22RE Engine Rebuild

Cost: The total cost for my rebuild was $2,300, which included the new short block, a rebuilt head, gasket set, timing kit, pumps, and the performance parts (header, cam, bored throttle body, K&N filter charger).

Performance parts: I bought a performance package from LC Engineering for about $895 which included a bored throttle body, header, K&N filter charger, and a cam. I also bought a Flowmaster 40 series muffler with 2.25" exhaust running no cat.

Installation Time: This job took me longer then expected because I was waiting for parts from LCE (took about 2 weeks longer). Including my wait time, I spent almost 3 weeks.

Tools: Engine hoist, torque wrench, metric ratchet set, metric wrenches, screw drivers, floor jack, garage, cover alls, Gojo, and a radio.

Tips before you start: Read this write up, buy a Chilton/Haynes manual, and research like crazy (costs, companies, general info). Decide how far in depth you are willing to go with this project. You could do the whole job yourself (requires special tools), buy a complete engine (bit pricey), have a mechanic do it (do not do this unless you like to be ripped off), or like me, buy a short block, get your head rebuilt, and buy the rest of the gaskets/ timing set/ pumps that you need, and any performance parts and peice it together yourself.

Companies used: Engine Builder (Engine parts, short block, head rebuild), LC Engineering (performance parts), local auto part stores (lube oil relocation kit, clutch, misc. parts).

**The most important tip is to LABEL EVERY HOSE, WIRE, AND BOLT that you remove. You will thank yourself when you put your engine back together and it runs on the first try!**

The Process

Step One - Planning & Stripping The Engine:

The first step is to decide where you are going to buy parts. This may take a few weeks to find you some good prices and quality products. Don't forget to plan ahead and order your parts early so that they arrive ahead of time and you are not stuck waiting for them...if only you could anticipate backorders and shabby customer reps. Next take some pictures of your engine from a few different angles, as this will help if you need to refer back and see where something hooks up, it also helps to have a friend with the same engine.

Now it's time to commit, no turning back...drain your fluids, then start taking components off your engine, as well as from around it. Only remove the components that need to be taken off in order for the engine to be lifted out. That is, if something can be unbolted and tied out of the way, then do that instead of taking the entire thing out (i.e. Power steering pulley). Remember to label your wires/hoses/any bolts with some kind of system like numbers, letters, etc. Lay all the parts you take off of your engine on a blanket the same way they would go on the engine (basically you are going to build an imaginary engine next to your truck) this just makes it a lot easier to put back together later.

The hardest part about stripping the engine besides labeling is that you will have to remove the whole intake manifold before you can get the wiring harness out of the way. When you are done at the end of the day, you should have a naked long block bolted to your tranny.

Step Two - Unbolting Your Engine & Lifting It Out:

Before you unbolt your engine from your tranny, put your truck in gear, put the parking brake on, and put a log under your wheels. OK, now take a breaker bar and unbolt your crankshaft bolt. This is an extremely helpful tip as I did not do this, and I struggled for some time while I tried to unbolt it with the engine out. Some people have suggested putting a breaker bar on your crank bolt, then taking your igniter plug out, and rolling the engine over which slams the breaker bar into the trucks frame, thus unbolting the bolt. This may seem like that easy way, but it is messy and leaves a lot of room for something to go wrong and break.

Now, get your engine hoist all set up, and start unbolting. First, unbolt the engine mount bolts, then work your way around the tranny. Don't forget about the secret bolt behind the clutch slave cylinder. I believe there are seven tranny bolts total.

Once everything is unbolted and out of the way, carefully work the engine out. The Chilton/Haynes book said that you have to remove the front driveline, differential, etc in order for the oil pan to clear but I found I did not have to, and it saved me some cursing. Make sure you have a floor jack underneath your transmission so that when you pull your engine out your tranny does not drop to the floor. It is very important that you have your tranny supported when the engine is out.

Step Three - Stripping The Long Block:

If you are planning on trading short blocks like I did, then you will have to take every little part off of the outside of your block. Your long block should be stripped to a short block when done (long block=head, timing assembly, and pumps. Short block=pistons, crankshaft). So take everything off except your crankshaft, and pistons. Lift off the head, pumps, timing, clutch, rear oil seal/cover, oil pan, everything. **NOTE - when removing the cutch, your flywheel will spin when you unbolt it. You will need to screw one tranny bolt in, and hold a screw driver in one of the teeth wedged up against the tranny bolt while you unbolt the clutch. Remember the location of all the bolts you take out, as some only go where they came out (pay close attention to you timing cover bolts). You will also have to strip the head as well (there is a certain order for bolting/unbolting your head bolts,find it here or in the Chilton/Haynes manuals), which means everything except for the valves. (The cam sleeves need to be installed exactly how they came off, lay them aside exactly the way they came off.)

Step Four- Building The New Short Block:

As I said before there are many routes you can go when rebuilding your engine, so this is just one approach of many. I researched on the net for a few months and used forums (including ToyotaOffRoad.com) to find the company Engine Builder for my rebuild parts. I chose these guys because I have only heard good things about the company and their products. They also happened to be located only 4-5 hours from where I live. I gave them a call, and found out that they had a rebuilt 22RE short block in stock, and would rebuild my head. They also sold me the rest of the gaskets, oil pump, H2O Pump, timing chain set w/steel guides for a total cost of $760. I drove down and traded short blocks and gave them my head for rebuild. A few days later my head was shipped back looking brand new. (Give them a call cause they now have my 22RE for sale!)

Now it is time to put the parts back on your block and make it look like an engine again. I started with the timing chain...the write up on this site helped me when I got stuck. Make sure you align the shinny chain links with the dots on the timing gears, very important. Make sure you clean all surfaces before you put gaskets down; also rub grease all over the gaskets (I feel that grease is far superior then using RTV or silicone as it is easier to work with, seals better, is not bad if you get it inside your engine, plus is easier to clean up. Don't put anything on your head gasket). Put your timing cover on, oil pump, water pump, clutch (there should be installation instructions with you clutch, if you bought a new one. Make sure you replace the rear engine seal, pilot bearing, and throw out bearing). Bolt your head on; install your cam (this is where you should install your new/better cam if you ordered one, I got mine as part of a package from LCE). Check here for some info on a cam install. Put your rocker assembly on (there is some debate on whether or not you need new rocker arms, I asked the guys at Engine Builder and they said you only need to replace the valve adjusters and or nuts, but if you feel the need, then go for new rockers). Torque everything to the specs in the Chilton/Haynes manuals, or check here if you're lazy.

Step Five - Cleaning The Intake Plenum:

You will notice a huge difference when you clean you intake plenum/manifold. I scraped an inch thick layer of "black goo" from the inside of my plenum. Just take some carb cleaner, a scraper, and go at it.

Step Six - Cleaning The Engine Compartment:

After 18 years of use, there was a significant amount of road dirt accumulated inside the compartment, and on surrounding components. I rolled my truck out, sprayed "engine brite" all over, and pressure washed the crap out of it. Now its all shiny inside. (If you don't have a pressure washer, pick one up at your local home improvement store for about $150, a good investment. Then a garden hose with a thumb over it works just as well). You may also consider cleaning up your wiring if you have added driving lights or any other electrical componentss, as it will be easier to get to them with the engine out.

Step Seven - Relocating The Fuel & Oil Filter:

While your standing inside your engine compartment you might as well make your life easier down the road by relocating your filters. As you know the fuel filter would be a pain to get to if you ever had to replace it, so I relocated/replaced it for easy change. I also relocated my oil filter so that it will not drip oil down the side of my nice new engine, as well as increase my oil filter size. While I was standing inside my engine compartment, I also decided to replace my clutch slave cylinder, as it was really easy to get to.

If you want to add another 10HP "feel" you can paint your valve cover with high temp paint and then spray a clear coat over the top. Really does improve your HP :) !

Step Eight - Dropping The Engine Back In:

After you built your short block you are almost ready to drop the engine back in. Unless you can lock your flywheel you are gonna run into a problem getting your crankshaft pulley to 125 ft lbs. Don't worry about this yet, just make a mental note of it (write it down maybe?) and do it when the engine is back in and you can put your parking break on with the tranny in reverse. Until then, you should turn the engine over with a breaker bar and listen to the engine making sure nothing is binding up. While you have easy access you should lash the valves .012 for exhaust and .008 for intake. Check this site for some good info on valve lashing. Once you are satisfied that everything is smooth, all your bolts are torque to spec (check your crank bearing bolts if you bought a short block - just in case) then you should be ready to hook up your hoist and drop it back in. Warning, if you have young children present then tell them to put earmuffs on (watch "old school" - if you don't know what I'm talking about). Why you ask? Well, this could be the most frustrating part of the whole build. You have to line the tranny up with the clutch. Sounds easy? It's not unless you get lucky.

Step Nine - Hooking Things Up:

Ok, well now that you have your tranny/engine mounts bolted up you can now start putting your components back on. Put your intake runners on (remember to grease your gaskets unless they are exhaust, hot gases, or head gasket), plug your wire harness in, since you labeled everything (you did label right?) this should be really easy, just match and plug. For all your electrical plugs I suggest using some electrical cleaner before plugging them back in. Bolt your EFI plenum on, throttle body ( here is some info on the bored throttle body I bought), and header. I suggest getting a header, here is some info on the header I bought. I like it a lot, it gives the 4 cylinder a nice tone especially exiting through 2.25 inch exhaust pipe with a Flowmaster 40 series muffler and no catalytic converter. Now is the time to torque your crank bolts and cam bolt to spec. Just put your tranny in gear, put a log under a wheel and torque it. Hook up your pulleys, fan, radiator, and hoses. You're almost ready for the pay off.

Step Ten - Fluids:

Fill your engine with some fresh oil (4.5 quarts I believe) and check for leaks. Now fill your radiator with some plain H20 first, just to check for leaks...you don't wanna waste good coolant because it is pouring out of a leak somewhere. Alright, now that you have made sure there is no water leaking, go ahead and drain the radiator halfway, and then add the coolant...should end up being a 50/50 mix of coolant and water.

Step Eleven - Tuning:

Yeah, your hard work and hard earned money has almost paid off. Finally the last step. It's time to install your distributor and wires. So first find TDC for #1 piston and align your rotor. Install your plug wires (should be labeled). Bleed your clutch slave cylinder. If you added the LCE performance package you will need to adjust your Mass Air Flow sensor so that you can trick your engine into running richer because of the increased air flow caused by your upgraded parts. Check here for more info.

Time To Break Her In - Gently:

If you installed a new cam you will have to break it in. To do this you should run the cam at idle speed for 3 sets of 15 minutes with a cool down period in between each set. While you do these sets you can adjust your timing, and adjust your idle. After you are done breaking in the new cam you can take it for a ride around the block. Keep in mind that your engine will feel really tight since it is brand new, so don't expect your engine to be fast. In fact your new engine will run like it is hauling a huge trailer. After a few trips around the block lash your valves again. Make sure you take it easy for at least 500 miles. I went 800 miles just to be sure before I really began feeling what my engine could do. You will need to change your oil after 100 miles, then another 100 miles, then 500 miles, then you will be good for your normal 3000 mile oil change.

My Results - So far I have been very impressed with the increase in power. After the initial 500-mile break in period I have noticed my Runner is a lot quicker. It seems that the engine is perfectly matched up to my 4Rrunner now. Instead of having to shift into 3rd gear in order to make it up a hill, I can now keep it in 4th and even accelerate up a hill. The stock 22RE seemed like it was bogged down when you stepped on the gas pedal whereas now when I step on the gas it accelerates freely. However it still is not a V8. The only problem I that I have is that the truck is a little on the loud side now. The header, 2.25" exhaust and the flow master 40 series creates a pretty aggressive sound, so for someone who wants a quite ride, I would suggest going with a different muffler. Right now if you were to walk up from behind my Runner I believe it could easily be mistaken for a V8. Sounds good, but it is loud when you floor it. No problem if you turn your CD player up.

The best words I have heard for off-road enthusiasts is that 4x4 spelled in capital letters is $X$ ...remember that.



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As always drive safely, tread lightly, and keep your wheels on the ground!