Aaron’s Project

Okay, here is my new project… putting a Toyota/Lexus V8 (1UZ-FE) into my FJ sedan.

The build-up will be updated on this site every step along the way.

Will the motor fit? Let’s hope so! Stay tuned to find out!

Project started Feb 2003.

The engine chosen is the Toyota/Lexus quad-cam 4.0L V8. It is commonly found in Soarers (or SC400’s).

It is all alloy and puts out between 180kW – 200kW depending on what year the engine is.

The engine features a forged steel crank, six-bolt mains, plus a webbed and cross-bolted block. This is working with the quad-overhead cams with 4 valves per cylinder.

The 1UZ is said to have one of the strongest bottem ends out of any mass produced engine ever.

I decided on this engine for a couple of reasons, the main one….it was something different that as far as i knew, had never been done before. Already owning a VN Commodore i didn’t really want ANOTHER 3.8L V6 (as good as they are!) and when it compares to 5.0L or 5.7L Holden V8 it really is a much better engine…being much more refined and smooth as well as having PLENTY of potential.

After searching for an engine for almost two months, one was finally purchased in the form of a Toyota Crown half-cut.

This is basically a car that has been chopped in half with everthing under the bonnet untouched. This means it comes with a gearbox, as well as the wiring loom, as well as a whole lotta pointless stuff you don’t need!

The half-cut was picked up late February and has since been stripped of pretty much everything that is not part of the engine/gearbox/loom.

April 2003 ~

okay, it is almost the end of April, time for another update!

this is what the FJ looks like at the moment, been like this for a while… have gotten a full chassis kit from the Rod Shop and a HR-front-end that are both waiting to be put in.

so yep, that is what the FJ is looking like, not much at all been happening to it, all work has been focused on the engine/trans for now.

like a said before, i’ve gotten a heap of stuff from the Rod Shop, full chassis kit, engine mounts, transmission tunnel, got a HR front-end modified, and got a steering rack.

So once we get the engine/tranny ready we can get the FJ ready to hopefully pop the engine straight in! Still got a few things to look into

  • * the actual steering (LH Torana etc) that we’re going to use
  • * what brakes we’re gonna put on front AND back
  • * fuel system
  • * diff

so hopefully the engine will fit in with no probs so we can move onto these!

Here’s how the half-cut is looking…it is pretty much just the engine/gearbox/and-a-whole-heap-of-loom left.

most of the wiring is disconnected from the engine/gearbox, so they are almost ready to pull out!

the next steps are to get the engine/tranny out of the half-cut, clean them up, take off anything that isn’t needed (like power steering..that’s just extra weight!), get the FJ ready by putting in everything i mentioned above, and hopefully looking into the loom a little more. More to come.

May 2003 ~

just a quick update with some pics. the engine is out!! all we have left now is the engine, gearbox, and a bit of loom…looking good!

now we can start to get the FJ ready as well as cleaning up the engine itself.

no more updates for a little bit now as getting the J ready may take a while…the next update will probably be when the engine is ready to see that it fits…let’s hope so!

as you can see the engine doesn’t look very wide at the bottom at all now since we’ve taken off the power steering, A/C, and alternator.

we will be moving the alternator up to the top-left where the power-steering pump used to be as i don’t think it fits down the bottom.

there is a pic of what we have gotten the loom down to at the bottom. getting there.

as you can see it is looking a LOT neater than how it was in the pic above when it was still in the half-cut!

February 2004 ~

finally an update on what’s happening!

the car and engine/gearbox were taken to the RodShop and everything was put in place. chassis kit, front-end, steering, and shifter are all in place now.

as you can see from the pics a fair bit of the firewall had to be redone for the engine to sit so low and to give enough clearance for a big radiator.

the stock auto that came with the half-cut is in place with it’s original shifter and ready to go once a trans cooler is hooked up.

also, for the engine to fit it needed to have a custom sump made. you can see the RodShop sump in the bottom right picture. very neat. also the steering had to be converted to rear mount in order for the steering to have clearance.

the engine was fitted in still with the original exhaust manifolds as this will save a few $$$ for now.

then the next major steps will be the diff and tailshaft, brakes and brake system, and a radiator.

we’ve also got to pull the engine out now to paint and anti-rust the whole car.

September 2004 ~

It seems winter is finally over and work can get back into gear.

Half a year since this site was last updated! Seems like it was only not long ago. Not a great deal has been done, but here’s what has.

The whole engine bay and front-end area has been painted to keep the rust away for good. Only the rest of the car to go! Will wait for the wiring until we do this though.

Colour of the car is still not 100{fb6b847a1d2dbb6efef2670033708e1917341aed592e89927bbc447ddf4795ae} decided, but for now is looking like we will keep it this original colour as it makes life a little easier for now.

Will also make a nice sleeper at a set of lights!!

Since no A/C or Power Steering is being used, i had to look around for an alternative belt setup. With the oringal belt being about 3 meters long (over-reaction) i wanted something nice and neat looking.

Ended up finding a ribbed tensioner pulley (normally flat) which allows me to run a neat setup in a single triangluler pattern.

A new diff has been ordered and put in as well. Ended up going with the trusty Ford 9″ with 3.50:1 centre.

Brakes are fully reco’d drums at the rear, running Commodore stud pattern. It’s only a single spinner… that way i only waste one tyre at a time.

October 2004 ~

Just a quick update and some pics of the new radiator and front brakes.

Radiator is a 4-core unit from Aussie Desert Coolers. Inlet and Outlet hoses are both at the top, so the water has to flow down and then back up the core, so its like a double flow setup.

There will be quite a large thermo going on the back of it soon.

Front brakes are 290mm (AUIII) discs with Commodore stud pattern, being stopped by PBR twin-piston callipers.

Getting the 290mm discs instead of the 300mm ones means that any 15″ wheels will fit.

March 2006 ~

Wow been a while since something has happened. Project was stalled due to more important commitments but is back in business again now.

Car is fully wired up and running. Fuel tank is in, 3-speed wipers are in, guages are in, and all are working.

Next on the list are bucket seats for the front, new rubber kit, brake booster to mounted and setup, and more and more painting and organising of the interior.

Check out the small video at the bottom of this table to see the engine being given a tiny tiny rev. Still running off nothing but headers so sounds very chunky, but is as smooth as still.

Click HERE to see a small QuickTime Movie of the engine.

January 2007 ~

Car is pretty much complete. Unfortunately just missed the Nationals in Canberra, which would of been a good test for it getting up there and back.

Lots of work done over the past few months. Full twin 2″ exhaust system installed with a pipe exiting each side.

Brakes are fully working, including original handbrake assembly. Indicators have obviously been added to front and back of car.

Seats and seatbelts are also in the car. Ended up going with a nice pair of AUFalcon buckets.

As you can see, there has yet to be a respray or any re-chroming done on the car, apart from sume basic patch up work.

Wheels for the time being are just 15″ Commodore chaser rims, which just fit over the 290mm brake setup. Back ones had to have the rim reversed due to the shorter axle.

Seems to drive not to bad in its current state on the limited testing it has had. Runs nice a smooth and seems to like reving out as bit as well.

Should be visiting the engineers for a final check up over the next week or two.

Once that is done and car is signed off, next on the list will be to get a centre console made up and then fitting the CD player and speakers.

Will try to post a video or two soon.

January 2009 ~

Been a while. Car is well and truly on the road now. Car was signed off mid 2007.

Then was back off the road for a short while as some dickhead ran into me… he didn’t quite understand how a round-a-bout worked.. but anyway.

The interior was done back last year also, looks a lot nicer now. Head unit, front speakers, and guages all sit in the centre console. Cup holders and storage space in front of the gear stick is golden… cannot do without this.

Back seat was re-trimmed to match the front AU buckets and looks great.

Also plenty of boot space. It’s all about the practicality. Photo on right was taken on the cars first test run down the coast.

Biggest news though is that the car has finally been given a good test… a very good test. Was driven up to Beenleigh, Queensland, for the ’08 Nationals !

Trip was done in 3 days up (2 half days, 1 full day) and 2 days back.

The boot and back seat / floorspace was all filled to the brim with luggage from the ladies whom were flying up.

Car was a DREAM. No problems at all. No water used, no oil used, no dramas what so ever.

Fuel economy for the run was awsome ! Averaged out to be 10.12L / 100kms.

That is from leaving to driveway at the start of the trip til pulling in the driveway at the end of it. And that’s with a full load and 35 degree days each day.

Engine is still running with original leads and spark plugs also which was a bit of a risk, but seems fine!

Also the whole drive was done with the 2 exhaust cats stuffed. The insides have blown up and are just rattling at the moment. Whether this would of increased or decreased fuel economy.. who knows… get it depends where the honeycomb was sitting.

Sat on the speed limit the whole way up, which is pretty much 100 in VIC and 110 everywhere else.

Is still is in dire need of a respray. Next on the list though will probably be some rims.

Then it will be off to the quarter mile to see how it goes. Target will be mid to low 14’s. Nothing spectacular, but if i can get that i will be more than happy.


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