Ultimate Toyota 2UR-GSE Engine Guide

The 2008 Lexus IS F received the 2UR-GSE 5.0L V8 engine from Toyota. The Lexus RC F, LC 500, and IS 500-F-Sport all use it today. This vehicle’s 5.0-liter, normally aspirated V8 engine makes 416-475 horsepower.

These are impressive results for a North American engine from the mid-2000s. It’s a great all-around balance to have 2UR engines because of their good reliability. We’ll cover everything from the Toyota 2UR-GSE engine specs to problems to reliability in this guide.

What Cars Use the Toyota 5.0 V8?

The following Lexus models use the 2UR-GSE engine:

  • 2008-2014 Lexus IS-F
  • 2015-present Lexus RC F
  • 2015-2020 Lexus GS F
  • 2017-present Lexus LC 500
  • 2022-present Lexus IS 500 F-Sport

The 2UR-FSE is a 5.0L V8 engine with a different configuration. Lexus Hybrid Drive powers this engine, which is a detuned version of the 2UR-GSE. This isn’t the primary subject of the piece. However, some of the information we’ve covered may still be relevant. The following vehicles use 2UR-FSE engines:

  • 2007-2017 Lexus LS 600h
  • 2018-present Toyota Century

Toyota 2UR-GSE Engine Specs

Below is a quick list of specs for the 2UR 5.0 V8:

Engine Toyota 2UR-GSE
Displacement 4,969cc (5.0L)
Configuation V8
Aspiration Natural
Fuel Injection Direct & Port
Valvetrain DOHC, 32 valve
Compression Ratio 11.8 : 1 or 12.3 : 1
Bore x Stroke 94mm x 89.5mm
Horsepower 416-475 HP
Torque (lb-ft) 371-399 TQ
Redline 6,800 – 7,300 RPM

As you can see, the first few features are pretty self-explanatory. Engines with a displacement of 5.0 liters are known as 5.0L naturally aspirated V8s. In order to get the best of both worlds, they use port and direct injection (DI) together. Carbon buildup, which is a common issue with DI-only engines, is also reduced thanks to this feature.

Any high-performance engine comes standard with two overhead camshafts. The Lexus IS-original F’s 2UR engines had a compression ratio of 11.8:1. Toyota upped the power-to-weight ratio in the RC-F and GS-F to 12.3:1. A larger bore enables the installation of higher-flowing valves, which in turn helps to maintain a high peak power.

Lexus IS-F models with all of these features have a combined 416 hp. The most recent RC-F and GS-F models have a few different power output levels, the highest of which is 475 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of twisting power.

The redline varies between 6,800 and 7,300 RPMs depending on the model. Older IS-F models often have their stock rev limit raised above the factory-installed limit of 6,800.

Lexus 2UR Performance

We’ll end on a high note by talking about performance. However, we must first express our dissatisfaction with the 5.0-liter V8. It falls short of expectations. BMW’s S65 4.0L V8 produced 414hp in the same time period.

The same engine can reach an exhilarating 8,400 revolutions per minute. To be fair, the M3 lacks torque compared to the 2UR-GSE. Anyway, Ford’s 5.0 Coyote engine makes 480 horsepower.

Wouldn’t the GT350 be better off with Ford’s 5.2-liter Voodoo V8? Over 500-horsepower 3.0L turbocharged engines? To sum it up, the Toyota 2UR’s performance engines are woefully lacking. More engines do the same thing for the same price or even less.

Lexus 2UR Performance

That being said, the North American V8 is a rapidly dwindling species. Turbochargers are now standard equipment on the majority of high-performance midsize cars.

NA V8s are still available, but the Lexus models may provide the best combination of performance, dependability, and luxury. The Toyota 2UR-GSE engine is a great addition to the car when purchased as a whole. When considering only engine specs and performance, we’re not fans.

2UR-GSE 5.0 V8 Upgrades & Potential

The lack of aftermarket support for the Lexus 5.0L V8 engines is a drawback. Tuning, supercharger kits, and the like took a long time to develop. Modifications such as nitrous oxide systems and basic bolt-ons are common on Lexus IS-F models.

Songs weren’t even available until around 2015, and even then only in limited quantities. Intake, exhaust, and headers can boost the IS-power F’s by 25-40whp with a few mods. For a North American engine, that’s not bad at all.

When equipped with a supercharger, the IS-F and RC-F models can produce 550-600 horsepower. RR Racing has a number of well-known products. However, making this kind of power isn’t cheap; it starts at around $10,000. There are better platforms for adding boost if that’s what you’re after.

Despite this, the 2UR-GSE can still deliver good results even when running in NA mode. Nitrous is going to be necessary in large doses if the numbers are going to be large.

However, the results of a modified IS-F with nitrous and a few aftermarket parts speak for themselves. 132 mph in an 11.1 second quarter mile is not something to be embarrassed about. The results shown below were achieved with only a few aftermarket parts and 200 nitrous shots.

Toyota 2UR-GSE Engine Problems

A few of the most common issues with the Toyota 2UR-GSE engine include:

  • Valley Plate
  • Oil Leaks
  • Miscellaneous

We’ll dive into the issues with the Lexus 5.0 V8 in more detail below. Before continuing, you must, however, make a few notations. There’s a good reason why these are the most common problems. Just because they’re common doesn’t mean they’re common in the traditional sense. Instead, these are some of the most common places where problems occur.

Having said that, the 2UR-GSE excels in terms of reusability. On a high-performance engine, it’s unusual to have so little to say about engine problems and reliability. As a result, we’ll discuss a variety of topics.

At the conclusion of this article, we will return to the subject of Toyota 2UR-GSE reliability. As a starting point, let’s take a look at the most common 2UR engine issues.

1) Lexus ISF Valley Plate Gasket Problems

The 2UR-GSE valley plate is the first place to look for coolant leaks. Lexus IS-F and LS models seem to be the most frequently affected. On the newer RC-F and GS-F models, there haven’t been any problems that we’ve come across. Since they are newer, it’s difficult to say for sure whether or not the problem has been fixed.

Regardless, it’s not uncommon for the valley plate gasket to start leaking coolant. Coolant can leak into places like the intake manifold and the engine’s head because it is located at the very top.

Some believe that the pink “super long-life coolant” in Lexus cars is to blame for the problems. This is why some people choose to use Red Lexus coolant instead of the blue one.

These problems are more likely to occur in vehicles that are older than 8 years and have accumulated fewer than 80,000 miles. In some circumstances, problems can and do arise sooner.

However, gaskets deteriorate with time and use, so it’s likely to be a problem with an older 2UR-GSE model. Also, make sure the water pump isn’t leaking, as that is a problem with the 5.0L V8.

2UR-GSE Valley Plate Symptoms

The following are signs that your Toyota 5.0 V8 engine has a valley plate coolant leak:

  • Visible leak
  • Coolant in head or manifold
  • Loss of coolant

The Lexus 2UR-GSE engines have a valley plate gasket leak that can be difficult to detect. Even if there are visible coolant leaks, leaks within the head and manifold can be contained. It’s not a bad idea to conduct random inspections in these locations on a regular basis.

The valley plate, on the other hand, is most likely to blame if you’re having to add coolant more frequently than normal.

Lexus IS-F Valley Plate Gasket Replacement

Because of the labor involved, replacing the valley plate gasket can be a costly repair. The book hours for this job are between 12 and 14 hours, so expect to pay around $1,500+ at many Lexus dealerships.

Fortunately, the gasket is a low-cost component, making 2UR-GSE valley plates accessible to the do-it-yourself crowd. If you’re in need of a mechanic, we suggest looking for an independent repair shop.

2) 2UR-GSE 5.0 V8 Oil Leaks

The Toyota 2UR-GSE doesn’t have many issues with oil leaks, but other than that, there’s not much to talk about. Oil leaks are a problem with all engines, and the 5.0L V8 isn’t an exception. There are many similarities to the previous valley plate leak. Over time, gaskets, seals, and o-rings all take a beating.

2UR-GSE 5.0 V8 Oil Leaks

These parts will eventually become brittle and start cracking, which will lead to oil leaks. As early IS-F models continue to age, we expect an increase in the frequency of oil leaks. Several places where oil leaks are common include the valve cover gaskets, the oil pan gaskets, and the main engine seals.

Most 2UR-GSE engines have oil leaks before they reach 120,000 miles, but many of them last much longer than that. In any case, as more 5.0L V8 engines reach 10 years and 120,000 miles, oil leaks will become more common. Almost any engine will go through this sort of thing as it ages.

Lexus 5.0L V8 Oil Leak Symptoms

Oil leak symptoms are usually easy to identify. Following are some signs that your Toyota 2UR-GSE may be leaking oil:

  • Visible leak
  • Burning oil smells
  • Smoke from engine bay
  • Low oil

The presence of oil slicks on the ground indicates that there is a leak somewhere. Even so, not all oil leaks end up with oil reaching the earth’s surface. The engine’s valve cover gaskets are located near the engine’s top end.

These leaks frequently drip onto the block, headers, and so on. As a result, oil is burned off and odors of burning oil or slight smoke may be produced.

Finally, low engine oil is a possible symptom, but it’s unlikely. Most likely, you will become aware of the other signs and symptoms first. The 2UR-GSE will also naturally burn some oil, resulting in low oil consumption.

3) Toyota 2UR-GSE Miscellaneous Issues

As you can see, the Toyota 2UR-GSE engine has quite a few “common” issues. In the world of performance engines, it’s unusual to have so little to talk about. However, there’s more to say about the IS-F, GS-F, and RC-F models powered by 2UR batteries than you might imagine. To begin, let’s take a look at some general engine information.

Toyota 2UR-GSE Miscellaneous Issues

The Lexus 5.0L V8 problems covered in this article are by no means all-inclusive. Unpredictable failures and issues do occur. Because nothing else comes up on a regular basis, it’s not worth bringing up. To summarize, while the 2UR-GSE is a dependable engine, it is not without faults.

Other than that, these are high-end Lexus models. The cost of brakes is significantly higher than that of a typical automobile. Oil changes are more expensive because the engine uses over 9 quarts of oil per change. The list goes on and on. Even though it’s a fantastic engine, high-performance automobiles and engines require more in the way of routine maintenance.

2UR-GSE 5.0L Reliability

Is the 2UR-GSE engine from Toyota dependable? To be honest, we think it’s above average in terms of reputability. This is especially true given the 5.0L V8’s reputation as a high-output race engine. Performance-oriented engines typically employ a higher level of technology.

Additionally, owners are more likely to overdrive their vehicles. As a result, a sizable number of problems are likely to be found.

The storied BMW S65 engine was previously mentioned. Rod bearing failures are also a problem with this engine. The BMW S85 engine is the same way. There are a slew of other engines that we could mention. To summarize, the Toyota 2UR-GSE stands out from the competition due to its high level of reliability.

It goes without saying that regular maintenance is essential if you want your Lexus 5.0L V8 engine to last as long as possible. Perform all of the fundamentals as you would with any other type of engine. Use high-quality oils, and make regular fluid changes.

The Toyota 2UR-GSE, when cared for properly, can deliver an incredible balance of performance, dependability, and durability.

Toyota 2UR-GSE Engine Summary

Lexus IS-F models equipped with the 2UR-GSE 5.0L V8 engine debuted in 2008. After that, it was used in a slew of other cars, including the GS-F and RC-F, before being retired. An impressive 416-475 hp and 371-399 lb-ft of torque are available. Excellent performance for a 1990s North American engine.

The 2UR engine, on the other hand, falls short of the all-out performance offered by many modern high-performance motors. For the most part, it’s going to be more than adequate. However, for maximum performance and aftermarket potential, there are better engines and platforms available.

Reliability is one of the Toyota 2UR-strongest GSE’s suits. The valley plate gasket, the water pump, and oil leaks are all common problems. Only the valley plate gasket in the early Lexus IS-F engines has been found to be defective, and this appears to be the only one.

There’s no denying that this V8’s performance, dependability, and longevity make it an excellent choice. Lexus models also come with an additional level of Luxury, which only serves to sweeten the deal.

What’s your take on the 2UR-GSE engine in general? Are you thinking about it?

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below!

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