You often come across a situation where your Toyota Tacoma throws a fault code related to misfiring in any cylinder or any other fault related to fuel injectors and spark plugs.
You should know the cylinder numbering for the V6 engine to trace out its correct location to troubleshoot the fault.
Toyota Tacoma has 3 engine options having 6 cylinders, including 3.4-liter, 4.0-liter, and 3.5-liter. All V6 engines have the same cylinder sequence in the order of cylinder #1-3-5 from front to back on the left or passenger side while it is 2-4-6 on the right or driver side. Therefore, it is essential to know cylinder numbering to troubleshoot their related faults involving spark plugs, coils, and injectors. You can find the correct order from online forums, truck manuals, and tracing out by yourselves.
This article will guide Toyota Tacoma owners regarding a vital aspect: the order of the cylinders on the V6 engines.
Toyota Tacoma V6 engines
Toyota Tacoma is a mid-size truck manufactured for the US market by Toyota and has 3 generations so far introduced.
Toyota has also offered 3 V6 engine options in the truck’s first, second, and third generations. The first generation has a 3.4-liter, having the power of 188-192hp (190) and a torque rating of 218-222 lb-ft (220).
The second generation of the truck has an upgraded 4.0-liter V6 having a power rating of 234-238 hp (236) and 264-268 lb-ft (266) of torque for towing applications.
Finally, the third generation of Tacoma introduced in 2015 has a 3.5-liter engine with 6 cylinders.
It can produce power up to 280 hp (278) and an improved torque rating of 266 lb-ft (265) from its predecessors. All the 3 variants serve the purpose of powering up the truck along with 4 cylinder engines.
Number of cylinders in Toyota Tacoma V6 engine
Auto Manufacturers produce several variants of their vehicles every year, denoted by the engine size.
They use the cylinder numbers of the engine to mention its size. Similarly, Tacoma V6 engines have 6 cylinders arranged in 2 parallel rows on their top.
Both rows have an angle of 60 degrees with each other and make a V-shaped pattern. Their V-shaped design with a smaller angle gives them a compact shape.
Therefore, they take less space and are suitable for mid-size pickup trucks.
Moreover, they have good power ratings and good fuel economy, making them an appropriate choice for compact trucks.
However, selecting a specific number of cylinders for a pickup depends on several factors and owner requirements.
Cylinder numbering of Toyota Tacoma V6 engines
Toyota has offered inline 4-cylinder and V6 engines as two options to power up their Tacoma pickup trucks.
V6 having 6 cylinders is the larger of the two options to provide more power and torque.
3.4- liter V6
The 3.4-liter V6 is the first generation variant of the engine for Tacoma pickup trucks.
It has 6 cylinders arranged in a V-shaped design that is visible as you look at the engine under the hood.
To read the cylinder numbering or its order, the first step is to open the engine bay and stand in front of the truck facing it.
You will see the black-shaped engine with a silver-colored intake manifold on its top. Cylinder #1 is on the front on your left or passengers side.
The subsequent cylinder on the same side is cylinder #3, and the last one is cylinder #5. On your right side, the cylinder nearest or in front of you is #2. The following two cylinders are #4 and #6, moving from front to back.
4.0- liter V6
If you have a second-generation Tacoma, it will have a 4.0-liter V6 engine to power it up. It also has 6 cylinders arranged in a sequence.
Standing in front of the truck, their sequence in the left bank is 1-3-5 from front to back.
At the same time, the cylinders in the bank on your right side have numbers 2-4-6 counting from front to back.
It has a similar numbering sequence as the 3.4-liter V6 in the previous generation. However, you will find it covered with a black plastic cover.
You will need to remove it to access the 6 cylinders in a V-shaped arrangement. Furthermore, you will also find a TRD supercharger installed on top of the engine in some cases.
It can create confusion, but you should know its presence before accessing the engine block.
3.5- liter V6
The 3.5-liter V6 engine in the third generation Toyota Tacoma belongs to the GR series having the code name 2GR-FKS.
It has the same cylinder numbering for 6 cylinders arranged in 2 banks as other v6 engines in the truck. Bank #1 on your left side has all odd-numbered cylinders starting from the front.
While on the left side, bank#2 has even-numbered cylinders that are 2,4, and 6 from front to back, respectively. However, similar to the 4.0-liter V6, you have to remove the engine cover to access it.
Why is it important to find the correct cylinder numbering on the Toyota Tacoma V6?
This numbering plays an essential role in the truck’s repair and maintenance point of view.
First, if there is a misfiring problem in any cylinder or other fault related to fuel injectors, spark plugs, and coil packs, you will observe a check engine light blinking on the dashboard.
Next, you will need to scan the ECU using the OBD-II tool to retrieve the fault codes. Finally, you will get a specific code number related to the faulty cylinder.
For example, fault code P0303 indicates a misfire in cylinder # 3. Now cylinder numbering helps you locate that cylinder and find the cause for misfiring.
Similarly, code P0203 is related to a fault in the injector circuit of cylinder # 3. In all such scenarios, this comes in handy to locate the correct cylinder to further carry out the maintenance steps.
If you don’t know the correct order, you will need to check all cylinders to find the faulty one. It is a tedious task and will result in a loss of time and a lot of effort.
Does cylinder numbering remain the same on all V6 Toyota Tacoma?
Yes, Toyota follows the same cylinder numbering for all V6 engines available in Tacoma.
Irrespective of the engine series, it follows the convention of odd numbers on the left bank and even ones on the right bank starting from the front.
It prevents any confusion for truck owners and mechanics during maintenance and fault troubleshooting tasks.
However, it will differ for other engine types like V8, inline 6 cylinder, and 4 cylinder engines. Therefore, you should check their respective numbering to prevent any errors.
How to find cylinder numbering on Tacoma V6?
There are different sources to find the correct cylinder numbering for V6 engines.
You can find it in maintenance guides, online forums, or Toyota authorized dealers. You can find it by swapping the plugs and coils for different cylinders in case of any fault.
Are firing order and cylinder numbering the same for the Toyota Tacoma V6 engine?
No, both firing order and cylinder numbering are 2 different terms. Firing order is a functional term that indicates the sequence in which a spark plug in a specific cylinder fires and fuel injectors open to start ignition.
In comparison, this numbering is more of an anatomical term that shows the order of the cylinders’ physical presence in the engine.
It is mostly the same for trucks with the same number of cylinders. Although there is an optimal firing order for each V6 motor installed on Tacoma, it is changeable from the ignition control module or PCM of the Tacoma.
For example, the firing order of Toyota Tacoma V6 is according to the sequence 1-2-3-4-5-6 while cylinder numbering is as already mentioned, that is, cylinders 1-3-5 on the left bank and 2-4-6 on the right bank.
Reasons for specific cylinder numbering on Toyota Tacoma V6 engine
Cylinder numbering indicates cylinder locations in an engine in a particular order. It provides a reference point to define the firing order and fault codes related to specific cylinders.
In Toyota Tacoma V6 engines, the left side cylinders are closest to the front of the crankshaft. Therefore, the first cylinder on the left bank has been given number 1 in the sequence.
The rest of the numbers are with reference to cylinder #1. Moreover, the firing order will also start from this cylinder.