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Old 06-20-2013, 10:40 PM
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Default 3.4 vs 350 small block

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.
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:05 PM
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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?
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:35 AM
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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.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:23 AM
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Subscribed, often consider many of these options
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:29 PM
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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
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:53 PM
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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.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:46 PM
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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.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:08 PM
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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.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:28 PM
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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.
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Old 06-22-2013, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
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.
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