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It is no secret I am a fan of Toyota’s JZ series of engines. The 2JZ-GTE is legendary in tuner circles. It is capable of insane horsepower numbers on stock internals. It was built and engineered during Japanese “Gentlemen’s Agreement.” An era where Japanese auto manufacturers agreed to limit their car’s power output to a maximum of 276 horsepower. Some cars made more than this but most JDM cars from this era were around that power figure. You’d think that in an effort to save cost the engineers would design their engines around that power figure. What they actually did was ludicrously over-engineer almost every single engine. The JZ engines from Toyota, the RB series from Nissan for example, were capable of making way more power then they left the factory with. So what we ended up with were engines that were very tuner friendly. So much so that tuners are still putting 2Jz’s in modern cars in an effort to make more power.
Now, most of you probably got your first exposure to the legend via The Fast and The Furious movie. We all know the scene. Brian O’Conner owes Dominic Toretto a 10 second car after his Mitsubishi meets with an unfortunate end. If you need a refresher watch this:
(Sorry the video is a bit crap, but it is the only one I could find.)
So we start with the truck bringing what is clearly a Mk IV Supra to Dom’s garage. This immediately peeks the interest of the rest of the crew, if only to see what the F is going on. Brian informs Dom that this particular Supra is his new 10 second car. This is my first rub, oviously this Supra has been in a fire so the interior, wiring, mounts, everything needs replacing. If someone owed me a car and then brought me what essentially is just a shell I’d be pretty Goddamn pissed. You do see an element of this in Dom’s initial reaction calling the “new” car a “10 minute” car. But all is forgiven when Brian gets them to pop the hood. Which leads to much ooohhh-ing and ahhhh-ing over the 2JZ lurking in the engine bay.
Back to the opening of this particular scene. Like I said, it is obvious to anyone who is into tuner cars that the burnt out husk of a car being towed into Dom’s garage is a Mk IV Supra. Any tuner worth their salt would immediately know that some variation of a 2JZ is under the hood. So why the surprise? This should have been known from the start. Dom’s response to Brian’s “Pop the hood” request was, “GE or GTE?” The only way that they should have had the reaction they did is if upon popping the hood they find a Hemi lurking under it.
Now that we Popped the hood go back and look at the intake manifold over the top of the engine. This is a dead giveaway that this is a 2JZ-GE. It is the exact same engine as in my Lexus. Why is that important? The GE is the N/A version of the 2JZ. Which means in addition to no turbos and turbo related parts it has completely different pistons. Not to mention a completely different transmission (assuming for a moment that it is actually a manual). Again important because the W58 5 speed that came with the GE can’t hold much more than 350, 400 horsepower tops. So what Brian has brought Dom is a Shell that needs a complete ground up restoration just to get into rolling chassis configuration but he has also brought him an engine block and some heads. Both of which needs to be rebuilt. The rest of the drive train needs to be replaced. Which is not cheap mind you.
Then there is Jessie’s $15 grand budget. Sounds good but is woefully short for a car in this state. First off, overnighting parts from Japan is not cheap, it is in fact very expensive so that blows the budget to hell before we even start the parts list. The engine, it is a GE, so the block and the heads can stay, everything else needs to go. Why? the N/A GE has a higher compression ratio then it’s forced induction GTE cousin. To rebuild the bottom end with forged components is easily north of $5,000. Add in another $1000+ for top end components such as cams, springs, valves etc. All necessary components when your goal is a 10 second car. Which brings me to the transmission. The V161 Getrag 6-Speed Manual found in GTE Mk IV’s is not cheap. You would have been lucky to find one for less than $5,000. Then we need an aftermarket ECU which is going to run around $600-$1,000. And yes it needs to be aftermarket because the stock unit can not be re-flashed or reprogrammed in any way. Toyota was really cool that way, plus on a build like this you want the added control an aftermarket ECU provides. I know Dom had the super secret hush-hush hook up over at the Racer’s Edge but we’re being kind on costs here and we’ve already blown through $11,600 of Jessie’s $15,000 budget. And we haven’t even gotten to things like, gaskets, injectors, turbo manifold, turbo, waste gate, blow off valve, down pipe, other exhaust components, cam gears, pulleys, intake manifold, throttle body, flywheel, clutch, a metric shit ton of wiring, suspension components including the “Koni adjustables”, body work and body kit, rims, tires, that big ass wing, paint and so on. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some stuff but you can see how costs on builds like this can spiral out of control?
So these characters we are led to believe are experts in the tuner community don’t realize an iconic tuner car has just landed in their garage. They fail to realize that it can only come with 2 engines both of which are 2JZ’s. When it is revealed they don’t realize it’s the wrong 2JZ thus requiring more work to get to Race Wars decimating status. The budget is completely unrealistic. This is why this scene bugs me. But hey, in the end it smokes a Ferrari so who cares?