Help please . 1996 mx3 v6 engine transplant (klze or klde)

  • hello people :) i have not done an engine trasplant on an mx3 before . my mx3 is the 1996 model with the stage 2 wiring diagnostics system. ive red online that the klze engine runs off the stage 1 diagnostics system .
    i want the know if i can use the kl-ze engine or if i have to use the kl-de engine . and will i need the wiring loom or can i use my old one . what ecu's can i use for either engine an any other info i will need to do this job please
    you lot know loads more than me about all this

  • Where are you based?

    If your in the UK its difficult to do the swap on your car, if your in the USA its easier as they have a different loom.

    So ignore all the swap guides from the USA, its not the same OBD2 loom as we have.

    In the UK you would need to look at swapping in an OBD1 loom or look into some sort of MEGAsquirt type solution. I've seen people just bung in the engine and run it on stock ECU or stock ECU plus an adjustable AFR, but I havent seen one done that way that runs very well.

  • I tried swapping a loom myself and I couldn't get it running, granted I only spent about 12 hours on it and then had to stop as I needed to give the customers car back.

    The loom is not plug and play at all, you can't just change the engine loom either, you have to change the dash loom too, which is spidered into the interior loom and lighting loom. It was like trying to rewire a whole car because I couldn't cut and shut the two looms together as the customer wanted his car back if I couldn't get it to work.

    Also some of the connectors are different and would need changed.

    There are also different OBD1 looms, the only one I could get hold off had a factory fitted alarm and immobiliser fitted and I'm sure it was that, that caused all the problems. So don't get one with an alarm or immobiliser. And as said before you need pretty much the whole cars loom not just the easy to get at engine loom, unless you want to start splicing bits in….

    I'm sure its possible, just nobodys done it on a uk loom yet (its a completely different loom to the USA one where its easier to swap).

    If I was doing it i'd try and get the stock k8 running on the OBD1 loom first, then do the engine swap.

    I also looked at using an OBD1 engine loom and modifying the OBD2 dash/interior loom to convert it to fit the OBD1 ECU. This looked possible too and may be the way to go but again I ran into trouble with the OBD2 looms immobiliser this time. But again it wasn't my car so I couldn't spend as much time on it as I would have liked only spent a couple hours on it and again couldn't cut/splice any wires.

    Its definately possible either way and i'm not an auto electrician at all. I'm a mechanic and I hate elecronics!!

    Would be much easier to buy a pre 1994 MX-3, but where's the fun in that.


    As for ECU you need either a standard ECU that has the correct number on it and a Probinator chip, see link below:

    You get slightly poorer MPG this way but it runs great.

    Or you get a KL31 (manual) / KL36 (automatic) ECU.

  • Also don't forget:

    • new waterpump !!!!!!! this is a must you'd be mad not to while the engine is out.
    • new timing belt !!!!!!! this is a must you'd be mad not to while the engine is out.
    • new uprated clutch to fit MX-3 flywheel as its lighter.
    • new rocker cover gaskets (may or may not need to change inlet manifold gaskets when doing this)

    If it was me i'd get it steam cleaned and paint it before you put it in. Lets face it your only going to it once. Takes longer to do this than to swap the engine LOL

    Only other thing to think about is what you want to do with the EGR and breather pipes.

  • im in the uk and my mx3 is the 1996 model so it might be the ODB 2 loom but now i know that the usa spec is completely different im not sure what mine is anymore .
    so my plan of action should be:
    install ODB 1 wiring loom (to see if it works)
    remove both engines
    clean an replace parts on new engine
    fit engine in

    all the research ive done im unsure about now
    can you run me through what parts i will need for both kl-ze and kl-de engines please
    (loom,ecu,sensors,dizzy cap,etc)
    and how can i tell if mine is ODB1 or 2?

    thank you for the help so far

  • can i use the probes ecu an wiring loom if i use the probe as a donor car. use must of the probes wiring loom but where it enters the cat just splice it in?

  • OBD 1 has 3 connectors into the ECU, OBD2 has 4, if I remember right.
    ECU from a probe is fine, as it's the ECU for that engine.

    ^Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

  • can i use the probes ecu an wiring loom if i use the probe as a donor car. use must of the probes wiring loom but where it enters the cat just splice it in?

  • @844b06823e=Conlon2k:

    can i use the probes ecu an wiring loom if i use the probe as a donor car. use must of the probes wiring loom but where it enters the cat just splice it in?

    I'd use the probes loom, I see no reason to splice it in, as it just runs from the engine back into the firewall to the ECU.

  • awsome thanks alot . ill start looking for a good donor car tomorrow.
    do you know anything about what i will need to turbo it (better pistons,cams,etc)or will i just need to buy a turbo kit?

  • @9c6218be92=Conlon2k:

    awsome thanks alot . ill start looking for a good donor car tomorrow.
    do you know anything about what i will need to turbo it (better pistons,cams,etc)or will i just need to buy a turbo kit?

    100% no idea bud.. My mechanical is done by some ex RAF turned fork lift truck engineers from work.

  • cheers anyway . ill do a lil research

  • You have OBD2 loom.

    Well to be 100% correct in the UK the MX-3 never received a proper OBD2 loom with a proper OBD2 diagnostics connector. For some reason in the UK they kept with the OBD1 style diagnostics port in the engine bay.

    Basically in the uk you have the pre 1994 loom and post 1994 loom.

    The pre 1994 loom is plug and play, the post 1994 loom is not.

    If you have airbags and an immobiliser chip on your key its the post 1994 loom.


    All the info I gave you was for putting in a KLZE not a KLDE.

    If you plan on going turbo talk to MARCO on here he will steer you in the right direction as he's the most experienced.

    But if your going turbo you can probably keep your stock loom and as you will need to run megasquirt anyway to get it running decently. (run this buy MARCO)

    KLDE swap. (I'm no expert on this as never done so check what i'm saying against other sources)

    This is completely different to the KLZE swap.

    The problem with the KLZE is that the only ECU you can get to run them is only compatible with the pre 1994 loom so you pretty much have to use that loom if you want to go with a KLZE.

    But with a KLDE you don't have that problem as there are OBD2 ecu's for the KLDE. So you should be able to keep your loom and just run the KLDE ecu as long as its from an OBD2 car and use the KL02 VAF from the same car.

    Again run this by other people as I've never looked into KLDE's much.

    You need to check that the ECU will fit your loom as thats the part i'm not sure off. As said before in the uk the MX-3 never got a proper OBD2 connector, but I don't know if the uk probe and MX-6 did??

    I'd only consider a KLDE swap if your are 100% committed to going turbo, otherwise i'd go for a ZE.

    Also you have to ask yourself do you want it to be a daily driver?

  • im planning on using it about 3-4 days a week untill i turbo it , then it will become my "toy".
    i might upgrade the probe engine a bit , use some of the kl-ze bits aswell(manafold,etc) .
    ill have a chat with marco after i have the kl-de block in and running (one step at a time lol)
    might have to join a probe forum to see how they upgrade the engine the best ways.
    ill compare the probes loom plugs with mine to see if there all the same aswell

  • The main plugs will be the same shape, but that doesn't mean the wires go to the same placee.

    You need to get hold of the pinouts to be sure.

  • (just a passing comment)
    an mx3 is not the best of cars to use for delivery driving lol .

  • Hey, some advice from my experience :)

    Sounds like you're taking the right route, get the DE running well first.

    DEs take a turbo very well. I wouldn't bother upgrading rods or pistons etc unless you're going seriously over 300bhp, which is pretty hilarious fun in an mx3! Over that you get into gearbox problems, which would get very expensive. Stay under 300 and you can have a very quick car for not much money.

    Clutch wise I strongly recommend using a OEM daikin/exedy pressure plate and the ACT 6 puck from the old RX7. Holds the power no problem and very streetable.

    Fill your engine mounts at minimum with windscreen adhesive. The AWR engine mounts are very good though.

    Hopefully you can weld, as the ebay turbo hot pipes may require tweaking. For the money though they're amazing! Your cross member will require notching for the pipes too.

    Keep an eye out for a good wastegate like TiAL or turbosmart. I'd recommend 5-7psi to start. 5 is actually a really fun level, but boost is addictive ;)

    I ran an ebay t3t4, they're a bit hit and miss. Mine got smokey.

    There's lots of info on probetalk about boosting the KL. Megasquirt is the default/obvious engine management choice for KL builders, plenty of base maps online too. Though haltech, sds etc have been used too.

  • i can see why you have a mod squod star lol. golden advice and greatly apreciate it. im not the best with cars but i have mate whos done loads of engine swaps(but mostly vauxhall) like his 3.0 v6 corsa and 2.0 turbo nova etc . i will try and get all the parts you have recommended

  • next question
    wet float bearing vs ball bearing turbos . whitch one is best ?
    if im not mistaken bb turbos spool faster but apart from that is there much diffrence?

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