How to Tune Up a 1985 Toyota Truck

by Eli Laurens

The 1985 Toyota truck was manufactured with a 2.2-liter, four-cylinder gasoline motor that requires routine maintenance. The most distinguishing mechanical feature is the solid front axle, which was discontinued for 1986. By changing the spark plugs, oil, and filters, the average backyard mechanic can perform this maintenance in about two hours.

Tuning up a 1985 Toyota pickup truck

Replace the spark plugs with fresh units by unplugging the ignition wires and turning the plugs counterclockwise. New spark plugs, set to the proper gap (22RE is 0.031-inch), will dramatically improve performance and is a primary tune-up item.

Replace the ignition wires individually so they won't be mistakenly cross-wired. The wires pull directly off of the plugs and distributor points, and affixing newer or high-performance wires is an advanced tune-up procedure advisable after 60,000 miles. Stock 22RE engines, the most common motor in 1985 Toyota pickups, came with 6-mm-thick wires, which can be updated with 7- or 8-mm versions.

Change the oil and oil filter by turning the drain plug (located on the rear of the oil pan) and filter in a counterclockwise direction. Drain the oil from both locations into a large drain pan. Once drained, replace the plug by turning it in a clockwise direction, then replace the filter with a new unit clockwise onto the oil-filter mount. Fill the crank case to the proper level with 10W-30 motor oil. The 22RE motor has the fill cap on the front center of the valve cover, and it can be filled without a funnel.

Replace the air filter with a new paper element by opening the air box and pulling out the old, dirty element. The air box has four clips that hold it in place, and they are easily popped free by hand. The old filter can be cleaned with water and dried, but because they are relatively cheap, replacement is recommended.


  • check Coolant and transfer-case fluids should be checked at 60,000 miles.


  • close Use safety equipment and precautions when working on a vehicle.

Items you will need

About the Author

Eli Laurens is a ninth-grade physics teacher as well as a computer programmer and writer. He studied electrical engineering and architecture at Southern Polytechnic University in Marietta, Ga., and now lives in Colorado.

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