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Specifics About 2JZ-GTE Swap

Specifics About 2JZ-GTE Swap

The Toyota Supra got its start when the automaker introduced an upgraded version of the Celica coupe in the 1970s. This vehicle came with a longer wheelbase and more width, along with a powerful six-cylinder engine that delivered results.

When push came to shove, those old Supras were still just Celicas.

Toyota dropped Celica from the Supra name in 1986. That change brought along the fourth-generation design in 1992, completely revamping the design so that it had as much in common with its previous cousin as a Prius.

One of the best changes that came with the revamp was the addition of the 2JZ-GTE powerplant. It’s such a good inline-six engine that pro motorsports owners and teams seek out the early 1990s engines because of how much horsepower it produces.

Specifics About 2JZ-GTE Swap

The 2JZ-GTE engine offers a clean-sheet design and was only available in the United States with the 1993-1998 Toyota Supra Turbo. In Japan, it was introduced with the 1991 Aristo and continued to be in Supras released to that market until the automaker stopped producing this model in 2002.

It is remarkably challenging to find a 2JZ-GTE engine today because it is in such high demand. Toyota followed Nissan’s lead when it owned the racing circuit during the development of this 3.0L powerhouse.

Unlike the V-style engines that came before, the inline configuration created a natural balance for the Supra. Half of the rotating assembly won’t get tossed around, going in opposite directions. With the 2JZ-GTE, the front cylinders do the opposite of the rear, creating even weight distribution that eliminates the polar rocking found in the typical V6.

That means a Supra equipped with the 2JZ-GTE can rev up higher, longer, smoother, and safer than almost anything ever created.

What If I Need to Swap Out the 2JZ-GTE?

All good things must eventually come to an end. For Supra owners, that means their engine will eventually require maintenance and replacement.

Before 2010, it was relatively easy to source parts for this need. As the age of the vehicle increases, it has become harder to find what you need. That’s led to the idea of having a 2JZ-GTE swap performed.

Overseas alternatives for the 2JZ-GTE include a 1JZ-GTE stock engine from Toyota. It’s a 2.5L version with the long cast-iron block, but it is de-stroked. It offers variable intake cam phasing and a turbo to deliver some extra power. If you find a Japanese Supra after 1997, the 2JZ-GTE engine update went in this direction.

It’s also possible to swap the 2JZ-GTE into other vehicles to increase the power you receive exponentially. Chris Bishop used this technique to soup up a 1996 Infinity Q45 so that it delivered 449 HP. That’s even considering that the original engine was a V8, while the 2JZ-GTE is a V6.

With the right supports, the 2JZ-GTE engine is capable of putting out 700 HP. If you add mods to the rest of the vehicle, the top point is around 1,000 HP with a custom build. There isn’t another engine like it out there, which is why a swap makes sense.

Toyota even considered the engine geometry and design for these high-powered results. The stroke length and bore diameter are the same with the square-shaped design. Except for a handful of known issues, such as an oil pump seal that likes to come out, failures don’t really happen with the 2JZ-GTE.

Engine Specs for the 2JZ-GTE

If you’re thinking about a 2JZ-GTE engine swap, you’ll need to know the specs for this popular setup. The pertinent information is found in the table below.

2JZ-GTE Information2JZ-GTE Specs
LayoutInline-6 engine design
Displacement3.0L (2997 cc)
AspirationTwin-turbo design
Compression Ratio8.5:1
Bore x Stroke86 mm x 86 mm
RPM Redline6,800 RPM
ValvesDOHC; 24 valves
PistonsOil cooled, Cast

The rods and crankshaft for the 2JZ-GTE are forged. When this engine was released in 1991, the information was near the top of the industry. It delivers 320 pound-feet of torque while pushing out 320 HP in its initial setup.

Although those numbers sound average today, plenty of engine designs in the 1990s never came anywhere near what they could do while costing a lot more.

That’s why this engine is known for its strength. With its low compression ratio, the 2JZ-GTE gives you a big boost. Everything is built to last, including the forged pistons that are fitted with oil spray nozzles to help them cool.

What Are the Pros and Cons of the 2JZ-GTE?

It isn’t difficult to double the power output for the 2JZ-GTE, but the first step in that sequence is to eliminate the sequential turbos and roll with a single massive compressor. You’ll want a high-flow fuel pump, bigger delivery lines, a tunable ECU, and 1000cc fuel injectors.

Aftermarket cams let you hit 750 HP with this setup with remarkable ease. After that, the only thing you’ll need to do is consider stiffer valve springs to prevent a potential valve float.

That’s why anyone who does custom builds or wants huge power from their engine looks at the 2JZ-GTE first. Whether as a direct replacement or a swap, here are the advantages and disadvantages to consider with this engine.

List of the Pros of the 2JZ-GTE EngineList of the Cons of the 2JZ-GTE Engine
Owners can achieve 1,000 HP without needing upgrades to the cooling system, oil pump, or timing belt. This engine can produce incredible results, even when swapped into other models.The sequential turbo system does an excellent job of delivering power, but it can be temperamental at times. Swapping it out with different mods or a bigger compressor helps to rectify this issue.
The inline configuration offered by the 2JZ-GTE produces a powerful, tightly packaged setup that works well for multiple configurations.The crank pulley on the 2JZ-GTE has a reputation for coming apart with this engine. It’s something you’ll need to watch with your regular inspections.
It uses a cast-iron block that adds some weight to the vehicle, but the engine delivers extra sturdiness in return for the trade-off. That includes a forged crankshaft and the use of main journals to offer a consistent user experience.An oil pump seal likes to blow out with this setup, especially when you have it cranked to a higher horsepower rating. Although it doesn’t create that many issues for most drivers, it is a known disadvantage.
The square bore and stroke design from the 2JZ-GTE is one of the most efficient ever created. When you consider the non-interference valvetrain, almost every potential positive outweighs whatever negatives might develop.The cylinder head doesn’t offer an optimized flow for those who want a highly efficient operation.
Toyota’s design includes under-piston oil squirters to ensure long-term performance consistency while working to reduce the wear and tear on the engine.The timing belt tensioner bracket has more stress put on it than the part was intended to handle. This disadvantage increases as power and speed push higher, so reinforcements could be necessary in some circumstances.

What Is the VVT-I Addition from 1997?

In 1991 and 1992, the only way to get your hands on the 2JZ-GTE engine was to purchase a Toyota made for the Japanese market. Once it came to North America in 1993, its popularity skyrocketed because there arguably wasn’t a better deal out there for power and performance.

In September 1997, a new 2JZ-GTE engine was introduced to the Japanese market with variable valve timing. This technology works to improve the power band and fuel economy of a modern engine.

Although these VVT-I engines are hard to source for parts, the power band improvements are desirable for some. You can still get the tuning and aftermarket potential from the 2JZ-GTE while enjoying the flexibility of a direct swap.

You can find builds that range from under 400 HP to more than 1,500 HP, and it’s theoretically possible to go even higher. That’s why this engine is the one you want whenever you’re pursuing a custom build.

It should be noted that the North American versions of the 2JZ-GTE did not receive this update.

Should I Go for a 1JZ-GTE Engine Swap?

The 1JZ-GTE engine from JDM Toyota can come from a Supra or an Aristo. In my experience, the engines from the latter tend to be driven harder than those in the Supra. Anything more than 65,000 miles on it would require a direct inspection to ensure the component quality is there for the price.

When you look for the 1JZ-GTE, it’s important to remember that since it was never sent to the North American market, the purchase is a Japanese domestic design. The setup is not immediately compatible with vehicles found in Canada, the US, or Mexico unless someone imported their entire vehicle.

I highly recommend receiving a guarantee from your broker or retailer before proceeding with a 1JZ-GTE purchase. There should be a complete report that includes the motorset, cylinder head, block, and intake manifold, at the very least. You’re also required to modify the EGR to meet the current North American standards.

The other issue to consider is the seller. If you see a 2JZ-GTE engine marketed after 1999, you know for certain that it came from Japan. You’ll need to make all those modifications for your build to avoid a logistics headache.

At the end of the day, the preferences are yours. I’d try to stick with the American-based 2JZ-GTEto maximize the results of my swap. Some setups work better with the Japanese domestic alternative or a copycat, but always take a buyer beware approach before finalizing a transaction. That includes having a trusted mechanic look at the engine before accepting it.

Should I Swap My Current Setup for the 2JZ-GTE?

The Toyota 2JZ-GTE is a legendary engine that car enthusiasts the world over think about using. It was a special stock setup that came with 320 HP straight from the factory while offering different tuning opportunities.

Although some people might argue with me, I would say that the 2JZ-GTE is the best aftermarket-tunable engine that was ever created. There isn’t another stock product out there that was as overbuilt and over-engineered as this one.

I grew up in a rural community. Our high school class graduated about 60 people, and most of us either lived or worked on farms. One of the highlights of the year was an unofficial 500-mile around local roads. It was one of those things that weren’t technically legal, but we always had at least one officer pay to enter his ride in it because it was such a great time.

After the engine in my 1979 Mercury Capri gave out, I did a straight swap with the 2JZ-GTE. I didn’t know what I was getting into at the time, being a naïve teen more concerned about looks and functionality than anything else.

Once everything was finished, I took a friend for a quick ride. He told me I had to enter it in the “500,” telling me I’d have a great chance of winning it.

So, that’s what I did. The race always started on the road where I lived, which made it easy to fudge the details of what I was doing. The laps were 50 miles, and you could stop for fuel once. Those were the only rules of the road.

Long story short – no, I didn’t win the race. I didn’t even get close to it. The fun that came from the experience is something I’ll always remember.

Whenever I get back to my hometown, there are still people who remember how I swapped a 2JZ-GTE into my Capri. We share a laugh about the old days, split a pizza, and enjoy each other’s company.

It might not be right for each situation, but the 2JZ-GTE is a fantastic engine that swaps well with a lot of setups. If you can get your hands on one, it’ll treat you right.


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