Toyota UZ Tuning

"Guide to tuning the Toyota 1UZ-FE 2UZ-FE & 3UZ-FE engine!"

The Toyota UZ offer good returns when tuned and with the best upgrades like a remap, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will really enhance your driving enjoyment.

This pages aim is review and look at UZ tuning and report on the best upgrades.

This is a great engine and the fact it was used in the GT500 series shows the versatility and capability of the UZ engine block and design.

History of the Engine

It had a quad cam V8 setup and came in 3 revisions over the years.

1UZ-FE 256 hp 260 lbft

  • 1989–2000 Lexus LS 400/Toyota Celsior
  • 1989–2002 Toyota Crown/Toyota Crown Majesta
  • 1989–2004 Toyota HiAce HiMedic Ambulance (Japan only)
  • 1991–2000 Lexus SC 400/Toyota Soarer
  • 1992–2000 Lexus GS 400/Toyota Aristo

2UZ-FE 271 hp  315 lbft

(Came with VVT-i and drive by wire throttle in later years)

  • 2002–2009 Lexus GX 470
  • 1998–2007 Lexus LX 470
  • 1998–2011 Toyota Land Cruiser
  • 2002–2009 Toyota 4Runner
  • 1999–2009 Toyota Tundra
  • 2000–2009 Toyota Sequoia

3UZ-FE 290 to 300 hp 325 lbft

This engine was also used on the GT500 supra and Lexus GT500 motorsport version, in a higher state of tune with a 4.4L displacement.

  • Lexus LS 430
  • Lexus GS 430
  • Lexus SC 430/Toyota Soarer
  • Toyota Crown Majesta


Tuning the Toyota UZ and best UZ performance parts.

Best 1UZ-FE 2UZ-FE & 3UZ-FE modifications

Just because particular tuning parts are appear in lots of UZ projects it doesn't mean you should fit it, so we'll ultimate tuning parts that will give your UZ the biggest power gain return for your cash.

Significant gains on the UZ 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 raise the bhp throughout the rpm range, you may sacrifice a little low end bhp but higher rpm power will be lifted.

Race cams, raise the higher rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

On a car used daily should ideally to match your power band to your cars usage.

You'll never have found a UZ Race camshaft is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic.

Each engine responds better to more aggressive cam durations than others.

The map and fuel pump and injectors also have an effect on the bhp gains you'll get.

Longer valve durations can alter the bhp 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: Sports exhaust manifold, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Fast road camshaft, Intake headers, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Panel air filters.

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

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

Carefully think through your options and then acquire your upgrades and set yourself a power target to avoid wasting your time and money.

Mapping should help to release the full potential of all the parts you've fitted to your UZ.

It will usually give around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but your mileage often depend much on the parts you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Feeding air and fuel into the UZ engine is vital to any car tuning task.

Intake headers flow the air from the air cleaner and allow it to be sucked into the engine and mixed with fuel.

Shape and flow rate of the Plenum can make a big change to fuel mixing and power on the UZ.

It's not uncommon that intake are improved through aftermarket parts, although some OEM provide reasonably good intake.

Larger UZ valves, carrying out port work and head flowing will also boost bhp and torque, and as an added benefit will raise potential for increasing the bhp and torque increase on other tuning mods.

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 UZ

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

If an engine is turbocharged, parts are going to make more power and you will discover turbo charged engines will have more solid components.

There are common areas of failure for every engine, with some being over specified and some just sufficiently able to handle stock power

Discover these limitations and install more solid crank and pistons to handle the power.

We see many tuners spending a lots of money on turbocharger upgrades on the UZ only to suffer the humiliation of seeing the motor throw a rod soon after it's finished.

Large turbochargers tend to suffer low end lag, and low capacity turbochargers spool up more quickly but do not have the peak rpm torque gains.

Over the last 20 years the range of turbo units is always developing and we now see variable vane turbo units, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust flow into 2 channels and flow these at differently profiled vanes in the turbo charger. They also improve the scavenging effect of the engine.

You'll commonly see there is a limitation in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the UZ when a lot more air is being drawn into the engine.

Going up you'll find 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor sapped torque at a much lower level.

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


When you increase the torque you will need to look at to the fuel system.

More torque needs more fuel. Don't forget to over specify your injectors flow rate.

As a rule of thumb add 20% to the flow rate when buying an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and gives a little spare capacity should the engine require 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 may need to increase your exhaust if your current exhaust is creating a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you'll find the 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.

Sports exhausts can help equal out the flow of gases through the engine.

But if the exhaust pipe is too big, ie: it's over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a lot of the exhaust flow rate and end up lacking power and torque.

Typically exhaust restrictions can be located the emissions filters installed, so adding a freer flowing sports alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the UZ

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

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

For more information on Tuning your UZ engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss tuning options in more detail with our UZ 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 upgrades work best for them on each model of car. Comments are used to improve the accuracy of these UZ articles which are continually updated.

PLEASE HELP: I NEED YOUR DONATIONS TO COVER THE COSTS OF RUNNING THIS SITE AND KEEP IT RUNNING. I do not charge you to access this website and it saves most TorqueCars readers $100's each year - but we are NON PROFIT and not even covering our costs. To keep us running PLEASE Donate here

If you liked this page please share it with your friends, drop a link to it in your favourite forum or use the bookmarking options to save it to your social media profile.


Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

Help us improve, leave a suggestion or tip

Your Constructive comments on this article

Member Benefits

Join our forum today and benefit from over 300,000 posts on tuning styling and friendly car banter.

You will also have full access to the modifed car gallery, project car updates and exclusive member only areas.

(All car owners of all ages and from all countries are welcome).
Sign up now!!!

Popular articles

Tuning Diesels
ECU Remapping
Double declutch
Safety mods
Induction Kits
Customize a car
Performance Chips
Modified Car insurance
Track day insurance cover
Diesel Remaps
Work out your MPG
Cleaning a DPF

Alloy Wheels

Alloy wheels and their impact on handling and performance.

Benefits Performance Injectors

The Benefits of Performance Injectors vs. Stock Parts

Hydraulic Vs Air Suspension

Air or Hydraulic suspension kits

Wheel Painting

Painted alloy wheels – painting your wheels.

Track Day Driving

Driving tips for track days

Hitech Tailored Car Mats

Hitech tailored car mats

MPG Calculator

MPG calculator UK miles per Gallon – calculate MPG