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LEXUS 1UZ-FE Engine Swap My blood sweat and tears. It will be worth it!!

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  #1  
Unread 01-20-2011, 03:01 PM
Kokanee Ranger Kokanee Ranger is offline
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Default 1 uz pros & cons?

Hey everyone, Noob here when it comes to this engine... hoping someone here with more experience with this engine can help me answer some of these questions...

I am thinking very seriously about doing this upgrade, Ive seen the videos from Australia and looks like other ppl who have this mod are having LOTS of fun with it.. the vehicle i would be putting it into would be a 2000 4runner.

What I am trying to figure out is the pros and cons of this swap..



MY QUESTIONS:

1. would this increase performance in mud/rocks/snow and hill climbing?
or would the power increase be too much? and cause the tires to spin too quickly in mud/snow. since I have seen videos with drivers tapping the gas (from the sounds in the video) it looks like they are just tapping the gas to get up a hill or to pass an obstacle....and not requiring the full use of the V8 it seems it is too much power perhaps?
I understand the truck goes alot faster on large open areas. ie beaches or deserts..
I would be using this truck in Vancouver BC, where there are lots of mountains, mud, rock, and vertical climbs...

2. are there any serious mechanical issues that could arrise?
ie. too much stress on other drivetrain/suspension components?

3. if there are mechanical weak points created as a result of the swap could these parts be upgraded/beefed up to handle the new engine?

4. is it recommended to use 35" to 36" tires with a 4 to 6" lift on a 2000 4runner with this engine??

5. what would something like this cost on a 4runner roughly? i got a quote from someone for $3000 - $5000 depending on what parts I want...

any opinion would be greatly appreciated

Thanks

Last edited by Kokanee Ranger; 01-27-2011 at 03:36 AM.
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Unread 02-14-2011, 05:05 PM
Kokanee Ranger Kokanee Ranger is offline
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Good point!

Thats exactly what i was thinking!!

Ahahahahahahah!
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  #3  
Unread 02-14-2011, 11:43 PM
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Ok you asked for it so here we go. I'm just going to give you a basic rundown on the pros and cons here for you to think about Mr. Ranger. I don't know you or your ability so I'm not trying to make any assumptions about you personally. Just answering a couple questions. You would be LUCKY to get the swap done for $5,000 and be completely happy with it. From the questions you are asking I can't assume that you do a lot of mechanic work or have much experience with V8 engines... or different Toyota engines much at all. I really can't recommend this engine conversion for you unless you have a lot of mechanic or fabrication experience. If your wondering about your tire sized compared to what size lift you want to put on then you shouldn't be thinking about an engine swap. It costs a LOT of money and is very difficult be able to work through all of the different mechanical and electrical problems that are in your way. And if you can't get through any of those obstacles that are in your way then you're going to have to pay someone that has the experience and that is even more expensive than you can estimate. It's very difficult to get a V8 into that truck and make it look and work like it came with that engine from the factory. There are professional mechanics that show off their projects they have built online but they have massive experience with the skills needed and experience working with these engines. Parts are very hard to come by and when you do find them they are very expensive compared to most engines unless you start networking online to buy them and it's still not cheap after shipping and the time it takes.

Just do yourself a favor and price out the cost of the exhaust modifications, the cost of any adapters you will need for your engine, the cost of customizing your driveshaft and then think about how you are going to make your AC work and all your gauges and ignition operate. These parts and labor all add up to way more than people even want or think they will have to pay for the entire swap. And I assume you want 4wd to work? Research around on what that would cost. If you keep the stock Lexus automatic it will only be 2wd and run sluggishly until you regear the rear end... another $500 once that's done.

And weakpoints... well I found a whole of of weakpoints in my Tacoma when I had the 4 cylinder in it. I broke just about everything driving it pretty hard. If you drive nice and easy then you won't break anything no matter what engine you have in it. If you drive fast and use the wrong gears or can't shift then you'll find the weakpoints. Burnouts invite drivetrain failure. The wrong gearing + leadfoot + big sticky tires = breakage no matter what engine. I would stick to your factory 3.0L and regear for more torque and just enjoy your dependable transportation. I would put new cams in the engine and have the heads ported a little bit and add some headers if you don't already have them. If you even think this is expensive then don't even consider an engine swap my friend. Save your money.
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Unread 02-21-2011, 08:02 AM
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I would buy a Toyota Sequoia long before I swapped a 1UZ into a Runner. A friend of mine has one and it's impressive. We used to haul his big wakeboard boat to the lake passing other traffic without a problem. I was shocked how powerful it was. Of course he was one to push that accelerator pedal all the way to the floor without mercy. That 2UZ is a great engine. It's surprising how low I've seen prices on the older Sequoia's drop on the used market. I put my 1UZ into my truck partly because I love tinkering with things and building engines. If you are just interested in the end result upgrading to a newer or larger vehicle is without a doubt, the best move. I would have bought a Tundra and started building around that if I had to do it all over again. Would have saved some money doing it that way for sure.
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Unread 02-20-2013, 07:09 AM
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Just thought I would throw this in the pros and cons section. Someone on another forum was responding to a guy that suggested he use an LS engine in his truck build. I'm a fan of LS engines and it was very hard for me to resist the crazy torque and power of them. Here is the reply he gave which explains why he chose to go the 1UZ / 2UZ engine swap route.
As for the comments asking why I didn't do a LSx motor, that's easy: why would I want a cheap copy when I can have the original? You see many of the "revolutionary" features on the LSx motors were first* found on the 1UZ Lexus V8... from the crank driven oil pump to the 6 bolt mains and structural oil pan! Only apparently GM missed the 4 overhead cams, 32 valves, pentroof combustion chambers, oil squirters, simplified oiling system, coil-on-plug ignition (later 1UZ), die cast aluminum block (vs sand cast) and some of the closest production tolerances in the industry... Of course that's the difference between an engine family originally intended for $50k-up luxury vehicles (no compromises and high budget for R&D and production) and an engine intended for everything from a $15k work truck to the Corvette (lots of compromises and low budget by necessity).

I'm not knocking the LSx motors they're state of the art as far as a pushrod motor goes... it's just pushrod motors haven't been "state of the art" for 20 years now...and they can't accomodate modern advances like "true" VVTi that can vary cam overlap or dual VVTi that can adjust intake and exhaust timing independently, 4 valve pentroof combustion chambers, the low frictional loss of a direct operating OHC valvetrain, well you get the idea...

*yes I realize there were other engines that had these features but no other mainstream V8s had them back then (that I am aware of).
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Unread 05-05-2013, 08:19 AM
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Another "con" with the 1UZ in an offroad use environment is that the engine wasn't meant for abuse in front of a manual transmission. Timing belts are known to skip a tooth from the harsh on and off throttle transitions in mud and playing around on the street. I don't think this is a problem for off-road use in general since the traction is only super sticky in the deep mud and on the street with grippy tires. Usually off-road the traction isn't that great and there is a lot of wheel spin so it's not stressful. But when you add a whole lot of traction then the belts are under much more stress and tend to slip under higher loads.

I've personally thrown my belt off a tooth during an insane burnout, pedal-to-the-floor throttle while popping the clutch. Then the other week I was simply doing some high rpm accelerating because it's a shame not to run these engines above 7,000 rpm every now and then. I think this led to a timing belt slip on the 1UZ because while I was driving later on I noticed something wasn't right. I drove it home and decided to investigate at another time. Sure enough it was the dreaded belt slip. I think this was because of a failing after market tensioner that I installed brand new when I built the engine. ONLY USE STOCK OEM TIMING BELT TENSIONERS on Lexus/ Toyota engines. That is if you are going to use your engine under higher loads than normal.
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