Sneige Factory – JZA80 Supra Build – Part 11 The Plurality of the Internet

Yup, it’s a hugely serious sounding title.

It however remains true that you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of somebody telling you something works simply because you want to believe it. Now, i’m not talking about mentally convincing yourself that the really gorgeous looking 18 year old Brazilian girl does not (unfortunately) have a penis. That’s something you need to deal with yourself in the confines of your own toilet cubicle. I’m talking about the huge orgy of information out in cyberspace related to automotive part compatibility.


As per usual, lots has happened since were last updated on the progress of the Sneige Supra. Mathew the workshop money finally returned from his spouse imposed secondment into family life and started grafting at removing the remainder of the paintwork from the shell. It’s not a pleasant job as outlined in my last post but within a few hours the Supra was silver again.

The damaged side
The cleaner side

From the pictures, it looks like a bit of a dog still, but let me assure you that I’m pleased with the outcome. There were no real nasties underneath the paintwork. There are a few known dents in the door but not deep and nothing that a light skim of filler wouldn’t sort quickly. We need to prep the bonnet and the engine bay then strip out all the seals and we’ll be a wet sand away from masking a priming.

While Mathew was working away on the bodywork prep, I was on the other side of the workshop concentrating on the preparation on the 1UZ.


There is a heap of stuff on this engine that we’re not going to need. The 1UZ comes with an old school distributor and lead ignition system. It’s properly out of date as a setup and just isn’t going to play nicely with the other toys we have coming for this build – so it’s got to go. Along with the aircon compressor, the top half of the inlet plenum, all the EGT system. The loom, the sump and a load of other stuff.

Junk Pile

As you may (or may not know) the 1UZ engine out of the LS400 comes with a front sump arrangement, which is great if you want to drop it into an S or R body but not so much if you want to drop it into a Supra so it had to go.

Front Sump

A rear sump setup on a 1UZ is not easy to come by. Mainly because the only car that has them are 1UZ powered Soarers and while they were once ten a penny, they are now becoming increasingly rare. I put a call into a guy called Nev from Driftmoto (who’s another chap I’ve known for about ten years through Drifting) He’s been playing with 1UZ engines since god was a boy. He’s put one into an AE86 recently which is a bit trick. Typically, he gave me lots of good advice and had a rear sump on the shelf. Bonus.

When replacing the sump on a 1UZ you have to remove the aluminium sump tray plus the windage tray, oil pickup and lower sump and replace them with three totally different items. It’s not a difficult job but does mean taking the bottom of the engine off.

Rear sump in place

As you can see from the picture above, the sump located fine and we nailed it in place temporarily so that we could do a test fit.

After much internet researching, it’s been quoted a fair few times on a number of different sites that the LS400 engine mounts and rubbers will bolt straight up into a Mk4 Supra. Well, they won’t. They are too wide. You need to use LS400 aluminium brackets and SC400 (1UZ Soarer) rubbers/mounts. It’s not out by a huge distance.

With the engine test fit in progress, we did manage to see roughly how it will sit.

1UZ test fit in the JZA80
1UZ test fit in the JZA80

One thing became very obvious once we got the engine roughly lined up on the mounts. That is the rumours about how the 1UZ JZA80 might drive were probably very accurate. As you can see from above, pretty much the entire engine sits behind the axle line. The weight is also slung fairly low in the car. These two things together are going to make for a very well balanced machine indeed.

Oil filter housing fouls the power steering rack

The internet’s documentation of the conversion was also hit and miss in a couple of other areas. Firstly that the stock 1UZ oil filter and housing just wasn’t going to fit. As you can see from above, it fouls the rack so needs to go. Mathew is going to make up an AN adaptor plate and we’ll fit a relocation kit. The second was that it’d been documented that the engine wouldn’t fit without fitting as Hilux brake booster. It seems to fit just fine with the standard Supra one, so great job there.

Lots of other exciting things went on this weekend that I haven’t yet told you so I’m going to try and write a second instalment shortly to keep you up to date.

Oh, and do me a favour? I’m trying to do a bit of publicity on my blog so… you know.

On facebook, twitter and shit… eh?


Click for the next chapter: Part Twelve: Much Excitement

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