Author Topic: Engine swap in California?  (Read 459 times)

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douglasvb

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Engine swap in California?
« on: Jun 28, 2018, 08:44:53 AM »
I recently moved to the Monterey, CA area from Oregon.  Before that, I was in Colorado.  My 1986 4runner (https://www.instagram.com/albinorhino4x4/) is a dream on the trails but I'm finding it a real struggle to keep up with traffic on the freeways between Salinas and Fresno.  I don't even want to think about trying to get down to the desert this fall.  My top speed is about 65mph on flat ground with a tail wind with the pedal mashed into the floor.  The little 22RE has served me very well but it is pretty tired and is going to need some significant work in the near future (especially to pass smog -- probably needs a new cat, needs a new muffler, might need new headers, has lots of leaks, blah blah blah.  Will need a new timing chain soon-ish.  At least the injectors are newer so I have that going for me, which is nice.).

I'm engine swap-curious.  Thinking about either a 3.4l or 2.7l swap.  I do have the 21 spline setup in my Marlin Crawler-supplied dual T-cases which I understand that I would have to upgrade to 23 splines to handle more horsepower/torque.

My main stumbling blocks are 1) understanding how to make an engine swap legal in California and 2) finding a shop that can do it.  While I used to do all of my own work, I no longer can because I have no garage or off-street parking.

I found a bunch of older posts on the forum here and other forums about engine swaps in California but I've come up empty finding anyone who has successfully done it in the last couple years.

So here are my n00b questions:

  • Should I swap my 22RE to something different or fix my 22RE?
  • Can I swap engines in California and comply with CARB?
  • Has anyone done a swap successfully recently and is there a thread on here discussing it?
  • What engine should I swap to?
  • Are there any other things I should be thinking about?  Maybe sell the 4runner and get a Taco to build?  (I Know Big Mike did it but how practical is it to put 35" or larger tires on a Taco and be able to do the Dusy trail w/o significant breakage?  Dusy is my benchmark because my mother wants me to take her on it in the next year or two.)

Thanks a bunch for answering my n00b questions!  :bowdown: :bowdown:
Douglas in Monterey
1986 4runner, SASed on 35" tires w/ 5.29:1 gears, ARB lockers, dual t-cases w/ 4.7 gears, Softopper

redneckcustoms13

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Re: Engine swap in California?
« Reply #1 on: Jun 28, 2018, 09:41:05 AM »
If you go with a 3rz you dont need to mess with the cases. Just put the 3rz bellhousing on your existing transmission. Tons of people have done 2/3rz swaps in California. Search the forum a little.
80 short bed, longs, hi steer, 4.7 case twin stick, 4.11, 38 tsl, mild built 22r
83 long bed, sas, hi steer, 3rz, w56, 4.56 33s
95 4runner project
06 4 door tacoma street truck

douglasvb [OP]

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Re: Engine swap in California?
« Reply #2 on: Jun 28, 2018, 12:49:05 PM »
If you go with a 3rz you dont need to mess with the cases. Just put the 3rz bellhousing on your existing transmission. Tons of people have done 2/3rz swaps in California. Search the forum a little.

I've tried searching but my google-fu.  I haven't found anything from the last couple years of someone being successful with getting CARB to sign off on it.  It looks like up until about 2014 it was pretty common to do but I haven't seen much since then in my searches.
Douglas in Monterey
1986 4runner, SASed on 35" tires w/ 5.29:1 gears, ARB lockers, dual t-cases w/ 4.7 gears, Softopper

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Re: Engine swap in California?
« Reply #4 on: Jun 28, 2018, 02:45:21 PM »
How many miles on engine?

Have you ever changed the timing chain?

It's possible with worn out timing chains for the chain to advance 2 teeth on the sprocket, advancing the cam and then you get a BIG loss of power (been there done that)
Ed
SoCal
86 SR5 XtraCab
22RE  W56B
31x10.50R15

liveoak

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Re: Engine swap in California?
« Reply #5 on: Jun 29, 2018, 12:28:42 PM »
I did a 3rz swap in my 85 a couple years ago and passed, a buddy of mine passed with a 3.4 last year so yes it's possible. it's best to find a donor vehicle so you can get all the necessary parts and the donor vin#. the 2rz/3rz is the easiest swap if you're coming from a 22re. no need to upgrade case splines
« Last Edit: Jun 29, 2018, 12:36:00 PM by liveoak »
my 3rz swap. http://board.marlincrawler.com/index.php?topic=97722.0

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bigarms23

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Re: Engine swap in California?
« Reply #6 on: Jul 07, 2018, 11:45:34 AM »
I have a 4.3 v6 that's ca legal this is what you need to know 1 the donor motor has to be the same year or newer 2 youll need all the smog equipment off the donor motor 3 the easiest is find out who your local referee is and tell that person what you want to swap in and he or she will give you all the info for what they are going to look for 4 once you know that whatever shop you decide on hand them that info 5 have fun
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TRevv

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Re: Engine swap in California?
« Reply #7 on: Jul 24, 2018, 02:39:52 PM »
Lots of guys still do engine swaps.  My cousin just did a 2rz swap in his 1st gen 4 runner 2 months ago and got it to smog.  The smog ref in fresno has a reputation for being the hardest in the state to deal with, but he was still able to get it to pass.  To answer your questions:
1. the 22re is a great reliable motor, but pretty lacking in power compared to new motors. Swap is a good upgrade.
2. You definitly can swap engines and comply with CARB, their rules are online.  but for the most part like everybody said, same year or newer engine, use all the smog equipment and computer from the donor motor. 
3. There are many threads on here worth looking at for swaps, CARB hasn't changed their rules much.  If you're planning a 3rz swap, Id check out Big Mikes Official 3RZ Swap Thread.  There is a lot of good info in there.  If you decide to do a 3.4 swap, you will have to modify your passenger header for the driveline, but wait until after the smog ref passes it before you do, just take it to the ref with no front driveline in. Once it passes the ref, no smog tech is going to look close enough or care that you rebent your manifold to accommodate the drive line. 
4. 3RZ is a great engine, easy to swap, fun and lots of torque.  The 3.4 has a lot more horsepower, and is a very desirable swap.
5. A Straight Axle swap on a tacoma is very nice.  Of course Mike kept his IFS, but to do an IFS like his is a loooooottttt of time and trail and error.  But doable.  Putting a straight axle under a tacoma would be the best way to go if you can do it.  I wouldnt suggest a 3rd gen tacoma or anything that expensive, but maybe a decent 1st or 2nd gen tacoma.  Modern amenities in rock crawler always makes it nice.
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Re: Engine swap in California?
« Reply #8 on: Aug 19, 2018, 05:18:11 AM »

... My main stumbling blocks are 1) understanding how to make an engine swap legal in California and 2) finding a shop that can do it.  While I used to do all of my own work, I no longer can because I have no garage or off-street parking.

.... Thanks a bunch for answering my n00b questions!  :bowdown: :bowdown:


Hey douglasvb,

Excellent intro to your questions.

Obviously some really great information shared here.

I’ll add my 2 cents worth….  I have very limited engine swap experience, however, I know someone who does it for a living.  If you decide to go the engine swap route, I would be very careful to do your homework on every aspect of your project.

You mentioned finding a shop that will do the swap.

In addition to the quality of the donor and parts…… finding a shop that is fanatical about doing it right will be a key factor in your successful swap.  Then… be prepared to go over your estimated budget.  Based upon the swap experts I’ve had conversations with, and the swaps documented on the internet – it is often the “little things” in a swap that will quickly add to the cost.

Gnarls.

1986 XtraCab SR5 22RE 5speed W56B, ~10,000 MI after break-in, DIM (Did It Myself) rebuilt engine - .020" over, engnbldr RV head, OS valves, 261C cam, DT Header. https://imgur.com/oACTHTR

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TRevv

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Re: Engine swap in California?
« Reply #9 on: Aug 20, 2018, 02:32:47 PM »


I’ll add my 2 cents worth….  I have very limited engine swap experience, however, I know someone who does it for a living.  If you decide to go the engine swap route, I would be very careful to do your homework on every aspect of your project.

You mentioned finding a shop that will do the swap.

In addition to the quality of the donor and parts…… finding a shop that is fanatical about doing it right will be a key factor in your successful swap.  Then… be prepared to go over your estimated budget.  Based upon the swap experts I’ve had conversations with, and the swaps documented on the internet – it is often the “little things” in a swap that will quickly add to the cost.

Gnarls.



Gnarls is spot on.  I would try getting a hold of Mike at Offroad Solutions and talk to him.  He will have all the info on swaps, he will have quality parts, and may even be able to do the swap for you.  Offroad Solutions a very good and reputable shop, especially when it comes to swaps.   
"I dunno I just woke up from a lil nap, it's a lil dark but you guys silly? I'm still gonna send it."

 
 
 
 
 

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