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.