performance improvement recommendations

Asked by Jun 06, 2008 at 07:59 PM about the 1974 Toyota Hilux

Question type: Car Customization

My 1974 Toyota HiLux has only 103k miles, perfect compression in each cylinder, a good tune-up, no misfiring or other indication of engine problems. But it is SLOW!!! I cannot even maintain 55 mph on freemay upgrades even w/o any load. Its max speed appears to be about 73 mph on the flat and 83 mph on a steep downhill grade. I'm constantly tying up traffic. Normal performance or not? Any recommended engine modifications to up the power particularly an after market carb or ignition system? Engine & transmission swap-outs that will fit? Thank you. Rob

8 Answers


How is the torque convertor? Is the exhaust possibly blocked from a collapsed inner pipe or muffler? Some of the pipes on older vehicles are double-walled. This sounds like a possible clogged cat even, not sure when the Toyotas started having cats.

2 people found this helpful.

conversion, 2jzgte....i get my 33 inch tyres smoking...

1 people found this helpful.

to be honest they are pretty gutless anyway, what engine size is it, if its a 2.4td then it will be slow, the best thing to do is to give it a good service regularly, fit a large intercooler to up the boost a bit, and look into fitting either a 3litre td engine, or ultimately go for the v8 conversion


i put a holden 253 in my 82 model, smokes up my 35's all too easily, conversion is definately the way to go the most common ones would be commodre v6 - holden automatic 253/308 - holden auto or toyota manual 350/262/282 chev - auto or manual lexus quad cam v8 it all depends on whther u want to get it licensed or not or wat rules u have to comply to where ever u r


The easiest way to get more performance out of a Lux is an engine conversion. There's a huge range of conversions that have been done such as the 1JZ-GTE, 2JZ-GTE, 1G-GTE/GZE, Holden V6, SR20DET, 1UZ-FE and most of the more common V8s. A quick search on the net will find most of what you need to know to perform the conversion. Also when buying an engine it's always a good idea to make sure you get the wiring loom, computer, gearbox and all the ancillaries from the donor vehicle to make the conversion easier and cheaper. As for performance mods it depends on what engine the Lux has equipped, how much your willing to spend and personal preference. If it's the 22R then the trick is to improve the breathing of the engine as a first step. This would include porting, port matching, extractors, exhaust, and carbie manifold. It may also include the cam and valves depending on how extreme you wanted to go. This engine was also released in an EFI version and a turbo EFI version, so these are also a good upgrade depending on your taste. I would personally stick with the carbie but convert to twin Webber's or Solex's. The 3RZ-FE can relatively easily have a turbo fitted and have proven to make some very good power figures when it's done properly. As for the other generations, I don't have a lot of knowledge of them so I won't comment on them. The last thing that I would like to say is that it's stupid increasing the power of a vehicle without also improving the handling and stopping. Brakes, suspension and tyres should always be improved if more power is added. Cheers Dave PS Attached is a shot of a 1JZ-GTE in my '94 RN85 Hilux. It was making 240HP at the wheels when this photo was taken.

2 people found this helpful.

you could go for an engine transplant if yu have the money for it, such kits in britain exist for things like supra engines as mentioned on here or a 3.5 litre rover v8 conversion though typically done 2wd. a cheaper way would be to get yourself a 34/36 weber carb, any choke you fancy be it water electric or manual with an inlet maniforld conversion you can get from gem autoparts on ebay, the whole kit will cost around £300 as im researching one for mine at the moment, gives very good mpg and makes the engine a lot more responsive. the carbs can be fitted to the 22R, 3Y, 4Y petrol engines typically found in hilux's hiace's & mr2's. hope this helps mate

1 people found this helpful.

I would also say if it is possible for you then you should replace it with 4y engine .. I am also using it since last 8-10 years.. I haven’t faced any such problem yet.. It’s efficient, fast and and consumes less fuel..

2 people found this helpful.

What!?!? I have a '74 Hi Lux, all original with 174,000 miles, and it cruises effortlessly at 70 on the Interstate, and doesn't waste any time getting there. I also own a '91 Mitsubishi Galant VR4 Turbo, so I definitely know what a fast car feels like, and my Hi-lux is no slouch, compared to other small trucks of the period. They were rated at 108 HP, which is respectable for a 2.0L SOHC, more than many with those specs had. So you've got some serious issues if it's THAT slow.

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