Builds Corax's 1UZ VVTi swap (6 Viewers)

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The cable actuated heater control valve wouldn't work with my swap, so this is what I came up with instead. A 5/8" vacuum actuated heater valve (normally closed, opens when vacuum is applied) with a simple vacuum solenoid wired to turn on when I press the A/C button (haven't had A/C in over a decade). This definitely dropped in-cab temps a bit, and the air coming out of the vents is cooler, since coolant isn't flowing through the heater core all the time.

The vacuum source hose before the solenoid has a small one-way check valve in it so the valve is less likely to close when the engine is making low vacuum (wide open throttle, for example). The vacuum valve I used is a "Universal Air Conditioner HV 1021C HVAC Heater Control Valve" from Amazon (valve name is a click link)

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also, video from the Olympus Rally a few months ago
 
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I used to have a small amount of space between the steering relay rod and the oil pan (about 1/8"), but I guess the rubber mounts settled a bit because it just barely touches now.
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Since the pan on the engine has a hairline crack anyway, I picked up a spare at the junkyard and started modding a bit.
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I widened it 1.5" on both sides, added some trap-door baffles, and raised the rear section just over an inch. There's a bit more work to do, but it's almost done.
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The toughest part was figuring out how to build an accurate jig so I could fab up a new oil pickup (it was originally at the rear of the pan). Luckily, I took a bunch of measurements from the junkyard engine I pulled it out of (the pic is of a new/unused oil pan I bought awhile back)
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Jig bolted up to the new pan, oil pickup chopped and welded. Welds are ground down and will be brass brazed to ensure there are no pinholes. All the seams on the inside of the oil pan are already brass brazed to get rid of pinhole leaks (everything was stitch welded to reduce warpage)
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The volume of a stock LS400 pan is 20.5 cups, this one is 19 cups. So I did lose a tiny bit of capacity (I can gain that back when I change to a remote oil filter mount). I might also chop up the pan I'm taking off to build another with more volume (I don't think I needed the rear section quite that high)
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Joined
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Nice work Keith. I would suggest using the same dye and developer you would look for a cylinder head crack to test for leaks. Dye on one side developer on the other.
 
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whenever you upgrade one part, expect another to become the weak link. last month, the 8" e-locker rear finally gave up the ghost, so a new rear axle seemed appropriate. I ran some numbers, and for a little bit more than what it would cost me to build a stout 8.4" Toyota axle, I could build a bullet proof Ford 9". This axle hasn't been used for nearly 30 years, but aftermarket parts are cheap and plentiful plus it's strength is well known and it's still used in motorsports. A good comparison of the D60 and Ford 9" can be found here:
Actual Moderator with a Tacoma...But Definitely Not a Build Thread


This is what I started with - the axle ends made me think it was a 31 spine (it wasn't) and I was hopeful it might have a TracLok LSD as those were a very common option (it didn't), but it does have "early" big bearing ends. Funniest part about the axle I bought, it had 2.75:1 gears in it:rofl:
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after stripping off all the bracketry. this housing measured 60.5" flange-to-flange, add 5 inches for the axle to poke out, and it's almost a perfect match width for the front long travel
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a simple back brace brace was installed and 95-00 Ford Explorer disc brakes were mocked up. I like the Ruff Stuff F9 back brace better, but was hopeful that this style would leave me with enough room to keep my 33" spare underneath the truck (it didn't). The Ford disc conversion is a direct bolt-on for "Torino" style or "late" big bearing housings, but can work as well on "early" big bearing housings with a small amount of bolt hole slotting. A special spacer also has to be used between the bearing retainer plate and the bearing if you decide to go with Exploder discs (Currie makes one, so does Dutchman Axle and several other companies).
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getting the spring perches tacked in place so the pinion flange angle matches the transfer case flange angle. Of note is that the top of the axle tube on all Ford 9" housings is crushed flat at the factory, so normal spring perches for round tube need some grinding to have a nice tight fit before welding. I also welded in a 3/4" NPT fill/inspection port at the top and 3/8" drain plug at the bottom rear of the housing (there was no drain plug originally)
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Some other goodies arrives from Dutchman Axle in Idaho. When I priced all the parts I wanted, I realized that they could build the center section for about the same cost as the individual parts. the build list is something like this: Strange Engineering nodular Pro Series center, cast iron "Daytona" style pinion support, 4.86:1 US gears (close enough match to the 4.88:1 I have in front), and Detroit Truetrac helical LSD for 35 spline axles (largest factory F9 axle shaft is 31 spline, 35 spline also requires a larger differential side bearing than Ford offered, so more beef). I also used a Trail Gear F9 triple drilled pinion flange so a Toyota driveshaft could be bolted on (this one seeps a bit, I think it might have to do with the machine finish at the seal area and might try polishing it, Nitro Gear also has a triple drilled F9 pinion flange)
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35 spline axles are beefy. Dutchman made them in 6 x 5.5 bolt pattern for me with a center pilot to match the Exploder discs. I had them ship the axles without bearings and lug studs installed so that I could use the axle flange as a pattern to drill the Exploder discs to 6 lug as well. Axle shafts are using the stronger Set20 tapered bearings which are normally lubricated by the gear oil in the housing (need to remove the inner axle seal), but sometimes leak if you have to remove and reinstall the axle shaft. Dutchman also offers an optional bearing retainer collar which lets you keep the inner axle seal, for less chance of a gear oil leak, which means the tapered bearing has to be packed with grease so it doesn't die a quick death. If I had to do it over, the only change I would ask is that the center pilot on the wheel flange be extended a bit so I could run a hub-centric ring for the wheels (a dab of crazy glue would work to hold it in place). If you order axles to work with Exploder brakes, make sure they have 2.5" backspacing from the wheel flange to bearing (many stock axles have 2.375" and the rotor contacts the backing plate) and there needs to be an inspection hole drilled in the wheel flange to be able to tighten the bearing retaining plate nuts.
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I weighed everything before assembly and this is what I came up with:
48.1 lbs for both 35 spline axle shafts - fully assembled
39.6 lbs for both rear disc assemblies - backing plates, calipers, parking shoes, disc pads
62.0 lbs for housing with all brackets/mounts installed
77.9 lbs for fully assembled Strange center section
227.6 lbs total dry weight without the 3.5 qts of 85-140 gear oil it takes to fill it

shock mounts were located and welded in place to let me use 10" stroke Bilstein monotubes with the stock upper mounts - a future project is going longer stroke with outboard shocks, but I needed to get this back on the road
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I might try shifting my auxiliary gas tank and spare tire hoist back a bit to see if I can put the spare underneath again, but this is too close at ride height - not even enough room to slide my finger between the axle and spare tire
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plenty of room for the brakes inside stock 15" Taco alloy wheels. Brake feel is great and stopping is much better than my old Toyota drums ever were.
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just a a couple inches of poke on the rear axle, but track width now matches the front
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SUMMIT CRUISERS Jr

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@corax I think I remember you mentioning running a GX rear driveshaft? Is that a double cardan, or will you be switching to one?

Any reason you didn't use a 80 series cruiser axle then the amount of work involved?

I would bet it was because the differential is offset. I briefly looked at doing one under mine as I had a spare 9.5” rear axle with 4.88s already in it but quickly threw that out the window.
 
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Any reason you didn't use a 80 series cruiser axle then the amount of work involved?

The 80 series is offset to the passenger side and the driveshaft would never clear the stock gas tank. I also looked into doing a hybrid 80 series center with 8" axle tubes, but it seemed like a lot of work with limited aftermarket support when F9 parts are so easy to find.

@corax I think I remember you mentioning running a GX rear driveshaft? Is that a double cardan, or will you be switching to one?

GX470 is a simple driveshaft with one u-joint at each end, it's actually the same exact length as my original '88 4runner driveshaft but has slightly bigger u-joints. I decided to have Tom Woods Driveshaft make me a new one, no double cardan required. The GX470 driveshaft was too short (barely long enough for the old axle after the engine swap) + the GX uses a 66mm x 66mm flange bolt pattern which isn't present on the F9 pinion flange from TG or NitroGear. The Tom Woods driveshaft was just a hair bit more than it would cost to have another driveshaft lengthened + it uses the very common 1330 u-joints instead of a Toyota joint with a 60mm x 60mm flange bolt pattern.
 
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The 80 series is offset to the passenger side and the driveshaft would never clear the stock gas tank. I also looked into doing a hybrid 80 series center with 8" axle tubes, but it seemed like a lot of work with limited aftermarket support when F9 parts are so easy to find.

Right it's offset to the passenger side big time. I used one in my build, the price was right with e locker. I made it more work then it needed to be by shaving the bottom and narrowing it to 60.5". I flipped it and cut off the brackets and welded leaf spring perches on. They are beefy!
 

gbogh

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Great work. This is an engine option I've always thought would be great in a lot of applications. I am curious why you chose a JDM 1UZ vs a USDM 1UZ. Maybe I haven't dug in Lextreme enough? Is removing EGR that big a deal?
 
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Great work. This is an engine option I've always thought would be great in a lot of applications. I am curious why you chose a JDM 1UZ vs a USDM 1UZ. Maybe I haven't dug in Lextreme enough? Is removing EGR that big a deal?

There are plenty of cheap non-VVTi LS400s on the used car market, but the 98-00 are still holding a decent price - that's why I went with a JDM import engine, price and availability. The VVTi engine is 50hp more than the non-VVTi, and doesn't have an EGR because it can achieve the same effect with varying valve overlap (EGR increases engine efficiency by reducing pumping losses at light load/part throttle, pretty sure most people don't know it only increases fuel economy and doesn't take power away).
 

Box Rocket

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Subbed. Really good information in this thread. Thank you @corax for putting together the information you've gathered. I'm just beginning the process of swapping a 1uz into my son's 1985 pickup.
Untitled by Adam Tolman, on Flickr

22RE is out.
Untitled by Adam Tolman, on Flickr

LS400 1UZ will be going in with a A340F from a 2003 4Runner. (LS400 A340E is still connected to the motor in the photo)
Untitled by Adam Tolman, on Flickr
 
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Subbed. Really good information in this thread. Thank you @corax for putting together the information you've gathered. I'm just beginning the process of swapping a 1uz into my son's 1985 pickup.
Untitled by Adam Tolman, on Flickr

22RE is out.
Untitled by Adam Tolman, on Flickr

LS400 1UZ will be going in with a A340F from a 2003 4Runner. (LS400 A340E is still connected to the motor in the photo)
Untitled by Adam Tolman, on Flickr
Plans to keep ac? Have you worked out the hoses?
 
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Subbed. Really good information in this thread. Thank you @corax for putting together the information you've gathered. I'm just beginning the process of swapping a 1uz into my son's 1985 pickup.
Untitled by Adam Tolman, on Flickr

That's a sweet looking truck, I think I saw you post up about the swap on FaceCrack.

If you can make the engine mount brackets yourself, do it - it'll let you move the engine as far back as possible. Every inch and fraction of an inch counts, don't be afraid to make some clearance at the firewall (but don't just beat the s*** out of it with a sledge hammer - block of wood, or auto body dollies help make for a nicer looking job).

Since you plan on keeping the A/C, you'll need that clearance for a really good electric fan up front. I highly recommend something from an actual production car, most of the universal aftermarket fans are junk (and lie about how much air they move) compared to something like an OEM Ford Taurus fan (2,000 CFM on low, 4,500 CFM on high speed). I'm planning on swapping out my current 3" thick universal Griffin radiator this summer for a slightly thinner Jeep V8 conversion radiator so I can use a slightly thicker Ford Taurus fan. Another good OEM fan which is a bit thinner is the dual fan from a Ford Contour, either way, a shroud which covers the radiator means more air pulled through a larger area of the radiator.

too many words gets boring, so here's a short video of me chasing Stage Rally cars at the 2020 Olympus Rally.
listen to that exhaust growl (and the guy playing the Knight Rider theme on his siren behind me 🤣)
 
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Mind if I ask why you're changing fans/radiators/shrouds? Were you having heat issues?

By itself, the truck is fine and usually stays below 210F on even the hottest summer days. If it's reasonably warm outside when I'm towing stage rally cars on dirt/gravel, the temps start climbing fairly drastically. I've also had one instance where I was stuck behind some guy towing a large trailer on a dirt road going up a mountain (high load/low vehicle speed) and it started to get hotter than I like. So I think the solution is: increase the overall surface area of the radiator, add an actual shroud which will pull air through a larger area of the radiator, and install a decent OEM electric fan which can pull a metric s***-tonne of air. Since space is limited, a more robust fan means the radiator needs to be a bit thinner, I think the Wrangler conversion radiator will fit the bill. The Griffin I have now has ~304 sq.in. of surface area, the Wrangler one is 370 sq.in. and about an inch thinner. It also has a nice wide flange for mounting a shroud or fan, but I haven't had a chance to order and test fit one yet.

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