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Seymour 07-06-2013 05:51 PM

1997 4Runner diesel conversions
So, my 4Runner is coming up quickly on 300K miles, and Im weighing options between getting a new car, or doing a motor swap. Anyone heard of diesel conversions for 4Runners? Im aware that Toyota made diesel motors, but Ive never seen any on the common market. Thoughts?

Kermit 07-06-2013 09:17 PM

Motor swaps are a lot of work. Keep that in mind. If you don't have the tools or know how(or know someone that does), it could prove to be an expensive waste.

Toyota's are surprisingly reliable. Are you having problems with it right now? If not - keep it and just drive it into the ground. If so, weigh the options. Would a motor swap/replacement cost more than you are paying in maintenance?

I sold my Cherokee a few months back and while I miss it, I don't miss the maintenance. My car that I bought has paid for itself in the parts I would have saved. Back on topic though.

Toyota did make/does make diesel motors. Good luck finding one though. My suggestion would be to find a donor truck.

dukie 07-06-2013 11:58 PM

Why swap it? its good for at least 3 times that lol.

gainman 07-07-2013 02:24 AM

the 4bt is popular swap.

Seymour 07-07-2013 08:31 AM

I know a guy who is a certified mechanic, and hes done motor swaps before, so Im not worried about the work. The motor is still running strong, but Im looking at my options.

Ill be sure to look into the Cummins swap.

Marauder_Pilot 07-07-2013 11:04 PM

Honestly, best way to get a diesel 4Runner is to try and get ahold of a half-chop of a JDM Toyota Hilux Surf diesel and get it shipped over. That'll cost you a few grand, price comparable to a good 4BT and the required harness, but without the hassle of redoing the entire engine bay layout-pretty much plug and pray.

gainman 07-07-2013 11:26 PM

its not really any better or easier. just as much work either way. and the 4bt is a better motor than the d4d

Nobody 07-08-2013 12:00 AM

when doing a motor swap, its not the motor, its the parts that you never think of that will get you to pull your hair out and even question why you are doing this. if your mechanic is doing this, get him a flat rate and not pay him hourly. you might have to get new steering column as the old one is now in the way of the motor. new steering box, as the old one doesn't line up with new motor. not to mention the electronics like getting the dash board to read the new engine. i've had a hand in a few engine swaps and some are easier than others. as cool as it is to think about, something simple like new motor mounts can cause headaches, especially when the oil pan is now hitting the suspension parts.

so think about it, research it, and then double the intended money you are looking to spend.

you didn't say what motor you had. if you have a V6, i would move up to the V8. if you have a V8, i would look more to a more modern one, or something with more power/balls.

also look at your state laws in motorswaps. some will allow them if the motor you put in is newer than the vehicle. some states don't allow the vehicle to be streetable if you have 2 different makes of car and motor. the legality is your first hurdle.

Marauder_Pilot 07-08-2013 12:42 AM


Originally Posted by gainman (Post 2752008)
its not really any better or easier. just as much work either way. and the 4bt is a better motor than the d4d

If he swaps for a 97, it'd be a KZ, not a D4D. That being said, it depends on whether we're talking about those engines with or without aftermarket headers. Both of them **** header gaskets if they spend any significant time at North American highway speeds and stock cooling, but an aftermarket header and gasket solves that. They're also quieter and more efficient than the 4BT, not to mention quite a bit more powerful.

Plus, and I don't know if this would be a problem with a heavier 4Runner, but a lot of guys who do 4BT swaps into Jeeps and use them mainly as DDs/weekend wheelers say it wasn't worth it because the engine never gets under enough stress to really run as efficiently, and they wind up not getting any better mileage than the 4.0L.

Lohman446 07-09-2013 04:24 PM

Engine swaps tend to be a bigger job than most people expect them to be going in. Depending on the diesel and the amount of electronic controls you may need A LOT more parts than just the engine itself. Some diesel pumps will not even fit in the fuel filler spout of some gas vehicles which brings to mind issues related to the fuel system. Regardless of how good the job is it is likely some things are going to be rigged together to "make it work".

Yes I know people have done it successfully. My advice to you is to stay as far away from it as you can.

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