Pre 85 H55 Upgrade FJ60

mwebfj60

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Parts Needed
  • Longer Transfer Case to Transmission Bolts (4) 90119-12047 (3) 90119-12047
  • 5th Gear Oiler Cup (1) 33124-36010
  • 5 Speed Shifter and Shift Knob (1) 33530-60160 and (1) 33504-14050-B8
  • Transfer Case Linkage - From Late 85' and up.
  • Transfer Case Linkage Pivot Shaft From H42 (H55 doesn't come with it) - see pics
  • Transfer Case Shifter from Late Model 60 (not used in this write up) -see later posts #34 & #38 by @klinetime574 and post#63
  • Gear Oil - 2 Gallons, I used Sta-Lube GL-4
Optional but suggested IMO Parts
  • Transfer Case Rebuild Kit - I used Terrain Tamer TK4
  • Pilot Bearing
  • Throwout Bearing
  • Clutch Pressure Plate and Disk
  • Rear Main Seal if needed
Parts Needing Modification
  • Driveshafts - Rear Shortened, Front Lengthened
  • Bellhousing needs a small amount of grinding - see pics
  • Transfer Case Input gear assembly no longer requires the 1/2 inch spacer - see pics
  • Front Driveshaft Loop Bracket - Remove
  • Transfer Case Shifter - see pics..edit..use later model shifter

I thought this was going to be much more complicated but after a 2 minute conversation with Georg over at Valley Hybrids he put my mind at ease. He also sourced a lot of the parts at great prices. Granted this isn't a small undertaking but what upgrade to the beloved Cruiser is.

I would like to start with this heads up: Be careful when installing/removing the 5 speed shifter paying close attention to the white nylon seat/cup. Why is this on page 1? Well, after installing it to check the shifting once the TC was completely bolted up, I went to remove it and that little cup fell off the ball and down inside the H55. After removing the H55 top plate, a meticulous search with a flashlight and inspection mirror found it resting against the 5th gear housing. I ended up using a 2 ft piece of the large vacuum tubing hooked to my Shop Vac to fish it out.

H55 Shifter (2).jpg
 
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mwebfj60

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The Transfer Case to Transmission bolts. Makes sense why they have to be longer. I didn't take a side by side. The one at the bottom is the shipping bolt that has to be removed from the bottom of the 5th gear case.

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mwebfj60

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Don't forget this little guy, I didn't think it looked like much but as George explained, it just gathers a bit of gear oil and drips it onto the 5th gear...aka 5th gear oiler cup.

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This is the spacer that is no longer needed on the input gear assembly.

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mwebfj60

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The linkage. There were some noticeable differences as you can see. I read the sticky and it mentioned bending and fabricating but this all bolted up perfectly with no modifications. The new parts are on the left in the pics and the measurement is on the new linkage. I didn't see a noticeable difference in the shift plate other than I had done the 2 Low mod to mine already.

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mwebfj60

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I use this stuff as a degreaser quite a bit. I don't recommend using it in an enclosed space or anything but I haven't found another product that cuts grease better. It's also a pre-paint wipe so you don't have to use another solvent before painting.

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mwebfj60

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Thought I would throw this in there. I have read it works and I have tried it on 3 or 4 of the 15 or so pilot bearings I've removed. No success on this one. Tried various sized sockets, alignment tool, punch, no dice. Pilot bearing puller has never failed me though.

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mwebfj60

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Installation

Not much to report on the install. Mounting points were the same.

***Edit***After calling around to find the piece that goes from this bracket to the transfer case linkage shaft, I found out later models didn't even have one...so, this whole bracket was removed and the following modifications were not needed...
The driveshaft loop bracket had to be modified. Sure would have been easier to mark it and test fit after cutting if the transmission was still on the bench. Easy enough though. Just used a metal cutoff wheel and angle grinder. The H55 has some support trusses by the lower mounting holes.

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After fitting the front driveshaft, the Loop had to be removed for clearance.

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mwebfj60

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Interior fit

**there are posts later in the thread that say a later model 60 transfer case shifter will work without mods posts #34 & #38*** I used the stock 83' transfer case shifter.

The stock 83' transfer case shifter had clearance issues. This is in 4 high and you can see the cover is pushed back about an inch. The scribe is lined up with the bolt hole.

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I chose to heat the shifter with a torch and adjust the bends. Ended up reducing the lower bend by 30 degrees then pulling the bend by the shift knob back away from the dash.

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Final fit

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mwebfj60

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Driveshafts

Measurements:
Rear: 42 1/8" Rear Differential Flange to Transfer Case Companion Flange.
Front: I installed the rear part of the driveshaft to Transfer Case flange and the front part of driveshaft to the Front Differential Flange. This pulled the two pieces apart so I held them in line with each other and measured the gap. The two pieces were separated by a space of 5/8".
Sending them to the driveshaft shop for machining.

That's a beautiful thing!

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This may be the best pic yet..last of the empty baggies

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mwebfj60

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Gear Oil - 2 gallons will fill both H55 and Transfer Case. 4.9L for H55 and 2.2L for Transfer Case. I used GL-4 as GL-5 additives are harsh on yellow metals. The plan is to run this oil for a couple hundred miles, then do a drain and oil inspection.

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mwebfj60

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Test Drive
Odometer Reading 299,688

Right off the bat, just sitting at idle, I notice how much closer the shift pattern is. 3rd gear is just about where 1st was with the H42. Shifting at idle was smooth, 3rd was just a tiny bit notchy. Put it in reverse and ease the clutch out...a bit nervous but mostly excited. Swing the front around and line up for takeoff...1st...oops that's 3rd...1st and we're off. Taking it really slow and listening, seems good to go, bring the RPMs up, comes out of first and slips into 2nd smoothly, through 2nd, into 3rd smoothly...4th...cruising along about 45. Downshift through the gears, noting it takes a much softer touch but very smooth. Spent about ten minutes cruising like this then it was time for the payoff. Worked through the gears and presto...another gear! I can already tell the increase in driveability is going to be well worth the time and effort. Back to the shop for leak and tightness checks. All checks good, cleared for final assembly.
 
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mwebfj60

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Overall thoughts on the project, if you have ever pulled a transmission or engine, are comfortable using a press, grinder, torch, have patience and are attentive to detail, there aren't really any big surprises or major modifications to the job. If I wasn't worried about cosmetics and doing restoration work while going through this, I probably could have knocked it out in about 12-14 hours plus the time waiting on the driveline shop to do their thing. In the end, I would say I have about 40-50 man hours in this project. I'm not a mechanic by any means, but have turned wrenches most of my life. I hope this thread helps and clears up the steps of a Pre-85 H55 upgrade.
 
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