Toyota VZ engine

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Toyota VZ engine
ManufacturerToyota Motor Corporation
PredecessorToyota G engine
SuccessorToyota MZ engine

The Toyota VZ engine family is a V6 piston engine series. The family introduced many changes for Toyota, including various EFI, TCCU, and engine improvements from generation to generation.

In general, the VZ family produce large amounts of low-midrange power and torque and are well-suited for various uses in cars, trucks, and SUVs. The blocks are all strongly made cast iron with large interconnected main bearing cradles and 2 bolt main bearing caps. Forged steel crankshafts, and cast iron main bearing support girdles became standard on all with the 3vz-fe. Piston and ring construction are typical parts, with rods varying between large and very large for stock V6 production engines.

The VZ was Toyota's response to the Nissan VG engine. The low angle DOHC cylinder heads were designed by Yamaha Motor Company and excelled in low-mid torque and power.


The 1VZ-FE is a 2.0 L (1992 cc) version. Bore is 78 mm (3.07 in) and stroke is 69.5 mm (2.7 in). Output is 136 hp (101 kW) at 6000 rpm and 128 ft·lbf (173 N·m) at 4600 rpm.

Applications: JDM


The 2VZ-FE is a 2.5 L (2507 cc) version. Bore is 87.5 mm (3.4 in) and stroke is 69.5 mm (2.7 in). Output is 159 hp (118 kW) at 5800 rpm and 159 ft·lbf (215 N·m) at 4600 rpm.



The 3VZ-E is a 3.0 L (2958 cc) version. Bore remains at 87.5 mm (3.4 in) but stroke is pushed to 82.0 mm (3.2 in). At introduction output was specified as 145 hp (108 kW) then later bumped to 150 hp (112 kW) at 4800 rpm with 180 ft·lbf (244 N·m) of torque at 3400 rpm. Despite sharing an engine family designation the 3VZ-E and 3VZ-FE have few parts in common.



The 3VZ-FE came to life when Toyota recognized that it needed a larger V6 engine to suit the then-upcoming 3rd generation Camry platform. Its basic design incorporates an updated version of the last revision of the 3VZ-E's iron block (a truck motor), mated with aluminum DOHC (24 valve) heads and Toyota's most advanced OBD-I control system. The upper aluminum intake plenum is of the split chamber design with Toyota's ACIS variable intake system feeding three sets of runners for both heads.

Because of the truck roots, the 3vz-fe happens to be a physically tall motor (may correlate with the great torque exhibited). In fact, it is so tall that when used in the Camry it is impossible to fit it within the small package of the Camry's front end. However, in lieu of going back to the drawing board to create a shorter motor, Toyota instead canted the motor towards the firewall. This "tilt" is so severe (~15 degrees) that reaching the rear bank of cylinders is nearly impossible without first removing the intake plenum. Fortunately, using platinum plugs means that spark plug replacement is quite seldom. The inconvenience of plug replacement is offset by the low rpm torque output of the motor.

Parts-wise, the 3VZ-FE shares very little with previous engines, including the 3VZ-E, and 2VZ-FE. The few parts shared with the 3VZ-E that are interchangeable are the main bearings; little else is the same. In a surprising twist, no electronics from other Toyota (Denso) parts are swappable.

It is a smooth running engine that was used as the 3.0 L V6 engine on the Camry platform between 1992 and 1997.5 depending on the market: North America saw the engine only in 1992 and 1993 while Australia and New Zealand had it from 1992 through 1996. The engine was available in some parts of Asia and in the JDM Toyota Windom through 1997.5.

The 1992-1993 engine has 185 hp (138 kW) at 5800 rpm and 189 ft·lbf (256 N·m) at 4600 rpm. 1994+ have 200 hp (149 kW) at 5800 rpm and 204 ft·lbf (277 N·m) at 4600 rpm. There is no mechanical difference in the engine. In an embarrassing move, Toyota inadvertently created an engine competing with the more performance oriented 7M-GE (200 hp) and 2JZ-GE (225 hp) installed in sportier, more luxurious cars of the time. Because of this, both stock ignition timing, and fuel tuning were set more conservatively than normal capping power output.

The power spread of the 3VZ-FE is wide, having 100% torque between 2500 rpm - 4600 rpm, with power trailing off by 6000 rpm. Stock redline is 6600 rpm, and the ECU's fuel/ignition cut is 7200 rpm. The valvetrain was designed for no float over the stock programmed operational range.

Though harder to find in good used condition in North America (unless imported), the 3VZ-FE is a fairly common V6 in most parts of the world, after having a good lifespan in popular models. They are cheap, simple, have few problems, and have become a semi-popular subject for engine swaps (particularly into the mid-engine MR2).

The 3VZ-FE also started Toyota's trend of severely overbuilding their production V6 engines. Having a larger forged steel crankshaft and large cast rods, they can handle double the stock power output. With a few nitrous and turbocharged examples matching or exceeding 450 hp (336 kW) on both the stock engine and stock engine management with a piggyback/interceptor controlling fuel/ignition.



The 4VZ-FE is a 2.5 L (2496 cc) version. Bore is 87.5 mm (3.4 in) and stroke is ever so slightly lower from the 2VZ-FE at 69.2 mm (2.7 in). Output is 173 hp (129 kW) at 6000 rpm. Compression ratio of this engine was raised from 9.0:1 to 9.6:1. In production from 1992 until 1996, it was built to replace the 2VZ-FE as Toyota's 2.5 L V6. Engine was only sold with JDM vehicles.

Applications: JDM


The 5VZ-FE is a 3.4 L (3378 cc) engine. Bore is up to 93.5 mm (3.7 in) and stroke is 82.0 mm (3.2 in). Output is 190 hp (142 kW) at 4800 rpm with 220 ft·lbf (298 Nm) of torque at 3600 rpm. It has a cast iron engine block and aluminum DOHC cylinder heads. It uses MFI fuel injection, has 4 valves per cylinder with bucket tappets and features large cast connecting rods, a one-piece cast camshaft, and a cast aluminum intake manifold.

The 5VZ-FE also continued the 3VZ-FE's trend of being far overbuilt for its intended application & many stock, semi-modified non-turbo and non-superchargered engines continue to be considered one of the more reliable small truck or SUV V6 engines ever made. A handful of built versions exceed 900 hp (670 kW), and some stock engines can produce 450 hp (336 kW) or more. This has become a popular engine to consider when doing engine swaps with the availability of the 3.4 L TRD supercharger and custom turbocharger setups.


See also