Current opinions on Tacoma 3.4L (5vz-fe) swap? (1 Viewer)

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I have searched through the archives, but there are only a couple threads dealing with this engine.

I am just hoping for some constructive criticism and knowledgeable opinions about the feasibility of doing this swap.

The idea as of now is to swap out the stock 1978 2F and drop in a low mileage 3.4 with the stock R150 Tacoma tranny (similar to the one used in the older V6 pickups). From there, mating it up to the stock 4-sp cruiser t-case with a modified Marlin 4.7 tacobox/toybox. I will be using the stock 4:10 gears in the axles with 33” tires.

The major issues I have read about or personally have concern over are as follows:

Vehicle weights:

FJ – 3,300
4x4 Tacoma – 3,800 with an additional payload capacity of 1,500 lbs. Trailer load is rated at 5,000 lbs.

I don’t see the FJ exceeding any parameters originally set forth by the Tacoma engineers. The vehicle will be similar weight when the winch/bumper and misc. accessories have been installed on the FJ. I don’t plan to tow, so the overall FJ weight will be much lower than a Taco with a full trailer.

The engine has plenty of power I would think. Definitely not as much torque down low, but gearing should take care of this. It seems to work fine for guys on 38’s with Marlin tacoboxes and SAS’s.

Worst case scenario one could drop on a TRD supercharger.

Strength/breakage:

I am sure the Tacoma tranny is not as strong as the cruiser, but the Taco/Mini guys routinely run big tires and SAS kits without grenading the trannies. Not to mention, Toyota ran the TRD supercharger on the engine which bumped it up to 260 HP, which also did not void the OEM warranty. To me that says volumes about the strength of the stock Tacoma drivetrain. It does have its limitations, but I think with the condition it will be used it will not be stressed beyond its limitations.

Not worried about the Taco/Toybox - proven reliable.


Gas mileage:

I get between 22-23 mpg in my 2001 Taco on the hwy, with about 18 around town. I am sure a brick like the FJ will reduce the mileage, but I am thinking high teens on the hwy.

Reliability:

Obviously getting a good engine and doing a good install are paramount, but the 3.4L has proven itself as a solid engine. I know I know, not as solid as a 2F, but what is right?

Drivetrain length:

I will triple check my measurements, but it looks like it is about 13” longer than the FJ drivetrain, fan to t-case (included the taco/toybox). But since the engine is so much shorter (10”), you can push the whole engine forward to make up that 10” difference (lets call it 8”). So the back of the t-case will be 5” further back than stock. Shifter location will be about 3” further back than stock with plenty of firewall clearance.

Wiring:

This is the big curve ball in the equation. I know for a fact it is possible, but I don’t know if it something I could personally do with confidence. ORS offers a standalone wiring harness for the engine making it adaptable to just about any vehicle, but it is $800+ that I would not like to have to spend.

Conclusion:

I really thought about doing a 350, but power is not my major concern. I would rather keep it all Toyota, reliable drivetrain and easy parts sourcing.

Am I nuts? Any thoughts?
 
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Why? Are you getting the motor/trans for free? You're not going to get over 15mpg no matter what you do. Even if you got 18mpg, it will take a lot of 10000s of miles to pay for it. Get a 2wd minitruck for the mpg and save the cruiser for the trail.

If you're going to spend the time, swap in a 1fz-fe an h55f and a split case with a 4:1 gearset. It's a way-more-landcruisery swap, IMO. You can put a TRD supercharger on it if you want.
 

pappy

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I seem to recall seeing a FJ45 with the 5VZ. He used a custom adapter to mate the TC to the tranny. I might even have pics someplace. It was exceptionally clean.
 
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I seem to recall seeing a FJ45 with the 5VZ. He used a custom adapter to mate the TC to the tranny. I might even have pics someplace. It was exceptionally clean.

I don't know if it's the same one, but member mmcinnis has this combo.
 
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Why? Are you getting the motor/trans for free? You're not going to get over 15mpg no matter what you do. Even if you got 18mpg, it will take a lot of 10000s of miles to pay for it. Get a 2wd minitruck for the mpg and save the cruiser for the trail.

If you're going to spend the time, swap in a 1fz-fe an h55f and a split case with a 4:1 gearset. It's a way-more-landcruisery swap, IMO. You can put a TRD supercharger on it if you want.

What makes you think I would only get 15 mpg? I own a 2001 Tacoma and get a solid 22-23 on the hwy with 17-19 mixed city driving. The FJ would be a aerodynamic disadvantage on the highway, but I can't imagine that the city MPG would be effected that drastically.
 
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There is a major flaw in your plan, and it is the original landcruiser T-case. WEAK WEAK WEAK, god I hate them. Replace it with a split case if you are keeping the landcruiser axles and you will be set. ORS’s wiring is good s***, but the wiring on these motors is not hard.

I would do a 2UZFE, it is the same amount of work, and you end up with a motor that is so much more fun, milage would be the same if you are easy on it and if you really care about such things when you are tring to throw a brick down the road.
 
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There is a major flaw in your plan, and it is the original landcruiser T-case. WEAK WEAK WEAK, god I hate them. Replace it with a split case if you are keeping the landcruiser axles and you will be set. ORS’s wiring is good s***, but the wiring on these motors is not hard.

I would do a 2UZFE, it is the same amount of work, and you end up with a motor that is so much more fun, milage would be the same if you are easy on it and if you really care about such things when you are tring to throw a brick down the road.

Good to hear about the wiring, so you dont think the ORS kit would be needed?

I was pretty intent on holding on to the stock 4-sp t-case.
 
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denver
Depends on how savy you are with wiring, I have 3 toyota master techs at my disposal. Mike's wiring is the s*** if you are not.

What ever floats your boat, I have broken 4 three and four speed t-case, all of them being different types of failure, I am so glad i am done with them, soon the axles too. It isn't really any extra cost, have the toybox build for a split case, and pick a split case up for a $100 from someone parting out a 60
 
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denver
All i am saying is in your first post you write that you are concerned about strength of the r151 which is a non-issue behind the motor it is designed for. May I add that my buddy has been wheeling a supercharged taco on 42s for years without any issues with that tranny ever. It does not see the same abuse other parts later down the line see. Now you say you are going to stick a 4.7 toybox doubler in front of a cruiser t-case(one of the weakest t-cases ever produced). Now those are extreamely contradictory statements. If you ever bind the truck up (tires size has no bearing), with all that torq going into that weak case, it is going to blow in half.

But whatever man, the world is your oyster, if you want to make your transfer case your weak link, godspeed
 
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Josie'sLandCruiser

Stop calling it a "FJ."
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Hi All:

I would suggest to make things easier to just stick with the entire stock Tacoma drive train - engine, tranny, & t-case. You can get a custom centered LC rearend made, or switch to a V-6 mini-truck (or Tacoma) rearend.

Good luck!

Alan
 
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What makes you think I would only get 15 mpg? I own a 2001 Tacoma and get a solid 22-23 on the hwy with 17-19 mixed city driving. The FJ would be a aerodynamic disadvantage on the highway, but I can't imagine that the city MPG would be effected that drastically.

I just want to know how you are getting that kind of MPG in a Taco. When I had mine I needed to be going downhill with wind at my back to get 19, city was 13-14 mpg and that was with a 2in lift and 255's. You put the the 3.4 in the 40 that is what kind of milage you are going to get. Be done with it and put in a 13BT/H55F.
 
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I've thought about this swap too. I've had 4 trucks with 3.4's and they have all been super reliable with decent power. But I really wonder how you calculated your highway mileage, or if you only drive downhill with a tailwind at no more than 50. I've had 3 tacomas with 3.4's and 5 speeds and even brand new bone stock going back and forth to work commuting I rarely saw 20 out of them. With a 4 inch lift and 33's it dropped to about 17. My bone stock 3.4 4runner automatic gets 19 at best. I do see a pretty consistant 23-24 with my 05, but it's a 2.7. I like some others wouldn't bother with the toybox, just use the tacoma transmission and t-case with a centered rear. You could either make one from cruiser/minitruck parts like woody did, or just use a tacoma or other minitruck rear. If you used a tacoma rear you might be able to get one with the electric locker. The aftermarket harness is nice, but i'll bet it would be pretty easy to wire one of these if you could get a non-OBDII wire harness out of one of the 95's. I can see high teens for mileage on a setup like this if you have a reasonable tire size, the right gears, and don't drive over 60 or so. 40's are shaped like bricks. These drivetrains might start becoming more common in salvage yards too soon. With toyota buying back a lot of them for frame rot it could make for some nice parts trucks. However, all this said I still think i'm either going to rebuild my 2F soon or go deisel. I rarely drive mine, and I actually like my mildly hot rodded 2F regardless of the mileage. I can buy a lot of gas for the cost of a swap. I would really like to drive mine more, but the only way I could really see the mileage being good enough to make this realistic would be to go deisel. Then you can go with veggie fuel too.
 

vtcruiser60

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I've thought about this swap too. I've had 4 trucks with 3.4's and they have all been super reliable with decent power. But I really wonder how you calculated your highway mileage, or if you only drive downhill with a tailwind at no more than 50. I've had 3 tacomas with 3.4's and 5 speeds and even brand new bone stock going back and forth to work commuting I rarely saw 20 out of them. With a 4 inch lift and 33's it dropped to about 17. My bone stock 3.4 4runner automatic gets 19 at best. I do see a pretty consistant 23-24 with my 05, but it's a 2.7. I like some others wouldn't bother with the toybox, just use the tacoma transmission and t-case with a centered rear. You could either make one from cruiser/minitruck parts like woody did, or just use a tacoma or other minitruck rear. If you used a tacoma rear you might be able to get one with the electric locker. The aftermarket harness is nice, but i'll bet it would be pretty easy to wire one of these if you could get a non-OBDII wire harness out of one of the 95's. I can see high teens for mileage on a setup like this if you have a reasonable tire size, the right gears, and don't drive over 60 or so. 40's are shaped like bricks. These drivetrains might start becoming more common in salvage yards too soon. With toyota buying back a lot of them for frame rot it could make for some nice parts trucks. However, all this said I still think i'm either going to rebuild my 2F soon or go deisel. I rarely drive mine, and I actually like my mildly hot rodded 2F regardless of the mileage. I can buy a lot of gas for the cost of a swap. I would really like to drive mine more, but the only way I could really see the mileage being good enough to make this realistic would be to go deisel. Then you can go with veggie fuel too.

That was a nice reply. I think if someone is eager to get into fuel injection and stay with toyota, this 3.4 swap is pretty nice. The motor is definitely solid. But....this is for sure a pricey swap, relative to other possibilities. Certainly, improved mpg is not the shining criteria in my decision making. I bowed out of doing this swap even though the motor was really cheap at the time. I didn't have the wrenching skills to do it well.
 
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We have not offered a kit to put a 3.4 into anything yet (Pickup, 4 Runner, or Landcruiser). While there is something to be said for wanting to keep your Toyota all Toyota, we still perfer the Chevy V6 and V8 engines. Problem with the smaller 3.4 is it has 185 h.p. out of the box. Unlike the Chevy 4.3 V6 where you can keep adding incremental h.p. gains for small incremental amounts of money, the 3.4 is either 185 h.p. stock or 285 h.p. with a $4500 TRD blower. And I know better than to discuss the down-side of a Blower (any forced induction) on an open forum!!!!!
 

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