For those wanting to perform a similar 'upgrade' (or sacrilege, depending on who you ask), I have decided to put together a short guide to make it easier for those who are planning to journey to the dark side.
One of the best articles on the 1JZ can be found here:
I found it most informative and it is a must read for anyone contemplating this swap.
First, the basics. There are three different models of the 1JZ-GTE to choose from.
The latest 1JZ-GTE is equipped with VVTI and is a single turbo configuration. Visually the 1JZ VVTI has a new valve cover to distinguish it from the older 1JZ's. This is a picture of one installed in a BMW E36 that was also done at my mechanics. The engine is still quite new so the halfcuts prices are still quite high but there is much more torque lower in the rev range thanks to the VVTI.
The earlier two versions are quite similar but there is an important difference which we will get to in a moment.
If you take a look at the pictures, both engines look quite similar with the addition of a traction control system before the throttle. This is the easiest way to distinguish between v.1 and v.2.
Of more importance is the change that has been made to the PCV valves.
The older 1JZ's had a shorter hose to the PCV valve which can result in premature turbo failure due to excessive intake of oil into the turbos. This was corrected on the second version with a longer hose to the PVC valve.
A very useful site for more 1JZ swap info:http://www.supramania.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29117
For my conversion I used the original 1JZ radiator along with the stock hydraulic fan. This works great and is very quiet. The additional electric fan on the M50 can be removed as the hydraulic fan is powerful enough by itself. If I'm not mistaken the 1JZ v.1 has a clutch fan similar to the M50 (please correct me if I'm wrong). Another reason to go with v.2 if possible.
Hope this helps some of you who are planning a similar swap.