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September 24, 2017, 3:51pm Report to Moderator
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I have an 89 ATrac with Auto that is in very nice condition ...gutless but runs...milage is approx 240k. I am wanting to replace the engine and possibly the engine-trans combo.
I would like to replace with a 7AFE for more torque....when my CAT sees a hill ahead it starts to cry!!.  Several posts state that there are some modifications necessary and I am hoping someone can help me to understand what is necessary to do this and if there are only specific years that will swap?
         Example....... Rogue wrote the following on May 3, 2016: "The problem would be wiring it up as you would want the stock 7A-FE computer"
Rogue also states that the ECU plugs are different...does that mean that ONLY the plug needs to be changed or that part of the wiring harness also?

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September 24, 2017, 6:35pm Report to Moderator

Florida, USA
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Welcome!  I'm not sure how much benefit there would be to swapping in a stock engine so similar to the 4A-FE, but it being 1.8l and having the 2nd gen upgraded head design, it would have to be a step up from the 1st gen 4A-FE and its dinky intake ports.

As far as a 7A-FE swap goes, there should be write-ups out there for similar-year FWD Corollas (1990-1992).  1988-1989 FWD (non-GTS) Corollas were carbureted, so they would have a different path to getting a 7A-FE in their cars.  The 88-89 All-Tracs are all fuel injected, so we're a little different from the non-GTS FWD guys in those two years.  Therefore it would be best to research what someone with a fuel injected 90-92 Corolla would do with swapping in a 7A-FE.

Your All-Trac being an 89, the ECU plugs are different than the 90-92 years, FWD or All-Trac.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong.  I see two-plug ECUs for the 90-92 4A-FE, whereas the 88-89 All-Trac ECUs have three plugs like the GTS.  But I think the pin-outs are different between 88-89 GTS and 88-89 All-Trac, even though the three ECU plugs are identical.

I know in the 7th gen Corolla years (1993-1997) that the ECU went from OBD-I to OBD-II.  I want to say OBD-I ended in 1995, but with Toyota, I don't know.  I would consider an OBD-I swap to be easier than an OBD-II swap, because OBD-II uses more sensors and that means more wiring (and possibly more headaches trying to fit it into an OBD-0 car).

I do not know how the wiring would go from the 93-95? 7A-FE ECU to your 89 wiring harness.  I would think it would be best to get a complete engine harness from a 93-95? 7A-FE, and run it through the firewall to a 93-95? 7A-FE ECU.

Also I'm not sure, but I think some of the engine & ECU wiring runs off to other areas of the car.  I could be wrong.  I swear I saw wiring running into other harnesses off the ECU wiring in my All-Trac.  I know for Hondas the entire engine harness can be removed in the engine bay.  But Toyotas don't have a disconnect like Hondas did, so the engine wiring runs through a grommet in the firewall to the ECU (and possibly elsewhere).

Your other option is to go with an aftermarket ECU.  There are things like the Megasquirt, and the DIYPNP (do it yourself plug & play):

That may require re-pinning your ECU plugs to match the 4A-GE pin-outs, since that programmable ECU is intended for the early 4A-GE.  Benefit would be that you could add a turbo or do a 7A-GE build down the line, and already have a programmable ECU to do that.

Also remember that Toyota Corolla = Geo Prizm year-for-year, for the most part.  And some Celicas had the 4A-FE and 7A-FE in the USA.

I hope this makes sense.  Here's a summary of what I'm trying to convey about the ECU plugs:

1988-1989 FWD (excluding GTS coupe) = carbureted
1988-1989 GT-S, All-Trac = fuel injected, same 3-plug ECU style (with different pin-outs from each other?)
1990-1992 FWD, All-Trac = fuel injected
  • non-GTS = 2-plug ECU style (includes All-Trac?)
  • GTS = 3-plug ECU style (but different plug style than 1988-1989 GTS / All-Trac)
1993-1995? Corolla = 3-plug ECU style (might be same plug style as 1990-1991 GTS)

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September 25, 2017, 3:33am Report to Moderator

Arizona, usa
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My lifted wagon i swapped a 1995 7afe into. Also running the stock automatic. The easy way to do the swap is to swap the engine in and use the stock 4afe electronic. What you need to do to mount then engine in. The block will need a little grinding to clear the t-case. If you wanted to keep the engine oil cooler, you will need to swap over the oil filter housing, if your lucky the return line will be already have a plug in the upper oil pan. If not you will need to finish drill and tapping it. For electronics you can run the stock 4afe. To do this you will need to use the distributor from the 4afe and the trottle body. The distributor will bolt right up, the trottle body will also but the intake ports are a little different, so you will need to make a spacer plate to make it works. You will need a throttle body gasket for both the 7afe and one for your old 4afe. Then you will put the 7afe on then spacer then 4afe gasket. Almost forgot you will need to run the alternator from the 7afe. Different mounting bracket. The old ac compressor will be fine, along with powersterring pump.

This will work because the 7afe slightly larger fuel injectors will help to keep everything evened out. The good thing is the 7afe will be a slight increase in hp and torque. From the slight increase in discplacement and strock. The biggest help is the change in camshaft profile. Which moved peak torque from just under 4000 rpm to 2800 rpm.

To get the max power out of the engine will be to either run the ecu from a 7afe or aftermarket. If you want to run the 7afe you will end up with 3 wiring choice. This is from memory, so may be a little off, if this is the route you want to go then i will further look back all the info andnpost it.

First is the 7afe from 93-94 they have the ignitor still in the distributor. The injectors are still group fire, 2 paired together.

95 gets everthing for obd2 but not obd2 codes and connector. This adds a different distributor with ignitor external attached to the left side strut tower in front of the master cylinder. A crankshaft position sensor, knock sensor. 2 o2 sensor. One in the same location the second is after the catalytic coverter. And sequential fire fuel injectors.

96-97 gets obd2 protocole.

No for the even more fun part. The wiring will look close but the has a number of difference that makes it a fair amount of work to wire that you will have to choose between the ae95 fuse box of the fuse box from the newer corolla.
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September 29, 2017, 7:33pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the input, sorry about being so long getting back....I actually was waiting for my email to prompt me that a reply was 'IN' but it didn't ....nbd...

I'm going to re-read these a few times and try to make a better decision, so It may be a bit till I respond back about the 7AFE wiring choice scenario but I will am leaning toward that choice...

Now for another related question...the transmission...(automatic)...while I'd prefer a manual my wife refuses to learn! So....Is this automatic trans shared with anything else in case it needs to be replaced at some point in time?
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January 21, 2018, 11:01am Report to Moderator
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Im going to do the same thing in my 95 wagon
Its for the manual swap though, do you still need to grind the block?
How much did you have to grind off to fit the block to the gearbox?
For the 7afe wiring when using a 7afe computer do you have to use the full 7a loom?
If so what has to be add in for the centre diff to still function?
And when performing the swap does it matter what year corolla you get the 7a from?
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