Engines swappable in 2008 Toyota Corolla s

What engines are capable of fitting into a 2008 Toyota Corolla engine bay with little to no body/frame modification

A 2008 Toyota corolla engine.

A good place to check is at your local salvage yard (aka junk yard, auto recycler, reverse auto manufacturer, bone yard), they can look up and see what may fit.

But before doing that, ask yourself why? While a Corolla is a great car (my son has an 08, I have a 16) it is a Corolla, especially an 11 year old one. Why even bother to retrofit another type of engine. If the car is in great shape but needs a new engine, put an exact replacement in. The engine is robust and it is a popular car so you will easily find a wrecked one at the salvage yard.

There might be more to the back story as to why you want to replace it, tell us more.


Something else to remember… if you try and install any engine other than what came with the car, regardless of physical fit… you’ll have to deal with the car’s computer.

The car’s computer is looking to interface exclusively with a 2008 Toyota Corolla engine. It won’t work with anything else.

This is a perilous path. Use care before going down it.


In 2009 the Corolla was offered with the 2.4 L 4 cylinder normally found in the Camry. That is the biggest engine offered only in the US model. It is still only 158 hp, however. It would not be considered fast in any event.

As the other 2 posters have alresdy explained… this is not a job for a novice mechanic.

Well if I can’t do an engine swap I was thinking about just boring out the cylinders and putting bigger pistons performance cams bigger fuel injectors and itbs that’s what my friend who mods cars recommended but I just thought an engine swap would be easier. I’m mostly doing it to show you can make any car fast and because it’s not a car you would ever expect to beat you lol. Idk talk to me more I’ll have more reasons

What else would I need to add to that to make it work if I don’t swap? I’m new to this

Your friend sounds like he’s very good at spending other people’s money. :wink:

For the amount you’d sink in to doing everything you listed, you could sell the Corolla and get something faster.

Show who? This is common knowledge. Back in the 90’s there was a Dodge Caravan that did a 9 second quarter mile. There’s a 336mph semi today powered by engines out of military jets.

We already know you can make anything fast if you throw enough money and engineering at it. What we’re trying to say is that you’re about to sink a whole lot of money into a slow car, and you will end up with a car that will be spanked by any old-man luxury sedan on the market. There are better ways to go fast. :wink:


with enough money you can make just about anything fit.

If you want little modifications to body and chassis- adding stuff to the current engine would likely be easier. There isn’t a whole lot of room under the hood of a Corolla to be playing with things- cause you also have to make sure your trans will fit to the engine and in the space.

I don’t understand why you would want to do this, but if it’s what you want to do- have fun with it. See if there is a Toyota or Corolla Car Club in your area that can point you towards knowledgeable folks that can point you towards the biggest HP gains and decide if each is worth it to you.

You could look into swapping a XRS motor into the chasis but electronics are completely different, everything under the hood bolts up just fine but the drive by wire throttle will make the conversion difficult to say the least. Possible to convert back to earlier cable throttle but one company that offers a conversion kit says they won’t be able to offer tech support for a 2008 installation.

Look online and see if anybody makes a complete turbocharge system. Or a nitrous fogger. Be prepared for a shorter engine life, maybe MUCH shorter.

I’d say an engine life of perhaps 1/4 mile.

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There is a turbo kit for this engine, about $3,000.00 plus labor for a claimed 100hp boost.

Two benefits to getting older:

  1. You realize you have nothing to “prove” to anyone involving your car, and
  2. Having a reliable, dependable, “boring” car to get you back and forth to work should be a top priority.



Third thing :wink: You have a better grasp of logically spending money.


You can’t bore them out very far so they won’t have much affect unless you raise compression. Performance cams will make more power but much higher in the rpm range which can make the car actually slower with the stock final drive. Better final drive will require a limited slip differential to get the power down.

The bigger injectors on their own won’t make any more power. They are only needed once create more power, they can feed it. You will also need a lot of head work, better and possibly bigger valves, stiffer valve springs, complete rebuild of the bottom of the engine, exhaust headers and full pipes out the back. If you do most all the wrench turning, you will have $4500 in parts, $1500 in machine work and many, many hours in it.

Even if done right, you will still have an expensive 1.8 liter 4 popper that can be stomped by Mom’s Camry V6.


Well, to be charitable, it is possible that the OP’s 11 year old econobox engine might be able to go 3 or 4 miles before it self-destructed from the effects of a turbocharger.

What mystifies me is why anyone would sink a significant amount of money for speed modifications into an 11 year old car, whose suspension and brakes were not designed for “speed”. Wouldn’t it just make a whole lot more sense to put that money into a newer vehicle with more power, better brakes, and a more robust suspension?


Buy a used Subaru WRX STI

The good advice above about inquiring at a car part recycling yard or even the local pick and pull is where to start. They’ll provide you w/a list of all the engines that will fit the engine compartment. From that you can decide if you want to install another engine or redo the existing one. I know somebody here in San Jose that beefs up old Corollas. Usually he does it by installing a different engine. He’s got 4 Corollas in his driveway, all differently configured, none of them stock. He says it is a pretty good car hobby b/c Toyota fuel systems are pretty much bullet-proof, and Corolla parts are easy to find. Import Tuner magazine will have some good info.

Do you believe that the salvage yard will know if a turbo Lexus or Chrysler engine will fit in the engine compartment?

The only engine that belongs in that vehicle is a Toyota 1.8 L four cylinder engine.

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Does the fact it’s vvti make a difference?