American V8 Swaps into Lexus?

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v8junkie

New Member
Messages
12
Location
East Bay, Cali
Lextreme said:
V8,

I love American V8 and i have one. As for price wise, it will take more than 6000 to have a LS1 into a SC400. The cost of a SC400 is less than 6000. I understand the power and tq, but it will not be cheap.

Motor, labor, wiring, computer and drivetrain Wont be cheap...
Sure, I can believe that. Although, the LS1's will most likely drop significantly in price when the LS2's become available.

Question is, does anyone make a kit or has anyone actually done it? Is it as simple as a drop in with a couple mounting brackets or does it involve extensive cutting, welding, rewiring, etc?
 

Zuffen

Super Moderator
Staff member
Messages
5,418
Location
Sydney, Australia
Cutting should be minimal as the 1UZ is a physically bigger engine the the LS1.

Sump position should be easy to fix other than that it's make mounting brackets, wiring, driveline and cooling. Coupla days work!
 

bubs

New Member
Messages
65
Location
Jimboomba, Qld
I love my 1UZ and all the vehicles I have driven with a 1UZ, and I can't wait to get my hilux going

But when I go to build a rock buggy it will be a LS1
 

v8junkie

New Member
Messages
12
Location
East Bay, Cali
Lex V8's are definately nice and smooth. Deal is that I have a freind who is an auto-auction buyer. He's going to help me look for an SC 400 or SC 300 with a whipped driveline. That's why I'm looking into swaps. Basically, this is a rolling chasis project car.

As for an 1800lb rock buggy with an LS1...that should be fun. Wish I had a buggy.
 

1UZ-MX83

Member
Messages
146
Location
ACT, Australia
v8junkie said:
Ya, buying wrecker engines is always tricky. Have to have a good mechanic do thorough inspection. That's why I was looking toward the crate engines.
Actually, that's an area the 1UZ crowd can really hang it's hat on...Most or all of the conversions done here have been with wrecker engines of relatively unknown origin. Mine was bought as an engine/trans package with no regard from where it came (except that it had to be a Celsior front-sump to fit my car).

Did the usual "full" service type stuff (all fluids/filters/plugs/timing and ancillary belts etc), and have run it ever since, in all conditions. They are incredibly robust from the factory, and unless the engine has been seriously abused in it's previous life, it will outlast most engines made today.

The big difference between the 1UZ and the GM/Ford products (and the big selling point for me), is that the 1UZ was always built to a standard first and foremost, whereas the Ford/GM stuff tends to be built down to a price...(Hence why there have been so many problems reported with early GEN3 engines in Australia).

Of course, my engine would be lucky to be putting out 300HP at the crank, but in a 1500kg car, it's performance is more than enough to keep more powerful (but also heavier) cars honest...Certainly enough for me, given it's reliability benefits.

Just my 2c.
 

Attachments

Pro

New Member
Messages
1,575
Location
Republic of Western Australia
what i find amazing is, for $6000, you could supercharge the 1UZ and have reliability, REVABILITY, fuel efficiency, refinement and blow a 350 out of the water.

but no, the only way to make power is add more cubes ... isn't it?

ugh. i'm so disgusted i think i'm gonna puke. i'm ignoring this thread now - i'm dumbfounded and lost for words here.
 

v8junkie

New Member
Messages
12
Location
East Bay, Cali
^ Thanks for the suggestion, but spare the comments. As a moderator, shouldn't you be setting a standard for open thought and discussion? And oh yeah, you already puked. It was in that verbal vomit of a response you posted.

BTW, lets compare apples to apples. Can you do that with a BRAND NEW Lexus motor for $6000? NOT A CHANCE. If we're talking used, then for $6000 you can get a hell of a lot more power out of a blown LS1 than you could from the Lex motor.

But guess what? Thats really irrelevant, because we are talking about NA power. And sorry, but blown motors are neither as relaible, refined, or fuel efficient as NA motors. Further, nobody except you said we had to have more cubes to get more power. So, enjoy beating up ur own argument.
 

The Flea

New Member
Messages
126
Location
People's Republic of California
I've always wondered when this topic would rear itself in one of our threads.

V8 junkie, the original question had to do with swapping a LS1 for a 1UZ. I'm guessing it could be done, I really don't know, but why the hell not? How many 1UZ's have been put in Nissans, Mazdas, and U.S. models too? I know you probably expected a little flameage, but don't let that keep you from coming back to the forum. Seems like we have some knowledgeable people here that could help you with your endeavor.

In response to finding a reliable 400hp N/A engine for sled for under 6K is a tall order. Sure, some extra cubes will do the trick faster, but in the long run I think you might do better with the factory engine.

I grew up on US engines only. I've since had to leave that behind for the simple reason of cost. I drove an 8 second 3000lb 750 NA hp Pontiac for years. That type of UNSTREETABLE power will set you back 15K. The don't idle, they run hot, and the "good" parts are expensive to replace.

I have to agree with 1UZ-MX83 and Pro240c about the level of quality built into the 1UZ from the factory and not just engineered on paper.

By the time you wanted to start making some big hp with an LS1, you would need to go through the whole thing top to bottom and replace just about everything (aside from the bare head castings) or else you're sitting on a grenade. And that's not even the expensive part. Quality machine work will set you back many, many thousands more. (I never saw a big inch Pontiac that was even close to the factory blueprint specs from the factory. All US engines and even old imports require a great machinest to being out their potential.)

Check the GM catalogue for the price of a forged crank. Not cheap. My guess is that someone would be willing to give you a 1UZ forged crank if you needed one because every engine has one. Want 6-bolt mains? You'll have to settle for 4 for now. That block is hmmm 3K without finish machine work done.

I know you'll make 400hp NA faster with your LS1 for less. Hell, a cam and some good heads and you'll be over that. I'm not sure how many NA 1UZ's are even making 400hp? But what will the whole swap set you back when your done with fabrication and wiring? Much more.

I think you're sitting on a gem and could really bring out it's pontential and have the driveability, reliability, performance, and economy for less when it's all done with a turbo or some type of FI, or even N2O.
 

turboandrew

Member
Messages
571
Location
Austin, TX
Not sure why $6k couldn't get you a 400 hp 1UZ, either with more displacement or simply turbo it, assuming you started with a SC400 or LS400. You could do an N/A LS1, but let's see which one lasts longer. I would put a mildly turbo'd 1UZ over a LS1 in reliability any day. The LS1 is a fine motor for power/weight/gas-milage, but I have seen the reliability issues over the years, and that's one motor I would not want for the long term. And this has nothing to do with pushrods, etc, it's simply GM's decision to put cost over reliability. Now, if you were to build an LS1 from the ground up, then maybe it would be reliable. Of course, then you are looking at $10-12k for motor and complete build up.
 

v8junkie

New Member
Messages
12
Location
East Bay, Cali
^^ Thanks to both of you for your suggestions. I guess the real root of the problem is the serious lack of N/A mods for LEX V8's. All I want is something close to 400whp and tq with a nice flat powerband. If I get that from simply droping in decent 4.3 VVT and reworking the N/A bolt-on options for around that price I would do it. FI is really more of a pain in the a** than I want to deal with. The only FI I would even consider would be a roots-type blower and even those have issues and proper kits are expensive.

Again, the only reason I'm looking to LS1's, LT1's, etc is that its gets the 400hp N/A job done reliably at a low cost. You guys speak of probs with the LS1's, but I've never seen any from the kind of use I'm talking about. I know for sure the LT1's are rock solid. I know Toyota engines to be extremely reliable as well. Exactly what are these issues with LS1's and under what conditions are they happening?
 

Pro

New Member
Messages
1,575
Location
Republic of Western Australia
sorry....?

FI is really more of a pain in the a** than I want to deal with. The only FI I would even consider would be a roots-type blower and even those have issues and proper kits are expensive
have you not searched this site? a number of people on here have kits for less than $AU3k complete minus blower.

anyways, i'm meant to be ignoring this thread.

bye.
 

GSMnow

New Member
Messages
165
Location
Santa Clarita, CA USA
I just had to toss my 2 cents into this one.(maybe a buck, this is kinda long)

I am in the process of swapping a 1UZ into an 83 Celica. Due to SCCA autocross rules I have to use a TOyota sourced engine, and the 1UZ is the most bang that I can fit in the car and still make it legal under the letter of the law in California. Since I will be over 3.0L the SCCA rules also say no forced induction. So I am hoping for around 300 hp with a few mild mods that will get by the emissions inspectors. If I was not concerned about the emissions laws I think 400 hp would not be too tough, but it would be a bit rev happy and loose some low end torque. 100 hp/litre is fairly common on built DOHC 4 valve motors. The 1UZ is basically a pair of 2.0L 4 bangers. They are ported for low end and have very mild cams stock to make them torquey and smooth for a luxury car. There are some cams available, and anyone who can port a 3SFE can do the same to the 1UZ.

All that said, I like boost. All my previous autocross cars have been turboed. If I could have come up with an under 3.0 litre setup I would have so I could run boost. Either twin turbos or a roots blower. The Supra inline sixes are too long to fit without big mods and they are HEAVY iron beasts. All the Toyota V6's are front drive or truck motors. Making them fit violates emissions compliance. Turning the front drive motors requires all the intake and exhaust plumbing to be modified and that is a CA no no.

If I could use any engine, I agree the LS1 is a very tempting engine. With the compact heads and only one iron cam sitting lower, it is very favorable for handling with low C.G. and a fairly light overall weight as well. Hp/Litre is not at all bad either thanks to good porting out of the factory even if it is only 2 valves. 400 hp out of 5.7 litres is 70 hp/L. This 280hp for 4.0L which is about what the VVTi versions make. The 4.3L in the GS430 makes 305 hp which is almost identical hp/L. Very impressive for the 2 valve motor.

Since you are planning on a car that has a 1UZFE already in it. You can clean up the motor and install a roots blower and easilly make 400 or even 500 hp and it will live long and rev smoothly. The 1UZ is a very strong motor with 6 bolt main caps and a forged crank and forged rods all from the factory. Since you plan on a used up motor, give it a mild overbore and drop in some 8.0 compression dished pistons and 10 psi of roots boost will pump you to about 410 hp. Figure $3K for a new blower and hardware (make your own brackets, kits or more) and the other $3K to prep and build the motor to take the boost (bigger injectors and programmable ECU also).

If you still want to go the LS1 route, go ahead and have fun, and if you are close to L.A. let me know, I will take you old 1UZ off your hands so I can have a spare to port out and build up.

Gary M.
 

turboandrew

Member
Messages
571
Location
Austin, TX
IMO, the cheapest, most feasable, N/A toyota solution would be a Tundra long block to get the most displacement (4.7l), ported heads, reground cams, a custom intake manifold, and custom headers. I believe this could be done for $6000 or less, depending on how much you can do yourself (custom intake and headers?). I guess this would require some sort of aftermarket or reprogrammed stock ECU, and I am not sure that could be covered in the $6000 budget.

You could get 400 HP out of the 1UZ, but for the wide power band you want, I would want the most displacement you can get.

Of course, I still think turbo or supercharging is the way to go. A whipple twin screw would be perfect.
 

v8junkie

New Member
Messages
12
Location
East Bay, Cali
pro240c said:
sorry....?



have you not searched this site? a number of people on here have kits for less than $AU3k complete minus blower.

anyways, i'm meant to be ignoring this thread.

bye.
Ya I did, but not for blowers. I've seen plenty in the import mags. BTW, I live in California, so Aussie sources wont do much good.
 

Lextreme

Just call me "Lex"
Messages
12,048
Location
City of Halos
East Bay.. is that near South Bay? SF area? Honestly speaking, even u got a rolling chaisis, it will take more than 6k to do the job. Secondly getting an used american engine is a big risk. Not too long you would need rebuild and repairs. My Cobra Valves give up on my at 84k.

I wish you the best and please keep us updated. We are not here to discourage you. Actually we are encouraged by our drive. Must sure you plan things out. Once again, people dont fail, people fail to plan.
 

v8junkie

New Member
Messages
12
Location
East Bay, Cali
^ Yep, this is the Big SF Bay Area aka the "Yay". SJ is about 1/2 hour from me.

Thanks, I really appreciate the advice and I do take it seriously. Too bad about your 32V Cobra motor, but that is a much less developed and proven motor than the 5.0's, OHV fords or Chev small blocks. Those motors really have been perfected and proven themselves for decades. Honestly, the biggest risk in buying these motors is that the majority of owners BEAT THE LIVING SH*T out of em. Think about it: what does a Mustang, Camaro, Vette, etc driver do with his car? Especially around here! (If you know anything about the Bay Area Sideshows then you know what I mean). The only way to go is find a crate or low milage wrecker that can be THOROUGHLY inspected.

I'm not going to do any teardown or rebuild so these are the two options that look most likely: Drivetrain swaps from either 2000+ 4.3 VVT, 4.7 Tundra or LS1.

P.S. Whats the story with the 5.3 Yota engines?
 

400ZED

New Member
Messages
369
Location
Queensland
I think you could get a new LS6 ( now that is a otor that everyone that has driven loves) crate motor for around the $6000 and that is 405 HP out of the box reliable smooth and efficent. i have been amazed at the refinment in corvettes i did not give them credit but they really make the engine package look nice.

for a heavy LS400 i would recomend the more powerfull LS1 or

LS7 he he he that would be cool
 

onyx_sc400

New Member
Messages
25
Location
Tucson,AZ USA
Hey guys, I just want to say that I love my sc400, and my 1uz is a rev monster! I got my sc with 110k on it, and around the 118k mark, the waterpump went, taking the timing belt with it. In order to do a reliable fix, belts, waterpump, cam tensioners ..... etc had to be replaced.

My brother owns a 98 Pontiac Trans Am Ram Air. I just want to say that I would love to see that kind of power in my SC. The only thing he's had to change on his 110k motor is the power steering high pressure hose. His repairs were $$$ less than mine. My 92 sc400 was driven A WHOLE LOT LESS than his trans am, yet his ls1 is still chugging along. For $6k he could have 450+ NA horsepower, which is really impressive, and labor+parts to fix anyhitng with that engine would cost less than with others. And with plenty of "Rednecks" making parts and working on these engines, costs are only going down.

As for dinosaur engines, the new Toyota Nascar Trucks are using pushrod engines, and kicking Chevy, Ford and Dodge a$$.

Different strokes for different folks.

Personally, I'd love to have my engine revving to 8.5k, with low end grunt, and high end scream. But to tell you the truth, I'd love to have an LS1 in my SC any day.
 
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