Toyota 1992 Pickup 4 cylinder

In cold weather at low rpm’s, my truck has poor acceleration until the rpm’s increase and it takes off. I replaced spark plugs, wire, cap, and rotor.

I believe that’s probably normal. As an engine ages…it loses compression in some or all cylinders. When this happens…power is diminished during cold starts especially 4 cylinder engines.

This isn’t normal for the 22RE engine. However, you have a long way to go in diagnosing the problem. I’d start by checking the vacuum advance for the spark timing. Your symptoms are typical of a spark not advancing. That’s easy to check with a simple timing light.

It’s also possible that you have a simple vacuum hose leak. Vacuum hose is dirt-cheap by the foot, and yours being as old as they are, it can’t hurt to replace the pieces. Do it one at a time so as not to cross the connections up.

Your symptoms are also typical of a bad sensor causing the ECU to not recognize the sudden high demand and spray fuel, then responding only to the oxygen sensor to slowly make its adjustment. This was the early years, and you don’t have OBDII, however I’d look at the throttle position sensor first. That’s the “biggie” in terms of telling the ECU that you’ve floored the pedal. Airflow sensors (I believe you have a vane-type) and other sensors tend to be more reactive than proactive.

It’s also possible that you have a clogged injector (I think this is throttle body injected) or a weak fuel pump.

How cold is the weather there? Does the truck have an automatic transmission?

So @mountainbike … the 22RE engine never wears out? I’ve owned a couple of 22R’s that I wore out until there was hardly any compression left. I junked one and rebuilt the other. The body was rusted on the one I junked out so I didn’t see a need to rebuild that engine.

That’s not what I said. What I said was that the symptoms the OP described, “my truck has poor acceleration until the rpm’s increase and it takes off” is not normal for a 22RE, even when cold. I will also add that it isn’t normal even if the compression is low. With low compression, the engine is weak throughout the operating range. I’m betting that yours was weak all the way through the curve when it was worn out too. Based on the OP’s description, I truly think he has a solvable problem rather than a tired engine.

My 22R, the carbed version of the 22RE (they went to TBI in 1990) had a good torque curve throughout its life of 338,000 miles. It never did wear out. The truck got totaled in an accident.

I too had a Toyota truck rot away from under its drive train. My '79 rotted through on both sides of the frame after almost 11 years of use. It literally broke in half in the middle of the road. The drivetrain was still good. I gave it to the local junkyard owner, who bolted 2x4s between the back of the cab and the front of the bed and used it for a “yard truck”. It’s probably still running.

TSM, I had a 1990 Toyo with the 22R. Last year of the 2-bbl carb. They had the 22RE as part of the SR5 package, but it wasn’t worth the extra $3500 to me at the time. I don’t recall Toyota ever using TBI on the 22R-series engines. The 1990-1/2 trucks got EFI and 5-speed standard. My truck met it’s fateful end at a retaining wall with 325,000 miles on it. The engine and transmission went on to live in other trucks.

As far as the OP, you can check the operation of the coolant temp sensor and the throttle position sensor with a multimeter. I believe a Haynes manual has the proper test procedure. The ODB-I system in this truck is not very helpful, and sensors can fail and not turn on the CEL. Testing is the only way to know for sure.

I have a 4-banger Corolla of the same vintage, 4AFE engine. When I read your post my first thought was something wrong with the EGR system. Does your truck have a EGR vacuum regulator? Two or three vacuum inputs, one output which goes to the EGR valve? Is it a Calif vehicle or in a state with strict emissions law? Some of those states require an EGR temp sensor gadget too. Suggest to have the entire EGR system tested. At the bare minimum, ask your shop to make sure the EGR will stall the engine when activated with the appropriate vacuum signal.

The “R” was carbed, the “RE” fuel injected, throttle body.
A retaining wall? Ouch! I’m sincerely glad you’re still with us.

The 4AFE is an entirely different engine. Both had EGR systems, however. It’s only the newer engines in which EGR systems are defunct. Engineers are now using variable valve timing as a way of allowing a bit of exhaust gas in the cylinders to prevent temperature spikes in the combustion chambers and subsequent preignition and high NOx production, which is all EGR systems did. The symptoms didn’t suggest to me the EGR system, but the truth is that it’s never a bad idea to check everything out. All suggestions are welcomed.

Just for the record, the 22RE was always a multi-port fuel injection with 4 injectors in the intake manifold runners. The first Toyota I worked on was a 1984 Celica with the 22RE, purchased new by my Dad. I worked on many more of these through the years. Never saw TBI on a 22RE.

I humbly stand corrected. Surprised, but now more knowledgable. I never would have imagined that Toyota would have gone directly from carburators to multiport that early on what was basically an economy engine.

Thank you, my good man. Every day I learn something is a good day.

Thanks @mountainbike. I was just giving you a hard time because I thought you might be a Toyota truck fanboy. They believe Toyota trucks are unbreakable. In my experience, low compression engines run poorly when they are started cold. As they warm up…they develop a little more power and some actually run quite normally. I like Toyota trucks but they wear out and rust away just like any other brand.

I’m a big fan of the 22R engine but don’t recall them having a great deal of stump pulling torque. It seemed that they required pushing past 2,000 rpm before they came to life. Of course, these days many engines don’t come to life until well past 3,000 so it’s all relative.

Missileman, in my mind we were simply having a difference of opinion on how to interpret the OP’s description.

Rod, my own 22R engine had a pretty linear torque curve that dropped off at the top of the RPM curve. For years I used it to haul wood out of the woods and for a few years I also used it to haul stone. I heated with wood for a number of years, taking it right off the stump, and I built a stone wall with it. While it wasn’t a “stump puller” per-se, mine definitely had decent low-end.

But allow me to suggest that a re-reading of the OP’s description. To me it didn;t sound like the engine was shot, it sounded like a repairable problem.

Apologies to the OP for getting off-subject.

My 22R also had very decent low-end torque. I believe this is partly because of the long stroke crankshaft in these trucks. Although, I agree, not a stump-puller, I could and did use it to pull and tow quite a bit of stuff. The RV owners that used the 1 ton chassis liked the 22R over the 6-cyl engines just for that low-end torque.