Selecting a Toyota Camry Or Toyota Celica Engine

Published: 25th October 2010
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Those in the auto industry know. They KNOW. What they know is that there are the secrets to selecting a good used Toyota engine. They know that whether you’re a perofmance shop looking for a source of Toyota Celica engines, or a family looking for a good Toyota Camry engine that there are ways to both save money and buy a better used Toyota engine at the same time. That’s what we’ll talk about here. We’ll be breaking down the process of finding a used Toyota engine, teach you how to save money and then give you a few tips on maintenance.

There are two Toyota Celica engines for vehicles between 2000 and 2005: the 1ZZFE and the 2ZZGE. Both have a great power to weight ratio, but the 2ZZGE is built with the racer in mind more than the 1ZZFE. Both of these Toyota Celica engines also have a smaller displacement than the immediately previous generation, which boasted the 2.2L 5SFE engine (The 1.8L 7AFE was used until 1997 in the next oldest generation).

If you’re in need of 1.8L 1ZZ-FE Toyota Celica engines, you should look for a company that has a lot experience with this specific type of engine. For one thing, anyone with any experience working on these engines will only sell you one that came out of a 2003 or later vehicle – there were problems with the 2000-2002’s that were corrected in the later models.

Typically, a Toyota Camry engine will be easy to find. For many years, the Camry was the number one selling vehicle in America. The 4 cylinder versions of the vehicle far outsold the six cylinder versions. If someone were to ask the author a question about a Camry, it would be assumed the 4 cylinder version of the Toyota Camry engine was the one in question. There are two main engine families: the 5SFE which is a 2.2L engine that was used from 1992-2001 and the 2AZFE which is a 2.4L engine in use from 2002 through now (although the engine was introduced in the 2001 Toyota Highlander).

If you’re looking for a 1992-2001 5SFE engine, you’ll need to know whether you have Federal or California emissions, because in many of these year ranges, the cylinder heads are different. If you have California emissions, pause to curse your state government – they’ve ensured you’ll pay much more for repairs. There are almost no California emissions used Camry engines left in this year range. You’ll just have to scour junk yards and hope you get lucky.

If you have a Federal emissions engine, you’re in luck – many companies sell a replacement engine from Japan (called a JDM). Demand a 1 year warranty on any JDM you buy – if the engine is truly well tested and in good condition, the company will have no problem matching that.

In the next year range, there is no good JDM replacement since the Japanese engines used direct injection while the US engines were fuel injected. You’ll have to get your used Toyota Camry 2.4L engine from a wrecked vehicle. My strongest word of caution is to advise you to purchase a true low mileage engine.

About: Any used Toyota engine should last you for quite some time, but the 2.4L Toyota Camry engine does not seem to have the same longevity that its predecessor did – though it is still one of the best engines in the world.

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