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How much power can a stock Toyota Supra 2JZ-GTE engine handle?

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:10 pm
by realstreet
This is a question that gets asked every week in the Supra community that consistently gets a wide variety of answers.

This conversation should really be happening a little differently. Before we get into it, let's first understand that there is no magic number or line that once crossed guarantees an engine failure. It’s not like “the engine will live forever at 999hp, but it will fail every time you try to make 1000hp.”

So before we start talking about the factory 2JZ-GTE engine specifically, let's first accept a universal core principle of motorsports:

“The harder you use something, the shorter it will live.” This is a universal truth that is impossible to escape. It's true for engine parts, it's true for clutches, it's true for tires, it's true for just about everything.

So as we make more power, when things go wrong, or when we make mistakes, we are making the engine work harder. Making the engine work harder shortens it's lifespan. If we make the engine work REALLY HARD, it's lifespan can get REALLY SHORT. If we don't make the engine work hard, it's lifespan can be very long.

When someone asks “how much power can a stock 2jz-gte hold?” they are leaving out the time portion of the question. Adding time criteria to the question might look like this:


How much power can a stock 2jz-gte hold for 1 “hail mary” dyno pull?

How long will a stock 2jz-gte live for at 1000whp?



When you start thinking of the question as time-based … you will want to pick a unit of measure. I prefer to use the unit of “WOT Minutes”. This is the total number of combined minutes that the engine can live at wide open throttle.

Even when you ask the question better, there still isn’t an exact numerical answer. There still isn't an exact WOT Minutes “line in the sand” for each power level. But it does follow the same relationship we recognized earlier. The more power you make, the harder the engine has to work, and the fewer WOT Minutes it will live.

This is why people upgrade their pistons, rods, bearings, studs, gaskets, and main caps. Upgrading these parts are a way to get more WOT Minutes at higher power levels.

In our experience, when people keep the stock 2JZ-GTE engines under 600whp, the engines will live longer than the owner ends up keeping their car. The stock internals will fail sooner if a torque spike happens early in the powerband. So for example, using a smaller quick-spooling turbo at high boost and spraying nitrous early will create a very early high torque spike that puts a lot of load on the connecting rod. That is a recipe for disaster in a stock 2JZ-GTE engine.

Everything we have mentioned so far assumes that the tune is done in a way that avoids detonation for whatever fuel you are using. It is natural behavior for customers to trust their tuner by default. It’s like having to trust your doctor, you don’t really have a choice but to put your trust in the person you end up choosing. So you tell yourself they are super qualified, you tell yourself they are the best, because you need them to be. And it's an easier reality to accept than “I am trusting my valuables to a stranger and the outcome is not guaranteed”. But at the end of the day, if you take 100 tunes from 100 different tuners, some of them will be done in a way that avoid detonation better than others. Because the factory parts were not designed as heavy duty components, detonation can kill a stock engine very quickly, regardless of the power level.

If someone tells you “the stock 2JZ-GTE engine holds 1000hp” your reponse should be “for how long?”. If someone says “my buddy has been making 1000hp on the same stock 2jz for 10 years” your thought should be “that must be a low WOT Minutes program that doesn't get floored at 1000hp very often”.

Determine your particular needs. Are you just looking for a glory pull to have on video for bragging rights, and then turn the car back down? Or are you looking to really use the car at a high effort level?

Long story short, If you are looking to make a 2JZ-GTE engine live a long life of working hard, then you should build it. The better you build it, the longer it will live at higher power levels.

Below I have put together some “Good”, “Better”, and “Best” engine build packages to give some examples of how much it costs to build one of these engines. The “Good” package is a great starting point for someone on a budget. The “Best” package will live longer at max effort high hp work levels.


“Good” -

https://www.realstreetperformance.com/s ... 5fad5deaf/

(Clicking on this link will clear your existing shopping cart contents and replace them with the ones i’ve selected here for your review)



“Better” -

https://www.realstreetperformance.com/s ... 514c11428/

(Clicking on this link will clear your existing shopping cart contents and replace them with the ones i’ve selected here for your review)



“Best” -


https://www.realstreetperformance.com/s ... f9f3167cf/

(Clicking on this link will clear your existing shopping cart contents and replace them with the ones i’ve selected here for your review)