Overland Classifieds :: 1991 Toyota Pickup 4×4 with 5VZ-FE Swap and Long Travel

The 3rd-Gen Toyota Pickup is just old enough to transport us back to our youth while maintaining drivability features like air-conditioning, electronic fuel injection, independent front suspension, decent brakes, and ample payload capacity. Regardless of the positive attributes, there are a handful of nagging issues that owners often seek to improve. One is to increase the power output so the truck can keep up with traffic; the second is to improve the torsion bar front suspension. Both of those wants are addressed in this long travel 1991 Toyota Pickup with a 5VZ-FE swap.

From the Seller:

“Selling my 1991 Toyota Pickup 4×4 with a 5VZ-FE swap. I planned [to keep] this truck for a long time, continuing to make improvements, but due to some recent life changes, it’s just not the best fit for our future anymore. It’s been my fun little daily/weekend toy for the last couple of years and has been rock solid, never left me stranded, goes almost anywhere off-road, and cruises down the highway at 75 mph with no problem.

Although this truck is a very solid platform, I want to be as transparent as possible about any known issues; it’s a little rough around the edges (30+-year-old truck)… paint is rough, needs new CV boots installed (will include), driver side window is tough to roll up, ignition requires the classic ‘jiggle and turn’ method, small exhaust leak, [the] front suspension could use a refresh (squeaky), power steering belt squeals sometimes, and the driver’s seat cover is in rough shape. Overall, it’s a great truck with a lot of potential for someone willing to put in a little elbow grease.”

1991 Toyota Pickup 4×4 with 5VZ-FE Swap

What would Toyota do? If we lived in a dream world where the Toyota Pickup was manufactured beyond 1995, the 5VZ-FE 3.4-liter surely would have replaced the 3VZ-FE. With significantly more power than the 22RE and lacking the head gasket issues that plagued the 3.0-liter VZ, the 5VZ just makes sense. Along with the engine, the owner replaced the transmission with an R151F 5-speed manual gearbox, which can withstand more torque than the W-series transmissions usually found in these aspirated Pickups. The Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) sticker proves that this engine swap is Smog legal in the state of California.

Distinguishing Features

With 12 inches of wheel travel and a Total Chaos long travel front suspension system, this Pickup is equipped to handle whoops, rocks, and ruts. Other upgrades include Total Chaos front shock hoops with 8-inch travel Fox remote reservoir coilovers, a Total Chaos lower uniball conversion, Heim steering upgrade, idler arm, and crossmember.

Additional distinguishing features include:

  • 4.88 gears
  • 33×12.50R15 Nitto Trail Grappler tires
  • American Racing AR23 15-inch wheels
  • Fully sound deadened interior
  • Hannemann fiberglass fenders and hood


This 1991 Toyota Pickup is listed for $13,500 and is currently located in San Luis Obispo, California. Check out the complete vehicle specifications via the original post here.

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Ashley Giordano completed a 48,800-kilometer overland journey from Canada to Argentina with her husband, Richard, in their well-loved but antiquated Toyota pickup. On the zig-zag route south, she hiked craggy peaks in the Andes, discovered diverse cultures in 15 different countries, and filled her tummy with spicy ceviche, Baja fish tacos, and Argentinian Malbec. As Senior Editor at Overland Journal, you can usually find Ashley buried in a pile of travel books, poring over maps, or writing about the unsung women of overlanding history. @desktoglory_ash