98' Tacoma 2.7L Slow as Molasses - Common Power Loses?

PHeller

Adventurer
I bought my 98 Tacoma AC SR5 4x4 5spd 2.7L from the original owner (a coworker) with 188k miles. He used the thing for years to haul around him and his family and tow a pop-up trailer across the Rockies and Alaska.

I can't imagine this thing towing anything.

Almost Stock 235/75 R15" tires. Stock everything for that matter. B02A 3.58 2 pinion open 7.5" ring gear

I don't know if over time she's just lost her spunk or what, but even at sea-level I feel like this thing is really struggling to make it up hills. I live at 6,800' so I can understand it weezing a bit up here, but when I see how many people love their 4-cylinder Tacomas, it makes me wonder if mine is hurt in some way. I don't mind going slow if the torque will pull me uphill, but I'm literally rowing the gears on this thing. I'd say I use 3rd and 4th more than 5th.

Even just me and my wife, lightly loaded bed with topper, I'm using 3rd gear to climb slight grades. When it's flat or downhill, the truck will cruise right along at 80mph.

Is this just a gearing issue, or could I have a clogged cat, or some other intake/exhaust issue that's sucking power?
 
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Clawhammer

Adventurer
At that mileage, could be a lot of things. Plugs, wires, dirty injectors, clogged fuel lines or bad pump, vacuum leak... hard to say. It's probably due for a tune up anyway, so I'd start there and see what happens.
 

98tcoma3rz

Observer
I bought my 98 Tacoma AC SR5 4x4 5spd 2.7L from the original owner (a coworker) with 188k miles. He used the thing for years to haul around him and his family and tow a pop-up trailer across the Rockies and Alaska.

I can't imagine this thing towing anything.

Almost Stock 235/75 R15" tires. Stock everything for that matter. B02A 3.58 2 pinion open 7.5" ring gear

I don't know if over time she's just lost her spunk or what, but even at sea-level I feel like this thing is really struggling to make it up hills. I live at 6,800' so I can understand it weezing a bit up here, but when I see how many people love their 4-cylinder Tacomas, it makes me wonder if mine is hurt in some way. I don't mind going slow if the torque will pull me uphill, but I'm literally rowing the gears on this thing. I'd say I use 3rd and 4th more than 5th.

Even just me and my wife, lightly loaded bed with topper, I'm using 3rd gear to climb slight grades. When it's flat or downhill, the truck will cruise right along at 80mph.

Is this just a gearing issue, or could I have a clogged cat, or some other intake/exhaust issue that's sucking power?
They are pretty doggy to begin with. I have a regular cab with the 2.7 and I would always downshift as well. Even with stock 4.10 gears. I recently replaced the exhaust manifold, cat and muffler. I installed a header, high flow car and dynomax muffler. It made a HUGE difference. I think they are pretty restricted from the factory. The 2.7 exhaust manifold is prone to cracking on the early tacomas with 2.7 as well. There is also the "deck plate mod". Google that. That helps too and it's a pretty cheap mod to do. But I would recommend the header for sure. The highway gears you have are not helping at all either.
 

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98tcoma3rz

Observer
And like Clawhammer said. A tune up might be all it needs. They have fuel filters that can get pretty clogged too. They're a pain in the butt to replace though.
 

lugueto

Adventurer
It might not be a Tacoma. but my 3RZ Prado easily cruises at over 75mph when loaded, even with a RTT or boat on top of it.

You might wanna look at new plugs, air filter, fuel filter and the catalytic converter. In that order.
 

Owyhee H

Adventurer
The 7.5" should be for the front. If you are 4x4 you should have the 8.4" rear and probably 4.10 gears.

Definitely seems doggish. The toy 4cyl are good at turning some revs so don't be afraid to downshift, you will get used to it.
 

Benc

Explorer
Have the valves been adjusted? These engines require a valve adjustment every 40 or 60k I believe.
If they have not it is very possible you have a burnt valve which unfortunately is some what common on the 2.7. A compression test would be a good place to start.
Good luck.


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toy_tek

Adventurer
Have the valves been adjusted? ...A compression test would be a good place to start.
What Benc said. This will tell you if there's actually a problem with your 4 cylinder engine, or if a 6 cylinder engine would suit your needs/expectations better. Most of the other items mentioned in this thread would cause an OBD2 code if there were actually failures (wires, cat, injectors, etc). A deckplate is not a substitute for an engine that isn't running efficiently.
 

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Arclight

SAR guy
Those engines also need spark plugs around 40K, and they get driveability problems like that when the plugs are due.

Arclight
 
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