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This is the first time someone ever compare them side by side. The UZFE engines are a mystery to everyone. However, I got a 3UZFE short block for $50 USD and I am dissecting out for R&D purposes. In this article I will be comparing the two rods with precise measurements.
The pictures below are to original rods from Lexus, specifically LS400 and GS430. The rod on the left is 1UZ and the new rod is 3UZ. From the first picture of the two rods, you can already tell the difference and similarity between the two rods.
Lets start with the cap. The 1UZ rod cap seem to be little beefier with same bolt size for both rods. The larger end diameter is the same. They both measured 2.165″. The small end is measured .864 respectively for both.
The length of the rods is the same for both cars. Therefore they should be interchangeable. The thickness of the ends are equal. The thickness for the smaller end is .828″ and the thickness for the larger end is .907″
So far there are more similarity than differences. As we move toward the shaft, you will find out the disappointing specs. The 1UZ rod is actually beefier then the new rod. The thickness for the rod shaft is .880″ for the 1UZ and .652″ for the 3UZ rod. The width of the rods are appear to be a huge differences. .483″ for the old school rod and .445″ for the modern version.
As you read more and see more, you began to ask yourself. Why would Lexus make such a weak rod on the 4.3 liter? That is a very good question and it will be a hot topic for discussion for a long, long time. I don’t have a sensitive scale and I will try to weight them. However, the two rods are noticeable in weight and size.
The picture below start to pain a picture in your mind. 1UZ on the left and 3UZ on the right. As for forced induction application which rod would you choose? Personally, I would choose the stronger one. Which one is the stronger one?
The full picture is really telling a story. The noticeable differences in rod shaft width and thickness.
I really felt the $50 usd was well spent. I was very surprise to find out the thinness of the 3UZFE rod. Since the newer engine has larger displacement (larger bore size), did Lexus tried to compensate larger pistons with lighter rods? Lighter will rods will rev higher and making up for the larger bore? Those are very good questions and we should continue this discussion in here.
|1UZ Vs. 3UZ Specs.||1UZFE||2UZFE||3UZFE|
|Crank End (big end) Diameter||2.165″||2.165″||2.165″|
|Pin End (small end) Diameter||.864″||.864″||.864″|
|Rod length (edge of small and edge of big end)||4.240″||4.240″||4.240″|
|Crank End Thickness||.828″||.828″||.828″|
|Pin End Thickness||.907″||.907″||.907″|
|Rod Shaft Width||.880″||.652″||.652″|
|Rod Shaft Thickness||.483″||.445″||.445″|
*NOTE: Tundra (2UZFE) rods are exactly the same as the 3UZFE
The old saying “No School Like the Old School” is pretty true. Lexus tried to make the rods thinner and lighter to reduce weight. However, scarifying strength and durability. I am lextremely disappointed when I open up the short block. I think the quality of engineering is not as good as the original introduction in the late 80s. I also did some mix and match with the UZFE parts. The pictures below are the 1UZFE stock rod on 3UZFE piston. Actually the 1UZ rods would be an upgrade for the 3UZFE Rods. They are perfect fit and bolt right on.
Here are three UZFE rods from 1 to 3 and I also attached a Lextreme Lightning H Beam rod. U can see the Tundra and 430 motors have skinny rods. This is one of the many reasons why TRD stop making the Tundra Supercharger Kit. The rods are too small and unable to handle hp.
Here are the official weight from a Pitney Bowes Postage digital scale. The weight include, the rod, cap and 2 bolts without bearings.
1UZFE Rod: 628g
2UZFE Rod: 581g
3UZFE Rod: 581g
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