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Replacing The Engine In The 94 Es300, Any Hints?


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So the bottom end went out in the 94 at around 220k. I got a great deal on a replacement engine with only 126k on it from a local salvage yard ($698 after tax and no core charge, believe it or not).

I'm going to be spending the next few weeks after work and on weekends putting this thing in, so if anyone has experience in this and can give any hints I'd appreciate it.

The new motor is a direct replacement from another 94 , the only tough part looks like the wiring harness just above the transmission was cut. I think it had to be cut because from that point it makes a T and goes under the dash and the other side goes to the fuse panel near the battery. Too bad they didnt make a quick disconnect harness there :D

I have an engine hoist so thats not a problem. I am planning to replace the plugs also while the engine is out, and maybe valve cover gaskets. It looks like the intake manifold needs to come off to get that back cover off, so I don't know. The replacement intake gaskets are like 75 bucks :x

Anyhow, I'll keep you guys updated!

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Good luck, I also have an 97 ES300 and it runs like new with 137,000 miles... The single motor mount on top of the engine failed last week but outside of that it is a good car for the most part.....

I am good at replacing the rear wheel drive bigger V8's in the 400 lexus's.... The ES300 is a front wheel drive V6... So the engine sits above the transmission..I would venture to guess the hardest part is removing the engine from the tranny... My advise is take it slow and remember everything and every bolt you remove....

Good luck...

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this is hilarious. I just started and noticed the engine is different. They said it was out of a 94 but it has plug wires on it and a slightly different intake design. the block however is aluminum. so wtf :chairshot: now i need to find a way to reference the engine to date it.

I just spoke with the guy at the auto recycler and he says its out of a 97 model. so hopefully everything will swap over, man what a pain in the butt :x

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Bro, I would return it and get the same year engine for your car...The 97 will not hookup with your stock ECU...Needless to say your electrical will be a nightmare to mate up... Bolt patterns may differ, tranny shift codes and cooling may differ...So much to consider...

I would cut your loses and start over with the same year motor for the same year car..You will thank me later...Trust me on this one... Swapping a 97 engine in the 94 car will be work...

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Bro, I would return it and get the same year engine for your car...The 97 will not hookup with your stock ECU...Needless to say your electrical will be a nightmare to mate up... Bolt patterns may differ, tranny shift codes and cooling may differ...So much to consider...

I would cut your loses and start over with the same year motor for the same year car..You will thank me later...Trust me on this one... Swapping a 97 engine in the 94 car will be work...

AGREE

do you know the condition of the replacement engine? are you taking their words for granted that the replacement runs ok??

I rather look for another car than trying to fool around here. It's going to be hard to locate a decent 94 engine to start with. All the yards say their engines work fine. In reality, there is not way to really test it standing alone.

i only get none mechanic parts from yards.

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Bro, I would return it and get the same year engine for your car...The 97 will not hookup with your stock ECU...Needless to say your electrical will be a nightmare to mate up... Bolt patterns may differ, tranny shift codes and cooling may differ...So much to consider...

I would cut your loses and start over with the same year motor for the same year car..You will thank me later...Trust me on this one... Swapping a 97 engine in the 94 car will be work...

AGREE

do you know the condition of the replacement engine? are you taking their words for granted that the replacement runs ok??

I rather look for another car than trying to fool around here. It's going to be hard to locate a decent 94 engine to start with. All the yards say their engines work fine. In reality, there is not way to really test it standing alone.

i only get none mechanic parts from yards.

well it does have a 90 day warranty on it. The salvage yard is being good about working with me on it. Right now I'm just looking at it hard to see what all issues I might have. The only other engine they have in the yard is out of a avalon, and when I asked about it he said that it has a note that its not a direct interchange due to a sensor hole not being tapped into the block.

He said to approach this as a long block and everything should be fine. So thats what I'm doing first, I'm pulling the old motor out and I'll have them side by side, since I'd have to swap the upper intake and fuel rails for sure. Once I get to that point I'll know better whether Its going to work or not.

right now I don't have alot invested in this car, and visually it is still in fantastic condition. It's definitely worth fixing, since I can do all of the work myself.

The guy at the salvage yard told me to let him know if I have any issues trying to install this thing, so if I run into a problem I'll definitely do that. I'll keep you guys updated, I'll be on this for a week or 2 probably.

later

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Since you insist on swapping the motor out, did you try contacting the service dept. at the lexus dealer? they might be able to give you some insights as to how big of differences, kinds of troubles and modifications needed to make this work?

they might also say it's not worth the swapping because of major differences. if you catch them at a slow time of the day, they tend to help better.

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Contacting the dealership is a good idea... Just maybe the 94-97 engines are identical or close too it, like all wire harnesses, ECU, bolt patterns, etc. I severly dought that the 97 motor will just drop right in and everything magically hookup, but it is worth a try, you just never know...

Example - Just a few weaks ago I was looking for a replacement swap tranny for my SC400...I was able to locate a 93 SC4 tranny for $300 but wasn't sure it would hookup with my 1992 car...I called the dealership and they told me the trannies were identical from 1992-1994... That one call made it happen for me...

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Contacting the dealership is a good idea... Just maybe the 94-97 engines are identical or close too it, like all wire harnesses, ECU, bolt patterns, etc. I severly dought that the 97 motor will just drop right in and everything magically hookup, but it is worth a try, you just never know...

Example - Just a few weaks ago I was looking for a replacement swap tranny for my SC400...I was able to locate a 93 SC4 tranny for $300 but wasn't sure it would hookup with my 1992 car...I called the dealership and they told me the trannies were identical from 1992-1994... That one call made it happen for me...

Yeah we are almost ready to pull the motor out. From what I can tell so far, the fuel injection, ecu wiring (sensors) and ignition (new motor has 3 coil on plug with jumpers to the back 3, old motor has individual coil on plug) are different. It looks mostly like the switch between obd1 and obd2 systems. Still looking promising, though. Will keep you guys updated.

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it's currently the dead of slow season over at the dealer service department so they'll be looking to pick up a job. if you go over to talk to them, they'll want to do it for you :P

in 94 they came out with the first 1mz-fe, 97 still runs the 1mz but they've made some big changes to it since 94. they both run a 4spd automatic a541e tranny (i assume out of rarity you don't have a 5sp manual).

i'm guessing you'll need to pick up a new ecu. even swapping our 89 2vz-fe into a 90 we had to swap ecu's along with a few other things.

good luck!

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it's currently the dead of slow season over at the dealer service department so they'll be looking to pick up a job. if you go over to talk to them, they'll want to do it for you :P

in 94 they came out with the first 1mz-fe, 97 still runs the 1mz but they've made some big changes to it since 94. they both run a 4spd automatic a541e tranny (i assume out of rarity you don't have a 5sp manual).

i'm guessing you'll need to pick up a new ecu. even swapping our 89 2vz-fe into a 90 we had to swap ecu's along with a few other things.

good luck!

Well considering the chop job the salvage yard did on the 97 motor, I decided to just keep all the original obd1 electronics. It's actually gone fairly easy so far, all the electrical is disconnected off the old engine and out of the way, the only thing holding me up at the moment is the rear motor mount. Still puzzling over how to approach that one. :cheers:

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  • 2 weeks later...

years ago when I was young i did a few engine swaps and have come to the realization through experience that I semi rebuild the engine while its out of the vehicle before I do a swap. You might want to do a few things like change timing belt/ waterpump spark plugs/ valve cover and any damaged lines and wires before the swap

my two cents worth ;)

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years ago when I was young i did a few engine swaps and have come to the realization through experience that I semi rebuild the engine while its out of the vehicle before I do a swap. You might want to do a few things like change timing belt/ waterpump spark plugs/ valve cover and any damaged lines and wires before the swap

my two cents worth ;)

thanks for the input. The crap weather has kept me off of it for the last week but this weekend is looking good. I'm definitely replacing the plugs, got a set of NGK iridiums for it, also valve cover gaskets. Considered putting a rear main in it but I don't know if i want to go that far. I'm going to take the oil pan off and have a good look at the pickup tube also. In my old engine, I actually had the pickup tube stop completely up while I was on the interstate doing 80mph. Ended up buying a new oil pump for the thing when I saw that the pickup tube was completely crammed full of silicone pieces. Looked like someone went a little crazy last time they reattached the oil pan.

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  • 3 weeks later...

update:

over a month later, the weather has been kind enough to allow me to finish this project. Only had a few hangups, the PS mounting bracket was different, and changed over the air plenum +injectors+fuel rails, etc. Changed out a few sensors that were not the same type.

Turned it over for about 30 seconds with no response, but then it fired right up. Smoked about 10 minutes, for the most part from the exterior of the engine and not the exhaust. Once all the grease burned off it was ok. No leaks and so far no codes or issues with sensors and vacuum hoses. It hasn't set any codes yet either. I only ran it about 30 minutes today, but tomorrow I'm going to take it on a drive and then I'll have a better idea, but so far I think everything went together disturbingly smooth.

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or you could buy a new car. who woulda thought of that!?!??! ive got a 95 ES and the only reason i havent upgraded is because i havent had problems with the engine. you better believe that when this thing starts to smoke and sputter like some ricer civic after its third engine swap ill be buying a new IS

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or you could buy a new car. who woulda thought of that!?!??! ive got a 95 ES and the only reason i havent upgraded is because i havent had problems with the engine. you better believe that when this thing starts to smoke and sputter like some ricer civic after its third engine swap ill be buying a new IS

Sure, buying a new car would be nice. I'm not in the position to buy a new car now, though, so its not happening. And overall I spent about 900 dollars in total for a complete engine.

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