The A Series engines are a family of straight-4 internal combustion engines with displacement from 1.3 L to 1.8 L produced by Toyota Motor Corporation. The series has both cast iron engine block and cylinder heads The series began in the late 1970s with the 1A, an SOHC engine with a displacement of 1.5 L. The 7A-FE was the last A engine in the family, a 1.8 L DOHC engine that produced 115 hp (86 kW). Production of the 7A-FE stopped in 1998, thus ending that engine series. In between, many interesting variations were produced, including one of the first 5-valve engines (the 4A) and the 170 hp (127 kW) supercharged 4A-GZE.
The 1.5 L (1452 cc) 1A was produced in 1978 and 1979. It was a 2-valve SOHC engine.
The 1.3 L (1295 cc) 2A was produced from 1979 through 1986. Cylinder bore was 76 mm (2.99 in) and stroke was 71.4 mm (2.81 in). It was a 2-valve SOHC design like its predecessor.
Output ranged from 65-75 hp (48-56 kW) at 5400-6000 rpm and 72-79 ft·lbf (97-107 N·m) at 3600 rpm.
The 1.5 L (1452 cc) 3A was produced from 1979 through 1988. Cylinder bore was 77.5 mm (3.05 in) and stroke was 77 mm (3.3 in). It was a 2-valve SOHC like the 1A and 2A. There were California-spec (3A-C), Japan-spec (3A-U), transverse (3A-L), and swirl-intake (3A-S) versions of the same basic design.
Power output ranged from just 62 hp (46 kW) at 4800 rpm all the way to 90 hp (67 kW) at 6000 rpm. Torque was less spread from 75 ft·lbf (101 N·m) at 2800 rpm to 89 ft·lbf (120 N·m) at 4000 rpm.
The 4A was produced from 1980 through 1998. All 4A engines have a displacement of 1.6 L (1587 cc). Cylinder bore was enlarged from the previous 4A engines at 81 mm (3.19 in), but stroke remained the same as the 3A at 77 mm (3.3 in).
Numerous variations of the basic 4A design were produced, from SOHC 2-valve all the way to DOHC 5-valve versions. Power was also extremely varied, from 70 hp (52 kW) at 4800 rpm in the basic California-spec 4A-C to 170 hp (127 kW) at 6400 rpm in the supercharged 4A-GZE.
The basic 4A and Cal-spec 4A-C was an SOHC 8-valve carbureted engine, rated at 70-90 hp (52-67 kW) at 4800 rpm. Torque was good for a small engine, at 85 ft·lbf (115 N·m) at 2800 rpm in even the "strangled" early-1980s California-spec version.
fuel injection was added for the 1981 through 1988 4A-E. This pushed output to 78 hp (58 kW) at 5600 rpm and 87 ft·lbf (117 N·m) at 4000 rpm in export form.
A special Japan-spec transverse 4A-ELU was also produced in 1986. Output for this engine was 100 hp (75 kW) at 5600 rpm and 101 ft·lbf (136 N·m) at 4000 rpm.
A narrow-valve (22.3°) DOHC 4-valve carb version, the 4A-F, was produced from 1987 through 1990. Output was 90 hp (67 kW) at 6000 rpm and 95 ft·lbf (128 N·m) at 3600 rpm.
The 1987-1998 4A-FE is different from the 4A-GE in terms of performance and power. Although both have the same displacement and are DOHC, they were optimized for different uses. The first obvious difference are the valves, the engine's intake and exhaust valves were placed 22.3° apart (compared to 50° in the G-Engines). The second is that it employed a 'slave cam system', one camshaft's sprocket rotated the other camshaft's sprocket (Both camshaft's sprockets on the G-Engine are rotated by the timing belt). The plus side of this design that it improved fuel efficiency and made the engine very torquey (made the car zippy on city roads), on the down side, it compromises power, about 20% less power compared to the 4A-GE. Power rating varies during certain generations that had the engine.
Toyota designed this engine with fuel economy in mind. The 4A-FE is basically the same as the 4A-F (introduced in the previous generation of Corollas), the most apparent difference was the fuel delivery system. The 4A-F used a carburetor, while the 4A-FE used electronic fuel injection system (notice the 'E'). Also, the 4A-FE had extra power. The engine was succeeded by the 1ZZ-FE, a 1.8 liter engine with VVT-i technology.
- Engine displacement - 1.6 liters (1587 cc)
- Layout - DOHC Inline-4 (Straight-4)
- Valves - 16, 4 for each cylinder
- Power - 102 hp (76 kW) @ 5800 rpm
- Torque - 101 lbf.ft @ 4800 rpm
- Redline - 6300 rpm
- Fuel Delivery System - MPFI
Note - power and torque specs are from the 1988-1992 North American Corollas.
Although not as powerful as the 4A-GE, both engines are renowned for the power they produce from such a low displacement (relative to other engines). Toyota engineers have skilfully optimized the power and torque from its relatively low-displacement engines.
The engine was used in the Toyota Corolla Sedan from 1988 to 1998.
The next major modification was the fuel injected high-performance 4A-G. Production of the various models of this version lasted for three generations, from 1983 through 1992 for most versions, though the 5-valve 4A-GE lasted through 1998. Most 4A-Gs were 4-valve DOHC engines with wide (50°) valve spacing for performance.
The first-generation 4A-GE replaced the 2T-G in most applications. It was extremely light and strong for an all-iron engine block, and production lasted through 1990. The second-generation added piston-cooling oil sprays and higher compression ratios. The third-generation appeared in late 1991 with the 20 valve 4A-GE, which was itself updated in 1996 before being retired in 1998.
Power output for the 4-valve version varied widely, from 112 hp (84 kW) at 6600 rpm to 138 hp (103 kW) at 7200 rpm. Again, torque was closer, varying from 97 ft·lbf (131 N·m) at 4800 rpm to 110 ft·lbf (149 N·m) at 4800 rpm.
Special versions included the Japan-spec 4A-GEU, California-spec 4A-GEC, and even a Finnish-spec 4A-GE, as well as the transverse-mounted 4A-GEL. The engine was used in the company's flagship car, the Toyota Corolla, in the 1980s.
The 4A-GE was one of the earliest inline-4 engines to have both DOHC 16 valves and electronic fuel injection (EFI). Toyota designed this engine with performance in mind; its twin camshafts are 50 degrees apart to allow decent power, but this sacrifices torque. This engine is very popular with racers and tuners because of its ease of modification, simple design, and lightness.
The engine was first introduced in the 1983 Trueno Sprinter AE86 and the Corolla Levin AE86 sports version. In 1988, the engine was placed in front wheel drive (FWD or FF) format as opposed to rear wheel drive (RWD or FR). The engine was retired from North American Corollas in 1991, although it continued to be available in the Geo Prizm GSi (sold through Chevrolet dealerships) from 1990-1992.
Toyota models that have had this engine:
- Toyota MR2
- Corolla AE86 GT-S - RWD
- Corolla AE82 FX-16 - FWD
- Corolla AE92 GT-S - FWD
- SE Sedan (North America): (RWD from 1983-87 and FWD from 1988-91)
- Some Celicas
Other models equipped with the 4A-GE:
- Chevrolet Nova (based on Toyota AE82 chassis; 1984-1988-- These 4A-GE cars were exceptionally rare)
- Geo Prizm GSi (based on Toyota AE92 chassis; 1990-1992)
- Engine displacement - 1.6 litres (1587 cc)
- Layout - DOHC Inline-4 (Straight-4)
- Valves - 16, 4 per each cylinder
- Power - 115-140 hp (96-103 kW) @ 6600 rpm
- Torque - 109 lbf.ft (148 N·m) @ 5800 rpm
- Redline - 7600 rpm
- Fuel Delivery System - MPFI
The 4A-GZE (produced in various forms from 1986 through 1995) was the supercharged version. It was used in the North American supercharged Toyota MR2, rated at 145 hp (108 kW) and 140 ft·lbf (190 N·m). Later versions of this engine are rated 170 hp (127 kW) and 155 ft·lbf (210 N·m) for the AE92 and AE101 Corolla.
20 Valve 4A-GE
black-top 20 Valve 4A-GELU Engine(Japanese-spec) in 1996 Carina GT
A special 4A-GE was produced from 1991 through 1998 to replace the 4A-GZE. It was a naturally-aspirated engine with an additional intake valves for each cylinder, making it one of the first production 5-valve engines in history. The engine can be recognized by its silver or black top. This was the last of the 4A family to be produced. Toyota's VVT and VVT-i was used at various times for 160-165 hp (123-127 kW) at 7800 rpm and 120 ft·lbf (162 N·m) at 5600 rpm, quite impressive for a naturally-aspirated 1.6 L engine.
- 1992 Toyota Corolla AE101 (silver-top)
- 1996 Toyota Corolla AE111 (black-top)
See also: 4AG Tech Notes
A smaller 1.5 L (1498 cc) 5A-F was produced in 1987 and the fuel injected 5A-FE was produced that year and again from 1995 through 1998. Both used a cylinder bore of 78.7 mm (3.1 in) and a stroke of 77 mm (3.3 in). Both had 4 valves per cylinder with DOHC heads and used the narrow 22.3° valve angle.
Output for the carb version was 85 hp (63 kW) at 6000 rpm and 90 ft·lbf (122 N·m) at 3600 rpm. Output for the 1987 FI version was 104 hp (78 kW) at 6000 rpm and 97 ft·lbf (131 N·m) at 4800 rpm. The later one produced 100 hp (75 kW) at 5600 rpm and 102 ft·lbf (138 N·m) at 4400 rpm.
The 1.4 L (1397 cc) 6A-FC was the only 1.4 variant, produced from 1989 through 1992. Output was 82 hp (61 kW) at rpm and 87 ft·lbf (117 N·m) at rpm. Cylinder bore was 76 mm (3 in) and stroke was 77 mm (3.03 in) for this 4-valve DOHC engine.
The largest A-series engine was the 1.8 L (1762 cc) 7A-FE. Produced from 1993 to 1998, it was a 4-valve DOHC narrow-valve-angle economy engine. Cylinder bore was 81 mm (3.19 in) and stroke was 85.5 mm (3.37 in).
An early Canadian version produced 115 hp (86 kW) at 5600 rpm and 110 ft·lbf (149 N·m) at 2800 rpm. The most common version is rated at 115 hp (86 kW) at 5600 rpm and 115 ft·lbf (155 N·m) at 2800 rpm engine.
In the United States, the 7A-FE's most common application was in the 1993-1997 Toyota Corolla (5th generation). The engine was also used in some 1994-1999 Toyota Celicas (6th generation) at the base ST trim level, as well as the Toyota Corolla's clone, the Geo Prizm.
Since the 7A shares the same layout as the 4A it is possible to create a 7A-G(Z)E out of a 7A-FE bottom and a 4A-G(Z)E head. Since the 7A is a very common engine the upgrade from 4A-G(Z)E to 7A-G(Z)E should be relatively cheap. This is a popular upgrade amongst drifters (mostly AE86 drivers) who are always in need of more torque.