3SGE Engine Review, Problems and Specs

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The production of Toyota 3SGE was launched in 1985 and ended in 2005. It was built as a variation of the 3S-FE engine, meant for sports cars. 3SGE differs from 3SFE by the restyled Yamaha cylinder head.

For 20 years of production, this engine gained 5 modifications.

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Toyota 3SGE engine specs

Manufacturer  Kamigo Plant
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky
Also called Toyota 3S
Production 1987-2007
Cylinder block alloy Cast-iron
Configuration Straight-4
Valvetrain DOHC
4 valves per cylinder
Piston stroke, mm (inch) 86 (3.39)
Cylinder bore, mm (inch) 86 (3.39)
Compression ratio 8.5 (3S-GTE Gen. 1/Gen. 3)
8.8 (3S-GTE Gen. 2)
9 (3S-GTE Gen. 4)
9.2 (3S-GE Gen. 1)
9.8 (3S-FC, 3S-FE, 3S-FSE)
10 (3S-GE Gen. 2)
10.3 (3S-GE Gen. 3)
11.1 (3S-GE Gen. 4)
11.5 (3S-GE Gen. 5)
Displacement 1998 cc (121.9 cu in)
Power output, horsepower 82 kW (111 HP) at 5,600 rpm
85 kW (115 HP) at 5,600 rpm
90 kW (122 HP) at 5,600 rpm
94 kW (128 HP) at 6,000 rpm
96 kW (130 HP) at 6,000 rpm
103 kW (140 HP) at 6,200 rpm
110 kW (150 HP) at 6,000 rpm
115 kW (156 HP) at 6,600 rpm
132 kW (179 HP) at 7,000 rpm
136 kW (185 HP) at 6,000 rpm
140 kW (190 HP) at 7,000 rpm
147 kW (200 HP) at 7,000 rpm
156 kW (212 HP) at 7,600 rpm
165 kW (225 HP) at 6,000 rpm
180 kW (245 HP) at 6,000 rpm
191 kW (260 HP) at 6,200 rpm
Torque output 166 Nm (122 lb·ft) at 3,200 rpm
162 Nm (132 lb·ft) at 4,400 rpm
169 Nm (125 lb·ft) at 4,400 rpm
178 Nm (131 lb·ft) at 4,400 rpm
178 Nm (131 lb·ft) at 4,400 rpm
175 Nm (129 lb·ft) at 4,800 rpm
192 Nm (142 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm
186 Nm (137 lb·ft) at 4,800 rpm
192 Nm (142 lb·ft) at 4,800 rpm
250 Nm (184 lb·ft) at 3,600 rpm
210 Nm (155 lb·ft) at 6,000 rpm
210 Nm (155 lb·ft) at 6,000 rpm
220 Nm (162 lb·ft) at 6,400 rpm
304 Nm (224 lb·ft) at 3,200 rpm
304 Nm (224 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm
324 Nm (239 lb·ft) at 4,400 rpm
HP per liter 55.6
Fuel type Gasoline
3SGE Weight, kg (lbs) 143  (315) – 3SGE engine
3s engine fuel consumption, L/100 km (mpg)
for Celica GT Turbo
13.0 (18.1)
8.0 (29.4)
9.5 (24.8)
Turbocharger  Naturally aspirated
Toyota CT26
Toyota CT20B
3sge oil consumption, L/1000 km
(qt. per miles)
up to 1.0
(1 qt. per 750 miles)
Recommended engine oil 5W-30
3sge oil capacity, L (qt.) 4.5 (4.8)
Oil change interval, km (miles) 5,000-10,000
Normal engine operating temperature, °C (F) ~95 (203)
Engine lifespan, km (miles)
-Official information

300,000+ (185,000+)
Tuning, HP
-Max HP
-No life span loss

The 3SGE 2.0L engine requires 4.8 US Quarts (4.5 Liters) of new SAE 5W-30 engine oil for an oil change with a new oil filter.

What cars is the 3SGE engine compatible with?

  • Toyota Avensis
  • Toyota Caldina
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Carina
  • Toyota Carina E
  • Toyota Celica
  • Toyota Corona
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Toyota Vista
  • Lexus IS200 / Toyota Altezza
  • Toyota Ipsum
  • Toyota MR2
  • Toyota Nadia
  • Toyota Town Ace
  • Holden Apollo

Engine Modifications

As we have already told above, the 3SGE has 5 versions, constructed for such Toyota vehicles as Celica, Altezza, Caldina, MR2 and RAV4. All the modifications have an offset of 2.0 L (1,998 cc). Moreover, these motors served as a framework for the creation of turbocharged 3S-GTE.

3SGE Generation 1 (produced between 1985 and 1989) is the debut motor of the range, built for Celica GTS T160 vehicle. The engine keeps the compression index of 9.2 and output of 140 hp at 6,200 rpm and a torque of 175 Nm (129 lb-ft) at 4,800 rpm.

Besides, some types of this model own a T-VIS variable intake system. They were mainly sold in Japan and were employed in Corona T150 and Camry V10/V20 vehicles. The T-VIS system allows the motor to be more powerful with 160 hp at 6,400 rpm and a torque of 186 Nm (137 lb-ft) at 4,800 rpm.

3SGE Generation 2 (produced between 1989 and 1993) has a better output of 156 hp at 6,600 rpm and torque of 186 Nm (137 lb-ft) at 4,800 rpm. Unlike its precursor, this modification features an Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS), a variable-length intake manifold. Likewise, the motor has camshafts with a duration of 244 degrees and lift 8.5 mm.  The compression rate is 10.


3SGE Generation 3 (produced between 1993 and 1998) was subjected to another camshaft restyling. Being utilized for the vehicles with an automatic gearbox, they have a duration 240/240 degree and lift 8.7/8.2 mm. Meanwhile, the ones for cars with manual gearshift have duration 254/240 degrees and lift 9.8/8.2 mm. The third generation of 3SGE has a higher compression index than its predecessors, which is 10.3. The motor’s output is 180 hp at 7,000 rpm.

3SGE BEAMS Red Top Generation 4 (produced between 1997 and 1998) owns VVTi, a variable valve timing technology. The dimensions of the inlet and outlet valves became bigger, 34.5 mm and 29.5 mm correspondingly. The camshafts were restyled again and had a duration 248/248 degree and lift 8.56/8.31 mm. The motor’s compression ratio reached 11.1, while its output rose to 200 hp at 7,000 rpm and a torque of 210 Nm (155 lb-ft) at 6,000 rpm. The vehicles with automatic gearbox had the output of 190 hp. Such vehicles as Celica T200, Caldina and MR2 used the third generation of 3SGE.

Moreover, this type includes an engine with a valve cover of black color, called the 3SGE Grey Top. It was employed for Caldina and RAV 4 automobiles. Its power comes to 180 and 190 hp.

3SGE Generation 5 (produced between 1998 and 2005) is the final modification of 3SGE. Its peculiar feature is a Dual VVTi variable timing technology. Having the output of 200 hp, the motor has the identical valves with the first three generations.

In addition, being utilized in the cars with manual gearbox, it reached the output of 210 hp at 7,500 rpm and a torque of 220 Nm (162 lb-ft) at 4,800 rpm. The compression index is 11.5. The inlet and outlet valves became bigger, 35 mm and 29.5 mm correspondingly. Other changes included cams and titanium valves.


Toyota 3S-GTE Engine

3S-GTE is a Toyota in-line four-cylinder motor with an offset of 2.0 L (1,998 cc, 121.9 cu in). Being built on the framework of 3SGE, this engine features oil nozzles for the under-sides of the piston and has a lower compression rate to be used along with a turbocharger.

3S-GTE has 4 modifications, produced between 1986 and 2007. These engines feature turbochargers with the internal wastegate design. Besides, the motor’s exhaust turbine was available in two variants: steel turbines were manufactured for the American and Australian markets while the ceramic ones were meant for Japan. It was employed in MR2 (sold in Japan and US), Toyota Celica GT-Four, Toyota Caldina GT-T and GT-Four.


3S-GTE Engine Modifications

3S-GTE Generation 1 (produced between 1986 and 1989) is the debut version of the engine, designed as a 3SGE Gen 1 variant. It has a lower compression ratio of 8.5 and features a T-VIS variable length intake manifold as well as 138 mm long connecting rods. The motor is accompanied by a Toyota CT26 turbocharger. The engine’s capacity comes to 185 hp at 6,000 rpm and a torque of 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) at 3,600 rpm. The boost pressure is 10.2 psi (0.7 bar).

The motor, reaching the ¼ mile in 15,5 seconds, was employed in Celica GT-Four ST165.

3S-GTE Generation 2 (produced in 1989-1993) was built for Celica GT-Four ST185 and MR2. It reaches the ¼ mile in 15.2 seconds, being faster than the first generation.

Here, the camshafts feature duration 236/236 degree and lift 8.2/8.2 mm. Having the innovated version of CT26A turbocharger in its kit, the motor has the boost pressure of 9 psi (0.6 bar). The 3S-GTE Gen 2 achieves the output of 224 hp at 6,000 rpm and a torque of 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) at 4,000 rpm. The compression index comes to 8.8. The motor has the 55 mm throttle body and 430 cc injectors.

3S-GTE Generation 3 (produced between 1993 and 1999) features a CT20b turbocharger and has the boost pressure of 13 psi (0.9 bar). The engine has 60 mm throttle body and 540 cc injectors. The camshafts have duration 240/236 degree and lift 8.7/8.2 mm while the compression ratio equals to 8.5. The motor’s output is 245 hp at 6,000 rpm and a torque of 304 Nm (224 lb-ft) at 4,000 rpm.

3S-GTE Gen 3 reaches the ¼ mile in 13.8 seconds. It was employed in Celica GT-Four ST205 and MR2.

3S-GTE Generation 4 (produced between 1999 and 2007) is the ultimate engine of the 3S series, utilized for the Caldina GT-Four ST215 vehicle. It features a restyled exhaust manifold and a CT20b turbocharger. The boost pressure is 11.5 psi (0.8 bar).

The camshafts have been restyled and have duration 248/246 degree and lift 8.75/8.65 mm. The motor has the higher compression rate equal to 9. The output of 3S-GTE is 260 hp at 6,200 rpm and a torque of 324 Nm (239 lb-ft) at 4,400 rpm.

3S-GTE usage in Toyotas[10]
Generation Year Model Power Torque
1 1986–1989 Celica ST165 185PS(182HP) @ 6000rpm
190HP @ 6000rpm (North America)
250 N·m (184 lb·ft) @ 4000rpm
258 N·m (190 lb·ft) @ 4000rpm (North America)
2 1990–1993 Celica ST185
MR2 (1990-1992 Turbo)
MR2 (North America 1991-1995)
200HP @ 6000rpm (North America)
205HP @ 6000rpm (UK/Australia Group A Rallye)
225PS(222HP) @ 6000rpm (ST185/MR2)
235PS(232HP) @ 6000rpm (ST185 RC)
271 N·m (200 lb·ft) @ 3200rpm (North America)
281 N·m (207 lb·ft) @ 3200rpm (UK)
275 N·m (203 lb·ft) @ 3200rpm (Group A Rallye)
304 N·m (224 lb·ft) @ 3200rpm (ST185/MR2)
304 N·m (224 lb·ft) @ 4000rpm (ST185 RC)
3 1994–1999 Celica ST205
MR2 (1993+ Turbo except for North America)
245PS(242HP) @ 6000rpm (MR2)
255PS(251HP) @ 6000rpm (ST205)
302 N·m (223 lb·ft) @ 4000rpm (ST205 Group A)
304 N·m (224 lb·ft) @ 4000rpm
4 1997–2001 Caldina ST215 (GT-T) 260PS(256HP) @ 6200rpm 324 N·m (239 lb·ft) @ 4400rpm
4.5 2002–2007 Caldina ST246 (GT-Four) 260PS(256HP) @ 6200rpm 324 N·m (239 lb·ft) @ 4400rpm

Toyota 3S engine problems

  1. High fuel consumption. To fix the problem, it’s recommended to clean the throttle body, injectors and idle control valve. In addition, it’s advisable to regulate the ignition.
  2. Troubles with the high-pressure fuel pump. They happen because of strong wear and tear, caused by the gasoline getting to the crankcase. The dysfunction is accompanied by a high level of the oil with a smell of gasoline, twitching and unstable functioning of the automobile, fading of the engine and weak turns. The solution is to change the high pressure fuel pump for a fresh one.
  3. Vibrations. In this instance, it’s necessary to examine the engine mounts and acquire the fresh ones.
  4. Exhaust gas recirculation valve failure. Because of getting carbonized and due to aging, the valve begins to operate unsteady. The other reason is the use of bad quality gasoline. The problem causes rough idling and power reduction. It’s necessary to polish the EGR valve or replace it with a new one.
  5. Rough idling. The engine stops to function. Usually, you can get rid of this trouble by cleaning the throttle body. If it’s not enough, you need to polish the intake manifold.
  6. High fuel consumption. To fix the problem, it’s recommended to clean the throttle body, injectors, and idle control valve. In addition, it’s advisable to regulate the ignition.
  7. Vibrations. In this instance, it’s necessary to examine the engine mounts and acquire the fresh ones.
  8. Overheating of the motor. It means that the radiator cap must be examined thoroughly.

In total, the 3S engine by Toyota is reputed for its safety. It can work steadily for a long period if to take care of it regularly. The major disadvantage is its age. Today, there are a few engines of this series, which are in perfect condition. Moreover, we recommend avoiding buying the 3S-FSE as it has more troubles than other engines of the range.

Last update on 2021-10-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dan Hoffman

Dan is a co-founder of Engineswork. He knows everything about internal combustion engines. Ask your questions in comments down below this article - he will be glad to help you anytime.

13 thoughts on “3SGE Engine Review, Problems and Specs

  1. Hi, I’m driving a Toyota Corona ST171 with 2.0GL 3S-GE engine. I need help in identifying which type of engine oil is suitable for my car. I checked the car manual & it doesnt state which type of engine oil I should use. Any ideas ?

    1. Dan Hoffman says:

      We represent oil viscosity numbers in the table above. Finde Engine Specs place in the article (it’s 5W-30 or 10W-30).

      1. Hi, I have a 1989 Toyota Celica GTS with the 3sge engine in the United States. I have had the head gasket replaced once at around 102,000 miles. The car is now at 194,000 miles and the head gasket is leaking again. I am considering replacing it with a cometic brand head gasket with a thickness of 0.030. I’m not sure how thick an oem head gasket is. My question is will the thickness of this new gasket change and or cause any problems? I want the cometic head gasket hoping that it will be less likely to fail as opposed to an oem replacement. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

  2. RObert222 says:

    Inquiring, what is involved in a 3S-GE Beams engine swap into 86 hilux. Will the engine fit behind cross-member or will it need to be modified? Any info would help.

    1. Dan Hoffman says:

      Yes. Watch the 3SGE BEAMS SWAPPED HILUX REVIEW! video on YouTube

  3. I am in new zealand and have a 1996 toyota rav4 MTM 2 door awd with the 3sge motor fitted from factory. I need a video of how to replace the rocket cover and spark plug tube gaskets. There seems lot to remove off the motor to get to the rocket cover. Doesnt seem to be lot of videos on rav4 3sge repairs. Ive searched the net and youtube for hours.

  4. Peter Changocho says:

    Am in Zambia,I have Toyota Carina ed fitted with a 3s ge engine the problem is high fuel consumption, what should I do to resolve this?

    1. Dan Hoffman says:

      Hello. How many miles or kilometres has the car passed?
      Perhaps you started driving too aggressively?
      Are there any errors, like check engine?
      Overloading the car or riding on flat tires can also increase fuel consumption. Even changing a gas station or gasoline…
      and in the end, I would suggest paying attention to spark plugs, air and fuel filters.

  5. Hie am having problems with my toyota lexus is 200 the engine started vibrating when l had removed the car battery. Then after a day the car would not start. I have changed the fuel high pressure pump, plugs and also coil packs and it’s still not working.

    1. Dan Hoffman says:

      Some car alarms need to be re-configured after changing the battery. Try to run it with your PIN.

  6. Damon Duckett says:

    Hello thanks for the information.i’ve a 3rd gen 3sge from a 94 celica and I’m planning to do a cam upgrade with the toda 264/9.0 for the intake and 256/9.0 for the exhaust so i would like your advice if it is safe to do a drop in without any mods at all.my engine is the automatic one so i guest it has duration of 240 on both intake and exhaust according to the info above but i’m running a manual gearbox,manual wire harness and a manual ecu.i awaits your reply.

  7. I’m looking at buying a Toyota altezza auto with a 3sge beams motor but it has 215***kms does anyone know how many kms the motor will last to before it starts breaking down and stuff. So would it be safe to buy this altezza or nah

    1. Dan Hoffman says:

      It depends on how well it was maintained and what is the current with this engine. You can understand it by not only looking at the engine, but at a car in general.
      If everything is OK, you probably can run 100,000 km more.

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