22RE Engine Performance

Squeezing the most out of what you have


Its no mystery that the stock 22RE Toyota engine does not produce a lot of extra power to spare. And adding oversize tires to my 4Runner dropped power to 'barely adequate' levels. The 22RE does have a few nice things going for it though and one of them is an active aftermarket for performance parts. There are at least two companies specializing in high performance 22RE's completely assmebled and ready to install. This page shows a few things I have done to my 22RE to improve performance and my experiences with LC Engineering and DOA Racing Engines.

One of the first thing I did after buying my 4Runner was to buy a header and install a less restrictive aircleaner. The header was bought from LC Engineering and a K&N kit for 4Runners (that replace the stock airbox) are available from different sources. Me and a friend installed the header and it was a piece of cake. The K&N also comes with good instructions and is easy to put in.

One extra thing I did with the intake
came about after deciding I didnt like
the path the stock air inlet tube took.
So I swapped the place of the battery with
the airbox. As you can see in the picture
below the route is now short and more direct
and out of the way of hot radiator hoses.








After opening up the intake and exhaust (including the muffler) the next big step was to have a more aggressive cam installed. LC Engineering sells what I'm sure is a fine cam but in the end I went with a DOA cam. I had it installed for me by a local Toyota shop and the difference over stock is impressive. The only thing that took getting used to is realizing the 22RE responds well to WOT (wide open throttle), even in normal driving situations. With the new cam, my 4Runner reacts sharply off the line if I floor the throttle, and does the same when I accelerate hard around the cams rpm powerband.

The new cam (and most aftermarket
performance parts) was designed to work
best as part of a team of other mods.
So by itself a cam is limited in what it can do,
but team it up with intake and exhaust mods
and the 22RE starts to actually make
my 88' seem quick!

If you have a healthy 22RE and are
thinking of an engine swap after having
put on bigger tires, you might try what
I did and 'hot up' your engine and deal
with gearing instead.