FWD box.
And yes, you will need to make a custom rear mount for intermediate shaft bearing. Since you have a 3S block look into the part from the turbo MR2, I'm not sure if it'll work. I know that those turbo MR2 mounts do NOT work on the 5S blocks unless you drill and tap the block (it's cast in there but not drilled from factory)
EDIT: I'm not a 100% sure on the IMS bearing hear, I may be wrong on this so double check.

If you really want an E153 box, find one from V6 Camry or Solara - they're already FWD configuration as far as shifter cables, and should be much, much cheaper. Aftermarket MR2 LCD may work with non-LCD axles, I don't remember for sure, so you may come out ahead in the end. Still need custom CV axles, but may be cheaper to build using Camry parts.

Finally, for grinding S-series gearbox, you can drive it like that for years and years. Upshifts are no problem once you learn to time the gear changes, upshifts require double-clutching. I drove mine like that for over 15k.

This post has been edited by slavie: Apr 25, 2018 - 7:08 PM
post Apr 25, 2018 - 6:58 PM
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slavie

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Also, why did the shop tell you everything needs to be replaced in your S-box? If it is still shifting in all gears, then at most you need the 3rd gear synchro and maybe the gear itself if it's worn. That's $300-$400 in parts from the dealer, less if aftermarket (though tough to get individual parts as aftermarket just sells whole kits). If you want to rebuild the whole gearbox and replace ALL synchros and bearings then yes, $2100 seems reasonable, but that's rarely needed if all the box does is grind 3rd but functions otherwise. So yea, repair vs total rebuild.

I've repaired a few of the S boxes by now and it's a pretty straight forward job to just replace the synchro.

post Apr 25, 2018 - 7:52 PM
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Kevchek

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Everyone thank you so much for all your answers to my questions, and for all your advice. Iím just gonna go with the s54 and not worry about an lsd for now. As far as the transmission, itís pretty worn. Iíve seen it myself. Iíd rather just get it done and over with being that Iíd like to keep the car for a while. Iíll be sure to post pics when Iím finished. Donít expect anything pretty because I like when everyone thinking itís a piece of trash.
You all are the best !
post Apr 25, 2018 - 8:40 PM
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slavie

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You can put an LSD into an S5X box, and there the axles are the same LSD and non LSD unlike the E153 box. Used OEM helical units pop-up on eBay for $500-600 from time to time, though they sell quickly. Aftermarket Kaaz is ~$900+ - awesome unit, have one myself. Though can be a bit annoying on the street at low speeds, and requires frequent oil changes (OEM one does not).
post Apr 25, 2018 - 10:22 PM
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Box



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Since you decided on using the S54 for now I'd try and find a nice used replacement first before shelling out over $2,000 to rebuild the one you have. Should be able to get a low mileage example for under $500, then the used helical LSD for $500-600 as mentioned. With the right gear oil in it and low miles to start with it should last you.


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post Apr 25, 2018 - 10:26 PM
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TimeslideZ

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Sorry late to the post. Keep going w/ the s54 lol; but I'll share what I know about the e153 swap.

Iirc it's the NON-MR2 turbo inner axle w/ the ST185 all-trac outer cv axle (w/ a ST185 spacer on the passenger side). I forgot but the axle carrier is custom too (I think).
From my experience the outer cv axle tends to go out first; but replacing it is pretty simple when just doing the outer.

The other option I've heard is the use the 1990-1991 v6 camry axles that should work too; but someone else who's done it can verify that.
Thankfully the local autozone/oriely/rockauto still carries the all-trac axles though, since the local Toyota dealers no longer carry them in stock.
post Apr 29, 2018 - 5:55 PM
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Kevchek

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SO my s54 should be in next week. And I just bought my motor yesterday. Now to decide what clutch to use. Any suggestions guys ? And I’m also wondering about a lightweight flywheel. It weighs 12lbs. Will I need to do a harmonic balancer as well ?

This post has been edited by Kevchek: Apr 30, 2018 - 11:16 AM
post May 14, 2018 - 7:23 AM
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Kevchek

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So after a couple weeks of bull**** dealing with Toyota, trying to get a 4th gear, and 4th gear synchro.. they failed at producing the parts. They are discontinued. So I went on eBay and ended up getting a hell of deal on a whole beams Redtop 3sge motor and s54-06d(helical LSD s54). As far as Iím concerned everything should bolt right up. The only problem I see myself running into is finding axles for the ho. The transmission comes with the inners, so Iím wondering if my stock gearbox outers will work with the lsd inners. If not do I have any other options than bringing the inners to a driveshaft shop to make me custom axles ? Any information on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Kevin
post May 14, 2018 - 9:07 AM
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richee3



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S54 axles donít separate into inners and outers, so unfortunately the axles coming with that trans are just ruined. The good news is that itís still an S54 so your current axles will work perfectly.


--------------------
"Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others labored hard for." -Socrates. Even Socrates told us to use the search button!

Mine- 1997 Supra- TT 6 speed, BPU.
Hers- 1998 Celica GT-
BEAMS Swapped.
Also hers- 2019 Rav4.
Also also hers- 1994 ST205.
post May 14, 2018 - 1:30 PM
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Kevchek

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Even though my old transaxle was open diff ? This one is LSD. And I believe I was mistaken. My stock transmission was an s53. If thatís the case I could just buy stock celica axles ?
post May 14, 2018 - 3:45 PM
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richee3



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I donít know if S54 axles will work with an S53 but GT axles are a perfect fit for the S54-06D. Makes getting axles as easy as a trip to the parts stores or placing an order from RockAuto. thumbsup.gif


--------------------
"Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others labored hard for." -Socrates. Even Socrates told us to use the search button!

Mine- 1997 Supra- TT 6 speed, BPU.
Hers- 1998 Celica GT-
BEAMS Swapped.
Also hers- 2019 Rav4.
Also also hers- 1994 ST205.
post May 14, 2018 - 4:36 PM
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Kevchek

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A 94 GT ? Iím sure Iíll find out for myself tomorrow when I take it all apart. And try the stock ones.

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