If you have an older 4Runner with the 22RE engine and are looking for something with more power, check out the TR-FE. It's becoming a popular engine swap for older Toyota trucks and 4Runners because it's readily available and provides a big bump in power. Like all engine swaps, it's a complex process and not necessarily straightforward. But, it is much easier and more economical than trying to modify your engine bay to accommodate a GM LS motor.
In this post, we'll cover the background of the TR-FE engine and tell you everything you need to get started.
TR-FE Engine Background
The TR-FE first appeared in 2004 as part of the lineup of engines for Toyota's light trucks and SUVs and is still in production today. Most commonly found in the Toyota Tacoma, the 2TR-FE 2.7-liter four-cylinder has a bore and stroke of 95mm x 95mm and features 16 valves, dual overhead cams, and Toyota's VVT-i variable valve technology. Output is 158 horsepower at 5,200 RPM and 182 lb. feet of torque at 3,800 RPM.
The TR-FE is similar to the RZ-FE engine which it replaced and shares some of the same parts. Compared to the older 2.4-liter 22RE engine, the 2TR-FE is roughly the same size and weight but puts out 50 more horsepower and 42 more lb. feet of torque.
Finding An Engine And Parts You'll Need
In addition to the TR-FE engine, here's a list of all the parts you'll need:
- TR-FE ECU and wiring harness for the engine and dashboard
- Drive-by-wire throttle pedal
- Transmission setup: 2TR-FE to 3RZ bell housing, 3RZ flywheel, 2TR clutch slave cylinder and throw-out bearing with the stock 22RE clutch release fork (manual transmission)
- New fluids and filters (oil, coolant, brake fluid, etc.)
- For automatic transmissions, it's better to keep the Tacoma's modern 4 or 5-speed automatic and wiring harness. This will require some driveline modifications and new transmission cross members.
- If your 4Runner does not have fuel injection, you'll need to install a fuel pump in the gas tank, or replace the gas tank with one that has the fuel pump assembly. You'll also need to install high-pressure fuel lines and a fuse block and run power to the ECU.
- The 2TR-FE's motor mounts are about an inch farther back than the ones for the 22R motor. This will require modification to the motor mounts or modification of the engine's position.
- New water pump to mount a mechanical fan. Or a new radiator with electric fans.
Currently, there is not a turn-key kit for this engine swap so it may be easier and cheaper to source a Tacoma donor vehicle than order parts individually. This will also give you a better idea of how things fit together and what parts can be ordered vs. modified or built from scratch.
Here are a few links for information and resources on the TR-FE swap:
Yotatech has this thread on a 1987 4Runner with a 2TR-FE conversion
The 22RE to 3RZ-FE engine swap has a bit more info and according to these discussion threads the 3RZ swap is very similar to the 2TR swap:
- YotaShop has a blog post about the 3RZ-FE swap.
- Custom Tacos has a thread on swapping a 2TR engine into a first-generation Tacoma which might also prove helpful.
If you would like more information about the TR-FE engine swap or would like to order parts, we're glad to help! The Olathe Toyota Parts Center is the best place to buy OEM parts for any Toyota car or truck. We sell genuine Toyota parts at wholesale prices, including Toyota short block engines. We also offer resources like a free Toyota VIN decoder, diagnostic info for common Toyota trouble codes, and a wide variety of resources just for Toyota and Scion owners.