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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am doing an overhaul on a 2001 AWD Highlander 3L (1MZ-FE). I have been tossing around the idea of swapping in a 2004 3MZ-FE (3.3L) bottom end or basically as a short block. So a 1MZ-FE/3MZ-FE hybrid; a 1MZ with a 3MZ block, pistons, crank & rods. It sounds like several people have done this. My question is how will did it work, especially in the long run? I am kind of wondering if doing this will only get me ~20k miles then some problems come up (or something like that). The highlander is not exactly a daily driver but I do take it camping so reliability is important to me. That is why I rather do something like a swap vs doing performance parts.

I am interested in this mostly to get some more displacement (0.3L), increase compression some and make it a bit of an upgrade project vs just maintenance. If I am pulling the engine might as well do something fun, if it is not too crazy.

It sounds like lots of things on the 1MZ bolt on to the 3MZ and not a whole lot of mechanical hacking is needed. I have read the blocks bolt up to each other’s mounts, heads, etc. The key is looking for the AWD part #s for both. I am still trying to figure for sure if I would keep the 1MZ head or use the 3MZ as they both are VVTi.

Not fully sure what shape the 1MZ-FE I currently have is in but it was running pretty rough and had many issues. Consuming lots of oil, codes putting it in to limp mode, and more so I was planning in having to replace or service many things including bearings and rings anyways, etc so kinda a project of overhauls as is. Currently I have the sub-frame with engine/trans/tranf/rack out. I am starting to do a bit of work on the transfer case to deal with some leaks and probably the AT next.

Thanks!
 

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I’ve heard 1MZ has more of a sludge problem in the heads than the 3MZ. People use the valve covers from the 3MZ or modify the old ones. You might want to research that. I have the ‘05 3MZ. It has good power mated up to the 5 speed.
 

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Converting an 01 to hybrid, it's just a bad idea

Kinda hard to picture what you're thinking here. Are you contemplating converting a non hybrid to a hybrid? The 01 was not built to be a hybrid. I've had a couple of that era Prius's, they're excellent cars. But a level of complication that you can't imagine.

Basically, a hybrid conversion is going to require that you pretty much gut the highlander. Replace the engine, the transmission, the axles, install a HV battery and a Aux battery in the rear. Massive wiring changes, computers (my old pri's had 7 computers!) And the HV batteries are not free (or even cheap.):nerd:

I bought an 07 Highlander a few weeks ago. I studied the awd, and the hybrid version. Gas mileage isn't much better and the complication factor is really something.

I settled for a base (Sport) with a 3.3 engine. I don't have to worry about the alternator/drive motor down on the output shaft of the trans or the motor on the right side of the trans, no inverter or inverter pump, no unconventional a/c, electrics, or brake booster pump. No huge battery behind the rear seat, no fan to keep the HV battery from overheating, and no little 12v battery in the left rear fender well. The real upside to the early hybrids was that the electronic systems really provide a boost in performance. I loved my 02 Prius! And mine was really reliable.

If you want an awd, hybrid Highlander, save up (or borrow) the nickles and dimes and buy one. Converting your 01 would be a long term nightmare and the outcome would be much less than satisfactory.
 

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He means putting the 1MZ heads on a 3MZ block to make a higher compression 3.3L. Unless you have access to very high octane gas, I think the knock sensors will dial it back and you won’t get much out of it for the effort, but I could be wrong. I haven’t done it.
 
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