Seeking Engine Advice for a 1992 Toyota Pickup

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Toyota Pickup

Toyota owner looking to pep up his truck, but he can’t find a 22R locally, so he’s looking for other options.

The 22R-E engine did a masterful job of motivating a group of popular Toyota vehicles, but like all powerplants, as these powerful four-cylinder mills age, they lose power. That led YotaTech forum member “Daniel Fox” to post in the 86-95 Trucks & 4Runners section, seeking advice on improving the power and drivability of his 1992 Toyota pickup. He didn’t include any pictures of his own truck, so we found a couple cool shots of trucks from that era in the forum to add some color to this post.

After searching for an exact 22R-E similar to the one already in his truck and coming up empty in the local area, he began looking for other vehicles that had the same engine. He didn’t completely trust Wikipedia, so he turned to the forum for more insight, leading to some excellent advice and a possible change of plans.

The Introduction

When the OP first shared his question with the forum, he explained what he was dealing with in regard to the troubles with his 1992 Toyota pickup, along with his ensuring problems with finding a replacement engine in his area.

Hi everyone, my Pickup has the 22R-E motor and its really tired, low compression, burning oil, the works, so we’ve been looking for a second motor that we can rebuild so that I don’t have to go without a truck for however long it takes to rebuild it. I’ve been doing research and I’ve only found 1 22R-E and it’s almost 2 hours away. So I broadened my search. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think the 20R and the 22R will both also fit in my truck. I found a list of the cars that had those motors on Wikipedia. Yeah, I know. Wikipedia isn’t exactly reliable. That’s why I’m posting here. Can y’all tell me if this list is accurate and what other motors besides the 22R-E will fit?

Thanks in advance.

The Community Responds

The first person to reply was “old87yota”, who asked for a little more information while providing details on the engine family in general.

Can I assume that you want to keep your truck fuel injected and are just looking for a suitable engine to rebuild?

The list above is right-ish, but there is more to the story. There were a few different versions of the 22R and not all are directly interchangeable with each other.

The easiest and most straight forward thing to do is to find a 22R or 22R-E engine from 1985-1995. The 22R and 22R-E from this time period is essentially the same engine, head and block wise. The difference being carbureted or fuel injected. Your intake and exhaust will bolt right up without fitment issues.

The earlier version of the 22R and the 20R are both carbureted and are a little different. They may physically fit in your truck, but you would either have to adapt fuel injection to these engines or get rid of you fuel injection system and run a carburetor as they use a slightly different head design which also means different intake and exhaust manifolds, which can be done, but not as straight forward as just using a later 22R or 22R-E and would not be my recommendation.

To which the OP replied with this:

I would prefer to keep things as easy as possible but I’m having trouble finding a motor between those years, be it a 22R or a 22R-E. So I don’t really have a problem with going carburated instead of fuel injected or other modifications if necessary.

My biggest complaint with my 22R-E has always been a lack of power. So one of the biggest incentives for putting a new motor in her is to give me more power. If it turns out I can gain quite a bit of power by going with a different model motor entirely, say a 6 cylinder or a 20R with 22R heads just to make an example, and it’s not to much work, I’m willing to do it. Basically, if I’m already gonna have to do some work because I can’t find an easy swap I might as well put in more work to give me some extra power. Any recommendations on what to do or what not to do are appreciated.

Toyota Pickup

While “millball” posted in support of the earlier information.

The only easy thing is to replace with another ’85 to ’95 22r/22re as old87yota said above.

Sure, just about any swap is possible, but you stated that time was of the essence.

Any swap to a different type engine is gonna take time and will have a few unforeseen delays and expenses.

Depending on where you live, there may be emissions compliance issues.

How About a V6?

After that information, the OP began to consider an entirely different direction, buying a newer truck with a V6 and swapping-in the larger engine.

Thank you everyone for the advice. I totally agree it would be much easier to just rebuild a 22R or 22R-E with a few upgrades to give me a little more torque and stick it in the hole. However, I’ve been looking some more and maybe I’ve missed a place that I should have looked but, with the exception of that one that’s two hours away, I just can’t find any.

However, I have found several whole 90s model 4Runners. I’m fairly certain that they all have 6 cylinders but I don’t know exactly what engine it is.

Obviously if I went with a V6 I’d need new heads, exhaust and intake manifolds, an exhaust system, motor mounts, etc. That’s a given. However, because these are all whole cars, I’d already have everything.

The only thing that really concerns me that I can think of is wiring. I’m a good mechanic but I’m just not good with electrical and I doubt any of it will be plug and play.

Can y’all tell me any problems I’m gonna have that I haven’t thought of. For example, maybe the motor mount bolts don’t line up with the existing holes in the frame or something like that. Also, what difficulties will I run into as far as wiring goes?

Also, I live in Louisiana so emissions are not a problem at all for me.

Really appreciate all the advice so far.

Toyota Pickup

But that isn’t going to be easy, as was pointed out by “arlindsay1992”:

Quite literally everything is different with the V6. Motor mounts, bell housing bolt pattern, transmission, and wiring are all different. The V6 engines of that era don’t have a very good reputation either. They are hardly any more powerful than the 22RE, and don’t get very good gas mileage.

That is where the discussion sits today, so if you have insight on this project, or if you live in the OP’s area and have a line on a 22R-E engine, click here to head into the thread to share your knowledge.

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