To end the suspense, although its quite unheard of as far as 1UZs go and seemed very unlikely looking at the state of the engine when bought, there was something wrong with the compression on 2 or 3 cylinders. Although the engine output at full throttle seemed to be all there, on slow running we could not get rid of the missing. Another thing was that the timing of the engine was completely messed up and it would not start when we tried it for the first time. So long story short, engine was replaced by Haji Zaman with a small penalty and we picked up another piece from his infinite 1UZ stables this afternoon.
All efforts were underway to get the new engine started today after replacing the wiring, throttle body, exhaust, electronics and "oil sump!!!!???" on the new engine from the old engine. All these things have been checked (multiple times) and found to be in good order, so no taking chances! Unfortunately just got word that something seems to have gone amiss with the starter pulley, and fire up has been delayed until tomorrow
Well, a little disappointing, but its all in the game! And hats off to the working team for their continued dedication!