67 R2.8 Restomod Build

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by ddelong6767, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. ddelong6767

    ddelong6767 Supporting Vendor

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    Hi all, a few of you may know me from the 60-series forum, I've been spending most my time there the last couple years as I did an LS swap on my first FJ60 and then went on to some other projects. Four months ago I turned my restoration and build hobby into a career and opened my own shop. I'm not exclusive to Cruisers or Toyotas but certainly am an enthusiast and enjoy working on them. Which leads me to this thread... I have a local customer who has had a 1967 FJ40 for a while now that he picked up from a friend. It's a very solid truck but not running and he's been wanting to do something with it. He found me at a local car show, shortly thereafter a plan was hatched to restore the truck but update it with modern tech.

    Here's the starting point on the day of arrival at the shop....
    IMG_20181022_174458.jpg

    The story/background of the truck isn't completely known, but it seems to have been in Colorado all it's life. I really like the original dealership badge on the rear, I think that's going to stay no matter what we do with exterior and paint.

    IMG_20181022_175844.jpg

    There's very little rust overall, just a bit under the rear doors and on the passenger side rocker. The odometer reads 12k miles, which I'm guessing must be 112k. The engine was reportedly rebuilt and does show some fresh gaskets and seals, however the freeze plugs are out and when I peeked in the cylinders with a borescope the pistons didn't look new. The truck has been sitting outside for quite some time now and had the hood up at times so there's a fair bit of dust and dirt underhood, further obscuring any real evidence of what was done previously.

    IMG_20181022_175010.jpg
     
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  2. ddelong6767

    ddelong6767 Supporting Vendor

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    In the beginning days of the project we batted about a number of ideas on the build. He likes 40’s but is not a purist, so form will follow function on this one. His vision for the truck is hunting here in the mountains and possibly taking it down to his house in Mexico. Off road capability needs to be good but it’s not going to be a rock crawler. The focus is on utility, reliability, performance, and range.

    The first big question was what to do with the engine. This is an original F-engine, 3-speed column shift truck which has a certain cool factor but doesn’t actually perform all that well (especially at 8000-12000 ft of altitude). We agreed early on that an engine swap was in order. Leading candidates were a 2F, a 1HZ w/Turbo, or the Cummins R2.8. The 2F was the cheapest of the three and the thinking was to use a Holley Sniper EFI kit for an improvement in driveability and altitude capability. The diesels were on the list because he is a diesel fan and loves the torque and turbocharged performance at altitude.

    I spent about 2 weeks putting the numbers together and talking through these options with him. There’s really no bad choice here, just different styles. In the end (as the title gives away) the winner was the Cummins. It’s the most costly of the three, but the appeal of a modern common rail engine with computer controls that has an OEM calibration was a strong pull. The 1HZ may have been able to match the performance numbers with a turbo but the altitude performance was never going to be as seamless as the Cummins will be. Some will point to the electronics as the source of many more failure modes – there’s no arguing that’s a risk but the tradeoff in modern technology for normal usage seemed worth it to him.

    So with a plan hatched, teardown started. On the lift and ready to begin...
    IMG_20181106_150836.jpg

    Dropping the trans and tcase…
    IMG_20181107_111603.jpg

    Pulling the engine (with some supervision from the owner and his friend)…
    Hoist.png

    And finally, a blank canvas…
    IMG_20181112_123334.jpg
     
  3. ddelong6767

    ddelong6767 Supporting Vendor

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    As this was all going on I headed out to the SEMA show in Vegas. I spent a fair bit of time with the Cummins reps and got signed up for the builder’s program. I placed my order as soon as I got back to get the engine headed this way.

    The next big question was what trans. The owner likes manuals and wanted a 5-speed so it really comes down to NV4500 versus H55. There are plusses and minuses to each, being a Dodge fan and driving a Cummins Ram daily he voted for the extra strength of the NV4500. I’ve got a shop I use in Fort Collins for these so sourcing the box was easy. For the R2.8 there are now bellhousings available for both transmissions from Quickdraw adapters. Both use a new casting design (no adapter plate) and have you re-machine the Cummins flywheel. Chad was at SEMA and is a really great guy to work with, here’s a shot of his H55 setup:

    IMG_20181031_160829 (1).jpg

    He had help on the NV4500 from the guys at Farmstrong so you can purchase through them if you’d like to spread the wealth a bit. The H55 bellhousing was in collaboration with Keith at Thinline Offorad so you can hit him up for that product, or you can by either directly from Quickdraw, links for each:

    Adapters Archives | QuickDrawBrand.com

    https://www.farmstronginc.com/products

    Engine to Transmission Adapters

    Farmstrong also makes a nice universal R2.8 engine mount that the Cummins guys like and recommended so I placed an order with them for the bellhousing and mounts. The clutch setup is based on a 4.0L Jeep and the slave cylinder is off the 95 Dodge Ram pickup, both easily available from many sources. The Cummins flywheel needs to be drilled for the Jeep clutch so once all the parts were in sent them the original Cummins flywheel as a core.

    The engine took less than a week to arrive. I dig the crate, I kept one of the side panels to hang on the wall in the shop...
    IMG_20181115_130108.jpg

    The engine is packaged really well and contains a few boxes with accessory parts, the install manual, and some custom R2.8 badges.
    IMG_20181115_134437 (1).jpg

    The bellhousing and motor mount parts arrived shortly after the engine as well as a twin stick kit I ordered from Advanced...
    IMG_20181126_152334 (1).jpg

    When the NV4500 was ready I headed to Fort Collins to pick that up. Time to get busy on the assembly.
    IMG_20181209_113108.jpg
     
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  4. Sheck44

    Sheck44 SILVER Star

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    watching !!
    Steve
     
  5. bottombracket

    bottombracket SILVER Star

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    Can’t wait to see this one.
     
  6. Borrego

    Borrego

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    Awesome!
     
  7. 1911

    1911 chupacabra

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    Subscribed.
     
  8. 120mm

    120mm

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    Helloooo Nurse!

    Can't wait for more updates....
     
  9. Downey

    Downey

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    Doug, you can use my 22 gallon rear fuel cell with the diesel fuel, but if you use the Centroid electronic sender we recommend, you'll have to let them know it's for diesel since diesel will read about 5% differently than gas, and they can compensate for that.
     
  10. amkey4

    amkey4

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    Awesome! Can't wait to see the results.
     
  11. allan man

    allan man

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    Thanks for sharing the build...Cant wait!
     
  12. ddelong6767

    ddelong6767 Supporting Vendor

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    While I was waiting on parts I did a few things to prep. First was to clean up the firewall some by patching some of the larger holes. We're going with a VintageAir Surefit AC system so the original heater lines and pass through weren't necessary. Same for the cable pass-throughs at the top and the accelerator cable hole. From this...

    IMG_20181129_102713 (1).jpg

    To this...

    IMG_20181129_170426 (1).jpg

    I left a couple of the larger wiring runs open for now. The Cummins has a harness that goes in to the cockpit for dash/gauges so I'll need at least one hole for that. For body wiring we're going to use a universal harness like a Painless so I'll need to run the forward branch for headlights, turn indicators, etc. so that too will need an access hole. Once I have those runs figured out I'll fill in whatever is left open.

    After that I took some brief measurements of the factory engine mounts on the frame and determined there was no way they'd fit with the Cummins. I cut off the original mounts and dressed the frame to get ready for new mounts for the R2.8.

    IMG_20181127_171807.jpg

    More parts arrived in the meantime. The VintageAir unit came in a few boxes, this is the heart of the system, an evap/blower assembly with the high performance fan. I also got a condenser and the custom hose kit to go with it. VintageAir lists this as only going down to 1972, I called them and they couldn't offer much advice as to what the problems might be in an earlier truck. I read through the install instructions and everything looks pretty much the same but we'll see how it goes when I get into it.

    IMG_20181209_111924.jpg

    For radiator, I chose the Champion direct-fit FJ40 unit that many folks are using. It comes with a shroud and electric fan all for a bit under $500. I considered Griffin and Ron Davis but their FJ40 units cost more than double what this goes for and the budget is a challenge on this truck. Universal radiators are much cheaper but require customization for installation. One of my goals when I build customer trucks is serviceability so I'm trying to keep the direct FJ40 unit and mounting scheme so that it's easy for him to replace it if it ever fails. I've always used Griffin or Ron Davis in prior projects so fingers crossed the Champion holds up with similar reliability.

    IMG_20181209_112950.jpg
     
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  13. ddelong6767

    ddelong6767 Supporting Vendor

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    Well, thanks for the suggestion but it's just a couple days too late. We ended up ordering the rear aux tank made by Long Range through Valley Hybrids @orangefj45 just last week. We should get it in late Jan or early Feb and will be using it instead of the factory tank.
     
  14. Walkerm916

    Walkerm916 Too many hobbies

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    Great build up so far I went with a Mishimoto radiator it runs in the same price range as the champion direct fit but has a lifetime warranty.
     
  15. onemanarmy

    onemanarmy

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    will be following along
     
  16. Jdc1

    Jdc1 SILVER Star

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    For the champion radiator in a ‘68, you might want to slot the mounting holes and get the radiator as low as it will go in the support. I have had an issue with the cap hitting the underside of the hood.
     
  17. ddelong6767

    ddelong6767 Supporting Vendor

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    I checked it when it came in and noticed the same thing. The radiator will be moving back about 3.5" though because I've got to package an intercooler behind the grill so when I do that relocation I'll drop the whole thing down just a bit to clear the hood.
     
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  18. ddelong6767

    ddelong6767 Supporting Vendor

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    With all the big parts in hand except the transfer case I started assembling things. First the bellhousing/trans combo went on to the R2.8 engine:

    IMG_20181209_132225.jpg

    Next up was checking the motor mounts from Farmstrong. These are beefy, 1/4 or 5/16 bent in a press brake and welded on to a block plate. Later you'll see that the design with it's somewhat upward sweep isn't ideal for a 40 but works out okay. If I were to install another one I might go ahead and make my own block mounts.

    The passenger side mounting holes are right behind the AC compressor mount location. The front of the engine has a large bracket that carries the steering pump, belt tensioner, and AC compressor all on the passenger side of the block. This is a tight area, nestling that mount in between the turbo and the AC compressor doesn't leave much room. TJ assures me that the compressor will fit in here, but it's going to be tight.

    IMG_20181209_142645.jpg

    The driver's side mount has more clearance. The oil filter hoses and starter are the only big things nearby and there's a fair bit of clearance to those.

    IMG_20181209_142720.jpg

    With the mounts on it was time for a first test fit.

    IMG_20181209_144530.jpg

    Here's the trans sitting in the tunnel with the cover removed:

    IMG_20181209_144607 (1).jpg

    In the next post I'll go in to some of the tradeoffs and challenges on engine location.
     
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  19. ddelong6767

    ddelong6767 Supporting Vendor

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    As anyone who has done an engine swap probably can attest, setting the location is a juggling act balancing various tradeoffs. In this conversion we have the advantage of a relatively short engine being that it's only a four cylinder replacing a six. We also have a tall hoodline to give us good vertical clearance. The disadvantage of the FJ40 is that the wheelbase is short and in this particular combo we've added an adapter in between the trans and tcase so overall powertrain length is quite long (approximately 4.5" longer than an H55/split case combo). The rear driveshaft is going to be short, but anything we can do to keep the powertrain forward would be good.

    As I mentioned above, one thing you have to plan for is mounting an intercooler for the R2.8 so knowing your radiator thickness (including shroud and fan) is pretty critical. And somewhat interestingly - the Cummins install manual recommends electric fans, though they do state a mechanical can be mounted to the engine. In the pic below I've placed the radiator in the factory mount locations to do initial measurements. The fan isn't on but I have it nearby and know that it's 3.5" thick. I'm also assuming a 3" thick intercooler which will push the whole radiator backwards so the fore/aft position of the engine needs to be able to accommodate that. This isn't the final location, the engine ends up a bit farther back than shown here.

    IMG_20181209_145655 (1).jpg

    In the tunnel area it's a fight to keep the transfer case from hitting the cross brace on the body. The pic below is a little bit deceiving, the tail shaft is just loosely stuck in the back and will end up about 1/2" further in the trans. I had another split case sitting on the floor nearby that I was using to measure off of for various clearances. My goal was to retain that factory cross brace which also serves as the mounting/sealing flange for the tunnel cover. In the finished position I'm going to need to notch out some of that front flange where you can see the spot welds, but the main beam of the brace will be okay.

    IMG_20181209_153021.jpg

    This is where having an H55 instead of an NV4500 would really help. As I mentioned earlier, the H55 setup would be 4.5" shorter than this NV4500 combo since there's no adapter. I would highly recommend anyone considering this swap go that route, in future posts you'll see how much floor and tunnel fab work is required to make this setup fit, it's no small task. We almost changed our plan in mid build here to go that route, but the owner really likes the Dodge trans and didn't want the hassle of returning parts and re-ordering things so we continued with the build.

    Back to the front of the engine - a critical clearance on this setup is the right front corner of the oil pan to the front axle. The Cummins may only be a 4-cylinder but it's a wide one and this area was one I paid close attention to. If the engine is on vehicle centerline you'll quickly see that the oil pan looks like it could get hit by the differential. The first easy thing to do is offset the engine, much like the Toyota engines are from the factory. There are some things you have to watch in the trans tunnel but there's a decent amount of room so in this build I've got the engine about 1-1/8" offset to the driver's side.

    Moving the engine rearward also helps, there's a step down in the diff carrier on the left side that makes a nice little clearance area for the corner of the pan. The most obvious thing you can do is mount the engine high in chassis to maximize the gap between the pan and the axle housing. I found that hood height wasn't a limiting factor, the trans became the issue. Moving the engine/trans up means more and more mods to the tunnel cover to try and clear the split case and NV4500.

    The pic below is the best angle I can find but it's really hard to show this gap between the pan and axle in pictures.

    IMG_20181210_150331.jpg

    Moving to the top side - with the engine up and left you have to watch the clearance to the firewall and master cylinder. The early trucks are not power brake so there's no booster to contend with but you may want to leave space for one. The R2.8 intake system is pretty big, extending out on the left side of the engine quite a bit. There are two pipes you can see below, the large one with the black mesh is an EGR pipe which can't be moved. The smaller one on the outside with the blue silicone section is actually just a water pipe that bends around the back to connect to the heater. You can see how that water pipe is getting close to the firewall in this location.

    IMG_20181209_162721.jpg

    As I moved things around and juggled all the clearances I finally decided to remove the water pipe rear section behind the blue silicone hose, it simply unbolts and can be pulled off. I'll just run flexible hose from the stub that's left. We're not currently planning power brakes on this build, so I didn't test fit a booster. I think I can get one of the small diameter Supra-style ones in there if he wants to upgrade some day, but it's going to be very tight. Worst case scenario is having to do an angle booster/master mount similar to a Bronco.

    So these are some of the trouble areas you're going to be dealing with on an R2.8 install. As you can imagine, there was quite a lot of work tweaking the engine location with small adjustments in all directions followed by measuring clearances. Once I found the exact spot I liked and had the engine and trans resting on solid blocks I started fabbing the frame towers to connect to the motor mounts. More on that in the next post.
     
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  20. ddelong6767

    ddelong6767 Supporting Vendor

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    Just realized how far behind I am on this thread. We took a long-ish vacation over the holidays but the build has been coming along (I usually post fairly current pics on Instagram if you want to keep up in real time). I'll try to catch up in the next couple days here.

    With the motor positioned, I moved on to fabbing new frame towers for the engine mounts. The Farmstrong kit includes motor mounts that appear to be generic Mopar big block mounts from Trans-Dapt, p/n 4220. I bolted these onto their engine-side bracket and then I started to fab the frame towers to bridge the gap. The motor side brackets are pre-drilled with numerous mount holes but I ended up drilling new holes to lower the mounts down some and be a little closer to the frame rail. These projects always start with a little arts and crafts action...

    IMG_20181211_090812.jpg

    Templates get transferred to 3/16 plate cut to size and then tack welded into place...

    IMG_20181211_095458 (1).jpg

    Here's a front view which gives an idea of how far up and out the frame tower has to go to meet the motor mount.

    IMG_20181211_144346_1 (1).jpg

    The driver's side is done in much the same way, first paper templates then plate steel to make the tower. On this side, we weren't yet sure if we were going to run a Sagniaw PS setup so we left the steering box mount in position and I left a notch around it. We've since decided for sure on the 60-series setup so the box and mount will be removed.

    IMG_20181211_162301.jpg

    I pulled the engine back out to do the back faces of each frame tower (much easier access). Here's a view of the finished towers on the frame.

    IMG_20181212_123411.jpg

    The tack welds are sufficient to hold the engine for now, once the tub is off the frame and I have easy access to all the various mounts I've added I'll do a full blast and weld of everything and then paint the whole frame.
     
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