Toyota 2TR-FE: Everything You Need To Know

The Toyota 2TR-FE engine is a member of the Toyota TR engine. The Toyota TR engine is a gasoline engine family that debuted in 2004. They are designed to be installed longitudinally for pickup Rear-Wheel-Drive and Four-Wheel-Drive truck applications and are mostly utilized for Toyota IMV platform cars such as the HiLux, Innova, and Fortuner.

There are only two engine versions of the TR family – 1TR and the 2TR. But, in this article, we will tackle the 2.7 Liter one. 

What are Toyota 2TR-FE Engines? 

Despite its wide appeal of being a versatile engine, the 3RZ-FE engine had become obsolete by 2003. However, instead of sending this fine motor to some old junkyard, Toyota engineers opted to modernize it. As a result, the Toyota 2TR-FE engine was developed and manufactured. 

And in 2003, Toyota introduced and began the Toyota 2TR-FE craze, a 2.7-liter engine. It’s a four-cylinder gasoline engine that’s found mostly in Toyota SUVs and RWD/4WD pickup trucks. 

The 2TR-FE engine was built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia and Kamigo Plant in Japan. 

A cast-iron deep-skirt cylinder block and an aluminum cylinder head with two overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder make up the Toyota 2TR-FE engine. Since 2015, the engine has featured a multipoint fuel injection system, VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence) or dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence), and distributorless DIS (Direct Ignition System) with separate ignition coils for each spark plug.

Engine Specifications and Design:

  • Production Run: 2003 – Present
  • Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum
  • Cylinder Block Material: Cast-iron
  • Configuration: Inline 4
  • Bore: 95.0 mm
  • Stroke: 95.0 mm
  • Valvetrain: DOHC four valves per cylinder
  • Displacement: 2.7 L (2693 cc)
  • Compression Ratio: 9.6 and 10.2 with Dual VVT-i
  • Weight: 270 lbs.
  • Maximum HP: 164 HP at 5,200 RPM
  • Maximum Torque: 181 lb-ft at 3,800 RPM

Cylinder Block

The engine was constructed around the 3RZ engine’s cast-iron cylinder block and is a square engine, with cylinder bore and stroke measurements of 95 mm. A completely balanced crankshaft with roll-finished pin and journal fillets was used n the 2TR-FE engine. A torsional rubber damper was utilized on the crankshaft pulley to minimize noise, vibration, and harshness. 

Oil jets are located within the cylinder block to keep the aluminum alloy pistons maintained at an optimum operating temperature. 

Plastic-region tightening big-end bolts are used on high-strength connecting rods. Aluminum alloy pistons with two compressions and a single oil control ring are used in the engine. Wear resistance is provided with a PVD coating on the top compression ring, while the second piston ring is chrome plated.

Cylinder Head

A new aluminum cylinder head was installed in the Toyota 2TR-FE engine. It features two overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder. Roller rocker arms are used to open and close the valves with hydraulic lash adjusters are installed in the valvetrain. 

The camshafts are also rotated by a timing chain in the engine. Engineers used Toyota’s VVT-i technology for the intake camshaft (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence). The VVT-i became available for both the intake and exhaust camshafts after the engine was somewhat updated in 2015 – which is also expressed as the Dual VVT-i. The timing chain noise was muted by the chain tensioner, which employed a spring and oil pressure to maintain chain tension.

A hydraulic lash adjuster with a plunger, plunger spring, check ball, and check ball spring was located at the fulcrum of each roller rocker arm. The roller rocker arm was pushed against the cam by the oil pressure and spring force acting on the plunger to modify the valve clearance formed during the opening and shutting of the valve. 

As a result, the hydraulic lash adjusters kept the valve clearance at zero.

Variable Valve Timing – Intelligent (VVT-i)

According to engine speed, the throttle position, inlet camshaft angle, engine coolant temperature, and intake air volume, Toyota’s ‘variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) adjusted the intake camshaft throughout a range of 45 degrees in relation to crankshaft angle, for this engine.

The housing of the VVT-i controller was powered by the timing chain, and the vane was connected to the intake camshaft. The camshaft timing oil control valve used duty-cycle control from the ECU to operate the spool valve. 

The oil pressure delivered from the advance or retard side route at the intake camshaft triggered spinning in the circumferential direction of the VVT-i controller vane to continually alter intake valve timing. The ECU also utilized inputs from the camshaft position sensor and the crankshaft position sensor to identify actual valve timing, providing feedback to help achieve target valve timing.

Fuel Management

Toyota also integrated the sequential multiport fuel injection (EFI) system with long-nozzle fuel injectors to tone down wall wetness and emissions, which Toyota used for other engines as well. Further, the combustion chambers of the 2TR-FE engine were pentroof-type, with a slanted squish design for a low surface-to-volume ratio, which reduced cooling losses.

The 2TR-FE engine used a hot wire style airflow meter to determine the intake air mass. 

The 2TR-FE engine in the Mk.7 Hilux and Mk.5 HiAce used Toyota’s ‘Direct Ignition System’ (DIS), which consisted of one ignition coil, with the igniter, for each cylinder. The ECM determined ignition timing based on sensor inputs and altered it.

Applications of Toyota 2TR-FE Engine: 

  • Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (with Dual VVT-i)
  • Toyota Fortuner 
  • Toyota Hilux Surf
  • Toyota Tacoma
  • Toyota Hiace
  • Toyota Innova
  • Toyota Hilux
  • Toyota 4Runner
  • Toyota Coaster

Engine Tuning, Potential, and Modifications

Increasing the engine’s power is as straightforward as it was with the Toyota 3RZ. The 2TR performance parts include a cold air intake, headers, and an aftermarket exhaust system.

However, it will simply provide you with a lot of noise and not much power. It is far preferable to invest in a turbocharger or supercharged package. There are several turbo kits available in retailers. 

They mostly employ Garrett T3/T4 turbochargers or low-cost Chinese turbochargers. On 2TR stock internals, all of these options let you achieve 250+ horsepower. However, Chinese kits are not particularly long-lasting, and you will most likely need to replace your turbocharger after a few thousand miles. 

If you want to go fast and fly over the top, then URD’s 2TR supercharger kit is a good choice. These solutions use Rotrex C30-94 turbos with air intake modifications which can easily be installed on stock internals for an output of 250 HP or more. 

Problems Surrounding Toyota 2TR-FE Engine: 

One of Toyota 2TR-FE’s strengths is its reliability, as this important aspect of the engine determines the longevity of the machine, as well as its reputation as a whole. If the engine is not reliable, it would not be able to compete with other machines since the potential is short-lived, leading to early departure in the scene. 

The Toyota 2TR-FE engine has a handful of issues that needs to be discussed.

1. Unfit to some Applications

The primary issue with this engine, according to owners and who experienced using it, is that it does not fit with the current default applications.

For pickup trucks and SUVs, it is usually too heavy or weak. When it becomes overloaded, you may notice loud operations and increased fuel usage.

2. Cracked Exhaust Manifold

The exhaust manifold on the Toyota 2.7 engine is said to be faulty. Exhaust manifold fractures are a common issue for customers, especially once they reach 100,000 miles. Although cracking can occur as a result of overheating, in this case, it is due to poor design.

3. Low Coolant Levels

Some customers have reported a pinkish-white residue around where the water pump is located. This problem, which also results in a low level of coolant, is most commonly caused by a leaky water pump. If you hear a grinding noise near the water pump, it’s possible that the water pump has failed. 

The water pump, on the other hand, is found in the engine, on the passenger side.

4. Vibration at Idle

This is another issue that most owners of this engine have voiced their dissatisfaction with. And it’s most noticeable when the engine is really cold. The automatic transmission is to blame for this. This problem can be resolved by replacing the transmission oil.

5. Oil Leaks

Despite the fact that the Toyota 2.7 engine is an improvement of the old 3RZ-FE engine, it still has certain flaws. This bears a contemporary engine with sophisticated electrical systems. 

As a result, it needs appropriate gasoline, oil, and maintenance. The engine made before 2008 experienced concerns such as oil leaks from the front crankshaft oil seal.


The Toyota 2.7 2TR-FE engine is a very reliable and efficient motor. You can have it work for you by knowing what to expect from this powerful machine, including how much horsepower or torque each piston pushes out of its sleeve.

The high-quality product lines at Toyota give their vehicles an edge over other cars on the market as well as provide enthusiasts with something that has excellent power without costing too much money upfront – making them perfect choices if one wants both performance and affordability in their purchase.

However, some issues like underwhelming performance and the lack of wide applications do not work for everyone. But, it all comes down to longevity and efficiency. You will need to properly maintain and care for the engine, and this can last more than 250,000 miles. 

5 thoughts on “Toyota 2TR-FE: Everything You Need To Know”

  1. I’ve a 2017 Tacoma 2wd 2TR-FE that I bought new 11/17. 200,000 miles. I’m starting to get a squeak from the motor that lasts 2-3 seconds when when I start it cold. Happens about once every 50-75 starts. Just started at about 175,000. It’s not a belt or pulley sound. Doesn’t last long enough to get out and check it and not often enough to leave it at a shop to get them to hear it. Thinking about replacing the original water pump now to be safe. Any ideas?

    • Vvt-i cold start cranking noise? Mines 2009 tacoma 2trfe makes that noise on every cold starts (has 175k miles)

    • I just figured out what is causing this as I have the same issue with my 2018 2wd 2TR-FE. It’s the metal “ring” sliding out of the VVT-I exhaust gear body and coming into contact with the inside of the front timing cover. Once it slips out, it blows up the entire engine. The only thing you can do is replace the exhaust gear body. Until you can get around to it, keeping the oil level at max capacity is the best you can do.

  2. 1000 miles a week bought pre owned 15000 miles. Not a rocket by far, but no issues getting from point A to B As far fuel economy, got to in the 65 mph and watch the cruise control if not trans. Will down shift and stay at high rev’s until … it decides to shift. If you approach an incline – turn of cruise control and continue when on the lev straight away. Doing this seems to get more out of a tankful. Oh as stated above, oil is cheap keep it clean … and don’t push it…. It will be around for a long time.


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