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Advice on possible engine change


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I have a 1976 Toyota Hiace Camper . It has it`s original 1600 cc 12R petrol engine , with 92,000 miles . This is of course mated to the original manual 4 speed column change gearbox.

As I think that you guys seem to have a bit more of an idea about these vehicles , I thought that you may be able to advise me on possible alternatives. 

Has anybody retro fitted another engine in place of the 12R which could be mated to the gearbox .?

Has anyone removed both engine and box and replaced with something a bit more grunt  and  fuel economy , a diesel unit perhaps . I don`t want anything that`s overly complicated , as I am just a simple man with average mechanical ability . It would be more preferable if I could remove column change , to either floor change or auto . 

Any advice welcome .


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From new I had a 1978 HiAce 5 door and stupidly never lifted the engine cover to service it correctly for 120k kms. Boom it seized  ! Back in the day, 1979, the were no Jap imports engines ect. So I replaced it with a Holden 202 6 cylinder mated to the original gearbox (using a Dellow adaptor )  She went really well but the diff ratio was too low so i fitted 16" wheels (taller tyres) to the rear to compensate.  Terribly award to work under /around the engine area. Today I am sure there a a zillion easier engine / transmission alternatives to use.  

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Thanks for the reply Tidywazza .

I`m unable to get any advice on alternatives over here . As for getting any later Toyota engines , eg 16R , 18R or 22R , I`m more likely to marry Nicole Kidman .LOL 

I agree with you ,  engine bay is not the largest or easiest to access and therefore I believe will restrict the engine size I can put in .

Thanks anyhow :thumbup:

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  • 2 months later...

Block out if required !
I fitted an 18R to a 1958 Willys Jeep; huge improvement'

It went up hills better than my 18R powered Commuter.
A fair bit of fabrication was required.
If you could replace the 12R with an 18R, it would be very good.


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