For the last few months we have been working on a pretty cool project that we thought you all might like to see. Now that we are getting down to the final details we are finally ready to start a build thread.
The customer, Hunter, contacted us about completing a motor swap in his 1978 Toyota FJ 40. It had a straight six that was developing the little quirks that an old carbureted vehicle typically has, and he was ready for a trouble free motor that put could put a smile on your face. He had a 5.3L Chevy motor out of a '99 Silverado being rebuilt and wanted to drop it in his FJ. After it leaves our shop it is heading to the body shop where he plans to keep the outside appearance as stock looking as possible. With that in mind we began to formulate a game plan to keep this project as sleeper as possible.
This was our starting point. 1978 Toyota FJ 40 with a small Old Man Emu Lift, 31s and a tired old straight six.
One of Hunters requirements for this swap was to keep it a manual transmission. While we could have adapted his stock Toyota transmission to work, we had our reservations on how long it would last. We opted to go with a 4 speed SM465 out of an old 2WD Chevy truck because it is a bullet proof tranny with a granny gear which should be awesome when he puts the Toyota transfer case in 4 wheel low. The next problem we faced was the siple fact that no Chevy Trucks with a 5.3L were offered with a manual transmission, so we had to figure out which computer to use. We have used Hotwire Auto for all of our wiring harness needs in the past, and their quality and customer service is second to none. After a little talking with them, we ordered their Hotrod style harness for the 5.3 and a reflashed computer for a 2500HD with a 6.0L and a manual transmission to run the swap. From there we ordered all of the necessary adapters, motor mounts, radiator, transmission crossmembers, etc that were necessary to swap the motor and transmission into the FJ from Advanced Adapters. I will go over as many of the headaches and solutions as possible that we have come across throughout the build.