Toyota 1JZ-GTE: Everything You Need To Know

In the ’90s, yes, this is where most of the iconic Japanese engines were built, hit the road, revving around, and created a tight-bond community that will carry on to the next generations.

And one of those engines is the 1JZ-GTE which is the grandkid of the legendary 1G engine. So today, we will talk about the 1JZ-GTE’s power output, torque, applications, key features, aftermarket support, issues, problems, and engine design.

What are 1JZ-GTE Engines?

1JZ-GTE debuted in 1991 Soarer GT as the flagship for a turbocharged inline-six

The Toyota 1JZ-GTE is a straight-six, 2.5 Liter, turbocharged gasoline engine. This engine is a successful collaboration between Yamaha and Toyota, the former due to its massive role in the development of this engine.

Partnership and building engines will further strengthen the relationship between the companies due to joint projects in the future.

If you can observe, it is almost identical to the 1JZ-GE engine with its cast-iron block, lightweight Aluminum cylinder head with two belt-driven overhead camshafts, and it has four valves per cylinder.

It is equipped with VVT-i technology (Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence), Electronic Fuel Injection System, and variable-length intake manifold ACIS. 1JZ-GTE is the turbocharged version of the 1JZ-GE engine.

Engine Specifications and Design:

  • Production Run: 1991 – 2007
  • Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum
  • Cylinder Block Material: Cast-Iron
  • Configuration: Inline-Six
  • Bore: 86 mm
  • Stroke: 71.5 mm
  • Valvetrain: DOHC with four valves per cylinder
  • Displacement: 2.5 L (2492 cc)
  • Compression Ratio: 8.5 and 9.0
  • Weight: 450 lbs.
  • Max HP: 276 HP at 6,200 RPM
  • Max Torque: 280 lb-ft at 2,400 RPM

1JZ-GTE is the high-performance version of the 1JZ-GE engine but a lot closer to its predecessor, the 7M GTE. It has a monoblock cast-iron block with a specially cast structure that utilizes a seven-bearing support system with a bore of 86 mm and a 71 mm stroke.

The crankshaft has twelve counterweights and seven journals which both of the pins and journals are induction-hardened.

The pistons are made of unique Aluminum casting, and each piston is fitted with a single oil ring and two compression rings. The early generation of the 1JZ-GTE engine that is without a VVT-i system has a compression ratio of 8.5, and the second generation with BEAMS technology has a higher compression ratio of 9.0.

The first generation engine has a rated output o 276 HP at 6,200 RPM and 268 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 RPM.

The 1JZ-GTE has a good cooling efficiency due to its lightweight but strong material of Aluminum alloy. The camshafts are made from specially cast high-strength steel and are driven by the timing belt.

The earliest release of the 1JZ-GTE engine utilizes the perks of a parallel-twin CT12A turbochargers, which either blow through a front-mount air-to-air intercooler or the side mount.

This engine is a mature balance of the aggressively smooth attribute of an inline-six-cylinder with the high-rev capacity and fast power delivery of its small, ceramic turbochargers.

However, due to their physical properties, ceramic turbine wheels are more prone and susceptible to delamination in the event of high impeller RPM rates and local temperature conditions, usually due to higher boost pressure.

Also, following the early release of 1JZ are first-generation 1JZs who were way more prone to turbo failure due to a faulty one-way valve on the head, particularly on the intake camshaft cover, causing the blow-by gases to go into the intake manifold.

To add to that, small to medium amounts of oil vapor flows into the turbos that cause early wear on the seals on the exhaust side. Maybe this is a design flaw, but whatever it is, it needs to be solved and closed.

So the next generation or the second generation engines had this problem sorted out, and Toyota fixed it. There was a recall campaign to repair the first generation engines in Japan though it does not apply outside the Japanese market.

The fix only is simple and only involves the replacement of the PCV valve, which is all available in Toyota.

The final and third generation of the 1JZ-GTE engine applies Toyota’s BEAMS architecture which was introduced around 1996.

It still carries the same 2.5 L displacement but has better components that include a newly developed continuous variable valve timing mechanism VVT-i, reworked head, modified water jackets for better cooling on the cylinders as well as freshly developed shims with titanium nitride coating to reduce cam friction.

Toyota also changed the turbo setup from the twin parallel turbo to the single turbo CT15B. The single turbo installed in the 3rd generation 1JZ-GTEs is far more efficient due to smaller exhaust ports in the head.

This allows the outgoing gases from the exhaust to have more speed as they exit the head, which in turn spools the turbo faster even at a lower RPM range.

The power figure of the engine remains at 276 HP but has an increased torque to 280 lb-ft. It also has a higher compression ratio of 9.0 due to the adoption of the new VVT-i upgrade and the improved cylinder cooling.

All of these upgrades result in a more efficient engine that boasts an almost ten percent reduction in fuel consumption. The replacement of the single turbocharger from the twin as well as different exhaust ports and manifold also contributes to the fifty percent torque increase employed in this engine, even for low RPM speeds.

Applications of the 1JZ-GTE Engine:

  • Soarer 2.5 GT-T
  • Toyota Crown Athlete V (JZS170)
  • Toyota Chaser/Mark II/Cresta Twin Turbo
  • Toyota Chaser/Mark II/Cresta Tourer V
  • Toyota Verossa/Mark II
  • Toyota Supra MK III 2.5 Twin Turbo
  • Toyota Verossa VR25
  • Toyota Mark II Bilt

Engine Upgrades, Tuning, and Modifications

The 1JZ-GTE engine is powerful on its own, and even with that tremendous amount of power, you can still boost and add some. The great thing is that 1JZ-GTE engines are excellent platform engines to perform from such arrangement as they can withstand serious upgrades.

Let us start by boosting up the 1JZ-GTE engine. It would be best to buy a downpipe, performance exhaust system, 255 lph fuel pump, and an air filter. That would be enough to increase the boost pressure on the stock ECU from 10 psi to 13 psi, but be careful on exceeding 13 psi as this pressure is critical to some turbos.

To continue, you need a BlitzECU, blow-off valve, boost controller, intercooler, and that will increase the boost pressure to 17 psi which is the maximum for the stock turbocharger. That can produce 400 HP.

If you want more horses, change the stock turbocharger with a recommended single turbo kit developed for the 1JZ-GTE engine; one example is the Garrett GTX3076R. Then after that, buy an oil cooler, new air filter, 80 mm throttle body, 400 lph fuel pump, thickened 3-row radiator, armored fuel hoses, 800 cc fuel injectors, performance exhaust systems, 264-degree camshafts, and AEM Engine Management System for the ECU.

These aftermarket parts will give you 500 – 600 Horsepower.

But if that is still not enough, you need to buy a turbo kit designed out of Garrett GTX3582R made for 1JZ-GTE; top with forged pistons and reinforced connecting rods, 1000 cc fuel injectors, and do some head porting. That can result in an increase of capacity to 700 – 750 horsepower.

Also, take note that if your car is fitted with automatic transmission, you need to reinforce it.

Problems Surrounding 1JZ-GTE Engine:

As much as we wanted to keep our engines in excellent and pristine condition for the machines to last longer, however, some things might not come in our way. This is due to factors such as the engine age, external environment, wear and tear, and many more that may affect the engine’s state and condition.

With this, we created a precautionary list so that you will not find yourself hammering for another nail in the coffin. Some common 1JZ-GTE problems that some owners had encountered are too common not to be noticeable.

Since 1JZ-GTE engines were more than twenty years old and most of its components, especially if you bought it second-hand, are already loose and worn out. That results in excessive oil consumption, which is not that surprising to that engine age.

However, too much oil consumption can affect the engine performance because you need to stock it often, and if not, it will result in an engine overheat or, worse, engine failure. So check your valve stem seals and piston rings regularly so that if they need replacements, you can do it immediately.

The first issue is the 1JZ-GTE engine will not start. Issues of this type can get into your nerves, especially if you are in the middle of a trip or have essential tasks to do, then suddenly the car will not start.

This condition is caused by the spark plugs and is prevalent among engine that sits at colder regions that causes the spark plugs to be damp or frozen. So you might need to screw the spark plugs out and dry them if they are damp; if that didn’t help, buy new spark plugs and install those. That will solve the problem.

Next is the Rough idling. Rough idling is common not only to 1JZ but also to other engines outside the confinements of Toyota. It is caused by collective dirt accumulated on fuel injectors, clogged air filters, exhaust system issues, and spark plugs and wires.

This is when your car is like shaking and cannot burn the fuel that leads us to the next issue, which is misfiring.

The next issue is misfiring, which is the direct result of unexpected things on the spark plugs. Misfirings happen when the engine cylinder cannot burn the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber.

This is due to faulty or worn-out engine components such as the piston ring, sparks plugs, MAF sensor, oxygen sensors, etc. As the engine loses power, it jerks aggressively and can escalate to fuel overconsumption and raised emissions output.

The fourth is the engine knocking sound. This is the most noticeable, if not one, out of all the issues due to its loud nature because you can actually hear it, and kind of annoying.

The noise can be caused by the VVT-i system, unadjusted intake and exhaust valves, and connecting rod bearings. Check the valves first for the clearances.

If the noise decreased or gone after adjusting it, then that’s it, but if you already adjusted the valves and nothing happened, replace the VVT-i, which is consumable and does not last that long so you might need to replace it.

The timing belt tensioner bearing can also cause knocking; try replacing it.


1JZ-GTE is a powerful, innovative, and highly reliable engine. With its huge power production and unlimited tuning potential, this engine can satisfy your needs.

Its twin-turbo release sparked good intentions but came rallying with their single turbo integration that results in a better engine efficiency as well as reduced fuel consumption for a 2.5 L machine.

It is also equipped with Toyota’s newly developed VVT-i mechanism and other internal components. Though it has a fair share of issues and problems, this engine can surpass all expectations with the proper maintenance and care.

Don’t forget to use high-quality engine oil and fuel.

I hope that this simple guide helped you under the 1JZ-GTE’s power output, applications, engine design, issues, problems, tuning potential, aftermarket support, and overall impact on the automotive industry and community.

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