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What's the best 2JZ engine to start with when doing a 2JZ swap? Did you guess 2JZGE VVTi? If not, you guessed wrong. Long story short, it's the best platform to start with. Newer, more common, much more affordable, VVTi, no distributor, etc.
Our engines are pulled usually from a GS300 or IS300. There is typically a 1 month warranty on the engine's internals. Accessories are not covered under this warranty, including alternator, A/C compressor, water pump, etc. The warranty is so you know you're starting with a good used engine...keep in mind they are still used, and regular maintenance would be wise before proceeding.
For the price of a stock used pull out 2JZGTE, you could have a fully built with brand new forged internals 2JZGE and get much better results. We've sold full 2JZGTE engines for over $12,000 now; people really want to buy that T in the name!
We find it amazing that even more than a decade later, people are still repeating the same, wrong information. For instance, that there was never a 2JZGE VVTi engine made with turbo rods..however, every Crown we import comes from the factory equipped with a 2JZGE VVTi engine and turbo rods.
Here's another fact: installing a turbo manifold on a GTE engine is a pain. You dont hear that one too often, but it's been true for decades. Because of the bolt pattern and port spacing on the head, compromises have to be made either in the installation hardware (see our short studs/nuts install kit) or in the runner design.
"Okay but all of the early 2JZGE non-VVTi engines had turbo rods" - this is true. And they also had a distributor, which gets in the way of installing a turbo setup. Plus, they dont have the better 36-2 tooth resolution crank trigger wheel. Theyre also older engines, which means more likely to have more mileage/wear/tear.
"Okay but the 2JZGE engines didnt have oil squirters" - If youre building a boosted car with forged internals, this is not necessarily a problem. Oil squirters dont work as well on forged pistons as cast pistons. PHR even makes an oil squirter block off kit for GTE engines, as that will keep oil where it needs to be; at the engine bearings and bearing surfaces, not spraying willy nilly under the piston.
"Okay but the 2JZGTE has a place for the oil drain already in the oil pan" - so do the GE engines. They share the same casting, so it's literally as easy as drilling out the existing hole provision and installing the drain.
"Okay but VVTi is more complicated and makes tuning more difficult" - This may have been true 15+ years ago. There have been multiple generations of ECUs that have come and gone with the capability to control VVTi. It's 2 wires, not rocket surgery. Many boosted VVTi cars will still keep the factory ECU to control VVTi, gauge cluster, ABS, throttle, etc. anyways. There's a reason all new engines have some form of variable valve timing control, and that's because among other things, it helps gas mileage and gives a wider powerband.
"Okay but my buddy said the GTE is better" - has your buddy been actively building and providing parts to the community for over 15 years? Or did he just read what someone said on facebook, or on a forum 20 years ago?