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Different year 3RZ compatability ECU etc

4296 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Enola Gaia
Hey. Hopefully someone can help with this.

I am looking at buying a 1996 Hilux Surf (New Zealand version of Tacoma I believe...) with a 3RZ-FE in it. The engine is stuffed,. both head and bottom end.

I can get a 1999 3RZ-FE for the right price in good condition. Of course, it is a coil pack model and the original is a distributor type. Are there any other differences? Bellhousing bolt pattern the same? Engine mounts the same?

The new engine comes with all sensors, full loom and ecu. I am thinking it will bolt in and I can just use the 1999 loom and ecu that come with the engine?

Are there any other options? Can you fit the distributor into the coilpack engines?

Anything else I need to look out for?


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(1) Welcome to CT, Matt! :waytogo:

(2) Just so we're clear ... Is the 1999 3RZ engine, etc., taken from a Hilux?

(3) Was the donor engine / ECM used with the same type transmission (manual versus automatic)?
Yes, the 1999 is out of a hilux.

Oops, didn't think about the trans. The new engine is a manual and the original is an auto. Is the auto run by the same ecm as the engine? If so, I guess I can't do the swap?

It doesn't have to be exactly plug and play, I am a mechanic by trade and have done a few engine conversions so just need a solution really, if there is any way around this!

Unless I can convert the coilpack motor to run a distributor? I think I saw somewhere that the later engines just have a blanking plate where the distributor should be. Is this possible?

Bump ^^

What I really need to know is if the later coilpack heads/engines have a hole for the distributor? Can anyone confirm this?

If so, I can just remove the coils and use my distributor and exhaust cam if the coilpack cam doesn't have the distributor gear on it.. Then the original loom will plug straight in...

If someone can confirm if the dizzy will bolt into the 1999 coilpack head, it would be most appreciated.

As far as I know, they continued to cast the 4-cylinder blocks with the distributor base (raised contoured place on the side of the block).

Here (attached) is a CT photo from a later (electronic ignition) 2RZ illustrating it.
( Source: )

I can't tell from the photo if it's 'solid' or 'open but plugged' ... :shrug:


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