3UZ-FE: Everything You Want to Know | Specs and More

If you’ve read our LS engine article, then you know that engines typically come in families. The 3UZFE is the third, and final engine in the Toyota UZ family.

Just like the 2UZ, the 3UZFE is based almost entirely off of the 1UZ. The biggest and most obvious change would be the displacement, which was increased to 4.3L.

The 3UZFE is the least known of the entire UZ engine family, but is it just as good as its big brothers?

3UZFE: Engine Basics

Just like the 1UZ, the 3UZFE has an aluminum engine block. The aluminum engine block helps keep weight down, which is helpful for the heavy luxury cars that it’s installed in.

Other than the slightly increased displacement, the 3UZ is just like the 1UZ. It’s a 90* V8, with aluminum heads that are dual over head cam.

There are 32 valves (4 per cylinder), and the lifters aren’t hydraulic, so it needs periodic valve adjustments.

RELATED: Toyota 1UZ-FE: Everything You Need to Know

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All other UZ engines started out pretty basic, and later received upgrades such as Toyota’s VVT-i. The 3UZFE started out with all the upgrades including VVT-i.

This is because the 3UZFE is much younger than the other UZ engines, and it would’ve been ridiculous for Toyota not to use VVT-i on the 3UZ.

  • Production: 2000 – 2010
  • Cylinder Block Material: Aluminum
  • Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum
  • Valve Train: DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
  • Stroke: 82.5mm
  • Bore: 91mm
  • Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
  • Displacement: 4292cc

3UZFE: Vehicles

Just like the 1UZ, the 3UZFE was designed for luxury cars. It came in a number of different Toyota products, but they were all luxury oriented vehicles.

The 3UZFE was equipped in the Lexus GS430, LS430, and SC430. It was also equipped in the Toyota Crown Majesty, and the Soarer.

RELATED: Toyota 2UZ-FE: Everything You Need to Know

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  • Lexus GS 430
  • Lexus LS 430
  • Lexus SC 430
  • Toyota Crown Majesty
  • Toyota Soarer

3UZFE: Performance Data

Over the years the 3UZFE had minor upgrades done to it. These upgrades increased horsepower, torque, and fuel economy.

  • 282 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
  • 307 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm

Minor revisions were added.

  • 290 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
  • 320 lb-ft @ 3,400 rpm

Once again, minor revisions were added.

  • 304 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
  • 325 lb-ft @ 3,400 rpm

As you can tell from these numbers, there were only slight gains in horsepower. Most of these gains were a result of computer re-calibration, and the physical parts were left unchanged.

1UZFE vs 3UZFE: What is the Difference?

Like I mentioned before, the 3UZ is heavily based on the 1UZ engine. But what are the actual differences? The 3UZ has a larger bore, and thinner cylinder sleeves. The 3UZ’s pistons are lighter and larger to accommodate the cylinder bore.

The 3UZ also has improved water passages which lowered combustion chamber temperatures.

The 3UZ also had technological advancements such as Lexus’s electronic throttle body. For the full list of all difference between the 1UZ and 3UZ, please visit LexusV8engines.co.va.

3UZFE: Tuning Potential

If you are a car guy or gal, chances are that this is the part you were waiting for. What can the 3UZ really do? Can be it be transformed from its boring stock form into a street monster? Well, I had both good and bad news for you.

Good news; its nearly identical to the 1UZ, and can make power as easy as the 1UZ. Bad news; its severely limited by the stock block.

RELATED: Here’s Why You NEED a Lexus Sc300/SC400

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The 3UZ is a double edge sword. Its super awesome because its mostly the same at the 1UZ, which can make tons of power really easily. The reason that the 3UZ is limited by the stock block is the bore size.

The cylinder block is identical to the 1UZ’s, but the larger bore of the 3UZ decreases the size of the cylinder sleeves. Those thinner sleeves limit the 3UZ to around 600 horsepower on a stock block.

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As long as you’re not pushing your car past 600 horsepower, than the stock block will work just fine for you. One of the most common modifications to the 3UZ is adding a Terminator Cobra supercharger, or Eaton M90 supercharger.

This quickly bumps the horsepower up to an impressive 360+ at just 6 psi. With a built bottom end, the 3UZ can reach 420+ horsepower at 10 psi. Like I said, it is limited by the stock cylinder sleeves, so you don’t have to be very careful when adding boost.

3UZFE: Summary

So as you might have figured out by now, the 1UZ and the 3UZ are basically the same. They share a large amount of their components, and make similar power.

The difference worth mentioning is that the 3UZ is much weaker than any other UZ engine. Let me know what you think about the 3UZFE in the comments below.

25 thoughts on “3UZ-FE: Everything You Want to Know | Specs and More”

  1. Hello Bryce,

    Would you happen to know who can build me a 600+ Reliable Horsepower 3UZ-FE Race Engine to compete in GT Entry Level Class Circuit Racing. ??

    Reply
    • Hi Fred. Try Hartley engines and motorsport in NZ. They build race spec 1GZ V12s from the Toyota crown that make over 700Hp!and build race 1UZ engines as well. Yes, thats the same Hartley as F1 driver Brendon Hartley

      Reply
  2. Not everything!
    1) What is the bank to bank angle?
    2) Will it benefit from a 4-7 swap?
    3) Are cams and ECM available for a 4-7 swap?
    4) Will a supercharger fit under the hood of a 2004 Lexus LS-430?

    Reply
  3. I just got a gs430, and reading over what you posted about the 3UZ-FE and I was wondering if there is a way to mod ” the stock cylinder sleeves” so it bust on me when I boost it, I want at lest more then 600+, I’m currently looking into manual swap, and tips to go about more HP and boost.

    Reply
  4. Recently my knock sensors caused a problem and we replaced them with generic ones. No big deal, I guess. Except with these, the car would behave in one of three distinct ways. Normal, as before… or limp home mode, or crazy redhead screamer! It’s personality would change as you drive it. Don’t like it now? Turn off the key for a moment and allow it to reboot. You’ll either get standard back, or if you’re lucky the redhead would come out to play. The read head burns rubber from a rolling stop and pulls hard immediately when you touch the gas, never hesitating.
    Any ideas how I can get a date with her again, now that we had to replace those new knock sensors with OEM?
    Now that I know what is possible, this is boaring.

    John

    Reply
  5. I find your comment regarding the “thinner sleeves” on the 3uz very confusing. You’re not the first person to mention this, by the way.
    Lextreme stripped both the 1 and 3 uz engines and found the sleeve thickness to be identical at .187″.
    It seems as if you are imying that the 3uz is merely a 1uz with massive rebore, hence the thinner sleeves. This is of course not true.
    So, I would like to know rxactly what you mean when u say the sleeves are thinner??
    Do you perhaps refer to the section deep in the block closer to the crank??

    Please clarify this for me.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Yes, true, the 3UZ does NOT have “thinner sleeves” than the 1UZ . . . they are the same. The water passages between cylinders are thinner, but other modifications to the 3UZ actually make it cool better. Also, the 3UZ heads flow better.

      The real limitation to modifying the stock 3UZ beyond 400hp are the standard pistons – the standard ring gaps will compress with boost and temperature and snap the top ring lands . . . and the standard rods are very skinny (unlike the very early 1UZ non-vvti rods). However, new forged pistons and steel rods bring the 3UZ potential up to around 1200 horsepower on boost. Beyond this, you risk the block flexing (although there are many 3UZs build beyond 1200 horsepower). I know these things from having build 1UZs and 3UZs for high horsepower street and racing applications.

      Get your facts straight.

      Reply
  6. Good evening,
    I have a Lexus 3UZFE in my Nissan Hardbody with auto box, I changed my diff ratios as my top end was 135km/h max then she would cut out (limit), now my top end is 162km/h then she cuts out. My aim is around 185km/h for overtaking mostly, is there anyway that I could achieve this speed? Thanks in advance guys.

    Reply
  7. can anyone tell me about the differential(final gear) value of 3 UZ FE 6 SPEED installed in Toyota Crown Majesta

    Reply
  8. good day I have installed a 3uz-fe vvti in my gwm steed 2012
    it feels like my gearbox is running very high on temperature
    what can I do to reduce fuel consumption

    Reply
  9. will a eaton m65 supercharger work on the 3uz-fe vvti.
    what do I need to change on the motor to fit the supercharger

    Reply
  10. Hi
    I am soon to start my lifelong project of building a Morgan. I’ve wanted to put a 3UZ into it but have been told that it would not meet today’s emmission control standards, is this the case?

    Reply
  11. What i’d like to know is what can i do to get my 06 GS430 up to 350-400 horsepower without doing a $5,000 supercharger. im looking for simple bolt ons/tuning. i dont need a 600hp monster. what can be done for a mild build?

    Reply
    • I have an SC430 2006 with the same engine and trans.. My original 2009 SC430 was totaled and I parted it out.. I have the entire powertrain and going through the entire engine.

      I am rebuilding it with the 1UZ rods from the early 90’s 4.0 engine which will work perfectly even with the 4.3 pistons.. But I am going to get the 4.3 forged pistons (not cheap) to use with the 1UZ rods, which are forged and beefy – there is a comparison of them on the Lextreme site. I wanted to use the longer 4.7 rods and bore out the sleeves, but I and likely not going to bore it out and at the most possibly find some 4.7 rods to add displacement but lose RPM’s. The issue is the 6 speed auto trans in our cars will start slipping if you go much over 400hp with them, so those need to be beefed up, or a different trans to be used, and this is where it gets complicated.

      I am taking the heads off and doing lots of work to them – porting, polishing, larger valves, and aftermarket cams. Its not cheap, and everything mentioned here for the heads alone is like 5k. The Intake manifold can be honed out completely. On the forums people were saying it would make no difference, but a guy did it and dynoed it after and it made a good bump in power and faster to rev, so I am doing that as well.

      I just bought a reworked torque converter from Lextreme today and its coming in the mail, and will tune my ECU for the current 3UZ in my SC430 to use for now since the other engine will take me a year to build slowly. Apparently these 3UZ engines are neutered from the factory and have shit tunes on them. The torque converter upgrade allows the car to take off a lot faster, and if you get an extra ECU and have it tuned and installed to go with the torque converter mod, this will take literally a half a second off the 0-60 without even adding power to the engine. It makes me angry they detuned these engines from the factory, with the delay in the pedal when you hit the gas, and everything else.

      The Suprastore has a set of worked heads for the 3UZ, a cam set. I am likely buying those and having larger valves installed, and to work with the lower and upper intake manifold being honed, and of course some headers are important. With a good tune to match these mods, I see no reason these 3UZ engines can put out 360-370 plus hp while NA. These modified upper engine parts will go on the built up bottom end, and then I can supercharge it in the future and I will at least I know it can handle it. All these top end parts for the engine and headers, and tune should get you the power range you want and will make the car a whole different beast! I have to be careful since I am in CA, so I will have a stock ECU and tuned ECU I will swap around at smog time so I dont keep failing.

      I put a very big exhaust on my SC430 and overdid it and lost low end torque so I am getting that fixed soon. But before you dump all kinds of money into the engine since the parts arent cheap, get the torque converter which allows the car to easily roast the tires, and the ECU, and that alone is making an incredible difference and most people stop there because they are happy with it, and maybe you will as well.

      Since I have the extra powertrain, I figured I would take it up to the next step and fully build the extra engine before swapping it in. I also have had Ford Thunderbird SC models that have the Eaton M90 blower which will work on the 3UZ, or the blower thats on the Terminator mustang, which is the same exact engine I have in my Lincoln Mark VIII without the blower. People use these blowers on the 32v 4.6 Cobra engines, and they love boost and can easily handle over 700hp stock, and these same blowers also work on the 3UZ. I am still trying to figure out how to adapt them, but there must be a way because others have done it.

      I can keep you in the loop in the next couple months when these mods are installed, and ill make videos showing the difference.

      Reply
  12. The 3UZ does NOT have “thinner sleeves” than the 1UZ . . . they are the same. The water passages between cylinders are thinner, but other modifications to the 3UZ actually make it cool better. Also, the 3UZ heads flow better.

    The real limitation to modifying the stock 3UZ beyond 400hp are the standard pistons – the standard ring gaps will compress with boost and temperature and snap the top ring lands . . . and the standard rods are very skinny (unlike the very early 1UZ non-vvti rods). However, new forged pistons and steel rods bring the 3UZ potential up to around 1200 horsepower on boost. Beyond this, you risk the block flexing (although there are many 3UZs build beyond 1200 horsepower). I know these things from having build 1UZs and 3UZs for high horsepower street and racing applications.

    Get your facts straight.

    Reply
  13. What diff ratio must i uss in nissan navara whif 3uz vvti 6speed autobox i got a 3.5 ratio in but its havay on feule 5km/L

    Reply

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