For most engines, rebuilding can be a straightforward process of googling a few articles online, picking parts from a catalogue or even a kit and then the fun starts a few weeks later and you can build your engine.
For the 1GZ-FE, it’s a different beast:
Documentation is rare to nonexistent
If it exists, it’s in Japanese or roughly translated with little explanation
Buying parts might have months in lead time as you wait for them to ship from Japan, and current supply chain conditions aren’t helping.
This article, or series of articles, is my attempt at documenting what was involved in the process and where we sourced our parts.
Part of it is so that crazy people like you have a guide that I didn’t have the luxury of, but a lot of it is so when I come back in a year or so after blowing the engine spectacularly I can figure out how to do it again.
1. Workshop Manual
The first thing I bought was a workshop manual for the engine. For most engines this is a simple task, not the case here.
These are rare enough as is, and by the time you read this they might be harder to find than a 2000GT. I was searching online for whether a workshop manual existed and found a few photos on Imgur of what could be one. It had a few diagrams in it that I guessed might help with engine assembly so I decided to buy one.
I translated the text to grab the characters I needed and googled them. After a few hours of searching I found a few on a website called Buyee and bid on it. For $100 I obtained something that saved me thousands.
Unfortunately, this manual is in Japanese. Thankfully there are pictures to help me find what I need and I can translate the text to English as needed. Since these are so rare, I plan to scan the entire thing to preserve it for future builders, and may even translate it with one of my Japanese friends as I go.
I’ll attach it somewhere on this site when I do.
Why it’s helpful:
A workshop manual tells you how to assemble and disassemble things. Most processes are self explanatory, but things like reassembling the cams and timing chains as well as setting the timing is not.
It also contains other things like bearing clearances and torque specs.
In order to get parts you need to make certain measurements and having the right tool set helps. This will be detailed in a separate post that will be linked.
This engine is wonderfully designed. with various forms of 10mm and 14mm sockets you can take apart almost anything in the engine. There are a few specific tools like huge allen head sockets that are required here and there, and I’ll keep a running list as I find new tools.
Crankshafts and Camshaft Bearings
Camshaft and Crank Bearings
Pistons, Connecting Rods, and Conrod Bearings