Mazda R2 2.2 Diesel Best Specs, Problems & Reliability

The Mazda R2 2.2 diesel engine is a classic 4-stroke vortex-chamber diesel power unit, 4 cylinders of which are located in one row, is considered a fairly reliable, but somewhat noisy engine.

Mazda R2 2.2 Engine Review Specs Problems Reliability

The ONS type gas distribution mechanism with an overhead camshaft and a direct drive of 8 valves (2 valves per cylinder) is assembled in the cylinder head. The thermal clearances of the valves are adjusted with washers.

The gas distribution mechanism and the high-pressure fuel pump (injection pump) are driven by a toothed belt. In this case, the R2 2.2 diesel engine can be equipped with a plunger injection pump of the Diesel Kiki type of distribution type, which is controlled by both electronics (Kia Sportage) and mechanics (Mazda Bongo).

R2 2.2 Engine Specifications

Cylinder volume2184cc
Number of cylinders4
Number of valves per cylinder2
Maximum power (at 4000 rpm)From 64hp
Maximum torque (at 2000 rpm)140nm
Cylinder diameter86mm
Piston stroke94mm
Compression ratio22.9
Fuel supply systemInjection pump (mechanical or electrical)
Gas distribution mechanismОНС
Cylinder operation diagram1-3-4-2
Engine oil5W-30
Lubrication systemCombined
Engine oil volume-7.1L Dry engine
-5L Without changing the oil filter
-6.4L With replacement of the oil filter
FuelDiesel Fuel

The engine was installed on Mazda Bongo, Ford Econovan, Mazda E-series, Ford Spectron, Nissan Vanette, Kia Wide Bongo, Ford j80, Mitsubishi Delica cars.

Fuel Supply System

The main task that must be solved by the developers of any diesel engine is to supply a strictly defined amount of fuel to its cylinders. It is solved with the help of a high-pressure fuel pump, which is the main element not only of the fuel supply system, but of the entire power unit as a whole.

The high-pressure fuel pump consists of:

  • Fuel priming pump
  • Plunger device
  • Solenoid valve for shutting off the fuel supply
  • Pressure reducing valve
  • Drainage fitting
  • Fuel injection timing regulator
  • All-mode fuel regulator

Diesel fuel is supplied to the high-pressure fuel pump by means of a fuel pump. At the same time, the volume of the supplied fuel significantly exceeds the amount required for the normal operation of the engine.

The plunger pair of the injection pump regulates the amount of fuel and distributes it to the engine cylinders according to the diagram (see the table), and the excess fuel is drained back into the tank through the drain fitting.

Stable engine operation in all modes is ensured by an all-mode fuel supply regulator, which limits the maximum number of crankshaft revolutions depending on the position of the gas pedal (determined by the driver). Depending on the number of revolutions of the crankshaft, the injection timing regulator changes the moment of fuel supply to the engine cylinders.

The solenoid valve is connected to the ignition lock and when the key is turned to the “Off” position. cuts off the fuel supply to the plunger pair of the injection pump. At present, taking into account all the stricter environmental requirements, distribution injection pumps are equipped with electronic control units, which provide accurate adjustment of the dosage of fuel entering the cylinders.

This not only reduces the toxicity of the exhaust, but also increases the power and smoothness of the engine. They also regulate the operation of the EGR valve (exhaust gas recirculation).

R2 Engine Maintenance

Maintenance of R2 2.2 diesel engines is reduced to regular replacement of consumables (oil, filters, belts, etc.), as well as regular checks of the main elements that ensure the trouble-free operation of the power unit. Wherein:

  • Replacement of engine oil and oil filter is carried out every 10,000 km mileage
  • Fuel and air filters are changed after every 20,000 km of distance traveled
  • The coolant is drained and replaced with a new one at least once every two years
  • The timing belt must be replaced every 80,000 km

In addition, it is necessary to regularly check the condition (after a certain number of kilometers of run):

  • Timing belt – 30,000 km
  • Valve clearances of cylinders – 20,000 km
  • Hoses and branch pipes of fuel supply and cooling systems – 10,000 km
  • Exhaust gas recirculation systems – 40,000 km
  • Nozzles – 40,000 km

If defects are identified, they must be eliminated.

R2 2.2 Engine Problems & Reliability

Typical problems of the Mazda R2 2.2 diesel engine are summarized in the table.

The engine does not start.-The fuel priming pump is out of order
-Faulty injection pump
-Broken injectors
-The glow plugs are out of order
The engine does not develop enough power.-An insufficient dose of fuel is injected into the cylinders
-The atomizer is damaged
-Fuel leak
Unstable operation of the power unit.-The parts of the gas distribution mechanism are worn out
- Air has entered the fuel supply system
-The injector spring burst.
Extraneous knocks in the engine.-Early fuel injection
-Wear of parts of the connecting rod and piston group
-The amount of compression does not correspond to the specified values
Black smoke comes out of the muffler.-Late fuel injection
-The needle is stuck in the sprayer
-The injector spring burst
-Low compression level

R2 Engine Tuning

Mazda R2 2.2 diesel engines have a number of advantages over gasoline counterparts. They are more economical and not picky about fuel quality. However, one of the significant disadvantages of diesel engines, compared to gasoline ones, is their low power. Therefore, the question of increasing the latter sooner or later becomes before each owner of a car with a diesel power unit.

Carrying out work related to increasing the power of the diesel engine is associated with a fairly large volume of work and their considerable cost. In addition, it is necessary to have experience in performing complex metalworking and mechanical assembly works.

Therefore, to perform them with 100% certainty of obtaining the expected result, it is best to contact specialized tuning studios that can offer various ways to increase the power of diesel engines.

In particular, for power units of the Mazda Motor Corporation it is offered:

Chip Tuning

Chip tuning (changing the power characteristics of the engine without mechanical intervention) is possible by installing a special controller (CHIP), which will change the pressure characteristics in the diesel fuel supply system. With the help of chip tuning, the engine power can be increased by about 30%.

Installing The Turbocharger

Turbocharging is considered one of the most efficient ways to increase the power of a diesel engine. However, it is impossible to do without the modification of the motor design.


Following a long-standing tradition, many Japanese automotive companies aggregate their vehicles with powertrains of their own production. Such a well-known company as Mazda Motor Corporation is no exception.

At the same time, the range of manufactured motors includes gasoline, diesel and rotary engines. Among the diesel engines produced by the company, the most common is the r2 diesel engine, which was installed on the Mazda Bongo van from 1983 to 1999.

The popular Mazda Bongo minibus served as a prototype for a number of similar models produced and sold in South Korea, Australia, the United States and other countries. Within the framework of licensing agreements, R2 2.2 diesel engines were also installed on them.

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