Builds Rutherford Clappy III and Associated Ramblings... (3 Viewers)

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WTH is this thread? Well, it is me finally sitting down to lay out the bones of this project, with plans to add some meat in the near or distant future. Who knows? I tend to space out now and then. This thread is the history of what purists might label as my second great act of Toyota blaspheme. The first of which was the 2018's epic chronical of a wounded bird being made anew through methods not wholly unlike the Six Million Dollar Man. Yes, she had and engine knock. Yes, she just kept on ticking. Yes, I love resto-mods. What to do, chuck in an LS. It such a common "thing" that is just cliché, but dammit is cliché for a reason. That dang ole LS man its so good man oh. This is already rambling, what fun. I do love literature, but I am more turrets and ADHD than Stephen King and Ernest Hemingway. (This is an aside to the main commentary...have you actually read Hemingway? Holy s***! What perfect pile of depressing brain punches. I damn near had to take up smoking and cutting to bring myself out of the post A Farewell to Arms stooper) Let's just get some pics on the page and barf up some commentary on them.
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What came first, the chicken or the egg? In this case, Clappy the ugly truck did. This was a New Mexico Craigslist find that that committed me to a whole new build before the first one was even done. To be honest, I started my LS swap in October of 2018 and then visited Australia for the first time in February of 2020. While there, I got to drive HDJ100, VDJ200, HZJ80, and TD42 Patrols, and I knew immediately I was in trouble. Those dang things work so amazingly well. I had to have one of my own. A logical path to satisfaction could be to find/import one from Oz, Japan, the Middle-East, or Europa....but nupe! I did it this way, sourcing all US spec rigs and hacking them up.

This beauty is a genuine 1994 Dodge Ram 2500 with the legendary 12 Valve Cummins, or 6BT, and the equally appealing Dodge spec NV4500. These were offered in a number of rigs, but most commonly found in Dodge and GM trucks. The GM had a ridiculously low 1st gear as shown here:


The Dodge variants had a slightly less silly reduction of:


Mine being a 1994, I will have 5.61 ratios in both directions.

PSA: Don't load a truck like this. I had too little tongue weight and it made it super squirrely. I was just too lazy to stop and turn it around...
Ask @D_Web
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I've introduced the deceased donor, now let's meet the transplant recipient. Rufus, as he was formally known, came to me again via Craigslist. He was a mostly one-owner out of San Dimas, California. I say one-owner because the story I got was that the fellow I bought him from, got him from the family of the original owner, but decided to sell after about 6 weeks of ownership. I got the impression that the thought of building out a rig with an impressive 334,000 original miles turned out to be more than he was willing to risk. Rufus is exactly what I was looking for. High enough miles to scare more reasonable folks away, pushing the price down into a zone with a little more oxygen. I picked him up for a fair sum, and headed over to make a 14 hour day in the truck. Have I ever told you about California's stupid 55mph trailer law? What a crock!

Anyway, so here he is. All original, bone stock 99% rust free, factory locked, and almost dent free.

Let's go back for just a bit to Clappy the Wonder Truck. Let me tell you, I bought Clappy purely as a donor. I had no intentions of him being a regular driver, but you know what? He wormed his way right into my heart. What a piece of kit he was. That mechanical Cummins engine with gears so deep that it was an act of pure malice to stall him. 12 valve torque is just a joy when rowing your own gears. The clutch is optional between ratios, and one wheel peels are only a two pedal push away. Let the Holset build boost and it is an uneventful event of converting one tire at a time to smoke and smiles. It is going to be wonderful in the 80 Series platform to have that much engine and tranny in reserve. (yeah, I know. we will get to the weight)

So I have no idea of Clappy's full backstory other than he was a New Mexico truck his whole life, and that means about as must paint as rust. Virtually none of either. I like to think the 4x4x.250" tube bumper was built to keep the front end down and ensure that no Prius' ever dared to challenge him for supremacy. He was the Silverback Gorilla of Tucson. A true force to be reckoned with.

This was his good side. He preferred this angle.

Nope. Don't care. 8 foot beds are the biz. Two tons of rock, a pallet of framing studs, or a pair of dirt bikes, he ain't care. This dude just ate it up. Stumbed toes come for free with the barnyard goose neck ball, but never fret, the headache rack got your six and the rattle and shake makes sure they know you a comin.

What's that? Huh? Aaaahhhhh. You mean that chatter. That's just one of the greatest dino juice burners ever built. All mechanical, no ECM. You can literally run this engine with three wires and a car battery. If it was doomsday, or thereafter, this is the mill I want shaken my bacon.

This is what we call "The Helm". Real trucks have three pedals and a knee knocker for the "bitch" or the more PC "middle dude who lost the RPS match". If you never grew up riding three deep in a regular cab pickup with the driver awkwardly trying to grab a gear uncomfortably close to your crotch, then you have yet to live my friend.
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Let's get into the end of Clappy. I have been driven to get this going and not have a repeat of the timeline of my LS swap. I genuinely had very little clue about how to do what I needed to do when I started that one. I just dove in and knew I could find the answers along the way. It was fun and challenging all at the same time. I will admit that there were times when I looked at it and had to sit down due to being exhausted with the effort. Eventually, I would realize that I was way too deep in it to even consider not finishing, and so I did. One weekend at a time. Eventually, I was done(ish). The same kind of motivation hit me one day in August, and I just decided the following weekend was when I would officially start the new swap. I took Clappy for one last drive, I might have had all four wheel off the ground, and did a few long smoky 1700rpm burnouts. It was a great send off that brought smiles yet again. That night, I drove Clappy into the garage under his own power for the last time.

First off was the hood. It is much easier to tear down a rig when you are not concerned with reusing most of it. In the years of my youth, we would have been sliding around on that hood behind a 4wheeler.

Death proof front bumper off.

Intercooler, radiator, and core support out.

Fast forward a good bit of time and you have this. At one point, I had to call in help. There are two ways to extricate a 6BT from its host; 1. Go all Deboss Garage on it and Sawzall the front clip off and yank it with a fork lift. 2. Drop the tranny and fly it out with grace and care. I did not do either. I tried to pull the whole powertrain as a unit and succeeded in wedging it so securely at an obscene angle that when I released the load on the engine hoist it stuck there pointing up at the ceiling. I conceded defeat and relived the cowl with a reciprocating saw.
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Driving that beast around town must be a hoot, people afraid to park near you.
Driving that beast around town must be a hoot, people afraid to park near you.
Steve, every thing but rednecks keep their distance.
Ahh yes Dukes of Hazard has no claim on this! This will be grand!
After aiding the engine in its escape from the bay, I was left to sort out the remains of the truck. I was careful not to cause any damage to the remaining bits than I had to. I have it all sitting on a buddy's acreage until I am 100% sure that I don't need any more parts of it. I made that mistake with the LS swap when I let the 1FZ engine harness go with the engine. That left me missing needed electrical connections that I then had to comb the internets to find part numbers, suppliers, and sources to buy just the pigtailed connectors. It worked out well in the end, but was a lot of additional work.

All the removed parts were stacked into the bed and covered up with the hood.
Next up was to get the engine transferred to the engine stand. I ordered a new one just for this build. I wanted one that was rated for at least 1500lbs and that had a worm drive for rotating the engine. A 6BT doubles as a boat anchor if you weren't aware. All in, a dressed 6BT is about 1100 lbs. I'll have an actual weight soon.

Once on the adapter, that i had to cut apart and re-weld because overthinking is a real thing, I got the engine positioned and ready for further teardown.

Copious amounts if degreaser and a pressure wash later, and there is much less gunk to contend with.

All work was supervised by the Head of Safety and Engagement.

While I was at, I managed to flip the XMSN jack on its side dumping all 4 quarts of oil out of the NV4500....
I wanted to wait until I go the engine apart before i made the decision to drop another four figures on a full rebuild. When I pulled the intake plenum cover I had a massive face palm moment when I realized that my duct tape cover was wholly insufficient against a 3500psi pressure washer. I would have been ok if I had only removed it right then and blown it out with air and WD-40. No biggie in the end, just several hours of hand scrubbing with brilo pads while holding the shop vac close. compressed air, vacuum, and then a healthy spray of penetrating oil, and I was happy.


I then turned to the bottom end. THis is where the real money goes and I had my hopes that all was good. This motor has 274,000 miles on it, but I have seen Cummins engines go for three times that stock.

I was blown away at the run out on the crank/rod bearings, as well as the crank end play. All of which were dead middle of the tolerances. After a heavy degreasing/re-lubing of the block and bottom end bits, I made the decision to not go any further. I will button it up and run it.
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With a clear picture of where I was on the engine health, I turned to the upgrades. The 5.9L engines are know for have leaky tappet covers and this one was no exception. I ordered a billet cover off Amazon, but did find I needed to modify it to clear all the oil lines. Thankfully, I happen to have a 3hp knee mill in the garage, so a quick fixture and indication later, I was making chips and had the clearance I needed. Sorry I took no pics of the process. I have been pushing hard and that means not always stopping to snap pics.

Give it up for the Power Driven Diesel Black Friday Sale! All in I did 60lb valve springs, chromoly retainers, 5x12 SAC Injectors, 055 delivery valves, new valve seals, 4k gov springs, all associated seals, and maybe something else I am forgetting here. This should be good for about 300hp and 6-700 lbft of torque. That't about as much as I am comfortable putting through the stock driveline, and even that will make me cautious in high load situations.


How about the back field in this game? Let's talk XMSN. The NV4500, as good as it is, is not perfect. They are known to have 5th gear problems on certain ones, and they can get a bit sloppy as they age, so a refresh was in order. This will be the first endorsement I give on this thread. Darrell and company there at Lloyd's are top notch. They are a haul for me in Marana, but I made the trip because none of the local shops deal in manuals anymore, and every single one of them said "call Lloyd's". I am glad I did. When I told them what I was doing, Darrell was all over it. They have done some H55 swaps on other model LCs before and the whole family are Toyota diehards. With time being my most limited resource on this build, I have elected to outsource some of the work this time around. Also weighing in was that to service the XMSN, I was going to end up buying about $300 in tools I would likely never touch again. While there, I had them do all updates to 5th gear, replace the 1994 top with the much better 98 up, which then allowed the use of a short shift kit. Of course, all new wear parts and a soak in the hot tank to clean it up were included in that work as well. I guess I should also point out that the output shaft was replaced by one that was shortened and re-splined to mate directly to the HF2AV transfer case in the 93-97 LC.


I didn't get any pics of the work they did, so an end result will have to suffice. Note the 2WD tail housing has been replaced with a 4WD one. This is a requirement for the conversion. Thanks again @RockJock82 Once it is all fully installed, I will shorten the shifter to a more ergonomic length.

Closer look at the short shift kit.

Always make sure you use the correct lube in your key assemblies. This one got 4 quarts of fresh MTF.
Next chapter...LC teardown, so here we go. Much the same as with Clappy, Rufus found a special place in my heart. I had never driven a stock 80 Series before, and I was actually quite impressed with how "zippy" the thing is. In stock form, they just work really well. It climbed hills at speed, the cruise control never seemed to struggle and it rode nice. It was also nice to have a low seat height when getting in and out. I also had the AC serviced and found a leak on the compressor plate, which once sealed and recharged, blew ice cold air. It was a great little rig. The bad? It leaked oil like a Harley and got typical 80 Series MPGs, though I did manage 16.4 on a long reasonable hwy trip. Eventually, I hit the same point that I hit with with Ole' Clappy, I knew it had to come down in order to go back up.

I took one last drive, and pulled him up in to the garage. In case there is actually someone reading this who has never seen a stock 80 Series engine bay occupied by a 1FZ-FE, here you go.

First order of operation was to get the hood out of the way. I managed to remove it by myself, but I recommend an extra body to do it in the future.

Front end off next.

Fluids drained...intentionally this time.

Headers, core support, radiator, condensor, trans cooler, intake bits, harness disconnected, etc, etc.
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I called in another favor of a few hours help from @D_Web, and Bob became an uncle. Complete 1FZ-FE/A343/HF2AV powertrain on the hook and out of the way.

Thanks again, Benno.

Let's do something fun. Post your guesses for what this weighs. It is a complete 1FZ-FE minus intake with the stock A343F XMSN. I removed the T-Case in order to get a true weight of the motor/tranny to compare against the 6BT/NV4500. This way I can buy springs once.

Post your guesses on weight and I will figure out something fun or worth while to give the one who gets closest. Closest or closest without going over. Yall decide. When we have a good number of guesses, I'll post the pic of the scale reading. Prize will be your choice of a Land Cruiser t-shirt from CruiserGear or one of Joey's cool posters from Wit's End. I like Joey's stuff and have one of the 80 Series front axle posters. @NLXTACY

1. @Somebodyelse5 803lb
2. @cruzer971 753lb
3. @jkl72-40 777lb
4. @peacesells63 743lb


Tools and carnage were all over the place. Randomly, that is the third HF2AV t-case I have. Why do you ask? Because I have a weakness for spares.

The calm after the storm. I had to dump degreaser on the floor and skate around on a pair of brillo pads to get all the schmegma off the floor. I tried using a mop, but gave up and moved to the hose.
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A few weeks slipped away before I got my fires stoked and started chasing the wind again. I came home one day after work, and just had a wild hair to get to it. I was already lining up resources to aid me in pulling the body off, and I knew I had to get to the body bolts, but after trying for a bit, it became apparent that it was going to be much easier in the long run if pulled the interior. It didn't take more than about 2 hours to empty the interior of all teh front end parts I had stored there, and then get the seats and trim out.


Yet another moment of me contemplating why the hell I do these things.

After I got all that done for the day, and the body bolts all broken loose(did I mention this was the easiest rig I have ever taken apart? You know California vehicle) I had a hankering for something special. Oban 14 for the win.

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