After my four wheeling experience, which I thoroughly enjoyed, I did realized that the 2.4 liter EFI engine that came with the truck was made to last a long time, at the expense of power!  This page is about the real project!   The real project is making my truck into a better four wheeling truck, but yet also maintaining its drivability and fuel economy.  It may come to a point where economy gets thrown to the wind for horsepower gains, but right now this truck is driven to and from work.  Stock the 1989 22RE puts out around 112 hp at 4600rpm and 142ft/lbs of torque at 3400 rpm (these ratings are also at sea level...  all my 4x4ing is above     6000 ft., so if you didn't know... for every 1,000 ft there is an approximate horsepower loss of 3%, so at 6000 ft the loss is around 18%, and at 14,000 ft. around a 42% LOSS!!!  So for everyday driving, my truck puts out not 112 hp, but 91.8 hp, and at the top of Pikes Peak 65 hp.  This is not conducive to all out four wheeling,  hill climbing, or just trying to pass somebody on the road!  


     Well something had to be done!  I'm also on a pretty tight budget right now, so here are the two things I did that I figured would be the most beneficial with the least amount of money.  the first was to install a set of smog legal headers (still had to pass emissions in Colorado/an now in Arizona).  The gain was probably in the 10-12% range according to the manufactures claims (remember were adding this to 91.8 hp).  I have not yet replaced the restrictive stock exhaust, which will be a later project.  The headers really did make a significant power increase, but it was more in torque than in horse power.   This was an improvement, but it definitely did NOT make my truck a hot rod! 

     The second upgrade I did was purchase a performance camshaft from a vender that sells on E-bay.  The camshaft is a RV / Torque profile, so its not supposed to affect emissions or fuel economy, but squeezes a little more out of the motor (About a 15% increase???).  There is a difference, but its still not a V8!  I think I should have gone with next camshaft size  up from this one.  The cam is basically a .416" int .430" exh. with a split duration at .050" of 214 and 224.  This would be like a 260 Degree Cam Advertised, so its basically a really mid, stock replacement cam.  As soon as I can afford to I'll get a used cylinder head and port the intake and exhaust runners, put stainless steel oversized valves, performance springs to handle .500" lift, and a cam that is around 278 advertised duration with a .450" to .470" lift.  Should pump out around 150 hp or maybe more, but it has to pass emissions!!!! 

     Here is why the upgrades I've made are not enough.  After the two modifications I made to the engine, I am running the same horsepower at 6,000 ft above sea level as a stock engine would at sea level!!!  If I were at sea level, the engine would probably produce around 135 hp. I still need more POWER!

     Yes, there is still more to come! Air filters and a new exhaust are next!  Head mods in the future...  maybe a rebuild?  Big 33" tires?  Detroit LOCKERS for the rear and Detroit TrueTrac for the front?  Turbo charger!??! Chevy small block V8 (this is highly likely)!!!!  Who knows what's next or can this be the never ending project?

Rice Rock Crawler!

  Headers give the engine a whole new sound


This is the camshaft and its profile


We have since move to the Phoenix area (Sept. 2004)

I have not gone 4x4ing in Arizona yet, but my intentions are to go as soon as I meet someone willing to go with me. (I will post my first adventure as soon as it happens)

My latest upgrade are a set of 31" all terrain tires.  This is a good two inches bigger then what was on the truck before.  The tire size is about as big as you can go without changing gear ratios (32" tires are the absolute max).  Mouse over the picture to right to see the difference.  Seems like its not a whole bunch, but tires give me an extra inch of clearance, and that is a big difference in 4x4ing.  I'm still considering a K&H air filter, but for 5-6% of supposed gain that I'll get will cost me over $200.  Worth it?  

Any ideas to increase power?

e-mail me!


Test of modified motor

if it were at sea level


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Erich Frutiger