Celica GT 2ZZ swap

So you’ve decided to replace your 2000-05 Celica GT’s oil-thirsty underpowered stock 1ZZ-FE with the Celica GTS’s high revving 180hp 2ZZ-GE. This is an extremely popular swap and is pretty straightforward as engine swaps go. No custom work or fabrication is required since all of the critical swap parts are readily available. MWR offers engines, transmissions, parts, and even nearly complete packages that make these swaps a snap. Here’s what you need to know:

Parts required – engine swap

Parts can be found HERE

  • 2ZZ engine (from any year and model) with sensors, VV solenoids.
  • Intake manifold, throttle body from 2000-02 Celica GTS or 2005 Lotus Elise.
  • Throttle cable from 2000-02 Celica GTS
  • Knock sensor- you can use a 2000-01 Celica GTS knock sensor or your stock Celica GT knock sensor.
  • ECU: you can use a US-spec 2000-01 Celica GTS MT stock ECU or a 2ZZ Power FC. European and Japanese stock ECUs have an immobilizer feature so they will not function once swapped into a different car.
  • Injectors: if using a stock Celica GTS ECU, you should use the same model and year injectors as the ECU. If using a Power FC you can use any stock 2zz injectors or aftermarket injectors. 1ZZ stock injectors are too small with either ECU..
  • 2ZZ flywheel – if your engine came with a stock 2ZZ flywheel you can use that, just be sure to get it resurfaced. Most people prefer to upgrade to an MWR or Fidanza unit for quicker response and improved acceleration.
  • Wiring – your stock 1ZZ engine wiring harness will work but you’ll need the MWR VVL connector kit to add the VVL connections.
  • Header – Celica GTS, Matrix/Corolla or Lotus stock header or PPE 2ZZ Celica Header. If using a stock header and engine has air injection, header must have air injection.
  • Midpipe/Catpipe – Celica GTS stock or aftermarket midpipe to match stock Celica GTS header or PPE midpipe to match PPE header. Some have adapted the Celica GT midpipe to make it fit with stock GTS header but the flanges do not match and the GT midpipe and cat are smaller so power is compromised.
  • Air intake – Any Celica GTS cold air intake will work. Celica GTS stock air inlet tube and airbox also fits. GT airbox or cold air intake will not work.
  • Alternator – the 1zz alternator bolts up fine. There have been a few reports of 1zz alternator failures so some people prefer a 2zz alternator.
  • Mounts – the three transmission mounts are the same for 1ZZ and 2ZZ manual cars. The one engine mount is the same as well, you just need the steel engine-side part of the mount that comes with the 2ZZ engine.
  • Gauge cluster – the stock GT cluster works fine. The tach only goes to 8000 so the needle will stop climbing just before you hit the 2ZZ’s rev limiter. You can swap in a GTS gauge cluster but your car’s odometer will no longer be original and will display an incorrect mileage.


Your stock 5-speed will bolt to the 2ZZ and work ok with no modification. The 2ZZ is normally paired with a 4.5:1 6-speed transmission with close ratios; this suits the 2ZZ’s peaky power band MUCH better and you’ll find it’s a lot more fun to drive. Upgrading to the 6-speed is obviously easiest at the time of the engine swap but if budget doesn’t allow for that you can always do it later.

  • Toyota MWR transmissions – choose from 3.9 , 4.3 and 4.5:1 final drives in these brand new affordable 6-speed transmissions which available with or without a TRD helical LSD. These transmissions come ready to install .
  • Used 2000-05 Celica GTS 6-speed transmission – get it from a trusted source; high mile or abused transmissions may have synchro issues. A Matrix/Corolla transmission will not work in the Celica..

Your GT is an automatic? That’s trouble. The GT and GTS use completely different automatic transwmissions. You can’t run a GT auto trans with a GTS ECU. Even if you get a GTS auto trans you still have some serious wiring problems. You’re best off sticking with a 1ZZ engineor tackling the difficult job of converting your car to 2ZZ manual. 2ZZ automatics are generally no faster than 1ZZ automatics anyway.

While you’re in there

  • Clutch – The 1ZZ and 2ZZ clutch are interchangeable so you could reuse your old one but chances are it’s worn. Install a new one to avoid the labor of replacing the old one when it wears out after a few thousand miles.
  • Shifter cable bushings – greatly improve shifting feel and help avoid misshifts which are somewhat common with the 6-speed

Plan to go racing?

See the 2ZZ racing prep page for some ideas on easy upgrades you can and should perform before installing your new 2ZZ if you plan on road racing or autocross.


The stock 1ZZ engine makes around 117hp measured at the wheels. 2ZZ engine swaps tend to be in the 165-185whp range depending on the parts used and tuning. This is obviously a huge improvement and you’ll find the car is a lot more fun to drive and a lot more competitive at track events. If you’re in to drag racing you’ll find your times have gone from high 15’s in the quarter mile to high 14’s. Around the road course you’ll spend less time waiting for the next corner to arrive and you won’t be spending all of your time waving people by in the straights. In daily driving you’ll find the engine feels a lot like your old 1ZZ until you hit 6000rpm… when the VVL kicks in you’d better hold on.