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Brainstorming for V12 project

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For the past 2 years i have had this idea stuck in my head that my Z needs a V12. Not for power reasons, just for the glory of stuffing 48 valves under that hood. The engine bay is so huge that V8's just look out of place, plus I find that everyone does v8. How many people can say they have a V12 right?


So in researching the project I came across the Toyota 1GZ-fe found in the JDM Century. The thing pumps out 350hp and can be had for less than $5000.


Toyota 1GZ

+Flat torque curve and 350hp out of the box. 10.5:1 compression!

+Can bolt up to the CD009 6spd manual with a simple 1UZ adapter

+Megasquirt will run v12 sequential with an additional driver board. Successful cases of this engine can be seen on the MS extra forum. 

+The heads and short block appear to be very similar to the JZ and UZ families which will be helpful with parts, shims and bearings. Might even be able to run some JZ cams.

+Only has basic intake VVTL-i which makes tuning easy.


--Its a front sump. Pump under engine.... I will need to either research how to make a poor mans dry sump or move the steering rack? This is my biggest stopping point right now. 

--Service manual is only available in Japanese. 

--Could possible need custom manifolds to clear. Untested.

--Engine mounts. Certainly need custom.

--Intake system is ugly and tuned for a limousine. Will certainly be building some ITB's

--Chassis reinforcement?


Mercedes M120 V12

+Sounds the best

+More displacement/ power than GZ


--Its a front sump. Pump under engine.

--No easy manual swaps


Related links for myself and others:


Similar 1GZFE V12 MX41 Toyota build

MA61 with 1GZ-Fe swap

Rough engine dimensions


So on a scale of 1 to crazy? If anyone has more research to add please let me know. 

Edited by jacky4566
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"Its a front sump.... I will need to either research how to make a poor mans dry sump or move the steering rack?"

Or extend the oil pick up tube to a more convenient location and weld the sump on to mate up with it, I just did some very similar on my Z. Sounds like a very interesting engine and a great project.

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W220 mercedes V12 was on my bucket list. V12's just sound great when the starter is going sounds like a jet even before it starts! Throw on some equal length headers and you got yourself a budget F1 sound track.


The main problem out of just my cursory looking was the exhaust. The steering column definitely is going to be an interference piece. You can move the linkage/routing like myron did. 


Additionally the weight might be another consideration. It is massive, having it sit on the cross member just seems insufficient especially with the factory folded rails. 


I know of a couple V10 swaps, but the only one I recall he cut into the firewall to recess the engine as to not make it too front heavy. I can't imagine trying to keep the balance with a V12 hanging out up front without doing something similar.

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The 1GZ is more like a V12 1UZ than two 1JZ's. It has slave drive cams, horrible intake manifold made for refinement etc. 


If it were me I would go with a Mercedes M120 V12. It is cheaper, better design & larger capacity, more power & torque, lots more potential if you want to go silly (Look at Zonda) etc. 

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I've had the same dream as you for awhile. It's not really a goal at the moment, but more of a "maybe in 10 years" thing.


Since these aren't very common I have a hard time finding weight info, but the one source I've found(coincidentally, the last thread you linked) says 222KG. That's hardly more than an L28. When you make the block out of aluminum you tend to save quite a bit of weight. Swap out the enormous intake manifold for ITBs and it might be a wash from the stock balance.

Edited by calZ
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Did a little bit of looking at the Merc M120.
It certainly acoustically sounds better than the Toyota but has the same problems. Its a front sump with the pump under the engine. Also there is no easy/documented manual swaps.

Not sure where to source that engine, they appear more rarely than the GZ. Also, Merc parts $$$ :/

Ill add it to my list for further research. 

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My limited research on the M120


Ebay or craigslist are good sources, usually under 2k, closer to 1.5ish. 


The part that seems to fail are the coil packs which are sold or installed in rails. At 1k a rail or so that usually leads to people selling these cars when that issue occurs rather then dumping say 20-30% of the car's value into the preventative measure (replacing both rails).


Definitely don't need to stick with the electronics suite from the factory. Even modest controllers like megasquirt has V12 capabilities. Run some LS or toyota coil packs and generic sensors and you've taken quite a bit out of the problem pile.


Manual transmission options are pretty much non existent. There are a few completed cars, usually running a getrag box from a diesel BMW from the looks of it. Depending on your fabrication prowess you can make an adapter plate and deal with the spacing issue afterwards alternatively I've seen one person make a bell housing out of steel before, that seems insane, but plausible. It is just a matter of getting the bolt pattern between the bell housings the same and spacing the flywheel or clutch assembly depending on if you want to modify the flywheel or the starter.


Definitely please do, would be very cool to see. The 1gzfe definitely has a good head start in the manual front.


Also the 240sx's and miata's like to use front sump engines. Might look be wroth looking at. Some other people have noted that the geometry of the suspension allows for everything to be inverted (exception of the tension arms, so you could run a steering rack on the other side. Since you won't be using the factory mounts anyways bolting in the cross member backwards may be something to look into. You will have to have some custom bent tie rods to clear the tension arm or swap to a non tension arm type setup.

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