Ultimate cruiser drivetrain for the working class folks? (1 Viewer)

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Jun 8, 2003
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I know this question goes in many directions but I have to ask.

If you were to build the ultimate bulletproof Landcruiser for all types of general uses trail, town, freeway, wheeling etc, what would you use for your drivetrain setup for lowest cost, reliability, and function. it must be a part that can be had without calling Man-a-fre-aking costly or SOR etc

I was thinking saginaw best type unknown?, stock Chevy 350, 4 wheel disks, a fairly common auto 350 tranny?, dana 44's front and rear and transfer case no clue NP205?

What do you guys think?

Thanks
 
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Apr 24, 2003
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rear cruiser axle is supposedly pretty strong (woody runs 38.5's with a stock SF axle i believe) and the front stock axle can be strengthened to 44 strength i have heard. what size tyres will dictate this, i think 33's can be run fairly reliably.

rear diff is offset however, so presents probs with centered transfer case outputs (perhaps)
don't know about transfer cases, the aluminium stock trns case needs some protection, don;t know how bullet proof the internals are. Hilux (minitruck) trans cases are reputed to be strong

in a light 40, rear disks may not be needed. 350 chev Vs 2f/3f... depends on how you want to go, the I6 puts out some torque, and gear the diffs according to speed required, no race car, but reliable as all he!!. 350 chev for cheap bang for bucks, but inferiour reliability

all this is what i have learnt in the last 3 years
 

TJDIV

UP of MI.
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I like my Chevrolet set-up. It's not "original"; or is it? I've managed to finish up with a 350, a 700R4 Automatic tranny, a P208 transfer case and GM axles.

Why do I like it? Because I got sick of dropping money on every damn part on the cruiser, so I decided to go with the most wide-spread, cheap and available parts on the planet.....that being Chevrolet. Without sacrificing quality I might add.

As far as what's best and what I would suggest....I suggest whatever the first thought is that pops into your head. If you want it, build it.
 
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[quote author=Jonathan_Ferguson link=board=1;threadid=6988;start=msg57748#msg57748 date=1067670978]
Ultimate Drivtrain for a Landcruiser is to buy a complete new HZJ78, HZJ79 or HZJ105. :flipoff2: :slap:
[/quote]

uhhh maybe not, all the new cruisers have weaker hilux front diffs. stronger birfs though.

mate went through 2 front diffs. well maintained rig running 35 centerpedes.


according to http://rockcrawler.com/departments/landcruiser/qna/qna021898a.htm on the subject of cruiser strength

"The axles are the equivilent of Dana 60s in almost every regard. 3/4 ton truck running gear in other words. The driveshafts and ujoints are comparable to one tone truck gear"

this should p!ss some people off :)
 
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Stock cruiser drivetain is really hard to beat. If you study many of the cases of broken birff's you will notice most have something in common. Backing up with the wheels cranked to the stop. This seems to be a guaranteed way to break your birfields. So I've figured out all by myself that to keep from breaking birfields.... you dont do that..... ( I should get the "farking genius award" say what!). Breaking rear axle shafts is so rare its a non issue. As is breaking stock transmissions and transfer cases. To break a stock tranny and transfer case you have to beat it pretty hard..... with a V8!
The 2f engine while extremelly durable is also extremelly trackable off road as is uses about 25% less fuel than a V8. I've heard that there are actually a few people out there taking the V8's out and putting the 2F back in. There are alot of 2F's out there with over 200K in perfect working order happilly going for 500K. In my humble opinion its really very hard to find anything tougher and more durable than a stock landcruiser drivetrain.
Its hard for me to understand why anyone would get rid of a good working stock running gear if its a durability and reliability issue. :doh: :cheers:



leaving it stock is also the cheapest way to go........ ( it really amazes me how smart I am sometimes) :D
 
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[quote author=FJ55partsBoise link=board=1;threadid=6988;start=msg57744#msg57744 date=1067669022]
...to build the ultimate bulletproof Landcruiser for all types of general uses trail, town, freeway, wheeling etc,...
...for lowest cost, reliability, and function. it must be a part that can be had without calling Man-a-fre-aking costly or SOR etc
I was thinking saginaw best type unknown?, stock Chevy 350, 4 wheel disks, a fairly common auto 350 tranny?, dana 44's front and rear and transfer case no clue NP205?
[/quote]
Saginaw - 3 1/2" piston (J-20)
350 SBC - truck 4-bolt
Auto trans - 700R4 (lower 1st - overdrive)
Axles - 44s are not better than stock LC. Stay with stock T-case and axles. Remember, you wanted "lowest cost". If you must change Tc & axles the 205 is tough and twin stickable and the Dana 60 axles are stout. I've broken 44s but have had good service from stock LC.
 
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Then bring that 1/2 ton pos wheelin with me and you'll be stuck on devils hole with at least one blown axle like 3 out of 4 other blazers and pick-ups. Not one cruiser has broken there since it opened. If you do get up it you won't get down the other side. You'll need to use the bump wimp bypass because you're so wide you roll over. Keep the stock axles. They're better than any 1/2 ton crap. 8)
 
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Stock with ft disk and a 4 spd mated to a 3spd TC. FWIIW: many mods are great and help but they are all mods. What is wrong with it as it is? Get what you have in there now right, then mod it as your requirements change.
 
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Well thanks, I have been doing the Cruiser thing for over 10 years. Prior to that Rovers in SA and before that Jeeps and Scouts. One thing I have learned is that you can never have it all. A well tuned stock truck with 4" lift and lockers FF/RR with 33s or larger will go just about anywhere you want to go. MOds have their place but it a waste of time/money/energy to modify a truck until you have gotten 110% out of what it had to offer as is. If you get to that point and it still does not suit your requirements then do the major mods.

The only crevat to this is PS. DO it now! It is the sngle best thing you can do to a LC.
 
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I totally agree . The PS is the most important. Disc breaks are a good thing if you don't have them but even these old drums are tolerable if you stay on top of the adjustment. Every mod on my rig has been brought on by a shortcoming of one type or another. Sometimes just my wallet.
 
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Jan 26, 2003
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When I build my next cruiser I am going to have a 2F connected to a H55F 5 speed, split case, stock cruiser axles and some 33's. You could beat the hell out of it with 33's and not have to worry too much about birfs and such breaking. The 5 speed will be nice for highway speeds, plus low first gear. I wouldn't go automatic, but that is just me.

The last thing I would do is put 1/2 ton axles under a cruiser. Cruiser axles will hold up longer than a 44 and 12 bolt from what I have seen.

Of course it will have a few added goodies like saginaw PS, 4 wheel disk brakes, that kind of thing.
 
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Mixmaster and others- After reading all the posts it sounds like I was wrong. I thought chevy truck stuff was better than what I already have. I have what you mentioned minus the rear disk brakes and the H55F 5 speed.

What is the cost of the H55f tranny (used) in the states?

Then I should keep the split case I just bought locally and wait for the H55f? Will the split case from a 1981 BJ60 with a 4 speed bolt right up to the H55f 5 speed? WHat kind of mods are required to run this combo with the 2F?
 

TJDIV

UP of MI.
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My honest opinion is that the original stuff is better. If you're lucky enough to have that, then you're just that; lucky. I've owned $2000.00 cruisers, and I've owned $12,000.00 crusiers. One thing remains the same; you can literally spend a million bucks on your ride and some red-neck engineer will come up with more s*** to buy.

You build what YOU like. That's the only thing I've learned. I can handle the idea of being modified if I enjoy driving it and it suits me.

I did see one Cruiser I did not like, on ebay over a year ago, it was slammed to the ground and set up for running coke from the border I guess.

Good Thread.
 
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Apr 18, 2003
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350 Chev - because every parts store has cheap parts.
SM420 4-speed - because the adapter plate is cheap and the tranny has a granny low 7to1 first gear - oh yeah and the tranny is super short unlike a automatic
stock t-case and diffs.
If you wanna run bigger then 35's get some Longfields or Smurfields.
 
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May 22, 2003
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anything you can find cheaply and easily. I own two fj40s,
79 fj40 406sbc th350 3speed gears four speed case, 3.70 or what evers 33"
75 fj40 build in progress.

i would use 3/4 or 1 tons, 1/2 ton would only if it was free.

just purchased a 80 chevy 3/4 ton, no engine th400 np205, 14 bolt, d 44 hd front, 4.10s, rebuilt outers on the front, paid $500 for the truck. can sell just the front for $400 (i have a 60f waiting to go to work). So i have the or damn close to the strongest chevy setup for cheap, and thats the only way to do it. Plus i part the rest of the truck out and end up even or close to making money. SBC are cheap, i got 8 right now holding floor, buddy is selling two motors one built other low mileage boat motor, one built is $1600, and boat he was asking $800. Detroits are cheap for the 14 bolt.

cruiser tcase is less then desirable IMHO, mine cracked will on 33" street duty only, under a very tired no oil pressure 400 sbc.
 

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