View Full Version : Sumo - Conversion to Japanese

Ian C
28-09-18, 02:46 PM

I enjoyed building the Sumo so much I have decided to do it again - well almost. As I have told everyone who will listen (a rapidly diminishing audience!) one of the most enjoyable parts of the build was the refurbishment and installation of the RV8, so another engine project was always an ambition.

This ambition is about to be realised, or at least it has started. The engine and gearbox (a refurbished Cosworth T5) came out at the weekend and will shortly be on their way to Brussels (don't ask!), so the Sumo sits forlornly in the garage with a gaping engine bay waiting to be filled. Fortunately I have an early model Toyota 1UZ-FE engine from a Lexus Soarer sitting on an engine stand in the garage - almost like it was planned!!!

So the project is to fit the 1UZ into the Sumo, the original plan (the subject of previous posts on this forum) was to modify the automatic gearbox to use paddle shifts. Wiser councils prevailed and this part of the project has been abandoned - I realise that the automatic gearbox, fitted as standard, has a lot of advantages but I want to use the Sumo for track days and the auto box is not conducive to this activity. So the plan now is to fit a BMW gearbox (probably a ZF unit from the E46 or E60 series) with an adapter plate & fly wheel from PMC Motorsport.

I am very aware that I will be standing on the shoulders of giants (including TonyD, alunwill, RobCob, Highlander & GFlinders to name but a few) in this project and I am hoping for some answers to the many questions that I am sure I will have. The first of which is: Does any one have any experience of using PMC Motorsport parts in their project and are there any alternatives?


01 Removing the RV8 and T5 gearbox

02 RV8 and T5 removed and ready to go on pallet for shipment

03 On pallet & wrapped ready for shipment to Brussels

04 Trial fit of the 1UZ-FE

05 IT FITS - well nearly, further work required!

28-09-18, 05:18 PM
Going to be watching this one with interest... plenty of pictures of clearances, mounts and headers, please!

30-09-18, 08:17 AM
Not used PMC myself and I went down the manual conversion route, but will be watching this thread with interest. Good luck.

02-10-18, 10:28 AM
Hi Ian,

I'm building a 1UZ AK at the moment, not on the road yet, about 80% there so should be ready for IVA within the next 6 months. It has a 1991 1UZ connected to a ZF E36 manual 5 speed (ZF S5D 320Z box as found in the 328 and M3).

The reason I went with that box is that I found out about a guy called Nev Payne from Driftmoto who offers a bolt on conversion kit (custom fly wheel, adaptor plate, 3 clutch options including one off the shelf BMW clutch which I went for plus a 318 slave cylinder). Therefore all very straightforward to fit. The conversion kit does cost some upfront, as to be expected (not sure of current pricing so you'll need to find out and compare that to PMC) but the gearboxes themselves are £150, so after the initial outlay, if anything did go wrong with the gearbox it shouldn't be expensive to replace). Other advantages of this ZF gearbox is that it is relatively compact so fits easily and the gear linkage can be cut and welded to shorten and so position the gear lever wherever you want in the tunnel.

I haven't had the opportunity to road test this yet and bought it 3 years ago based on the fact that Nev's conversion kit had been extensively used in E36 drift cars. What I can say today though, which is very encouraging, is that I joined the "1uz-fe swaps UK" group on facebook and people saying great things about him and the conversion kit come up every week, so it's still being sold and used to success. So tried and tested (not in Cobra's yet, but that's to come...).

I'd be interested to know the details of the PMC offering you found (just for interest). The reason I say this is that when I designed my cobra project I used one of the online gearbox / diff ratio / road speed calculators to try and work out what jag diff ratio I should use in combination with this E36 ZF box. What I learned in this process is that the 5 speed box 328/M3 box has a 5th gear which is 1:1 ratio (as opposed to being overdriven as per the 6th gear of the alternative M3 EVO Getrag 6 speed box). This meant that, as I won't be drift racing :) to get what I considered to be sensible 70 mph motorway 1UZ rpm with a jag diff (can't recall off the top of my head what rpm that was...) it was clear that I needed to go for a jag 2.88 diff ratio rather than jag 3:31+ etc). btw 2.88 is actually very similar to the 2.93 ratio BMW used in the 328. So, I'd be interested to know what the PMC E46 conversion options are and whether they result in wider diffs options for cobra builders. What diff are you running?

All in all though I'm very happy with my choice, it seems like a solid manual option for the 1UZ and I'm looking forward to hitting the road with it! Also, can't recommend Nev Payne and his 1uz knowledge enough. Do join the 1uz-fe swaps UK facebook group, full of useful info. cheers, Simon

Ian C
02-10-18, 01:20 PM

Many thanks for your post - it is good to know that there are others on a similar journey. I have heard about Driftmoto but not being on social media means that I have had limited access (there are however advantages to NOT being on social media!). I have asked my son to join the group on my behalf and report back.

One of the requirements, for using the PMC conversion, is the need to use a newer gearbox. The preferred option is the 6 speed ZF gearbox from the E60 or E61. I would prefer to use a 5 speed box as the torque band of the engine really does not need a six speed box. The first gear is way too low to be needed but the 5th is 1:1 and sixth is 0.835:1 which gives a reasonable spread as I am using a 3.64 LSD (I did the attached graphs in Excel - based on 3.64 final drive and with 245/45/17 tyres). The gearboxes are available for about £500 so in the scheme of things not too bad.

Did you get the chassis modified by AK for the engine mounts and what mounts are you musing?

Thanks again for you reply - I am sure we will swapping ideas and information over the coming months.


03-10-18, 03:49 PM
you're welcome Ian. People posting on this forum have helped me countless times with my build - it's good to add some more 1UZ info to it.

Yes, AK very helpfully fabricated mounting points on the chassis using the engine and gearbox in situ to do so. These mount points are horizontally flat and M10 threaded so I'm using some ford style large bobbins (rather than the standard lexus mounts which have an angle and so wouldn't work with the flat chassis mount points).

Just a note that the mount points on my 1UZ have a recess/hole which the engine mount nut itself is screwed into, I found it necessary to use a washer under the nut so that the nut doesn't screw too deep into this recess. If it did, a socket would no longer be able to get any purchase on the nut which would prevent future removal of the engine mount. Some sort of locking washer is ideal as on my mounts there is not enough thread for a nyloc (I'm thinking IVA here). Also, I struggled to find mounts of the correct height where the mount bolts are long enough - I found that standard Rover style V8 bobbin mounts have a threaded section that was too short once through the 1UZ's mount points meaning that a nut didn't fully go on. Therefore if you do use bobbins rather than the Lexus mounts I'd recommend using ones with a threaded section of at least 25mm (20-22mm is just a bit too short) and also, perhaps obvious but select your mounts first and ensure you're happy with the fitted result before you go ahead and modify your chassis. The reason i say this is that I previously sourced some mounts with a good amount of thread, but these were taller and my bonnet didn't shut (oh the joys of Cobra engine bay space... ) so you want to be sure you have ones that fit the 1UZ well and that there will be no need to change them for another height after your chassis mount points are made. I'd be interested to know whether any others have run into this :)

Also, as per Paul I've got a remote oil filter setup.

04-10-18, 09:36 AM
Looks like I need to go and read up on how to resize / rotate images, but you get the idea...


Ian C
04-10-18, 08:57 PM

I am busy comparing the 1UZ's size and position in the car with the RV8 & T5 setup to check the angles of the U/J in the propshaft - I don't want to undo all my good work. I am hoping to squeeze another few mm of ground clearance under the sump guard and still be able to close the bonnet. Thank you for the heads up on the engine mounts, good to know.

I have started tinkering with the wiring, undoing all the looms ready for identifying the various circuits. Very impressed with the way the engine is put together, everything nicely loomed, threaded through convoluted trunking, taped then placed in moulded cable trays. Lovely but a pain when you are trying to strip it back. Found the first problem whilst working on the wiring, the Throttle Position Sensor is missing! I bought the engine without the ECU as I was intending to use an after market engine management system as part of the installation. The missing sensor was not noticed on the pictures prior to purchase - caveat emptor!!!!

Does any one have a spare sensor they are willing to part with or can anyone point me in the direction of a supplier / source for the TPS?





05-10-18, 08:12 AM
I suggest putting a post on the 1UZFE swaps fb group to see if anyone has a spare. I believe there were 3 and 4 pin types so best to specify the year of your engine and check your loom to see how many pins you're looking for. If you get stuck, sometimes throttle bodies are sold on ebay which have them attached.

06-10-18, 02:26 PM
Hi Ian, I just had a thought and wanted to post it in case I forget:

while you haven't yet installed the 1UZ, you might consider changing the starter motor for a new one while it's relatively easy to do as in general it's a pig to get to, up to you. Either way, the heads of the bolts which attach the starter motor to the engine point towards the rear of the car. With my own manual conversion this meant that the gearbox adaptor plate is actually fitted over the top of the bolt heads so in future it would be impossible to change the starter motor without first removing the gearbox. To future proof against this headache I therefore reversed the bolts (also changed them for some slightly longer ones and added a nut I recall). I've seen that reversing the starter motor bolts is not an uncommon thing for people to do on the 1UZ and it now means that I (only?) have to remove the upper and lower intake manifolds to get to it. Something to keep in mind as your gearbox adaptor plate may or may not block access to these bolt heads.

Ian C
09-10-18, 01:23 PM
Throttle Position Sensor now sourced, thanks for the suggestions (managed to do it via a proxy without entering the murky world of Social Media!).

The work to access all the sensor and the related wiring has progressed but required the disassembly of the engine, well most of it anyway. Overall I am still hugely impressed by the quality of the engineering in the engine, everything looks to be have been designed for a purpose. Little things like the plastic trunking for the major wiring looms are sculpted to fit the contours of the engine and bolted in place. The only issue was with the removal of the clips that hold the lid to the body of the trunking. The majority snapped even though care was taken to depress the locking latch, given the age of the engine and heat cycles it must have been through perhaps this is to be expected. We had the same problem with a few of the connectors deeper in the engine. Getting my son to disconnect the connectors seemed like a good idea when there was a comforting "click" as he depressed the catch and removed the plug from the socket. It did not seem so good when we realised that the "click" was the pivot of the catch snapping!!

The throttle body, air intake chamber & cylinder head covers were removed. My first look at the OHCs on the right hand (even) cylinder bank was reassuring. There was a glow of clean oil and everything looked in good order and almost pristine. The left hand (odd) bank was a bit different, the initial appearance was one that made me think it had been overheating. In place of the golden sheen, visible on the even bank, the camshafts were brown in colour. There were no obvious signs of any hot spots or problems but the overall impression was in marked contrast to the even bank, this can be most clearly seen in the picture of the two cylinder head covers. After some thought we wondered whether the engine had been stored on its side, after removal from the donor, with the lower side being covered in the remaining oil. Any thoughts on the possible reason for this difference would be gratefully received.

The HT wiring and coils were removed followed by the fuel rail and injectors. The removal of the intake manifold revealed a rubbish tip that was in marked contrast to the cylinder heads. It could have held a family of mice, although there was no sign of teeth marks on any of the wiring and no signs of damage. We removed handfuls of rubbish, mainly dust and small pieces of paper & card, to reveal the starter motor, water pipe & wiring loom in the valley. The starter motor was removed with difficulty as it was an extremely "snug" fit in the block.

The starter motor has threaded holes in the mounting flange which makes it impossible to fit the bolts from the motor side unless the threads are drilled out and captive nuts are used on the gearbox side of the block. How did you do yours, was it a different starter motor?


Cylinder head covers showing the different colouration between the two sides???


Right hand (even) bank cam shafts


Left hand (odd) bank camshafts


Rubbish tip or nest of mice??


After removal of rubbish


09-10-18, 04:52 PM
Hi Ian,

I took my engine out of my Soarer that I owned so the engine was not laying on its side and my engine had the same difference in colour on the same sides as yours. I also couldn't find any hot spots or wear that would cause concern, this allied with the fact that the engine was running as sweet as in the Soarer so decided not to worry too much bout it. It seems having now seen yours that I was right not to worry.......can't think what might have caused it! Maybe Tony D will be able to answer this when he has finished sunning himself abroad;)



09-10-18, 06:17 PM
Hi Ian,

Looks like you've picked a good one.......looks barely run in.

Any particular reason for the change?


09-10-18, 09:24 PM
Hi Ian,

Any particular reason for the change?


I can answer on Ians behalf......

“He's retired”


Will pop over soon mate and take a good look. Been weeks since i looked in my garage also!!


Ian C
09-10-18, 09:52 PM
. . I took my engine out of my Soarer that I owned so the engine was not laying on its side and my engine had the same difference in colour on the same sides as yours. .


Thank you for the response - that is very reassuring. I have been inventing all sorts of weird scenarios to try an explain the difference, I shall now just accept it as an interesting fact and move on!

. . Looks like you've picked a good one.......looks barely run in. Any particular reason for the change? . . .


No picking involved, blind luck! The reason is the age old one - more power. The cost and effort to get more power from the Rover was beyond my limited resources and I was eager to take on another engine challenge having enjoyed the build of the Rover so much.

On with the 1UZ strip down:

So with the top end stripped, as far I was going at this stage, the engine was flipped over and work started on the other end. The dual sump was a surprise, yet another example of innovative design. The second sump appears to serve as further strengthening of the block and I could not help but compare it to the Rover where the weakness in the main bearing, prior to the 4 bolt blocks, was one of the main power limitations. The view once both sumps were removed was a joy, the strength of the bottom end of this engine that I had heard so much about did not disappoint. Although I had been told that it was an early engine seeing the fat "I" section con rods was a big reassurance. Again the engine looks to be in really good condition, immensely heartening and gives me the motivation to press on with the challenge.

Regards and thanks to all.


View of the double sump set up of the 1UZ-FE engine (as configured for a Toyota Soarer)

1st Sump removed, oil seems clean and very little (actually no) debris on the magnetic drain plug

Initial view of the bottom end was reassuring!

The strength of the engine is obvious - note the 6 bolt main bearings!!

Close up of the lovely fat con rods!!!!

Ian C
10-10-18, 02:31 PM
I can answer on Ians behalf......

“He's retired”


Will pop over soon mate and take a good look. Been weeks since i looked in my garage also!!



Very true, I wished I had started this kit car business 50 years ago - I might have got the hang of it by now!

Are you still on the road? I might organise an end of season Garage meet, although some stalwarts (you know who you are Geoff) don't recognise seasons and stay on the road all year round.

Take care

11-10-18, 07:32 AM
Hi Ian,

How far are you planning going with this strip down? I got to the stage you have now reached and could still see the honing marks in the cylinders below the pistons with no scratch marks so decided all the hype I had read and heard about these engines was correct and closed it all back up again. I did have the advantage of hearing the engine run before taking it out of my soarer and it had only covered 78k miles until then.

all the best with the swap.


Ian C
11-10-18, 10:01 AM

I bought the engine without any of the engine management, the loom had been cut (well hacked to pieces is a more apt description) and the VAFM was missing. The intention was always to fit an after market engine management system to allow for further development (playing!) but I am now wondering whether it would have been better (easier) to get the engine installed and running with the standard management system. I am sure this would have had its own set of problems and changing over later may have presented just as many issues - but at least I would have known I had a running engine!

The reason for the mechanical strip down, at this stage, is primarily to get access to all the wiring and sensors in preparation for selecting and connecting the after market EMS. As you have said all the advice to date has been to disturb the engine as little as possible as it "SHOULD" be good to go. I think it makes sense to change the cam belt and I was thinking of at least checking the water pump if not changing it - what would your advice be on that?

There are moments when I stand back and look at the mess it is in at the moment and wonder if I have taken on too much but the sheer joy of looking at the crank and the con rods or the camshaft mechanicals restores my enthusiasm - I can't help but contrast it to the Rover V8, that I stripped and rebuilt, and the 1UZ makes it look like a toy! Before any RV8 disciples get annoyed I am not denigrating this venerable engine but it is a product of its age and American ancestry where as the Lexus engine was advanced for its day and is nearly 30 years younger than the RV8.

Are you running your engine with the stock EMS?


11-10-18, 12:21 PM
Hi Ian,

There are plenty of after market looms and ecu's for this engine on line form various outlets which having spent ages repairing brittle clips, and cracked wiring now seems like it should be the road to go down if you don't have the original ecu and complete loom.

I would definitely change the water pump and cam belt as a matter of course and change all of the oil seals which with the engine out should go without saying!

Here is a couple pictures of mine after I had spent quite a bit of time wire brushing and then painting with high temp paint.

It didnt look much cleaner than yours when I started;)

Ian C
11-10-18, 03:00 PM

Oh I do wish you had not attached those pictures!!! I was planning to clean and give a quick polish to the head covers and possibly the inlet chamber but I might now have to rethink. I polished the rocker covers and inlet plenum on the Rover and it looked good when finished but did not last, the aluminium soon lost its sheen and became dull.

I have now managed to get a few connectors apart without breaking the locking tabs and ideally I would like to reuse as much of the original wiring as possible, this is not so much for budget reasons but for the satisfaction of giving a new lease of life to old parts.

I will be replacing the gaskets etc during reassembly which oil seals were you referring to?


11-10-18, 03:22 PM

Front and rear crankshaft, spark plug tube seals and I didnt but probably should have replaced the valve stem seals. I have seen this done on many engines without removing the heads, but no so sure this can be done on the 1UZFE?

The reason I painted the engine with High temp aluminium paint was because the hours that I had spent getting rid of all of the muck and small amount of corrosion would as happened with your Rover engine, gone to waste. The parts that I could, I painted and then baked in the oven @ 60 degrees for at least 40mins as directed and so far it still looks great.



Gatwick Axe Man
13-10-18, 05:45 PM
Sorry to all, mini highjack.

Could anyone who has used the Lexus engine preferably on an AK and doesn't mind doing so, PM me an email address I could send a couple of photos and some questions to. I need a second opinion/advice on an engine related "issue" that I would rather not publish on an open forum and can't send photos via a PM.

Many thanks, Graham.

Ian C
14-10-18, 12:18 AM
Still removing the wiring looms and trying to identify the locations of the various sensors that I will need to utilise for the after market EMS. The knack of opening the trunking covers without snapping the latches has now been learnt - a bit too late for the majority of the latches unfortunately. I am hoping that there will be a lot fewer wires to fit when the rebuild starts which will enable me to simplify the looming.

More parts were removed to facilitate the removal of the wiring including the manifolds. I was interested to see how the manifolds were attached. The thick flanges, which fitted over studs in the engine block (I was glad to see studs rather then bolts, I had to change the RV8 to studs when I had a couple of stripped threads on the manifold fixings in the block), were loose on the manifold. They hold the flared end of the manifold tight against the gasket (a multi layered steel affair) and exhaust port in the block. There was no sign of any sealant or any leaks which was reassuring.

I have also, belatedly, got more efficient at undoing the connectors after studying those already removed closely to learn the secret. As I had started from the point at which the engine wiring had been amputated from the car, at the rear of the engine, I eventually reached the front and got to a point where I needed to strip the front end. This would require the removal of the timing belt, which I was planning to replace anyway, so I made reference to the LS400 1UZ-FE Manual (which I think was made available to fellow Lexus disciples by Alunwill, or possibly TonyD - apologies for not knowing but thank you to whoever it was!!) for the procedure. It was all dreadfully straight forward with only one minor problem revealed.

The camshaft and crankshaft pulleys were removed with the aid of an impact wrench and, in the case of the crankshaft pulley, a claw extractor. The 12 toothed crank position trigger wheel was revealed and immediately raised the question of whether it would need to be replace with, what now appears to be the standard, 36 - 1 wheel for the after market EMS. With the front of the block now exposed it became clear that the engine has suffered either from an "incident" of some sort or possibly just had a rough life! The front of the engine had extensive surface corrosion on the aluminium, the usual white frosting was apparent around the lower front and on the left hand side (in front of the odd cylinder bank). A bit of detective work showed that the most probable cause would have been a burst hose from the coolant return to the radiator.

The final act for the front end was the removal of the water pump, again the procedure were clear and the provision of dedicated blocks, which were used to pry off the water pump from the engine block, showed the level of detail in the design of this engine. Removing the water pump revealed the internal chambers which were immaculate, you would not have believed that coolant had been circulating in them for 25 years or more, amazing. I am definitely a convert to Oriental technology, there has not been a single bolt or nut (well my son pointed out this afternoon that there was one, but I am ignoring him) that was rusted or corroded. Every bolt or nut took a level of force to unlock it but then it could be undone using only fingers only. I can not recommend these engine too highly, why would you not want a V8 with six bolt main bearings, four overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder that can rev to eight thousand RPM and deliver three hundred plus BHP before you start tuning it??? - more later.


Moving on to the front of the engine

To remove the wiring required the removal of the timing belt

Engine orifices blocked in preparation for cleaning the engine

Preparation for removing the timing belt

Loose but not yet off, yet another unidentified pump to remove!

Ian C
14-10-18, 12:29 AM
More pictures to go with Post #23


Impact wrench used to remove the crankshaft pulley bolt

Crankshaft pulley came of easily with claw puller

Extensive surface corrosion evident on front of engine block

Water pump exposed and ready to be removed

The pristine internals of the water chamber revealed

14-10-18, 08:30 AM
More great posts. Can you be less enthusiastic about the engine, though, as it's going to drive the prices up ;)

14-10-18, 09:17 AM
Are you gonna have the block and heads (plus other ali parts) vapour blasted Ian?

14-10-18, 03:52 PM
More great posts. Can you be less enthusiastic about the engine, though, as it's going to drive the prices up ;)

You used to be able to buy a complete LS400 for £300 and now the going rate is £850 for a bare engine.

At this rate the spare engine in my shed is looking like one of my better investments.

It is gratifying however to see other guys sharing the enthusiasm for one of Japans finest engines.



14-10-18, 03:57 PM
Sorry to all, mini highjack.

Could anyone who has used the Lexus engine preferably on an AK and doesn't mind doing so, PM me an email address I could send a couple of photos and some questions to. I need a second opinion/advice on an engine related "issue" that I would rather not publish on an open forum and can't send photos via a PM.

Many thanks, Graham.

PM Sent.




14-10-18, 04:25 PM
Great pics! Nice one Ian.

Quick shout out to Tony who's forum posts inspired me to get a 1UZ in the first place :)

Starter motor bolts reverse - I've found a write up on lextreme with good pics (basically it's as you said but I used bolts threaded all the way to the bolt head so no need to drill out the starter holes, just screw in the opposite way, from engine front to back). Write up: http://www.lextreme.com/forums/index.php?threads/starter-mount.5837/

Other bits:

1) Here you can find all the wiring diagrams you might need (also available on lextreme.com but collated here): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B0WE7dVhvJd_STE2UTdiQWpjWWs

2) The main write up on starting the engine: https://f01.justanswer.com/RbZmAlHy/This+is+how+you+wire+up+a+1UZFE+Engine.pdf and the same doc here but with more pics: https://www.clublexus.com/forums/build-threads/754842-how-to-wire-up-a-1uz-engine-vvti-and-non-vvti.html

3) Really brief, clear and useful info: http://www.phoenixenginemanagement.com/lexus-1uz-2uz-3uz-conversion-help-page/

4) At last someone put up a video of starting up a 1UZ, simply and accurately describing how it's done https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1Ikybv99Dw&t=1s

For anyone that's interested (some bits overkill I know) but I've replaced/done the following:

Starter motor
Fuel Injectors
Spark plugs
HT Leads
Distributor Rotors
Cam belt
Water Pump
Cam & crank oilseals
EGR deleted
Remote oil filter

Power steering pump deleted in exchange for an electro-hydraulic pump (no room for it where it regularly sits due to the steering shaft; also I couldn't relocate it to the a/c comp. place as I'm trying to keep the a/c... I know, I know, but I like cold air on my legs...)

A/c compressor: I've made a very simple and seemingly strong bracket which clears the chassis to allow use of a/c (whether this idea is a goer is TBC so I'll publish details on this forum if it turns out ok)

Lastly, a while back some pics of Paul's Very tidy engine also made me think about my own. I'm building in a tiny single garage so painted the cam covers and upper intake outside one day, then (asked my wife to go out for a few hours and...) used the oven to bake them. The baking worked very well but my paint finish wasn't great and would have annoyed me so I went back to the drawing board and had the cam covers, upper and lower intake plenums and front and rear water housings acid stripped and powder coated. Here's a pic (wire tuck sleeves yet to be finished as I'm going without a lot of the plastic engine covers; ignore the temporary water header mounting; as they'll be on show I also polished the fuel rails with a dremel and painted the hard fuel lines black):


14-10-18, 04:46 PM
And I also had the carbon like staining on the inside of one of my cam covers like you and Paul. I was concerned about this but couldn't find any info on why, so it's interesting to see that we've all got the same here. Unlikely to be an issue then.

Ian C
14-10-18, 06:12 PM
Firstly thanks for all the replies, information and advice.

Secondly I so wish I had not started this thread!!!! It was fine till the pictures of the finished (or seemingly finished) engines resplendent in their new spotless livery started to appear. I now feel like putting it all back together, hiding it in a corner and asking for my lovely Rover V8 back!

Off to sulk now (and read through all the advice)


14-10-18, 08:05 PM
If it's any consolation, mine also had what looked like a mouse nest under the lower plenum when I first got it :) I also didn't clean up the block much (although as we've seen, if you've got the patience that looks smart)

Ian C
14-10-18, 09:21 PM
. . Can you be less enthusiastic about the engine, though, as it's going to drive the prices up . . .


Sorry, but I have got my engine!!!!!

Are you gonna have the block and heads (plus other ali parts) vapour blasted Ian?


After seeing what Paul & Simon have achieved I have decided on a different route. I shall be going for the functional sleeper look that people will not give a second glance to till it is started (just made that up but it sounds like it may work!)


I found most of the information on my earlier trawls through the Lextreme universe but thanks for taking the time to put it all together. I will check to see if there is anything I have missed.

I read the thread about reversing the starter motor bolts, some conflicting advice in there! I will put it on the list but I will wait until I get the adapter plate to see how it looks before making any changes.

I personally feel the videos of people, and there are a few, starting their engines on the floor by twisting various wires together is dangerous and ill advised. If anyone learns anything by watching these videos then they should not be attempting to start an engine in the first place - just my view!

In any case it would not help me as I don't have the ECU, what I need and am still looking for is a wiring diagram that shows the wire colour codes rather than the plug pin position. I am still trying to locate all the sensors and I can then pull the relevant wires out of the loom ready for splicing to whichever after market EMS I go with.

Thanks again for all the feedback, when do I get my Lexus club badge?


14-10-18, 10:08 PM
Sleeper is good (as sleeper as a cobra can be :)). Vapour blasting would make short work of that ali oxide powder; my jag hub carriers were VB’ed and came back clean enough to eat my dinner from! Like your thinking though and best with the project.

15-10-18, 08:11 AM
Sleepers are certainly cool. There's a great video of a 1UZ Lolvo on youtube.

Starter motor bolts - yes some conflicting advice in the lextreme write up but not too relevant to my own project:

If the manual gearbox adaptor plate blocks access to the bolt heads a solution is required. Only 2 options are either cut the adaptor plate (which I didn't want to do) or reverse the bolts and add nuts. There are then 2 concerns to address, 1) future access to the nuts with a spanner (not an issue for me as from the AK engine bay these are easily accessed) and 2) that the bolts shouldn't work themselves loose through vibration - in my case the adaptor plate squashes the nuts in place and with some loctite too I don't think they're going anywhere; then I just had to make sure that the bolts wouldn't undo themselves so again, some loctite on the bolt threads where they run through the starter motor itself and I'm happy.

Video of a 1UZ being started on the floor - ok fair enough we might not want to take safety tips from this guy, but i don't think it's usefulness should be overlooked - the value is in him describing the temporary wiring he is doing to start the engine. To explain:

For someone who has started a 1UZ before the process is very easy. As Tony has stated on many an occasion it requires connecting just a small number of wires and ideally a few fuses. I could show someone how to do it in 10 minutes but that wouldn't help them do the next important task which is getting the engine to run well. To do that it's good to understand the wiring diagrams and the information in Nigel Wade's guide I linked to. But when doing it for the first time that can become a daunting and overwhelming task to say the least, especially when you're trying to reconcile what you're reading against a mess of nearly 100 different coloured wires. This will take any newbie much more than a day and as methodical as you are, it's easy to miss something or to get it not quite right. At the end of the day, if your engine doesn't start after you've wired it up and you've checked and rechecked your wiring etc, taking a look at that video could provide the simple explanation of what has been missed or done wrong. Also, if in addition to completing the basic wiring on that video you ground the T1/TE1 wire and connect a light to ECU W wire then the ECU will output fault codes so you can see what's going on (like this tutorial http://www.lexls.com/tutorials/intro/codereading.html except you don't actually need the diagnostic plug, it can be done directly from the ECU )

Ian - I'm not sure how you'll get fault codes with your aftermarket ECU. Just to say that the wire colours are actually on the wiring diagrams, the diagrams are printed in black and white but the wire colours are abbreviated underneath the ECU plug pin numbers. You don't need a Lexus ECU to read these diagrams, just the ECU plugs that are on your loom. Looking from the ECU plug Fronts the pins are counted left to right, top row then bottom row. If the plugs are plugged into an ECU then you'll be looking at the plugs from behind so don't forget to reverse this counting (and with the Lexus ECU note that one plug is upside down to the rest). There isn't a wiring diagram for each 1UZ year, instead there is one per new ECU version Lexus released over the years. The 1990 diagram matched my ECU which is from 1991. They then released a new version in 1992, etc.

As I'm on the subject of wiring I'll just write how I approached it:

1) Locate the wiring diagram for the correct engine year and verify that it is the right diagram (check this using the ECU if you have it and also use the ECU plugs on the loom - check that the total number of pins in each plug and also the wire colours match the diagram as expected)

2) I've seen this quoted many times: 'free the loom'. Take all plastic conduit and coverings off. I tried to do this economically but every bit I left on always came off eventually so best just take it all off at the start.

3) Use masking tape to label all wires as per the wiring diagram

4) Use Nigel Wade's guide to work out what wires you do and don't need

5) Cut off any wires you are 100% sure you won't need (there will be some which are obvious by this point - makes the mess of wires slightly smaller and gives you less to think about)

6) Connect the ECU wires as per the Nigel Wade guide. Ensure you've grounded the block properly. Start the engine or get the Check Engine Light working and retrieve diagnostic codes, whichever order you want to do it in as the wiring task is nearly the same

7) Resolve diagnostic codes and get the engine running well

8 Obviously then do a professional wiring job ensuring that all wiring is appropriately fused and there are no loose wires which haven't been terminated with heat shrink, etc. Electrical fires and well loved cars are a bad combination.

Best of luck :)

15-10-18, 08:48 AM
By the way Ian, i think Tony is responsible for issuing the Lexus Club badges and i'm still waiting on mine... I guess it's 'in the post'

15-10-18, 09:12 AM
By the way Ian, i think Tony is responsible for issuing the Lexus Club badges and i'm still waiting on mine... I guess it's 'in the post'

Oooh, I'll have one of those please ;)

15-10-18, 11:23 AM
Lexus badges, now that’s a thought.

Anyone able to come up with a Cobra / Lexus design and I could print a few on the works printer.



15-10-18, 12:07 PM
If you ask Nev at F1 Moto nicely he will produce a set of 3D printed spark plug covers for the 1UZFE with Ford on them. If you already have access to a printer Tony, you just need to get a tad artistic with your colouring pencils buddy! ;)

Gatwick Axe Man
15-10-18, 01:26 PM

Ta da, I hope. Pretty obvious I can't draw but hay worth a go.

15-10-18, 04:39 PM

Ta da, I hope. Pretty obvious I can't draw but hay worth a go.

Like the thinking. I may let my designer loose on that concept.



Ian C
15-10-18, 05:16 PM

With regard to the starter motor my understanding, after reading through the thread, was that the amount of movement that the wiring loom allowed for the disconnection & removal of the starter motor. It seemed to be a consensus that in the standard set up the starter motor could not be removed without first removing the gearbox. In order to make the removal of the starter motor easier it was suggested to put the bolts in from the front, some drilled out the threads on the starter motor others used a screw thread on the fastener. As you have said you need to be able to access the nuts in order undo the fixings but the issue comes if the bolts (screws) are threaded into the starter motor. There would not be, according to some posting on the thread, enough play in the wiring loom to allow the motor to be moved far enough to allow the fixing screws to clear the mounting holes. This would mean undoing both the nuts and the screws (from the starter motor) to release the starter motor to allow it to be disconnected from the loom.

It is crystal clear (but possibly wrong) in my head but trying to get the thoughts down into written (and understandable) English is not as easy as it should be. Anyway, enough of that as I intend to see how whichever adapter plate I go for affects the situation.

I was obviously looking at the video from a personal view point and as I don't have the ECU, or most of the wiring loom - especially the connectors to the ECU - it is of absolutely no use to me. Thank you for mentioning the colour codes on the wiring diagram, that will be extremely useful. I need to start from the connectors that plug onto the various sensors, injectors etc and work back from there to find the wires I will need for the after market ECU. I did a similar job when converting the Lucas 14CUX management system on the RV8 from the Range Rover Classic for use in the Sumo so I am quite looking forward to that aspect of the build!!

So all good, just a bit more work to get the engine running, but NOT on the floor, fitted to the BMW gearbox and installed in the Sumo - what could go wrong!

I am a bit disappointed to join such an exclusive club with members drawn from the elite of the kit car fraternity to learn that there is not a badge to be worn with pride and not a little sense of superiority over the "it must be Ford!" or "there is nothing to beat the LSx!" brigade. After a limited amount of research I have established that the Cobra is not a snake indigenous to Japan BUT they do have a Pit Viper!!!! This snake is called the Japanese Mamushi (or as they know it in Japan "the mamushi") and I feel it would be a fitting symbol for the small band of 1UZ-FE aficionados. The picture is adapted from a road sign in Japan warning of the presence of the fast and dangerous snake - what could be more appropriate!!


PS Not happy with the lettering on the proposed badge, just a quick first effort to test the water so to speak.

PPS Did this reply early this morning but router problems locked me out of the site all morning, frustrating - especially as graham has come up with a much better badge design in the interim!!!! Back to the drawing board

PPPS Still can't get access to the "Advanced" section to upload pictures - beyond frustrating now!!!

PPPPS Managed to edit post and attach pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The original Japanese road sign warning of Mamushi!

A humble and (by contrast with Gaham's effort) rather poor attempt at a Badge

15-10-18, 07:18 PM
http://www.cobraclub.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=36661&stc=1 I'll just leave this here...

15-10-18, 07:50 PM
I'm liking this! Can't wait to see the final design 😎

Ian C
15-10-18, 08:22 PM
Another option for consideration


or this


Gatwick Axe Man
15-10-18, 09:29 PM
I did something better!?

Now there's a first.



16-10-18, 12:25 PM
Re starter motor in standard guise in the Lexus LS 400 you just need to take the top and bottom inlet manifolds off, this exposes the starter motor complete with the standard rats or mouse nest that are fitted as standard in the Lexus factory. There is absolutely no need to remove the gearbox whatsoever.

You then take your favourite 14 mm spanner and bend the sucker so that it can fit into the miniscule gap between the back of the engine and the LS 400 bulkhead.

Lying atop the engine using miniscule cramp inducing finger movements you unscrew the bolts that bolt through the top of the bellhousing into the starter motor housing, so that they move towards the bulkhead thus reducing still further any access. Once the bolts are out, this can take days, you can remove the starter from the engine valley between the heads.

Replacement is in Haynes speak " the reverse of removal" however the length of time and general fiddlyness may well cause apoplexy with added swearing and result in just one of the two bolts being replaced.

Which is how our LS 400 gangstermobile ran for over 20k miles. I still have the spare bolt in my toolbox. Now that this engine is in my shed I suppose I should reallyt replace it. A job for the Spring perhaps.

In a Cobra there should be no need to have the engine that far back so that the bulkhead reduces access for the standard starter motor bolts. In my AK theres acres of room to get at both bolt heads. Acres. Easy peasy. Far better than in the LS 400.

To recap various thoughts I have put on this forum re jobs you need to do to a 1UZfe when transplanting it into a Cobra this is what I do.

If the engine is running well, do not open the sucker up. Leave it well alone. No seals, no gaskets, no nothing. Leave it well alone. Go and polish something instead. I took the sump off one just to take a peak but its really not necessary.

Get the starter motor and alternator reconditioned as a cheap precaution. The starter 'cos its a pain to get to once the car is built with two parts to the inlet manifold, and the alternator 'cos in the standard LS 400 power steering fluid tends to leak on it and buggar it up.

Change the timing belt. Non VVTi engines are non interference so its not stricly necessary but they are cheap and its easier than once the engine is in the car.

Change the water pump. Its run off the timing belt and is about £50 .

Change fluids. Use a decent synthetic 5/30 or 10/40. Some people fit a remote filter but I try to keep the standard filter oil/ water intercooler unit in operation so if chasis clearance issues arise a small shoping trolley/ Aygo etc filter may work. When cold the engine will be pumping at 100psi and when warm it will be over 40 psi at idle so make sure hose connections to remotes are secure. Make a Diary entry to change the oil when you hit 12,000 miles. It won't need it but it will give you something to look forward to. Tim's is now at nigh 10,000 miles and we havent even topped it up.

And thats it. No leads, no wires, no distributor caps, no rotor arms etc. Leave well alone. If it works as Mr Yamamoto built it, leave it alone.

If you are using the autobox you will need at autobox cooler, ours is a pipe in the side tank or the radiator, and the correct fliud. The three speed with overdrive A340 box takes the standard cheap stuff. Other VVti units with more gears are a bit more picky.

So my advice could be distilled down into these few points.

1. Buy a running engine or car donor.

2. Starter and alternator recondition.

3. Change fluids, belts and water pump.

4. Leave the rest well alone.

If you really need to do something you could remove the hydraulic engine cooling fan pump or viscous coupling from the front of the engine, and covert the engine oil level sensor into a feed for the engine oil temperature guage but they are indeed optional jobs.

Hope that helps.



16-10-18, 01:09 PM
Unlike your set up for the heater, there are not so many acres for the starter bolts when you fit the VW polo heater box Tony.

Fully agree with the list of to do's though. I just had the new seals as part of a gasket set so seemed foolish not to change them whilst the engine was out.

16-10-18, 03:08 PM
Good info, thanks Tony

FYI (with ref to my list of upgrades before)

Alternator - I did actually recondition this but missed it off the list

Dist. Rotors - Mine on the 1UZ looked very worn and I'd recently had a hard to diagnose intermittent misfire on my daily driver (a 35 year old benz w123) which was the rotor, so as they're 5 quid each for the 1UZ I changed them

Injectors - seals were crumbling and while it was apart seemed sensible to sort. Found it hard to source just the seals, easier to source injectors

Leads - I wanted pretty blue ones


16-10-18, 03:18 PM
http://www.cobraclub.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=36661&stc=1 I'll just leave this here...

All good suggestions but I must admit I'm really liking this one from Mathew, a fusion of all the other ideas (I'd probably leave the tail off the bottom myself as the Lexus circle look like a tail). Anyway, I might get this made up in metal for my car. Cool.

16-10-18, 04:14 PM
Of a theme


Gatwick Axe Man
16-10-18, 05:22 PM
Of a theme


Where's the like button?

Ian C
16-10-18, 09:07 PM
OK, playtime over back to the serious technical stuff now - and yes, I know I started it so have started a new thread (link below) in the Cockpit forum.


Many thanks for the pointers, much appreciated. I think the starter motor issue, for those who are going down the manual route, is that the adaptor plate may prevent access to the bolt heads and prevent access - although the process you outline sounds like fun!!!

My problem is that I never saw the engine running although the internal condition does inspire confidence. As I am fitting an after market ECU I have had to perform a superficial strip to access the wiring looms. I hope not to go any further with the strip down.

I now have a couple of further questions:

1. Initial searches showed a number of sources for timing belts, seals, gaskets etc. are there any preferred choices or those to steer clear of?

2. Can anyone identify the three connectors labeled in the picture below? They are all on the water bypass at the front of the engine where the thermostat is housed.

Thanks again for all the responses.


New Lexus Badge thread


Daryn Smith
17-10-18, 08:28 AM
(1) Looks suspiciously like a temperature sensor, no clue what the other are.

17-10-18, 09:12 AM
The one with a single connection is the temperature sensor for the gauges: http://www.toyodiy.com/parts/p_E_1992_LEXUS_LS400_UCF10L-AEPGKV_8401.html?hl=83420
I suspect number 2 is the water temperature sensor for the EFI: http://www.toyodiy.com/parts/p_E_1992_LEXUS_LS400_UCF10L-AEPGKV_8404.html?hl=89422

But I can't find number 3 - probably because I picked the wrong year/wrong car combination .. but toyodiy is your friend here. Sign up (or log in with a gmail account etc) and you can see parts diagrams as well as lists. Used to use it a lot when I had an MR2..

Ian C
17-10-18, 09:24 AM

Many thanks, good advice I will sign on to the site you suggested.

Looks like the "Lexus Club" may beat the "Digi-Dash Club" in popularity!!


17-10-18, 10:23 AM
Hi Ian,

1. is for the temp gauge and 2. is for the cold start injector/efi depending on the year of your engine. An earlier model around 1990-1994 will have a huge cold start injector under the plenum, some later 94 onwards apparently switched to ECU controlled systems (Tony will confirm). As far as I recall number 3 is not required but will double check and get back to you.



17-10-18, 11:24 AM
No 1 is a single wire feed for your instruments will work well with Smiths guages or any other I presume.

No 2 ( Green plug and sensor)is the all important temp sender to the ECU. This is very important as any rough running can be invariably linked back to this. Enables the ECU to adjust fuel trim, timing etc according to engine temp.

No 3 is seen on the earlier engines with the thickest rods ( That is a very good thing. Think turbo's). It is a timed cold start injector sender . As Paul has pointed out this operates a single huge 1000 cc injector underneath the top inlet manifold that provides enough fuel to start a Jumbo jet in the Artic. Later models say post 93 do not have this. If you are running aftermarket ecu you do not need the sensor or the injector. You could leave both in situ unconnected or cobble together a system for the injector for those occassions when you need a huge dose of additional fuel. Say Nos or Turbo, or both.



Ian C
17-10-18, 04:02 PM
Paul, Tony,

Excellent, thank you and Tony's information re connector No.3 is good to hear! I was told that it was an early engine, 1990 - 93, but when I saw the state of the wiring & ancillaries when it arrived I had my doubts. However the cold start injector is present on the underside of the inlet manifold and this, together with the profile of the con rods (see post #15), gives me the confidence that the engine is what it was claimed to be! So, as I am indeed intending a foray into the esoteric world of forced induction, this is all good to know!!!

I am still working through the wiring loom to identify all the connectors, can anyone help to identify the items shown in the pictures below? The pump in pictures 1 & 2 was bolted to the front of the block (in front of the water pump) and was driven by the fan belt. The pump in pictures 3 & 4 was bolted to the lower front nearside of the engine and again was driven by the fan belt.

I thought I had problems when I found whole loom of connectors that I could not identify, or find where they had connected, until I looked back through some very early pictures and realised that they had connected to the automatic gearbox!! Shows the importance of taking plenty of pictures!!! On the subject of gearboxes is there any market for them or are they just to be scrapped - seems such a waste.

Thanks again.


1 Pump bolted in front of water pump

2 Pump above removed

3 Second pump removed from front lower nearside of engine

4 Second pump different view

17-10-18, 04:52 PM
1. Is the Hydraulic fan pump. My understanding of these is that you mustn't run them dry or they will fail quickly and that they only work in conjunction with the 1UZ power steering pump.

My 1991 engine doesn't have one, but instead has what I understand to be a non-hydraulic version (example on the right in the picture below). I think these are sold aftermarket but were also fitted to other Toyota's as standard. Perhaps Tony can add some info here as I'd be interested to know a theory on why mine doesn't have a hydraulic version - were they ever standard on the 1UZ?


2. That is the a/c compressor (probably never been used in a 1UZ swap until I came along...)

17-10-18, 05:03 PM
Non-hydraulic versions appear to be called cooling fan idler brackets

17-10-18, 05:53 PM
The second pump is the air conditioning compressor , do with it what you want although there may be uses for the electronic/ magnetic clutch on the pulley.

Re the hydraulic cooling fan which is the pump no 1, I believe they were standard on far east Lexi and I have never seen one on a European model though I could well be wrong.

On UK spec cars the viscous coupling for the large cooling fan at the rear of the radiator was on the front of the large idler pulley that was fitted in place of the hydraulic fan motor used in other markets. I simply remove the large fan and run the idler. I need this as I also run a power steering pump in the position formerly occupied by the ac compressor. This enables me to run a shorter belt once I have reworked the automatic belt tensioner to operate in the opposite plane it was originally designed to operate in.

A far simpler option, and one I wish I had thought of, would be to remove all the idlers and pulleys you do not need ( remembering to keep one so that the belt gets adequate wrap around the main crank pulley) which should leave you with a far shorter belt, an alternator pulley and a power steering pulley. You can then adapt the alternator so that it is not fixed in position but can swivel thus applying tension to the belt.

Thus a simple locking nut on a slotted bar ( or a double roise jointed locking bar for the wealthy amongst us) can then be used to lock the alternator into position to keep the required belt tension.

Although mine looks OEM I have three idlers, one a tension idler, whilst I reckon I should only need one if using the swivelling alternator solution.



Ian C
17-10-18, 09:00 PM

Again thank you, much appreciated. It is like going back to school, which is a salutary experience after having learnt so much about the Rover engine!

I am intrigued by the name, and use of, the "hydraulic cooling fan"? Was it simply a pump to provide hydraulic pressure to drive a cooling fan? - seems a bit over complicated, but why would that be a surprise on this engine!? Or would it originally have had a fan on the front of the pulley. Is Simon correct that the pump can not be left in place just to act as an idler if required?

Your suggestion of removing unused pulley & idlers (noting the caveat about crankshaft pulley tension) is one of the options I was considering. At the time I was favouring a supercharger so was looking to change the fan belt routing. Just to ensure I now understand a bit more about the engine could you confirm the following, refer to picture below, is correct:

1. Crankshaft pulley

2. Idler

3. Alternator pulley

4. Power Steering pulley (?)

5. Idler

6. A/C pulley

7. Hydraulic Cooling Fan pulley




18-10-18, 07:52 AM
(Not answering all of Tony's questions above, but some that I know...)

- Your understanding of the pulleys above is correct except that 2 is also the belt tensioner

- Non-hydraulic versions of the cooling fan idler pulley had a fan clutch and fan fitted directly to its front. Your hydraulic fan pump/pulley didn't: instead, it supplies hydraulic fluid to a separate hydraulic fan motor which sits behind the fan (see part 16960 on this diagram http://jp-carparts.com/images/parts/321140/321140_1603_0006.png )

As you say Ian, some typical Toyota over-engineering or a 'technical curiosity' as this article labels it http://www.spannerhead.com/2011/11/07/technical-curiosities-the-hydraulic-cooling-fan/

"There are some distinct advantages, though: The decoupling, as it were, of the fan from the engine gives the developers some leeway in term of radiator and accessory placement. The hydraulic drive can draw more power from the engine than an electric fan, and thus move more air through the radiator for more effective cooling. And compared to a directly-driven unit, the hydro fan’s speed isn’t dependent on engine speed—the solenoid that controls the flow of hydraulic fluid through the fan motor can opt to run the fan on high speed as the engine idles, for example, or completely freewheel the fan on the highway."

18-10-18, 08:08 AM
Re: the belt tensioner, put a spanner on it, turn it clockwise and you'll see what I mean

18-10-18, 08:43 AM
To correct the misinformation i put above about the hydraulic fan pulley needing power steering fluid, a knowledgable person on the 1uzfe swaps fb recently wrote "it's a closed system. Those pipes are connected to the hydraulic fan. It uses its own fluid. As above, most people just remove it. Whatever you do, don't just run it dry, it'll seize". This makes sense as on the parts diagram i linked to above it has its own reservoir. Those who remove it either replace it with the non hydraulic version or they make a blanking plate shaped to fit the gap and have no pulley at all.

Ian C
18-10-18, 08:45 AM

Everyday is a school day!!!

It is slowly becoming clearer, this engine is a constant source of surprise and fond memories of the venerable Rover V8 are already fading.

Thanks again,

18-10-18, 10:23 AM
Yep, it's a damn fine engine! cheers

18-10-18, 11:13 AM
Exactly as MrK noted.

Re Supercharger a secondhand Jag XKR Supercharger with its intergrated chargecooler sits nicely in the V atop a readily available or self-bodgeable inlet manifold. It has been done many times. Lots of info on the net. Larger Mazda 440cc iirc rotary injectors are a direct plug and play option for increased fuel delivery with standard injector harness. The fact that there is zero valve overlap makes this engine particularly easy to add FI.

The thermostat inlet housing does get in the way of the supercharger belt path but its no biggy getting a different cover or getting one made/ welded together. The Lexus standard one is plastic so you will need to look elsewhere for a metal donor.

Going aftermarket ECU try to use the standard knock sensors in the valley of the V. They are free and an excellent safety feature when tuning .



Ian C
18-10-18, 11:02 PM

I am learning all the time and enjoying the process, still very much in the fact gathering mode at the moment to try to evaluate the options.

Although no firm decisions have been made it looks like twin turbos may have some benefits over a supercharger although the Jaguar unit certainly sounds interesting. Either way I am wondering whether the 10:1 CR of the 1UZ may be limiting factor in either case. I am currently reading the science behind the impact of boost on Effective Compression Ratio to see if it would be necessary to lower the CR in order to fit forced injection to the engine.

I am looking at the Link ECU which can be supplied already mapped for "standard" 1UZ, I believe it is from New Zealand where, like Australia, there is a healthy JDM tuning market.

I think the thermostat housing on my engine is metal, but that is just from memory of when I took it off as I have not had a chance to check. The engine number, which I found this morning (with Paul's help), is 0176608 so I think it is a fairly early engine.

I am hoping to keep as much of the original items as I can so the knock sensors are safe and, as you say, a good safety feature.

Thanks again,

19-10-18, 07:55 AM
My AK has the alternator in its original position and the chassis was modified by AK to allow this.
Because the only thing that the engine runs is the alternator I had to find a solution for the rerouting of the belt. I found a Jeep Cherokee pulley that is the same diameter as the tensioner pulley but has the 6 slots in it to run on the inside of the fan belt.
hope this shows the garbled text above.

I did did have to grind a little of the tensioner housing away for the pulley to fit, but all seems to work fine.



Ian C
19-10-18, 08:48 AM

That looks neat, thanks for the information re the Jeep Cherokee pulley - yet another piece of useful information that is filed away in the ever growing pile!! The trick will be to remember where all the information is when I get to the time to use it.


19-10-18, 09:19 AM
Well found Paul and thanks for saying about the housing needing fettling.

For info there are also alternative tensioners available for the 1UZ e.g. this https://www.easier.com/70173-thor-racing-1uz-belt-tensioner-kit.html (the article is old but they still sell it, price has gone up)

But Paul's solution is clearly better and one that I will use if my a/c plan doesn't work out.

Gatwick Axe Man
19-10-18, 06:55 PM
Found these recently, http://www.blakemachine.com/performance_parts_by_blake_machine/1uzfe_lexus_oil_adapter https://www.onlymanuals.com/manuals/cars/lexus/ls_400/1990_1997_lexus_ls400_8_cylinders_u_40l_mfi_dohc_3 1017401

The oil filter adapter I mentioned way back when but have only just found the web site, the manual takes a bit of scrolling through to find anything but has some useful wiring diagrams. Might just be my laptop but I can't get it to "jump" to a page.


20-10-18, 09:29 AM
Hi Graham, those particular oil take off adaptor plates are a good design as they have a groove for a figure of 8 oil seal, like the original lexus filter housing did. I think I read that F1 Moto are a UK supplier of those (or similar). I've got a take off plate I bought on ebay which doesn't have that, just a thick paper gasket so I'll see how that does. If I'd known about these I would have bought one instead.

20-10-18, 03:18 PM
Not as pretty as that one Graham, but I have the one from Nev@F1 moto and it works great.

Ian C
24-10-18, 11:21 AM
No 1 is a single wire feed for your instruments will work well with Smiths guages or any other I presume.

No 2 ( Green plug and sensor)is the all important temp sender to the ECU. This is very important as any rough running can be invariably linked back to this. Enables the ECU to adjust fuel trim, timing etc according to engine temp.

No 3 is seen on the earlier engines with the thickest rods ( That is a very good thing. Think turbo's). It is a timed cold start injector sender . As Paul has pointed out this operates a single huge 1000 cc injector underneath the top inlet manifold that provides enough fuel to start a Jumbo jet in the Artic. Later models say post 93 do not have this. If you are running aftermarket ecu you do not need the sensor or the injector. You could leave both in situ unconnected or cobble together a system for the injector for those occassions when you need a huge dose of additional fuel. Say Nos or Turbo, or both.




Whilst checking details on the wiring loom I read through "How to Wire a 1UZ-FE" (by Nigel Wade who is, apparently, an "authority" on the 1UZ in New Zealand & Australia) and came across some conflicting information.

I have cut & pasted the relevant section into the pictures below and also attached the picture I posted earlier with the connectors on my engine labeled. For the sake of clarity I will use the connector numbers from my picture to identify the connectors.

The first picture from Nigel Wades article shows a later (post 1995) engine with just two connectors which he has identified as "ECU Water Temp Sensor" (Connector 2 - which is in agreement with your information) and "Dash Water Temp slot, also some times the cold start on the very early engines (1989?)" (Connector 1).

The second picture shows an early 90' engine with the same three connectors as on my engine and he states that "Two are used only for the engine, the third for the dash". In the words for this picture he identifies the "single pole (black) plug" as an "on/off switch" which is used to turn off the cold start injector above a certain temp.

The implication of the above would appear to confirm the following:

Connector 2 is the Water Temp sensor for the ECU - all agreed!

but according to Nigel Wade the single pole connector (Connector 1) is for the cold start injector and Connector 3 (by elimination) must be for the dash gauge.

I will keep looking for further confirmation but would appreciate your thoughts.


From earlier post with nuimbers allocated to connectore for identification purposes

Picture 1 (from Nigel Wades article) - Later 1995 engine

Picture 2 (from Nigel Wades article) - Earlier engine (lower picture - the nice shade of green!)http://www.cobraclub.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=36716&stc=1

24-10-18, 12:54 PM
Hi Ian,

He is wrong and I am correct.

The position of the dash guage sender does not change between the years. What does change is that the brown sender and plug is present in early engines, as they have the huge cold start injector, and then it dissapears in later engines when the cold start injector disappears.

I also know this is a fact because I am presently looking at the Lexus 1UZFE workshop manual for early engines which calls sensor number three in the picture "start injector time switch" and gives me chapter and verse on its removal, testing and replacement.




Ian C
24-10-18, 02:04 PM
. . . He is wrong and I am correct. . . . . HTH,


Yes, it does help!

I apologise in advance for my pedantry, since posting the query, for which I felt guilty for not trusting someone who has been so helpful, I have been trawling the web and both Club Lexus and Lextreme forum have similar threads. They both agree with your identification of the connectors so thanks again - case closed.

I am going out now to scrape, clean and polish (but not to the level exhibited by other 1UZ aficionados - is a highly polished engine a prerequisite for the Lexus Cobra Club badge?) my engine block, a job I think I can get on with on my own!

Thanks again,


24-10-18, 02:54 PM
No Problems,

IIRC there are a couple of minor inconsistencies in Nigel Wades treatise but overall its great and the bible to use when doing 1UZfe conversions.

Re shiny engines etc all the fastidious polishers and OCD cleaners out there are way behind the times as I believe that "Patina" is where all the smart money is these days, according to such Quest stalwarts as " Chasing Classic Cars" etc. The "Barn Find" look is all the rage.

Luckily I have been foresighted enough to resist the urge to remove the lovingly created "Patina" on my engine, concentrating instead on being lazy.



Ian C
24-10-18, 03:08 PM

Your post arrived just in the nick of time and I have now seen the light, another few minutes and all that priceless patina could have disappeared under Mr Muscle's foaming action. Thank you, me & my patina will be forever grateful.


24-10-18, 04:44 PM
I believe the first guy (sorry name eludes me) on this forum that had a great post running for some time fitting the Lexus engine into his sumo spent an age polishing etc only to realise that unless you then paint it like I did all that hard work soon returns to a dull grey colour shortly followed by the barn find patina returning.
Given the chance again would I spend as much time making the engine look great.......you bet ya.....but that’s just me and it doesn’t make it run any better;)

Ian C
24-10-18, 05:28 PM

Was that Rob (RobCob on the forum)? It was his thread that got me started so he has a lot to answer for!

I did the same on the Rover, spent hours on the rocker covers and got them to mirror finish on the raised detail but it did not last. My new buzz word is "Patina" and I will be using it a lot - as in "Yes I would have cleaned it but I did not want to destroy the original patina" etc.

As has been said many times that is the joy of kit cars, there is no right or wrong only your way and the other ways.


24-10-18, 05:53 PM
Once you've polished aluminium, then clear powder coat. Only needs a wipe then.

Ian C
25-10-18, 08:32 PM

Work to clean the engine - whilst ensuring that the patina of a used, but well maintained, engine is retained - is continuing but to relieve the dull monotony I am mixing in a bit of wiring and other checks. I decided to check the valve clearance, the findings (only done the first half of the check as don't want to move anything till I get the new timing belt on) are shown below.

What is the accepted procedure? - complete all the checks then work out which shims are needed? Are they bought individually or in sets & where from?

As always any assistance appreciated, still loving the engine.


Cleaning continues - notice the patina!!!

Front now looking more respectable

Sorting out the wiring loom is going well thanks to the help received

Valve clearance

Ian C
29-10-18, 10:56 PM

Having dragged everyone I could into the garage to look at the beauty & strength of my bottom end I decided I had better cover it up before people talked. With the mating faces cleaned I applied a bead of sealant and bolted down the long sump pan to the block.

I then realised that I had missed the bolts holding the brackets for the oil strainer and set about fitting them only to drop one of them into the engine! One of those moments where the world falls silent, as if holding its breath, before the expletives flow. I had actually been thinking that I needed to take care and what the implications would be of dropping a bolt. Careful checks with torches, magnetic tools et al failed to find the bolt and I began to think that it must have dropped into the large drilled hole (oil drain from the odd cylinder head?) which was adjacent to the bolt hole. More in hope than expectation I turned the engine back right way up and bounced it around the garage on the engine stand - nothing. The drain hole appeared to emerge under the camshaft drive gears and nothing was visible. I made a little fishing tool by tying (and gluing - I did not want to add more FOD into the engine) a small magnet to a length of kite string. I turned the engine over to access the sump and heard a metallic clunk from the drip tray - looking down I saw the bolt lying there - and yes I have counted and double checked it was the dropped bolt. Needless to say the bolts were fitted to the strainer bracket carefully and a big sigh of relief echoed round the garage.

The steel sump pan had a number of quite deep dints and a lot of scrapes were visible but fortunately no leeks were evident. Given the excellent state of the rest of the engine (apart from the residue from the suspect burst hose) I an guessing that all the damage was done when the engine was "rolled around" the scrap yard - sorry, automotive salvage facility!!! I decided to try and beat out the more severe dents, having checked there was plenty of thickness left, and after an hour or so on the sand bag it was looking much better. After rubbing down and cleaning the pan was sprayed with primer then painted black.

I have had a trial fit of the adapter plate to allow the oil filter to be fitted remotely - it is a bit too shiny and I may have to add a bit of patina!!!

I have found the adjustment shims (for the valve lifters) in the USA and Australia, does anyone know of a source in the UK?


My much admired bottom end - ready to refit the sump

Sump & baffle plate fitted - after recovering the dropped bolt!

Adapter plate to allow fitting of remote oil filter

Too shiny - patina of age required!

02-11-18, 05:11 PM
Not sure of a uk source for valve shims Ian. Clearances is on my to do list as well but I'm saving it for after iva. I'm no mechanic so I've just done this job once on a kwak gpz900 so I'd be interested in your write up when you've got it done. Presume you already found this... http://www.lextreme.com/valve_clearance.html

Glad you found the bolt, not fun ;)

Ian C
09-11-18, 10:24 PM
With the bottom of the engine now all back together it was turned the right way up and I finished off cleaning the front of the block. With that done focus switched to the rebuild and the need to fit a new timing belt. The pulleys looked a bit the worse for whatever wear they had had so I sourced a timing belt kit that included the pulleys. I decided not to replace the water pump as there was no sign of wear and it turned smoothly. I am aware that this may come back to haunt me but the engine has only got to last for a year, two at the most, before I start phase two so I feel the risk is worth it. This is also the joy of kit cars, which are not daily drivers, having the car back in the garage to work on is more a pleasure than a pain.

The distributor mounting plates were also in need of a little attention and were treated with Kurust and painted. With the cam pulleys fitted I took the opportunity to carry out a full valve clearance check. This time each valve was checked with the cam lobes pointing up to ensure the valve was fully closed. This revealed that all the clearances were within tolerance, although one was right on the upper limit, so my need to the shims has just evaporated (fortunately, as I am no nearer to finding a source!).

With the valve clearances checked I started to prepare for fitting the timing belt, something that I was a bit apprehensive of, having read several threads where difficulties were experienced. I must be either a much better mechanic than (even) I thought or very lucky (and before anyone else says it, yes I think I am lucky!). Following the procedure, in the LS400 Workshop Manual, religiously the belt was on in what seemed like minutes. I waited for the catch, normally when things go this well I find out that I have missed something that should have been done first and, after having reversed the procedure, find it impossible to repeat. I turned the engine over several times checking the timing each time and eventually was persuaded the belt was on!!

Still following the workshop manual I fitted the distributors housings, rotors & distributors. The next step in the manual called for the fitting of the hydraulic pump, that provided the drive for the radiator fan, which I did not need. Unfortunately the body of the pump is shaped to locate the bottom edge of the left hand (odd cylinder bank) distributor cover and, more importantly, encloses the timing belt. Without it fitted the cover would be loose and the timing belt exposed so I decided to "modify" the pump by removing the pump mechanism. With this done I fitted the empty pump body to the engine block and fitted the distributor cover.

I then had the same issue with the right hand (even cylinder bank) distributor cover which needed the auxiliary drive belt tensioner to be fitted to locate the bottom of the cover and complete the enclosure of the timing belt. Again I did not need the automatic tensioner as I plan to fit a smaller lighter alternator with a manual tensioning system and the routing of the belt would not allow the use of the automatic tensioner. So again some "modifications" were carried out. I must admit to a pang of conscience when carrying out the "modifications" and seeing how beautifully engineered both the pump and tensioner had been!

With the assembly of the front of the engine now complete, apart from the alternator, I made up some cover plates to hide the butchered innards of the "modified" units.

The next task will be to complete the rebuild of the top end prior to mating the engine with the BMW gearbox and having a trial fit in the car. I may spend a bit of time working on the engine loom for light relief in the mean time!


01 Bottom end all "buttoned up" so to speak

02 Timing belt pulleys looking the worse for wear!

03 Distributor mounting plates also needing TLC

04 Front end cleaned and with new pulleys fitted

05 Ready to start fitting timing belt!!!

Ian C
09-11-18, 10:32 PM
More pictures to post above

06 Following the procedure for ftting the timing belt

07 Compressing the tensioner prior to fitting

08 Timing belt fitted

09 Distributor housings & rotors fitted

10 Distributors fitted

Ian C
09-11-18, 10:41 PM
Final few pictures for above post

11 "Modified" body of the hydraulic pump fitted to the front of the engine

12 "Modified" automatic belt tensioner fitted, distributor covers bolted in place and working on the covers for the butchery!

13 Front end complete, apart from working out hoiw to mount the alternator and tension the drive belt???

14 Sorting out the engine wiring loom will serve as a bit of light relief

10-11-18, 02:04 PM
Looking very nice that.

Cannot remember if you are going for engine-driven power steering or not. If yes check that there will be enough wrap around the crank shaft pulley. If not, and it's just the alternator you are driving, you have saved yourself about a metre and a half of accessory belt and 4 pulleys. Should be worth another 5 bhp at least ;).



Ian C
11-11-18, 03:58 PM

I am fairly pleased with the balance between cleaning and preserving the patina, went a bit too far with the cleaning on occasion but was able to restore the patina by careful rubbing with oily hands.

Not fitting any power steering so the crank pulley will only be driving the alternator. I am planning to fit a light weight unit but need to work out how to mount it so that it can tension the drive belt. With the light weight, smaller alternator I reckon on an extra 7 bhp!!


12-11-18, 05:23 PM
Look for a Toyota shopping trolley, Aygo, Yaris type of thing as they might even have the same type of plug as on the Lexus engine loom.

The original alternator puts out some 120 amps and you will only need a small fraction of that.



Ian C
13-11-18, 09:09 AM

Excellent & timely suggestion, thank you. I was focusing on a "new" (actually remanufactured?!) alternators but the idea of using an alternator from a Toyota has opened up a whole world of possibilities.

I now have a number of alternators, mainly from Aygos, on my watch list and, as you suggested, a couple still have the cables & connectors attached.


Ian C
13-11-18, 10:03 PM
Pressed on with the engine cleaning and took the worst of the grime off the inlet manifold and chamber prior to loosely reassembling the engine in order to have a trial fit, with gearbox attached, to check position and clearance in the chassis.

Carried out a preliminary fit of the PMC adapter plate to the engine and was very pleased with the quality and fit. The plate does not obscure the mounting points for the starter motor so I plan to fit the fixing bolts as standard apart from using socket headed bolts as the fitting of a socket over the standard bolts is a bit on the tight side with the adapter plate fitted.

The gearbox, from a BMW 5 Series (2006 E60), was given the patina retaining cleaning regime before checking the fit of the adapter plate. Again a very nice fit and I am really pleased, and relieved, with the quality of the kit as I had bought it without being able to check with anyone who had used it.

Busy making a cradle to support the engine & gearbox whilst it is in position in the chassis so that I can work out the engine & gearbox mounting positions


01 Cleaning of the inlet manifold, or rather starting to spread the patina over the garage sink & surrounds

02 Inlet manifold looking slightly cleaner (don't ask about the sink!)

03 Cleaning the inlet chamber (started in the sink but it was getting dirtier rather than cleaner)

04 Engine loosely reassembled ready to fit into the chassis, once the gearbox is attached, to check position and clearances

05 Adapter plate, to allow mating of BMW gearbox, fitted to the engine. Overall fitting tolerances and quality of finish were excellent

Ian C
13-11-18, 10:15 PM
More pictures from post above

06 Adapter plate fitted to the engine showing the clearance for the bolts holding the starter motor (not fitted in this picture)

07 Cleaning the BMW gearbox, probably in better condition than the engine was when I received it

08 Gearbox cleaned and ready to check the fitment of the adapter plate

09 Adapter plate ready to fit to the gearbox

10 Plate fitted to the front of the BMW gearbox. Again a very precise fit with alignment tubes fitting over the bolts and engaging with the holes in the gearbox face

14-11-18, 09:41 AM
I see that the E60 gearbox has a different bolt pattern to the E36 allowing it to avoid the 1UZ starter motor holes - nice and straightforward :)

Looking very nice!

Ian C
14-11-18, 10:28 AM
I see that the E60 gearbox has a different bolt pattern to the E36 allowing it to avoid the 1UZ starter motor holes. . . . .


I thought that must be the case.

The adapter plate under the right hand (even cylinder bank) side gave a marginal clearance for the starter motor bolt. I have "modified the adapter plate to give an improved clearance for this bolt which, together with the change to socket headed blots - M10 Fine (1.25mm) x 40mm 10.9, should make it possible to remove the starter without splitting the gearbox & engine.


Ian C
16-11-18, 08:39 PM
The preparation for the trial fitting of the engine and gearbox required gaining access to the engine bay which in turn meant removing the "table" I had created on the bonnet. The table had been used to spread out the engine wiring loom to make it easier to trace and identify the wiring so I had to carefully pack the wiring away ready for the interesting job of linking the after market ECU to the remaining engine wiring.

I then completed the fabrication of an engine cradle to allow the engine to sit on the floor without suffering any further damage. With the cradle finished I lifted the engine off the engine stand and sat it on the floor on its new seat. The adapter plate was then bolted up to the rear face and the newly cleaned gearbox was brought into position. After some adjustment to the engine height and a bit of juggling the gearbox was snugly bolted to the 1UZ. The job of mating the gearbox & engine was obviously made easier by the omission of the flywheel & clutch and the fact that the gearbox input shaft does not reach the 1UZ crankshaft spigot bush - might be a different story when I next join the engine & gearbox with everything fitted!

I am planning to drop the engine & gearbox into the car over the weekend and it will be interesting to compare the actual position of where things end up with my drawings & calculations.


01 Engine wiring loom labeled and carefully (?) packed away for future use

02 Wooden stand to support engine whilst it is being positioned to confirm location for engine mounts, gearbox mounts, headers etc

03 Engine lifted off the engine stand and positioned ready to bolt on the gearbox (no flywheel or clutch fitted as this is just a trial fitting of the engine)

04 Rear of engine showing the small "adjustment" to the adapter plate to increase the clearance for the starter motor bolt

05 Engine and gearbox bolted together and ready to be dropped inot the Sumo - I am now an ambassador for Japanese & German (and Polish) engineering

Ian C
21-11-18, 12:08 PM
Well it is in and fits, sort of. I am currently trying to resist the temptation, and the encouragement of my son, to cut the front bulkheads to allow the engine to sit further back in the chassis. At the moment the nearside rear (even bank) cylinder head fouls the brake servo but as it was already destined for the scrap bin as part of the brake upgrade that is not a major problem. With the brake servo removed it will go back about another 15mm and the bolts for the starter motor will still be accessible.

The only problem we encountered (apart from dealing with the jam squirting out of the hot donuts - but that is another story!) was that the steel sump pan fouled the chassis engine mounting brackets. The gap between the horizontal plate of the bracket, to which the Pilgrim engine mounts are bolted, was approximately 10mm narrower than the sump. Once the edges of the brackets were trimmed back the engine and gearbox could be lowered down to their intended position. Having the tracked engine hoist and pit were once again invaluable.

The BMW gearbox (ZF GS6-53DZ) is massive, or at least looks massive, once it is in the transmission tunnel. There is plenty of clearance all round to allow for the engine & gearbox to be positioned to give the best alignment of the prop shaft U/Js. The initial fitting was made with the sump supported, on the wooden cradle I had made, to give 115mm ground clearance. Before you get excited the weight of the engine & gearbox are not on the chassis at the moment and from the measurements I made when building the Sumo I expect the chassis to drop by approximately 30mm when the engine & gearbox are on the chassis mounting points. This will (should!) give a ground clearance, under the lowest part of the sump, of 85mm which is the same as I had with the RV8 fitted.

Pictures below & in following post

01 This is the heaviest load we have had on the tracked hoist hence the nervous look





Ian C
21-11-18, 02:12 PM
Had problems with the pictures on the previous post. For those interested the smaller pictures were saved from a video and were in .png format, when uploaded to the forum they appeared as .jpg but had been changed in size. Whilst trying to resolve this problem the post timed out. I have now converted the .png files to jpegs and have tried again. I think that the building of a kit car is the easy bit!!

01 This is the heaviest load we have had on the tracked hoist - hence the nervous looks

02 The rear of the gearbox had to be lifted over the nose of the car

03 Once over the engine bay the gearbox had to be angled down into the engine bay

04 The engine is fully in the engine bay and needed to be lower but the sump fouled the chassis engine mounting brackets

05 We had to lift the engine back up so the chassis mounts could be "adjusted"

Ian C
21-11-18, 02:44 PM
More pictures to go with post #100

06 "Adjusting" the chassis engine mounting brackets to clear the sump

07 Near side of sump clearing the adjusted bracket

08 Off side bracket, the brackets will be trimmed further, to increase the clearance and tidy up the edges, when the engine and gearbox are lifted out

09 Engine now lowered past the chassis mounts and being leveled on the cradle

10 It's in, well for now anyway

Ian C
21-11-18, 03:14 PM
Initial measurements, made once the engine & gearbox were level laterally and nearly level longitudinally (sitting at 0.5° down at rear) showed that the U/Js would be at approx. -2.7° at the front and +3.2° at the rear. I then went through several iterations of moving the engine & gearbox (this was done on scaled drawings, NOT by moving the actual engine & gearbox!!) to improve the ground clearance and the angles of the U/Js whilst still ensuring that the bonnet would close. The ninth attempt came up with the best compromise and should give a ground clearance of 95mm and U/J angles of - & + 1.7° but will require the differential to be moved. This is a little frustrating as I had just completed strengthening and adjusting the mounting of the refurbished LSD to give the best alignment with the RV8 & T5!!

These figures can be no more than an approximation at the moment as the ground clearance will depend on the amount the chassis drops once the weight is on the mounts. The exact position of the front U/J will also be dependent on the fabrication of the prop shaft when the front section is replaced to mate with the BMW gearbox drive.

Next step is to move the engine and gearbox into the position that the drawings say should give the best alignment and recheck all the measurement. The time spent in leveling the garage floor, either side of the pit, has paid dividends as it is now a prefect datum from which to take measurements.


01 View of the BMW gearbox from below - filling the transmission tunnel

02 A review of some of the changes tried to obtain the best compromise between alignment and ground clearance

03 Drawing showing the position of the 1UZ & GS6 in comparison to the RV8 & T5

04 Ideal ground clearance caused excessive angle on the prop shaft U/Js

05 Best compromise

21-11-18, 03:25 PM
Impressive work!

Side question - what do you draft your technical drawings in?

Ian C
21-11-18, 04:53 PM
. . . - what do you draft your technical drawings in?


I use a very old and outdated version of MS Visio (from the 2003 Office Suite) which produces scalable vector drawings. It is the old trade off between being old and outdated but I know how to use it and a new software package, of which there are plenty, but having the frustration of learning how to use it. I have the same issue when trying to edit videos, Windows Media player is limited but easy to use whereas the Sony Vegas software which I keep trying to use is so frustratingly complex (to a novice) that I run screaming back to Media Player.


21-11-18, 06:02 PM
Well, I definitely didn't expect Visio to be the answer! :) I occasionally try to draft stuff in Fusion 360, which is enormously frustrating as it is absolutely designed to be a 3D CAD program rather than a 2D, so I was hoping there might be a reasonably priced 2D CAD option out there that I hadn't considered, that a regular joe like myself could get to grips with.. instead of getting my Dad to draft things in AutoCAD (which he flies through as it was a large part of his job prior to retirement)

BTW, for video editing, Wondershare Filmora works rather well for me - it's nice and straightforward; I used it to edit these: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFCjU3zep9viDBn6tOZd8Ww/videos (there's even a Cobra related one in there)

Ian C
30-11-18, 09:28 PM
Slow progress since getting the engine & gearbox into the chassis, combination of unforeseen problems and a touch of seasonal flu - despite having the injection under protest!

After labouring long over the propshaft U/J angles I realised that the whole basis for the calculations was flawed. On the propshaft for the T5 the connection to the gearbox was via the sliding splined shaft which was then connected to the rear section by the front U/J. Without thinking I assumed the U/J on the new shaft would be in the same position but when I eventually checked with the original propshaft drawing, I had made when I swapped out the LT77, I realised that the U/J was in front of the sliding section. This meant the lengths and consequently the angles all changed which fortunately made it much easier to obtain a good alignment.

With the height of the engine now set, to get best alignment within the constraints of bonnet clearance and ground clearance under the sump, I made some temporary adjustable engine mounts out of some old M12 bolts that were once part of the suspension of an Audi TT (new buzz words are conservation & reuse!!), which will allow for some fine tuning if required once the weight was transferred to the chassis. The original rear mount, from the LT77 and adapted for the T5 will now form the basis for the gearbox support and was bolted in place to act as a temporary bracket. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the chassis height was lower by just over 20mm when the weight of the engine & gearbox were added, I was expecting it to be nearer 30mm.

The next check was to see if the engine could be moved back in the chassis, the limiting factor was, as mentioned, the brake servo so throwing caution to the winds (and at the same time committing myself to the long planned brake upgrade!) the servo came out. This allowed the engine to move approximately 50mm further back before the gap to the firewall became "tight". With the engine now in its final (??) position I returned to the areas of concern. Prior to fitting the engine and the gearbox I had sourced an alternative alternator from a Toyota Aygo (thanks Tony, good advice as always) which fitted beautifully to the 1UZ. Unfortunately the alternator fouled the chassis when the engine was lowered and had to be removed. I had hoped that moving the engine back in the engine bay would provide the extra clearance but it proved impossible to position the alternator in the gap between the engine & the chassis. This gap is further reduced by the presence of the lower steering column which give an added complication. So the search for a smaller alternator is now underway and a few have come to light that may do the job, it is however a difficult gap to measure so it is a case of trial and error (more error at the moment!).

The other area that was causing concern was the connections for the remote oil filter. The adapter plate had been bolted in place before fitting the engine and the gap to the lower chassis rail looked extremely tight. I ordered up some AN10 right angled hose connectors and my fears were confirmed when they were fitted. The connectors fouled the chassis rail as anticipated, after some research I found some forged right angled connectors that looked to be more compact. The forged connectors were a definite improvement but the gap to the chassis rail is too small for comfort and a little creative sculpting of the chassis rail may be required.

The next step is to have the propshaft fabricated and fitted which will then allow the final alignment to be confirmed.


01 Temporary engine mounts to allow fine tuning of engine height to confirm alignment

02 Clearance under the car - everything now supported by the temporary chassis mounts

03 The Aygo alternator mounted on the engine prior to fitting the engine & gearbox in the car. It proved impossible to install the engine with the alternator fitted in this position

04 The space where the alternator needs to fit, the gap between the engine and the chassis rail is shared with the lower steering column!

05 The smaller "forged" connector fitted to the remote oil filter adapter plate, the other connector (not fitted in the picture) is even tighter on the top of the chassis rail

Ian C
05-12-18, 09:11 PM
I should be used to it by now -one step forward and two steps back! After raising the engine on the temporary mounts to confirm the calculations I rechecked the required length of the propshaft. The measurement was made between the face of the mounting bushes in the rubber donut and the face of the drive flange on the differential. With the details noted and a drawing of what was required made I paid a visit to the local CPS Drivelink where I had the propshaft modified for the T5 a couple of years ago.

The outcome was a back to basics for me. I had debated whether to retain or ditch the rubber donut but had decided that if it worked for a 5 Series it would be fine for me. The engineer explained that the BMW had a two section propshaft with a centre bearing and the donut worked fine in this configuration. However with a single section shaft with a U/J either end the donut would not last long and further advised that they could not provide a U/J flange to match the three bolt flange on the BMW gearbox. He leant me a U/J so that I could work out what was required to adapt the BMW flange to the U/J flange.

I had hoped to find an adapter plate on the interweb thingy but a couple of adapters that might be close in the USA was all I came up with. Does anyone have any experience or information on adapters to connect BMW drive flanges to "standard" U/J flanges?


01 Drive flange on the BMW gearbox (with donut removed)

02 Drawing of the intended change to the propshaft

02 Comparison between the BMW three bolt flange and the "srtandard" U/J flnage

04 The required adapter needed to connect the propshaft, with standard U/Js to the gearbox

05-12-18, 10:34 PM

Ditch the rubber donut, it turns the propshaft into a skipping rope.

My prop guy welded a circular steel plate, with three holes for the bolts through the "fingers" of the output shaft, directly to the back of a generic UJ carrier of the correct size that he supplied. The prop was then built backwards from that with a the other half of the UJ, a short splined sliding section and then onto an old very much shortened section of jag prop for the back / diff end.

Bit of welding and balancing jiggery pockery and jobs a good un.



Ian C
06-12-18, 12:03 AM

Many thanks for the reply and the pointer - the donut is consigned to the "possibly useful in a future life" parts bin. I did briefly consider making the adapter myself but quickly realised that the accuracy and balancing required would be well beyond my expertise.

I have found a page on the Bailey Morris website which appears to offer to make an adapter to replace the rubber coupling and have made an enquiry.

Thanks again,

06-12-18, 08:32 AM
It looks like my propshaft modification. I used "Hex Socket Extra Low Head Cap Screw" for adpter flange.


Ian C
06-12-18, 10:24 AM

Hello again, how is your project coming along (the fibre glass replica not the cardboard one!)?

Yes that is exactly what I am after. Did you fabricate the adapter plate or have it made?

Best regards,

PS and best wishes to all in Polska for the coming festive season

07-12-18, 08:31 PM
My cobra is still in build. Working with no rush, because 5 years ago our gov took UE regulations and made registration of amateur build vechicle impossible.
The adapter was made on lathe by my friend.
The cardboard project was upgraded to plywood (inspired by toylander) and got electric running gear. And also unfinished - inpatient kids :D


thanks for wishes

Ian C
07-12-18, 11:51 PM

It would seem that there is more than one reason to be unhappy with the European Union at the moment. We are indeed fortunate to still have the option to register an amateur build vehicle in the UK.. What are your options to get your car on the road?

The Jeep looks excellent and is obviously great fun, I would bet that you will struggle to get it back to finish. Noticed on the video that you have not finished you hard top either - made me feel a bit better!

Could you send me some details on the adapter plate, I am currently drawing up my requirements and it would be useful to check with a finished item. Particularly interested in the material and thickness, let me know if you need my email address to send details.

Best regards,

Ian C
21-12-18, 08:46 PM
Some progress with the propshaft, Bailey Morris were only interested in making a new propshaft rather than the adapter plate that I needed. There was also the added cost of sending the propshaft down which prompted me to search again for local engineering firms who could machine the adapter plate. I was given the name Major & Aspinall (which sounded both impressive & expensive) and the recommendation to give them a try from a guy I had met at a local car show (he is currently planning to fit the gas turbine from a helicopter into a Mk4 Cortina for the drag strip - and why wouldn't you!!). Armed with the propshaft and my drawings I paid a visit to M&A in Durham and was relieved when the appearance of the industrial unit looked neither impressive nor expensive. What lay within however was very impressive and reassuring - a real old fashioned mechanical engineering workshop with several propshafts on the counter, loads of spares on shelves and friendly and knowledgeable help available. After a long discussion about the merits and problems with centre bearings and then the limiting factors for the power handling ability of a propshaft I was happy to leave my propshaft with them for the conversion and machining of the adapter plate.

With the height that the gearbox needed to be, to obtain the best angle for the propshaft, known I worked out how to support the rear of the GS6-53DZ gearbox in the chassis. When searching for a gearbox on line I had seen a number with the rear support (from the E60) still attached but they looked to intricate and large to be easily adapted so I went for one without. The main fixings at the rear are 4 x M10 tapped holes and these formed the starting point for my rear mounting. The holes were measured and transferred to a drawing to make a card template - not easy until I realised that the holes were not symmetrical (somehow, being German, I had assumed they would be!). With the aid of the template I got the holes lined up, transferred the outline to 3mm steel sheet and cut out the vertical plate.

I then needed to link the plate, when bolted to the gearbox, to the chassis cross member of the Sumo. This had already been adapted, from the standard form, when I changed from the LT77 to the T5 gearbox and now would need to change again. The new gearbox, probably due to being a six speed unit, was longer than both the LT77 and the T5 and there was limited room behind the gearbox to fit the support bobbins onto the cross member. Initially this forced me to locate the bobbins vertically outside of the gearbox mounting bolts which was not ideal. I managed to gain an extra 15mm by moving the cross member one hole further back on the chassis rails and this allowed the bobbins to sit in front of the bolts and be mounted at 30° to the horizontal which gave a more positive location for the gearbox.

A further complication arose as the gearbox is also deeper than either the LT77 or T5 and fouled the front of the chassis cross member. This was solved by cutting out a section at the front of the cross member and welding in some sections that allowed the profile to be lowered. Fabrication of the gearbox mounting is now well underway and it is time to remove the Sumo body which will give access for the fabrication of the engine mounts and the headers - looks like being a busy Christmas!!!


01 Final design for the rear mounting for the gearbox, the initial plan had the rubber bobbins vertical and outside the gearbox mounting bolts

02 The M10 mounting holes for the gearbox

03 Using the card template to find the hole centres

04 Using the template the outline of the gearbox mounting plate was transferred to 3mm sheet steel

05 The chassis cross member had to be "adapted" to clear the gearbox which is much bigger than either the LT77 or the T5, the front middle section was cut out to allow measurements to be made for the creation of new sections that lowered the profile to clear the gearbox.

Ian C
21-12-18, 09:04 PM
A few more pictures for post #115

06 Card templates made to check the dimensions of the new sections to be added to the chassis cross member

07 The outlines were then marked up on the 3mm sheet steel and cut out, I spent some time getting the new sections to fit the cut outs to make the welding easier

08 When a good fit was achieved the new sections were tack welded in place, I clamped the chassis member to the work bench to try and prevent warping of the assembly during the welding

09 With the new sections tack welded the cross member was refitted to the chassis for a final check of the clearances, it was then removed and welded up - again I clamped the unit to the work bench to try and minimise any warping

10 The assembly was the tidied up - my welds need a lot of that!!! - sanded down, cleaned then primed. It was refitted to hold the gearbox in place while I started removing the body for the next stage.

24-12-18, 09:40 PM
Impressive work on that mount, reminds me of the work I did last year adapting my GD to an R380 from an LT77. I used careful measurement (GD chassis is impressive for how close it wraps around the mechanical parts but means alteration is not easy) followed by a Cornflake packet (or was it Poridge oats?) prototype which I then transfered into CAD and a good friend of mone then cut it out on a water jet machine. Made it from 4mm MS plate and cut the pieces with interlocking tabs so even before it was welded it held itself together pretty well. A nice modern process but I appreciate your "hand-made" example just as much.

Interesting thread this BTW, really loving reading it. That is a nice looking engine. I love the way the Japanese make stuff. Several strip downs on Hondas gave me a good appreciation.

Ian C
06-01-19, 08:42 PM
Happy New Year!!!!!

Having survived the festive season more or less unscathed I happily returned to the garage to continue "the project". The work on the gearbox mounting was temporarily shelved while I got on with the task of removing the Sumo body from the chassis. This is the second time I have removed the body, the first time was when I swapped the original LT77 for the Cosworth T5, and every time it comes as a surprise how much there is to undo, remove, disconnect etc etc - and every time there is at least one thing I have missed (as you ask, this time it was the windscreen washer tubing!!). With everything (well nearly everything) disconnected I summoned my children & relatives to help lift the body off the chassis before they all disappeared back to work.

With the body out of the way I can now complete the gearbox mount and start to fabricate the engine mounts and the headers. The latter have caused a slight conundrum! I was planning to fabricate the headers for the 1UZ in 1.75" tubing, the headers I made for the RV8 were fabricated in 1.5" tubing and when I tried them they are very close to fitting the new engine. By using the flange from the stock Lexus manifold with the initial section of the exhaust tube, cut from the Lexus log manifold, welded to the RV8 headers the job would be much quicker & simpler. It would just require a short length of 1.5" tube to join the RV8 header to the Lexus exhaust tube. The question is would I regret not having gone to 1.75" headers and what improvement might have been gained by doing so?.

Any thought would be welcome!


PS I quite like the look of the hardtop on the chassis, gives the appearance of a real hot rod - I might not put the body back on and run it like that!!!

01 Preparing to remove the body, I always forget how much there is to remove before lifting the body off!!

02 Temporary engine mount, the permanent engine mounts will be fabricate to fit the current engine position which is the best compromise to give the required alignment of the drive train

03 DIY Header Kit or a quick way to disappointment!? Whether to re-use the 1.5" tubular headers or refabricate in 1.75" tube?

04 Quite like the stripped down go-kart look

05 Only problem is I don't think I would be able to get in!!!

07-01-19, 01:19 PM
I've seen chopped rods with lower rooflines, you just need to get yourself on a course on how to get in and out.. this should do : https://www.polefitandflexy.co.uk/flexibility-lessons/ ;) :lol:

Some friends and I once forgot to disconnect the gear linkage (tubular steel) on a Renault 5. We were young and dumb so guess who crawled under the car with the car dangling off the engine and the engine dangling off the crane, in order to disconnect it?
Also forgot to disconnect wiring on an MR2 Roadster where the body comes off the engine .. it's amazing how strong wire can be! :oops:

Ian C
07-01-19, 03:33 PM

Nice to know I am not alone with the oversight. Interesting link, if I had that level of flexibility it would not be chopped cars I would be trying to get into - I think forward visibility might be an issue too!



Ian C
17-01-19, 11:37 PM
After clearing off a few domestic chores, from the never ending list, I managed a couple of hours in the garage. With the front of the chassis supported on axle stands & the front wheels removed access to the engine mounts was at last clear. I supported the engine, on the wooden stand I had made when fitting the gearbox, and adjusted the height to position the engine in the correct alignment for the propshaft.

I am planning to use the Pilgrim RV8 engine mounts, with some adjustments, and replace the mounting currently fitted to the 1UZ with a bespoke affair. The rubber/pneumatic section of the Soarer engine mounting had been butchered when the engine was removed. My initial idea of using the aluminium bracket as a mount were changed when I realised that the fixing hole in the bracket was vertical. I understand that the accepted "best practice" is to have the rubber mountings inclined inwards towards the engine. Using the Soarer brackets, without modification, would have meant the supporting rubber bobbins being vertical - on the Soarer the rubber/pneumatic section included an angle to achieve the inclined mount to the chassis.

With the 1UZ in the position for best alignment & fit in the engine bay the centre of the engine mounting position is approx 10mm in front of the RV8 engine mount centre. The sump on the 1UZ is however significantly wider than the RV8 and I had to trim back the edge of the chassis mounting plate to get the engine in. The clearance between the inside edge of the RV8 engine mounting, after trimming to get it to sit flush against the lower chassis rail, is only 9mm at each side. I feel that this clearance is too small but to increase it will require major surgery on the RV8 engine mounts. The other option is to start from scratch and fabricate an engine mount to fit - my preference is still to use the RV8 mounts but time will tell.

Still have not decided on whether to adapt the 1.5" headers from the RV8 or to re-fabricate them in 1.75" tubing - any thoughts would be appreciated.


01 Soarer engine mounting bracket - the fixing hole, to mount the rubber bobbin, is orientated vertically

02 The old RV8 engine mounting sitting in position on the chassis plate but too close to the sump for comfort

03 One of the RV8 engine mounts trimmed to sit closer to the chassis rail to increase the clearance to the sump, it will need further modification to achieve the desired clearance

04 Showing the gap to the sump (9mm) with the engine mount trimmed to sit close to the chassis rail

05 Planned engine mount, showing the increased clearance with further trimming of the RV8 mount. Unfortunately this will mean the mounting needs modifying to clear the chassis rail.

Gatwick Axe Man
18-01-19, 11:10 AM
Hi Ian,

PM sent.


Ian C
28-01-19, 08:58 PM
I collected the modified propshaft and adapter plate from the specialist propshaft company, Major & Aspinall in Durham (highly recommended!!) this afternoon. Having supplied all the drawing & measurements for both the propshaft and adapter I was rather nervous when I started trying out the fit of the adapter plate on the bench. The finish & fitting can not be faulted - a big relief.

I then tried the adapter plate on the gearbox drive flange and again the fit was good including the centre bearing - not really required with a single piece propshaft. The final initial check was to offer up the propshaft to fit between the adapter and the diff. I was pleased to find I have clearance to move the engine & gearbox back a further 15mm and still have room for movement in the sliding section of the shaft. This will allow the centre point of the chassis and engine mounts to come more into alignment.

The next step will be to reposition the engine and recheck the angles on the propshaft to ensure they are as planned. With the engine in its final position it will then allow the completion of the engine & gearbox mountings.

The final work before, the engine comes back out for fitment of the flywheel & clutch, will be the headers. I have decided to use as much of the RV8 1.5" headers as I can to save time and money. I was hoping that someone would say "You have to use at least 1.75" headers to make any power on the 1UZ-FE"! But in the absence of any such advice I am going to take the "sensible" course of using what I have got - Phase 2, with the twin turbos, will require a complete rebuild of the headers anyway so spending time & money, for what will hopefully be a temporary set up, would not be the best use of limited resources.


01 Drawing of the adapter plate that I "thought" would be required, I had expected the machine shop to work from "master" drawings but it all fitted so my drawing can't have been too bad!

02 Adapter plate viewed from the gearbox end

03 Adapter plate viewed from the propshaft end

04 Adapter plate fitted to the propshaft to check clearance of the fitting bolts

05 Propshaft with adapter plate fitted, showing how the drive flange slightly overlaps the gearbox fitting bolts - hence the use of socket headed bolts

Ian C
28-01-19, 09:10 PM
Some further pictures of the trial fitting of the propshaft and adapter plate in the Sumo chassis.

06 Modified propshaft ready for a trial fit in the chassis

07 Adapter plate fitted to the BMW gearbox drive flange

08 Propshaft fitted to adapter plate - note no bolts were fitted as I was just checking the propshaft length, it was held in position by the close tolerance of the recessed centre on the adapter plate

09 View from underneath showing the clearance to move the engine and gearbox back by 15mm

10 View of propshaft from below

Ian C
05-02-19, 01:02 PM
Progress has been somewhat limited owing to the sub zero temperatures in the garage. The thermal long johns & vest with overalls and fleece lined work shirt kept my core toasty warm but my extremities were another matter. I wear work boots in the garage and the steel toe caps act like mini fridges with resultant chilblains, similar problems with the fingers - some jobs you just can't do with gloves on! So with Balmosa cream copiously applied to the toes, stinking the garage out, and frequent breaks to clasp a warm coffee mug between freezing fingers I struggled on. This is not a plea to get the sympathy vote, after all it is something I have chosen to do and in spite of everything still get tremendous satisfaction out of - something that I am forcibly reminded of if I dare to moan when I return to warmth of the family home!!!

So a lot of time has been spent working out the optimum position and angles for the engine/gearbox and differential, to achieve the best alignment of the propshaft, in the warm using the graphics software to explore different options. I have trialed several of the options using jacks and blocks to reposition the drive line and re-measuring the angles with a digital inclinometer. Now that I have confidence that the drawings accurately reflect reality I could press on with fabricating the engine mounts.

I further increased the clearance between the Pilgrim chassis mounts and the sump by reducing the depth of the centre boxed section so that they overhung the chassis rail. Once trimmed & checked I then welded the rear face of the box section back in the new position to restored the rigidity of the structure. The modified bracket was then checked in position to confirm the clearance to the sump and the space between the mount and the engine. I then made the obligatory cardboard template of the bracket that would be welded to the mount and bolted to the top of the lower chassis rail. After making a few adjustments the template was transferred to the metal sheet and cut out with the angle grinder. I bolted the mounting bracket in position and then clamped on the bracket before tack welding it in situ before making the final welds.

With the chassis mount bolted in position and the spacers fitted I then made a card template of the gap between the lower plate, bolted to the top of the support bobbins, and the upper plate bolted to the engine. This was used to cut the tube which would form the centre of the engine mount. The tube was checked in position and adjusted to be a tight fit. It was then welded to the lower plate and rechecked prior to welding it to the upper plate. Before I made the weld which would make any further adjustment of the mount difficult I made a final check of the height & angle of the engine and gearbox to confirm it was where I wanted it. I was now ready to tack weld the mount in situ only to find I had run out of welding gas. The torch has always had a tendency to leak, an only just audible hiss and something I have meant to "fix". I had been turning the gas valves off when not in use but obviously more had been escaping than I had realised. So I am now working on templates for the rear gearbox mount until I can get the gas bottle recharged.


01 Revised plan for the engine mounts to increase the clearance to the sump

02 The Pilgrim engine mount cut back to fit over the chassis rail

03 Rear of box section reinstated to restored rigidity to mount

04 Mounted refitted to check clearance to sump and check gap to Lexus engine mounting position

05 Cardboard template of the bracket transferred to metal sheet prior to cutting out with angle grinder

Ian C
05-02-19, 01:12 PM
Some further pictures of the fabrication of the engine mounts.

06 Bracket clamped in position & tack welded

07 Bracket tack welded to engine mount and checked prior to final welding

08 Central support tube cut to fit and checked before welding

09 Tube positioned on lower plate and ready to weld

10 Engine mount in position with lower brace fitted & ready to weld - just need some gas!!!!

05-02-19, 01:48 PM
Really interesting write-up this. Keep 'em coming.
I realise how much I miss out by not having welding kit (or telent) in my garage, but just don't have space for it.

Ian C
05-02-19, 04:24 PM
. . . I realise how much I miss out by not having welding kit (or telent) in my garage, but just don't have space for it.

No talent required, at least not in my case. I would never classify myself as a "welder" but I can make a reasonable job of joining metal with heat. However I would never try to weld a safety crtitical item, such as steering column or suspension arms. Welding kits don't take up much room and it is all about practice, it is without doubt one of the most satisfying things that you can do!!!


Ian C
10-02-19, 07:41 PM
After rechecking the alignment of the propshaft for the umpteenth time I was as confident as I would ever be about the required height and angle for the gearbox. With the engine & gearbox now set at this position I started to fabricate the gearbox mount. The vertical plate, which bolted to the four mounting points on the rear face of the gearbox, had been roughly cut sometime ago and was already in place. The angled horizontal pieces, between which the rubber bobbins would sit (this is where a picture saves a thousand words so best to look at the earlier design drawing on post #115), were then cut out, bent and checked in position against the vertical plate. I used blocks of foam to simulate the height of the bobbins, the big concern was how much clearance I could get between the lower fixed section of the mount and the upper section bolted to the gearbox. The limiting factor was the position of the chassis cross member. This was part of the original build and was initially drilled and positioned to fit the LT77 gearbox, it was then modified to carry the Cosworth T5 gearbox and was now modified again for the BMW GS6-53DZ. The six speed BMW box is considerably longer than either of the previous gearboxes and even with the cross member moved as far back as the chassis mounting holes would allow the rear mountings overhung it. This limited the room for the bobbins and their supports. It was therefore a relief to find that there was adequate clearance between the heads of the mounting bolts and the angled support to fit the bobbins.

With the position of the bottom angled bracket confirmed I used more cereal packets to make a template for the vertical support which would be used to bolt the fixed part to the chassis and give rigidity to the angle section supporting the bobbins - again easier to see in the drawing or pictures. This was then used to cut the part out of the 3 mm steel sheet. The mount was again assembled in situ to check the fit & clearance issues then removed and the two halves were welded together.

01 Cutting out and bending the horizontal sections of the mounting with the aid of a scaled template

02 The plates were then tried in position against the vertical mounting plate to check clearance issues

03 A card template was made of the bracket that would locate the bottom plate on the chassis cross member

04 The bracket was cut out of ther steel sheet, bent to shape and then tried in position

05 The fixing bracket being held in position with magnets in preparation for welding

Ian C
10-02-19, 07:55 PM
The welded lower bracket was repositioned on the chassis cross member with the rubber bobbins and spacers fitted. The spacers were used so that the height and therefore the angle of the gearbox could be adjusted to achieve the optimum propshaft alignment. The top angled bracket was then positioned on top of the rubber bobbins and a G clamp was used to load up the mounting to simulate the weight of the gearbox and the position of the bracket was marked on the vertical plate. The whole bracket was then disassembled and the slots, to locate the horizontal bracket in the vertical plate, were cut out. After a bit of filing & tweaking the plates fitted together snuggly. The mounting was then reassembled and fitted back in position to check everything fitted. I must have been a bit tired at this point because I suddenly thought it would be a good idea to check the height of the gearbox was correct. I lowered the jack and the weight of the gearbox was taken up by the new mount - very satisfying. I then checked the height and found it to be 2 mm higher than my calculations had indicated - easily resolved by removal of one of the spacers. I was just starting to get that self satisfied smug feeling when I suddenly realised that the plates were just fitted together and had not even been tack welded let alone welded together. The only thing holding the gearbox up was the fitment of the tongues, on the horizontal plate, in the vertical plate - I quickly repositioned the jack and raised it to support the gear box with a sigh of relief!!

01 The mount assembled in position and loaded using a G Clamp to simulate the weight of the gearbox on the rubber bobbins

02 The mount was disassembled prior to cutting out the slots in the vertical plate for the tongues of the horizontal plate to engage

03 The slots allowed the plates to locate positively

04 The protruding tongues were trimmed flush later after being welded

05 The mount in position to check - the jack had been removed before I realised that the mounting was only assembled prior to welding and was only held together by the tongued joints

Ian C
10-02-19, 08:07 PM
The mounting was removed and the two plates were tack welded in position. The small bracing pieces were then cut then fitted and tack welded between the two plates to increase the rigidity of the mounting. The whole mounting was then refitted to the chassis and checked to see nothing had moved. It was then removed, disassembled and welded up before being refitted to check. This time safe in the knowledge that it should hold the weight of the gearbox I again removed the jack and checked the position of the gearbox and was relieved to find it at the height & angle I had been aiming for. So next it is back to the engine mounts, to weld them up, and then it will be time for the headers!!!!


01 Plates now tack welded

02 Adding the braces to increase structural rigidity

03 All the braces now added and tack welded in position

04 Mounting bracket refitted for final checks before being welded up

05 The wedled mounting refitted, with the gearbox weight applied the height & angle of the gearbox were checked and found to be as planned.

Ian C
12-02-19, 09:02 PM
I had been getting tired of the seeming endless round of cutting, grinding and filing that had been required to fabricate the engine mount. So the switch to the gearbox mounting and the lift given by its completion was very welcome and I returned to the engine mount refreshed.

The first job was to tack weld the lower plate and tube, which had already been tacked together before the welding gas ran out, to the top plate which was bolted to the engine. The two pieces were positioned and the trolley jack holding the engine was lowered to ensure that the tube was tight to the engine plate. I then tack welded the tube in position. To get the mounting back out required the engine to be lifted but this was soon done and I started to cut small fillets from the 3 mm sheet steel to form the braces to spread the load from the tube to the mounting holes in the plates. I think I may have gone OTT with the number of the braces but I would rather be safe than sorry where strength matters - sort of a reverse Colin Chapman approach. This issue wasn't helped by a recurring problem with my welding helmet. It is an auto darkening model and the problem comes when the weld is struck and it darkens. It goes so dark I tend to lose sight of the track of the weld which leads to either the weld taking several attempts or I use a series of tack welds rather than the optimum flowing continuous weld. I went back to my old fashioned helmet which was great during the weld but getting started was a real pain - this is all really to excuse the awful state of the welds, just glad that they will be out of sight.

So trying to overcome the disappointment of the welds I fitted the engine mount in position, bolted it all up and then lowered the engine onto its new mount. Once again I was relieved to see the engine settle 1 mm lower than the planned height. As with the gearbox mount I have used spacers so the final height can easily be adjusted when everything is together. The next task is to make another one for the offside!!!! - such is the joy of kit cars!


01 Tack welding the mount in position on the engine

02 The strengthening ribs were individually cut and welded in position - the reasoning was to direct the load towards the mounting holes and to stiffen the plates.

03 Although the top of the rubber bobbins is a flat steel surface I fitted ribs across the lower plate as well

04 The welded engine mount was bolted back onto the engine - I was relieved that the distortion caused by the welding was minimal and it still fitted

05 One down, one to go!!!

12-02-19, 09:42 PM
I have just read the thread from start to finish, great work and keep it up!

Looks like you are enjoying the project. Likewise I am enjoying my abandoned Classic Replica build!

Ian C
12-02-19, 11:10 PM
. . . Looks like you are enjoying the project . . . . .

There are definitely moments of enjoyment but there are also those dark lonely times when you wonder why on earth you started this! Fortunately the former still outnumber the latter but it is a close call sometimes. I have also being following your epic journey, it must be very satisfying for you to bring something back to life. I started with a perfectly serviceable and functioning kit car and am spending considerable time, effort and expense to make it a slightly better (hopefully!) kit car - my wife keeps saying "But I thought it was finished!?".

So keep going & keep posting, we both need inspiration in those dark moments.

Take care,


13-02-19, 08:20 AM
Another great post in my other favourite thread. May your ups always outnumber your downs.

13-02-19, 09:07 AM
You know what they say, Ian - a grinder and paint, makes me the welder I ain't! ;)

If you have an old or cheap helmet, check out the range at R-Tech: https://www.r-techwelding.co.uk/welding-equipment/welding-helmets-and-masks/

The Speedmaster II is leaps and bounds better than my last (Lidl/Aldi) mask, and knowing what I know now I'd pay the extra for the XL mask for even better view.

Ian C
13-02-19, 09:15 AM

Many thanks for your reply. I had seen those helmets before - I think you may have referred to them on a different thread? Certainly sound a big improvement on what I have, particularly the variable darkness settings.

I have a birthday coming up so think a few carefully hints plus me stumbling around when I come in from the garage claiming "welding flash blindness" should produce results.

Take care,

16-02-19, 07:47 PM
Hi Ian,

This is truly a great thread however in hind sight maybe bolting a super charger to the old Rover might have been a tad easier?;)


16-02-19, 09:10 PM
Had to laugh at your post which mentions your wife saying "I thought it was finished", I could have written the whole post, I started with a perfectly usable if slightly downmarket car I now have a car which I'm struggling to get back on the road for summer!, I took out the v6 to swap for a v8, but then I thought whilst it's out I'll tidy up and line the engine bay... then maybe I'll redo the brake lines and fit a different servo ..then re-route and redo the front electrics.....then put in a new radiator....of course I need new manifolds and exhaust...and relocate a new expansion tank, washer bottle , coil etc etc oh and if the gearlever doesn't fit in the original hole in the tunnel that will mean a partial retrim of the interior,. Hopefully the finished article will be worth it but at times I think why did I bother?, but no stress, it's only a hobby... isn't it????????

Ian C
17-02-19, 12:37 AM
Hi Ian,

This is truly a great thread however in hind sight maybe bolting a super charger to the old Rover might have been a tad easier?;)

Kiel (I am guessing it is Kiel & not Duncan as it is a mature question!?),

Thank you for your kind words. I loved the Rover V8, and thoroughly enjoyed rebuilding it, but I was always aware of its limitations. It is a 60 year old design and has its weaknesses particularly in the valve train and bottom end (mine was the old two bolt bottom end) and although I had spent money on crankshaft, pistons and cam shaft I had not had the budget to upgrade the valve train or the main bearings. This was always at the back of my mind when on track days and giving the car some stick. I did not want to over stress the engine and decided at that point to go for something that could take a little bit of abuse. The option to upgrade the Rover engine was definitely consider but on balance it seemed to be the right decision to go for a sturdier engine and, as soon as I had taken the valve covers & sump off the Lexus engine, I knew I had made the right choice!!!

Had to laugh at your post which mentions your wife saying "I thought it was finished", I could have written the whole post, I started with a perfectly usable if slightly downmarket car I now have a car which I'm struggling to get back on the road for summer!, I took out the v6 to swap for a v8, but then I thought whilst it's out I'll tidy up and line the engine bay... then maybe I'll redo the brake lines and fit a different servo ..then re-route and redo the front electrics.....then put in a new radiator....of course I need new manifolds and exhaust...and relocate a new expansion tank, washer bottle , coil etc etc oh and if the gearlever doesn't fit in the original hole in the tunnel that will mean a partial retrim of the interior,. Hopefully the finished article will be worth it but at times I think why did I bother?, but no stress, it's only a hobby... isn't it????????


That made me smile (I would have laughed but it is getting late), I know exactly what you mean - everything has a cost!! It is always the unforeseen consequences of our planned actions that catch us out. It is a wise man who knows when to stop, but when did a wide man have any fun!!! I am sure that your finished car will be worth it, keep on believing!!!


17-02-19, 01:16 PM
Hi Ian,

This is truly a great thread however in hind sight maybe bolting a super charger to the old Rover might have been a tad easier?;)


Why would anyone build a kitcar when there are perfectly adequate cars to go out and just buy?
Let's face it were not a group that sees virtue in taking the line of least resistance :-)

Ian C
19-02-19, 08:49 PM
My first mistake had been to throw out the templates I had made for the nearside engine mount when I tidied up never thinking that just by turning them over they would have served for the offside mount! So another box of cereal was consumed and the cardboard put to good use. It was definitely easier replicating the fabrication and the central tube for the offside mount was soon being spot welded in situ - but I had a problem getting it off the engine once it was welded! I had to raise the engine quite a way to clear the studs on the rubber bobbins and became aware that it seemed to be more difficult than it had been when I was taking the nearside mount off at the similar stage. It was not till I tried to lower the engine that I realised what had gone wrong. When I had done the nearside, the offside was still on the temporary engine mount so the engine lifted straight up. When I repeated the exercise on the offside the new engine mount was in place and was preventing the nearside of the engine from rising. Raising the offside, to clear the studs, caused the engine & gearbox to twist and the gearbox had slid off the bottle jack that was all that was holding it in place. As a result when I lowered the engine it jammed between the chassis rails and was sitting with its nose in the air. The gearbox was quickly raised and the chassis cross member fitted to support the gearbox on temporary wooden blocks - panic over. It was yet another lesson in how complacency can come back to bite you - the ease with which the second mount was going together lulled me into a false sense of security!!


01 More cereal packets being recycled as templates

02 Supporting bracket cut out of 3 mm steel, bent to shape and clamped in position prior to tack welding to Pilgrim engine mount

03 Supporting bracket welded onto the engine mount and refitted to check, the spacers are in place between the bracket and the chassis rail

04 Central tube cut to size and fitted in position prior to being tack welded in situ

05 Offside engine mount tack welded and ready to remove - not as easy as I thought!

Ian C
19-02-19, 09:03 PM
More of the cereal packet was used to make the template for the load spreading braces which were cut out of the 3 mm sheet (which was shrinking by the minute!) and checked on the mount after filing to get the angles right.

I had the same problems welding the second mount as I had had with the first, in my defence the gaps between the braces is very small and access is difficult - Oh for a TIG welder (not that I am blaming my tools!!!) - anyway it was done. I reduced the length of the studs on the rubber bobbins to make fitting & removal easier then fitted the offside mount to check the engine height. The final position is 2 mm lower than I had planned but is easily adjustable using the shims. With the engine now sitting in its final position I returned to the gearbox mount, which had been sprayed in primer, and fitted it in place. Once again the angles & height were checked using the digital inclinometer and confirmed to be as planned. Final task will be to adjust the reinforcing brace on the diff to set the diff angle to 1° to match the engine & gearbox angle. I should point out that the angles being quoted here are as measured but the car is currently on axle stands at the front so is sitting nose up by approx 1.3°. As I am only really interested in the relative, rather than the absolute, angles there is no problem but when the car is sitting on its wheels the angle of the engine, gearbox and diff will change.

So it is now time to tidy up again - the garage floor is knee deep in metal dust from grinding & filing and every tool I own is out on the bench or in the pit - before I start adapting the RV8 headers to fit the 1UZ engine.


01 Making the templates for the load spreading braces

02 Braces positioned on the mount to check before being welded in place

03 More welding issues, not pretty but (hopefully) effective

04 Offside mount in place to check engine height - the engine is now in its final position

05 The gearbox mounting, now primed, fitted in position - the engine & gearbox are now in the best position for the drive train alignment

20-02-19, 08:37 PM
Why would anyone build a kitcar when there are perfectly adequate cars to go out and just buy?
Let's face it were not a group that sees virtue in taking the line of least resistance :-)

Indeed...that's why you get half wits fitting dual quad and stroked bigblocks when a 351 is way more than enough and probably half the fuel consumption:wink:


Ian C
26-02-19, 08:16 PM
In my haste to start the headers, which will be both challenging and interesting, I had neglected to finish the adjustment of the differential. The mounting of the differential had been changed when I replaced the LT77 with the Cosworth T5 gearbox and fitted the LSD. The original differential was mounted nose high and as a result was over 5° out of line with engine & gearbox centre line.

When I had been researching the options for reinforcing the differential mounting a number of people advocated bolting the differential directly to the chassis. However others claimed that they had an annoying level of noise & vibration from the direct mounting of the differential to the chassis. This is why I had chosen to keep the original Pilgrim mounting method but to modify the carrier, to lower the nose, and to add a bracket to control the movement of the differential under acceleration. The bracket secured an additional mounting, bolted to the front of the differential casing, between the bracket base and a fixed bar. The gap, between the bar and the bracket, was set by using a steel tube through which the M8 securing bolts passed. Soft rubber buffers in the gap allowed approx 5 - 10 mm of movement - as always the drawings and pictures should make it clearer.

01 The original design for the reinforcing bracket was designed to restrict and dampen the amount of movement rather than to clamp the differential in position.

02 The original bracket being mocked up on the chassis, I managed to find some thick walled steel tube with an ID that matched the OD of the chassis reinforcing tubes. http://www.cobraclub.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=37126&stc=1

03 The bracket was spot welded before being checked and then welded up.

04 The finished bracket was primed then painted before being fitted in position.

05 The bracket fitted in position on the chassis, the bolts were trimmed after confirming everything fitted.

Ian C
26-02-19, 08:31 PM
Measurements made with the new engine & gearbox combination required the nose of the differential to be 5 mm lower than previously and I decided to modify the reinforcing bracket to secure the differential in the new position. My new thinking was to adapt the bracket to clamp the differential in the required position using high density rubber sheet rather than the previous closed cell soft buffer. In effect this becomes a solid mounting, which prevents any vertical movement of the nose of the differential, but (hopefully) without the problems normally associated with mounting the differential directly to the chassis. I set the differential at the required angle and measured the gap between the fixed bracket and the "U" shaped bracket bolted to the differential. I than cut the required number of high density rubber spacers to fill the gap with an additional 1 mm to provide a positive clamping force. Similar rubber spacers were cut to fit under the bar which clamped the "U" bracket & hence the differential in position. The spacers were then glued in position and the bracket assemble on the chassis and the M10 adjusting bolts were tightened to bring the differential into position. The final angle, measured on the drive flange, was 88.95° which means the differential is 0.05° out of line with the engine & gearbox - I think I, and hopefully the propshaft U/Js, can live with that.

So now it is definitely time to start on the adaption of the headers!!


01 The revised design clamps the nose of the differential in position but uses high density rubber to decouple any noise or vibration.

02 Front view of the modified bracket.

03 The base of the bracket was re-drilled to replace the M8 fixing bolts with high tensile M10 bolts.

04 M10 bolts fitted through base and held by the M10 captive nuts that are fixed to the bar with M5 socket headed screws. The locknuts were fitted so the the bolts can be locked once the required angle is reached.

05 Modified bracket viewed from the front.

Ian C
26-02-19, 08:46 PM
A few more pictures of the modified bracket -

01 Cutting the high density rubber sheet to form the spacers that will hopefully limit the transmission of noise & vibration to the chassis.

02 The rubber spacers in position with a cardboard template in place of the "U" shaped bracket that is bolted to the front of the differential.

03 The modified bracket bolted in position and the differential angle being adjusted.

04 The desired angle was obtained but the final position changed marginally when the adjustment was locked using the locknuts.

05 Differential and bracket viewed from the rear showing the "exhaust" clamps that secure the bracket to the chassis tubes.

Ian C
03-03-19, 06:07 PM
With the engine now in its final position I could start to modify the headers from the RV8 set up to fit the 1UZ. I fitted the jigs, that I had made before removing the headers & side pipes, to position the collectors at the angle & height required to pass through the body cut out. The headers, which had had the last 50 mm cut off so the flange & stub exhaust could be shipped with the RV8, were fitted in the collectors I began to assess how to "fill the gap". The headers were close but it is often harder to make small changes, especially over a short distance, than it is to make larger changes over a longer distance. The four valves per cylinder layout of the 1UZ means that the exhaust (and inlet) ports are evenly spaced unlike the RV8 where the exhaust port is either at the front or the rear of cylinder and leves a larger space in the middle.

01 Exhaust system from the RV8 in place, using the jig to position the collector.


02 Wrapping removed, the white patches are all that remains of the VHT White paint. The exhaust ports on the 1UZ are more evenly spaced than the RV8 owing to the valve layout.


03 The 1UZ exhaust manifold - not the best flowing layout.


04 The flanges hold the flared ends of the manifold against the gasket to seal the exhaust port.


05 Manifold, with the stubs of the exhaust port and flanges removed, showing the thickness of the metal.


Ian C
03-03-19, 06:15 PM
Fortunately I had plenty of off cuts left over from my last header experience so I set about the task with some relish - it felt like proper work! The first task was to work out how to join the headers to the exhaust flanges which were still attached to the Lexus Soarer manifolds. I decided that using a sleeve, over the stub of the manifold, would allow movement and angular changes (i.e. mask any errors) when fitting the header tubes. I was surprised by the thickness of the manifold walls - very substantial - and was pleased to find that the OD of the stub was a good fit for the 1 5/8" steel tube I had used when fitting the 1 1/2" tubes into the collectors. I started with #7, as it was the shortest and straightest of the headers, and quickly had sections cut and ready to tack weld in place.

01 The stub end of the manifold cleaned up and ready to receive the sleeve and first section of the header.

02 Sleeve and first section of the header fitted to the manifold flange.

03 Tack welding the sleeve in position.

04 #7 header in position and last section tacked to the old header.

05 Tack welding the first section in situ.

Ian C
03-03-19, 06:21 PM
The process was repeated for #5 but #3 was a bit more difficult. The exhaust ports on the 1UZ seem to be lower than those on the RV8 and at larger angle below the horizontal. The headers for #3 & #1 came out of the collectors above #5 & #7 and crossed over them to get to their relevant ports. With the 1UZ exhaust port set lower and pointing more downwards the header had to be cut further back to get the angles right. I was able to use some of the 1 5/8" steel tube to act as a temporary sleeve to help line up and measure the header tube sections. The fabrication work is all done for the nearside headers so now it is time to weld them up without blowing holes through the tube walls. Then it is a repeat performance for the off side.


01 #5 header tack weld in position.

02 Working on #3, had to drop down after crossing over #5 before angl;ing back up to the exhaust port. A 1 5/8" steel tube is being used as a sleeve to hold the last section in position on the old header.

03 #3 being tack welded in situ.

04 #1 being fabricated, again a sleeve is being used to hold two sections together.

05 All nearside headers tack welded and ready for final welding and clean up.

03-03-19, 08:13 PM
Good work Ian.

Having just done some exhaust work myself, I discovered that patience is needed lol. Definitely a job which falls under the phrase "less haste = more speed"

Ian C
03-03-19, 08:22 PM
Agree entirely, and I am sure that you too found it very rewarding (- this could turn into a mutual admiration society!!!)

Take care,

13-03-19, 03:59 PM
I think the engine / gearbox brackets will do nicely for a 1000 bhp unit. Time for a pop round for tea and biscuits or are you too busy?? :cool:

Ian C
13-03-19, 10:02 PM

Hi, never too busy for tea & biscuits in the garage - let me know when you are coming.

Take care,

PS Bit gobsmacked now, I have been unable to post on this thread for nearly a week so did not expect the reply to work. I must try and see if I can post an update now!!!!!

PPS Spoke too soon, still cant post and update with pictures as previously reported - still waiting for action by Administrator!!!!

PPPS Thought I would try and attach pictures as part of an editing change and it works, but still cant attach pictures using the "Go Advanced" option!!!!!!






Ian C
13-03-19, 10:11 PM
Thought I would try and attach pictures as part of an editing change and it works, but still cant attach pictures using the "Go Advanced" option!!!!!!

Any thoughts anyone!!! ?