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I have a 1988 SR5 V6 4-Runner. It has 218K miles on it. Still runs fine but I can tell the engine’s getting a bit tired. I want to start restoring it this year(new engine, suspension, paint etc.) I was wondering if any one out there has experience dropping a new / re-built engine in their first generation 4Runner. I was also curious if a larger engine (4.0L) would fit in it or if I should just stick with the same type/size of the stock engine. I am not a mechanic so I’m looking to get some information on my various options and how to go about it. I’m located in CA.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Cheers,

Christian
 

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4RunFun
91 4Runner
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Anyone correct me if I am wrong on this, but I believe an 88 is actually a 2nd gen. Um, Im thinking inception to 83 was first. 84 to 89 (or was it 88?) was second, 90 to 95 was third, and I think we might have quit counting from there!

Well, to the point...engines. The 3.0L V-6 has never been thought of as the power house of engines. I can't think of one occasion a Ford or Chevy owner swapped out to a Toyota V-6! From the start they were a bit gutless, yet very economical and reliable (and better than another 4 banger). So take a somewhat gutless Toyota V-6 and add over 200k miles and you have a tired gutless motor. What to do...several hundred Toyota owners ponder that very question (including myself) each day!

It all comes down to the mighty dollar. Cheapest option is to drive it into the ground, which with regular oil changes might take 3 years. Personally I would consider buying another Toyota engine, and performing a complete rebuild on a stand while still driving your tired motor. Then hopefully you will have a fresh motor waiting for a relatively painless drop in once your tired motor bites the dust. Got big bucks to spring? Go for an engine swap and give your truck the power the manufacturer should have done from the start. Prepare to drop over 3k to get it done, and don't look for that much in resale value down the road. Advanced Adapters along with Northwest Offroad Specialties offer adapter kits for Chevy 4.3 V-6, Chevy 350 small block, and the Ford 302. Engine swaps are big money and bigger headaches. The end result (if you get that far) is huge in reward though. You did mention you are not a mechanic so I presume none of the above may sound very appealing. Replacing an engine at a local garage is fairly common, yet also fairly expensive. If you don't want to spend big money on special tools and rebuild parts, leave it to the experts. Labor fees will take a toll on the bill, so make sure the repair shop provides some sort of warranty on the work. No less than 6 months for sure. Good luck!
 
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