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Swapping the 4.3Runner....IT RUNS!


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After dealing with 2 very poorly maintained 22Rs (original RTE was run out of oil. replaced it with a used RE, which promptly blew the head gasket, and when I tore into it to replace it, I found numerous stripped and destroyed threads from the last time someone was in there. Including the head bolt right next to where the gasket failed), I decided it was time for something else. It was going to be pretty difficult to get the power out of the 4-cyl, so I started looking at other options. I decided the 4.3 was the best option due to it's size, power, availability (both of replacement parts, and adapters and such for the swap), and price. Also, I much prefer an Auto transmission for rock crawling, so that would be easy.


I settled on a '92-'94 CPI 4.3 with a 4L60[E]. I mentioned this to a co-worker over the winter, and it turned out he had a '92 S-10 blazer parts truck he wanted to get rid of. So, once the snow melted and I could make room for it, I bought it. Not bad for $40 delivered :headbang:








I spent this last weekend pulling it apart, with the application of time, blood, swearing, and force, she gave up the goods:





I also got them on the ground, and engine/transmission/transfer case separated. exhaust manifolds removed. wiring harness and ECU pulled from the 4runner.



the recipient:




Now that I'm the crew chief for Ziptie Rally, and we're running a race out in Pennsylvania over the first week in June, we would like to take the 4runner as the second service vehicle. So I've got my work cut out for me.



Plan is, replace the water pump, fuel lines/regulator, and timing set as preventative maintenance while it's out. AA motor mount adapters and block hugger headers, Downey tcase adapter to a RF1A toyota tcase (available from AA). This combination *should* allow the stock tcase location, so I won't have to modify the crossmember and driveshafts. I'll do the wiring myself, so this shouldn't be too difficult. I have the FSM for the blazer....


I had planned on doing a 2" body/drivetrain lift at the same time as the swap, but those parts are backordered from 4Crawler, so I think that will have to wait until after the rally.


maintenance parts are ordered. Water pump, timing set, fuel lines, plugs, wires, cap, rotor, A/C pump bypass pulley, serpentine belt, and idler pulleys.


tach signal modulator so I can use my awesome digital gauge cluster is ordered


I'll be ordering the tcase adapters and such tomorrow. and then dropping off the transmission at a buddy's shop later this week so we can start tearing into it to replace the output shaft.

Edited by Numbchux
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I didnt even know this swap was possible.


possible? anything's possible.



actually, this is easier and cheaper than pretty much anything else except another 22RE. And very common. There are actually options for bolt-in motor mount adapters to put this motor in place of a 22RE.


and yea, the 22RE is an extremely tough motor. But, both the ones I had were destroyed due to terrible maintenance. and they are not a powerhouse.

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  • 2 weeks later...

turns out the Downey adapter works fine, BUT you have to run dual tcases, or the front driveshaft won't clear the tranny pan. DOH. Also, oil pan won't clear the front diff without modification/lift. So, front diff/driveshaft will be staying out until the body/drivetrain lift. I'll make a bracket of some sort to support the inner front axle joints in the mean time.


So, AA adapter and motor mount adapters should be here on wednesday.


timing set and water pump are replaced. fuel lines in the intake are replaced. Awesome Red paint on the upper intake is drying as I type this.


I hope to get things mocked up this weekend.


Blazer donor went away last week. the city is hassling me about the cars/parts on my property, so I couldn't hang on to it....hope I got everything :eek:

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This will be my next big swap on mine. 4.3 injected is the best way to go. Fits without radiator interference. No heat issues. Some fitment issues but lots of ways around it. I will be starting to collect parts for mine soon.

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So, my AA tcase and motor mount adapters came today. along with an AWESOME booklet called "Toyota Truck and 4Runner engine swaps". holy crap, every question answered!


unfortunetely it's making it sound like I'm going to have more problems that I thought. Since I was getting most of my info on Pirate, almost all the projects I'd seen were with a SFA. well, I plan on keeping the IFS for some time yet. So, looking like it's not going to be done in time for STPR :-\


I think I'll hold out until the body/drivetrain lift is all ready, and then I can get things mocked up exactly how I want them.



But, Awesome red paint :banana:


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Looks like its gonna be a sweet rig once it's ready to wheel again, Im just getting into my Toyota, there's a ton I want to do to it, but it all costs money... Gotta say even with stock gears, stock motor, and just 32" tires and a 3" lift, my Yota constantly embarasses the Beast, but it IS a straight-axle Toyota...





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Looks like its gonna be a sweet rig once it's ready to wheel again, Im just getting into my Toyota, there's a ton I want to do to it, but it all costs money... Gotta say even with stock gears, stock motor, and just 32" tires and a 3" lift, my Yota constantly embarasses the Beast, but it IS a straight-axle Toyota...






No doubt. I can't wait to get mine back together so I can try out the 4.56 gears and lockers front and rear. Mine has a 6" lift and 35's

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As much as I hate to see a GM motor go into another stinking Toyota, I guess we GM guys have a few spares laying around we can part with...:grin::lol:


You won't be dissapointed with that 4.3. That CPFI motor isn't the hottest of the 4.3s, but, it is tuneable, and it isn't like they ever made a BAD 4.3. That's nearly 100 HP over the 22r, and probably 150lb ft of torque in a far better RPM for wheeling. That's without ANY tuning, and the 4.3s are HIGHLY tuneable with alot of aftermarket parts available. $300 worth of 1.6 duration roller rockers would get you another 30 hp pretty easy, and stock heads can gain alot from even amateur porting. The 4.3 is probably one of the best offroad motors around. They rev low, and make tons of torque off of idle, and stay cool. I would even call them more bulletproof than the 22r. But, I could talk about the magic that is the 4.3 all day. I have 6 of them around here in various vehicles. They are a motor that just makes sense. It's a shame their production days are limited, but, it speaks alot that they have stayed in production for nearly 25 years...:eek:


As for the swap, of course it's simple. The 4.3 is a short 2nd gen GM 350, missing cylinders number 3 and 6. Thusly, most all of the parts are identical. The bellhousing pattern being the most important. It takes any GM 2nd gen SB trans. That leaves ALOT of options. The 4ls that came behind the fuel injected versions are plenty strong already.

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^yea, about 60hp and 80tq over the turbo 4-cyl that was in this truck. should be plenty. yea, more power is possible, but I don't see myself needing it.



Did some more work today. Got the trans/tcase/sway bar/driveshafts out of the 4runner. I had suspected while laying under there that the chain driven tcase behind the auto tranny was thicker, and that the rear output flange was therefore further back.


Well...got the driveshaft out, and laid it next to the spare that I pulled from the 5MT donor truck I parted out a couple years ago:



so, regardless of where the tcase ends up, I've got a rear shaft to fit it. Front will still have to be lengthened if the tcase gets pushed back, but that's not the end of the world.


looks like I should be able to make the stock shift linkage work with the new trans. so I'll just have to cut a hole for the tcase shifter.


also, bolted the adapter up to the tcase.



"AA" was cast into the side of the case....I thought it was pretty cool. until I realized it prevented the installation of 2 of the mounting bolts. so, a minute with the grinder was necessary. That's ok, a simple, yet major, oversight like that makes me less encouraged to advertise for them anyway :rolleyes:


I might try to swap the tranny output shaft myself tonight. I've been studying the FSM....



tcase crossmember:



huh...I wonder why toyotas have such mediocre breakover clearance :-\


budbuilt low profile crossmember will be ordered next.

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  • 1 month later...

Overdue update.....




Transmission was "rebuilt" (all the labor, only 1st gear clutches were replaced) by a buddy, and new output shaft installed. Toyota tcase bolted up to it, and in the truck (sitting on the stock crossmember, so 2" too low, and the front hanging on straps). Toyota shifter and center console removed. yea, really looks like I'll be able to use the toyota shifter (as my truck was an auto). sweet!


4Crawler 2" body lift is installed. Also got 2" motor mount spacers with it to raise the engine/transmission a bit.


Spent some time this week, and put the engine in. Looks like I need different motor mounts.....and possibly some hood clearance....


But, with the 2" drivetrain lift, the oil pan clears the front diff just fine.











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got a set of motor mounts for a '60s comaro. same bolt config on the engine, but lower profile (part # listed in the AA instructions). Installed them today, and everything lines right up.


engine sits a healthy inch lower now. so hood clearance looks like it'll work out. There's still oxygen between oil pan and front diff, but only just. I might massage that corner of the oil pan a bit to be sure.


engine is moved a bit further forward. I will have to adjust the motor mount adapters to the next notch back (which should help the vertical clearance a bit). I really don't understand why people were moving their tcase back to do this swap! I've got the tcase on the stock xmember now, and a good 1.5" gap between engine and transmission. with plenty of room for radiator and electric fan in front of that.


Budbuilt xmember is ordered. as well as his shock mount setup:



should make u-bolt flip easier, and improve flex

Edited by Numbchux
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yea looks like a solid setup. I just received all those parts a couple days ago. and I'm very impressed. very well made, and the xmember and it's skidplate (2 pieces) are very beefy! way cool!!


I think I'll grab a pair of these Rancho's to go with it:


Edited by Numbchux
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  • 4 months later...

transmission seized in my '88 XT6 in July. I decided to replace it, so this project came to a screeching halt.



BUT, I took some time off of work the last couple weeks so I could get crap done. Both XT6s are ready to leave, and got the wheel spacers installed on my celica so I could run my subaru wheels and snow tires. So, bunch of work got done on the 4runner.



Engine has been in and out a few times. Budbuilt transmission crossmember is installed. looks like everything will fit just fine with the tcase in the stock location. I've done some modifying and cutting for shift linkage and such. Still a lot to do yet.


Also, I started getting the toyota gauge sensors (temp and oil pressure) mounted to the V6. temp was easy, there are 2 sensors, and the one for the gauge on the V6 had the exact same threads as the toyota sensor.


the Oil pressure sender was a bit strange. the CPFI system uses an oil pressure switch to keep the fuel pump on as long as there's oil pressure. I'm not 100% sure why, but I opted not to mess with it. So I had to use some sort of T fitting to run both sensors. thank goodness both sensors use standard NPT thread pitches. So, less than $10 at Home Depot....and



I'll have to do some measuring and such to see if this will create an issue with firewall clearance.



Also, I have a Heavy Duty, fully enclosed canopy over it, so I should be able to continue working on it pretty easily into the winter. as long as I keep the snow off it.



Still have to decide what to do with the fuel system. The CPFI 4.3 needs 60psi of fuel pressure to work properly. I got a pump that can do that, but I'm not sure what to do with the lines. The stock chevy system uses all crimped rubber lines and flare nuts. But my fuel pump just has a 5/16s barbed output on it.

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So....for the first time since they left the donor truck. The engine and transmission are bolted together. AND, they're bolted to the truck!




just enough room for both oil senders back there. also got the OEM transmission dip-stick in there. I really don't know why people say you have to move the tcase back for this project. There's so much room for it otherwise.



Also, took a picture of the tcase crossmember. nice!





getting the engine and trans bolted together was a pain. now that everything is tight, the oil pan is touching the front diff.....So. diff will come out and I'll round off that corner with a hammer.

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  • 2 months later...

Finally made some more progress on it today. Even with shelter, the cold made it difficult to get out there and work on it.


Since my last post. I bought a marine oil-drain kit since the blazer was driver's side drop, the drain plug was right over the toyota front diff. Also got AA headers, monroe long travel shocks, and U-bolt flip.


Today I dropped the gas tank, and removed the stock fuel lines and the vent line. got the headers in (had to pound a bit on one of the primaries to clear the steering shaft).


I also got the hood on.....yea, going to need a little extra clearance over the IAC valve. I've been looking at some generic cowls and such, but haven't found anything that looks decent, especially considering how far forward it will have to be.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Cut the hole in the tunnel for the tcase shifter and got it bolted on. Also bolted the blockoff plate down in the adapter for the tcase shifter (the AA adapter has provision for forward-shift linkage).


Got the remote oil filter assembly bolted to the inner fender, and the lines clamped back down on the motor side. Have to order the adapters so I can have decent hose barbs for a universal oil cooler.



The Toyota shifter had PRND21, and a button for 3rd (O/D lockout). But the 700R4 has PRND321, so I needed to add another notch, as I'll probably want to select 1st for wheeling.


A few minutes with the dremel (didn't have a small enough grinding bit, so I did it with a cutoff wheel.....it'll do) and I added another notch, and clearanced the base so the shifter can travel a bit further:





I'll have to modify the plastic surround a bit to match, and I might cut off the bracketry for the old tcase linkage. I'm also going to cut a piece of plastic to block off where the old tcase shifter was, and mount some switches there.



Next is lengthening the shifter on the other end (the pivot is closer to the passenger side of the truck, so when modified to reach to the other side of the trans, it'll have to be lengthened). And then taking a bunch of measurements to see just how long it should stick down so it travels just the right distance for each gear.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Now for it to start nickel-and-dime-ing me to death.....



compression fitting to hose-barb adapters. I will use these for all the steel lines (left to right. 3/8 pair for Transmission cooler, 1/2 pair for oil cooler, and 3 5/16s for fuel lines. The return line on the tank is the right size, also, the 3/8 compression to 1/4 female NPT for the last one is backordered)


Also, transmission temperature gauge. Also got a drain plug kit and installed it and the sender in the pan.


And a B&M shifter cable. This should drastically simplify my linkage situation.


And a 6-position fuse block and one of the neat little rocker switches for my electrical systems (Rad fan override, on-board air, and 3 sets of lights).





Also, since the tank is out, I'm working on moving it to the other side. Since I was planning on re-doing the mounts to lift it to match the body lift, it won't be hard just put them on the other side. Only things in the way on the other side would be exhaust (custom anyway...), and the shock (getting relocated anyway). Only extra work for this will be lengthening the level sender wires, and extending the filler pipe and vent (leaving the filler where it is....).


This will allow me to put a mid-'90s Land Cruiser rear axle in it, hopefully next winter. There are a few of these on car-part.com complete for around $500. Which would mean 9.5" ring gear (should go well with my 7.5" front :blackeye: ), full-floating hubs, disc brakes, drum-in-disc parking brakes, factory electronically selectable locker, and the same width as the long travel IFS. Challenge is the diff is 4" offset from center......but only problem there is the gas tank. Also, the FJ80s are linked and coil-sprung. So some bracketry would have to be cut off and spring perches welded on.....doable.

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More tinkering. Shifter cable is attached to the trans and routed. gas tank and exhaust hangers are all cut off.


While it's a cool gadget, I really don't have any use for the altimeter. Soo.....I pulled it out and installed the trans temp gauge in it's place







This gauge assembly is fairly sought-after, so I didn't modify anything crucial to it.




also....there's a land-cruiser at upull......

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spent some quality time on a '95 FZJ-80 at one of the UPull yards in the twin cities yesterday.



Got full-floating hubs, disc brakes, and a factory selectable locker for about $150.








The calipers will have to be ground a bit to fit under 15" wheels....



The axles don't support any weight, and can be removed with the wheel still on


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