Author Topic: Finally ready to gather parts for Toyota Axle Swap. Looking for advice, please  (Read 316 times)

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utherjorge

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Good morning to all. I've asked this question in a couple of places online, and I think I buried my questions here in a different thread, but as I'm now ready to start getting parts, I wanted to ask again.

I have a Daihatsu Rocky (build thread here under "Reddy the Rocky": I can't get it to link) and was foolish enough to think I would be able to simply bomb around everywhere with it once it was on the road. I have solved the cooling issues it had (for the most part) and have a solid plan for the electrical.

So, it's on to the rear axle. I have a leak and I've been able to get it to stop, but it needs some maintenance. That's fine. However, this is an axle that is particular to this vehicle: there are no lockers for it, and Limited Slip Differentials are almost impossible to come by. I thought I found one in Costa Rica, but let's just say that it was not.

Plan: To replace the standard Daihatsu Rocky (US) axle with a Toyota axle that allows me to use an e-locker.

I'd like to think I'm a smart guy, but I'm very confused at all the things I have read. It seems like I should shoot for Toyota pickup axles, rather than a Land Cruiser axle, but I don't know what years I should look for. I don't even know if that matters, because I know you can build stuff to whatever you want.

This is not a larger vehicle, and does not have a lot of power. I do not want to engine swap it unless I have to, so it will be in the area of 100hp after all is said and done. At best.

I do want to keep the 5.29 gears, which I know is not stock, and will require new axles. The center differential housing in the Rocky is indeed centered in the rear.

I am not terrible worried about a lift in the rear, though I am going to swap the rear springs and may gain a small lift as a result. I do not want to Torsion bars as I know what that does to the ride.

Thanks in advance, all. I am very confused at the information out there, which is a bit frustrating.

Dingman.

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First of all, bear with any of my  future grammar and spelling errors, as i am typing from my phone.

I would think toyota mini truck  axles would be fine for your application pending you have a passenger drop front differential.  It doesnt really matter the years, most people like the 84-85 because it has a longer bottom truss.  I have an 83í axle under my truck as it has the shorter gusset.  There are certain years i think have issues with the hubs and compatibility with brake upgrades i think (could be wrong)  but those were only the very early years.  I have never seen any axles from those years (no bottom truss). 

With any of these years axles, you would have to modify the housing to accept an elocker.  I personally do not like e lockers and would not recommened them, some people like them and that is something they would recommend.  Ultimately that will be your decision, but just know the housing will require modification.

Other potential issues i can think of.  Drive line adapters or custom drivelines might need to be be sourced/made as i doubt the toyota differential flanges have the same pilot size and bolt pattern as you currently do.

What is the WMS of your axles currently?  Toyota mini axles are 55.5Ē wms.  The ifs rears are 58.5Ē wms, so most people run wheel spacers or do an ifs hub swap to get the widths to match.  Your rig looks narrow enough, where you might choose to use the non ifs width axles.

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TRevv

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Id say for sure go with toyota mini truck axles if your tcase output is passenger side.  FJ axles are strong, but are a unique piece due to the rear diff being offset to the side instead of centered.  For your application the mini truck axles are plenty strong.  Like dingman said the year of mini truck axle doesnt matter much, the front has different length gusset on the bottom depending on year, the rear was basically the same until 86-95 they are wider.  So that just depends on the width you would like to go.  ELockers have their ups and downs to them.  First off is they are not really available as a new aftermarket, just factory toyota.  So you either have to find one out of a used tacoma axle or buy a brand new 3rd from Toyota with an Elocker (expensive).  The side gears Elockers are a little weak and leave something to be desired.  However it is a great selectable locker that you only have one system to rely on.  Unlike air lockers that takes a rather unreliable source of air, and electrical components. This is simple and easy with a couple of wires.  And on the off chance that something happens to an Elocker actuator or wiring, you can pull the actuator off and lock and unlock it with a flathead screw driver.  For me the benifits of the elocker outweigh the downfalls, I put them front and rear in my rig. 
"I dunno I just woke up from a lil nap, it's a lil dark but you guys silly? I'm still gonna send it."

utherjorge [OP]

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I would like to have something that is plenty durable and can be "done once" and then be ready to go. A huge positive in an axle swap is going to be the chance at rear disc brakes and a better parking brake. That needs to be fixed/adjusted as it is, so it's just one more thing to do as I'm working on all of this.

I like the idea of being able to lock and unlock the rear. I have had two Chevys with the G80, and one would lock with a tremendous "bang" and then slide towards the ditch, while the other would never engage at all. I don't know if this experience with the Chevys is what I would expect in an auto-locker in a small vehicle such as what I have. So, since you all would know much better than me, if I can expect an auto-locker to engage in the rear and not kill me, I'm not against it.

Believe it or not, there is a front IFS auto-locker for the Daihatsu out of Brazil. Since it uses manual hubs, I can simply drive in 2wd and not worry about that one engaging on a regular drive.

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TRevv

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I have had two Chevys with the G80, and one would lock with a tremendous "bang" and then slide towards the ditch, while the other would never engage at all. I don't know if this experience with the Chevys is what I would expect in an auto-locker in a small vehicle such as what I have. So, since you all would know much better than me, if I can expect an auto-locker to engage in the rear and not kill me, I'm not against it.

An Auto locker like a Detroit, Grizzly, Spartan, or Lockrite, will engage any time there is torque being applied to the axle.  So if you use the throttle while in a corner, it will engage and on a sandy road, icy road, or wet road it can cause a slide.  That's why anytime a vehicle is road driven as well as trail driven I suggest a selectable locker.  You can go with a air locker, like an ARB or Zip Locker, you can go with an E locker, or you can take a e locker and put a cable conversion on it.
"I dunno I just woke up from a lil nap, it's a lil dark but you guys silly? I'm still gonna send it."

Dingman.

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Agree with Trevv, if you have never driven with lockers, they can be strange to get used to.  I have had open diffs, aussie/lockright lockers, arb lockers and spools.  Out of all of them aussie lockers (auto lockers) are my least favorite in the back axle on a truck that is street driven. 

You kind of have some experience with the auto lockers from your description of the govlock n the back of the chevy.  My experience with auto lockers are loud bangs when taking off to the point you think you broke something, bucking and hopping around turns, and the unpredictability of driving on slick surfaces (snow, sand, wet roads, etc).  I would rather run a spool in the back because it is predictable in my opinion.  The downside here is always squealing your tires and wearing them out quicker.

My experience with elockers is that they use the same internal side gears as the v6 non locked diffs, which i have broken a few of.  I have friends with elockers where he motors had problems and didnt work, as well as a friend with cable conversions that always has issues getting the lockers to enguage.  In both of thise cases, they take the motor off, and manually lock it and it essentially gets left locked like a spool.

If i had my choice, i would run arbís front and rear, no question asked.   I have only ran arbís in the front axle and i loved them, but i have also ran both open and spooled in the rear, so i know what an arb would be like back there.  Minus the high purchase price, i wouldnt hesitate to recommend them.   

With all that said..  if i have any issues with my aussie locker equipped differentials breaking (were in the truck when purchased) i will do some swapping around and keep the other aussie in the front and probably put a spool or arb in the rear.  I like spooled rear axles, and since i dont daily drive my toyota i would do that as it is the cheapest option (other than welding, which i wont do for my own personal reasons)

utherjorge [OP]

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There are some examples of re-powering Rockys with either a 22 out of a Toyota (multiple types) or a 3.0 V6. When that's done, as far as I have seen, in every case the owner went to a SAS at the same time. There is no doubt that this level of fab is beyond my friends and I. In my original posts around the interwebs, my thinking was that I would do the rear axle swap, into something "better," thinking I could go with the rest of the running gear at that time. I have changed my mind, kinda: I'd like to keep the stock engine as long as I can.

This is something I would like to drive around both on-road and off. However, as it's pretty slow, if I'm driving in the rain, I'm not sure I'd be giving it enough juice to slide around. I know I could break the rears loose of both of my Burbs in the rain. However...I worry about the complexity of air lines and a compressor instead of "simply" running power to a rear axle.

Dingman.

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If you run the wires and air lines in a way that isnt completey stupid (rubbing on stuff, next to exhaust, or in danger of gettig ripped out) arbís are generally reliable in my opinion. 

Also, when you have an auto locker it is much easier to get a little sideways when the ground is slick.  It might not be that bad for you, but there are times when you will be giving it a little throttle around a corner and the rear end will decide to lock up and that can initiate a slide.  You just have to remember it is back there and take it kind of easy when you first drive with a locker until you get used to it. 

I would not recommened a 3.0L swap to you, nor would most people i imagine. A 22re would be a better choice, or even look into 2rz or 3rz tacoma/4runner 4cylinder engines.

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TRevv

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I would not recommened a 3.0L swap to you, nor would most people i imagine. A 22re would be a better choice, or even look into 2rz or 3rz tacoma/4runner 4cylinder engines.

If you can do a 3.0 swap, I dont see why a 3.4 swap wouldnt be possible, same block, different head.  So it should bolt in the same.  That would be a cool.  Solid, reliable motor, lots of power. 
"I dunno I just woke up from a lil nap, it's a lil dark but you guys silly? I'm still gonna send it."

utherjorge [OP]

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I can't tell you how the 3.0 swap went because the guy stopped posting (this was years ago) and the last picture I saw seemed like this driveline angle was very, very steep and he was getting very bad vibrations. I don't know if it was a shim issue or what...but the rumor was that it worked "fine."

Agreed on the 22 or the 2/3rz. In fact, this time last year, a 2wd one went for a screaming deal near here, which was why I think I started posting this question in the first place....should I pick it up? My engine is getting the head gasket and timing belt done in the next week or so, I hope. Assuming that the engine takes kindly to it all, I'd like to keep it as long as I can.

Two points: first, I'm linking to a video below that shows one of these little guys without, and then with, a front auto-locker, a Kaiser from Brazil. It's to show how good the thing works, but they take their time with the engagement, and aren't hooning over sand dunes at 60mph when it engages. I would be driving the same speed, I hope, when mine engages, since I get no wheelslip with 94hp. Anyhow...here's the video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3YldgGFOTU

Second point, and something we were just kicking around last night: supposedly, the rear axle on my Rocky is a close copy to a Corolla (I assume an AE85/86?) axle. There's lots of LSDs for those, obviously. Anyone ever offroad with one of those? I would still just assume swap...but I know this isn't a Corolla off-road page.

 
 
 
 
 

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