Years ago I 3VZ swapped my MR2 after blowing up yet another 5SFE. At the time the 2GR was still a new swap, and a lot of the swap parts we all count of from Frankenstein, TCS, and Wilhelm didn't exist yet. The only well documented swaps were the 1MZ and the 3VZ. the 1MZ was the logical choice, it was super available, well documented, lighter and relatively cheap. Conversely the 3VZ was only available in the US for 3 years, heavier and made slightly less power buuuuuut, the 3vz was cheaper, revved higher which was useful for autocross, and Paul Woods has a very well laid out "Idiot Swap Guide", and sold a adapter mount. I was afraid of wiring at the time (i still am, just a little less now) and the idiot guide made it feel way more doable. So set out to 3VZ swap my MR2.
I was lucky and have good friends and one of them just so happened to be selling 9/10ths of the swap and Two's R Us sold most of the rest of what i needed. So I bribe my friend Adam in to borrowing his air conditioned garage for "just a weekend or 2" haul all my shit over there and the next day i set out to drive my rod knocking MR2 down there. Luck was not on my side and the motor gave up the ghost about 5 minutes from Adam, who has a tundra and a ratchet strap and is nice enough to tow my car the last mile or two in a totally non-sketchy way to his place.
Dropping the motor out was easy, it wasn't Adam or I's first time dropping a 5S and at the end of the day it was out of the car. The next day we start work on the exciting part of getting the new to me 3VZ in to the car. With skillful use of beer as both a drink and ballast to keep the engine/trans/crossmember from falling off the front of the tiny little furniture dolly we had. Everything was going rather smoothly at this point and at the end of day 2 we had the motor hung in the car and the car back on the ground on all 4 wheels. All we have left to do it some plumbing and wiring and boom, I've got a V6 swapped MR2 ready to drive again! It's now the end of the weekend and were all tired, and since were definitely getting it done next weekend since its just a few little things we all split and go home.
The work week goes by and Saturday morning I wind back up at Adam's house in his magnificent air conditioned garage. Time to start wiring. Its going good, the idiot guide makes it hard to fuck up and were burning through the wiring. At the end of the day we've managed to get the car running! We are awesome wiring gods who can do anything! Now its late and its time to drink the rest of the beer we didn't finish during the day and sleep. It's now day 4 of work on the car and were planning on being done and feeling like the best engine swapping super team on the planet at the end of the day. We work on the coolant plumbing, and bleeding the clutch and brakes. BOOM! We're done lets test drive it. Huh, that's strange its just dumping fuel and after a 5 minute drive in the car we both small like we went swimming in a gas tank. That's not right, lets do some troubleshooting. We spend a few hours looking over the wiring and making sure we have fuel and spark on all cylinders. Everything comes back normal and we still don't know what's wrong. Oh well, its a swap and we cant expect to get it all perfect right out of the box. but now its once again late on a Sunday and I head home. At this point I'm also frustrated enough that I no longer take pictures of the progress because this is stupid, why did I decide to do this? But at least i have a motor in a car and its "running"
Over the next week I come by after work to poke around and see what I can see, but I cannot manage to get it running right. It goes through cycles of running good briefly followed by longer phases of "oh no its running like absolute ass and now i smell like gasoline again". After failing to get the car running good for another week we decide that the wiring harness is the problem and its got a short in it somewhere. The correct solution is apparently to get a new harness, that'll solve all my problems. So i order a new one and a week later I have my new harness. That weekend i head down to Adam's place and we discover that we have a 1MZ harness and its useless for us. Hoo-fucking-ray, time to get my money back and get an actual 3vz harness. This time we go to a junkyard and manage to find one. We rip it out of the donor ES300 and go about modding it like Paul Woods guide says and the next day we have it in the car and holy crap! Is it running right?! Is this correct?! Am I dreaming?! Its finally running right! We can drive it and not smell like fuel! It only sat in Adam's garage for a month just like i definitely originally guessed.
Now I have a drivable car and drive it I did. It was a fun and frustrating time and I would 100% do it again. I got to hang out with my friends and not be the only one frustrated with my car. I learned so much more than I thought I would and have a cooler car at the end of it all. Thanks for letting me take over your garage for a month Adam.