Clampy Gets A Fierce Five-Speed
Toyota manual transmissions are made of tough stuff, and they usually shift well and come in a small lightweight package. But as with anything on a wheeling truck, time can take its toll, and the same is true for the five-speed in our '86 Toy pickup commonly referred to as Clampy. Clampy has been through the wringer in recent years and a repower was the next step in this little truck's life. However more power wasn't going to mix well with the old trans. In fact it wasn't even the original unit, but a weaker early model that shifted more like stirring soup than selecting gears. Even though it hadn't completely broken, with the current 60 horses under the hood a future power upgrade was definitely going to be that little gearbox's noose.
We had a plan to repower the truck with a late-model Toyota engine (you'll see that story in a future issue), and while at Marlin Crawler preparing for the swap we began discussing our options for transmission upgrades. Marlin Crawler has been doing dual transfer-case kits for years, but they also specialize in rebuilding Toyota transmissions. Our bench racing resulted in the assembly of an R-series transmission which is commonly found behind the V-6 engines and the turbocharged four-cylinder. These transmissions can take serious power numbers and are often used in high-horsepower racing Toyotas.