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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I don't have any recent photos, but here she is back in December:



Got a good deal on it - 2009 with about 40k miles for just under $5k. The interior was a bit rough and it has a few small dings and dents, but overall not bad. I've had it about three years now and I'm up to about 75k miles (though these days I put very few miles on it).

Things I've done so far:

  • Upgraded the wheels. Originally had steel wheels, tried the TRD 19's and hated them, and then went to the factory "premium" 17's.
  • Lowered with Tanabe NF210's. I ran the xB1 rear for a while, but it was a bit too squishy for me.
  • Custom made rear sub enclosure in the cargo area (all you can see is a flat grill); no functionality lost
  • Front and rear hardwired dash cams (G1W-H)
  • Replaced the factory radio with a Pioneer touchscreen model to add bluetooth
  • IS250/IS350 steering wheel with all functions working
  • Gentex GTX-313 rear view mirror with homelink and auto dimming
  • Intermittent wiper stalk from a Prius

Planned upgrades:

  • Rear sway bar (really looking forward to this to improve handling)
  • Turbo or engine swap (leaning towards engine swap, especially since it's so rare, and it's likely going to be more reliable than force induction).
  • Leather interior (probably Clazzio covers)

My philosophy is that I need to like this car if I'm going to keep it much longer, and keeping it is cheaper than replacing it under almost all circumstances, so why not throw a little money at it?

Anyway, I'll update this thread with pics as I find or take them, and with updates on new modifications.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
A couple of small progress items (mostly ranted about in my other threads):

1. Going to order V6 RAV4 front caliper brackets and rotors - slight disc upgrade for the front (pretty confident this is going to work - confident enough to buy). Despite all my research in the other thread, I think this is as far as I'm willing to go right now on brake upgrades.

2. I've started both a parts list and wiring diagrams for a 2GR-FE (3.5L V6) swap. The transmission choice (U151E or U660E) will depend on difficulty of the swap; ideally this will be mostly plug and play with the only major fabrication being wiring, motor mounts, and custom axles (if I can't find a compatible axle to use). I have the cash for this type of project, but I want to be sure it can actually be completed before I invest, so there will be months of research. I'll start a separate thread once I have enough information to be worth sharing.
 

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I've started both a parts list and wiring diagrams for a 2GR-FE (3.5L V6) swap. The transmission choice (U151E or U660E) will depend on difficulty of the swap; ideally this will be mostly plug and play with the only major fabrication being wiring, motor mounts, and custom axles (if I can't find a compatible axle to use). I have the cash for this type of project, but I want to be sure it can actually be completed before I invest, so there will be months of research. I'll start a separate thread once I have enough information to be worth sharing.
Anxious to see that one! Good luck with your project!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've been wanting to do the 2GR-FE swap, but I've had a **** hard time finding a donor car. In light of this, I'm going with the "ScionFred" style turbo. Step one was to install a transmission cooler and do the basic transmission maintenance (filter, fluid, etc). You can see the black cooler here. The install wasn't horrible, but there was a ton of prep work (the front bumper cover and all the trim pieces underneath had to be removed) and getting the mounting zip tie things through the condenser and radiator was a nightmare.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Are you going to buy a kit or peice together your own?
Absolutely my own. ScionFred worked out a pretty decent system and daily drove it for like 2 years with no issue, no CEL, etc., and his setup can be duplicated relatively cheaply. The magic is 440cc injectors, a split second enricher module, 50 trim turbo, and the factory ECU. This saves an obscene amount of money over a kit since you don't need any EMS and you don't need tuning done. I'm logging all my research here (with part numbers, prices, etc.): https://sites.google.com/site/paulsxb2/home/turbo.

The transmission setup is almost "pre-work", and I have everything done except synthetic fluid swap (I'm going to switch to full synthetic oil and trans fluid all at once before I fire up the turbo)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What are you going to use for the manifold? It would be awesome to find someone who can make a twin scroll manifold for a decent price so you could use a Borg Warner ball bearing turbo. The efficiency compared to the single inlet is far superior. Nearly zero lag and much more fuel efficient.
Not 100% sure on the model, but I'm almost certainly going to use a cast T3 manifold for two reasons:

1. They are very strong (a lot of the stainless manifolds crack; especially cheap ones)
2. Pricing is great ($50-100) and other than some polishing, they work out of the box.

Turbo-wise I'm looking for a ball bearing unit for reliability, but I haven't chosen a model yet. Holset turbos appeal to me since they're cheap and easy to rebuild at home, but I haven't found an appropriate one yet. I'm trying to stick very close to ScionFred's turbo specs (based on a precision 5031E) since his turbo has worked so well in the xB2.
 

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Another possibility: swap in the powertrain from a 2011-current tC. The bump in power (from 158 hp in the xB to 179 hp in the tC) will be modest, but it will come with a modern 6-speed which will be quite an upgrade from our ho-hum 5-speed manual or our archaic 4-speed automatic.

The challenge will getting the engine ECM to mate. Probably have to bring that over from the donor car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Another possibility: swap in the powertrain from a 2011-current tC. The bump in power (from 158 hp in the xB to 179 hp in the tC) will be modest, but it will come with a modern 6-speed which will be quite an upgrade from our ho-hum 5-speed manual or our archaic 4-speed automatic.

The challenge will getting the engine ECM to mate. Probably have to bring that over from the donor car.
Not worth the effort, and more expensive than a 2GR-FE swap since it's a newer drivetrain. My wife has a 2014 Camry with the new 2.5 in it, and while it's nice, the fuel economy isn't that much better, and the power difference is minimal.
 

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Not worth the effort, and more expensive than a 2GR-FE swap since it's a newer drivetrain. My wife has a 2014 Camry with the new 2.5 in it, and while it's nice, the fuel economy isn't that much better, and the power difference is minimal.
Agree on all points. Which is why I'm still hoping to see you do a V-6 swap. Turbo has been done a number of times and seems like lots of people have trouble getting a decent tune. A V-6 powertrain will be very reliable , and as long as the support peripherals (suspension, exhaust, mounts, etc) are done properly it should be a great daily driver.
 

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