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jasnall
May 2, 2012, 3:33am Report to Moderator
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I've been reading through a lot of the engine swap posts on here but still can't decide what I should do. I'm just looking for the best option to revive my leaky stock 4afe.
GOALS:
I'm not looking to make a race car, just want a strong reliable motor with good fuel economy that will go another 200k. 10-20 more whp would be nice. If swapping is the best option I would like a motor that is pretty drop in for the All trac.

Should I pull it out rebuild it and call it a day?

Should I look for a 2nd gen 4afe?

Should I look for a 7afe?

Hopefully this post can help others as our 90's All-tracs start to show their age.
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Rogue
May 2, 2012, 9:00am Report to Moderator

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Drop in, as in un-modified, I'd say 7A-FE for the torque, or a 20v 4A-GE (probably the Blacktop) for a little more power.  But both would require redoing some of the wiring, replacing the ECU, and swapping the accessories (power steering, AC, alternator).  The latter I'm not sure if it's necessary for a 7A-FE, but I'm guessing so because the block is a different height than the 4A blocks.  20v block would need the notch near the oil pan ground out to clear the transfer case.


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jasnall
May 2, 2012, 4:40pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Rogue, It's also going to come down to what's economical. I thikn the black top will cost me quite a bit more than the 7afe, so the 7afe may be a better option since I'm more concerned with making a strong reliable daily.

In your opinion, since I would have to remove my 4afe anyway to do an overhua,l would you just buy a 7afe and do a swap or spend the money to replace seals and stuff for a basic overhaul on my stock 4afe? My budget is more value based, I have some money to spend but I don't want to do so unnecessarily.
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Rogue
May 2, 2012, 9:32pm Report to Moderator

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Another option is to turbo the 4A-FE.  There's lots of info out there about this, and supposedly it can be done properly for under $1k (without going too crazy).  My problem is when I think "rebuild," I think, "make it better!"  Like my current build, it's not simply a smallport 4A-GE swap.  I'm putting a lot more into it, although it is more of a hobby to me so it's "fun."  One thing about going turbo, you're going to lose a lot of space in the already-crowded engine bay.  If you don't have or need AC, that frees up some space in the front.

So you could do a decent (stock) rebuild on the 4A-FE, and then boost it a little bit.  Maybe replace the stock rod bolts with ARP ones as extra insurance, along with the main bolts.  But, see, there I go with upgrade disorder... more opinions on this might be better!


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27
May 3, 2012, 9:49am Report to Moderator
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For minimum budget. Without having to modify or open up the engine in any way.
I'd say 7afe.
They're good engines in terms of port flow and technology. In terms of wear and tear they're not as old as some of the 4A's and they're definitely cheaper than 4A's (except 4AFE's).
plus you get 1.8L instead of 1.6L
So more power, less revs.
All you'll need is the 7afe's wiring loom and ECU, Your factory fuel pump will still suffice.
That's all you really need to do.

*********

If down the track you had a little extra money you could upgrade to a half inch larger exhaust or fit a cold air intake.
You could also fit a second hand catalytic converter from a six cylinder exhaust system or buy a sports hi-flow cat.
All of these would earn you a few more kilowats each.

Then there's all the usual things that add up to make a difference like using synthetic oil. The best quality spark plugs and leads you can buy. bigger spark means improved combustion/burn time in the chamber. The faster it happens the more power is created pushing the piston downwards and powering your vehicle.

Do all this and you'll enjoy a much more responsive ride.
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jasnall
May 3, 2012, 4:31pm Report to Moderator
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DANGIT!!! I had just about decided to just rebuild my 4afe but that 7afe just sounds too tempting. I here you Rouge, I too get bit hard by the upgrade bug so I need to be carefull.
Ok lets hash out both options.

Rebuilding stock 4afe.
What shoudl someone really do to reliable "rebuild" their stock motor? 70$ or so for a full gasket set, I need new timing belt, water pump, all belts, what about internals? As an intermidiate home garage mechanic what should I look at as far as gettign the internals rebuilt? I don't mind taking it somewhere and spending a few hundred bucks to get any necisary machine work done, I just don't know what I woudl need. I also plan the have the tranny rebuilt, I have a few syncros going bad. So at the end of all this I would hope to spend $600 or less on a nice stock rebuild plus tranny rebuild.

Buying 7afe
Where would i source one? JDM importer? Is it safe to pick one out of my local pick and pull yard? What can I excpect to pay and will I get value out of it over rebuilding a stock 4afe. I liek the idea of a newer less tired motor and it seems like the swap would be pretty straight forward.

Again I think ths topic would be helpful to alot of All-Trac owners so I realyl appreciate all your guys help, you are a wealth of knowledge!
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27
May 7, 2012, 9:44am Report to Moderator
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Most 4age guys will say "if you're going to all that trouble just put a 4age in instead of a 4afe"  but like I said. It's hard to get an affordable 4age that hasn't bean thrashed.

MOST IMPORTANT: what ever engine you buy. get it compression tested first.

When you start delving into rebuilding internals, things get expensive, no matter what engine it is as individual items get machined to the thousand of an inch and so on..  It all adds up very quickly.
If you don't have a thick wallet and big heart to see this through go the 7afe option as stated above. Ensure it's got the notch in the block to clear the transfer case - you'll still need to do some grinding. Rogue's posted some good shots recently that explain what is meant by grinding..

Have you got all the garage and tools you need? particularly to drop the engine out from underneath?

If you're taking it to get machined / rebuilt.

Do as much as possible yourself.

Pulling the engine in the toyota manual is stated as a 9 hour job.. I'd give myself a few days to do it comfortably. bagging and tagging parts and taking lots of photo's
The engine and gear box has to be dropped out as one. It's much harder to lift it out.
To acheive this the entire subframe has to be removed.

Once you've got the engine out, degrease and clean it - a shop will charge you for this. Seperate the gear box from the engine. Drain and clear as much transmission fluid as possible.
While it's out you should upgrade the clutch as well. (Edit - and the worn synchro's!)

In Australia there's a regular amount of wreckers with 7afe's for sale and also privateers listing them on ebay so I'd hazard a guess, things would be similar in your area. They're a very common engine in modern corollas so no need for a JDM dealer, they should be plentiful.

Do some websearches for 7agte build, 7age conversion, 7afte upgrade etc etc etc..

There's plenty of people successfully using the 7A block in all it guizes these days..

You could try and find a gearbox from a lesser mileaged alltrac wagon at a wreckers. No garauntee that the synchros aren't worn though. If someone's thrashed the gearbox it can still have low mileage and end up being a bad buy - it's a gamble.

gearbox code is E57F5

If you do go up to the 1.8L 7afe you'll need an engineers certificate. Same goes for adding a turbo or supercharger.

*****
If that all sounds too hard, just get a compression test done on your existing engine. If it's down a little, there are oil additives and thicker viscosity oils you can use.
Unbolt the head and fit a 7afe head gasket to your existing 4afe, this will increase the compression ratio and give you some extra power. Cleanse your engine, fit a tri-Y header (AKA 3-2-1) and a cold air intake with the post 1992 intake plenum (See OldSkewlToy's posts) and get a re-tune.
Fit the largest oil filter you can and new air filter.

(EDIT) Also fit injectors from a toyota 5SFE engine.

Do this and you'll save a lot of money that can be spent on upgrading suspension bushing for improved handling which dramatically affects the handling of the car and it's ability to put down power when coming out of a corner.

I'd guestimate a 17- 20% gain in power for these mods alone.
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jasnall
May 7, 2012, 10:04pm Report to Moderator
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Excellent info Jedz, much appreciated!

I've heard about using the 7afe head gasket on the 4afe and have a question. Would the increase in compression cause any major stress or reliability issues on stock 4afe components? It sounds like a nice simple upgrade othewise.
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Rogue
May 7, 2012, 10:52pm Report to Moderator

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I'm curious what the compression ratio is when using that 7A head gasket.  I don't think it would cause problems... unlike the idea I had to use bluetop 4A-GE pistons (the 9.4:1 ones) in a 4A-FE to bump compression (using stock head gasket)...  


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jasnall
May 7, 2012, 11:11pm Report to Moderator
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27
May 8, 2012, 8:27am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from jasnall
Excellent info Jedz, much appreciated!

I've heard about using the 7afe head gasket on the 4afe and have a question. Would the increase in compression cause any major stress or reliability issues on stock 4afe components? It sounds like a nice simple upgrade othewise.


Car manufacturers often up the compression on a later model or add a mild turbo to a standard engine.
The 4afe block is actually very good compared with a GZE block. not so for the con-rods pistons and valves.. but they're reasonably good.
Take it from a guy who revs the hell out of his stock standard 4afe.. The 4afe rev limiter at 6300revs will protect the internals adequately.
But here's the thing...

The thing that makes it all work is taking it to a reputable tuner for a re-tune, after all your mods

So what ever mod's you do NEVER thrash the car untill you've had it re-tuned.
Other than that I'd say
The main stress would be on the head studs. If you wanted to over engineer it like toyota does..
Buy ARP studs, torque the head as per toyota manual - set and forget!

In keeping with mod's that don't involve internals you could also de-burr the heads intake and exhaust ports while it was off the engine - but doing it with the valves in is a bit risky due to tiny shards of metal getting caught in the valve guides and causing premature wear and tear. In this case some people simply stick plasticine down tha back of the port around the valve while they're porting and then give the whole head a good clean with keroseine and an air gun when theyre done.. - It's pretty ghetto / budget / backyarder spec' but it still works



Jasnall if you look at the top right of that 4afe tuning sight you listed you'll notice he lists compression ratios for early and late 4afe's
As far as I'm aware all ae95 alltrac wagon / sprinter caribs use early model 4afe's so your compression ratio would end up being more like 10.0:1
Still a nice jump.
(Also very good what he says about TRD thermostat - I'd still get a re-tune though)
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1384
May 9, 2012, 1:39am Report to Moderator
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does anyone know if that jump in compression will necessitate a higher octane rating or is 10.0:1 still low enough to run 87?
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27
May 9, 2012, 9:17am Report to Moderator
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That's an excellent question space wagon.

The short answer is yes and no...
Definitely yes. I'd suggest the use of higher octane fuel. but... no.. you don't have to..
10:1 is really around the cut-off point.. you could still safely get away with standard fuel BUT.. once again - Get your engine re-tuned it's worth it. Too much risk otherwise.


Background:
High compression ratios produce more power in a number of ways.
The higher the ratio, the smaller the combustion area is,
This creates better atomization of air & fuel.

Marine safety & fire fighters will tell you all about petrol fumes in confined spaces.
If I remember correctly (don't quote me!) petrol fumes are something like 2542 times more flammable than liquid petroleum
(I'm pretty sure it's up around the 2500 range)
So high compression helps the injected fuel and air turn to gas creating a much more potent explosion.
But here's another thing. You want the fuel to burn, not explode. Burning means there's a minute layer of unburnt gas between the combusting fuel and the piston. Eventually it all burns up on the downward stroke.
Exploding is what causes engine knock or pinging.
Think of it as the difference between hitting the piston (and head) sharply in a stressful way versus pushing the piston down in a well timed, controlled way.

The better atomization and the tighter confines produce more force against the piston. This literally means more bang per squirt of fuel from the injector OR more bang for your buck if you consider fuel prices. Meaning improved economy.

In comparison a lower compression ratio creates a poorer air fuel mix and the less confined space means a lot less force against the piston.

So in high compression, your timing becomes increasingly critical, thats why I keep harping on about a re-tune.

To keep things basic, high octane fuel is more stable under high compression. It gives the desired burn.
Standard fuel is more volatile the closer it gets to gas form and is more likely to explode.


High octane fuels are often also reported to have additives that help clean and protect the engine.

Also when raising compression, the engine gets hotter, so you have to do everything you can to lower the temperature of the engine. This helps keeps your air intake temperure lower. High temp' air intake creates a loss of power and is also more likely to ping / knock detonate etc...   (use a TRD thermostat as referenced on the 4afe site and further info is on the link I've provided below)
Always consider the domino affect (If I change this.. What else will it affect?)

Here's a link I refer to...  

http://www.popularhotrodding.com/tech/0311_phr_compression_ratio_tech/index.html
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jasnall
May 15, 2012, 6:15pm Report to Moderator
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Posts: 132
Thanks again Jedz for all the info, I think I've settled on rebuilding the 4afe with the 7afe head gasket.
I have a question on the whole intake manifold situation, I think I've confused myself. I know there are two generations of the 4afe, the first being the one with the valve cover with all the writing on it. Like in Oldskewey post there is a side by side picture of the two manifold. I have the valve cover of the engine on the left but the manifold of the engine on the right. So Im confused as to which manifold is the better second gen manifold, what does it look like?
Here is my engine.
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Rogue
May 15, 2012, 10:55pm Report to Moderator

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What year is your All-Trac?  I believe you have the "revised" intake that was on the 1990+ (?) All-Trac 4A-FEs.  The '88-'89 (?) intake is the goofy curvy one.

Here's mine (1988) just before I removed the intake manifold over a year ago:



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