Turbo Toyota 1UZ-FE V8 mill in the build

We look into the build of the Toyota 1UZ V8 combo powering our Carnage Lexcen sleeper wagon project

Photographers: Ellen Dewar

Viewers of our Carnage show on the Street Machine YouTube channel will probably recognise this Toyota V8, as it’s the mill we swapped into our sleeper Lexcen wagon.

The whole project is the brainchild of Carnage frontman Scotty Taylor. He wanted to stick a non-GM V8 in a rebadged Holden to create “a V8 Commodore that isn’t a V8 Commodore”, as he gleefully puts it.

We scored the 4.0-litre 1UZ V8 from a running early-90s Toyota Soarer. “It’s an early engine, which means it has the beefier rods rather than the later ones that don’t,” says Scotty. “Because of that, we’ve kept the stock rods and pistons, which will be fine for our 550rwhp goal.”

While the standard bottom end gear has been retained, it first needed to be pulled out for some fettling. “We found the bores were scored because the rings were stuffed, so we pulled the bottom end out and gave it a good ol’ hone job,” says Scotty.

Once that was sorted, Scotty began re-assembling the mill with new rod bearings, ARP rod bolts, and fresh rings gapped to handle boost.

The heads were decked, reconditioned, and fitted with Kelford valve springs and turbo-spec camshafts. They were remarried to the alloy Toyota block using some ARP stud gear and Cometic MLS head gaskets.

These quad-cam motors make re-assembly a pretty fiddly process, but Scotty managed to get his head around it. “We did run into issues with some of the old timing gear,” Scotty says. “But a lot of genuine Toyota parts are available from Dubai, of all places, so we sourced a lot of bits from there.”

Topping off the Toyota V8 is the original intake manifold, as the aftermarket one we sourced from our mates at The Skid Factory didn’t clear the Lexcen’s bonnet, and to keep the car nice and sleepy, we needed the package to fit under the lid. Even so, surrounding the stock intake is a pair of BPP fuel rails, 1000cc injectors and a Proflow 70mm throttlebody.

Scotty also went to the effort of converting the ignition from the odd factory twin-dizzy set-up to a coil-on-plug system, using Nissan VQ37 spark throwers. “That was a bit of a mission; every coil pack has its own individual mount that I made from scratch, and only I know how it all goes together!” he laughs.

Controlling that whole lot will be a Haltech Elite 2000 ECU, salvaged from our now parted-out 1JZ Volvo 240. Scotty recently finished wiring up the engine using a Haltech DIY unterminated universal harness that suits the company’s Elite range of ECUs.

The final piece of the puzzle is arguably the most important: the Pulsar power adder. It’s a 7170G turbo we sourced through Carnage sponsor VPW Australia, which has been instrumental in providing top-notch gear for the project. That includes the Proflow 600x300x100mm intercooler, which fits nice and snug behind the Lexcen’s front bar.

“That turbo is good for 1150hp at the crank, so we’re confident we’ll get to that 550rwhp goal on E85, with plenty of scope left to turn it up,” says Scotty.


We got the Toyota Lexcen wagon for a steal as a tidy V6 runner, with both Telfo and Scotty using it as a daily runabout while we worked on other Carnage projects. The transmission died on Telfo during a road leg of Drag Challenge Weekend last year, where we were using the car as a support vehicle (above), so we saw that as an excuse to rip out the Buick V6 and kick off the 1UZ conversion.

Carnage workshop
Dandenong South, Victoria