Toyota RZ Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning the Toyota RZ engine!"

In this article we consider RZ tuning and provide tips on the greatest modifications for your car. Toyota RZ really good project engines and with the right sports enhancements like ECU maps, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will greatly improve your driving enjoyment.

History of the Engine


  • 1RZ-E 101–108 hp 118–123 lb⋅ft


  • 2RZ-E 118 hp
  • 2RZ-FE 142 hp


  • 3RZ-FE  150 hp

Tuning the Toyota RZ and best RZ performance parts.

Best RZ tuning mods

The best RZ upgrades on an engine are sensibly the ones that give the best power gain for you spend.

We won't be swayed by popular RZ upgrades, they need to be cost effective.

Significant gains on the RZ can be made from cam upgrades. Altering the cam profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the power band and power output.

Fast road cams usually boost the bhp and torque over the rpm band, you may sacrifice a little bottom end bhp but the top end will be lifted.

Motorsport and race cams, boost the top end band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

In a road car you need to optimize your engines power to your driving style.

I'd be surprised if you have found a RZ Motorsport and race camshaft is a pleasure to live with when driving around busy urban areas.

Some RZ engines respond better to extreme camshaft durations so view each engine as unique.

The engine timing and injectors and fuel pump also have an effect on the power gains you'll hit.

Altering valve durations can alter the power band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

Stage 1 mods: Remaps/piggy back ECU, Panel air filters, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Sports exhaust manifold, Fast road camshaft, Intake headers.

Stage 2 mods: induction kit, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, high flow fuel injectors, Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades, Fast road cam.

Stage 3 mods: Engine balancing & blueprinting, Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Competition cam, Twin charging conversions, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves).

The RZ engines make great tuning projects and we're pleased to see that there are increasing numbers of modifications and performance parts out there.

remap will help unlock the full potential of all the parts you've fitted to your RZ.

It will usually give around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but your results usually differs on the parts you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

It is the aim to any engine tuning project to pull more air into the RZ engine

Intake manifold carry the air from the intake filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders.

Shape and flow characteristics of the Plenum can make a large effect on to fuel engine efficiency on the RZ.

On popular production engines intake manifold are in dire need of aftermarket tuning parts, although a few car makers provide reasonably good intake manifold.

Increasing the RZ valve size, doing a bit of RZ port enlargement and head flowing will also improve power, and importantly will give you an improved power increase on other modifications.

Turbo upgrades

NASP engines need quite a lot of work when you add a turbo, so we have a separate guide to help you take into account the pros and cons of going this route on your RZ

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes impressive power gains.

When the engine has a turbocharger upgrades are more reliable and most turbo engines will have strengthened components.

However most engines have weakspots

Discover these limitations and fit stronger pistons, crank and engine components to handle the power.

We see many mechanics spending a lots of money on turbo upgrades on the RZ only to experience the RZ literally blow up on it's first outing after it's finished.

Larger capacity turbo chargers tend to suffer a bottom end lag, and little turbo chargers spool up more quickly but don't have the peak rpm bhp gains.

In the last 10 years the selection of turbo chargers is always evolving and we are seeing variable vane turbo chargers, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end performance.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust gases into 2 channels and direct these at differently angled vanes in the turbocharger. They also help the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is common that there is a limit in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the RZ when loads more air is being pulled into the engine.

We see 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting bhp at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large performance gains, although more complex to setup. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.


You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so should uprate the fuelling when you start going beyond 20% of a bhp increase.We strongly recommend you to over specify your injector capacity.

The rule of thumb is to add 20% when buying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and provides you some spare capacity should the engine need more fuel.

We think this one is common sense, but you'll need to match your fuel injector to the type of fuel your car uses as well.


You only need to to uprate your exhaust if your exhaust is actually causing a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you should find that your flow rate is good even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Do not go with the largest exhaust you can buy you'll slow up the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Common exhaust restrictions are in the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a faster flowing sports alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the RZ

The RZ engines are generally reliable and solid as long as they are regularly serviced and maintained.

Regular oil changes are vital on the RZ, especially when tuned and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

For more information on Tuning your RZ engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss tuning options in more detail with our RZ owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which modifications work best for them on each model of car. Comments are used to improve the accuracy of these RZ articles which are continually updated.

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