KL-DE swap(weird one)

  • It's been a little time since my last post, but I got an idea.
    Since my mx-3 1.8v6 is kinda dead, I figured out, that it's no use to put in some 2.0v6 from 323, but go straight after 2.5v6.
    There are some things I just couldn't find on this forum or mx-3.com.
    First- I found a probe with 2.5 kl-de(yay!), but it's from year 1995… So I figured it might be with obd2 wiring.
    Since my mx-3 is year 1991, I have obd1 wiring. The question is- what and how I must do/have, to make this swap happen? Since almost every post about swap is about obd2, but I got different situation here :).
    Or is there any possibility, that Probe from 95' have obd1, so it would make it 1:1 swap?(I don't know how true that is,coz I think there is no such thing as 1:1 swap,unless it's the same engine).
    I'm from Europe, so engine swaps aren't so common here, since we have no access to kl-ze (at least @ my country), and that's why any answer would be great!
    Bottom line: MX-3 with OBD1 + 2.5 Kl-De with OBD2= what do I need? :))

  • Do you know for sure probe is ond2? check the probes ECU and see how many plugs connect into the back of it, if it has 3 then it is OBD1, don't think its possible to do OBD1 - OBD2 conversion, if it is, its a BIG pain in the arse

    Also I think you mean that most posts are about OBD1 not 2 ;)

  • i didnt know that probes came with an OBD2 wiring loom. I thought they were all OBD1 but i may be wrong there. best bet is to do what gulfy said there and check the connectors on the side of the ECU to be sure. Also i heard someone on the forum had trouble with a probe swap so make sure you take all immobilizer tools as well such as the keys and ignition barrel out of the probe to use in your swap (just in case ;) ). Hope this helps

  • Why is there a problem from Probe swap? I got some 626 with 2.5 availabile, but it's hard to say , in what condition is the engine. Somehow probe users don't torture their 2.5, compared to 626 users,who loves to take it out on all BMWs they can find.
    However- if probe has obd1, what should I expect from that swap. There must be some problems,since mx-3 and probe are a little different. Also I can't find any info about simple 1.8v6 swap to 2.5 kl-de .. I doubt that kl-de would cause as much trouble as kl-ze (since intake manifold is shorter and there is no need to remove main brake cilinder).
    If I get this probe engine, what should I salvage. As far I understad, I need ECU and MAF and everything else should be o.k? Thanks a lot

  • OBD does not apply to the engine an engine is neither OBDI or OBDII, it is the loom that is OBD dependant.

    I spotted you are in Latvia, is your car Right Hand Drive or Left Hand Drive?

    If you are Right Hand Drive there are no problems with the Brake Servo getting in the way as its on the other side.

    But if your Left Hand drive you can get a KLZE out the Millenia with the Curved Neck Inlet manifold and that will fit, plenty of people have done it.

    Personally I would just fit a KLZE and get a Probinator chip for your ECU. I've driven both a DE and built several ZE powered MX-3's and the ZE is much better and well worth the extra cost. Its easier to swap too, less messing round.

    As with any engine swap, i'd always advise putting on new Timing Belt, Water Pump, clutch and rocker covers while the engine is out.

    There are only two reasons to consider a DE swap. 1) Because you plan to Turbo it or Supercharge it and it is a better choice for this because it has lower compression. 2) Because they are cheaper than a ZE, but to that i'd just say that it would be better to save up and buy the ZE because its much better.

  • @50b929d671=ukmx3admin:

    OBD does not apply to the engine an engine is neither OBDI or OBDII, it is the loom that is OBD dependant.

    I spotted you are in Latvia, is your car Right Hand Drive or Left Hand Drive?


    We have left hand drive(or as you guys say- wrong side :) ), but the thing is- KL-ZE may be a common stuff for your country, but here we have not a single car(no matter, probe,626 or mx) with kl-ze engine. We have to order them from hell knows where and you never know what you will get. I mean- you won't fly to japan to get a look at the engine. One guy ordered KL-ZE. He got KL-DE with KL-ZE manifold, so no one's trying to get kl-ze anymore.
    Talking about wiring looms. You want to tell, that If I have OBD1, I can keep all wiring (including old sensors from my 1.8v6) and put that all into 2.5v6 even it was coming/connected with OBD2? Either it's a brilliant idea, or I'm totally misunderstanding something here.

  • We don't have any cars over here that have a KLZE in them.

    We have to import them from Japan using an engine import company, it usually costs about £450 - £550.

    Occasionally you will find one in a car thats been imported from Japan.

    Do you not have engine importers near you?

    Yes you got it right you can use a ZE engine from any year Donor car it does not matter.

    The problem will be the VAF, I don't know my Probes that good but you will need to check that on the Probe the OBDII Vaf has the same Wiring order as the OBDI Vaf on your MX-3.

    You need a KL02 Vaf to get it to run OK.

    To get it running better still you would need to run an adjustable FPR and get someone to set it up for you.

  • How much would it cost to send an engine to Latvia from the UK?

  • I have no idea. I was going to make this swap keeping it as low on cost as possible. At first I wanna try out KL-De, then I will think and search for ZE engine.
    So , to wrap all this up- I need kl-de engine, that cars VAF and ecu and I'm good to go, unless there's obd2 wiring loom, in that case I just take the whole wiring loom and then the swap could happen?

  • Think admin has tried and failed with the 're-wiring' option, I done a DE swap first, before I done a ZE, all you will need is engine, ECU & VAF, if you can get some/most of the loom from engine bay from donor car that would help, as when I done swap I needed to extend some of the MX3's wiring.

    Think I've still got DE ECU lying around somewhere if you get stuck, but best to get all 3 iparts from same car if you can.

  • ENGINE: ANY KLDE engine out of ANY car from ANY year will do

    VAF: You need the KL02 VAF.


    His MX-3 is a 1991 so OBDI so would he therefore would need the ECU to come from an OBDI car. (correct me if i'm wrong)

    I can't remember if the VAF needs to come from an OBDI car or not. Can't remember if they changed the wiring order. But if you need the OBDI ECU then grab the VAF from the same car.

  • yea. we never saw any ZE's here in the states. and there's still hundred's of them that have been imported and swapped.

    all probe had the KL02 vaf stock. both ODB1 and ODB2. and only the 93-94 probes were ODB1. the 95-97's were ODB2.

    and you can use the ZE MAf, you dont have to use the KL02 one. you just need to run the matching ZE ecu to do it. or you can even use the 1.8 ecu from the mx3 and vaf. at least here in the states we do. hell, the 93-94 2.5 guys use the 1.8 ecu as it has a slightly more aggressive tune.

  • Yes you can use the K8 ecu and VAF, but it does not run that good. If you were going down that route i'd get a good adjustable FPR.

    Can you get a Probinator chip for the DE?

    But I wouldn't worry about it too much, just stick it in then see what gets it running best for you.

  • So as I understand, I can just get the engine, hope for the best(that it's OBD1), if not, I should get some engine wiring loom and ECu and VAf.
    If anything else fails,I can just connect my old OBD1 to engines sensors and with VAF from that engine I can use my K8 ECu from mx, untill I get it all right?
    And optionally should get FPR or probinator chip….
    Well, that sounds quite easy then. I was worried about OBD2 wiring and hooking it all up, but looks like it won't be that bad after all.
    In any case, will keep you updated and in time of need will ask for help with advices :)

  • The only thing they changed on the actual engine between OBDI and OBDII is the number of coolant temp sensors everything else is the same or swappable from the K8. The sensors are all the same. You will not need any OBDII Wiring.

    Option 1:
    Any KLDE engine
    Standard MX-3 ECU
    Standard MX-3 VAF

    The Fueling will be off so will run rich, poor MPG, VRIS POINTS will be off, won't run that great but will run.

    Option 2:
    Any KLDE engine, add an adjustable FPR
    Standard MX-3 ECU
    Standard MX-3 VAF

    You will be able to adjust the fuelling so that will be spot on, the VRIS points will still be off though but will run better than above setup.

    Option 3:
    Any KLDE engine
    Standard MX-3 ECU
    KLO2 VAF (i'm not sure if this needs to be from an OBDI car or not, you will have to research)

    I believe the KLO2 VAF leans out the fuel mix and makes it run slightly better than option 1 setup. The VRIS point will still be off and fuelling will be better but still not correct.

    Option 4:
    Any KLDE engine
    KLDE ECU (as far as I know this must be from an OBDI car)
    KLO2 VAF (i'm not sure if this needs to be from an OBDI car or not, you will have to research)

    This should run fine as it was meant to with correct VRIS points and correct fuelling. This should give the best MPG.

    Option 5:
    Any KLDE engine
    Standard MX-3 ECU with Probinator chip (not all K8 ECU's are compatible, check the link at the bottom of this post for more info)
    Standard MX-3 VAF

    (Research this: again i'm not sure if you can get a probinator chip to match the DE engine I think he only does ZE engine maps so you will have to check on that. Also check that he is still in business its been a few years since I last bought from him)

    This should run fine as it was meant to with correct VRIS points and correct fuelling, no top speed restriction as its removed and rev limit upped to 9000rpm. It runs a more aggressive tune than the standard ECU too so a little faster a little worse MPG.

    If you can go for OPTION 5 Iis what I would do in your situation. But you will have to contact Probinator and ask him, his email address is: probegtze@hotmail.com. Buy the chip from him then take the chip and the K8 ECU to an electrics shop and pay them to put it in for you.

    Link to more info on the Probinator chip here:


    I know the ZE swap inside out but i'm not 100% on the DE swap so if anyone out there knows i'm wrong on any of the above let us know.

  • MrSomebody you can ignore what i'm about to write as its more for other people who are reading this thread than for you.

    Just a trivia thought to those like to know all about the MX-3.

    Being LHD like the USA I wonder if in Latvia they got a proper OBDII loom after 95 unlike us in the UK with RHD who did not. We don't have a proper OBDII connector here in the UK like they do in the USA and there OBDII loom is completely different to ours because they have that proper OBDII connector and they also have an extra lambda sensor on their OBDII loom.

    Just a thought.


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