Project Need More Doors gets a new engine, aka 4.3runner

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    Project Need More Doors gets a new engine, aka 4.3runner

    This is a thread I started on pirate covering my 4.3 engine swap into my 4runner creation. All the pics are saved on another site so they should all transfer over. The swap is now done and legal.

    Linky to old thread on the body swap I did prior to this: I'll most likely move that thread over also at some point.

    So I finally got the body swap done and everything was working out great! Even got the family out in it a few times up in the mountains last summer!

    I even worked on some other little projects like a center console made out of an ammo can. Cupholders front and rear!

    It worked well and was actually really comfortable to drive, at least in the winter with no one else in it. Add in my wife and kiddo, summer heat, and one really noisy trans on the highway and it became a bear! I really wanted to link the front to help get rid of some of the bumpsteer and make this thing drive better, but i also knew I'd need to do an engine swap first if I was going to do one and get that past the ref.



    I mentioned to a friend the I was looking for a 4.3 to swap into my 4runner project and about a week later he found one for cheap. It was a 1999 GMC Jmmy that had been in an accident and the kid sat on it for two years and finally wanted it gone. I went and picked it up June 2017. The kid had to air up the tires to get it out of the garage, but it fired up and ran great. No check engine light and the trans seemed to work great. I was able to drive it on the trailer before the tires went flat again.

    Got it home, aired up the tires, and drove it around the block. Perfect!

    The runner got to meet its new heart transplant victim. Even the colors matched!

    Into the shop it went.

    Sorry this isn't going to be fast paced build. I've only really found the time to post today since my wife is gone for a wedding this weekend and I'm at home watching a 3yr old that is sick and currently napping. I'll update more tonight and tomorrow to bring this thread up to date.



      One of the big questions everyone has asked about this swap is "why not an LS?".

      The answer, "I live in california and its gotta pass the ref.". I really wanted a V8, but an E-rod type setup is outta the budget, and anything factory is hard to get past. I looked at doing an LS based motor, but can't afford a real LS, and the truck motors won't fit without a bodylift. On top of that the car motors have cats right off the exhaust manifolds that make packaging impossible. I really liked the 1uz motors, but same issue with cat packaging. Which left a 3.4 vs 4.3L debate.

      Both good motors. Unfortunately the cost of buying a complete toyota vehicle, even if it doesn't run, in california was just too high. If you look a bit astro vans, blazers, and s10s with the 4.3 can be had pretty cheap. I bought a whole vehicle that ran great, drove on to the trailer and around the block for $550. So far the only downside I've seen with the 4.3 has been the lack of aluminum heads for it.

      I pulled the donor out over summer while still getting in a few family trips.

      I then made the decision to rebuild the motor. In hindsight I really didn't need to, but I like pulling things apart and making sure they are in good condition when I'm doing a swap like this. I would hate to get done with a swap and run into a rod knock or blown headgaskets shortly after getting it running.

      I was even able to get the boy in on some of it!

      And painted it so it looks pretty.




        Somewhere in there I made a jerry can holder. I was really looking for a way to carry some extra water on the trail.




          Got the AA t-case adapter kit to mate the 4l60E to the toyota dual cases. I'm just running stock gears in both cases at this point, which should be more than enough with the increased low rpm torque and auto trans. I'm really looking forward to this on the trail!

          The AA kit has you swap the out put shaft out and that requires an almost complete teardown of the trans. I've gone through some manual trans but never an automatic. Watched a few youtube vids so now I'm an expert and dove in.

          Pulled this mess apart.

          Hope I can get it back together!

          And done, mated up to the t-cases to make sure it all works.

          I didn't do a full rebuild of the trans as everything seemed pretty good. I did replace the sun shell as mine was starting to show wear on the splines, as well as installing a trans-go shift kit, replacing a worn out valve body seperater plate, and replacing the plastic servo pistons. Hopefully this thing will last a while. Hopefully I didn't mess up putting it back together!

          For anyone wondering, from bell housing to the back of the t-case adapter is 2" longer than a w56 trans. Cool, but I'm still going to have to mod the triple stick setup to work in the same spot.



            Time to get things in for a test fit. I can't swing all this in there at once. I had to get the trans and t-cases up in there first then drop the motor in. I used my gantry crane to lift the bellhousing up and the floor jack lift the rest, except I couldn't lift it all the way up. So I made an adapter for the jack to lift it the rest of the way. It was a lot less sketchy than stacking blocks on the jack!

            I had previously tried a FROR t-case style mount on the 4cyl, but decided that it transferred too much vibration to the vehicle and pulled it off. I still had all the stuff and the mounts welded onto the frame so I modified it and will use that for now to support the back of the trans. Its good enough to get this thing through the ref. Once that's done I'll move the exhaust where it should go and build a proper subframe/skid/link mounts.

            At this point I dropped the motor in and mated it to the drivetrain.

            Made some motor mounts. It always cracks me up reading through engine swap threads and people are always stressing over what mounts to buy. Just make them, however you need to get whatever you want to fit in whatever you have. You can fab a bumpers, sliders, even suspension stuff, but can't make a motor mount?



              Trying to work on this build thread since Pirate is so slow now.

              Got the motor in. It fits nice!

              I'm trying to see if I can get pictures to work again.




                With the engine trans and t-cases set in place I could start fabricating the frame side of the engine mounts. I also finally finished welding and bracing the front shock hoops.

                I pulled the motor back out and painted things.



                  This one:

                  Seems decent and cheap. I didn't realize that the upper rad hose on a blazer was 1 1/4 though and not 1 1/2. I had to make an adapter to change the hose size. I actually found that radiator searching on pirate.



                    This seems to be about the best I have pic wise.

                    It basically just cradles the entire radiator and uses the stock mounting holes in the core support. The top clamps on. I should redesign it, but its functional for now.



                      Early on I made this adapter to adapt the toyota gauge temp sensor to the 4.3 block. I'm not sure it will work well as the sensor is no longer in the coolant flow, but set back a ways. I couldn't come up with a better way to do it though. I'm keeping all of the toyota gauges.

                      I mounted it in the pass side head as the drivers side has the ecu temp sensor. I later realized this wasn't going to work either as the engine oil dipstick gets in the way. It got moved up to the unused port in the intake by the t-stat.

                      You get the idea though.




                        The hardest part of this whole conversion has been the fuel lines and evap line. Having done one now, if I had a 3.0 I would try to use as much of the stock fuel system on the chassis as I could. It took me a few months of head scratching to figure out a good way to route everything and I'm still not entirely happy with it.

                        The trouble starts with the 4.3 fuel line connections. They are a common but hard to reproduce 0-ring flare connection. I didn't want to buy an expensive tool for two connections. I could have adapted that to AN fittings, but I like using hose barb style connections for ease of field repair and I've never had an issue with them. Also I do not like to run miles of rubber hose when doing conversions. For the sake of reliability and safety I try to use as much hardline as possible and short segments of rubber hose where flex is needed.

                        I found Dorman makes these 18" long sections of already flared tubing as repair pieces. I used them as my hardlines to get from the intake manifold fuel connections down to the pass side of the bellhousing. From there the lines use rubber hose to jump to the frame rail.

                        A really bad pic. You can just barely see the lines I made behind the distributor.

                        On the frame rail everything went back to hardine. I mounted a 3.0 filter in about the same spot as it should have been stock and bent up some new lines. I'm trying to keep everything up high on the frame rails to hopefully make future subframe install easier.

                        The evap line was another mystery. I eventually ran it pretty much how the stock 3.0 system is handled. Stock it routes somewhat up next to or in the trans tunnel all the way back to the fuel tank. From there I'm just running a hose back to the blazer evap cannister that is mounted in the back.




                          I was waiting on funding for parts at one point so I decided to make the rear driveshaft since I had all the parts. I acquired some 2.375 x .188 dom tubing at work to make them out of. It seems overkill, hopefully they don't explode at speed.

                          Machined down the ends to fit the tubing.

                          Cut tube and then trued the ends and beveled in the lathe.

                          Stuck it together and trued it up as best I could.

                          Weldered up.

                          Complete minus paint.




                            Well I totally failed on looking at the trans pan. I made a mental note of it, got sidetracked by something else last night and then started working on the tow rig again. I'll try tonight.

                            One of the first things I tackled was the exhaust. Early Toyota's are hard to swap I feel because the exhaust on newer motors is always on the pass side. In california, they also want to see the stock manifolds used, the specific cat that came with that motor and the cat location has to be in about the same spot. When I set the motor location I actually put the manifolds and the stock blazer exhaust on the motor all the way to the cat to make sure it fit, then I locked it in by building the motor mounts.

                            I have no body lift. I do not want a bodylift and I still don't understand why one is needed, espicially if your not in california.

                            I was able to use the stock exhaust manifolds and the complete downpipe on the pass side all the way to the cat. Its tight, but it all fits and honestly I could keep it this way if I wanted to. After its through the ref and smogged I'll move it all over to the pass side and do a much cleaner job of it. For now, this was the least work to get something driveable.

                            Downpipe on drivers side:

                            Downpipe on pass side:

                            Kitty cat stuffed next to my t-cases.

                            Crossover after the cat. Also showing my temporary t-case support.

                            Cheapo muffler, hopefully its quiet. I want a quiet truck!

                            And lastly, finished driveshaft installed.




                              Trans pan hangs down about 2.5".

                              I'm debating whether or not to put a 2wd oil pan on the engine. The 4wd pan hangs about 1.5" lower than the trans pan, the 2wd oil pan should be flush. With a 2wd pan though I might not be able to run the exhaust crossover under the engine though. I have some time but, I would prefer to put a different pan on while there is no oil in the engine.