The story so far:
I purchased the AW11 around September, 2004. It had been stolen and recovered, had a smashed windscreen, no locks, no ignition barrel, no wheels, and wasn't running. It bought it for a whopping $700, bought some wheels off a mate for $200, and trailered it home. Later on that day, I had it running. I then spent a few weeks looking for parts I needed to make it drivable, had a new windscreen installed and took it for a warrant of fitness.
It failed the warrant on several things, it had cut springs, front shocks were stuffed, front tyres were too worn, 2 wheel bearings had to be replaced, a rear tie rod had to be replaced and the handbrake wasn't strong enough. So, I bought some Jamex springs, KYB front shocks, replaced all the neccessary bits, adjusted the handbrake and finally, it was street legal!
I had an absolute blast driving the car around for the next couple of months, but then I decided I wanted to ditch the supercharger and put a turbo on. Reasonably easy job, and I thought it would make a decent improvement in power. I then scored an IHI VF10 turbo from a Subaru Legacy, along with a water to air intercooler set up from the same car from pick-a-part, got some cheap stainless steel mandrel bends from a company near my work, and arranged for Simon of ESI fabrication to make me a custom exhaust manifold. So, over the christmas holiday I got to work. Got the engine out, painted the engine bay, changed the water pump and cambelt, got a nice new carbon/kevlar clutch, Simon made me up a manifold, I pulled off all the supercharger related parts from the 4AGZE, installed the intercooler, and reinstalled the engine.
That's when things started to get a bit tricky, after a week or so of trying, I decided that there was no way the exhaust manifold was going to work. Simon had done an excellent job on it, the problem was just that we had positioned the turbo with the engine out of the car, going off measurements I'd taken before removing the engine, and basically the turbo was just too tightly squeezed in. So I decided that I would just have to get another manifold made, but having started at university and working in my spare time, this didn't happen for a while. When I was finally ready to get the manifold made, I came across a working, drivable, but deregistered SW20 MR2 turbo for sale. My first thought was to buy the car and get it re-registered, then sell it for profit. Then another thought crossed my mind...
A couple of years ago I had a 1984 MR2 NA. Toward the end of my ownership of it, I got quite interested in the possibility of putting a 3sgte (mk2 MR2 turbo engine) into it. This was mostly prompted by hearing about other people doing it, and reading about their experiences. To be honest, I don't think I would have had the ability to do it back then, and I certainly didn't have the money to.
Since buying my SC I had pretty much decided to just stick to a turbo'ed 4AGZE, as it is meant to be my daily driver. I had occassionally thought about putting a 3s into it "oneday". Well, I don't remember what it was, but I thought to myself, shit, there's no reason why I couldn't put the engine from that SW20 into my AW, sell all the old parts from the AW11, and all the unneeded parts from the SW20 donor, and end up doing the whole conversion quite cheaply. So I bought it, and I guess the rest is history
Throughout the swap I kepta reasonably detailed diary. It's not so much a walkthrough guide of the conversion, but rather a diary of what I have done, what problems I encountered, my thoughts and mental state throughout the swap etc. I have also kept a running tally of the cost. This is to demonstrate that it is very possible to do a conversion like this without a massive bank balance, especially if you did a bare essentials type swap, not stuffing around with stuff like the coilover suspension that I have.
Since completing the swap, I decided to do quite a few various modifications and was forced into a few repairs. This included some basic engine work, replacing the turbo, a pretty major overhaul of the whole front of the car, and a whole lot of little things.