Forklift engines

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In the United States, counter balanced forklifts are split nearly equally between electric powered models and models powered by internal combustion engines.  In 2013, a total of 52,834 electric powered lift trucks were sold and a total of 66,473 engine powered forklifts were sold.  That’s a split of around 44% for electric and 56% gas powered.

Curious what a rebuilt forklift engine costs?  Click here for some ball park costs and click here for a vast array of forklift engine parts. Need propane regulators, we have them too!

Although you won’t read it on their websites or brochures, most forklift manufacturers do NOT manufacture their own engine for the forklifts they build.  Here are engines used in various makes and models of forklifts.

Hyster forklifts:

Hyster models such as S50FT and H50FT will frequently be sold with the GM 2.4L engine.  This forklift engine is built in Brazil by GM for another automotive application.

gm 2.4 vortec intella
Mzzda FE forklift engine
Mazda FE forklift engine

Yale offers the GM 2.4 as well in models like GLC050VX or GLP50VX though most Yale dealers have a preference:  the Mazda FE forklift engine.  Yale has used Mazda forklift engines for years and most Yale service personnel will tell you they think it’s a tough, durable engine.  Yale used other models in the past as well: the UA, VA in LPG and gas models and even Mazda diesel forklift engines.

Larger Hyster and Yale forklifts in the 8,000 pound up until 15,000 pound capacity frequently use the GM 4.3 liter forklift engine.  This engine is used in other brands of forklifts as well–even Toyota, Mitsubishi, and “Cat 50 forklift” uses this engine.  It’s a good engine, reasonably priced, made in America, and parts are easy to find.  Forklift manufacturers will rarely reference the brand of engine in their new brochures but you can usually deduce the brand by the displacement–if a forklift has a 4.3 liter engine, there’s a 99% chance it’s a GM 4.3

forklift engine gm intella liftparts

Caterpillar and Mitsubishi forklifts are identical except for the color and decals on the forklifts.  Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift builds both brands on its forklifts in Houston, Texas and Japan.  For heart of the line models, MCF used the Mitsubishi 4G63 and 4G64 engine.

These forklift engines were built in Japan and were also used in some other brands of forklifts.

4G64 forklift engine
MITSUBISHI 4G64 forklift engine

Mitsubishi, Caterpillar, and Nissan forklift divisions began using the Nissan K21 and K25 engines several years ago.  Typically fitted with a Nikki LPG fuel system, these forklift engines have proven fairly reliable.  K21 is 2.1 liter displacement; K25 is a 2.5 liter displacement engine.

K21 forklift engine
Nissan K21 K25 forklift engine

Toyota uses its own 4Y engine in its heart of the line forklift models such as 8FGCU15, 8FGCU25.  This engine has been the workhorse of Toyota forklift models for over 20 years and parts are readily found for it.  It will be typically equipped with an Aisan LPG fuel system.

Toyota 4Y forklift engine
Toyota 4Y forklift engine

The point of this posting was to highlight some engines used in forklifts that were built over the past 10-15 years.   In a future post, we’ll consider some of the engines used years ago such as…

Continental Y112, F163 (mostly used in Clark)

Ford (mostly used in Hyster)

Waukesha: D176 D155 (used in Clark)

Isuzu: (used in Hyster diesel forklifts)

Perkins: (used in Hyster, Caterpillar and a few others)

Cummins (current diesel engine of choice for Hyster, Yale, Taylor and Kalmar forklifts)

Peugeot XN1P:  this French engine used in Caterpillar forklifts built in the 1980s

Hercules: used in Caterpillar and a few Doosan engines

Hyundai: used in Korean forklift brands such as Samsung, Doosan (a.k.a. Daewoo) and Clark.

Nissan: H20, H25, H20-II mostly used in Nissan, TCM, and Komatsu

Volkswagen: used exclusively in Linde.

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Post by Intella Parts Company, LLC

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13 thoughts on “Forklift engines”

  1. I am considering a Clark with a 4G64 engine. My question is to durability. Of the four engines listed above each has a remark regarding durability, workhorse, tough, reliable, except the 4G64. I have had problems with this type engine in the past and thought maybe it was just a fluke. Is this an engine to stay away from?

    Ken Kurth
  2. Im looking K21, and k25 long block,

    Jose Quiñónez
      1. Hi can you help me locate a 4G 52 engine

        Shirde Kawalsingh
        1. Hi Shirde, Our sales team would be happy to help you with this. Please send them an email with your forklift model and serial number.

        2. have one in georgia

          Elvis Rajkumar
  3. I am a master forklift technician. I fix all makes and models of forklifts and I have rebuilt every engine on this list multiple times and a lot of engines they didn’t mention. the problem with all these newer forklifts is as they get older they all start having issues with the sensors going bad, wiring breaking inside the plastic plugs going to the sensors, computers going bad..some that cost $1200 to $1500 or more for a new one and they have to be programmed by the manufacturer using the model and serial numbers for that specific forklift that us our cost for a new computer, some of the sensors can be $300 dollars or more, propane regulators can cost up to $800 for just the part. most new forklift engines recommend that you rebuild them every 5 years.. so with that being said I personally like the 4y Toyota engine, Mazda engines, 4g 63 or 64 Mitsu engines, the Nissan k21 or k25 are good engines but they tend to have more electrical and computer problems and I personally think all the GM/Chevy motors are big piles of crap even the 4.3 liter V6 Vortecs

    Persley Bane
    1. Do you recognize the NISSAN FD35 TURBO diesel engine which I think was fitted in some Fork Lift trucks and maybe the Nissan Cabstar of late 1980s vintage.
      I have such an engine.
      The only data is :- NISSAN FD35 TURBO (FD35-000432T)
      I am searching in the UK for crankshaft end seals.
      Can anyone help?

  4. What is the EFI engine version we can replace a K21 engine of a Nissan forklift 1.5 ton.

  5. Hi I’m looking to buy a K21 Nissan engine, what would be the cost

    1. Good Morning Onofre- Please visit our retail site to see the pricing on a K21 Reman Engine

  6. Need Yale Forklif engine
    Serials #:
    Model: number: GTC050TGNUAE082
    I need engine

    Mohammad kawser
    1. Mazda F2 engine. You have dual fuel set up, propane and gas. Rare.