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1UZ-FE for my Taco
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Author Topic: 1UZ-FE for my Taco  (Read 142104 times)

Offline Smitherz

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1UZ-FE for my Taco
« on: October 25, 2006, 01:09:29 AM »
I had always joked about putting a Lexus V8 in my truck to friends.  I just reached the point in which I need to add some tubing for a cage from the front to back and I can't do this until I have the final dimensions laid out for my engine. It's of no use putting in custom steel work in the front of the truck if you need to add a turbo or use a different engine in the future. So I decided on a turbo, bought almost all the parts and realized that people were doing successful 1UZ swaps around the world.

Why would I spend more money on a turbo system when I can have an awesome sounding, rear gear breaking V8? Torque is basically what you want when driving off-road. Things are unpredictable when pushing the limits in the dirt and when you need power you need it NOW. You simply don't have time to wait for a turbo to kick in. When you're on the racetrack then yea, you can adjust.

So I'm basically going through my engine and doing everything right the first time. I just want it super clean, trick looking, smooth running and super reliable. I've got the engine torn down and I'm stopping at taking off the heads which would basically add a month to the build. I don't want to break all the bolts to take off the manifolds and wait for the head to be machined.

I thought I would just buy an engine, insist on a complete wire harness that was not cut when the engine was removed, build some engine mounts and drop it in. Well the guy who sold me the engine lied to me many times and sent me an engine that had a cut wire harness and it had damage to it that you couldn't see. He gave me his word that it was running and a money back gaurantee. Well the engine was FAR from running and he took 2 months sending me parts in the mail that he swore he would have sent to me before the block reached me. What an experience! He still owes me minor part and some money back buuuuut I got it for so cheap that I'm over it. Plus the car was damaged in a wreck with very low miles on it. I have a huge section written on another forum about buying used engines! No matter how many engines I buy I always learn a lot more when I buy another one. haha you have to laugh at it and not get too stressed. Just make sure you low ball the seller because you will NEVER get what you think you are paying for. Trust me on this one. Just drop a super low figure and walk away from a seller. There are MANY engines out there for sale. The seller will play hard-ass at first but they always cave. Now I don't mind paying good money but if I'm not there to inspect the items and they don't give me a good picture I pay pennies on the dollar if at all!! Ok I'm getting worked up on this. I better stop here.

So now I plan on assembling the engine and putting it to the side for a couple weeks. I have a TON of work to attend to and I have to move some family from point A to House B a few hundred miles away.
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Offline 91_4x4runner

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Re: 1UZ-FE for my Taco
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2006, 06:37:03 AM »
So you're replacing your 3.4L with a 1UZ?
91 4Runner
78 280Z
92 SC400

Offline Smitherz

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Re: 1UZ-FE for my Taco
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2006, 01:43:12 PM »
No I have the 2.7L. I can't stand the sound of the 6cyl. I have friends that own them and they work good. I can easily go faster than them offroad, especially with my suspension. The 2.7L is weak at higher speeds of course. All my friends that have the 6cyl complain about fuel mileage.
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Offline 91_4x4runner

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Re: 1UZ-FE for my Taco
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2006, 06:23:21 PM »
That's cool... I was just curious what reasoning throwing out the all-hailed 3.4L would've been. Where are you located?
91 4Runner
78 280Z
92 SC400

Offline Smitherz

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Re: 1UZ-FE for my Taco
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2006, 10:41:04 PM »
Yeah I don't know what would have come if I had a 6cyl originally. I would probably sell it and buy a Titan to build. I was looking at using a Supra Turbo 6  but a turbo isn't good for offroad work. Maybe in a sandrail but not in an offroad truck where torque and instant response is everything. Plus a turbo has many more parts to fail. Bulletproof and peace of mind out in the middle of nowhere is what I want.

I've seen a couple people put the supercharger on their 3.4 and their mileage drops to 12mpg easily. Forget that! I like doing exotic things =]  I ran race configuration rotaries on the street and had the most fun ever. I am hoping to get back the same feeling with a burly sounding, higher rpm V8 in my truck.

I'm in San Luis Obispo, CA. right next to Pimso Beach/ Oceano Dunes. I was out there yesterday throwing up some roost because my annual pass expires this month. It was getting dark and I pulled out a stranded Ford Explorer. I threw them a strap and warned them to watch out for sand in their windows but they didn't mind. When I hit it I threw a HUGE amount of sand right in their windows haha! I wish I had a picture, it was a bucketfull.

Where are you from?
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Offline 91_4x4runner

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Re: 1UZ-FE for my Taco
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2006, 10:57:20 PM »
San Antonio, TX. My original reason for being here was to put a 1UZ into my 91 4Runner, but priorities have shifted and I might be buying an 83 Toyota pickup to put in (SFA already :-)).
91 4Runner
78 280Z
92 SC400

Offline Smitherz

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Re: 1UZ-FE for my Taco
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2006, 09:23:38 PM »
Yo, WHat is SFA?

Boy I thought about this one and I can't come up with anything for that acronym.  Everyone has done a 4-runner 1UZ combo and I sympathize with the steering interference with the exhuast manifolds. That takes an initial investment of another $700 plus labor just to solve that sucker!

I'm going back to work on my engine tonight. It feels great to have everything so clean now. I bought a new cordless Dremel and some wire brushes for my air right-angle die grinder. Those tools work great for all the hard spots. There is no fast way to do it... you just have to spin them up and hit it for a couple hours. I bought some medium strength acid to wash the whole thing down but I don't think I'll get around to using it since it's so clean already.
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Offline Cebby

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Re: 1UZ-FE for my Taco
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2006, 04:57:03 PM »
SFA = Solid Front Axle
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Offline Smitherz

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Re: 1UZ-FE for my Taco
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2006, 08:14:31 PM »
Ahh I knew that! Yeah I do a lot of high speed work so independent is the way to go for me.  4-Runners aren't really known for racing around very fast due to the higher center of gravity of course. SFA is the way to go on them... awesome for crawling and other tight work I bet.
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Offline 91_4x4runner

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Re: 1UZ-FE for my Taco
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2006, 07:55:35 PM »
That'll certainly be an awesome truck. I like the Taco's but could never afford one.
91 4Runner
78 280Z
92 SC400

Offline Smitherz

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Re: 1UZ-FE for my Taco
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2006, 07:32:02 AM »
---------------------Short side topic in relation to this build ------------------------

You can get one if you want one!

It takes time my friend. Everything comes slow and steady. I've been working on my truck for years building it and making improvements. I never thought I would own one for a while either. My good friend who bought it brand new ended up getting into a little trouble and an accident. I actually helped him out by buying it off of him for dirt cheap instead of him having to turn it in back to the creditors! It wasn't in good shape when I got it but that's the best way to buy things. I then went to work on her and polished it up. Later on when he saw it after all the work and money I put into it he was like, "I should have never sold it!" I said YEAH but damn there is NO WAY you would have taken care of it and fixed it up like I did!!

The truck I had before this was a 1990 4wd SR5 and I never thought I would have been able to have a truck like that one when I saw it. I was in high school and my friends brother owned it and he put dual shocks on it and a pre-runner bar... it was an awesome truck back in the day. I had a pretty rare turbo car in prestine condition and it was a real speed demon. He all the sudden decided he was done with the truck and he wanted a fast car so I handed mine over along with $1500. What a SUPER good deal for me! He was happy with his race car and cash and I totally scored on that deal as Toyota trucks are always worth a lot of money and really really easy to sell. I sold that truck for a lot of money.

While a lot of people spend money on drugs and drinking I spend money on my truck. Some acquaintances of mine really spend a LOT of money on getting high every single month and they are in love with trucks that they think they can't have. I just think it's so pitiful that they could have EASILY afforded to pay their trucks off and then put custom lifts and stuff onto them with all that money... no problem.  Just put away a little money here and there and you would be suprised how much it stacks up. And then if you can buy anything low and sell it high with that money you will double it. The trick is that you just have to have the cash at the right time to get the super deals. That's my 2 cents. I just know a couple people that are so poor but they pull off crazy deal getting into brand new cars and in one case a 2 year old Ford F350.. and he doesn't have any money!? wtf? A couple I know were both on welfare and they were allowed to buy a BRAND NEW Honda Civic for here and he bought a BRAND NEW Nissan Titan!?? Yes! This is no joke, the state wanted them to have dependable cars and they also were given the super warranties with priority roadside assistance (pays for your hotel if you are on the road too). The cars are in their name and they are slaves to the low payments but they were allowed to buy them with horrible credit. You can get pretty creative and get what you want if you really want it! Now just think of how well they could do if they applied that towards a career? They actually both have ok jobs now but it took the motivation from having to pay for the cars to get them in the mood to make some money and realize they needed better jobs =] Funny how the world works?
« Last Edit: November 17, 2006, 07:33:40 AM by Smitherz »
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Offline 91_4x4runner

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Re: 1UZ-FE for my Taco
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2006, 01:22:59 PM »
Yeah, I know what you mean. I just want to stretch my money as far as possible in as short of a time as possible. On top of that, I really like these old toyota pickups.
91 4Runner
78 280Z
92 SC400

Offline Smitherz

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Re: 1UZ-FE for my Taco
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2006, 01:56:48 AM »
By putting a 1UZ in your 4-runner you are basically eliminating the whole problem with the truck in the first place. Any SUV with a V8 in it is a pleasure to drive. My friend just bought a 5.8L Jeep Grand Cherokee... a 2001 I think. It's hauls butt, super comfortable and has lots of utility. Once you drive something with that much power you don't want to go back to a smaller engine. It makes me crazy when I drive his Jeep because it whips my truck on the street.
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Offline 91_4x4runner

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Re: 1UZ-FE for my Taco
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2006, 09:08:40 PM »
Yeah, I completely agree. Let me put it in terms of money though. I've got about 1500 saved to put into my 4Runner. I can probably squeeze 6K flat from someone out here with clear title and whatnot. If I bought a truck for around 500 bucks and an engine for 1K, I've got 6K to put into mods. That can go to new tires, lift, exterior fixer uppers, swapping the engine in, interior etc and then having the good ol' SFA (solid front axle) and a bed, which I find myself needing more and more. I'll probably spend around 3500 on a complete swap (engine). On top of that, I'd be spending 5K on a SAS. So I'd have to save up 7000 (minus 1K for the block purchased and 500 for the rest of savings) bucks to do my work. At 12 bucks an hour 15 hours a week, spending over 1/2 of it on gas back and forth to school (65 miles per day), I'd have to work there well into my college career (I'll be quitting my job when I start college). It makes logical sense to just start with a better platform and work up with the extra bucks.
91 4Runner
78 280Z
92 SC400

Offline Smitherz

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Re: 1UZ-FE for my Taco
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2006, 07:26:37 PM »
You lost me with the breakdown of your funds but I get your point. You have a fairly realistic estimate of your costs which is a great thing. It always costs more than you think... no matter what. Unless you can fab some parts/adapters and source your own parts give yourself a little more room than the amount you have in mind. Make sure and get ALL the parts you need when you source your engine. I have learned the hard way that every little thing costs bank! The ignitors are located away from the engine and you probably won't get them unless you yank it yourself. Then the catalytics are super $ so get those. If they break the o2 sensors or leave them in the exhuast that is an EASY $100-$150 a pop (there are 4). Lexus parts are $$. Just be careful and get the best engine you can get. Pass on something that looks like it wasn't taken care of or is rusty. Don't settle for something that you are uncomfortable with! There are lots out there. I totally missed on a RUNNING LS400 just because of bad timing. I could have got the whole car for less than $1,000!!!! Instead I'm paying a bit more.

I'm just throwing out some costs that I had to deal with. I just dropped another $400 on a new power steering pump and starter and some other parts... they have a lifetime warranty so it's not even worth the hassle of rebuilding my used units. I still need o2 sensors and ignitors... $200 used for those parts or will cost me $550 for new... and I get a hell of a deal since I'm in the auto industry.

You should totally go for it though. That is one mean truck you want to build and you sound like you know what you're doing. Make sure you have some friends to help =]
« Last Edit: November 22, 2006, 07:31:16 PM by Smitherz »
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