My 80 series Duramax swap build (3 Viewers)

Joined
May 26, 2022
Messages
57
Location
southern illinois
Hello all, I’m going to start a build thread here to show my progress on my current Duramax swap in my 94 FZJ80

Little history first, i bought this cruiser basically from the original owner with around 320k on the clock. But it was very well taken care and had almost all of its service records from the local Toyota dealership where it was from. Hardly any rust and all original which was exactly what I was looking for

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First thing first was a quick wheel swap to a newer set of 17s and some decent all terrain tires
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I drove this around for a while and loved it but what was killing me was how under powered the engine and transmission was and it was just killing the drive for me so I decided to undergo a new transplant

Most are going to ask why not just LS swap it and be done with it, this might sound weird to some but I’ve done so many LS swaps in so many different kinds of vehicles that it’s just to easy anymore.

So I basically wanted a challenge

I’ve always been a big fan of duramaxs, I’ve owned a couple LB7s and LLY trucks and my favorite was a 2009 LMM truck I had with a full exhaust and fully deleted that I just loved the sound and the way it drove

So I decided why not try to get the sound and drive ability of a LMM duramax into a 7 seater triple locked Land Cruiser

Since this swap apparently isn’t very common since I only found like 2 build threads and neither of them seemed to ever get finished I had to do a lot of homework before I got started

I decided to go with a LMM out of a Chevy express because I wanted to run a 4l80e because Marks 4wd sells a 4l80e to Land cruiser transfer case adapter so that simplified alot
 
Joined
May 26, 2022
Messages
57
Location
southern illinois
Started with a 2009 express cutaway with around 200k that ran and drove great
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Believe it or not pulling a duramax out of a van seems to be 10 thousand times harder then a LS since there isn’t a intake manifold you can just take off and hook a cherry picker onto so I had to figure it out the hard way. And by the way I don’t have a lift or any special tools


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So ended up just tilting the cab back to gain access

So with the duramax removed I started figuring out what was needed to be done
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After the first test fit I knew a couple things needed addressed right off the bat
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First thing first was the oil pan, the other two build threads I saw that was the number one problem. So instead of cutting up the stock pan I decided to just go with RFGs swap pan, it’s mainly used by old truck guys but it was a good base to start with
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Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
3,765
Location
South west utah
Good looking rig that looks like the perfect candidate for a heart transplant.

Definitely excited to see how this works out and hats off for taking the road less traveled, that is the true land cruiser path.
 
Joined
May 26, 2022
Messages
57
Location
southern illinois
Oil pan didn’t end up working perfectly, the drivers side wing part hit the front differential so it had to go because I didn’t want to put a huge lift on the truck and I needed the motor as low as possible
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Now with the pan mocked up on the engine you can see how low profile it is now
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Next come marks 4wd 4l80e adapter which makes I possible to use the stock transfer case and the 4l80e
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Now with the transfer case mounted and the oil pan on sat the engine and trans back into the truck, the transfer case adapter uses the factor transmission mount so I mounted it in its place and the motor sat where it ended up sitting, my goal is to use the stock driveshafts and not have to do much custom work

Now I got the idea of how low the engine is going to sit in the engine bay
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Joined
May 26, 2022
Messages
57
Location
southern illinois
Ok engine mount time.

So I’m a guy that tries to do the most simple ways of doing things. Surprisingly the factory land cruiser mounts were really to far off from the duramax engine, so I started off with some basic 1/4 inch flat steel
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I used the factory duramax mounts as a templet to drill holes into the flat steel and mounted them to the side of the engine, i then placed the factory land cruiser rubber mounts onto mount brackets on the frame. There was only about 7/8 inch space between the two.

So I got some 2x2 square stock and cut a spacer. So mounting the two together was a tricky one, I ended up finding a mag style lug nut that is the same thread pitch as the Toyota engine mount. Drilled a hole in the flat steel and used the lug nut to bolt everything together, I’m not sure how this will work out but we will have to see after I put some miles on it
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Joined
May 26, 2022
Messages
57
Location
southern illinois
So the next big issue with fitting this massive motor in the engine bay was the oil filter and oil cooler on the side of the engine, during the initial test fit it was keeping the engine from getting centered in the bay, it would hit the driver side frame rail, so it had to go
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PPE makes a oil cooler delete kit which removes the oil cooler and filter housing so you can run remote ones
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This ended up working out great in two ways, one it made tons of room on the driver side now And two I was able to run an external oil cooler which meant I bought a pretty good sized one and that made up the capacity I lost by cutting some of the oil pan off

I mount the cooler at an angle center of the front bumper
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I also picked up a Spal pulling fan that will mount on the bottom of the cooler and pull air from the front grill
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And I also bought the PPE remote oil filter housing kit and mounted the kit and a stock duramax oil filter behind the bumper and below the drivers side headlight
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That is currently where I’m sitting at right now with the project

My goal is to have this on the road and driving by the end of the month
 
Joined
May 26, 2022
Messages
57
Location
southern illinois
Couple small updates, I’ve been knocking out a bunch of small things that take a bunch of time, got the water to air intercooler mounted and finished the intercooler piping, I’ll get rid of the unnecessary couplings and have it welded after I get everything done
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Next was the lower radiator hose, took me forever to find a way to dump the heater hose back into the system since the duramax doesn’t have a heater core return and it just dumped it back to the coolant tank

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Now the front of the cruiser holds a lot of extra stuff, heat exchanger for intercooler, water pump for intercooler, oil cooler with fan, and the oil filter relocation kit from PPE
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Next was gauges, I’ve decided to run the Dakota Digital HDX-2018 and using their OBD2 port adapter to make gauges wayyyyy easier then trying to adapt the Toyota sending units to run a stock cluster

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Also managed to use the stock Vans intake for now until I figure something else out

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Joined
May 26, 2022
Messages
57
Location
southern illinois
Haven’t posted in a while but I’ve been busy knocking this thing out. I fought a No start condition for a couple days but ended up being air in the fuel system because I took off the bleeder valve on the low side

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But it’s all running and driving now, I still have a ton of things to do before it’s daily driver



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I ended up installing a OME 2.5 heavy lift on it because my front driveshaft was hitting my starter because I put the engine down so low

Next stop will be the exhaust shop
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2021
Messages
915
Location
arkansas
Lots of q’s..

Fan shroud? Looks like Dmax fan setup.. Using the stock Toyota radiator I see, how does it do on cooling?

Do you think the radiator for the air to water is big enough?

What climate do you live/ drive in?

Lots of questions
 
Joined
May 26, 2022
Messages
57
Location
southern illinois
Lots of q’s..

Fan shroud? Looks like Dmax fan setup.. Using the stock Toyota radiator I see, how does it do on cooling?

Do you think the radiator for the air to water is big enough?

What climate do you live/ drive in?

Lots of questions
Yes duramax fan for now with no shroud, will be going to electric fans soon just haven’t got there yet

I’m not sure if the heat exchanger is big enough yet I’ve only got about 50 miles on it so far

I live in southern Illinois so we have pretty hot summers and cold winters
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2021
Messages
915
Location
arkansas
Yes duramax fan for now with no shroud, will be going to electric fans soon just haven’t got there yet

I’m not sure if the heat exchanger is big enough yet I’ve only got about 50 miles on it so far

I live in southern Illinois so we have pretty hot summers and cold winters

In my experience with Dmax trucks (a lot) electric fans just don’t cut it outside of normal driving. I’d be even more concerned with the smaller radiator of the Toyota too.

I doubt this is going to be a tow vehicle so that helps alot on that front
 
Joined
May 26, 2022
Messages
57
Location
southern illinois
In my experience with Dmax trucks (a lot) electric fans just don’t cut it outside of normal driving. I’d be even more concerned with the smaller radiator of the Toyota too.

I doubt this is going to be a tow vehicle so that helps alot on that front
The thing about Duramaxs is they hold a lot of coolant, I think I put almost 6 gallons in it I think the Toyota radiator should be fine for what I’m doing with it, I’m in the process of relocating the transmission cooler to the rear of the truck with a Derale cooler so that’s going to open up air flow and get Tranny fluid out of the radiator but we will see how it goes
 
Joined
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Messages
915
Location
arkansas
The thing about Duramaxs is they hold a lot of coolant, I think I put almost 6 gallons in it I think the Toyota radiator should be fine for what I’m doing with it, I’m in the process of relocating the transmission cooler to the rear of the truck with a Derale cooler so that’s going to open up air flow and get Tranny fluid out of the radiator but we will see how it goes

Oh I’m very versed in the duramax platform. Spent 10 years doing strictly their stuff. That’s why I’m so curious.

Also have a complete donor truck waiting for something like this, I’ve been thinking about it for months. 🤔

Little things like power steering lines/ trans linkage: how was that?

What brake setup? Hydra boost or?
 
Joined
May 26, 2022
Messages
57
Location
southern illinois
Oh I’m very versed in the duramax platform. Spent 10 years doing strictly their stuff. That’s why I’m so curious.

Also have a complete donor truck waiting for something like this, I’ve been thinking about it for months. 🤔

Little things like power steering lines/ trans linkage: how was that?

What brake setup? Hydra boost or?
Power steering lines I used the line from the the Van, cut the end off, put the toyota fitting on there and flared it just like OEM, No leaks so far.

For brakes, I ditched the hydro stuff and I’m running an electric vacuum pump to feed the booster and it works great
 

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