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View Full Version : 3.4 vs 350 small block


breckrider60
06-20-2013, 11:40 PM
I'm contemplating an engine swap into my first gen 4runner. I was set on a 5vz swap because it seemed like something i could handle and their is a wealth of information on it, but today at work one of the mechanics put the idea of putting a small block chevy in instead.

Has anyone heard of doing this? I know its a common swapper because of its power but i cant find many articles about it.

I'm torn because I have loved all of my toyota engines but the 350 just seems to put out so much power and it seems as of now a cheaper option.

breckrider60
06-21-2013, 12:05 AM
Another thing i didnt mention is that i already have a dana 44 swap. Ive read that the 350 often puts out too much power for the rear dif on a runner.

Another thing ive found is using the 4.3 vortec? it looks like it would put out enough power plus better mpg?

DaveInDenver
06-21-2013, 06:35 AM
Does your 4Runner already have a 3.0L or is it the 22R?

Going from a 3VZ to the 5VZ is a no-brainer, easiest swap that can be done with most bang for the buck. Going from a 22R to the 5VZ is not necessarily worth the effort. The reason for this is the 3.0 to 3.4 doesn't require fabrication of motor mounts or moving of the drivetrain, the blocks are pretty much the same. The R151 bellhousing bolts right on, too.

The small block Chevy swap is not rare. Advance Adapter makes parts to adapt G52, G58 and W56 transmission to them as well as the Vortec 4.3L (they are the same pattern as small block V8). It does fit in the engine bay. Issues I think are exhaust manifolds, weight and heat mostly. The small block isn't really any longer than a 22R and the engine bay was designed to fit a V6 so it's wide enough.

It's not really the axles that can't take the power, a Toyota 8" is about the same strength as a Dana 44. It's the transmission. The G and W transmissions aren't designed for the power and will not last behind a 350 if you abuse it, like we do off highway usually. FWIW, the gear driven transfer that came with our 4 cylinders is fine to use behind even a small block. You might consider swapping engine and transmission, adapting to the RF1A isn't difficult from most common GM transmissions. One issue is actually too much power, your truck is light, very light if you take the top off and a 350 puts down a lot of power. Might make it a bear to drive on wet roads in 2WD, for example.

IMHO going from the 22R to a 5VZ isn't necessarily any better than any other swap. You have just as much fab and wiring issues. If you want to swap in a Toyota engine for a 22R I think for the effort doing a 1GR 4.0L and 6 speed from a newer Tacoma would be very cool. I understand wanting to stick with Toyota and it would be tempting, but if it was my time and money I'd probably do a Vortec and keep the Toyota transmission. It's a proven swap and GM parts are easy to come by.

baja1d
06-21-2013, 08:23 AM
Subscribed, often consider many of these options

breckrider60
06-21-2013, 02:29 PM
I have the 3.0 so like you said it would be a decently easy swap for the 5vz the power the 350 would give me just keeps me going back to it. The 4.3 vortec only has around 200 hp vs the 165ish the 3.4 gives me from what ive researched i could be wrong. For the headache i dont know if that would be worth putting in the 4.3 might as well put the 350 in?

thanks for the reply it helped alot

DaveInDenver
06-21-2013, 03:53 PM
If you have a 3.0L now, no question the easiest swap is the 5VZ-FE 3.4L and I would definitely not consider the Vortec in your case.

Stock the 5VZ-FE produces about 190HP and 220 ft-lb of torque, it's a solid little motor, especially for a mini truck. This would be a significant improvement in the power of your truck. Your 3VZ-FE produced an optimistic 150HP stock but they've never to me really felt that powerful. You can add the TRD supercharger to get about 60ish more HP. Keeps it stock and things fit, sensors do what they're supposed and stuff like the tach still works AFAIK.

I guess it depends on what you want to do with the truck, but doing a small block is IMHO opening a whole can of worms on breaking stuff, not to mention the question of mismatching and adapters. The R151F probably can take a mild 350, though, and Advanced Adapter does make a bellhousing to do it. You'd have to fabricate motor mounts, probably do custom radiator and hoses. Not sure how the gauges connect, but I think most people just do a custom dash with a small block conversion.

Squishy!
06-21-2013, 07:46 PM
If it sways you any I have an 88 pickup I swapped a 3.4 with a sc you can drive. I probably put down more hp than a small block.

Corbet
06-21-2013, 10:08 PM
When its all said and done I don't think the SBC will be that much cheaper to have everything working like OEM. Then yes that much power will probably show its ugly head somewhere downstream of the flywheel costing you more.

I guess it comes down to how much power do you want/need? 3.4 is pretty stout. The SC would not be cheap but would give you mild SBC power if wanted later.

AxleIke
06-21-2013, 11:28 PM
It all comes down to how much work you want to do.

You can get more power and better mileage out of a domestic V8 swap, but it will be more work, and cost more.

The 3.4 is easy, and the SC is nice, but that all adds up cost wise as well.

I wouldn't worry much about the power. People get into trouble with big tires and lots of power. If it becomes an issue, d60's are easy enough to put in for a couple grand (on the high end by the time you get adapters and if you end up paying a normal yard price for the axles, cheaper if you find a deal) and will hold up to whatever you throw at them.

Hunt around for a deal. If you find a good V8 and computer with a tranny and transfer, go for it. If you find a 3.4, go for it. You have a first gen, it is very easy to rip it all out and start from scratch. Not much of a body computer and no ABS to deal with.

DaveInDenver
06-22-2013, 06:52 AM
You have a first gen, it is very easy to rip it all out and start from scratch. Not much of a body computer and no ABS to deal with.
He has a '89 with a D44 SAS.

AxleIke
06-22-2013, 09:28 AM
Yup.

breckrider60
06-22-2013, 11:52 AM
If it sways you any I have an 88 pickup I swapped a 3.4 with a sc you can drive. I probably put down more hp than a small block.
That would be great I would atleast like to look at it. did you do the swap yourself??

I think that's the route i'm going to go the small block seems like alot of work and I'm not a master mechanic plus if the 3.4 is putting out that much power I think thats plenty. I really just want enough power to climb up I70 going faster than 35. I'd like to be able to use this as my snowboarding vehicle.

Does anyone know if i will see a increase in fuel economy with the 3.4 I'm getting around 16 with 36in swampers on now.

Squishy!
06-22-2013, 01:45 PM
That would be great I would atleast like to look at it. did you do the swap yourself??

I think that's the route i'm going to go the small block seems like alot of work and I'm not a master mechanic plus if the 3.4 is putting out that much power I think thats plenty. I really just want enough power to climb up I70 going faster than 35. I'd like to be able to use this as my snowboarding vehicle.

Does anyone know if i will see a increase in fuel economy with the 3.4 I'm getting around 16 with 36in swampers on now.

I do 80 mph :hill: and yes I did. Thefatkid did my conversion harness but ORS is selling them again. About 6 Benjamins.

Evrgrnmtnman
06-22-2013, 02:14 PM
From someone that had a Chevy 4.3L in my Toyota Crawler, I highly suggest you go with the 3.4.. Had constant ECU problems(ie. Fuel Tank signaling)...Stay with all Toyota..

AxleIke
06-22-2013, 09:31 PM
The 3.4 may give you a little better mileage. It isn't going to be amazing. I get 18-19 summer time city, and 20-21 hwy summer, with a 3.4 supercharged in a 99 runner, which is a lot heavier than your truck. However, maintenance and mileage play a large part in that. Mine only has 230 on the clock, and has been babied by an old lady most of its life. Oil and other preventative stuff has been done like clockwork, so the motor is tight and runs very well.

What you find for a swap may not be as good, and I've heard of 3.4's doing no better than 16 even in lightweight trucks.

That said, the swap will be easy, and has been done 1 billion times, so there is a lot of help and aftermarket support out there.

DaveInDenver
06-22-2013, 10:59 PM
We've been getting crazy good mileage in our Tacoma, 107,000 on it now, 5 speed. Totally stock other than those frame plates you welded on Isaac. Running 22~23 MPG on the highway if I keep the speed reasonable. I expect when I put the camper on it will drop a little. It's running the stock 265/70R16 size in a street tire, too. Best I ever do in the old truck is 18ish most of the time and it's got no power at all. Be interesting to see how it does when the WilderNest comes off and some of the stuff gets moved over. I'm sure transferring 500 lbs from will drop the mileage in the Taco and increase it in the Hilux.

breckrider60
06-23-2013, 09:08 PM
thanks for all the help i think im set on that just have to wait for a couple more paychecks to come in and find some time to do it. From what I've read its best to have a donor vehicle so you use the same parts? I feel like as long as i get the ecu, harness, and engine from the same vehicle i should be good?

BournID
06-23-2013, 09:20 PM
I say keep the 3.0. A lot less work for ME!!!!

breckrider60
06-23-2013, 10:46 PM
Better watch it old man or next time you need someone to haul tile to the shed i might be a little more preoccupied.

MountainGoat
06-24-2013, 11:54 AM
:coffeescreen: Family feud! :bolt:

breckrider60
06-24-2013, 09:21 PM
Haha its all fun and games.:D

breckrider60
06-24-2013, 09:24 PM
Oh and mountain goat I made those rims work we added a couple washers and it did the touch the lugs i got from autozone/oreily had too long of shanks but they seem to be doing fine now. If you still want the rims back I could get some ive had my eye on at discount tire but if not its more than fine.

MountainGoat
06-24-2013, 10:38 PM
Dude. If you can use them it's fine by me. I had already moved on with my plans so I'm happy. :D

They do look pretty sick on your Runner.

Squishy!
06-25-2013, 04:29 PM
From what I've read its best to have a donor vehicle so you use the same parts? I feel like as long as i get the ecu, harness, and engine from the same vehicle i should be good?

You want to make sure you get all of the emission stuff as well. Like all of the little sensors and charcoal Canister

Squishy!
06-27-2013, 07:55 AM
That would be great I would atleast like to look at it.

Pm me I cleared my inbox :rolleyes: I'm free Sunday.

Uncle Ben
06-27-2013, 10:13 AM
I guess it comes down to how much power do you want/need? 3.4 is pretty stout. The SC would not be cheap but would give you mild SBC power if wanted later.

Hmmmm...."mild SBC power" Good to know...:rolleyes:

DaveInDenver
06-27-2013, 02:09 PM
Hmmmm...."mild SBC power" Good to know...:rolleyes:
I dunno, some of those 305s and 350s were pretty anemic back in the 1980s. I remember a neighbor as a kid had a late 70s Malibu with a 2bbl 305 that was pretty much a joke. All the power of a worn out 22R-E with the mileage of a battle tank. But, yeah, normally even though the HP number on a L05 might be close to that of a supercharged 3.4L, it ain't the same.

L43dean
06-27-2013, 02:34 PM
Hmmmm...."mild SBC power" Good to know...:rolleyes:

That's funny!

subzali
06-27-2013, 02:56 PM
I dunno, some of those 305s and 350s were pretty anemic back in the 1980s. I remember a neighbor as a kid had a late 70s Malibu with a 2bbl 305 that was pretty much a joke. All the power of a worn out 22R-E with the mileage of a battle tank. But, yeah, normally even though the HP number on a L05 might be close to that of a supercharged 3.4L, it ain't the same.

You missed the point.

DaveInDenver
06-27-2013, 03:18 PM
You missed the point.
I usually do. What's the point? Now that I think about it, I do miss The Point.

http://www.emmis.com/Pics/logos/wwd_radiologos_KPNT.png

subzali
06-27-2013, 03:31 PM
I usually do. What's the point? Now that I think about it, I do miss The Point.

http://www.emmis.com/Pics/logos/wwd_radiologos_KPNT.png

You haven't experienced Wild Rice have you? ;)

MVLSKI
06-27-2013, 03:56 PM
The 4.3 vortec only has around 200 hp vs the 165ish the 3.4 gives me from what ive researched i could be wrong. For the headache i dont know if that would be worth putting in the 4.3 might as well put the 350 in?

The 5VZ–FE engine puts out 190 HP @ 4800 rpm the same as the 4.3 vortec.

Good luck with your decision.