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General information about the various mods available to 4x4 vehicles covering pros and cons to assist in the decision of "Is this the right mod?"

Suspension install on 3rd gen 4Runner (96-02)


Front install:

My front setup includes OME 881 heavy duty coil springs, Cornfed 2" aluminum spacers, and Bilstein heavy duty shocks.

First thing you should do is spray all the bolts with some PB blaster. This stuff works wonders on stuck and rusted bolts. Just spray it and let it sit for a few minutes. Makes life easier.

Then raise the vehicle up and support it on jack stands. Make sure to lift it high enough that you can droop the lower a-arm assembly down far enough that it doesn't hit the ground. Then remove the wheels.

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IFS Driveshaft CV Modification for Increased Angle


 

Procedure

The tools I used for this project are an angle grinder, a die grinder with a carbide burr, a small sledge hammer, a flat-head screwdriver, a sturdy vise, some small washers, and a small pick or piece of wire and a magnet in case I end up needing to fish out needle roller bearings.

If all you plan to do is get the joint apart to clearance it, the only u-joint caps you need to remove are the ones in the center section of the joint (which I'll call the "H" from here on out).

The basic method I use to remove u-joints is the same as used in this article. It's fast and effective. Reading the article will help you understand how I disassemble this CV joint.


1. Start by removing the grease zerks and c-clips from the u-joint caps you plan on taking out. Use a flat head screwdriver to dig into the grime and to pry and hammer the clips off.

2. Support the flange end of the CV on top of the jaws of the vise. Pound on the "H" with the sledge hammer. A few good whacks will bring the cap up.
Flip the joint over and do the same thing to the cap on the opposite side. Hold the joint at a certain angle to get the cap to be able to be pounded out as far as possible, however this still wont be far enough to get ahold of the caps to get them out.

3. At this point, you should be able to move the joint cross back and forth between the two caps. If any of the needle roller bearings have fallen out of place, use a pick or some wire and a magnet to get them all out. If you don't, they will be ruined when you try to pound the caps the rest of the way out, and then you will need a new u-joint. The same goes if you lose any of them, so be very careful if you plan to re-use the joint (Hint- pumping some new grease into the joints prior to disassembly may help keep the bearings in place).

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Toyota Exhaust Manifold Cracking - Important Updated Information


IMPORTANT UPDATE (Apr 30, 2008)

To the end of the LC Engineering 3RZ header review (http://www.4x4wire.com/toyota/4Runner/reviews/lce_header/), add:

UPDATE 4/30/2008:

"Our part number for the 3RZ header has changed on that header. It is no longer PN 14-1731, it is now PN 1041054."

The corrected part number provided by:
Scott Kelly
Marketing Dept.
LC Engineering"

============================================================================

To the end of the LC Engineering turbo header review (http://www.4x4wire.com/toyota/reviews/turboheader/), please add:

UPDATE 4/30/2008:

"In response to this review and other customer feedback, we have re-designed this header several times since this review was first published, and we have eliminated the problems that were present in the early designs, like the poor welds and the wastegate location/design.

The current design and build quality of this header are much improved over the initial release. If you could update your site with that information that would be great."

Scott Kelly
Marketing Dept.
LC Engineering"

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Converting FJ-40 front drums to disk with minitruck parts


 

I chose to use Toyota pickup (minitruck) parts to swap onto the front axle to replace the original drum brakes.

 

'81 through '85 Minitruck Parts list (Basically everything from the knuckle out):

  • Steering knuckle housing
  • Spindle
  • Wheel hub/bearings
  • Steering arms
  • Brake backing plate
  • Kingpin bearings
  • Knuckle seal kit
  • Inner axle seal
  • Birfield joint
  • Locking hub
  • Nuts, Bolts, Washers, Cone washers, wheel studs
  • Calipers and pads from a V6 minitruck
  • (optional) Master cylinder from V6
  • (optional) Brake booster

 

Other parts:

 

Special tools needed:

  • Angle grinder
  • Toyota SST for setting knuckle preload
  • Torque wrench
  • Brake line flare tool (for installing proportioning valve

 

 

Procedure:

    1. Drain the oil in the front axle, jack the truck up, put the axle on jack stands, and remove the wheels.
    2. Remove the old parts. Cut the brake line and remove the tie rod and then remove the face of the locking hub (or drive plate) and remove the snap ring on the axle shaft.
    3. The easiest way to get everything apart is to loosen the nuts on the steering arm and bottom plates which should allow you to pull the entire old knuckle/brake/wheel hub assembly as one piece.
    4. Next, clean up the end of the housing using shop towels and brake cleaner and remove the inner axle seal (rides around the axle shaft at the end of the housing). You may also want to take a wire wheel to the outside of the "ball" to remove any rust.

    5. Next, because we are using birfields from a minitruck, we must grind on the housing to get the larger/stronger birfield to fit. You will need to grind a little off of the top and bottom directly to the outside of the kingpin hole. Test fit the birfield periodically to check your progress. Keep in mind that you need to go about 0.040" over to compensate for how much the ball compresses when the knuckle is torqued down.

  1. Drive out the top and bottom kingpin bearing races with a brass punch. Install the new races.
  2. Calculate knuckle shim thickness and set bearing preload using Toyota SST.
  3. Install knuckle and torque to spec. Check knuckle bearing preload with fish scale. Install wiper seals on back of knuckle. Install inner axle seal
  4. Install spindle, hub/rotor assembly.
  5. Install locking hub and caliper.
  6. I chose to do away with the backing plate for the rotor along with the little brake line bracket with the short section of hard line. To remove the backing plate you must keep the inside portion of it to keep the spacing of the components correct.


  7. I used Napa #38878 for my flexible brake lines. I probably wouldn't do it the same way again. I would keep the short piece of hard line from the
    caliper and the bracket on the backing plate so that the brake line is actually "locked" from turning in the caliper. My brake line setup is commonly used without problems, but it seems a little hoaky because of this.
  8. Install the proportioning valve on the line that goes to the rear brakes. You will need to get the fittings and flare the tubing to install it. I chose to install it right next to / under the booster. I bought a short section of already flared tubing with fittings at AutoZone so that I would only have to flare one end.

  9. Wheel selection is important with the V6 calipers. You will need a wheel that has nothing protruding out the back (such as an aluminum wheel, or a wagon wheel without a lip stamped out the back).

 

 

Optional: V6 master and minitruck booster

I chose to use a booster that I had laying around. It is from an '89 4 cylinder 4runner. The master cylinder is from a '95 4runner with a V6. Everything bolted right up and took only minor adjustment to get correct. The brake lines even ended up in the right place on the MC without bending the lines!

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Toyota Tech: Regearing the Land Cruiser Electric Locker

Once I made the decision to swap a solid front axle onto my 2001 Tacoma, I knew I wanted a selectable locker. I've been running an ARB air locker in the IFS front axle for three years without a single strength or reliability issue. But for this project I wanted something with a little more 'yota in it. I chose the high pinion electric locker from the front of a full size FZJ80 Land Cruiser. After checking the classified listings on various message boards I found I could buy a new unit for roughly 30% more than a used one. Unfortunately these came from the factory with 4.10 ratio gears, and that just wouldn't be adequate for the tire size I expect to run after the axle swap. Since I was already running 4.88 gears in the rear, I decided to use the same ratio for the front diff rather than changing the rear also. I'm very happy with the driveability I have with the current tires and gears, so only time will tell if the smarter decision would have been to go with a 5.29 ratio!

When I asked around to find out who could install the ring and pinion for me, two people recommended Ken "Zuk" Francisco just from his reputation, even though neither one had their gears set up by him. I took a look at the write-ups on his website and could see that he has done many installs, learned some handy tricks of the trade, and understands the process very well. It's interesting that Zuk does this as a part time/side business, yet recently in the span of one week, he had five differentials to setup. That sounds like a bit more than part time to me!

Here are some great pictures and text provided by Zuk showing helpful tips on how to setup gears in the high pinion electric locker.  I hope you find the photos and text both interesting and helpful.

Read more about Toyota Tech: Regearing the Land Cruiser Electric Locker on 4x4Wire Archives.

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