Lexus 2JZ Swap: Worth the Hassle, or a Hard Pass?

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Lexus GS 2JZ Swap

The 2JZ family of engines is downright legendary in the car world. But is swapping one in your Lexus worth the trouble?

One of the most frequent questions we see here in the Club Lexus forums really only half relates to Lexus. We’re talking about swapping a 2JZ into something like, say, a GS300. And it’s no surprise why. Quite a few people, including several of our members, have stuffed this legendary Toyota engine into their Lexus machines. But like any other engine swaps, this one requires a bit of finesse. Thus, lexusdog was wondering – is it really worth the hassle?

“I would like to get some feedback from folks who have done the GS300 2JZ swap. How do you like it? Any issues? Did it meet or exceed your expectations? The reason I ask is because I see a lot of them for sale soon after they have been swapped.

I would like to pick up an ’01 GS300 and perform this swap over the winter. Did an SC300 swap about 7 years ago and would like to get back into another 2JZ powered Lexus. I would be doing a full BPU setup with an Aristo rear diff. Hope to run around 17 psi through the ceramic turbos.”

Lexus GS 2JZ Swap

Turns out, Letsride has done quite a few of these 2JZ Lexus swaps. And he has some pretty solid advice on how to proceed.

“If you want the simplest swap platform you need to find a ’98-’00. If you are not afraid of wiring, then you can do the ’01 plus. All of the swaps that I have done are still running and most are with the original owners. Also, the blades on the VVTi twin turbo GTE are not ceramic!”

Not to mention some input on boost levels, too.

“At 17-18 psi they will start to run lean. Set a safe limit at 16 unless you upgrade the fuel and spark. And I’ll tell you that if the swap is done properly it will be a fun car. Also remember to get an SLDII and a good wideband.”

Lexus GS 2JZ Swap

And it doesn’t appear that anyone regrets doing the swap in their Lexus, either.

“I did my swap 3 years ago,” said KyleH. “I have put 27k miles on the car since the swap and I love it. No regrets. I’ve chronicled most of the journey here. Everyone has different desires and expected outcomes. But for me, this car has hit the mark. I suppose I enjoy it now as much as I ever have. For a couple of years I daily drove the car. For the past 6 months it’s been mostly garaged because the wife and I carpool on electricity to work in her car. But being away from it only makes it more enjoyable when I get behind the wheel.”

So if you’ve got the skills (or know somebody that does), it’s hard to argue against slapping a 2JZ in your Lexus. But still, we want to know what you think! So head over here and tell us if you’ve had any experience with completing this very rewarding change.

Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts.

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