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Toyota 2.7 Engine Problems & How to Solve Them Easily in 2021

Having Toyota 2.7 engine problems is not a big deal because every problem comes with a solution, and we are here for it.

The engine you choose for your Toyota vehicle, such as the Toyota 2.7 engine, goes a long way in bringing out the best in your vehicle.

One of the most popular engines that Toyota vehicles make use of is the 2.7 engine. And since it’s a popular engine, there is a lot to know about it.

This article looks at all the basic aspects of the 2.7 engine and answers some common problems, solutions, and questions.

Let’s get right to it!

What is a 2.7 Liter Toyota Engine?

Toyota’s 2.7-liter engine, also known as the 2TR-FE engine, was introduced in 2003. It is a 4-stroke straight-four natural gasoline aspirated engine that belongs to the Toyota family.

Designed and made in Toyota’s manufacturing plant in Indonesia and Kamigo Plant, this 4-cylinder engine is mostly used in RWDs and 4WDs. You will also find it in Toyota’s SUVs.

How much horsepower does it have?

The Toyota 2.7 engine delivers a horsepower of 161 and a 181 pounds -ft torque. This EcoBoost engine has undergone some upgrades, especially in its dual-injection system, for a noticeable improvement in power and efficiency.

Impressively, the 2.7 engine can comfortably tow anything up to 3,500 pounds.

Additionally, it is a fuel-efficient engine and conducts power with the help of its 6-speed automatic transmission electronically controlled.

This power is sent to the rear wheels and has an automatic limited-slip to deliver ultimate traction control, whether on off-road trails or slick surfaces.

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Features of Toyota 2.7 Engine – Toyota Tacoma 2.7 Liter Engine Review

01. Balance Shafts and Block

The Toyota 2.7 engine comes with a cylinder block (deep-skirt) and a cast iron. Its bore is 95.0 mm plus a 95.0 mm stroke with a 2694 cc capacity.

It features an identical balance shaft that counter-rotates inside the crankcase. This is to cancel the inertia secondary forces that are usually found in the in-line 4-cylinder engine.

Because both pistons reach a maximum speed while rising or falling slightly above the stroke center, these pistons’ inertial upward force becomes greater than that of the inertial downward force of the falling pistons.

To offset this, the balance shaft is counter-rotating at a higher speed than that of the crankshaft.

02. Camshafts and Cylinder Head

The 2TR-FE also features two overhead camshafts and a cylinder head made of aluminum alloy.

A roller chain conducts the hollow camshafts. Its chain is 9.525 mm with lubrication from an oil jet.

The chain tension is maintained with the help of oil pressure and spring. This also suppresses the noise coming from the timing chain.

03. Connecting Rods, Crankshaft, and Pistons

The Toyota 2.7 engine also has a crankshaft that is fully balanced with journal fillets and roll-finished pins.

The rubber torsional damper’s presence in the crankshaft pulley helps reduce NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness).

It also features a connecting rod with high strength and big-end plastic-region tightening bolts to ensure optimal clamping force.

There is a cold-cranking performance, which helps in ensuring that the oil clearance is improved greatly.

Also, there are microgrooves in the bearings lining the surface and an oil groove in the bearing’s upper shells.

The pistons of the 2TR-FE are made of aluminum alloy, which is constantly cooled by the oil jets where you have the cylinder bores at the bottom.

To increase wear resistance and reduce friction, the piston skirts come with a resin coating.

The piston ring groove is then covered with a coating of anodic oxide or aluminate for abrasion resistance. Additionally, its compression ring (the no.1) has PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coating to resist wear. The piston ring (no.2) is chrome-plated.

04. Valves

The 2.7 engine also comes with 4 valves for each cylinder – 2 exhaust and 2 intake – positioned at a 22.85 degrees valve angle.

These valves function with the help of the roller rocker arms. They have inbuilt needle bearings to lessen the friction between the roller rocker arms and the cams.

A lash hydraulic adjuster can be found on each of the fulcrum of the roller arms. This is made up of a check ball spring and check ball, a plunger spring, and a plunger.

The spring force and oil pressure that acts on the plunger help push the roller rocker’s arm somewhere against the cam.

This process brings about valve clearance adjustment when there is a closing or an opening of the valve.

It makes it possible for the last hydraulic adjuster can maintain a regular zero valve clearance.

05. Throttle and Intake

Another thing about the 2.7 engine is that it features an intake manifold made of plastic to reduce heat transfer and mass coming from where you have the cylinder head.

Toyota used ETCS-I (Electronic Throttle Control System- intelligent) to calculate the highest angle for the throttle valve and a control motor for the throttle.

This contrasts with what you have with other conventional throttles that use the accelerator pedal.

This engine also has a type of linkless-type throttle that combines a control motor and a position sensor throttles.

06. Ignition and Injection

The ignition and injection parts of the 2.7 engine use fuel injectors with the long-nozzle multiport sequential system to reduce emissions and wall wetting.

Its combustion chambers are pentroof-type with slanted squish so that too much coolness is not lost.

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Some Common Toyota 2.7 Engine Problems & Possible Solutions

01. Cracked exhaust manifold problem

The Toyota 2.7 engine is reported to have issues with its exhaust manifold.

The exhaust manifold cracks are one major problem users encounter, especially after they hit 100k miles.

Although cracking can result from overheating, however, in this case, it is a result of poor design.

Solutions

It is nothing that replacing it with an OEM won’t solve. And you can easily do this at about $100. But if you feel that getting an LCE header will serve you better, you can as well go for it.

This might cost you about $400 or more.

Also, it would be best if you flushed the trans fluid when you have reached 120k miles. This will help in ensuring that your engine runs smoothly.

02. Not fitting applications problem

Another issue that some users have complained about this engine is that it doesn’t fit with the applications.

It tends to be too heavy or weak for pickup trucks and SUVs. And when it is overloaded as such, you may start experiencing noisy operations and higher fuel consumption.

However, reliability is quite promising.

Toyota 2.7 engine tuning

The increase in the power of the 2TR engine is the same as the old 3RZ. You can get the following for more performance: headers, an aftermarket exhaust system, and air intake (cold). While this may help the engine a little, the effect won’t be as much as when you go directly for a supercharger or turbo kit.

All these parts will give a noticeable increase in the sound level of the engine. But a supercharger kit or turbo kit will yield a better result.

You can easily get a turbo kit from a store near you. Or you can opt for a cheap Chinese version or a higher version of your choice. Just make sure to look for the Garrett T3/T4 type.

This will easily add at least 250 horsepower to your 2.7 engine stock internals.

03. Lack of power

The Toyota 2.7 engine is good but may not have the necessary power needed when towing or loading items.

This problem is more obvious if you ride a Toyota 4Runner. You will notice some limitations when you overload the vehicle.

Solution

Just get a 3.4L if you will need a truck that tows heavy loads.

04. Rattling or knocking noise

According to Toyota’s statement, this problem is due to the VVT Camshaft Timing Gear Assembly issues.

Solutions

A replacement with an upgraded part will solve the problem.

If your vehicle is still under warranty, then you are in luck as it will cover it. If not, you will be churning out about $380 – $595 to repair it.

05. Pinkish-white residue Problem

Some users have complained of a pinkish-white residue close to where you have the water pump.

This issue which also causes a low level of coolant mostly happens when the water pump is leaking.

And if you notice a grinding noise near the water pump, this could be due to the water pump that has gone bad.

And the water pump is located in the engine where you have the passenger side.

Solution

The only way to resolve this issue is to get a replacement for the bad water pump. You will be spending about $330 – $590 if it is a 4-cylinder engine.

For V6, you may be spending about $1,000 or more.

06. Squeaking leaf springs problem

Another problem you may experience is the issue of squeaking rear leaf springs, especially when you drive over a bump.

This happens when the leaves therein rub each often due to missing spacers or when the spacers are worn out.

Solution

According to what Toyota released in its bulletin, they recommend installing an upgraded silencer pad for the lead spring.

07. Oil leaks problem

Although the 2.7 engine improves the old 3RZ-FE engine, it still has some issues or problems.

This engine is a modern one that has complex electronic systems.

It, therefore, calls for good fuel, oil, as well as proper maintenance. Until 2008, the engine produced before then had issues like oil leaks from the crankshaft oil seal in the front.

Solutions

Do not worry because this was noted by the company and rectified. You are not likely to witness this issue with newer models.

You can easily get it fixed by revising the front crankshaft oil seal if you have this issue.

08. Vibrating when idle

This is another issue most users of this engine complained of. And it is mostly experienced when the engine is quite cold.

What causes this is the automatic transmission. A replacement of the transmission oil will put a stop to this issue.

Solution

The issues mentioned above may be of some concern, but they don’t reduce the reliability and durability of the 2.7 engine. Just endeavor to make use of the recommended engine oil and undergo regular maintenance.

Doing these will ensure that you enjoy the best this engine has to offer.

Toyota 2.7 Engine Reliability

We have already established the fact that 2.7 is also known as 2TR-FE. However, what you may not know is that there was a 3RZ-FE engine that existed before that.

The thing is that the engineers at Toyota did not think it would be a good idea to discard the 3RZ-engine totally.

Instead, they carried out some updates on it, which gave birth to the 2TR-FE engine.

Having said that, the 2.7 engine makes use of the 3RZ cylinder block as well as an innovative cylinder head.

This cylinder head comes with a new VVTi (variable valve timing) system on its intake side.

No need for any adjustment on the valves because it makes use of hydraulic lifters. It comes with a different timing chain, an electronic throttle body, and a plastic intake manifold.

This change in the control unit and upgrade in the engine added an extra 10 HP and an increase in the engine’s torque.

Still, on reliability, the fuel consumption of the Toyota 2.7 engine has greatly improved. This was an issue in the former 3RZ engine.

It was during the new upgrade that the Dual-VVTi system was introduced.

Not only did the horsepower and torque increase, the compression ratio of this engine increased by 10.2 with a change in the intake ports. It also comes with a better-connecting rod bearing.

And just in case you need more information on this engine, do check out the video below.

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FAQ’s Related to Toyota 2.7 Engine

01. Does it have a timing chain or a timing belt?

Both the 1GR-FE and 2TR-FE engines have a timing chain. You will notice this if you drive a 2005 to 2015 Toyota Tacoma model.

There will be no need to replace it with the timing chain, except it has really been stretched.

Or if other underlying issues have to do with the chain drive compartment. And if the engine is running low on oil, it could lead to the timing chain failing untimely.

02. What is the oil capacity for the 2.7 engine?

The listing for the 2TR-FE oil capacity, especially for the 2005 to 2015 model, is at 5.8 liters or 6.1 qt. (inclusive of oil filter change).

For Toyota Tacoma that uses a 1GR-FE engine except for the PreRunner, the oil capacity is pegged at 4.5 liters or 4.8 qt. (inclusive of oil filter change).

If it is for the PreRunner and 4-wheel drive models, the oil capacity is 5.2 liters or 5.5 qt (inclusive of oil filter change).

To know your vehicle’s engine capacity’s exact capacity, make sure to consult your owner’s manual. You can also get this information by visiting Toyota’s website.

Regardless, do note that the higher the mileage, the higher the oil consumption. You are always encouraged to check your oil level to see if it needs to be topped.

03. Is the Toyota 2.7 engine a V6?

No, It is a 4-stroke straight-four natural gasoline aspirated engine that was originally designed for vehicles with front-wheel drive. Then, later on, it started making room for vehicles with rear-wheel drive.

04. How can I check the level of the engine oil?

You must check the level of your engine oil to prevent it from knocking. And you can easily do this by following the steps below:

Step 1 – Start by warming the engine and turning it off afterward. Wait for 5 minutes so that the engine oil can drain back to the bottom.

Step 2 – Open the oil cap in your engine and deeply insert a dipstick.

Step 3 – Get a rag that will catch any dripping oil from the dipstick

Step 4 – Check the oil level to see if it is still at a normal range or needs to be topped.

Step 5 – Wipe off the dipstick with the rag and cover the cap if the oil level is still full. But if it has gone down and needs to be topped, top it up with a good quality engine oil.

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Final Thoughts

The Toyota 2.7 engine is an excellent engine that will serve you optimally. All you need is to know the intricacies of how it works and how to bring out its best.

Knowing what to expect from this engine will help you decide on whether to go for it or not.

But we believe that you will make the right choice with the information you have gotten from this article.

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