E-Locker Axle Swap Info Quest

Am I an idiot?

  • Yes

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • Definitely

    Votes: 4 80.0%

  • Total voters
    5
Joined
Aug 15, 2016
Messages
34
Location
Seattle, WA
Hey all,

I've got a line on a 93 Cruiser with e-lockers for about $2.5k. It has a bunch of other parts I'm interested in grabbing for my current rig - a 97 Cruiser, so I'm not considering this price for the lockers alone.

For the fairly light trails I do a few times per year, there is no doubt that just a rear ARB locker would be "plenty" for me. But, if I'm gonna grab this rig for other parts, then maybe this a good opportunity to swap in the locked axles.

My guess is that it's easier to swap in over a complete axle and bolt it up then the dif swap that Slee warns against doing. Is this an incorrect assumption? I'm not finding a lot of resources that explain this very well, but I'm a piss-poor researcher.

Are there any swap threads similar to what I'm suggesting out there that anyone can point me towards?

Cheers!
Sean
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2015
Messages
877
Location
Simpsonville,SC
Yes swapping axles makes more sense. The locked and unlocked axles are different.

I have a locked parts truck and an unlocked daily driver I want to take on trails. My understanding so far is that I need to pull both locked axles, and the complete body harness from the locker computer back - including the locker computer in the kick panel, as well as the dial.

This is all the information I have for now as I won't have space for the swap until June. There's another recent thread of a member doing this swap.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2013
Messages
2,280
Location
Springfield, OR
The diff swap is something you should try and avoid if at all possible. Swapping the hole axle is a much better way to go. Direct bolt in. Wiring is going to be an issue either way, so why not spend your saved time on that. Having done an e-locker conversion to my current housing, I advise against it.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2016
Messages
34
Location
Seattle, WA
Sounds good. Thanks for the info.

From your understanding is the install pretty much a bolt-in and hook-up affair? Or is there fabrication needed to get the axles in?
 

bloc

SILVER Star
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2008
Messages
3,738
Location
Central Texas
Is your 97 a cruiser or LX450?

I've seen mention that all LXs had the correct floor harness already.. but you'd need to check for sure.

I put a LX floor harness and lockers into my 94.. there was quite a bit of disagreement in the connectors and I had to move a bunch of pins around. Also due to differences in how they are wired I no longer have the little light in my shifter indicator.

Either way, certain parts WILL be on your 97.
*Front locker harness connector under the cruise module.
*Connector for the axle diff lock computer (separate than the CDL computer) next to the AC blower.

Assuming year/model are the same, the complete list of needed parts for a conversion:
*axles
*axle diff lock computer (no pigtail needed)
*driver side floor harness from lower a-pillar back to d-pillar
*front axle locker harness from the diff to the connector under the cruise module
*rear axle locker harness from the diff, along the upper links, across the crossmember, along the frame rail, to the rear driver side corner of the truck
*body harness that connects lower D pillars under the body
Edit: *magic dial (dash switch)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 15, 2016
Messages
34
Location
Seattle, WA
Mine is a Cruiser. Car in my profile pic is mine. No fancy schmancy Lexus for me.

Sounds like most of the items in your needed parts list would be available off the '93 donor car. Or am I going to need to source another '95-'97 for some of those?
 

LINUS

Waiting for the Great Pumpkin
 
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Messages
5,076
Location
PNW - WA
^^^^ - @bloc - The LX450 floor harness thing was mentioned to me, and I confirmed in my old 450 when I owned it. I had all the FSM/EWD so I jist confirmed wired pins in the harness connectors were there. I have perpetuated that thought, but never see anyone else doing axle swaps anymore.

To OP - I did the swap of 3rds into my rear housing, bent my old front housing so I bought a locker FR housing to finish job.

I am pretty sure you are in the situation where the locker harness will be a gen1 setup & you have a gen2 recipient vehicle. I can't confirm the cutoff but it seems the whole OBD1 / OBD2 is the cutoff, but YMMV.

I don't know but worst case you make a few 'custom' harness mods at the very worst. All the literature is online, so it's just studying the pinouts.

A helpful hint - add a sig line to get better answers from users. I know the late 1FZ models, but am fairly clueless on early 1FZ & a total idiot in 3FE's. Others here are experts on those. HTH.
 

bloc

SILVER Star
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2008
Messages
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Location
Central Texas
Mine is a Cruiser. Car in my profile pic is mine. No fancy schmancy Lexus for me.

Sounds like most of the items in your needed parts list would be available off the '93 donor car. Or am I going to need to source another '95-'97 for some of those?
@LINUS had good info about LX. Not sure if yours will be the same.. the easiest way to check is look for the connectors for the rear axle harness under the driver's side rear corner of the body. You should have the rear ABS wiring running a similar path to what I described above.. if you have provisions for lockers you'll have another unused 6-ish pin connector either back there in that corner or on the crossmember above the axle.

If yours doesn't have the locker wiring.. I don't have much experience with OBDII cruisers (Do with LX) and don't have the wiring diagrams to do the research. But.. I'd bet there are differences between the 93 floor harness and your 97, even if they arent as extensive as if we were talking about an LX.

Basically, you'll need to get a 93 and 97 EWD and start comparing them to look for connectors and pin numbers. Connectors ID1/2 and BQ1/2 will be the most relevant parts. Or at least those are the codes on a 94.

The floor and rear underbody harnesses should be the only parts with potential issues between 93/97. Computer, front and rear axle harnesses, etc should be there.

Oh, also I will edit my above post. My needed parts list should include the magic dial. Your 97 will most likely have the harness for it in the dash already.

Plus You'll probably have to add bulbs to the sockets in your instrument cluster.
 

baldilocks

Battle Ground, WA
GOLD Star
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Jan 29, 2014
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Battle Ground
Sell those axles and buy an air locker or Harrop elocker. I could never understand someone swapping in the Toyota locked axles unless they got them for free.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2013
Messages
453
Location
MO
I am working towards this and from everything I have read on the subject it is easier to do a swap from a 93-94 into a 93-94 and 95-97 into a 95-97. By easier I mean basically direct plug and play.
 

bloc

SILVER Star
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2008
Messages
3,738
Location
Central Texas
I could never understand someone swapping in the Toyota locked axles unless they got them for free.
As long as they didn't come from a region that uses salt the Toyota axles are IMO easier to install and less likely to have small problems.. though ultimately the rear isn't quite as strong.

Plus you have the chance to rebuild them on the bench before installing the assemblies under the truck. So reduced down time.

I got both axles swapped in about 6 hours total.. probably less than it would have taken to swap both thirds. And I don't need a compressor to have locked diffs. Though I will be installing one eventually.
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
1,210
Location
Westminster, CO
I just did this to my 97.. Swapped in some elocker axles only to find the front axle leaking. Mid rebuild I now have two trashed spindles, and two groovy axle shafts. I would probably just go arb lockers in the future...

That being said, I do like the fact that I can get parts easily and anywhere. Also the wiring is not bad, what I did was buy a used floor harness from a lx450. (It runs from drivers side kick panel to back of truck). The extra 5 wires you need are already there. You can just unpin the 5 wires and run them up to the connector and pin them in. There are alot of threads and electrical drawings available too.

Good luck!
 

ewillis

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Oct 11, 2013
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I started down this road a couple years ago. Pulled in the reins and bought a Harrop for the front and a Lokka for the rear...so glad I did.
 
Joined
May 12, 2015
Messages
1,105
Location
SoCal
Hey all,

I've got a line on a 93 Cruiser with e-lockers for about $2.5k. It has a bunch of other parts I'm interested in grabbing for my current rig - a 97 Cruiser, so I'm not considering this price for the lockers alone.

For the fairly light trails I do a few times per year, there is no doubt that just a rear ARB locker would be "plenty" for me. But, if I'm gonna grab this rig for other parts, then maybe this a good opportunity to swap in the locked axles.

My guess is that it's easier to swap in over a complete axle and bolt it up then the dif swap that Slee warns against doing. Is this an incorrect assumption? I'm not finding a lot of resources that explain this very well, but I'm a piss-poor researcher.

Are there any swap threads similar to what I'm suggesting out there that anyone can point me towards?

Cheers!
Sean
Swap the axles. Modding the non-lockers is a pain and they're never right, always leak. They work, but they leak. Which could mean water can get in as well, if you go swimming with your rig. (And don't forget (as pointed out by @bloc ) the rear PS axle is different, if you're modding a non-locker to run oem locked gear.) For those without a spare set of oem locked axles, Harrop Eaton ELockers are the ticket. They may be superior. And they're brand-new.
 
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