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Old 01-20-2013, 08:16 PM
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RicardoJM RicardoJM is offline
Rising Sun Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Centennial, CO
Posts: 2,397
Default Big City 25's 4 speed swap

We've finished Jeff's 4 speed swap. I was going to do an event report, but the cross member stuff will be good tech content. I'm typing this on my iPad and don't have the pictures to post now.

I really wan to than Brad, Jacob, Brian, Bobby, Randy and Steve for their help with the work. Brad did an awesome job with the welding and gabbing. He and Brian also did a bang up job on doing whatever needed being done. Without the extra help I'm not sure Jeff and I could have wrapped it up in three days.

Jeff was going from a column shift 3sp transmission to a floor shift 4 speed transmission and keeping his three speed vacuum actuated transfer case.

The basic operation involves changing the bell housing, changing the transmission, changing drive shafts changing pinion flanges, and making the torque tube removable.

At a more detailed level; the transmission hump needs to have a hole put in it (for the shift cane), the high/low actuator rod needs to be extended, the reverse light wiring need to be moved, and the column shift components (most but not all) need to be removed.

Day one

Jeff and I started by removing seats and transmission hump. With these out of the way we lifted the truck up and proceeded with removing the starter (disconnect the battery), drive shafts, slave cylinder, and tranny/t-case linkages. We then used the transmission jack to remove the 3 sp transmission and transfer case.

With the big stuff out of the way, we removed the clutch fork, clutch pressure plate, clutch disc and flywheel. All these parts were in good shape and were reinstalled.

Next we removed the exhaust. While removing the nuts at the collector, one of the studs snapped. We disconnected the rear shackle so that we could slide the exhaust assembly backwards. In retrospect, we probably did not have to disconnect the shackle but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

Next brought the truck down to the ground so that we could connect the engine hoist to the rear hook on the engine and place a jack under the oil pan. These would support the engine while we removed the 3 sp bell housing and installed the 4 sp bell housing.

Next we removed the bell housing bolts (2 on top and 4 inside) and engine mount bolts (3 on each mount) and removed the 3 sp bell housing.

Next we installed the 4 sp bell housing. Removing the passenger side engine mount made it easier to position the bell housing and get the bolts started. We then reinstalled the engine mount. There engine hoist and jack did an excellent job of keeping the engine in place and Jeff's slender build made the swap seem quite easy as he did all the work inside the space usually occupied by the transmission hump.

This seemed like a good stopping point for the day, so I drove Jeff home and we set Saturday's start time for 9:00 am.

Day two
Brad picked Jeff up and we continued with the days work. Things are a bit hazy as we had a bunch of stuff going on. Brad got to work on making the torque tube removable. First step was to cut the tube flush with the frame, the sawzall made quick work of this. Here the frame is being cleaned up after the tube was cut out.

Next Brad fabricated the plates from a strip of 1/4" X 4" steel, drilled holes and welded nuts to a couple of the plates. Next holes were drilled on the frame so that the plates with the welded nuts could be welded on the frame. The plates were then welded in place on the frame.

Drivers side:

Passenger side:

While Brad was busy on the fabrication, Jeff was re-sealing his 4 sp transmission and getting it ready to mate up to the 3 sp case. Mr. Brady and Randy were replacing the blue air line for Steve's FJ40.

Justin at Redline was able to hook us up with an exhaust manifold and Jeff had purchased a lift from Redline and Randy had an axle that needed to get out to Justin and Justin had a ring and pinion for Randy - so I took a ride out to Calhan while work progressed.

Near the end of day 2, Brad realized we were without the spacer that goes between the transmission and t-case. Without that spacer the gears do not line up inside the t-case. Brad indicate he had an extra spacer at home and despite that we discussed the merits of just pushing forward without and even called out to Ige and Jeff Z. to discuss our situation. We determined the best course of action was to call it a day and do some research.

Day three
Brad brought his extra spacer and it was exactly what was needed.

The transmission was mated up to the t-case (or is that the other way around) and stabbed it into its new home.

Clearance of the vacuum components and floor boards were a bit of an issue, so we rotated the t-case down as we stabbed and then brought it back up. The adjustments on the transmission jack are very handy for this type of precise movement. It was a bit challenging to line up with the pilot bearing, but using some bolts and guides and making small adjustments we arrived at the point where it slid right in.

After that point we had some pizza for lunch and then it was like an episode of Car Warriors. Brent, Brad, Jeff were a flurry of action as pinion flanges were swapped out, drive shafts installed, the torque tube was welded to it plates,

the transmission hump hole was cut,

the old column shift linkages were removed - and oh yeah Jeff to the rig on a test drive - the exhaust was re-installed, etc. etc...
Ricardo Maestas - Bio Page
1999 LX 470
SOLD - 1971 FJ-40
TLCA #18941

Last edited by RicardoJM; 01-26-2013 at 10:48 AM.
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