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Ke70 Engine Conversion, Options For The Slow



hey guys, i am looking to make a engine conversion in my 1983 ke70. i am not worried about power i just want it as a everyday car. I'm looking for something that is;

  • fairly new
  • fuel injecting
  • good fuel economy
  • an easy / cheap conversion
  • smooth
  • quite
  • reliable

If anyone has any ideas PLEASE! swing then my way.

Regards steve


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Newish engines include 20 valve 4A-GE's, 3S-GE's, 5E's, and 2ZZ-GE's from Toyota's range. Can't really speak for Neesans or anything else because I only own a Toyota.


There's a fuel injected variant for 4K's, 5K's and 7K's, or you can source your own injectors and fabricate up your own inlet manifold etc. to make them fit. Most engines younger than 20 years will be injected so you won't really have that problem if you swap.


If you want fuel economy keep the 4K! But again, pretty much any fuel injected engine is pretty economical. The bigger the engine, the more fuel it burns. Injectors are far more efficient than carburetors because they use just the right amount of fuel in timed squirts, as opposed to the carb's venturi which just sucks it up out of a bowl.


The ease and price depends on your skill level, knowledge base, and equipment/materials you have at your disposal. The easiest engine conversion for a KE70 is another K motor (5K or 7K) because they share the same engine mounts, and also because they all have a cable clutch so there's no need to modify pedal boxes. But really the only main difference between the three is cubic inches (4K - 1300cc, 5K - 1500cc, 7K - 1800cc). Personally, if I was looking at an 'upgrade' I'd avoid a K because they're still 8 valve pushrods, made entirely from cast, and the heads are all counterflow (there's a reason why they call them boat anchors).


The next easiest swap is a 4A-GE because it's the most common and there is a plethora of conversion parts available, and there's even a member on here (Jordanrolla) who makes engine mounts and pedal boxes in kit form with templates and everything so all you have to do is drill a few holes and whack it in. I can't remember what he charges for mounts & boxes, but I can't see them lapping over the several hundred line.


Anything with fuel injection is going to have plenty of wires for you to trip over, so you'll need know-how and patience to be able to wire up harnesses and whatnot. This is where carburetors win on simplicity because they're all mechanical and once they're tuned up to the engine you don't have to touch them again unless something shits itself. I don't know a lot about fuel injection because I'm a carby man, so this is about the limits of my injector-based knowledge.


4A-GE's are fairly smooth in their stock form, and if you modify the crap outta them it can be like a wookie rimming you with a rasp. 3S-GE's are also pretty smooth from what I'm told. Again, most modern fuel injected engines are shitloads smoother than a rattly old 4K.


A big enough exhaust can silence a jet engine. quietness goes hand-in-hand with smoothness.


4K's I'd say are as reliable as it gets. Toyotas in general are renowned for this quality so a great deal of their engines are pretty bulletproof. As long as you keep the fluids all fresh and topped up and you don't flog it, any stock engine will see you through without any hassles. It's the modified ones that you've gotta keep an eye on. Take it from me, no one has a more heavily modified 4K than mine, and at current I can't trust it to get me out of town and back.


Look up engines you're thinking about and ask people who own them or have done similar conversions about theirs. I can't give you a definitive 'this or that', it's your job to pick, but I hope this info will help you through the decision making process.

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I think the best option based on your criteria would be a 7K. They have a longer stroke than the 4K so they're more torquey. With that comes lower engine revs so smoother ride and low fuel consumption. They come with injectors, and have been in production up until only a few years ago. They're cheap and reliable too.


Pretty much the only drawback is that they're van engines so Toyota never designed them with racing in mind, and they don't like revs as much as 4K's.

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my choice would be a 1.3/1.5/1.6 m series suzuki engine mated to a jimny rwd gearbox.


My reasons:

gearbox is small and still cable clutch


engines are cheap and the inlet on the jimny engines and the ignis motors come in from the top so no problems with firewalls etc


fuel ecomony is excellent!


dime a dozen too.......

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