Japanese Mini Truck Engine Swap Guide

The soaring popularity of the Japanese mini trucks is something that is unstoppable. These vehicles stand out and are impressive in every single way. This is why they are loved by many people across the globe. Whether in the United States, New Zealand or Canada, Japanese mini trucks will always be around. Their ability to squeeze out immense power and deliver excellent service from a small engine is amazing. They have been compared to pick up trucks and seen as the more affordable alternative. But even with the best vehicle that you can get, there is always going to be some issues. One must address these issues sooner than later. In our guide today, we will go through mini truck engine swap.

Engine swap is the process of changing the engine to another one. It literally involves manually removing everything under the hood and fitting it with another one. This is something that has been done over the years with many vehicles and not only with Japanese mini trucks.

Importance of Engine Swap

Why would someone want to swap their engine? There are a number of reasons why one would want to swap the engine of their vehicle with a different one.

Cost Efficiency

As a vehicle engine gets older, it tends to consume more fuel yet give an output that is not that impressive. And when this happens, an option that one may consider is to get a newer engine and swap it with the older one that they have.

Need For More Power

At times, there is need to have a more powerful vehicle that delivers good amount of power. For instance, you can find that your vehicle cannot cope with uphill tasks while carrying some load. At this point, it could be too expensive to make repairs and tweaks. Instead doing an engine swap would be the best way to get the vehicle to get you more power.

Poor Reliability

Some vehicles just have some persistent problems. And if the problem stems from the engine, then why not consider getting rid of the engine and get a newer or a better one? It is something that has been used by many people and seems to be a good solution for such situations.

Considerations Before Mini Truck Engine Swap

There are a number of things that you need to consider before you do a Japanese mini truck engine swap, and here they are.

Choosing The Right Engine

Perhaps the most important thing that will see the success of your engine swap is to get the desired engine. You need to make sure that the engine not only fits the car well, but also runs as it should. This calls for more caution if you are getting a used car engine for this kind of engine swapping. Without taking this into consideration, you could find yourself in a worse situation than the one you were before.


The next step to ensuring that the engine swap is a success is to consider the mounting. It is a really challenging process to mount an engine. You need to make sure that everything including the size and measurements of the engine is right. Engine compatibility to other parts is also something to consider. Switching a like-to-like engine will be the easiest, but if they are different, then you should consider every other factor to ensure that the mounting process won’t be problematic.

Engine Cooling System

If you are swapping the current engine with one that is not exactly the same, then you should make sure that the cooling system is good enough. Otherwise, you could be unleashing some overheating problems and end up with even worse problems than before you had swapped.

Fluid Reservoirs

Yet another thing that is important, though under-looked when doing engine swap is the fluid reservoirs. Every reservoir needs to be well thought before an engine swap is done. There is the power steering reservoir among others which needs to be spot on to ensure that everything fits well in place. Some people have had to do modifications including those adding remote mount reservoirs to their system.


Something like a driveshaft might seem off and irrelevant when doing an engine swap, but it is crucial. Selecting the right yoke and flange is also equally important. Bending the driveshaft is something that tends to be common on vehicles that have had engine swaps. This is something you do not want to see in your vehicle.

Fuel Systems

There is something that many people always forget when they are doing engine swaps. This is moreso if you are switching to a bigger engine. IF it is a bigger engine, then it also means that it may need more fuel than the one that you had. This can only mean one thing. The fuel lines and the entire fuel system needs to be reinstalled. Find good pipes and fuel lines that will bring sufficient fuel to ensure the engine runs smoothly as required.

Torque Converter Consideration

Not every engine will have compatible components. But sometimes the components needed to convert it and have the engine to be compatible are very small. Sometimes it is something like the flywheel that isn’t fitting. So, in a case where everything else including pipeline fits just fine and lacks the right flywheel pattern, you don’t give in there. You should consider getting a torque converter. Some hybrid torque converters does this well.

Final Word

Japanese mini trucks are reliable vehicles, and that is a fact. However, there comes a time when some things fall apart. Instances where the vehicle’s performance isn’t that great anymore. And when you are at such a point and realize that the engine is the problem, you may consider engine sapping. Shared above are some of the things to keep in mind before you even think about a mini truck engine swap.

Should you instead opt to get another Japanese mini truck, then we have plenty of used ones in tip-top condition. Just check out our listing page to find out the one that best suits your needs.