Need input: 2F or V8?

Joined
Aug 17, 2013
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Cheyenne, WY
More good information to digest. I'm learning lots. Had to do some searches to figure out what some of it was, like SMXXX. Never hear about that line of transmission before.

LS.4.8 sound interesting. Just not sure if about the size as compared to the old v8 I have.

You guys have given me a ton of info! Some of it makes it even more confusing to decide.

Back in the day I got good at double clutching to drop into 1st gear. I raced a couple of cars from a stop and could beat them across the intersection but loose after that. At one point ran N78-15 tires (don't know how that equates to todays sizes) and spent of in town driving in 1st and second, shifting to 3rd on the long straight aways . There was no get up and go in third what so ever! Out 4-wheeling - that's what the low range in the transfer case was for!

I don't need nor plan on using my FJ40 as a daily driver, I say that now but once I'm done I may want to. (if I ever get done).

I don't plan on heavy duty off-roading. Get out and play yes, climbing Mt Everest - no.

I'm now leaning towards sticking with the v8 since I'm there now. Have all the adapters, drive shafts redone, etc. Definitely going to be checking into the LS engines though. Never thought about fuel injections till I read it hear. I have to check into that too.

I'm also thinking hard about the FJ60 2F engine with transfer case and transmission to have and possibly use. Don't want to snooze and loose and wish I had!. I could always sell later.

All this to add to the list.
 
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Isn't the 60 transmission is (H42) longer than the 40 (H42) version? Like a FJ60 4-speed gearbox has the casting kinda like of the Toyota 5-speed, so it is longer, iirc, and won't be a no-brainer in a 40.

Used transmissions and transfercases should be checked for rust internally, particularly if the transmission has been in a 40 without roof.

In my opinion, a significant end-goal of all of this is getting as long of a driveshaft run as you can from the rear pinion to the transfercase. Reducing the angle (by increasing the driveshaft run) that at the U-joints will minimize driveshaft vibrations at highway cruising speeds. I recall that there was a non-sweet spot around 68mph that my '73 hated with the SM420. It could have been one of a many other issues, but, either way, I failed to resolve it before I sold the truck.

If anyone is looking to test the integrity of their dental work, find a washboard road and stick to 2nd gear (H42) in high-range in an FJ40. I did, and I decided to cancel my appointment that I had for later this month. Plus, I'm a sovereign-adult, and I can clean and inspect my own teeth, than you.
 

Downey

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Did I miss something, unaware on ANY FJ40 coming from Japan with a V8. Purist here so I say original straight 6 all the way. It is what makes a FJ40 a FJ40. To me putting domestic V8 in a quality built Japanese vehicle would be much akin to having a Ferrari and putting in a Hyundai engine.🤨
I designed and manufactured Landcruiser aftermarket accessories for 39 years, from 1970 to 2009. During the 1960's to 1980's guys could buy a brand new FJ40 any time they wanted, and had no objections to upgrading them (V8's, disc brakes, power steering, etc.) with my products. At some point after that "Purist" arrived and wanted something just like what you could no longer buy, a stock (restored) new FJ40, a keepsake I guess. That's ok by me, but seems to me that today some Purist seem to have an issue with those who upgraded the FJ40 back in the early days ?????
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
9,681
More good information to digest. I'm learning lots. Had to do some searches to figure out what some of it was, like SMXXX. Never hear about that line of transmission before.

LS.4.8 sound interesting. Just not sure if about the size as compared to the old v8 I have.

You guys have given me a ton of info! Some of it makes it even more confusing to decide.

Back in the day I got good at double clutching to drop into 1st gear. I raced a couple of cars from a stop and could beat them across the intersection but loose after that. At one point ran N78-15 tires (don't know how that equates to todays sizes) and spent of in town driving in 1st and second, shifting to 3rd on the long straight aways . There was no get up and go in third what so ever! Out 4-wheeling - that's what the low range in the transfer case was for!

I don't need nor plan on using my FJ40 as a daily driver, I say that now but once I'm done I may want to. (if I ever get done).

I don't plan on heavy duty off-roading. Get out and play yes, climbing Mt Everest - no.

I'm now leaning towards sticking with the v8 since I'm there now. Have all the adapters, drive shafts redone, etc. Definitely going to be checking into the LS engines though. Never thought about fuel injections till I read it hear. I have to check into that too.

I'm also thinking hard about the FJ60 2F engine with transfer case and transmission to have and possibly use. Don't want to snooze and loose and wish I had!. I could always sell later.

All this to add to the list.
Well I've seen your build thread. You've been trying to buy this cruiser back for a long time. Now you have it, build it to be used. Thus my v8 recommendation. The LS motors are better than the old sbc motors in most ways. You can run a fuel injected LS motor off of as little as something like 7 wires. They are actually easier to work on than a 2f or sbc. If you want more fj40 character than keep a straight 6 in it but it will be slower and less user friendly.
 
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435
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Arkansas USA
Some of the comments against modifying a fj40 seem more of an attention grab.

I chose to rebuild my original F but I often question whether I should have gone with an LS for drivability.
 
Joined
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11,385
Location
Victoria, BC
My $0.02

1) loved my 1.5 F till it died in ‘96. I planned to rebuild it but $3k to rebuild itwas more than the truck was worth.

2) had a running 2F that smoked a bit. Rebuild shop said it would be way cheaper to rebuild. It was still going to be $3k not the $1200-1600 they said before I dropped it off. Apparently they had stopped adding up costs on (1) when it hit $3k and there was another $500 needed.

3) $2k got me a Downey SBC conversion kit, new clutch, 2 driveshafts shortened, new dual exhaust, 120 amp alternator, belts. hoses, lines, etc. $300 for a ‘69 350 & timing chain, $200 for cam, lifters, rockers, Rochester Quadrajet, etc. Net was a +/- 300 hp 350 that dragged me everywhere I wanted to go.

4) if I had an option to have put in a cheap, good running 2F I’d have done that in a heartbeat.

When (3) SBC died 21 years later I decided I’d rebuild the 2-bolt, 10.25:1, 350. Then a clean 72k mile, “72, 4-bolt 350, Turbo 350 popped up locally for $350… it sounded great and I got it for $250. Replaced gaskets and found it shone inside.
It was lower compression and only rated at 165 net hp… but it’s super smooth, and with an RV cam it has an abundance of power. Much tamer than the ‘69, but it puts along smoothly and is quieter than many cars.

I considered an LS, but when the dust settled it would have cost me $1500-2000 more, and been a lot more work than replacing an SBC with another SBC and bolting on the same accessories.

In your shoes I’d probably swap in a 4 speed and another SBC…

Or

LS, Chevy trans & t-case, and a centred diff rear 4.11 rear axle from a vehicle that uses 6 bolt rims with the same pattern. Probably an FJ cruiser axle (or something similar. :cheers:
 
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Is this the avenue to do a Yankee 4-speed (SM420) to an FJ60-split-case?
 
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Rational thinking for staying F / 2F: You're building the great, great, great, granddad of hundreds, if not thousands of already built Cruisers and Lexus that are on the road within a two-hour circle from anywhere - it has historical value to people who know their rigs. Even if it is the wrong-year drivetrain, most people will understand it.
 
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Or forget it all and go electric… because the government is going to outlaw the internal combustion engine and make us go electric
 
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Southern Colorado
I installed an '83 2F into an engineless '65 FJ45 I bought and never did anyone complain about this engine choice. (yes, that's a GM 1-wire alternator). Far from original, but sanitary and with power steering and a brightly polished 2F valve cover. All the painfulness of an FJ45 (seating position, horrid ride, turning radius) was not made any worse by this engine. I did this 20 years ago when you could find nice used 2Fs easily. Not sure what I'd do now.

engine.jpg


P4230015.JPG
 
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Utardia
Is this the avenue to do a Yankee 4-speed (SM420) to an FJ60-split-case?

That only works with the early 1 piece t-cases, not the split cases.

For an SM420 -> Split case you need a different adapter. Advance Adapters USED to offer a SM420 -> split case adapter, but you lose a 3-4" of driveshaft, though the adapter offered a crossmember mounting location.

IMHO there (were) better ways to use that space, like the Marlin Crawler ToyBox, Klune V, Rock Box, AA Crawl box and others, but most of those are no longer available, and if you can find a used one, parts will be unobtanium. (I scrapped an SM420 -> ToyBox -> Split cases setup a few years ago because I couldn't get replacements for some of the ToyBox parts I needed to make it work).

Edit: Northwest Fab makes a product called the Land Cruiser BlackBox and they can set it up to run an SM420 -> BlackBox -> Split case

 
Last edited:
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That only works with the early 1 piece t-cases, not the split cases.

For an SM420 -> Split case you need a different adapter. Advance Adapters USED to offer a SM420 -> split case adapter, but you lose a 3-4" of driveshaft, though the adapter offered a crossmember mounting location.

IMHO there (were) better ways to use that space, like the Marlin Crawler ToyBox, Klune V, Rock Box, AA Crawl box and others, but most of those are no longer available, and if you can find a used one, parts will be unobtanium. (I scrapped an SM420 -> ToyBox -> Split cases setup a few years ago because I couldn't get replacements for some of the ToyBox parts I needed to make it work).
I recall a rig that had SBC, to H42 - 4-speed transfer, and front and rear ARB air locker, 35"s, 4.11. After all that work, the transfer case was basically relied on for low-range, only, for 9.5 out of ten outings to challenging trails. V-8 to 2wd SM4xx, in an air-locked rear wheel drive configuration would nearly match or exceed the capability of the vast majority of 40s on Mud, or on the trail. Plus it would actually fit on the original chassis without much of a squeeze. Possibly a 2wd NV4500 5-speed would do the same thing, at least for the crawl gear ratio? Who knows about running the speedo or odometer with these things?

The powerplant seems like your least concerns if you are going to great lengths just to retain the original off-centered axles and use a LC transfer case.

When I did the adapter plate SM420 to '73 t.c. it seemed kinda cheap to not support the rear output shaft in the t.c. like Toyota designed it. But, the diveshaft vibration was the bummer about the whole project, and not as much of my misunderstanding about the ignition and carb systems that made the F kinda slow.
 

pb4ugo

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If you run a stk 40 tcase you can run a stk speedo. They're also vendors who offer longer cables if ness. The tcase is always relied on for low range and 4wd. Off road, I'm usually in low range. I've run some variation of all the drivelines you mentioned at some point thru the yrs with a sbc. The exception is the sm420, which I installed a dana 18 tcase, and later changed to a dana 20case and centered the 40's rear-end with 4.88's and lockers, arb and Detroit. I found a speedo becomes useless once you install bigger tires or gears, so I used the tach. I use a speedo app on my phone when I drive my 40 with the sbc, nv4500, stk case and diffs. The nv4500 setup and probably the h55 usually requires removing or moving the tube crossmember, the 4 speeds will fit with the crossmember in place with the sbc positioned properly. On the early 40's the crossmember is located a couple inches forward in the frame, so it's close.

You're driveshaft vibration could have been from bad driveline and pinion angles.
 
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The nv4500 setup and probably the h55 usually requires removing or moving the tube crossmember, the 4 speeds will fit with the crossmember in place with the sbc positioned properly. On the early 40's the crossmember is located a couple inches forward in the frame, so it's close.

You're driveshaft vibration could have been from bad driveline and pinion angles.

Toyota didn't relocate the crossmember for the H55F. The location ofbthe fuel tank 1/79+ there isn't room to move it back. The hand brake was moved to the rear axle 8/80+ on short and mid wheel base 40 series. Toyota decided to keep the hand brake on the transfer case versus running all the way back on the long wheel base. They also never offered a H55F in the FJ45 and HJ47. Hand brake drum would not clear the torque tube. I've seen modifications to the torque and tub when adding a H55F also seen 1/79+ it done with no mods when the hand brake is on the rear axle. Clearance between the transmission and tub is tight.
9/72 a four speed was used in some markets like Australia. The result was the torque tube moved back a little. Big change was the shape of the tube. It was bent to clear the brake drum.

All 10/82+ FJ40s and BJ42s sold in Australia (Toyota's largest Land Cruiser market at the time) came with a H55F. Driveshaft length didn't seem to be an issue. Think other than mechanical issues like balancing, bearings or spider gears in the U joints a lift would be the cause of vibrations.
 
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I think that with the lifted springs, and maybe some wiggle on the engine mounts, the torque on the pinon flange is enough to wrap the rear axle at highway speeds - which makes the pinon angle non-static with regard to the rest of the truck and t.c.. Maybe it is worse with the pinon being so close to one spring on a stock L.C.? Either way, a double-cardan u-joint driveshaft with the rear pinon rotated to the t.c. would have been the next thing to try after all shim possibilities have been exhausted. These leaf springs have much to be desired for locating the rear axle when you compare them to modern suspension designs, and adding curvature, and length, to the leafpacks for lift kits makes the driveshaft not have nice angles of operation at the stock u-joints.
 

pb4ugo

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Toyota didn't relocate the crossmember for the H55F. The location ofbthe fuel tank 1/79+ there isn't room to move it back. The hand brake was moved to the rear axle 8/80+ on short and mid wheel base 40 series. Toyota decided to keep the hand brake on the transfer case versus running all the way back on the long wheel base. They also never offered a H55F in the FJ45 and HJ47. Hand brake drum would not clear the torque tube. I've seen modifications to the torque and tub when adding a H55F also seen 1/79+ it done with no mods when the hand brake is on the rear axle. Clearance between the transmission and tub is tight.
9/72 a four speed was used in some markets like Australia. The result was the torque tube moved back a little. Big change was the shape of the tube. It was bent to clear the brake drum.

All 10/82+ FJ40s and BJ42s sold in Australia (Toyota's largest Land Cruiser market at the time) came with a H55F. Driveshaft length didn't seem to be an issue. Think other than mechanical issues like balancing, bearings or spider gears in the U joints a lift would be the cause of vibrations.
Good info to know. The nv4500 adapter is quite long.
 
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I just saw a YouTube of a 5th gen 4Runner 'soccer-mom' truck do some local slickrock. No windshield hooks or cool headlight bezel to build the truck around - keeps the spouse's family from thinking your crazy.
 

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