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Common Manual box questions for "C", "S" & "E" series boxes

Discussion in 'Drivetrain' started by Stig, Dec 17, 2011.

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  1. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!


    Please post suggestions and questions to my PM or the thread will be a mess of
    questions and answers.
    If youd like to discuss/argue something openly - please copy/paste and start a new thread

    Gen4 type manual Gearboxes

    "C" series - FWD, Corolla, Trueno FWD, Curren, MR2 AW11, Exiv 4A, 7A series motors, 5 or 6 speed
    Note the starter location, the easy way to spot these boxes, this is a 6 speed
    converted for use in an AW11, selector has been moved forward etc

    "S" series - FWD, Corona, Celica, Camry, MR2 (non turbo), Caldina etc
    Fitted to S series motors - 2S, 3S, 4S, 5S etc. 1S was fitted with RWD box.
    S53 (ST162) and S54 (ST182) boxes seen next to each other

    "E" series - 2 versions, FWD or AWD - Celica GT4, MR2 turbo, Curren ST206, Camry & Solara V6



    Easy ID
    C & S boxes look near identical but are not interchangeable, look closely at the starter mount
    E series boxes are bulky and have a removable shift cable bracket


    What are the common faults on these boxes?
    1) Leaks - seals have gone hard and need replacing
    2) Grinding into gears - syncros are f/d,
    Reverse grinding is normal - hold the clutch down and give the box time to stop spinning
    (Old boxes take a lot longer to slow down and there's no synrco on reverse)
    3) Jumping out of gear - Syncros worn and/or worn gear bearings
    4) Speedo not working - Luckily the cable comes in sections, usually it's the lower section which has rusted, always keep them lubed
    5)Cable bushes worn - keep them lubed as well as the selector block

    My box came with ATF, my manual says fill with ATF - should I?
    In my humble opinion - NO. All these manual boxes work better with 80W-90.
    It will in many cases "cure" a grinding box and was specced for all the post 89- boxes.
    Racers who overhaul frequently and want a few extra hp are known to use ATF in nearly all manual boxes.

    Can I fit a "C" series to my 3S block?
    Not without an adapter plate

    Can I convert my "S" box to 6 speed?
    No, you will need to fit an adapter plate to a 6 speed box. You can splice a BZR box to the "S" bellhousing but it's an expensive excersise, cheaper/better to find a ST202 box

    Can I fit an "S" or "E" box to my 4A or ZZ motor?
    Not without an adaptor plate

    Can I convert a GT4 AWD to RWD?
    No, you will need a RWD gearbox - either Supra or Altezza
    The "E" series was primarily designed as a FWD box, people have tried welding up the internals
    but it does not last and breaks easily

    Can I convert a GT4 AWD to FWD?
    Yes, you need to find a cover plate, RHS driveshaft and diff from a MR2 turbo or ST206, Solara, V6 Camry

    Can I fit an MR2 turbo box in my Celica/Corona/Curren/Camry?
    Yes, but you need to swap the selector, linkages and cable brackets as well as driveshafts

    Are all GT4 boxes fitted with LSD?
    No, only the FWD "E" boxes come standard with LSD and a few rare GT4 models.

    Can I convert my "C", "S" or "E" box to LSD?
    Yes, you can buy them aftermarket, the MR-S uses the same diff

    Can I do it at home myself?
    No - not unless you have a workshop, press, micrometers, pullers etc and have worked on gearboxes before.

    What do I need to swap my car from auto to manual?
    See pic

    Are the gearbox mounts the same?

    Are the driveshafts the same?
    No, there are many, many types. Keep the right ones for each box

    Are flywheels the same?
    No, all have different sizes and FE/GE are different as well - check VERY carefully
    your flywheel and clutch fit the gearbox splines, starter and crankshaft before attempting assembly
    GE gen1 flywheel does NOT work with FE/gen2-4/GT4 gearbox & starter

    GT4/FE/RAV4/gen2-4 flywheel is larger than the GE gen1

    How often should I change gear oil?
    I recommend once a year - do it when you replace the brake fluid (yes, brake fluid goes stale too)

    Is there an easier way to drain & replace the oil?
    Yes -
    1)Use the rear plug (red) to drain the oil, let it drain overnight. On GT4 boxes there is a seperate drain for the transfer.
    2)Re-fit the drain plug and remove the front filler plug
    3)Place a pan under the filler hole (yellow)
    4)Remove the reverse switch or selector tensioner from the top of the box
    5)Pour oil into the switch or tensioner hole SLOWLY until oil flows from the filler hole.
    6) Close the filler hole and reverse/tensioner hole - done

    I have some 6-speed questions -
    I would get a 6-spd box from a 2zz celica(c60) and then get an adapter plate,
    do you know who makes adapter plates. For the half axels i would need c60 ones or would
    i need some custom ones? Are the shift linkages the same?

    These are heavy duty questions - I don't know of any adapter plates,
    those shown in the pics were fabricated by engineering shops.
    One possibilty is Fraser cars but I think they use Altezza boxes in the Lotus7's
    AFAIK the Corolla inners and linkages are the same as on the S53/4.
    Apart from the novelty of the 6 speed I don't think it's worth the effort and expense.
    The 6 speed has vey short gears and with a healthy 3S-GE or GTE you will be changing
    gears like a motorbike, might be usefull on some very short racetracks though?
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  2. Zaluss

    Zaluss Well-Known Member Donated!

    Re: Common Manual box questions for "C", "S" & "E" series bo

    Is it possible to list and identify each part for the manual conversion?
  3. LionTR

    LionTR Well-Known Member Donated!

    Re: Common Manual box questions for "C", "S" & "E" series bo

    A very handy topic master yoda, thanks for it! :)

    Just a note:
    Everyone here uses ATF in the ST182 manual boxes, regardless of use. Many said it's better with ATF, proven. Gearbox feel is much better, much easier while it behaves odd with the manual oil. Believe the manual this time!
  4. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!

    Re: Common Manual box questions for "C", "S" & "E" series bo

    It's been a subject of contention for years, eg - http://mr2.noegruts.com/trannyoil/trannyoil.htm

    I think that's more a regional thing - your conditions are a lot colder than that in NZ, Australia, or Africa
    so I think your motor and box would benefit from thinner oil.

    I've seen people warming their sumps with blow tortches in Alaska and Siberia - just sothat they
    can get them started

    My gearbox works best at around 80 degC, even here in winter it is stiff until it reaches 40 degC
    so I can believe it would be far worse in sub zero conditions.
  5. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!

  6. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    Re: Common Manual box questions for "C", "S" & "E" series bo

    i don't understand how gear ratios work, but which boxes hit 100 or more kph in 2nd gear? i hate my s53 where first gear is to 50 and 2nd gear is to 90kph.

    does the 3s-fe st162 come with the s54? since the starter is on the other side from the s53?
  7. Mafix

    Mafix Owner Staff Member Administrator Donated!

    Re: Common Manual box questions for "C", "S" & "E" series bo

    great post stig!
  8. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!

    Re: Common Manual box questions for "C", "S" & "E" series bo

    Good question - the only differences I've found were:
    S54 has an electronic speedo drive
    S54 has an extra gearbox brace
    S54 has an "FE" type starter
    S54 uses a bigger flywheel

    So I think the FE uses a S54 - may be wrong though

    Mafix - Feel free to edit where neccessary
  9. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!

    All our boxes grind if you don't give the gears time to slow down, they are worn and take far longer to stop spinning, as all the others work there's nothing wrong with the clutch.

    There's no syncro on reverse (as stated) - It's a small gear that gets rammed between two other gears and changes the rotation of the gears direction as it does so.
    Reverse has it's own fork - if it's loose there's no way to fix it in the car
    The gear sits on it's own shaft and it's possible the shaft may be loose - check the bolts at the front of the box

    Here you can see it in front of of the forward gears

    As you say it's been grinding for a while, my 10c is that the teeth are badly flattened. They normally have sharp edges to engage better.

    I'd check my shifter cable bushes and the gearbox lever mounts are tight - (2 rubber ones and a square block) 1st, that may help it engage better.

    2nd I'd put in thicker oil 80W-90 or thicker - It helps slow the gears better by creating more drag and also stops worn bearings slopping around as much

    There's a gearbox diagnosis on my thread, the menu is below my signature pic
    Good luck, honestly I'd start saving/looking for a ST202 box
  10. mrcool

    mrcool Active Member

    Hi, I am looking at getting an Australian Camry SV21 1989 3sge Manual transmission for my Australian 1989 Celica St162 SX from a local wreckers and just checking is box will bolt straight in.
  11. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    the sv21 came with a 3s-ge? i thought it was the 3s-fe.
    i'm assuming your SX has a 3s-ge

    so yes it will bolt up, BUT you need to get the 3s-fe flywheel (make sure it is the 8 bolt version) and the starter. the flywheel is bigger than the 3s-ge.
  12. mrcool

    mrcool Active Member

    My SX has a 3s-ge and when i checked the 14 camrys at the wreckers from what i looked at the manual engine looked the same, but i could be wrong. There were some 3s-fe and 3s-ge engines.

    The starter on some was in a different position though, not sure if it was on the auto or manual or 3s-f3 or 3s-g3. If it was a 3s-g3 would the starter be the same.

    From what I saw the 3sfe had a different tappet/rocker cover.

    Do I also need a camry gearbox mount.

    I might move this thread to a new one shortly.
  13. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    3s-ge = starter under exhaust manifold
    3s-fe = starter above transmission

    3s-ge valve cover should say "TOYOTA 2000 twin cam 16" with toyota in big letters
    3s-fe valve cover should say "Toyota 2000 16 valve"

    you can use your old transmission's mounts, unbolt those from the old trans, and it will swap onto the new one.
    i'd like to see a 3s-ge camry in pictures...it's got to have been a swap from a celica, defs not from factory.
  14. Chrschin

    Chrschin Member


    I have a celica with a 3s-fe engine and automatic trans. There is a celica in the junkyard with a 2s engine and a manual trans and i am wondering if i can use that transmission from the 2s engine, with my 3sfe engine. will it work?
  15. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!

    In a nutshell - no
    The starter is the wrong way round for your exhaust manifold. The flywheel won't fit your crank

    Look out for a later box on Camry's and Celica's with FE motors, you can keep your existing starter and the flywheel will fit
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  16. dongskie

    dongskie New Member

    So I will need to make an adapter plate to fit a 2C diesel engine on a 97 Rav4
  17. humble2

    humble2 Well-Known Member Donated!

  18. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!

    The S53/4 can be used but isn't up to the job, it barely copes with a Beams or modded GE.
    Look for a Solara V6 or Camry V6 box - not easy but way easier than modding a GT4 or RAV4 box
    The MR2T box is your cheapest, easiest/best option
  19. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!

    btw - the S box is a Corolla box with a different bellhousing
  20. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!

    Probably - I'm not familiar with the 2C, so you'd need to check the bolt pattern and flywheel diameter/depth 1st

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