Toyota 3VZ-FE Engine

  1. Specifications
  2. Overview, problems
  3. Performance tuning

Toyota 3VZ engine specs

Manufacturer Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky
Also called Toyota 3VZ
Production 1987-1997
Cylinder block alloy Cast-iron
Configuration V6
Valvetrain SOHC
2 valves per cylinder (3VZ-E)
4 valves per cylinder (3VZ-FE)
Piston stroke, mm (inch) 82 (3.23)
Cylinder bore, mm (inch) 87.4 (3.44)
Compression ratio 9.0 (3VZ-E)
9.6 (3VZ-FE)
Displacement 2958 cc (180.5 cu in)
Power output 108 kW (145 HP) at 4,600 rpm
112 kW (150 HP) at 4,800 rpm
138 kW (185 HP) at 5,800 rpm
Torque output 240 Nm (177 lb·ft) at 3,400 rpm
244 Nm (180 lb·ft) at 3,400 rpm
256 Nm (189 lb·ft) at 4,600 rpm
Redline 6,600 rpm (3VZ-FE)
HP per liter 49.0
Fuel type Gasoline
Weight, kg (lbs) ~210 (463)
Fuel consumption, L/100 km (mpg)

for Camry XV10
12.0 (19)
7.0 (33)

8.8 (27)
Turbocharger Naturally aspirated
Oil consumption , L/1000 km
(qt. per miles)
up to 1.0
(1 qt. per 750 miles)
Recommended engine oil 5W-30
Engine oil capacity, L (qt.) 4.3 (4.5)
Oil change interval, km (miles) 5,000-10,000
Normal engine operating temperature, °C (F) ~90 (194)
Engine lifespan, km (miles)
-Official information

300,000+ (180,000)
Tuning, HP
-Max HP
-No life span loss


The engine is installed in Toyota 4Runner
Toyota Camry
Toyota Hilux
Toyota T100
Lexus ES300 (Toyota Windom)

Toyota 3VZ-FE engine reliability, problems and repair

In 1987, they have started to install 3 liter 3VZ-E engine in Toyota 4Runner off-road vehicles. This engine uses a 60º V6 cylinder block like the 2.5 liter 2VZ, but it is 20 mm higher (its height is 223 mm) and it has a different crankshaft with 82 mm stroke and 9 counterweights. On top, there are two SOHC cylinder heads. This is the only VZ series engine, which uses cylinder heads with one camshaft; it was being installed in the off-road Toyota models. 3VZ-E engine has been replaced by a 3.4-liter 5VZ-FE.
In 1992, the production of a more modern 3VZ-FE engine has started. The differences between 3VZ-E and 3VZ-FE are the new DOHC heads with two camshafts for each. Differences between 3VZ-FE and its precursor 2VZ-FE are the following: a new forged crankshaft with 82 mm stroke, new pistons, the compression ratio of 9.6.
3VZ cylinder heads have been modified, their inlet valves have been changed completely, and their diameter has been increased up to 34 mm (previously, it was 33 mm). The diameter of the exhaust valves is 27.3 mm. 3VZ-FE camshafts features: duration 230/230 deg, lift 7.85/7.6 mm. The toothed timing belt is used to drive the camshaft. You should replace it every 50,000 miles of mileage (90,000 km). 3VZFE engine uses variable length intake manifold ACIS. The cooling system has also been modified; the injection system has been improved. The exhaust manifold has also been changed. The firing order for the 3VZ engines is 1-2-3-4-5-6.
This engine is installed under the hood of the vehicles with 15º tilt. All these modifications and changes yielded 3 liter of displacement and output of 185 HP at 5,800 rpm, 256 Nm of torque at 4,600 rpm.
Toyota 3VZ-FE engine was being produced until 1997, after that, it has been replaced by an improved 1MZ-FE.

Toyota 3VZ engine problems and malfunctions

1. 3VZ overheating. This is the most common problem of the 3VZ engine. If you’ve noticed a loss of coolant, then the problem is in the cylinder head gasket. If the coolant level is normal, then check the cooling fan, it often fails. If everything is alright with it, then you need to check the radiator cap, thermostat and radiator condition.
2. 3VZ engine knocking. Most likely, you just need to adjust the valves. Valves clearances on the cold engine are the following: 0.25-0.35 mm inlet, 0.15-0.25 mm exhaust.
Other 3VZ engine problems: increased connecting rod bearings wear; sometimes cylinder head cracks occur.
These engines are very old, so do not be surprised if in 3VZ-FE oil consumption increases or anything else happens. Use only high-quality engine oil, have your engine serviced regularly, and monitor the cooling system condition. This will increase 3VZ engine lifespan and you will be able to drive more than 180,000 miles of mileage (300,000 km).

3VZ engine number location

Look at the picture below, it is to help you find the number location.


Toyota 3VZ engine tuning

3VZ Supercharger. N/A Build

The best choice to increase the 3VZ engine power is head porting. Just give your cylinder heads to the tuning company for port and polish. Also, buy some performance parts, such as cold air intake, headers, and 2.5” performance exhaust system.
All these upgrades must be installed and ECU must be configured, this may yield over 200 HP. Buy performance cams 262/262 lift 9.3/8.8 mm, this may give 10-15 additional horsepower.
What not to do: increase the compression ratio, buy lightweight pistons, buy aftermarket intake manifold, and so on. It is expensive and it will not give a lot of horsepower.
Want to 250+ HP? Just sell your car and buy a more powerful one or swap a more powerful engine. In an extreme case, you can buy 1MZ TRD supercharger kit and modify it to suit your 3VZ. The second option is to build a turbo kit using Toyota Supra turbochargers, make turbo manifolds, do everything custom.
As a result, your engine will lose its reliability, still not producing a high power.


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