After a grueling 10 hour struggle and bucket loads of oil, coolant and grease residue in my hair and other parts of my body I managed to drop the engine (my chain hoist died mid-way and I had to juggle it down using two floor jacks – a nightmare!)
I had finally lost my engine removal virginity. I was tired, smelly, dirty, bruised and battered – but i felt awesome. It was my first engine removal on any car ever. And I did it completely on my own, AND with a chain hoist that decided to get faulty when I needed it the most.
Once I saw the engine sitting on the floor I realized something. Since I went through all this trouble getting the damn thing out, I might as well make the most out of it and in addition to rebuilding it completely I should spice it up a little bit, eh?
Dark thought started passing through my mind. The tasty yet poisonous juices of insanity started bubbling in my mind. I know people do crazy things with the 4age, maybe i should as well?
I am not interested in power figures at all. I really don’t care if an engine makes 150 or 1500 HP. I care about what it makes me feel like.
In order to make my decision on how to improve the engine I decided by eliminating that which I don’t want /cant do.
I will not turbo the engine.
I don’t like turbos.
Its very complicated.
I doesn’t suit the car somehow.
I will not do an engine swap.
Importing an outdated engine into my country is a nightmare. It needs more paperwork than a mortgage. Plus I want to keep the original engine.
This means: I am keeping the original bigport 4age 16v t-vis and I am keeping it naturally aspirated.
What I want?
I want an engine that is very responsive, very rev-happy, that can rev up to 8.000 and that begs you to push it to the redline and hear its glorious sound.
After some research I realized the following.
- What I want is accomplished by an engine build that eh 4age community considers „mild“ (Turns out I wasn’t crazy or bold at all. Interesting.)
- The aftermarket support for the 4a-ge is huge and I have a lot of options to achieve what I want
- I will have to import almost everything and spend a lot of money on shipping and maybe even some on taxes.
After an obscene amount of research, a lot of thinking and even more question asking and annoying various people on the forums I decided what I would do with my lovely little 4age (God bless her!)
My engine build – a rev happy, responsive, 8k redline, hopefully reliable joy machine!
What I plan to do:
- Installing new camshafts – Tomei Poncams 264 intake / 264 exhaust, 8.1 mm lift (I copy pasted the numbers. I have just a vague understanding of what they mean. I was actually hooked by a cheap marketing slogan : Easy drop in installation and a true NA feeling all the way to the redline – kudos to you Tomei marketing department. You got me).
- Installing adjustable camshaft gears
- Installing improved valve springs
- Installing cast iron (no need for forged here) high compression smallport pistons. 10.3 compression as found in the later generation 4age smallport
- Replacing the conrods with forged H-beam conrods. (Brian Crower, CX-racing, will have to research a bit).
- Balancing the crankshaft and flywheel. I will need to travel to another country for this. I must be insane.
- Replacing the flywheel with an aftermarket lightweight one.
- Replacing the clutch. Don’t know which one yet.
- Shaving the block and head slightly
- Deburring the combustion chambers, polishing the intake ports and slightly porting and polishing the exhaust ports
- Maybe getting Mega-squirt plug and play later on.
And of course
- Replacing all the gaskets – using a Toyota engine overhaul gasket kit. Bloody expensive. However, worth it as Toyota OEM gaskets are better and last longer compared to other stuff – according to people in the know.
- Replacing crankshaft and conrod bearings
- Replacing piston rings
- Removing rust and painting what needs to be painted.
I am building this car for the street. There are no track days here since there are no tracks. There is a track in a country nearby which means I might have 1-2 track days per year mostly. I am not that interested in track-racing anyway.
I am building a street car purely for my own pleasure and enjoyment and this plan should yield my with an engine that should slap a huge smile on my face. Something that I can fire up early satruday morning and roar down a curvy road.
To excitement I say hello
To my money I say farewell