Video: Our Toyota Lexcen V8 project begins!

We begin our epic 1UZ Toyota Lexcen Carnage project by ripping apart a filthy old Soarer

Photographers: Matt Hull
Videographers: Matt Hull

This episode of Carnage marks the beginning of our V8 Toyota Lexcen project, as Scotty rips apart a donor Toyota Soarer for its glorious 1UZ heart.

The background premise of this project is that we were given this disgusting 1UZ-powered Soarer last year by a very generous fan. The car itself was rough as guts, and had been used as a paddock basher before it was bestowed upon us, but none of that mattered. It was a free, running Soarer, and the 4.0-litre, quad cam 32 valve V8 that these things come with are super capable and perfect for engine swaps.

Not long after, we surprised Scotty by buying him a 1994 Toyota Lexcen VR wagon to drop the 1UZ into. Unlike the Soarer, it’s pretty tidy inside and out and the perfect sleeper candidate a V8 conversion. A Toyota heart in a pretend Toyota wagon — it’s the perfect combo!

With all the challenges last year and other cars like the Supermang, Scotty’s VE Valiant ute and the Trolvo taking up our time, we didn’t get the chance to crack the seal on this project. But that day finally arrived, and the very first job on the list is to get the 1UZ V8 and four-speed auto out of the Soarer and send the shell to the bin.

Dirt, grass, spiders and fully collapsed air suspension (something these cars came with from new) were all challenges Scotty had to face while freeing the V8 mill, but the beauty of pulling an engine from a car you don’t care about is the guilt-free brutality you can apply.

With the donk out, we can now start scheming a plan to beef the 1UZ up before we drop it into the unsuspecting Lexcen. Being an earlier 1UZ means we suspect this mill has the bigger rods, so 500hp (with the help of some boost) isn’t out of the question from the standard bottom end. We’ll give the engine a solid once-over for all the basic maintenance items, along with some valve springs, head studs, a new intake manifold and full engine management from Haltech. Oh, and a cheeky turbo or two as well.

So keep your eyes out for future episodes on this project, because we’re so pumped for it!