Swapping 2009 Lexus RX350 Engine with Highlander


Asked by Aug 27, 2015 at 02:41 PM about the 2009 Lexus RX 350 AWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hi ,
My 2009 Lexus RX350 Engine Overheated due to Water pump failure out of
nowhere and diagnostic came out , blown headgasket and warped or cracked
cyclinder Head. Long story short i was recommended replacing the engine
with Used engine. After Rigorous search of used Engine I came to find a Local
shop ( Salavage/ Autoshop) to replace the Engine with 2012 Toyota

per my my knowledge and research since both vehicle (donor and my ) have
same Engine type ( 2GRFE with oil cooler ) , it can be swapped (?).

I am just throwing this to Forum to get better view on this swap .

1. Will Swap work ? Will my Lexus have same performance and quite drive as
before ?
2. What will be the challenges in swap ? Tuning ? mapping computer etc ?
3. What will be inherent problems that i have to live with ? ( e.g Gas mileage ,
Noisy Engine etc )
4. I have agreed to pay about $4400, for the swap that includes the Engine
and Labor. Is that reasonable price ?
5. Auto Shop is going to give me Six Month Warranty on Job ( Parts and
Labour ) , is it enough ?
6. I am going to get new Water Pump , Serpantine Belt along with swap .
Should i replace spark plug and timing Chain as well ?

Specs of My car :

2009 Lexus RX350 , AWD , 61500 Miles , Towing package ( Engine Oil

Specs of Donor Car:

2012 Toyota Highlander 6 cylinder, AWD , 70000 Miles , Towing package (
Engine Oil Cooler)

Thanks in Advance for your consideration.

15 Answers

Bob Beaman

Has you existing engine been disassembled to determine the exact cause of the problem? If it is just the head gasket(s) that are bad in your existing engine, I would repair it. Yours only has 61,500 miles on it and you should have some idea how it was maintained and taken care of. The used engine might be fine or might have problems. I would think that your head gaskets could be repaired for less than half of the price of a used engine replacement. Just food for thought.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

It was Overheated to extent that Engine Stalled. Diagnostic found that Pressure us Leaking from 3 different Cylinders. Right now Its just head gasket and Cylinder Head but down the line it could be even more. May be piston ring ....god knows...Got 4 different opinions and all pointed to same solution; replacing entire engine. Just little nervous because Auto Shop is not specialized Just in Lexus or Toyota..... :)

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

For a 2009 Lexus engine to fail catastrophically like that for ANY reason at 61,000 miles is exceedingly rare. Unless it has been horribly neglected in maintenance. I am not suggesting that you neglected that maintenance, but timing chain is fine for a long time, and IMO $4400 too much for a used engine. They can rebuild yours top to bottom for that money.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Also the OEM Denso spark plugs are good for 100,000 miles or more

Bob Beaman

I wonder what the price is just for the used engine, not including installation?


3400 for engine and remaining labor

Bob Beaman

http://www.enginehaus.com/engines/2007-2012-lexus-rx-350-2gr- fe-3.5l-dual-vvt-i-v6-engine

Bob Beaman

I have no idea where you are located, but you should be able to get a rebuilt engine with a warranty installed for similar money. The link above is an example of this.


Located around Boston ... Suggest something similar if you know around here . It's Very reasonable price I would love to get it done there but unfortunately very far from here

Bob Beaman


Bob Beaman


Bob Beaman

Google is your friend. Do a search for installed rebuilt engines Boston Mass. and make some phone calls. You might find a great deal and you might not. You will never know until you call.

Bob Beaman


1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks guys ....I will call these guys tomorrow and see what they say.... Thanks a lot wish I had found this forum earlier


I have the same issue (engine replacement) with an 2007 RX350 that I am just about ready to do - swap out and swap in a used engine. Please let me know how well yours went

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