How do I Increase the Horsepower on the Toyota Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Though the Toyota car is a very good truck in stock specification, there will always be those owners who want more from them, particularly more power. Fortunately for Toyota car owners, there are multiple options available when it comes to increasing the horsepower. You can keep the costs to a minimum by purchasing a cold air intake or invest heavily with the installation of a supercharger conversion.

Under The Hood:

 How do I Increase the Horsepower on the Toyota 2ZZ-GE Engine?

Replace the exhaust system connected to the engine with a wide diameter aftermarket system specifically to improve the flow of exhaust gases out of the engine and reduce the amount of overall back pressure in the system. In addition to leading to increased horsepower output, the aftermarket exhaust system will provide a more aggressive exhaust note.

Modify the electronic control unit by attaching an aftermarket performance chip. The performance chip will alter the software responsible for controlling the engine's functions so that it produces more horsepower. In addition to increasing horsepower output, many performance chips enhance overall performance by raising the rev limit and replacing the fuel and ignition maps.

Install an aftermarket air intake system to the engine. The aftermarket system will allow for an increased flow of cool air into the engine which will lead to increased horsepower output. In addition to increased horsepower output, the aftermarket air intake system will lead to improved fuel economy.

Items you will need

  • Aftermarket performance chip

  • Performance exhaust system

  • Aftermarket air intake system

 How to Increase the Horsepower in a 22RE

Replace the 22R-E air intake with a performance aftermarket air intake. First, locate the factory the air intake within the engine bay and open the intake housing if your vehicle has one. Next, remove all components connecting the factory air intake to the engine. Gently life the factory air intake out of the engine bay and set it aside. Lastly, simply place the aftermarket air intake in the vacant area where the factory air intake resided, replace all connections, and replace the intake housing.

Replace the 22R-E headers with performance aftermarket headers. First, lift the engine slightly out of the engine bay so that you can reach all of the header connecting hardware. Remove all connecting hardware and disconnect the factory headers from the engine itself. Align the aftermarket headers with the connecting brackets and re-connect all connecting hardware. You may need assistance with this step in order to keep the headers aligned with the connecting hardware.

Replace the 22R-E exhaust system with a performance aftermarket exhaust system. First, lift the vehicle using either a hydraulic lift or a manual jack and tire chocks. Make sure that the vehicle is secure before continuing. Remove the connecting hardware from the stock exhaust system and remove the stock exhaust system from the underside of the vehicle. Line up the new exhaust system with the bracket connections and re-connect the connecting hardware, taking care not to over-tighten. Lastly, connect the new exhaust system to the headers.

Install a supercharger or turbocharger system. The specifics of installing one of these systems varies drastically from one manufacturer to another, but they are typically very demanding installations that many involve lifting the engine, punching or drilling holes into the engine, and replacing many other engine components.

Items you will need

  • Socket set

  • Specialty tools

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Engine hoist

  • Assistant

  • Aftermarket parts

 How to Increase Horsepower on a 4Runner

Install a larger diameter exhaust. No matter what the make and model, almost all stock exhaust systems leave something to be desired when it comes to efficient air flow. Replacing the stock 4Runner exhaust with one made from larger diameter tubing and then matched to a free-flow muffler will get spent exhaust gasses out of the motor more quickly and efficiently, which is a good thing for power. An exhaust usually requires a lift as well as special cutting and welding tools to install it properly and should be done by a shop experienced in this type of installation.

Replace the stock air box with a performance-oriented cold air intake (CAI). In stock form, the 4Runner’s air box restricts the flow of incoming air, which is not good for power. Swapping the air box for the CAI’s larger diameter tubing and large, cone filter will deliver more cold, dense air to the intake side of the engine for more power, better throttle response and a deeper sound from the intake. To install a CAI, first unbolt the air box from where it is bolted to the engine bay and disconnect it from the intake on the engine. Install the CAI in its place, ensuring that the filter is positioned away from the heat of the engine and where it will get lots of cold air.

Convert the engine to forced induction, which utilizes a compressor mounted on the intake (supercharging) or the exhaust (turbocharging). For the 4Runner, the most common method of forced induction is supercharging, since this is a technique that Toyota has used to great effect on the 4Runner. You can use the company's kit or install one of the many supercharger kits available on the aftermarket. This conversion should be done by a shop familiar with forced induction for proper results.

Items you will need

  • Socket set and ratchet

  • Specialty automotive tools

 How to Increase the Horsepower on a Toyota V6 Engine

Increasing the horsepower of a Toyota V-6 engine

Change the oil with a synthetic brand by turning the oil pan drain plug counter-clockwise, draining the old oil, turning the drain plug clockwise to close it, then filling the engine to the proper level with synthetic oil. The synthetic oil is a superior lubricant, and can reduce friction to increase horsepower by as much as 10 percent. The filter must also be changed, and the engine must not have any prior leaking or oil-related issues.

Replace the ignition wires with 8 mm wide wires by pulling the old wire off the plug and distributor cap, then replacing it by pressing the new wire onto the connections. Custom colors are available, and some special types may require assembly. Wider ignition wires transmit more energy to the plugs. The older wires were 6 or 7 mm, depending on year, and may have split or cracked due to age.

Replace the spark plugs with high-performance units by turning the plug counterclockwise, then turning the new plug clockwise into the hole. Turn them by hand until they are threaded, to prevent cross-threading the plug hole. Using "hotter" plugs, or plugs with a higher heat range rating, will increase horsepower or economy. Using a multinode plug can also increase performance, but the important factor is the heat range rating. Toyota V-6 motors come stock with a HR of 4, and the rating index goes from 1 to 5.

Replace the air intake with a snorkel, or open element, by unbolting the exiting intake air box and hose and bolting on a one-piece air intake that allows for better air flow. Some models with a MAP sensor may need a specialized intake that can accommodate the sensor. The open element filter and hose (or tube) will increase horsepower significantly, and give the V-6 a throatier sound.

Items you will need

  • Socket set

  • Screwdrivers

  • High-performance spark plugs

  • 8 mm ignition wires

  • Synthetic oil

  • Improved air intake