Japanese 4.7L engine better than USA made?

Discussion in 'Tundra / Sequoia' started by 2001LC, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. 2001LC

    2001LC

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    I'm venturing over from the 100 series of ih8mud, on a fact finding mission. Where it's long been said that the 2UZ-fe VVt or non VVt made in Japan are a better built engine than the USA built. The forum and a few local mechanics have point to several issues with the USA made engine.

    Is there any truth to what they are saying:

    All Tundra and Sequoia 4.7L are made in USA?
    USA made have weaker connecting rods that are not forged?
    Tundra and Sequoia 4.7L develop a piston slap?

    I'd like to clear the air once and for all on where the components for the Tundra and Sequoia 4.7L engine are:

    Forged?
    Machined?
    Assembled?
    Difference?
    Looser tolerances?
     
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  2. 4mydogs

    4mydogs

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    I'm looking forward to responses to this as my Sequoia has the 4.7.
     
  3. 2001LC

    2001LC

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    So the 2012 Sequoia came from factory with a 2UZ-fe VVt-i?

    Interesting!
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
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  4. 4mydogs

    4mydogs

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    Excuse my mis-reading of 4.7 for 4.6.
     
  5. 2001LC

    2001LC

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    Oh, NP. I was thinking possible you had a conversation to a 4.7.

    So anyone with 4.7 hearinga piston slap?
     
  6. White Stripe

    White Stripe

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    Toyota's quality control would not likely allow for quality differences between Japan and America. It was a tundra 4.7 in America that hit the 1million miles mark. So that would indicate the 2uz in America is a good motor. All of them came with crappy rods. They hold up fine for stock, but if u want to go forced induction the early beefy 1uz rods will be a significant upgrade in strength.
     
  7. 2001LC

    2001LC

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    Some may argue the 1 mil Tundra was a fluke, not to mention HWY miles in 5 years. That the average driver is making short trips with frequent cold starts, may get very different results. I suppose some truth to that, but still a million miles and ready for more is impressive!

    From what I've read, the USA built 2UZ-fe VVt in the 1 million mile Tundra came from the Alabama plant. That plant did the machine work and assemble. I've not read anything on where parts like block, crank, rods, piston, rings, heads or cams were cast?
    Million Mile Tundra: The Tear Down

    They naysayers point to weak rods of the USA made 2UZ, stating "TRD stop making the SC for Tundra 2UZ due to weak rods". They say the Rods of USA made are not forged.

    From what I've found the rods in all 2UZ-fe are forged. Are they all from same foundry? likely! Are they all machined at same machine shop? probably not!

    From history of 2UZ
    2UZ-fe connecting Rods.JPG
    Picture of Toyota rods
    IMG_0070.JPG
    The 1 million mile Tundra rods
    million-mile-2007-toyota-tundra-tear-down.jpg million-mile-2007-toyota-tundra-tear-down-internals.jpg
    Rods from a Japanese VIN (J) 08 4runner VVt in my shop
    08 4R 131K (4).JPG
     
  8. 2001LC

    2001LC

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    The one big question I have is the 2UZ-fe USA Tundra/Sequoia developing more piston slap then the Japanese built?

    I heard this from a well respected mechanic in Boulder CO., that is well known in mud.

    I'd like to find some evidence of this or lack of.

    I can say I've heard piston slap on 100 series. It's considered normal in most cases. It's not seem to present a problem to anyone.

    Toyota did add oilers to the underside of the piston cylinder walls with the introduction of VVt in 05. Could it be they were addressing this piston slap?
    001.JPG
     
  9. krice118

    krice118

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    From those who have used a Tundra or Sequioa motor in a LC, they note differences in driving the Swapped Motor vs the stock LC motor. This leads me to believe the motors do have differences. Take my nonanlytical opinion with some salt....
     
  10. 2001LC

    2001LC

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    I not read or heard that before, thanks. Have you seen any posting or articali to that effect, can point me too them?

    I've post in many Tundra, Sequoia & Land Cruiser forums and threads asking about rods & piston slap (after warm up). I've not found evidence or firsthand knowledge of these things in any forums or news articles.

    2 out of 3 Mechanics are seeing more issues with USA made 2UZ-fe.

    I turned to shops, asking mechanics what they're seeing.
    1) One a heavy duty Toyota Dealer mechanic of 20 years said: "odds of piston slap are the same Japanese or US made".
    2) One at a one man shop that work on make or model, but specializes in Toyota said avoid the US made they develop piston slap.
    3) One at a one man shop that works only on Toyota said; he sees broken rods and hears piston slap in USA made that he doesn't in Japanese (Land Cruisers).

    I did not find out where the respective components (block, crank, rods, pistons, heads, cams, etc.) are forged. But did see written in article about million mile tundra and video evidence they're machined at plant of assemble.

    I like to find out why this is the case; metals, coatings, tolerance, oils, workmanship or what?

    A concern without more info is; new parts from the Dealer can't be trusted.

    Indications are as I've said for years; parts that come from the factory in our series 100 are the best we can ever get.
     
  11. krice118

    krice118

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  12. FJ73Texas

    FJ73Texas

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    This is very true. Quality standards are the same between US and JP, however the difference lies with the labor force applying those standards.
     
  13. 2001LC

    2001LC

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    Thanks @krice118 I do recall that thread now, it was very inconclusive. He didn't even state which year the Tundra 4.7 was from. Just said 01-04, which could be Japanese or USA made (03+ USA made). His claim it has super power, well the long block and intake are the same in all 4.7L. What I did find interesting, is he bent a rod by overboosting a 100 series w/SC. All 4.7L rod are forged. That said; I've heard of bad rod on Tundras, but never on 100 series that are stock.

    @FJ73Texas labor force may well be the case, I can't say! Toyota does say; Quality control, training and management style is the same world wide.

    What I can say, or rather wish I had the answers for:
    • We don't know if metals are the same. By this I mean, was the same crank, rods, block or piston for example provided from same or different source in USA vs Japanese made engines?
    • Final machining of these various parts was likely done at their respective assembly plants. Could the talorances be better at one more than the other plant. If so, wouldn't equipment difference more so than labor force the issue?
    • There is a coating on the piston shelve (see above). Was there any different of coating.
    • Any difference in Oils use in assembly. Somewhere I saw; Toyota use same for assembly that they put in the crankcase for shipping.
    So I can't rule the above out as we/I just don't know!

    "Thereafter" oil in the real world use, how engine maintained and frequency & quality of oil & filters (Oil & Air) certainly have effects. But if we assume we've about equal good & poor maintainers of each, than that is really beyond the scope of is this as a Toyota manufacturing issue.

    Indication are there was a lot more Tundras & Sequoia 4.7L than the 100 series in the USA. Could numbers be the reason USA made 4.7L had/have a bad rap. Well' I asked each mechanic if they saw/worked on more USA or Japanese made. They each said about equal, which surprises me, beings it seems we've more of one than the other here in the USA.

    I ask the mechanics:

    Was there any years which they saw more issues than others. One did not indicate years. But was very clear he not only experiencing in the shop, but heard complaints about piston slap while on Tour with Toyota, from owners of USA made 4.7L.

    Another said the 03-early07, thereafter it stop. It seemed with the intro of the 5.7, they made a change to the 4.7L. Again one must ask; was this perception (based on numbers) as more 5.7 would surely have been bought/sold IMHO by first adopters and those desire for latest great and more power. Or did Toyota change something.

    Issue obviously does not affect all USA made or I would have gotten overwhelming response in the many forums I posted these question in. But I'm now of the opinion it is a manufacturing issue, of at least some of the USA made 4.7L.

    I've enough concern I'll not buy a USA made pre 07 without hearing it run, for use in a 100 series. The risk; I may waste money and time needed to pull back out is just to high!
     
  14. cwwfj60

    cwwfj60

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    Hey fellas, In the effort to better understand our beloved 2uz's I thought I'd chime in with a 2005 VVT-I motor that I have in my shop at the moment, Tundra motor FYI...broke a rod, then got ripped out and a junkyard thrown in and I scooped up this one for some exploratory surgery...just getting started let me know if more info is desired...

    seeing carnage is always cool, so here you go...

    IMG_6786.JPG IMG_6788.JPG
     
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  15. 2001LC

    2001LC

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    Very cool, thanks for posting. How did the bearings, wrist pin look, good or bad history of LOF any signs something contributed to failure?

    I pulled a 100 series VVti engine yesterday, took longer than I thought it would. Was going to pull pan, but just ran a little too late. I did this leaving the transmission behind in the rig. Do you do with or without transmission attached to engine?
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  16. cwwfj60

    cwwfj60

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    So I picked this up from a local guy who just wanted to get rid of it, literally took it for free....but that's arguable whether that's a good deal or not....

    They are definitely a pain, especially in the 100....although I didn't pull this one myself, I always remove it from the trans (bellhousing/flexplate)...thats just me though, not necessarily the right way.

    I've had this engine sitting in my shop for a couple years now waiting for some attention, had a delay with my 3FE project so after reading this thread I got the interest needed to start digging....I haven't gotten the mains or pistons out yet, heads still on, etc...just started stripping down the accessories and the upper oil pan was my last step last night....more to come regarding wrist pins, bearings, etc. I'm really interested to see what the cause was too...internals look decent so far....
     
  17. 2001LC

    2001LC

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    I'd like to get your thoughts:

    The shop that has seen busted Tundra (non TRD SC) rods before up to late 06 only. He also detaches at bellhousing leaving trans in rig. I had limited space to pull up and out so I did the same. FSM recommends pulling with transmission attached. Looks like that method would make install easier, at least when seating engine to bellhousing.

    I'm a bit concerned it will be a PITA to align bellhouse to engine seating pilot bushing of torque convert during install. I"m planning on have torque converter in transmission during install, then bolting up flexplate once engine is in. Would you suggestion having in transmission or on engine during install?

    I need to pull pan to inspect a few bearings at minimum, which I suppose could have done in the rig. But it is more than 70% changes I'm going to replace the engine anyway. The engine was run very hot for some unknown period of time. Head gaskets blew and had coolant in oil which turned into milkshake. I can see pulley of alternator looks kind of blue, maybe like it got very hot. The wire housing for the water temp sending units was a little brittle as if it got very hot. Heater tee on hot (out of engine) side was melted from combustion gasses cooking it. I can't say if heater tee broke first or head gasket blew first, chicken or the eggs story! Radiator upper goose's neck cracked under upper hose, presumably from heat. Signs lower third of radiator was blocked with grasses and styrofoam. I'm at a crossroad of whether to just have heads machined or replace the engine with used. If bearings look good I'm considering just having heads done keeping short block as is. But part of my concern would still be possible unseen damage to bearings, rings or piston grooves from acid (oil & coolant mix) or gunk in water & oil passages resticking flow. What's your thoughts?

    A machine shops said to me: "must replace VVt actuators if coolant in oil (milkshake) was run through engine. What's your thoughts on replacing or keeping VVT actuators?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
  18. 2001LC

    2001LC

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    BTW. That same shop (at clients request) replace a broken rod keeping the same piston & rings without even honing. That was 100K miles ago and the engine runs strong and doesn't use oil.
     
  19. cwwfj60

    cwwfj60

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    Yes I'm aware of the FSM procedure, just a preference of mine...that's how I do 90% of vehicles (domestic/foreign) and it's always worked well for me. Yes seating the bellhousing is the PITA part of that job, helpful with 2 sometimes even 3 people. Whatever you do don't try to use a BH bolt to suck it up to the engine, seen it snap off ears of the bell housing many times.

    I suggest leaving torque converter in tranny, fully seated of course....then flex plate installed (properly torqued) on engine before install....drop motor in, align BH get fully seated and aligned then install your torque converter to flexplate bolts (usually with a little blue loctite).

    That motor sounds like a nightmare...by the sounds of it, I'd drop back five and punt...

    The VVT actuators aren't hard to replace (if i remember correctly) I'd clean them out and not sweat it personally....speaking as if this was my own project. Doing this kind of work for a customer might be a different story. But like I said, I'd be wary of using that motor, unless getting very in depth with a rebuild.
     
  20. 2001LC

    2001LC

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    I'll be real interested to see what you find as you tear that 05 Tundra engine down. It always hard to say if maintained properly. But my investigation has revealed the USA engine has issues not normally seen in the Japanese built.

    My darn torque convert was frozen on engine as it came out. I was concerned it would fall on floor, until I tried to pull off finding pilot near frozen/glued in crank. Good advise on procedure and the blue lock tight is very good idea, thanks. I'll be on my on during intestall and will make sure to not bolt up until seated, Thanks. 019.JPG 021.JPG

    I bought a 08 w/131K 4.7L VVt 4Runner engine w/trany and all harness. Unfortunately I did not scope cylinders before buying. I think engine was washed after being left in the elements. Found minor rust pitting in two cylinders. It can be honed out but then my ring gap will be 9 to 12 thousand over where they are now. It parts (all broken down to short block) for me now taking up a lot of room.
    2UZ 4Runner 143.JPG
    So back to square one, with parts one engine and a whole engine just pulled take up my limited space.
    007.JPG
    012.JPG
    I'm keeping option open at this point. My plan is to keep it as it's my Dream rig, a clean 2007 Unicorn. But if right offer comes along I'd sell it. I could use the funds to build a garage with climate control, lift and more room.
    Scored a 2007 Unicorn. The holy grail of 100 series.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
    cwwfj60 likes this.
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