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Stalking The Toyota Family


In some circles, these words might be considered an engine equivalent
to the supermarket tabloids, and my "inquiring mind" would not let it
go. I know that this is not as titillating as Britney Spears shaving
her head but I still think that there is a real benefit to being able
to decipher the Toyota engine designators.

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There is real value to having "the chart," so you can go back to and
scroll your finger down a row and say "that engine is a …" and actually
have a clue to determining the engine configuration. So like paparazzi
with a new Nikon and a lens that can see a mile away, I was off on a

There are really just a few basics that you need to know but you must
have all the information to make it work. First, the numeric characters
specify the engine block generation (see Chart 1); second, the next one or two digits
indicate the engine family; and last, the suffix information separated
by the dash specifies engine features. See Chart 2 to help
you understand.


Simple enough, right? You would think that would just end it and now
you know everything. So did I, until I tried to understand the families
themselves, including their applications, configuration and
displacement. Unfortunately unless you know the entire family’s
evolution you really do not know the whole story at all.

I felt like I had the magazine cover shot of the century but it was out
of focus and unusable. The only way for me to solve that problem was to
go back and get a better picture than the one before, and the only way
to do that was to give you a chart of all the Toyota engine families
and their years, liters and cc information. So the really long chart (see Chart 3) will make all that work for you.


This list will cover pretty much everything that you are going to run
into in the automotive aftermarket and engine builder industry and
should help you figure out what, where, when and why. Don’t expect to
see this list in your grocery store counter but it’s worth keeping
around when you need to identify and/or determine a Toyota engine
application. There are a couple of V12 engine applications and a number
of diesels that are not included on this list but they’re not what you
generally see in the mainstream of vehicle applications. You can expect
more coverage on the expanse of import information in upcoming months
in this column.

This information pool is something that many who are much wiser than I
don’t dare dive into, but nobody said that I was smart enough to stay
in the shallow end. I hope this ends up hanging on your wall and you
get to use the chart often, for if you do, I got the shot I was looking
Chart 1Chart 2Chart 3

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