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About you, your 4x4 and access
General information about the various mods available to 4x4 vehicles covering pros and cons to assist in the decision of "Is this the right mod?"
Andrew Zook

Converting FJ-40 front drums to disk with minitruck parts


 

I chose to use Toyota pickup (minitruck) parts to swap onto the front axle to replace the original drum brakes.

 '81 through '85 Minitruck Parts list (Basically everything from the knuckle out):Steering knuckle housingSpindleWheel hub/bearingsSteering armsBrake backing plateKingpin bearingsKnuckle seal kitInner axle sealBirfield jointLocking hubNuts, Bolts, Washers, Cone washers, wheel studsCalipers and pads from a V6 minitruck(optional) Master cylinder from V6(optional) Brake booster Other parts:'76-'81 Land Cruiser vented rotorsFlexible brake linesBushings for steering armsProportioning Valve Special tools needed:Angle grinderToyota SST for setting knuckle preloadTorque wrenchBrake line flare tool (for installing proportioning valve  Procedure:Drain the oil in the front axle, jack the truck up, put the axle on jack stands, and remove the wheels.Remove the old parts. Cut the brake line and remove the tie rod and then remove the face of the locking hub (or drive plate) and remove the snap ring on the axle shaft.The easiest way to get everything apart is to loosen the nuts on the steering arm and bottom plates which should allow you to pull the entire old knuckle/brake/wheel hub assembly as one piece.Next, clean up the end of the housing using shop towels and brake cleaner and remove the inner axle seal (rides around the axle shaft at the end of the housing). You may also want to take a wire wheel to the outside of the "ball" to remove any rust.Next, because we are using birfields from a minitruck, we must grind on the housing to get the larger/stronger birfield to fit. You will need to grind a little off of the top and bottom directly to the outside of the kingpin hole. Test fit the birfield periodically to check your progress. Keep in mind that you need to go about 0.040" over to compensate for how much the ball compresses when the knuckle is torqued down. Drive out the top and bottom kingpin bearing races with a brass punch. Install the new races.Calculate knuckle shim thickness and set bearing preload using Toyota SST.Install knuckle and torque to spec. Check knuckle bearing preload with fish scale. Install wiper seals on back of knuckle. Install inner axle sealInstall spindle, hub/rotor assembly.Install locking hub and caliper.I chose to do away with the backing plate for the rotor along with the little brake line bracket with the short section of hard line. To remove the backing plate you must keep the inside portion of it to keep the spacing of the components correct.I used Napa #38878 for my flexible brake lines. I probably wouldn't do it the same way again. I would keep the short piece of hard line from the caliper and the bracket on the backing plate so that the brake line is actually "locked" from turning in the caliper. My brake line setup is commonly used without problems, but it seems a little hoaky because of this.

Install the proportioning valve on the line that goes to the rear brakes. You will need to get the fittings and flare the tubing to install it. I chose to install it right next to / under the booster. I bought a short section of already flared tubing with fittings at AutoZone so that I would only have to flare one end.

Wheel selection is important with the V6 calipers. You will need a wheel that has nothing protruding out the back (such as an aluminum wheel, or a wagon wheel without a lip stamped out the back).  Optional: V6 master and minitruck booster

I chose to use a booster that I had laying around. It is from an '89 4 cylinder 4runner. The master cylinder is from a '95 4runner with a V6. Everything bolted right up and took only minor adjustment to get correct. The brake lines even ended up in the right place on the MC without bending the lines!

Enjoy!

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John Stewart

Jeep - a never ending story: Tires and Wheels

Jeep - a never ending story: Tires and Wheels

So, today was the big test. After many modifications, the Lil’ Heep was ready for the big test. Or, maybe just another step in the pecking order of modifications.

To set the stage, what started as a basically stock 1994 Jeep Wrangler with over 100,000 miles had undergone numerous operations en-route to its current configuration. Now set with 4.56 gears, front and rear locker, 4 inch spring lift, 2 inch body lift, 4:1 transfer case, NV-4500 transmission, and several other after market modifications, the Lil’ Heep was set to hit the trails.

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Clay Vitus

Installing a Gorilla 10,000 lbs. Winch on a Mitsubishi Montero

The most important part of a winch installation is choosing the right location for mounting. The front bumper area is the most logical choice, but beyond that, where in the front bumper area should it be located for the best access for use and the most protection from street and trail damage is the question.

As you can see pictured at right, I chose to mount the winch as low between the frame rails as possible without protruding below. I chose this location for several reasons. First, the finished winch install will not inhibit airflow to the radiator. Second, this location allows for a much cleaner looking installation and retains the use of the factory front bumper. Third, mounting in this manner makes it much more difficult for someone to steal.

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staff_user

Prepare Your Car for a Safe Summer on the Road

Prepare Your Car for a Safe Summer on the Road   CHARLOTTE, NC – (June 9, 2008) – With summer just around the corner, Americans are planning their summer getaways.  And with rising fuel costs, more and more of them will forego air travel in favor of road trips.  Make no mistake, with the high price of gas, there are few travel bargains this year, but there are a number of ways consumers can prepare their vehicles – particularly their tires – for the coming travel season, to help improve fuel economy and keep them safe on the road.

“First and foremost, we can’t stress enough the importance of making sure your tires are properly inflated,” said Joerg Burfien, Director of R &D, Continental Tire North America, Inc.  “It’s one of the easiest ways to help improve fuel economy, while also prolonging the life of your tires, and keeping your family safe on the road.” Properly inflated tires not only improve gas mileage, they last longer.  Proper inflation ensures safe handling, better ride quality, longer tread life and improved fuel economy.   Burfien recommends that consumers get into the habit of checking their tire pressure, including the spare, once a month.   “It’s hard to believe, but each month, three out of four drivers wash their cars, but only one out of seven correctly checks their tire pressure,” he said.     The correct tire pressure for your car is listed on the vehicle placard, which can be found in the following places: -- in the car's owner manual -- on the gas tank lid -- on the driver's side door's edge -- or on the door post “When you check your tire’s inflation pressure, be sure the tires are cool - meaning they are not hot from driving even a mile,” he said. “Because air is a gas, it expands when heated and contracts when cooled – even when it’s the air in your tire. And most parts of North America experience a major climate change in the fall and early winter months when tire inflation pressure is likely to go down.” Here’s a good rule of thumb:  For every 10° Fahrenheit change in air temperature, a tire's inflation pressure will change by about 1 pound per square inch (PSI) – increasing with higher temperatures and decreasing with lower temperatures. Next, be sure to check the tread.  For safety purposes, tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch – Continental recommends 4/32 of an inch – in order to prevent skidding or hydroplaning. Before heading out on the road, visually check tires for signs of uneven wear -- high or low areas, or areas that are unusually smooth. Also check for signs of damage.  Here’s an easy test:  Place a penny into a tread groove. If part of Lincoln's head is covered by the tread, you're driving with the proper amount of tread. If you can see all of his head, it’s time to replace the tire. Some other things to consider before you depart:   Alignment: A bad jolt from hitting a curb or pothole can throw your front end out of alignment and damage your tires. Have a tire dealer check the alignment periodically to make sure your car is properly aligned.  Proper alignment helps increase the life and performance of the tires, and it also contributes to greater fuel economy. Rotation:  Regular rotation helps extend the life and performance of tires. Regularly rotating your vehicle's tires will help you achieve more uniform wear. Unless your vehicle owner's manual has a specific recommendation, the guideline for tire rotation is approximately every 6,000-8,000 miles – or sooner if tires begin to show uneven wear. And if you have a full-size spare, this tire should be included in the rotation process, too. According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association, (RMA), 71 percent of drivers do not check the tire pressure in their spare tire. Balancing: A wheel that is unbalanced will tramp up-and-down or shake. Unbalanced tires also put undue stress on the front-end parts, causing tires to wear out well before their tread life warranty. If properly cared for, tires can last a long time — usually from 40,000 to 80,000 miles, depending on the application, according to the RMA.  Practice these good driving habits, which will help keep your tires in good condition: -- Obey posted speed limits. -- Avoid fast starts, stops and turns. -- Avoid potholes and other objects on the road. -- Do not run over curbs or hit your tires against the curb when parking. -- Do not overload your vehicle. Check your vehicle’s tire information in the owner's manual for the maximum recommended load for your vehicle. TOWING If you’ll be pulling a trailer, boat or RV, proper tire inflation is key, not only to prevent a blowout from too much weight, but also to keep the load steady and balanced.  A tow vehicle’s tires may require a higher tire pressure for towing, especially heavy loads, so be sure to abide by the manufacturer’s recommendations for fully-loaded tires, Burfien said.

 

According to the National Department of Transportation, the ability to handle and control a tow vehicle and trailer is greatly improved when the cargo is properly loaded and evenly distributed. Refer to your tow vehicle and trailer owner’s manual to find out how to: Balance weight from side to side; distribute cargo weight evenly along the length of the trailer; secure and brace all items to prevent them from moving during travel; adjust the height of the tow vehicle/trailer interface; and apply load leveling (weight distributing hitch bars). Proper tire care also helps the environment, because underinflated tires waste fuel. Properly inflated tires help promote better fuel economy, and regular care helps tires get the most potential wear so they don't need to be replaced as often, Burfien said.   Aside from checking tires, he also advised motorists to regularly check their belts, hoses and fluids before setting out so they don’t run into trouble on the road. ### For media information, visit www.ctnamedia.com. With targeted annual sales of more than $40 billion for 2008, the Continental Corporation is one of the top automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for the powertrain and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, the corporation contributes towards enhanced driving safety and protection of the global climate. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. Today, the corporation employs approximately 150,000 people at nearly 200 locations in 36 countries. # # # 

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John Stewart

Toyota Exhaust Manifold Cracking - Important Updated Information

IMPORTANT UPDATE (Apr 30, 2008) To the end of the LC Engineering 3RZ header review (http://www.4x4wire.com/toyota/4Runner/reviews/lce_header/), add: UPDATE 4/30/2008: "Our part number for the 3RZ header has changed on that header. It is no longer PN 14-1731, it is now PN 1041054." The corrected part number provided by: Scott Kelly Marketing Dept. LC Engineering" ============================================================================ To the end of the LC Engineering turbo header review (http://www.4x4wire.com/toyota/reviews/turboheader/), please add: UPDATE 4/30/2008: "In response to this review and other customer feedback, we have re-designed this header several times since this review was first published, and we have eliminated the problems that were present in the early designs, like the poor welds and the wastegate location/design. The current design and build quality of this header are much improved over the initial release. If you could update your site with that information that would be great." Scott Kelly Marketing Dept. LC Engineering"
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