In 2012 my friend John and I started the process of putting a Lexus 1UZFE v8 in my 1992 4runner. The 1UZFE engine was reported to have cost over US$400,000,000 in research and development and it’s a million times better than the 3VZ 6 cylinder that was originally in the truck. I really don’t recommend attempting this engine swap unless you have a full auto shop with all kinds of lifts and tools. You should also give yourself an unlimited budget and schedule. Our project so far has taken almost a year. It’s about as over budget and schedule as any decent department of defense program. The thing is at least driving now but running very poorly.
We purchased two 1UZFEs from two different 1995 SC400s (both of which turned out to be crap so we had to get a third engine), which came with various emissions parts, ECU and an A341E transmission. We also had a 30-80LE transmission and after some web searches cleared up our confusion we figured out it was the same as an A340F transmission. With that knowledge, John did some work to get the 30-80LE/A340F transfer case onto the Lexus A341E transmission resulting in what you see in the following photo.
On April 7th I drove the runner to John’s junkyard and we started the process of removing the body to make it easier to do the swap. Everything connecting the engine to the body was removed and John pulled the body off with forklift, giving new meaning to the term “body lift” har har har.
The body was loaded on a trailer to take it out of the junk yard and now we have un-restricted access to the engine.
Removing the v6 will be easy now without the body. After that, some wiring and parts have to be swapped between the two Lexus engines to make one good one before we can attached the transmission and put it in the frame. I’ll add photos and updates as we progress.
My friend John is fortunate enough to own a junk yard so he was able to do something that I’ve never seen before. Basically he cut apart the front of an old Toyota pickup body so that he can use it as a template to help position the engine. Unfortunately the IFC makes the engine placement difficult so we decided to install a 3″ body lift from Summit. This will enable us to install the engine a little bit further back which will improve weight distribution and give us more room for the radiator fans. I’ll also be able to upgrade to bigger tires on 17″ rims, which in turn will make a Tundra front brake swap possible.
This is the engine, transmission, transfer case and exhaust mostly complete. When we put the body back on we found out that the cats had to be dropped about an inch. The transmission was also DOA so now we have to get another one. Probably will go with a t100 or something. What a pain.