Toyota 4A-C/L/LC/ELU/F/FE/FHE/GE/GZE Engine

  1. Specifications
  2. Overview, problems
  3. Performance tuning

Toyota 4A engine specs

Manufacturer  Kamigo Plant
Shimoyama Plant
Deeside Engine Plant
North Plant
Tianjin FAW Toyota Engine’s Plant No. 1
Also called Toyota 4A
Production 1982-2002
Cylinder block alloy Cast-iron
Configuration Straight-4
Valvetrain SOHC
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 ratio 8
Displacement 1587 cc (96.8 cu in)
Power output 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 output 117 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 liter 49.1
Fuel type Gasoline
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 oil 5W-30
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 до 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


The engine is installed in 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-GE/FE engine reliability, problems and repair

A generation of the Toyota A engines was produced together with the famous and well-know Toyota S models. One of the most outstanding and popular engines of that brand is a 4A motor. It was a 4-cylinder engine, which appeared long ago, in 1982. For the first time, it was a weak 4A-C with a carburetor. Its cylinder head consisted of 8 valves with one SOHC camshaft. The motor was modified within a course of time; it became more powerful, more advanced.
Toyota 4A engine firing order is 1-3-4-2.
Apart from that legendary engine, other models, such as the 5A and 7A engines were successfully manufactured.
The Toyota 4A production stopped in 2001. It was replaced with the 3ZZ-FE namely at that time.

Toyota 4A engine modifications and differences

1. 4A-C (1982 – 1986) is the first type with a carburetor fuel injection system and 8-valve cylinder head. The 4AC-capacity is 90 horsepower at 4800 rpm, and its torque is 130 Nm (96 lb•ft) at 3,600 rpm. That model was originally designed for the market of North America.
2. 4A-L (1983 – 1988) is the same model as the 4AC, but it was designed for the European car market. Its compression ratio was 9.3, power was 84 HP at 5,600 rpm, and its torque was 130 Nm (96 lb•ft) at 3,600 rpm.
3. 4A-LC (1987 – 1988) is similar to the 4AC-model developed for the Australian market. Its capacity was 78 horsepower at 5,600 rpm, its torque was 117 Nm (86 lb•ft) at 2,800 rpm.
4. 4A-E (1982 – 1988) is a model with a fuel injection system. Its compression ratio was 9, it had a capacity of 78 HP at 5,600 rpm, with a torque of 117 Nm (86 lb•ft) at 4,000 rpm.
5. 4A-ELU (1983 – 1988) resembles the 4A-E engine with an catalytic converter. Its compression ratio was 9.3, capacity reached 100 HP at 5,600 rpm, and its torque was 136 Nm (100 lb•ft) at 3,600 rpm.
6. 4A-F (1987 – 1990) is a type of engine with a carburetor fuel injection system and 16-valve cylinder head. The compression ratio was 9.5, capacity reached 95 HP at 6,000 rpm, with a torque of 135 Nm (99 lb•ft) at 3,600 rpm. A similar type of the 5A engine was produced later, but it had a diminished displacement (1.5-liter).
7. 4A-FE (1987 – 2001) – is similar to the 4A-F, in which a fuel injection system is used instead of a carburetor. A few generations of that motor were manufactured.
7.1 4A-FE Gen 1 (1987 – 1993) is the first model with an electronic fuel injection. Its power is 100-102 HP.
7.2 4A-FE Gen 2 (1993 – 1998) is the second model having the different cams, a modified valve cover, new pistons, and modified intake system, as well. The power of such an engine equals 100-110 HP.
7.3. 4A-FE Gen 3 (1997 – 2001) is the last generation of the 4A-FE. The engine is similar to the 4AFE Gen2 with small improvements of the inlet system. The capacity reaches 115 horsepower at 5,800 rpm, with a torque of 145 Nm (107 lb•ft) at 4,800 rpm.
8. 4A-FHE (1990 – 1995) is an improved 4A-FE model possessing the different camshafts and modified inlet. The compression ratio is 9.5, the capacity of the engine is 110 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, and torque is 142 Nm (105 lb•ft) at 3,600 rpm. The 4AFHE was originally installed in Toyota Carina and Toyota Sprinter Carib, as well.
9. 4A-GE (1983 – 1998) is a 4A-type with an intensified capacity. It was designed by Yamaha and equipped with a multi point injection (MPI).
The 4AGE type, as well as the 4AFE, had been modified and improved many times:

9.1 4A-GE Gen 1 “Big Port” (1983 – 1987) is the first 4AGE model being different from the 4AFE. It possesses a completely renewed cylinder head of a new modification. Apart from that, more aggressive camshafts and a T-VIS variable-length intake manifold go with that model. The compression ratio is 9.4, its capacity is 128 horsepower at 7,200 rpm, with a torque of 149 Nm (110 lb•ft) at 4,800 rpm. For the countries with tough ecological conditions, its power reaches 112 HP at 6,600 rpm, with a torque of 131 Nm (97 lb•ft) at 4,800 rpm.
9.2 4A-GE Gen 2 (1987 – 1989) is the second model, which doesn’t have serious differences between itself and the 4AGE Gen 1 engine. The capacity of a European model is 125 horsepower at 6,600 rpm, its torque is 145 Nm (107 lb•ft) at 5,000 rpm. The North American market version has a power of 115 HP at 6,600 rpm and a torque of 142 Nm (105 lb•ft) at 5,200 rpm.
9.3 4A-GE Gen 3 “Red Top”/”Small port” (1989 – 1992) is the next 4AGE-modification with inlet ports of a smaller diameter. New connecting rods and pistons go with the model. They perfectly fit the 10.3.-compression retio. The intake manifold has been changed. The 4A-GE Gen 3 capacity is 125 horsepower at 7,200 rpm with a torque of 149 Nm (110 lb•ft) at 4,800 rpm. The North American market was provided with a modification having a capacity of 128 HP at 7,200 rpm with a torque of 142 Nm (105 lb•ft) at 4,800 rpm.
9.4 4A-GE Gen 4 20V “Silver Top” (1991 – 1995) is the fourth generation. The main difference is a usage of another twincam 20-valve cylinder head (3 inlet and 2 outlet valves). More aggressive camshafts, variable valve timing on the intake camshaft, individual throttle bodies are used. The compression ratio is high: not more less than 10.5. After all that upgrading, the 4AGE capacity is 160 horsepower at 7,400 rpm. with a torque of 162 Nm (119 lb•ft) at 5,200 rpm.
4A-GE Gen 5 20V “Black Top” (1995 – 1998) is the last 4AGE-type. That engine has enlarged throttle body. The inlet and outlet ports are improved. The flywheel and pistons are facilitated, the engine compression ratio is about 11. More aggressive cams have been installed. That resulted in capacity’s increasing. It is not less than 165 horsepower at 7,800 rpm with a torque of 162 Nm (119 lb•ft) at 5,600 rpm.
10. 4A-GZE (1986 – 1995) is similar to the 4A-GE 16V model. A supercharger is applied.
10.1 4A-GZE Gen 1 (1986 – 1990) is a 4A-GE supercharged type. The SC12 supercharger is used. The maximal boost pressure is 9 psi (0.6 bar). Forged pistons are applied to that engine (compression ratio – 8). It also possesses a T-VIS variable-length intake manifold. The 4AGZE capacity is 145 horsepower at 6,400 rpm. with a torque of 190 Nm (140 lb•ft) at 4,400rpm.
10.2 4A-GZE Gen 2 (1990 – 1995). It is the 2nd 4AGZE model. It had a modified inlet system, increased compression ratio (up to 8.9), and increased boost pressure (up to 10 psi/0.7 bar) The capacity of that engine is 170 HP at 6,400 rpm with a torque of 206 Nm (152 lb•ft) at 4,400 rpm.

Toyota 4A engine problems and malfunctions

1. A high fuel consumption. Mostly, the problem is connected with the oxygen sensor and it is better for you to replace it. If any carbon black on the spark plugs, black smoke from the exhaust pipe, vibrations at idle running, you had better check the MAP.
2. The vibrations and a high fuel consumption. In that case, you should clean the injectors.
3. If any problems associated with rpm, hanging-up, rotaions at a high rate, you should check the idle air control valve, throttle position sensor and clean the throttle body.
4. If the 4A engine doesn’t want to start, it is connected with the engine coolant temperature. Check it.
5. If the rough idle, clean the throttle body and idle air control valve, check the spark plugs and injectors with the PCV valve.
6. If the 4A engine stalling, check the fuel filter, fuel pump and ignition distributor.
7. If any oil consumption, your 4A engine is old and needs an overhaul. In that case you should buy the scraper rings and valve stem seals.
8. If you hear a knocking noise of the engine, as a rule it is a wrist pin knock or you should adjust the valves.
Besides, crankshaft oil seals can leak, there are failures with an ignition system, etc. That happens not due to any constructive errors, but rather due to the 4A engine aging. To prevent all possible problems, you need to buy a brand-new 4A engine, do regular maintenance works and use only a high-quality engine oil. The 4A engine lifespan is over 200,000 miles (300,000 km) of mileage.
Besides, you should not buy the 4A Lean Burn engines. These engines have a little bit smaller capacity. They are more vulnerable to the problems and their details are highly expensive.
All the above mentioned problems are typical of the similar engines, such as the previously mentioned 5A and 7A engines.

Toyota 4A engine tuning


The 4A-GE/GZE engines are fit for performance tuning. The TRD company proves that. It created the most well-known naturally aspirated 4A-GE TRD out of the 4A-GE engine. Its capacity is 240 hp. To achieve high results you must take the 4A-GE engine as a sample. The 4A-FE differs from the other one with its cylinder head. It is not the best option for tuning. Bulding the 4A-FE engines is also a bad idea. You had better go and buy a new 4AGE one. It would be cheaper.
For doing the tuning of the 1st generation 4AGE engines, you should buy a cold air intake, performance camshafts (duration 264 deg), and header. In such a case you will be able to develop about 150 horsepower.
To achieve higher capacity, you need to remove the T-VIS intake manifold and buy performance cams (duration 280+ deg) with springs and tappets. You also need to port and polish the cylinder head. In a case of the 4A-GE Big Port, it means the port’s polishing and combustion chamber finishing. The 4A-GE Small Port types will probably need all those upgrades in complex and the enlarging of the in- and outlet ports diameter in addition to that. To set a new configuration, you will need to buy the aftermarket ECU (Mines, Greddy E-manage, etc.). As a result, you will get about 170 horsepower.
One can achieve even higher capacity, buying new forged pistons, which are fit the 11th compression ratio and light connecting rods. You will also need the performance camshafts (duration 304 deg), individual throttle bodies (ITB), and 2″ free flow exhaust system. When adjusted, the 4AGE engine power will rise to 210 hp.
You will be able to achieve a maximum capacity by mounting a dry sump, buying an oil pump of a Toyota 1G engine and camshafts (duration 320 deg), too. After adjusting, capacity will comprise about 230-240 horsepower and maximal rotations – not less than 10,000 rpm.
The 4A-GZE supercharger tuning is performed more easily. You need to buy an intercooler and performance camshafts (duration 264 deg), mount a 2” exhaust system, replace the pulley of the supercharger, and you will successfully get additional 20 HP
To develop 200 hp., you need to replace the SC12 to SC14 superchargers (or more highly efficient one), do the port and polish of the cylinder head and buy an aftermarket ECU.

4A-GE/GZE Turbo

For mounting a turbocharger, it is advisable to take the 4A-GZE. If you have the 4A-GE, you will need to buy the forged pistons or take the 4AGZE pistons. Install the performance camshafts (duration 264 deg), buy a turbokit (it’s up to you to choose, which one is the best) and you will develop about 300 horsepower at a pressure of 15 psi (1bar).
To get higher capacity, you need to improve your cylinder head, mount the forged crankshaft and pistons (compression ratio is 7.5-8). You will need a more efficient turbo-kit, which is adjusted at 20-22 psi (1.5 bar).


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