The first thing that comes to your mind when you hear somebody saying “2JZ” is probably a Toyota Supra or a 240SX drift car with an engine swap for drifting purposes. Also the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear somebody saying “Ford Taurus” is a Craigslist ad for a $500 car with blown head gaskets that some soccer mom is trying to get rid of so she can park her “new” 2002 tan colored Toyota Camry on her driveway. But for people like me and Louis Strianese when we hear the words “Ford Taurus”, our brains start going wild with the thoughts of potentially doing something crazy (and maybe stupid) that would create a very unlikely but amazing vehicle that probably nobody will ever understand, but still will appreciate.
That is probably what went through Louis’s head when his mom’s Taurus, not surprisingly, blew a head gasket after him driving it for a few years to go pick up transmissions for his 1991 Plymouth Laser turbo (seeing a pattern already?).
So after some “motivation” from his friend who kept pushing him into building a 240SX for fun-having-sliding purposes, he opted to just use the existing carcass of the Taurus. And after some inspiration from his family previously owning an Mk4 Supra, and being already an inline 6 fan, he opted to go for a JZ engine.
From stock to stance.
The Taurus had already been through a fender bender and Louis wanted to at least make it a cool-looking daily driver, so after the crash he got it repainted and “stanced” – because even a Taurus can look good with the right wheels and height – If you don’t believe me check out this ultra-cool JDM Taurus Wagon from 90’s Japan next to Louis’s still front-wheel-powered 145HP Vulcan V6 Taurus on gold wheels!
Arguably… this already looks like a cool Taurus, but we all know that unless there’s an SHO badge, nobody is really going to think of it as more than just a boring “grocery getter”. But nobody was expecting metal cutting, grinding and fabrication skills to be capable of taking this plain car to the next level.
Moving the power to the rear wheels
After removing the old Vulcan drivetrain, the Taurus seemed to have plenty of room for activities, but a transmission tunnel was needed to be made in order to fit the RWD configuration.
Also a custom-made front subframe was engineered to allow the 1JZ engine to sit nice and comfy in its new home.
And voila! He had a Toyota-powered Taurus!
But now he had to put the power on the rear wheels, so Louis sourced an LS400 rear subframe and differential, which can be found by the dozen at salvage yards, and offers a very sturdy construction, which makes sense for the 4-door and relatively heavy Taurus. So after a lots of cutting and fabricating at his carport, using only jack stands, the LS400 rear subframe was firmly attached to the Taurus and officially converted from front to rear wheel drive!
Putting it to the test
Once all the wiring and plumbing was done, and the rear wheel drive Taurus was on the ground powered by its own drivetrain, the best way to put it to the test is obviously to go out to your favorite parking lot or abandoned paved area and “hoon” the hell out of your monstrous creation. This way you make sure that all your welds are strong and you didn’t forget to wire or plumb anything. So check out boostinserge‘s video where Louis gives his awesome creation a little shakedown:
For some reason it seems like more people are interested in swapping front wheel drive Fords into rear wheel drive and drifting them. Many of you have already seen our friend Matt Soppa‘s Coyote-powered and RWD converted Ford Fusion named “Fusion Feed” project. And I can’t stop myself from dreaming of getting a Ford Probe, converting it to rear wheel drive and stuffing an EcoBoost in it so my co-host, Sam”Drift Idiot” Nalven, can re-live his youth drift dreams with the right car!
Cheers to you RWD conversion heroes! Cheers to you Louis!
Follow Louis’s Instagram for more Taurus updates:
- Brettwen Supras and Mullets with Rad Dan and Renee Burkett
- Literally the First Episode of 2019 with Ryan Litteral