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Old 08-26-2011, 10:36 PM   #1
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3.0 upgrades?

So I'm a first time owner of a 1990 Pickup and know very little about it. I have always had and built jeeps and I have fallen in love with the 4.0 HO in the cherokees and wranglers. I just recently bought my 90 Pickup and it has the 3.0 V6, now a buddy of mine called it the 3.slow and i didnt get what he meant untill after I really jumped on it. I know that right now it needs new gears because the kid who owned it before me was well new to the car world in general and didnt really know what he was doing trying to run 35s with stock gears haha, so I know that after I swap for a set of 5.29 gears it will help tremendously but im wondering if there are any other engine mods out there that would improve the performance of the 3.0?
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:47 PM   #2
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The guys at the local independent Toyota shop shake their heads when anyone mentions the 3.0 . It has a less than stellar reputation. If you really want a power increase and have some money to spend, a lot of guys are swapping in a 3.4 out of a Tacoma. Relatively easy swap as far as engine swaps go.

A buddy of mine had a 91 for awhile. At the time, I was driving an 86 with the 2.4 4cyl. Despite the difference in horsepower ratings, he could not out accelerate me from a dead stop. Once we got on the freeway, his pulled the hills much better, but that was the only real difference between the two.

Don't know if Downey off road is still around, but they used to have headers and such for a 3.0. Don't know anyone who has modded theirs personally.
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:54 PM   #3
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Thats what I was afraid of. The motor in the truck now was rebuilt by the toyota dealer up here and it has 72,000 on it so its still fairly young and would last a long time but after owning the 4.0 HOs out in the jeeps Idk if I can put up with the lack in power. I havent gone wheeling in it yet due to the fact from before its still using the stock gears with 35 MTs but I wasnt to thrilled with my buddies 91 either. I dont remember what hes running as far as gears go but I know there not 5.29 so I was hoping that they would help some. What are some of the complications someone would run into during a motor swap from the 30 to the 3.4?
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:59 PM   #4
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That motor is really a gutless pig! Sorry to say but there isn't much you can do to help in the power department.

I'm pretty sure Doug Thorley makes headers for the 3.0 but it won't do much... (except sound better lol)

A 3.4 swap from a 3rd Gen 4Runner or 1st Gen Tacoma will be a much better route if you want more power.

I use to have a 93 4Runner with the 3.0 and 4 Spd and you can imagine how slow that was with the extra weight. My highest MPG ever achieved was 14 MPG and I drove with a very light right foot!
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:03 PM   #5
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Theres really nothing you can do to the 3.slow. Its probly the worst engine Toyota ever built. The only thing i heard people doing is re-boaring the cylinders larger. And like Bosmob said you might be able to find headers to fit if your lucky, but you wont be able to get much power out of them.

My only suggestion is to re-gear or do a motor swap if you have the money.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:10 PM   #6
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how much would that help out to re-gear front and rear to 5.29? I know its cant be to great on gas but at least i can get on the highway and reach the 65 mph speed limit lol
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosmob View Post
That motor is really a gutless pig! Sorry to say but there isn't much you can do to help in the power department.

I'm pretty sure Doug Thorley makes headers for the 3.0 but it won't do much... (except sound better lol)

A 3.4 swap from a 3rd Gen 4Runner or 1st Gen Tacoma will be a much better route if you want more power.

I use to have a 93 4Runner with the 3.0 and 4 Spd and you can imagine how slow that was with the extra weight. My highest MPG ever achieved was 14 MPG and I drove with a very light right foot!
I get 20mpg out of my 3.0 in my 92 4runner, 5 speed, 4wd.
31 x 10.5, stock gears.
65 on highway.

I put 5 gallons a day in, drive 95 miles round trip and I'm on empty almost.


3.0s are GUTLESS motors but they are straight tractors off road..I've seen them go alot of places they shouldn't with open diffs. I can't even imagine once their locked, and go 5.29s, then step up to 33 x 13.5s


but yeah, there isn't much to do on the power department for a 3.0..just beat the living piss on it..but NEVER let it get hot or overheat.
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1990 Tacoma View Post
Thats what I was afraid of. The motor in the truck now was rebuilt by the toyota dealer up here and it has 72,000 on it so its still fairly young and would last a long time but after owning the 4.0 HOs out in the jeeps Idk if I can put up with the lack in power. I havent gone wheeling in it yet due to the fact from before its still using the stock gears with 35 MTs but I wasnt to thrilled with my buddies 91 either. I dont remember what hes running as far as gears go but I know there not 5.29 so I was hoping that they would help some. What are some of the complications someone would run into during a motor swap from the 30 to the 3.4?
http://www.offroadsolutions.com/tech.html

Check this website out for info. They used to make full kits, but they went out of business. The site is still up though.
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:52 AM   #9
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Ok joes06tacoma so after looking at your site it is very obvious that a engine swap is going to be expensive and time consuming lol. Plus if I were to do the swap I would have no need to re-gear to a 5.29. So in your personal opinion and anyone else's what would you do if you had to choose. The 3.4 conversion would take longer and the truck would be outta commission much longer than I can really afford but would it really be that much better than if I were to re-gear 5.29 all around?
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:55 PM   #10
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I have never owned a 3.0 myself. The one my buddy had was at 110K when he bought it and the previous owner had dealer reciepts for a rebuild at 75K due to bad headgaskets. From the reading that I have done, it seems common to blow gaskets a second time for many people. I see used trucks for sale with blown headgaskets all the time around here on craigslist.

I personally don't think that an engine swap is going to overcome the fact that you have the truck geared wrong. I would do the gears first. That should get you back to stock power. But it takes more power to spin larger tires too. So it won't be a race car when you are done.

If it were me, I would re gear it first. Then I would plan on motor swapping it at a time when I had the resources to do it. My plan would be to swap motors before the 3.0 broke down on me. From what I hear, it is a matter of when, not if that is going to happen.

I would not spend one dime on performance add ons for the 3.0 v6. I would start collecting parts for the 3.4 swap instead.

Not trying to rain on your parade, just offering my opinion.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:16 PM   #11
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Do gears first. Then swap in a stroked I-6 from a jeep.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:11 AM   #12
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1UZ stroker would be better
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:51 PM   #13
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im going threw the same thing i need a valve adjustment bad and the guys at the dealer ship dont even want to tuch my 3.0 i should have done more research on the engine before i got mine i would have got the 4 cylinder much more reliable ive been looking into sawping in the 3.4 but its a lot of time and money almost ready to get rid of my 89 and get a first gen
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Old 09-02-2011, 07:56 PM   #14
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Your not raining on my parade at all I appreciate the honesty. That's what I plan on doing as far as gears vs motor swap. I just don't have the time nor money to do the swap and it's never driven real hard or anything. It's really more of my commuter vehicle in the winter time up here in Alaska so I save wear and tear on the Audi lol. Buti do go out and have fun trailing withsome buddies so I don't need it to be fast or anything just drivable lol. So I plan on doing the gear swap and going from there.

As far as that I-6 swap that would be cool but idk if I would cross breed a jeep and a Toyota haha. I know a lot of jeep guys that would be upset as well as Toyota ppl. Thanks everyone for the advice. another quick question I'm having a problem again with power but I thibk it might be the tranny instead of the engine but I'm not sure. When it's cold first gear is really really touchy and it jumps and lurches forward as if you didn't give enough gas and to much Clutch. But it only happens when it's cold out. Once it warms up it smoothest out until I start to climb then it acts out again and if the hill is to steep then she just sits at the bottom of the hill and I there's a horrible smell almost like a burning clutch but not quite. Idk maybe it's still part of the gearing problem but it's annoying having a lifted truck that won't jump a curb from a stand still haha. Any ideas on what it might be.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joes06tacoma View Post
I have never owned a 3.0 myself. The one my buddy had was at 110K when he bought it and the previous owner had dealer reciepts for a rebuild at 75K due to bad headgaskets. From the reading that I have done, it seems common to blow gaskets a second time for many people. I see used trucks for sale with blown headgaskets all the time around here on craigslist.

I personally don't think that an engine swap is going to overcome the fact that you have the truck geared wrong. I would do the gears first. That should get you back to stock power. But it takes more power to spin larger tires too. So it won't be a race car when you are done.

If it were me, I would re gear it first. Then I would plan on motor swapping it at a time when I had the resources to do it. My plan would be to swap motors before the 3.0 broke down on me. From what I hear, it is a matter of when, not if that is going to happen.

I would not spend one dime on performance add ons for the 3.0 v6. I would start collecting parts for the 3.4 swap instead.

Not trying to rain on your parade, just offering my opinion.
not always a matter of when.... we have a 1995 4 runner i boutght new in high school, had the head gasket recall done in 1997 and it has 417000.00 on it now runs like a champ, never let it get hot, never expect it to have lots of power but it will run forever if you take care of it. hopefully you do have a manual since the auto back then was complete crap!
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