Swapping a VW into a 1st gen IFS 4 runner

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The shake down run planned this weekend has me nervous as do all shake down runs. This one a little more so as it's a craigslist supposed low mile trans. The r150 isn't as abundant as it once was so if she grinds or pops out of gear I get to pull the trans for a rebuild. I got to where I could rebuild a Ford rts 4 speed top loader od trans in less than an hour, this one looks much more complicated.


I also get to find out if I have any leaks, shakes, vibrations, wobbles etc.


As of now she's clean and ready for Fridays tow to the alignment shop.

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I did notice with my vehicle out in the light, my rear axle/tires doesn't stick out as far as the front.

After closer inspection I seem to have an solid axle rear axle 55 inch length . Makes sense as the PO had solid axle front hubs on the rig when I bought it. He likely stole them for his 85 that he also had for sale.

So now I have to pull the axle from my parts rig and swap thirds (maybe I should do an locker at this point)


My rig calls for 4.3 gears on the data plate. I've done the one wheel up and count the spins on the d/s compared to two revolutions from the wheel. It's about 4 and about a 1/3 rotation where as the common 4.10 "should" be near 4 spins exactly. This is front and rear.


So I already have another item on my list to do. Kind of wish I'd have discovered this before I installed new axle bearings!


So this weekend I get to pull and axle and this one I'll be cleaning with a wire wheel and shell get the nice Rust-Oleum bedliner treatment. At least don't have to be in a rush on this one.

I currently have some aluminum spacers on the rig which serve their purpose for test fitting the trd wheels. I will be upgrading to staal (maybe Stahl) steel wheel spacers once I get my axle swapped and I know exactly what widths I need.


The plan is 1 inch lug centric in the front for 61.5" total with and 2 inch hub centric wheels for 62" total width. Vibration at high speeds is a worry with these as with a 1 inch spacer I don't think I'll be getting any bite on the front hubs with the wheel.


I
 
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Shake down run caused a CEL... VSS sensor reading too high. I've never calibrated my vss so at 20 mph I read 160🤦
 
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No picture worthy items yet. Got the correct rear axle installed and have gotten arp wheel studs to pair with my wheel spacers for safety purposes.

Got the speedo set via a gear ratio calculator to see what I'm supposed to be at in each gear.


Also seems I have 4.10 gears rather than the 4.30 the rig came factory with


Still researching the lockers. Front and rear Eaton e lockers sound like a good addition.

Now that the rear leafs have settled I need a 2 degree rear axle shim to get proper pinion angle. I had slight vibrations on the jack stands with no rear tires at low rpms/4th and 5th gear.
 
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ARP wheel studs (for Lexus is300 or something) installed and cut to size. I don't trust 87 vintage wheel studs for daily driver duty even without wheel spacers.

The good news is that for you early 4 runner and pickup guys is the newer TRD wheels fit in the rear without spacers, this includes having old man emu springs with much wider hardware on them.


The bad news is the backspacing of somewhere around 4.5 ( I think my ifs 1st gen came 3.5). Causes the front tire to hit the upper control arm. I'm running 285 70 17 so a smaller tire might fit but what's the use of having some 4 to 4.5 inches of lift and not running big tires???? The 1.5 inch wheel spacers net me good 1 inch or so clearance. I have 2 inch ball joint spacers so that might account for additional clearance issues so ymmv

Then onto the newly cleaned, primed and bedliner coated proper 58" rear axle. I was about -4 or -5 degrees off on the rear pinion angle and it needs to be as close to -2 as possible. For every 4 degrees you move the pinion you move to drive shaft 1 degree. I suck at math but can do more simplified math using trial and error plus an angle finder.


I had a 6 degree wedge that out me at 2 degrees positive and using a drive shaft angle calculator on spicers we website I determined I need a 2 degree wedge. It should be in Monday. We'll see how she does. The springs may settle more in the coming months and require further attention. The better the angle on the pinion side the better the angle on the double cardan transfer case side. I have approximately a 17 degree slope, it's down to about 15.5 with the 5 degree wedge. That's past what I believe a single cardan can do on the road... however I'm pretty sure my fj40 was worse than this running the stock front drive shaft in the rear....and I put years of daily driving from the blue ridge parkway to Charleston battery on it.


For wheel spacers i decided on trail gear on the back, hub centric and spidertrax on the front. The steel 1.5 inch spacers are too heavy and are more likely to negatively affect highway speeds. You can see in pics I have extended reach inner lugs for safety and all lugs will be installed at 100ft lbs torque with a good dose of red loctite. The outer lugs will also be properly hand torqued to the same in a proper cross pattern for alignment. I hate wheel spacers but love these wheels so I'm committed to them. I can't find much in the way of 17x8 or 9 wheels with 3.5 backspacing that I like anyways. Seems 4.5 got all the options.

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Got my drive shaft angles dialed in. 2 degrees on the rear which will approach zero under acceleration and the double cardan side is a 6( since it's 2 joint divide by 2 and it's 3 degrees on each joint)under acceleration it will slightly improve as the axle rotates backwards.

A few shots of my wheels sitting just inside my sliders

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I finally felt she was complete enough to toss the center caps on. Ready for more shake down runs and see how closely my speedometer is dialed in. Keep forgetting my small screw drivers at the shop so I've made one out of a pencil eraser and a t50 staple. They really didn't intend on you adjusting this little device while driving.
 
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Speedometer is within 5mph. Not bad for first try. Next issue is the cruse control turns on, lights up the gauge cluster cruise light but not activating. Heat works well too. Hit 65 or so mph with no vibration but she's about as squrley on our terrible roads steering wise as the lifted disco 2 and excursion. Never driven an ifs Yota before much less one with this much lift and big tires

I have a some engine vibes at certain rpms if I shift too early or pulling a grade less than 2000 rpms that wouldn't be noticable with liquid filled engine mounts. Not surprising with 22re motor mounts and a deleted balance shaft.

I think 4.56 gears would suit her a little better around town, 5th gear isn't going to be used under 60 mph but then I believe shed hit 3000 rpms before 80, a max cruising speed on most hwys I travel will get you run over. I guess it's a give and take here. Not sure if 4.30 gears would be worth the investment as it really isn't enough to really help low speed acceleration and won't bring 5th gear into a usable range much lower.

As long as you mind the 1st to 2nd gear gap, she's speedy. Plenty of power from 2000 rpms and up.
 
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A little mileage update since that's what the diesel swap is all about


Driven to work for 5 days now. Approximately 40 to 50 miles a day. Filled up from half a tank the night before my first drive.

I'm slightly above half a tank

Too early to calculate mpgs exactly but it's above 20.


I believe this to be a 17 gallon tank. Not bad for approximately 8 gallons.

I'll start using my trip. After 500 miles, I'm still breaking in the new cam with special high zinc break in oil. I'm about half way there. I'll continue to report mpgs as I gather data.
 
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Had some water in my trans I found before install. Dumped it and put in some cheap orileys 80w90. Did two flushes and then put in proper gl4 stay lube.

Went from notchy shifts and hard to find down shifting to just a grind in 3rd unless I speed shift around 3000 rpms. Occasionally a grind in 2nd. If I pay attention I can usually shift grind free but if I accelerate slowly and don't make fast shifts she'll grind every time.

Since it doesn't seem to get worse warm or cold I could likely baby it for a while.

I'm currently searching for a good used r150f for rebuild. The plan is an ax15 counter shaft, second and 5th gear swap with marlin crawler upgraded bearing retainer. Will upgrade shifter forks if worn with hd MC parts.

That will allow me to switch to 4.30 gears, sacrificing nearly zero top end hwy rpm while improving my off the line daily driveability in city traffic.

I'm considering installing an Eaton e locker at the same time as regear. Since I have spare axle housings for front and rear the plan is to bench install these components and swap out over a weekend or evening so there is no downtime on the rig. She's fun to drive.

So now I need to score some factory 4.30 take outs of pre 95 Yota and an r150f.


Had ceramic tint put on windshield and windows, why have I not done this sooner???
 
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Pics of window tint

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Hey any recommendations on tint and color? This is something on my list to do before installing glass on my cab.
 
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I don't know what brand they used but is is the higher quality ceramic. It's late in the year so the sun isn't as high as it usually is but I no longer need sunglasses to drive home in the evenings. I am supposed to be swapping the rear axle for the tint installer this week, I can ask him the brand for you if he'll tell me.
 
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Anniversary gift for the little lady, had her disco done. I think this is 20%

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Picking up a 92 v6 4runner on Saturday with rusty body but is supposed to run well. It has the 4.30 gears I want.


Plan to swap trans and thirds, see how I like the highway rpms (I lose 4mph at 3000 rpms 88 vs 84)

I might not need to swap the ax15 internals. Going to see how the trans does, keep my current trans to rebuild it the future if needed.
 
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Just hit 300 miles on a little under 1/2 tank of fuel. I'm pretty sure it's a 17 gallon tank

My speedometer is still off by 5 mph (says I'm doing 50 when I'm doing 45) but I'm not going to screw with adjusting until I put my 4.30 gears in.

I have the front v6 4.3 third pulled and installed spare 1st gen ifs long tube/shaft . New seals and all cleaned/painted, ready to drop in

Will have to work around the rain with the coming subtropical storm later this week but I hope to have the rear pulled and swapped by Sunday. The bearings checked out good in the front, I'm hoping the rear do as well. Had a little water in both differentials. I suppose to be expected from a rig with rambler 500 stickers on the side.



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4.10 to 4.30, only did country 2 lane highway test runs so far. Much happier at 45 MPH in 4th gear approximately 2000 rpms. Plenty of umph going up hills.

Only a sub 5% increase in (roughly 200) rpms but night and day difference at common 45 mph. Now 2000 rpms in 4th gear.

VSS now dialed in within 2 mph. Very pleased so far.
 
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Window switch quit working today, cracked in center, and can't find my spare 1st gen switch. Pulled 2nd gen switch (92).

Same 5 wires and same color but in different order.

Tried hooking then up to color code after not being able to find diagrams on both. No go.

Hooked them up in order left to right and BINGO.

If you have the ability to repin these it could be made to be plug and play.

My switch is mounted above the stereo now so I'm already committed to spade terminals.


I couldn't find any posting online saying the two could interchange, I know I can't be the first to try it
 

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