Builds 2004 Tacoma PreRunner 4x4 Conversion & Build Thread

yotadude520

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A while ago I bought a 2000 Tacoma PreRunner with a 2.7l to get me by while my 1987 was getting painted. Ended up really liking the comfort & drivability of the 1st gen Tacos and decided to sell that one and get a newer one with a V6. A few months ago I ended up finding a 2004 Tacoma PreRunner with a 3.4L and 124k miles on the side of the road with a for sale sign in it. Got it for a great price and absolutely love the thing. I'm dead set on building this one up as it is an excellent platform and the truck is in great shape.

Here's a pic from our first trip up to the White Mountains:

FSgCX9.jpg


Plans:

-4X4 conversion with manual locking hubs & j-shift transfer case
-OME 883's & Dakar Rear leafs
-ARB Bumper w/ Warn Winch, IPF lights
-ARE Camper shell
-265/75/16 tires on stock rims (for now)

I've already started stockpiling parts for the 4X4 swap and am almost done. I'm replacing every part I can while I'm in there so I don't have to mess with anything for a long time.

Here's a list of everything I've bought for the 4x4 swap so far:

Front Manual Hub & Bearing x2
Aisin Locking Manual Hubs x2
CV Axles x2
Front Wheel Seal x2
Front ABS Rings x2
Wheel Bearing Seals x2
8mm Hub Hardware Kit
OEM Tools Hub Locknut Socket
Shifter
Front Diff
Front Diff Brackets
Front Diff Drop
Front Diff Manual Hub Tube (w/o ADD)
Transmission Output Shaft Swap
New OEM Ball Joints (Upper & Lower)
Donor Tranny (taken apart for output shaft & tail housing)
Front Driveshaft
Rear DriveShaft

Still looking for a J-Shift transfer case, but think I have a line on one. I'm going the route of converting my A340E transmission to an A340F as all the used 2003-2004 A340F's I have found either can't have verified mileage or have shavings in the pan and they still want $800+. I know for a fact that my transmission is good so I'm more than happy to reuse it.

I've already gone ahead and ordered the ARB Bumper & my OME lift from Wheelers. I'm going to be installing the lift first as it'll give me some more room to work with when I'm dropping the trans & installing the front diff. I'm also going to go ahead and re-seal the oil pan while there's no diff in the way since I'll be there.

Anyway - super excited to get going on this build!
 

yotadude520

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Have you compared the costs of a straight axle swap to the costs of an OEM IFS? Just curious how close they would be. Love to see people still willing to major wrench on these.

I honestly really had no interest in doing a SAS since this is still my daily driver. I don't do any serious rock crawling anymore and just want something that'll get me where I need to go, through almost anything.

The cost for a SAS is roughly anywhere from $3,500-$4,500 and that's being pretty conservative. I'd probably have to buy a kit since I'm not much of a fab guy! The total cost of my 4x4 conversion will be right at $2k, BUT I'm replacing a ton of parts while I'm in there including my ball joints, wheel bearings, hubs, having the transmission converted, new CV axles, seals etc.

One of the main reasons I wanted to buy a PreRunner over a 4x4 is A) they're much cheaper and easier to find in good shape with low mileage and B) all the work you do to convert it to a 4x4 probably already needs to be done on an old 4x4.
 

yotadude520

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As I've been piling up the parts needed to do my 4x4 conversion, I ordered my ARB bumper and an OME lift kit with the 883 coils & rear leafs. I figured that I would lift the truck first as it would give me more room to work underneath it to get the tranny out, as well as being able to have the truck on all 4 wheels while I do it. Ordered the stuff through Wheelers Off Road and less than a week later I had this giant box show up!

gNVoT8.jpg


I got the bumper and crush cans off, and started the task of putting the ARB together. I've heard the instructions are extremely terrible, and they are. Took me about a few hours but I was able to get it on and I have to say it looks great.

7CTdFz.jpg


I haven't bought a winch yet - that will be down the road with the lights. First mod - complete!

A common problem on these trucks that I've seen is the passenger air vent either being broken or completely falling apart. When I bought my truck, the vent had broken and the previous owner Mcgyvered a spatula into a vent...needless to say that had to go.

You can buy the vent new from Toyota, the part # is 55660-04030-B1. There's not much online about replacing it, but it's really not that hard to do. The only post I found on the subject said that the airbag had to be removed. Well, I'm glad to say you don't have to. It is a bit of a PITA, but you basically have to remove the glovebox & the top of the glovebox, then remove the air duct behind it and that connects to the vent.

Then there are three phillips head screws that you can remove to get the vent out. One is on the far passenger side of the dash and it is a PITA to get out, but can be done with a stubby screwdriver and some serious contorting of your arm. I did not put that screw back in because well, I couldn't even get close to getting it started. Plus I figured if I ever have to replace the vent again it'll be a much easier job.

Here's the old spatula vent and you can see how it mounts.

wRQXLa.jpg


And the new one in place:

m0OsH8.jpg


I just got the OME lift kit last weekend, and am going to be throwing it on this weekend since I have Monday off. More pics to come!
 

yotadude520

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So the 4x4 swap has officially begun!

YKtXe4.jpg


Since I'm running manual locking hubs, I removed all the ADD stuff on the front diff and swapped over my manual locking hubs diff tube. It was pretty easy to swap over, except getting the small shaft for the ADD out was kind of a pain. I was lucky enough to be able to get it out with two prybars.

IMG_1606.jpg

IMG_1608.jpg


I also installed new OEM CV shaft seals on the diff before installing it:

IMG_1612.jpg


And then up it went into the truck with the differential drop. It fought us a little bit, but finally went in!

IMG_1617.jpg


I took the spindles off to get the bearing & hub pressed out and my new manual hub bearing/hub pressed in. Took this time to install the CV axles too as I couldn't wait to get them in.

IMG_1615.jpg


Once I get my spindles back I'll have the front end all buttoned up and ready to go!
 
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yotadude520

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Got my front spindles back from the shop, had them press in a new wheel bearing/hub, upper ball joint & seals. Everything is looking good!

OwtE3f.jpg


Installed the new spindle along with a new OEM LBJ and new LBJ bolts. Threw a little bit of red loctite on to ensure the LBJ's are good to go. Torqued everything to spec.

UnlwIc.jpg


And finally for the best part - I installed the brand new OEM locking hubs. Everything went together really easily, and I was able to press the manual locking hub stuff into my PreRunner spindles with no problem. I also kept the ABS as well and everything is working as it should.

Now onto the transmission and transfer case!
 

yotadude520

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I got my brand new ARE camper shell installed on Friday! Really amazed with how close the color match is.
kBWmbs.jpg


I also made a quick weekend trip up to Show Low to meet a guy who delivered my transmission from Salt Lake City. I was originally going to pull mine and have a shop swap the output shaft and tail housing - but I found a great deal on this tranny/transfer case out of a 2002 Tacoma. The transmission has under 100k miles and will make the down time on my truck to a minimum.

ahqwVN.jpg

The only issue is that it is out of a 2002 Tacoma - and mine is a 2004 with the electronic throttle body. To fix this, I will have to pull the pans off of both transmissions and swap the valve bodies. Then my 2002 transmission will be ready to roll in the 2004!
 

fl4031003

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Inspired to get back on my son‘s Taco, we are sitting right we’re you are now, just need to swap in the trans and T case. he has a 2002 ex cab V6 prerunner, we purchased a complete 1996 ex cab 4x4 V6.all front axle and suspension component were rebuilt and installed (over 2 years ago) my question is do I need to do anything with the 96 transmission like swap the valve body? Should I use the 4x2 torque converter?, I already Have the electronic speedo converter.
 

yotadude520

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Inspired to get back on my son‘s Taco, we are sitting right we’re you are now, just need to swap in the trans and T case. he has a 2002 ex cab V6 prerunner, we purchased a complete 1996 ex cab 4x4 V6.all front axle and suspension component were rebuilt and installed (over 2 years ago) my question is do I need to do anything with the 96 transmission like swap the valve body? Should I use the 4x2 torque converter?, I already Have the electronic speedo converter.
I know there’s some difference between the 01-02 transmissions - I believe that the difference is the fluid lines are cast into the valve body. I would swap your valve body and wiring harness along with all of the sensors on your old transmissions just to be sure that everything works as it should.

Keep the 4x2 torque converter with the 4x2 valve body if you swap it. If not then use the OG torque converter with the 96 trans.

You could try swapping in the trans and seeing if it would work, it very well could but I'm just not sure.
 
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Did you ever find your J-style transfer case? I've got one out of my 2001 donor truck, I kept the push button since I was adding the tacobox. Still have driveshafts too since I had to shorten my rear and get a lengthened one for the front. Got torque converters and an IPT valve body too. Let me know, I'll do whatever to help fuel this craziness :hillbilly:
 

yotadude520

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Did you ever find your J-style transfer case? I've got one out of my 2001 donor truck, I kept the push button since I was adding the tacobox. Still have driveshafts too since I had to shorten my rear and get a lengthened one for the front. Got torque converters and an IPT valve body too. Let me know, I'll do whatever to help fuel this craziness :hillbilly:

Lol, sometimes I feel like I'm crazy for doing this! Then I remember it's just as easy as bolting on a few things right?

So a few months ago I did find a J-shift TC out of a 2000 Tacoma, which I was originally planning to use with my newly converted 2002 transmission that is pictured above. Now the plans have changed AGAIN as I found a transmission and a j-shift TC out of a 2004 with 120k miles on them. They came from the same truck which I liked vs my pieced together mess.

They're still being shipped right now, but once I get them in I plan to have them installed in a weekend or two.
 

yotadude520

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Might be interested in your 2002 trans if your not using it. Got that 96 trans if you need it. Thinking the 2002 might be a better plug n play situation.

I've got a trans/TC that is out of a 2004 coming my way! I'd be more than happy to sell you the trans, but I have absolutely no idea how to ship this thing or how to get it to you.
 
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Looking good! Reading along sure took me back to my first Tacoma which I converted from PreRunner to 4x4 with j-shift and manual hubs, and then to my current Tacoma 4x4 which I convertted to manual hubs. Love that #manualhubs life! :cool:

And man I love that silver color. I really dont care much for my Fredborn Red (or whatever the name is). I would trade for silver or white in a heartbeat.
 

yotadude520

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Looking good! Reading along sure took me back to my first Tacoma which I converted from PreRunner to 4x4 with j-shift and manual hubs, and then to my current Tacoma 4x4 which I convertted to manual hubs. Love that #manualhubs life! :cool:

And man I love that silver color. I really dont care much for my Fredborn Red (or whatever the name is). I would trade for silver or white in a heartbeat.

Thank you!! I'm so glad I was able to get all the parts for the manual hubs conversion - it was not an easy task! I was actually supposed to install the tranny & TC this weekend with a buddy, but a family matter came up and it was postponed. I've been itching to get the stuff installed but am happy to wait since I will have the luxury of installing it on a lift!

I'll be honest red was my first choice, white was second and I never considered silver. It's definitely grown on me though! And don't tempt me with these trade talks - if I had seen your truck for sale I would've bought it before I bought this one!
 

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