Toyota 4AC Engine Specs, Problems And Reliability

Toyota A-series are 1.3-1.8L inline-4 internal combustion motors featuring cast iron blocks plus aluminum cylinder heads. Cylinders were siamesed to make a motor shorter. Thus, 1A motor had a length of 550 mm (21.6 inches).

Toyota initiated production of this lineup in the late 1970s, aspiring to create an absolutely fresh version of the motor to substitute the brand’s K-lineup in Toyota Tercel vehicles. Engineers did their best to reach great fuel efficiency plus performance by combining contemporary styling with eco-friendliness.

A-series included 4A-GE, the primary Japanese motor with a single overhead camshaft with 4 valves per cylinder. Afterward, its later modifications became the first assembly-line motors with 5 valves per cylinder.

Toyota 4AC Engine

Basic 4A is an inline-4 8-valve motor featuring a carburetor and a single overhead camshaft. It reaches the output of 78-90 hp (58-67 kW or 79-91 PS) at 4,800 rpm with torque of 115 Nm (85 ft/lb) at 2,800 rpm. The exact data depends on the region of the motor’s sales.

Thus, motors for the European market kept combustion chambers redeveloped in 1986. With enhancements in fuel economy and emissions, these motors provided the power of 86 hp (64 kW or 87 PS) power, 2 hp more than their predecessors.

Toyota A-lineup was manufactured contemporaneously with famous around the world S-series. 4A is definitely one of the most astonishing and widespread Toyota motors. Being first built in 1982, it was supplied with 4 cylinders. Primary versions with a carburetor, 4A-C, were pretty weak and had 8 valves with a dual overhead camshaft. However, afterward, the motor was upgraded and became more progressive along with gaining power.

The motor’s firing order is 1-3-4-2.

Simultaneously with 4A, Toyota produced some other successful motors, comprising 5A plus 7A.

In 2001, the brand ceased the manufacture of 4A, substituting it with 3ZZ-FE.

4AC Engine Specs

ManufacturerKamigo Plant
Shimoyama Plant
Deeside Engine Plant
North Plant
Tianjin FAW Toyota Engine’s Plant No. 1
Also calledToyota 4A
Cylinder block alloyCast-iron
Firing order1-3-4-2
2 valves per cylinder
4 valves per cylinder/5 valves per cylinder
Piston stroke, mm (inch)77 (3.03)
Cylinder bore, mm (inch)81 (3.19)
Compression ratio8
Displacement1587 cc (96.8 cu in)
Power output (horsepower)58 kW (78 HP) at 5,600 rpm
63 kW (84 HP) at 5,600 rpm
67 kW (90 HP) at 4,800 rpm
71 kW (95 HP) at 6,000 rpm
75 kW (100 HP) at 5,600 rpm
77 kW (105 HP) at 6,000 rpm
81 kW (110 HP) at 6,000 rpm
84 kW (112 HP) at 6,600 rpm
85 kW (115 HP) at 5,800 rpm
92 kW (125 HP) at 7,200 rpm
94 kW (128 HP) at 7,200 rpm
107 kW (145 HP) at 6,400 rpm
116 kW (160 HP) at 7,400 rpm
121 kW (165 HP) at 7,600 rpm
125 kW (170 HP) at 6,400 rpm
Torque output117 Nm (86 lb·ft) at 2,800 rpm
130 Nm (96 lb·ft) at 3,600 rpm
130 Nm (96 lb·ft) at 3,600 rpm
135 Nm (100 lb·ft) at 3,600 rpm
136 Nm (101 lb·ft) at 3,600 rpm
142 Nm (105 lb·ft) at 3,200 rpm
142 Nm (105 lb·ft) at 4,800 rpm
131 Nm (97 lb·ft) at 4,800 rpm
145 Nm (101 lb·ft) at 4,800 rpm
149 Nm (110 lb·ft) at 4,800 rpm
149 Nm (110 lb·ft) at 4,800 rpm
190 Nm (140 lb·ft) at 4,400 rpm
162 Nm (120 lb·ft) at 5,200 rpm
162 Nm (120 lb·ft) at 5,600 rpm
206 Nm (152 lb·ft) at 4,400 rpm
HP per liter49.1
Fuel typeGasoline
Weight, kg (lbs)154 (340)  4AGE
Fuel consumption, L/100 km (mpg)
for Celica GT
10.5 (22.4)
7.9 (29.8)
9.0 (26.1)
Turbocharger Naturally aspirated,
Toyota SC-12 Supercharger
Oil consumption, L/1000 km
(qt. per miles)
up to 1.0
(1 qt. per 750 miles)
Recommended engine oil5W-30, 10W-30, 15W-40, 20W-50
Engine Oil Capacity, L (qt.)3.0 (3.2) – 4A-FE
3.0 (3.2) – 4A-GE (Corolla, Corolla Sprinter, Marin0, Ceres, Trueno, Levin)
3.2 (3.4) – 4A-L/LC/F
3.3 (3.5) – 4A-FE (Carina 1990-1994, Carina E)
3.7 (3.9) – 4A-GE/GEL
Oil change interval, km (miles)5,000-10,000
Normal engine operating temperature, °C (F)
Engine lifespan, km (miles)
-Official information
300,000+ (185,000+)
Tuning, HP
-Max HP
-No life span loss

What Cars Have A Toyota 4A Engine?

  • Toyota AE86
  • Toyota Avensis
  • Toyota Carina
  • Toyota Carina E
  • Toyota Celica
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Toyota Corona
  • Toyota MR2
  • Toyota Corolla Ceres
  • Toyota Corolla Levin
  • Toyota Corolla Spacio
  • Toyota Sprinter
  • Toyota Sprinter Carib
  • Toyota Sprinter Marino
  • Toyota Sprinter Trueno
  • Elfin Type 3 Clubman
  • Chevrolet Nova
  • Geo Prizm

Toyota 4A Engine Problems And Reliability

  1. Excessive fuel use. Ordinarily, this malfunction is a consequence of troubles with oxygen sensor, and so, it’s advisable to substitute it. If you notice that spark plugs are covered with carbon black, the exhaust pipe produces black smoke, and there are excessive vibrations at idle running, it’s time to examine the MAP.
  2. Vibrations are accompanied by excessive gasoline use. In this case, injectors must be cleaned.
  3. Troubles with rpm, hanging-up plus rotations at high rates are frequently caused by malfunction of the idle air control valve and throttle position sensor. Additionally, the throttle body must be cleaned.
  4. The motor’s failure to start may be linked to its coolant temperature. So, it’s crucial to inspect it.
  5. Rough idle. This trouble may be resolved by cleaning the throttle body and idle air control valve. Moreover, examining spark plugs plus injectors with the PCV valve is advisable.
  6. Motor stalling may be caused by a malfunction of the fuel filter, fuel pump, or ignition distributor.
  7. A high level of oil consumption signifies that your 4A needs to be overhauled. Thus, scraper rings plus valve stem gaskets must be acquired.
  8. The engine’s knocking is a sign that valves should be regulated. Or, it can be a wrist pin knock.

Additionally, crankshaft oil gaskets may leak or you may face troubles with the ignition system. Commonly, the reason is aging but not construction faults. If you want your 4A motor to operate faultlessly, purchase a brand-new motor, and serve it regularly along with applying only good quality fuel and oil. Following these instructions, you will be able to drive more than 200,000 miles (300,000 kilometers) facing no troubles.

Moreover, avoid buying 4A Lean Burn motors with smaller capacity. They are more prone to various malfunctions plus their details are rather costly.

All these malfunctions are peculiar not only to 4A motors but also to other engines of the series like 5A and 7A.

Toyota 4A Tuning Potential

4A-GE/GZE motors have amazing tuning potential. For instance, the TRD brand built the most famed naturally aspirated 4A-GE TRD on the basis of 4A-GE motor. Its output is equal to 240 hp. Taking 4A-GE as a basis, you are able to achieve great results in increasing its performance and efficiency. Simultaneously, the 4A-FE motor, which keeps the other cylinder head, isn’t an appropriate engine for tuning. You can save money by purchasing a brand-new 4A-GE instead.

The first generation of 4A-GE may reach up to 150 hp if purchased a cold air intake, performance camshafts with a duration of 264 degrees plus a header.

Aspiring to increase power, consider removing the T-VIS intake manifold and substituting it with performance camshafts with a duration of more than 280 degrees featuring springs plus lifters. Moreover, it’s important to port and polish the cylinder head. Having a 4A-GE Big Port, you will need to polish the port plus finish the combustion chamber. 4A-GE Small Port motors require these upgrades in a complex along with enlarging the diameter of inlet plus outlet ports. To mount a fresh configuration, an aftermarket electronic control unit must be acquired, like Mines, Greddy e-manage, or some other ones. Consequently, the motor’s output will be increased to 170 hp.

But there is more to come. By purchasing freshly forged pistons, suitable for a compression index of 11, and lighter connecting rods, you will have a chance to gain an even more powerful engine. In combination with performance camshafts with 304-degree duration, individual throttle bodies plus a 2-inch free-flow exhaust system, these updates will lead to an output of 210 hp.

Additionally, greater performance can be achieved by installing a dry sump, Toyota 1G’s oil pump plus camshafts with 320-degree duration. Having finished all adjustments, you will have 230-240 hp with maximum rotations of at least 10,000 rpm.

Real performance enthusiasts will also like the idea of supercharger tuning, which can be easily brought to life. To gain an extra 20 hp, acquire an intercooler plus performance camshafts with 264-degree duration, install a 2-inch exhaust system plus substitute the supercharger pulley.

To achieve 200 hp, substitute SC12 supercharger for SC14 ones (or others with better efficiency), port and polish the cylinder head, and purchase an aftermarket engine control unit.

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The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. The author and publisher make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of any information presented. The reader is advised to consult a qualified professional, such as a mechanic or dealership, before making any decisions related to their vehicle's engine oil or maintenance.

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2 thoughts on “Toyota 4AC Engine Specs, Problems And Reliability”

    1. Hello.
      The valve clearance for Toyota 18R engine (on HOT engine):
      Intake – 0,20 mm (0.008 in.)
      Exhaust – 0.36 mm (0.014 in.)

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