Toyota 4Runner Receives Lexus 2JZ Transplant

By -

Toyota 4Runner

When life gives you a free 4Runner and a burned out Lexus SC, you make lemonade out of lemons.

In the world of engines, Toyota’s 2JZ is a true legend. Tuners have long sung the praises of this amazing little motor, and for good reason. The inline-six is tough as nails, dead reliable, and responds incredibly well to modifications. Which has obviously made it a favorite of the racing set. But the 2JZ also makes a mighty fine powerplant for a different kind of vehicle altogether – the Toyota 4Runner. So when Yota Tech member 2JZRunner found himself in the possession of both, combining them made perfect sense.

“Here is the recent addition to the family – a 1984 4Runner that has been sitting for at least 10 years. I had also purchased a 1995 SC300 with a 2JZ for my girlfriend to learn how to drift. I got a great deal at $2,200 because the P.O. didn’t fix a crack in the exhaust manifold which caused the car to run like a dog. After welding the crack and completing a tune-up, the car ran great. Unfortunately, this was short-lived. A stupid decision compounded with a plugged catalytic converter resulted in a car fire.”

Toyota 4Runner

It’s almost like destiny, no? The OP batted around the idea of buying another SC, but ultimately chose to go with another Toyota product. It also didn’t hurt that he got a screaming deal on his 4Runner.

“I reached out to my friend who gave me the 4Runner for FREE! My goal is to build a reliable trail rig for camping and exploring. I’m not building a rock crawler. I’m shooting for end of August to have the Runner on the road. By October I plan to install the roll cage and get all the creature comforts working (heat, AC, radio, etc.) for a road-trip to Idaho.

The color is up in the air, but I plan on using either Raptor Liner or Monstaliner for the interior floor and exterior body. The wheels will be 15×10 white wagon wheels wrapped with 32″ tires for now (I know it’s going to rub) and 33″ after she’s lifted. The 4-5″ lift should be installed by next summer.”

The first order of business was to strip the 4Runner down and remove the old engine. After a whole lot of sanding and some paint, the front clip was looking much, much better.

Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

Comments ()