The MK2 Mr2 was sold between 1990 and 1995, during which time it was offered with 3 available motor/transmission combinations.
1. The 5SFE 2.2L DOHC non-turbo engine with S54 Transmission
2. The 3SGE 2.0L DOHC non-turbo engine with S54 Transmission
3. The 3SGTE 2.0L DOHC Turbo engine with E153 Transmission
The Toyota E153 Transmission is a 5 speed manual transaxle that drives all MK2 Toyota MR2 Turbos between 1990 and 1995, and is bolted up to the 3SGTE 2.0L DOHC Turbo engine. This should not be confused with the S54 Transmission that was offered on the Non-Turbo Mr2 between the same years. The E153 transaxle is significantly heavier and stronger than the S54 transaxle.
- Limited Slip VS Open Differential
There are two variations of the E153 transaxle: The Standard Open Differential Transaxle, and the Viscous Coupler Limited Slip Differential Transaxle.
On the E153 Transaxle, the Limited slip transmission can be easily identified by removing the axles, and looking through the axle holes on the transmission. If the transmission is equipped with the factory viscous coupler type limited slip, there is a bar that is visible inside of the hole.
There has been much debate over the meaning of the bar because on most transaxles it is the abscence of this bar that indicates the presence of a limited slip differential, and the presence of the bar that indicates an open differential. In fact, even on the S54 transaxle (used on the non-turbo MR2) which does not have a limited slip differential, this bar can be seen through the axle holes.
In fact, the bar itself does not in any way contribute to the limited slip feature of a viscous coupler differential. However in the case of the E153 transaxle, it can be used as an indicator to determine which differential is installed in the transmission.
This is illustrated in the Toyota repair manual excerpts & photos shown below:
E153 with Viscous Coupler Limited Slip Differential
Note that the bar we are looking at is actually the “pinion shaft”.
E153 with Standard Open Differential
Note that there is a hole inside the “differential spider”. This is the hole we are seeing when we look through the axle holes.
- Compatibility with other motors & Axles
The E153 transaxle can be easily bolted to the following engines (however, the E153 Axles & Hubs must be used):
- Variations between 1990 and 1995
The E153 Transaxle used a mechanical speed sensor from 1990 until 1992. After 1992, an electric speed sensor
was used in its place. Either sensor will fit into any year of the E153 Transaxle.