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s53 to s54 transmission swap

Discussion in 'Drivetrain' started by shifrerm, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. shifrerm

    shifrerm Member

    Hey everyone, Im looking at buying a 1989 Celica GT-S, bone stock everything minus the radio of course. It has the 3S-GE motor in it and it runs wonderfully however the owner does say there is somethings that need to be done.

    1. body work around the fenders and what not it is starting to rust though however the underbody is mint.

    2. this is the big one here, and from what I've read up I've learned that the S53 (which is what I believe I have) has a problem with the 3rd synchro. Is there anyway I can prolong this till I can get the dough to source me out a S54 trans? When I test drove it it was in a parking lot so I never got it in to 4th or 5th so im not sure how those gears feel, however when I did upshifted to 3rd it grinned a bit, but did take it. Also would I be able to use a S54 out of a MR2 90-93? I know theres some swapping of the brackets for the shift linkages and mounts but I just wanted to confirm this.

    3. How hard is it to change the fuel pump on these cars? I don't believe there is an access panel under the rear seats, so I'd have to drop the tank correct?
  2. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    i would strongly recommend against the S54 from the mr2. i've replaced both s54's from mr2s and celicas and they're quite different. also, mr2 boxes seem to be more abused because any sort of hard driving is harder on the trans, all the weight being on the back, while fwd tends to abuse the tires more.

    get the S54 from the 1990 celica to the 1999 celica (with the 5sfe motor).

    way better availability and the 1996+(the one with electronic speedos, which you just swap your s53 one into) ones are even better than the mr2's.

    swapping linkages is too much of a pain and a waste of time considering how much more options you have with the celica boxes.

    new specific items would be : 5s flywheel/starter/protector plate that goes between engine and trans/axle seals. just order them as if you own a 1997 celica gts.
    old items that can be reused : 3s clutch/pressure plate/ throwout/clutch fork/slave cylinder/axles/mounts/speedo gear/reverse switch


    fuel pump, you take off 5 lines i believe. hardest one is the filler hose as they tend to be very hard to move. unplug sender and fuel pump from under rear seat,
    drop the two straps while supporting the tank, lower tank, change fuel pump.

    mind the ebrake cables when you bring it back up. they like to get pushed up too far when you push the tank up and you'd have to drop the tank again to fix it.

    as for the rust....well pics would help front fenders aren't a big deal, just need to change them. otherwise, it's your typical 80s/90s jap car with rust.
  3. lone wolf

    lone wolf Well-Known Member Donated!

    Not sure what the boxnr is but the ST202 trans is really a good choice and plug and play as well. Just bware you're not taking the one with special suspension but the normal one.

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