H151F Manual Swap into 96 LX450 at Amazonia...suggestions? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Nov 12, 2016
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Santa Fe, NM
I bought this 1996 modified LX450 on BAT

The seller is a Landcruiser enthusiast with a lot of experience sourcing parts from South America, Dubai, etc. He has a complete package for MT conversion, including the interior trim pieces. He has offered them to me for $6k. Amazonia is a shop in FL that he used for his build and they are prepared to install them.

The truck currently has 4.88:1 gearing and 17” wheels with 315/70 Maxxis.

I would love to have a MT but am concerned about compromising an already somewhat limited highway use that I require from the truck...to begin with, I will be driving it from FL to NM

Any suggestions? Does anyone here have direct experience with Amazonia?
TIA
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2006
Messages
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Location
Seattle, WA
I bought this 1996 modified LX450 on BAT

The seller is a Landcruiser enthusiast with a lot of experience sourcing parts from South America, Dubai, etc. He has a complete package for MT conversion, including the interior trim pieces. He has offered them to me for $6k. Amazonia is a shop in FL that he used for his build and they are prepared to install them.

The truck currently has 4.88:1 gearing and 17” wheels with 315/70 Maxxis.

I would love to have a MT but am concerned about compromising an already somewhat limited highway use that I require from the truck...to begin with, I will be driving it from FL to NM

Any suggestions? Does anyone here have direct experience with Amazonia?
TIA

You just spent 30k on a 25 year old rig and now want to spend another 6k just on part to swap in a manual trans + whatever the shop will charge? You may have been better off buying one that already had a manual trans in it?

I've never heard of that shop, but you may be better off asking in the FL clubhouses for information on the shop.
:cheers:

Beautiful rig though.
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
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Santa Fe, NM
It’s kind of funny...this will be my most modern current Toyota by over a decade...I drive an 81 SR5 truck and a 1985 4Runner. The fact that the 80 series is 25 years old seems immaterial, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. True, I wish I could have found a nice example already equipped with a MT. But I couldn’t.

Does $6k for parts to do the job sound like too much? It’s a lot of $$$$, for sure. But things like suspension upgrades, wheels and tires, front/rear aftermarket bumper packages...these upgrades all cost a lot of money to buy and have installed. I guess I don’t understand why a performance upgrade like a manual transmission swap in seems so extravagant?
 

clx16

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No idea on this one but sell your lx450 for 100k like everyone else and get this?
 

leonard_nemoy

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Amazonia? Maybe wonder woman will do the swap while you watch.

2p0f6v.jpg




But in all seriousness, it's your money and you should spend it how you want. This amazonia shop has a website, that is a good sign. It looks like a cruiser shop.

Amazonia 4x4 - https://www.amazonia-4x4.com/
 
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Sep 24, 2020
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Dallas, Texas
Does $6k for parts to do the job sound like too much? It’s a lot of $$$$, for sure. But things like suspension upgrades, wheels and tires, front/rear aftermarket bumper packages...these upgrades all cost a lot of money to buy and have installed. I guess I don’t understand why a performance upgrade like a manual transmission swap in seems so extravagant?

I looked into a manual swap and from the few people I spoke with who had done the swap, they spent roughly $6K all-in. However, they did these as a DIY or had a buddy who was a mechanic do the work on the side. I'd imagine that if you were to pay a shop do the work, then it could be closer to $9K. With that said, this assumes you wouldn't sell your transmission and related parts which could help you recoup the costs of the swap. I'm also not sure if you'll need the 4.88 gears, but given the tires you're running, you'll probably want to stay with the 4.88. Anyway, the swap isn't a simple job, but it's also not rocket surgery (from what I was told), but you certainly want someone who has done this swap before do the work. If it were me, I'd get in touch with @SNLC or another known shop on this forum to price it out and potentially do the work.


As for Amazonia 4x4, I've never heard of them so can't help you there.
 
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Joined
Jan 26, 2010
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854
Location
Clovis, CA
That’s a cool rig. If you enjoy manuals, I’d convert it if I had the cash. If anything, the H151F should make it MORE enjoyable on the freeway. It should make the engine more efficient in getting more power to the rear wheels and perhaps slightly more fuel efficient.

While you are at it, consider a part time conversion and Delta rear panhard bracket.
 

geologic

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May 3, 2009
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I’ve never heard of that shop. If I were doing a manual swap, I would call George at Valley Hybrids for design and parts and since I’m across country, I would put it in with some cruiser friends. Bossman in our Cottonland Cruiser Club is the local expert on the manual swap in an 80. He is not a vendor but has done it. Bossman is an Arkansas cruiser friend.
 

geologic

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May 3, 2009
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I checked out the bring a trailer link. That was a deal at 30k, I’ve stripped an LX 450 down like that and come back with a full body and interior renewal. It’s expensive and time consuming. I think you’ve done well so far. Wish it was still mine
6E631F33-F965-4EDA-BC25-6AA6524F1E62.jpeg
 

clx16

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@Hidesert Welcome to MUD and congrats on starting the money throwing hobby with a bang! Seems like you got a very nice rig there and I am sure you will enjoy it. I read through the BAT listing and figured I would let you know, if you don't already, it looks like it has not had a head gasket job, so it is something to keep your eyes on throughout your ownership. Not all HGs go on these but its something to just be aware of and take extra care of your cooling system.

second the cd changer is still installed and currently useless, so you are going to need to obsess over that like everyone else does here on what you are going to put in there to replace it! (hint: the plug to it provides both an ACC source and +battery source for something else you can put in there.)

Third and answering your question, the cost of that swap isn't very cheap so I don't think the price list is too far off for the parts. I will say that those who have done the swap claim that it significantly increases the MPG (memory seems to be to about 17mpg or so) and it apparently really adds some pep. It is your cruiser and if you want to do it, do it.

forth and pretty important, that swap will need some ECU magic if you want it to pass emissions in most places, in the US, where emissions are required, you will need the stock ECU to be fooled that the automatic is still there and there are people on here more capable to talk about that. Where I live in Georgia, any vehicle 25 and older is exempt so if I did the conversion i would be getting one of the MT version of the ECUs from South America or other OBDII nation to put in mine and is going to be an additional cost. Don't get confused that OBDII in say Venezuela are the same in the US, they aren't exactly, the readers still work, but the emissions equipment don't.

I plan to have a manual shift cruiser at some point. it may not be my LX that gets it, but something will.
 
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Los Angeles, CA
As a price comparison, 6k sounds about right (at least for not trying to source and piecemeal a kit yourself):

 
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I'd try out the auto transmission for now and see what you think. I used to think I wanted a manual in my 80 but the auto has been great, and much better offroad than I expected.
 

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