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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm sure there are a select few who know this, but I'd wager the vast majority do not. So I decided to post this up so it becomes more broadly known.

The NA 2jzge motor. The generally accepted 'facts', in the US at least, are that the Non-VVTi 2JZGE motors have the big (i.e. turbo) rods. While the VVTi 2JZGE motors have the small weak rods. This is true in the US Market. VVTi motors started coming in US market cars around 1998. First introduced in cars such as the 98+ SC300, GS300, later in the IS300, etc. All of these cars have the small rod 2JZGE VVTi, and is the basis of this generally accepted belief here in the US that all 2JZGE VVTi motors have the weak rods.

However, the 2JZGE VVTi motor was initially introduced by Toyota in the Japan market in 1995, in some trim levels of the Toyota Crown (JZS155 chassis). A test run in their home country perhaps before going global with the engine? 3 years before we got it here! The JZS155 Toyota Crown is now legal to import into the US so we may start seeing more of these in the coming years. I personally have 2 of them (a 95 and a 96). Anyhow, I was a little bit shocked at first when they arrived and I saw they were VVTi, thinking surely those years would have been non-VVTi right?! And then there were a few other little things that stood out as a little bit different than the 2JZGE VVTi I was used to seeing here in the US. Wtf was the deal?! My curiosity was peaked, and my research began.

The one thing I came across that really shocked me the most was discovering that these 1995-1997 2JZGE VVTi motors in Japan came with the big rods, just like the 95 non-VVTi motors did!! I attached some screen shots to the end of this post. First you will see the Toyota Crown JZS155 part numbers for the rods. You will see one part number for 95-97 (13201-46040). This is the big rod that came in our TT motors. Then for later years you see a different part number (13201-46060 / 46061) which is the small rod we are used to seeing in VVTi 2JZGE motors here. Makes sense because the later motor is what we would have gotten here in the US, thus all we have ever seen is the weak rod variant.

Cross reference these part numbers with say a 94 and 98 SC300 (screen shots also attached below), and you will in fact see the part numbers match what I've stated above.

So enjoy today's fun tid bit of knowledge, hopefully some folks learned something new! I know this isn't really directly "Supra" related, but I couldn't think of a better place to post this information for the 2jz community in general to know and have access to read when researching the subject in the future.
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Talk about a sleeper!

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Good post! Many thanks for sharing.

P.S. Did not know this.


Ken.
 

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Im with Ken, as nearly all of my info I have learned about these motors is from the States, and as such, I always believed that all vvti GE's were skinny rod versions.

Now I am curious to know if there are any other vvti GE's from Japan that have the big rods too. My folks own an 2001 Altezza Gita wagon with vvti GE...maybe it should be a candidate for an NA-T build at some point in its future, when I will hopefully own it ;)

Thanks a lot for posting this info, Halon.

#mythbusted!!!
 

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Also, on this topic, is anybody aware of the weight difference between the two sized rods?

I wonder if it was an engineering change for lightness and better engine response, or simply an economic decision to use less material and save money?
 

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Cool find! I knew that very early 2JZ-GE VVTi engines in the Crown were 'big rod' engines but I did not know that lasted into 1997.

The Crown was always Toyota's showcase of sorts for new engine development and release, which is why the Crown and Crown Majesta also got the rare direct injected 2JZ-FSE and 1JZ-FSE in various models for the brief time they were available.
I do know that the 2JZ-GE VVTi engine would have been released in the US earlier, and the 2JZ-GTE Supra would have gotten the VVTi update for the 1997 model year had it not been for the new OBD-II ECU requirement starting in MY 1996 vehicles, which delayed some releases and killed others entirely across many Japanese brands.

Interestingly, in 1996 model year 2JZ-GE's in the US, you can often find the exact same 'later gen' big-rod GE shortblocks as found in the Crown hiding under old gen Non-VVTi heads, including an oil pump set up for a crank sensor, and the oil port for a VVTi head.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wanted to add a little bit to this. The 98+ 2JZGE VVTi engines are known for their weak rods, but another fact is that their pistons also seem to be a bit weaker. I posted up pictures on here a long time ago comparing a GE VVTi piston to a GE Non-VVTi piston. Sorry I'm too lazy to find them but I think it was in that combustion chamber topic from years ago. Anyway the ring land spacing is a bit different on the GE VVTi pistons, which I believe is directly related to the ring land failures we also see on those motors. It is another weak point of the 98+ 2JZGE VVTi motors. So with that being said, I decided to do a little bit of research to see what pistons came in this motor exactly, make sure they aren't the weak IS300 style pistons.


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SO first thing, you can see above is that the 95-97 Crown motor got piston 13101-46050. And the later years go 13101-46080/46081. I went to cross reference those numbers with an SC300. What I found actually surprised me a little. Maybe others are aware of this but I never was.

The 1992-1995 SC300's with the 2jzge non-vvti got piston 13101-46031.
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The 1996-1997 SC300's with the 2jzge non-vvti got piston 13101-46050. (same as crown)
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I always assumed all these 2jzge non-vvti's had the same rods and pistons. No idea what change was made on the 96-97 piston, but it did change part numbers.

Anyway the good news was I then looked up a 98 SC300 (weak rod/piston 2jzge vvti). And that was 13101-46081.
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So that at least also confirms this 95-97 2JZGE VVTi engine didn't get the weaker pistons as well, not until the later ones where they also got the weak rods did they get the weaker pistons. I'm still a little confused on the difference between the 92-95 and 96-97 pistons, but I tend to believe they all must still be plenty strong as the non-vvti GE is known to be strong, and I've never heard any chatter in the past about 96-97 motors blowing sooner then the earlier ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cool find! I knew that very early 2JZ-GE VVTi engines in the Crown were 'big rod' engines but I did not know that lasted into 1997.

The Crown was always Toyota's showcase of sorts for new engine development and release, which is why the Crown and Crown Majesta also got the rare direct injected 2JZ-FSE and 1JZ-FSE in various models for the brief time they were available.
I do know that the 2JZ-GE VVTi engine would have been released in the US earlier, and the 2JZ-GTE Supra would have gotten the VVTi update for the 1997 model year had it not been for the new OBD-II ECU requirement starting in MY 1996 vehicles, which delayed some releases and killed others entirely across many Japanese brands.

Interestingly, in 1996 model year 2JZ-GE's in the US, you can often find the exact same 'later gen' big-rod GE shortblocks as found in the Crown hiding under old gen Non-VVTi heads, including an oil pump set up for a crank sensor, and the oil port for a VVTi head.
I believe it lasted until about mid-way through 97. Per the part number screen shots I posted, I'm inclined to believe later year 97's would have the skinny rods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Little more digging. I started to look into the head itself to see if it's the same 2jzge VVTi head we got here in the states. Mainly because I was wondering what compression this motor might be, if I could make any assumptions based on what head is on here. So here's what I found out.

The head on this Crown motor is 11101-49375.
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The 2jzge VVTi head we are used to on say a 1998 SC300 is 11101-49377.
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It's also a different head gasket 1115-46043 or 46044 for later in 96.
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Compared again to a 98 SC300 which is 1115-46045.
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So at this point I don't really know what the compression ratio is, but I'll just make an assumption that it is probably somewhere in the 10 - 10.5:1 range like our 2jzge's were.


One other thing is I had some folks who were convinced this was a 1JZGE motor because of the valve covers being similar to those found on a 1JZ. This motor is in fact stamped 2jz right on the block so it is a 2jz. But anyway I looked up the valve cover part numbers, and some of these appear to be shared with the 1JZGE, which I suppose is why some were mistaking it as a 1jz.
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Also, on this topic, is anybody aware of the weight difference between the two sized rods?

I wonder if it was an engineering change for lightness and better engine response, or simply an economic decision to use less material and save money?
Indeed lighter rods will grant you better throttle response. Anything you remove weight from, without disrupting the balance, that rotates inside the engine, will have a benefit to throttle response. It comes with some added benefits too. You mentioned less material being cheaper to manufacture, and that benefits the production end from a cost perspective. However that won't help the end user much. Now of key interest to me personally, is the opportunity to increase the rev capacity of the engine. Make things lighter, the forces acting on every part that is spinning around is lessened, all a good thing!

If I had to guess though... lighter parts in every aspect of the driveline of a car in particular add up to incremental improvements in fuel efficiency. If you can get a hundredth of an mpg here and there, eventually they start to add up. :)
 

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How would I be able to tell? could I look up the serial number of the motor? I recently purchased a 2jz ge from japan and this would be awesome because I wouldn't have to build it anymore lol.
Just pull the oil pan off (you're refreshing the motor anyways) and get a peep of the rods. The GE ones are significantly skinnier.
 
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