Ignition related...plugs, wires, etc.

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Aug 4, 2003
Central NC
Ok everybody chime in.... what are you experiences w/ upgrading/maintaining the stock ignition system. Christo is happy w/ the stock coil/cap/wires/plugs, but he really doesn't have any experience w/ anything else. I'm a big proponent of aftermarket stuff, probably b/c our road car and drag car are sponsored by MSD and AEM. I wanted to try out a different coil, and perhaps some plugs and wires, maybe even a control box, but I wanted a general sense of what direction to head in. Get technical if you like, but a simple " this is what I use, it works " will suffice as well!

Thanks in advance!
I believe that with a supercharger, cooler spark plugs are used (CDan or Yomama may have p/n and experience); however, most people just stick with OEM wires/coil etc. I haven't seen aftermarket coils used and with the reliability of OEM, I'd personally be pretty hesitant to mess with it.

That's exactly what Christo said... Thanks for your opinion... I'm not hesitant about messing w/ it, b/c I can always change it back to stock... but being safe is always... well... safe. Anybody else?
The 1FZE engine is pretty tweaked for power as is, even without the s/c, so I think it'd be pretty tough to sqeeze more hp out of it. Exhaust may be your best bet; a cat-back system maybe?

As CDan says: "The quest for power ends when the cylinder head flies off!"


(I'm just happy my 3fe can hold 70-75 on the highway!)
I have to agree with -H-. The only mod I'll make is to run cooler plugs for the S/C.
Colder plugs? Really? That's it? Hmm... I think I'm gonna hook the wide-band Lambda to my 80 tonight and see what she says at WOT, cruise, and increments of the power bad and we'll see if there's any significant improvement to be made.. you guys may be right, but I can't take my mind off all the inline 6's (3.0 liter of course ) that we've tuned for customers and raced, that made " only " 320 hp, but w/ additional tuning put down a solid 340-360 rwhp, and that's just w/ intake and exhaust mods, no additional boost or fuel or ignition. I guess you guys are saying that the larger I6 isn't as durable as the Supra motor???

Ok here goes. I run cooler plugs because of the increased heat of the turbo. The turbo also came with a mod chip that plugs (solders) into the ecu. I have increased my exhaust from 2 1/2 inches to 3. I still wanted more. So I picked up a Jacobs ignition setup. I noticed NO difference after adding the Jacobs ignition, well my radio noise increased so much that I no longer listen to the radio (I wouldn't call that an improvement). I carry the OEM coil wire with me incase the Jacobs fails and I could swap it out in seconds. Just figured since I paid $300 bucks for it I would leave it in there, not only that, it took me about three days to figure out WHERE to mount it with all the other stuff I have stuffed under the hood. As to the i6 not being able to take it? There was someone here that posted a Cruiser from Saudi the way it looked that was putting out 740hp. I would assume that double turbo/other major mods cost him what he paid for the truck. Tell you what though if you want noticeable power increase then forced induction is the ticket. I still say that even with the extra 1000lbs of Cruiser I am driving around with that I could still woop on the newer V8 Cruiser and people will also argue (Including me :p ) which is the best way to go turbo or super charger. If the super charger came with an intercooler I may have gone that way (somebody was looking into fabbing one), but because of that I went with the turbo. The turbo also comes with a heavier tranny cooler. Any more questions??

No, the I6 is just as durable as the supra's inline. I don't have the weblink anymore, but have the pictures of the 740hp, twin turbo 80 that is / was owned by a Sheik in Saudia Arabia (sp maybe off today).

My Lexas master tech knows the TRD engineers, and they say the bottom end of the motor is good for ~ 550hp in stock configuration. Could be hear say, but he is pretty knowledgeable & been with Lexas since the start.

<insert diabolical laugh>

550hp? Really? Hmm...
Wolfman, if you can squeeze some extra hp out without an s/c or turbo I'm very interested. Please report on your efforts. I can't afford either and have been passed by a 100 with the V8 on a hill like I was standing still :-[.

I think that by the time people have taken the first step with the s/c they are too broke to go further and also worried about the truck taking it with the mileage everyone has on them and the cooling concerns. A blown ifze is a a hefty price to pay for an experiment gone wrong.

The arabian machine is at the link below. Sadly I don't have his budget but I was thinking of making a lowball offer on his discarded earlier model :D. I like the hood louvers as a way to reduce air intake temperature without a snorkel


I knew someone would have the link - Thanks. Also like the hood scoop, but I'm heading in the SC direction rather then the Turbo, which I assume the scoop helps cool the turbo.

When I heard that the bottom end was stout, I started to look for modified cams, but can't seem to find any.


All the speed talk and 500+ hp jive is great, but remember what we're driving! These things aren't designed to be racecars capable of doing 0-60 in 5 seconds. They're basically tractor motors and bombproof drivetrains capable of running in the most heinous conditions all over the planet with minimal problems. Adding complicated induction and ignition systems, IMO, seriously negates the reliability of the FJ80 and FZJ80; not to mention the fact that super unleaded is hard to come by in BFE.

If you want speed, use Wolf's Wankel Rotary engined RX-7; because you'll never want to run a 3FE or 1FZE at 9000 rpm, or even close to 6000 rpm. The design parameters just aren't there.

If you want more power out of the 1FZE, drive a 3FE for a while....you'll love your cruiser...mine has a hard time getting out of its own way.

It was my understanding that the statement that the 1FZE could not be significantly improved by the mods you suggested intially in this thread, was based on basic mods that folks try, like coils, plugs, vortex inducing gizmos, and the like, that don't cost an arm and a leg.

Now of course you can add a T/C or S/C and boost performance, and some folks here have been toying with (and apparently succeeded) a water injection system. But these things do cost a few bucks more than a lot of people have or are willing to pay. And most are not interested in top end speed. In fact, I think it's fair to say that the reason most of us who are power hungry are that way is for towing power.

You apparently have a great deal of engineering technology at your disposal (not that TRD doesn't either...), and some knowledge of engine mods. If you can work out a modification to the 1FZE that improves performance (read that anyway that you like), then I'm sure there will be lots of people interested in what you did and how you did it--myself most definitely included.

So please have at it. But your post started out asking about mods to the inginition system, which, as has been said, is of dubious benefit on this truck.

Please let us know if you come up with anything helpful--I wouldn't mind a couple hundred more ponies! :D

I often woundered what the MSD Digital Box or CraneCames box would do besides drain my credit card more?
Don't get Bosch plug wires, they fall apart when you try to remove them and they are a pain to install. The OEM wires are plug and play with then guides already installed and they are cheaper too:D
for what it's worth I have to agree with Hltoppr but I guess it depends on what you are after. If it's dead reliable bush / highway Toyota machine that won't let down then leave the engine stock otherwise you're playing around which can be fun but it will likely let you down one day.

You should try driving a 60 with the 4 cyl diesel engine (3B) and see what slow is. I find that the stock 80 flies (without a trailer that is). ::)

Guess I need to clarify what I'm looking for...

I AM running a TRD blower. I have researched the smaller pulleys, and I am awaiting Christo's opinion regarding their efficiency. It is my understanding that the I-6's run rich w/ either the turbo or S/C and that the " UNI " chip isn't necessary as far as Christo is concerned. My particular 80 is not running colder plugs, and is going to be plugged up to the wide-band Lambda this afternoon to determine what the A/F ratio's are, to see just how close we can get to stoichemetric (ideal balance of air-to-fuel) w/ some tuning. I was merely asking about ignition mods for two reasons. Throttle response, and fuel economy. The former being a pet peeve of mine, and the latter of obvious concern to anyone that has to use premium unleaded b/c of forced induction. As far as all those who would like to squeeze more ponies out of their 80 series, it's really a simple formula. Volumetric efficiency is one key phrase. That's why so many engineers love the Wankel and the S2000 motor, from an efficiency standpoint... power per liter is astounding. I'm not so much interested in absolutle horsepower, as I am the prodigous torque that accompanies it... short of a large block, the I-6 is the next best thing to a diesel in terms of torque and power band. That said, I'm not looking for a 500 hp rail/sand dragster, more like 50-60 more ft/lbs of torque or so... and a slightly improved throttle response coupled w/ some better fuel efficiency... who wouldn't want that? The I/C for the TRD S/C is almost completely fabbed up, just waiting on some hose suitable for the couplings, and we'll try it out on a stock FZJ next week... that should add in another 10-20% or so I'm guessing. As for non-forced induction, I'd look toward more precise tuning of the ECU in regards to ignition timing, injector pulse-width, and spark duration... unfortunately, all that requires a stand-alone and/or piggy-back EEPROM/ECU with adjustment capability.... and a significant amount of dyno time... Then it becomes an issue of what is 10hp and 8 ft/lbs worth to you? As a racer, w/ most of this available at my disposal, I'm very interested... the only thing I need to consider is the delicate balance of wringing out the most power, vs. reliability. It's a tough call. I'll let you know what I find.

On the issue of ignition mods, it looks like I have my answer... leave it alone save for better wires, simple maitainence, and seal up your dist. cap against water. Thanks for all your input!


It is nice to see someone with a significant race background looking into the LC mods. My experience has been that often times people will say how much of an improvement something makes, but then the quantitative data doesn't support it. I will be nice to see some dyno runs with the S/C to see what type of power the LC is putting out.

I know its not wires, plugs or ignition but anyone having succsess running headers? i have only seen one 80 with them and he got them out of ausie.

I dont buy the whole "your trying to make a race car out or a tractor' bit. maybe if you are talking about an F/2F but c'mon, your telling me my 97 FZJ80 is a tractor? I think performance upgrades have been neglected with 80's becuase no one wants to sacrifice reliability ( and neither do i to some extent) but some one other than christo has got to move forward with lifts and performance upgrades. Dont get me wrong christo has brought us some slick stuff but where are the intercooled s/c, moderate body lifts, larger springs or trick set so we can start running 38's on there 80's. that is what i am waiting for. honestly there has got to be a market for this stuff as more and more guys have trail only 80's.

sorry for the ramble, hope this sparks some interest.
Ditto that. I agree that it's not just about hp...I too would be more interested in torque. Especially if you can couple that to/with more fuel efficiency and/or a "safer" setup with regard to heat concerns.

Question: is your I/C setup that you've fab'd something that could be bought (parts I mean) and put on by a backyard mechanic? or do you think this will require major mech skills custom building, and/or other support? I've thought that this would be the next best thing to add to the LC to "pump it up" (he's running now, so it's fair ;)) by any significant measure. It's one reason I've been interested in and follwing the water injection thing--similar goals, albeit different approach. Please keep us posted.


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