Saturday, October 18, 2014

10k: 4Soarer: 1995 Toyota 4Runner, 1JZ swap

What's the difference between a Supra with 800 horsepower, 1,000 horsepower, and 1,300 horsepower? About three tenths in the 1/4 mile, or so the joke goes. See, the problem with Toyota's JZ-series engines isn't thrust. The 2.5-liter, 24-valve DOHC unit with one, two, or zero turbochargers ensured that, and a broad aftermarket only adds to the mayhem. The challenge is making all that power stick. Off-road tread definitely won't aid in launching this 2WD body-on-frame truck down the track, but it's unique and well-done and altogether a very Seattle thing to do. Find this 1JZ-GTE-swapped 1995 Toyota 4Runner in Seattle, WA for $10,000 via craigslist.

1JZ and 2JZ swaps materialize with some frequency these days in a bevy of rear-drive cars including Mustangs, an occasional Mercedes, S2000s, another Mercedes, and of course the Toyota family. This truck is a curiosity. The highest-spec engine was only worth 160 horsepower, and more is always better, right?

On the inside, a Japanese bubble shifter announces the best part of this build: a 5-speed manual transmission sourced from a Lexus SC300. It sticks out like modesty at a Harley cruise night compared to the rest of the interior. Pegging the 110-mph speedometer is probably this truck's best use, if you want prodigious wind and tire noise to be the last thing you hear before you die.

Compared to this 4Runner, an SVT Lightning makes less horsepower (only 320) and weighs 1,000 pounds more. An SRT-8 Grand Cherokee, which is probably a closer comparison, makes 420 horsepower, weighs about 1,200 pounds more, is four-wheel drive, and a lot more expensive. The shock value of this build would never get old, and it has probably the most cargo space a Supra engine will ever motivate. Probably.

See a faster truck for cheap? Email us at

PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.


  1. I would still take a GMC Typhoon any day of the week. AWD, turbo v6, 0-60 in less than 5 seconds and that nice boxy look!

  2. Nice job, though in California that open-element filter will kill you flat dead on teh smog even if the guy notices nothing else. one's gonna buy a billion-HP 4Runner unless it can spin the front tires too.

  3. Fleetwood T. BroughamOctober 20, 2014 at 6:17 AM

    Why, why, why would anyone want to spend their day shifting gears with a fairy princess dildo?

  4. I rode in one of these swaps once. The guy told me that the engine gets in the way of the front driveshaft so you can't get 4wd and the 1JZ. Bummer, but the burnouts are great.


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