Builds DomSmith’s H55 build Thread… SBC Fj40

DomSmith

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Well I’ve finally decided to post up the project I’ve been working on for the last month or so…

First a little history:
The rig is a ’73 FJ40 that I bought about 13 years ago just a few blocks from my house in Carlsbad. I was getting a little tired of my old F motor in my 71 and stumbled on this rig by chance. The PO had done a Chevy 350 conversion mated to the original 3 Speed and had put in Saginaw power steering. I replaced the inoperable 3 Speed with another one I got for $100 with plans to upgrade to a 4 or 5 speed as soon as it gave up the ghost. Since then I’ve added Front Disc Brakes, TBI Fuel Injection, Dual Batteries, On Board Air, Warn 8274, Long Ranger Aux Tank, and a 4” lift. Well… thirteen years later the bell housing cracked (3 Speed is still fine) so I opted to tackle a 5 Speed install.

I spoke with quite a few people about both the H55 and the NV4500 in deciding which way to go. It seems that the NV is much more common and better suited for rock crawling with the really low first gear. Although I have done some mild wheeling, my rig is more for Mex surf trips, and driving to the beach then it is for Rubicon. With that said, I did want a capable off road rig that would be able to perform in that regard if I choose to take the challenge. Special thanks to Bret for replying to all my requests for info and pics on his H55 install and to Noah (1973Guppie) for letting me drive his sweet NV4500 equipped Vortec cruiser. And the obvious guys with tons of advice… Poser, Kurt, George… etc.
TLC01.jpg
 

DomSmith

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After a particularly harsh tantrum about getting stuck on the Toll Road near Rosarito and the heavy right foot that followed while making my own exit, I realized the violent shaking of the cruiser was not a good sign. I got it back to our Baja 1000 Home Base and took stock. I determined that 3 of the 4 threads on the Chevy aluminum bell housing stripped out (the bolts were missing) and would eventually come to find out that a crack developed on the driver’s side near the slave cylinder. Aside from the massive shaking while limping it home across the border, I needed to find out what collateral damage had been done. With a ton of other things on my plate and knowing full well this would take a ton of my time it sat in the garage waiting...

Until finally I had decided what to do. It would get an H55 5 Speed. So the project begins:



I disconnected the battery, drained the fuel tank and proceeded to remove the seats, fuel tank, etc...

The PO had done the 350 conversion on the cheap, so the motor is stuffed against the firewall with a few obvious hammer marks to clear the headers.

Here's the tranny hump with current tranny/transfer shift positions...
hump01.jpg
 
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DomSmith

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I struggled with the shifter removal as I have every time I've removed it but finally got it out. Then removed the tranny hump, disconnected the driveshafts, removed the parking brake, tcase shift linkage and rear transfer crossmember mounts. Then lowered the tranny/tcase.

I had forgotten how much oil had accumulated on the case until it was on the floor.
tranny1.jpg
floor.jpg
 

DomSmith

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Once I determined how bad it was I decided to get started on collecting the parts I thought I would need. Here's the parts list I came up with and posted up for MUD input:

These are just a few of many options. I decided to use these... (Some part #'s are for reference only and may not be where I sourced my parts).


1. H55 Tranny- (Toyota Part#33030-60450).

2. Tranny Shifter- (Toyota part#33530-60160).

3. Shift knob- (haven't decided, probably just a generic Toyota 5 speed knob).

4. Tranny Mount- FJ60 tranny mount (SOR#106-150L-U) and FJ60 inner frame "L" brackets (SOR#106-141K-L-U) & (106-141K-R-U) ... and bushing (Toyota part# 12371-61031).

5. Split Transfer Case (from an '87 FJ60 w/ shift linkage) and Oiler pipe (Toyota part #33124-36010) .

6. Transfer case shift bolt- USED (SOR#074-08B-U) was not included with my case. and nut (SOR#074-30K).

7. Transfer Case Gasket kit (SOR#068-60E) Bearings and shaft are in excellent shape. Oh... and SOR says I need Trsfr seal (#068-03B) Didn't use it.

8. One 4 Speed driveshaft slip yoke (REAR) to slide into my 3 Speed driveshaft. And 8 later model driveshaft nuts).

9. One FJ60 driveshaft slip yoke (FRONT) to slide into my 3 speed driveshaft.

10. Front transfer case flange 19 spline (FJ60) from Kurt @ Cruiser Outfitters (the one that came with it was pitted).

11. Custom driveshafts (length adjustment).

12. Bellhousing-Downey (#331F4) 4 speed to V8 (includes slave braket) Had to fab up my own slave bracket as the Downey one was terrible.

13. Starter w/ nose cone that bolts to Bellhousing (To fit Downey adapter).

14. Clutch Components-
Disc: Centerforce #383735
Pressure Plate: Centerforce 11" low profile #CF165473S
TO Bearing: Stock 4 Speed Toyota TO bearing.
TO Bearing Collar: Stock 4 Speed Collar
Clutch Fork:4 speed Toyota clutch fork w/ ball, bolt and 2 clips.
Slave Cylinder and slave mount: Original Toyota clutch slave (shortened rod) from my 3 speed to V8 conversion. (Have)
Pilot Bearing: SBC Pilot

15. Longer speedo cable (I DID NOT NEED THIS!) Stock fit fine.

16. Parking Brake conversion kit (SOR# 068-100CB-Kit).

17. Longer parking brake cable. (I DID NOT NEED THIS!) Original is about maxed out but not stretched.

18. Exhaust: Custom exhaust with:
GM Rams horns w/ center down spout.
Crossover pipe(OEM application is 58-66 Chevy pickup with a 283 engine). The NAPA crossover pipe is Walker #42087

19. Motor Mounts: Re-used my AA brackets and ordered new rubber mounts. (SOR#330-901).
 
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DomSmith

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One of the first items I wanted to tackle was the Split Case. I have never rebuilt a TCase before so I leaned on a few cruiser buddies and of course... MUD.

I found exactly what I was looking for here after posting up in the Wanted section, and I couldn't have asked for anything better. The gears, bearings, etc were all inspected by our Truck mechanic at work and he gave them all the thumbs up. So instead of the full rebuild kit I had suspected I would have to order I only needed the seals kit.

After cleaning up the gears in a parts washer I scrubbed and scrubbed on the case w/o much success so I decided to have the case dipped at a machine shop to clean off all the crud. I had them leave in all the seals so I could see which way they went in.
case02.jpg
 

DomSmith

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After searching and reading and chatting it up about parking brake options I decided I wanted to keep the stock parking brake if possible. A lot of friends come by and borrow my cruiser when I'm at work or out of town and it was important for me to keep it simple. I didn't want to have to explain a line-lock or battle with the El Dorado calipers so I ponied up for the SOR kit...

Here's a pic of the kit...

and then a pic of the original shaft with gears next to the SOR shaft. I decided to have the machine shop press off the gears/bearings and press them on the new shaft. I didn't have the right tools and was a bit weary of this one.
pbrakekit.jpg
shafts1.jpg
 

DomSmith

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I read in the Tech section about tapping and plugging a hole in the Split Case when using a 5 Speed so I confirmed with a few sources which hole to plug and had the machine shop do that as well. There are a few things on this project I would like to have tried to do myself, but without any experience tapping aluminum this is another place I played it safe.

Once I was ready to put the TCase back together I replaced the seals and followed the instructions according to the FSM (Thanks MrZero)...
holetap.jpg
mate.jpg
 
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DomSmith

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Then the transfer input gear, spacer, and PTO gear.

Rear output shaft is just placed into position for fit.

At this point I identified two problems:

#1- I never put the gasket between the tranny and TCase. So I pulled the transfer input gear and disassembled the rest and placed the gasket in its appropraite location. (Duh!)

#2- I never got the output shaft rear bearing, lock washer and nut with my transfer case. Although a slight setback I ordered them today from SOR.

This is where they go...
casebuild5.jpg
 

DomSmith

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After repositioning several times, I noticed my 3 speed ominously staring at me on the floor...


Direct fit... s***!


Now the frustration set in. Why would someone send me a 3 Speed adapter when I specifically asked for a 4 Speed!? Hopefully an honest mistake.

So, off to Downey Off-Road for a new one.
3speedhousing.jpg
newadapter.jpg
 
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DomSmith

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With the Transfer Case at a standstill I moved on to prepping for moving the engine forward to accomodate the increased length of the tranny and TCase. I dropped the exhaust on each side from the collector plate and then had to make room to get the headers out...

On the passenger side I had to remove one of the batteries and one tray...


On the driver side I had to remove the York compressor mount and displace a few of the air fittings...
mufflers.jpg
batteryremove.jpg
yorkremoval01.jpg
 

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