This author loves the Toyota Camry and Celica for completely different reasons, and has always had a fascination with the different vehicles a single engine design can go into.
Power to weight ratio is huge in determining whether or not a vehicle has takeoff or starts rolling like a slug on its way to the salt mines, and for a while, the Celica and the Camry both used the same engine. Well examine Toyota Camry and Toyota Celica engines in this article and briefly touch on their performance and some replacement options.
5SFE. The engine that powered Toyota for a decade. And for a while, it was the Toyota Celica engine and the Toyota Camry engine at the same time! While other Toyota Celica engines are more commonly thought of by mechanics as the engine powering Celicas (the 3SGTE, 1ZZFE and 2ZZGE come to mine), the 5SFE powered both Camrys and Celicas from 1992-1999 (through 2001 on the Camry).
Edmunds called the 5SFE engine lazy for a sports car, but the truth is that for the weight of the vehicles it went into, it was more than adequate. But lets face it, it was an engine designed primarily to go into a family sedan the Toyota Camry.
So, for the 2000 Model year, two new Toyota Celica engines were put into play: the 1ZZFE and the 2ZZGE engine. The 1ZZFE engine for the Celica was the old Corolla engine upgraded to include VVT variable valve timing. The 2ZZGE was all new as far as Toyota Celica engine go, and included a lot more get up and go. The 5SFE wasnt infallible for the Camry either in 2002, it was replaced with the 2AZFE, which was a 2.4L engine with more get up and go to match a frame that had more weight.
One of the most common questions I hear about these engines is whether one is better than the other (speaking of the 1ZZFE vs. the 2AZFE). The truth is that there havent been any published studies on failure rates for either engine, let alone a study comparing the two. As someone who has worked in the automotive industry for almost a decade, I can tell you that for the number of vehicles on the road, neither seems to have a high failure rate.
This reliability has had the effect of helping Toyotas retain value and become prime candidates for repowering when engines fail. If you find yourself in need of a new engine for your Camry or Celica, you might want to consider a used Toyota engine. There are plenty of JDM engine options available for the 5SFE, but for 1ZZFE, 2ZZGE, and 2ASFE, a used Toyota engine from a wrecked vehicle will be your best option.
You should start with yellowpages.com and do a search for used engine providers in your area. When you find some, check and recheck the companies, because there are both honorable companies and companies that will flat out rob you. Investigate the record of any company youre considering doing business with through the BBB to make sure they have a good track record and not a rap sheet a mile long.