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2003 RX300 Engine Compatibility

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Old 05-10-14, 08:35 PM   #1
jimsRX300
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Default 2003 RX300 Engine Compatibility

Hi!

I'm an new RX300 owner. I have much much a sad story. Purchased a 2003 RX300 AWD used, from a private seller in Cleveland Ohio, AS-IS of course. I did a thorough inspection (or so I thought) knowing full well of the oil sludge problems associated with the 1MZ engine. Anyways, not even 48 hours later, I'm driving on the freeway. The red "low oil pressure" comes on. I do my best to get off at the next exit. Shortly after, I hear a howl like keys being made at Lowes. Followed by CHECK ENGINE light. Then engine dead.

Today I pulled the valve covers and oil pan. Engine is toast.

Google Search, after Google Search I cannot find this answer.

2001 Highlander 1MZ AWD to 2003 RX300 1MZ AWD swap? I've got an extremely extensive shop at home. I'm 99% certain I'm good to go. The castings match. The ECM does not care as long as its a VVTI 3.0. I've got it gutted and ready. Even purchased the engine. It does not drop ship until Monday. BEFORE I make my massive RockAuto order, I just need to hear from someone that this will work.

Thanks!!!!
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Old 05-10-14, 08:53 PM   #2
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Looks like motor mounts are an issue for a direct bolt in.

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/rx-f...an-engine.html

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/rx-f...ce-needed.html
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Old 05-11-14, 04:09 AM   #3
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Good morning, thanks for the reply. I've read those to threads, as well as many others, but there is no clear answer.

When doing as search with part # only, the AWD mounts from my 03 RX and the AWD mounts on the 01 highlander are the same toyota part #. The long blocks are the same part # as well.

The engine arrives Monday, I'm 99% certain it's gonna be a direct swap. I'm gonna use a case of carb cleaner on the heads. If I have to drill and tap 2 holes for the rear motor mount so be it. I'll be careful, as long as the block looks thick enough.
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Old 05-11-14, 05:59 AM   #4
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Excuse my question but did you check the engine oil level or better yet change the oil after you purchased the car? I wasn't aware of any major sludge issues on '03 models but even so loosing the entire oil capacity within 48 hours is unheard of.
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Old 05-11-14, 06:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalali View Post
Excuse my question but did you check the engine oil level or better yet change the oil after you purchased the car? I wasn't aware of any major sludge issues on '03 models but even so loosing the entire oil capacity within 48 hours is unheard of.
Any engine can develop sludge. Not limited to just 99' - 01' RX300's. All you have to do is stop changing your oil, or run it too long. *Don't try this at home folks*
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Old 05-11-14, 07:32 AM   #6
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Good morning! Happy Mothers Day All!

I even changed the oil when I got home. I checked it FULL before I left. In fact, it was still FULL after the tow. My only answer is the oil pump was sludged up. The amount of metal in the oil when I drained it was ridiculous. Either way, engine is toast. After removing both valve covers, I don't need to go any deeper.

My replacement should be here this week. I'm gonna get a case of cheap carb cleaner to clean the heads & the block best I can.
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Old 05-11-14, 07:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimsRX300 View Post
Good morning! Happy Mothers Day All!

I even changed the oil when I got home. I checked it FULL before I left. In fact, it was still FULL after the tow. My only answer is the oil pump was sludged up. The amount of metal in the oil when I drained it was ridiculous. Either way, engine is toast. After removing both valve covers, I don't need to go any deeper.

My replacement should be here this week. I'm gonna get a case of cheap carb cleaner to clean the heads & the block best I can.
Keep us updated on the Highlander engine install. Hopefully you can answer this question that's been floating around for awhile now!
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Old 05-11-14, 07:49 AM   #8
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You will all know next weekend. If I didn't need this car back on the road, I would do a FWD swap. Have all the transmission and engine bracket mounts fabricated and post the specs. online.

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Old 05-11-14, 07:59 AM   #9
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Ya know before this Toyota, all I drove exclusively was Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4's. Pretty sweet ride. Can't fit kids in the older ones. Chrysler, just uses 1 MOUNT for their V8's. 1!!! Since the 1960's I can take a 2006 HEMI and plop it in a 1972 Charger (sans MDS of course).

This has been a learning experience. However, I'd buy another RX300, its a nice car. Toyota Quality is good though.
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Old 05-11-14, 10:38 AM   #10
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Good luck Jim.
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Old 05-11-14, 01:05 PM   #11
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Sounds like you are handy enough to make it work even if you need to modify it a little. I would want to get a good look at the valves to make sure the guides did not starve and wear the valve stems.
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Old 05-11-14, 03:35 PM   #12
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The heads are toast, I can't even turn the cam with my thunder gun on this highest setting.

I found a company that will make me or modify this mysterious rear mount to make it work. My plan would be a hobby knife and cardboard to make a template.

Like I said, if I didn't NEED this vehicle back on the road ASAP, I would purposely but the FWD and have adapters made. Following which, post the specs / CAD dimensions on this site and SAVE EVERYBODY LOADS OF $$$$$.
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Old 05-26-14, 07:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carguy07 View Post
OK, 100% Compatibility with the Highlander AWD Engine. Just have to swap over (or new) oil pump for the Timing Belt Kit to match. Have to remove a few "extra" mounts and studs that are not compatible.

Too bad I have now learned the TRANMISSION IS FRIED when I was on the freeway due to the sudden engine stoppage.

It's a shame that such a nice car has been ruined by previous owners not taking care of it. Now I'm stuck with a car I paid 6500 for with about 5000 into it.

Does anybody know if its possible to swap that transmission / driveline with out FULLY dropping the cradle?
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Old 05-26-14, 10:22 AM   #14
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Yikes, sucks to hear that you now need to throw a tranny in it.
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Old 05-29-14, 06:17 PM   #15
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Good news! No need for a new transmission. Turned out to be a broken CV axle. 200 bucks! I'll take it!
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Old 05-29-14, 06:17 PM
 
 
 
 
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1999, 1mz, 2003, block, brackets, drilling, engine, hole, lexus, mounts, p0135, rx300, transmission, vvti

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