There are quite a few shops that just deal in Toyota Land Cruisers. These include Downey Off Road Manufacturing (562/949-9494), Toyotas R Us (719/539-7733), and Land Cruisers Unlimited (208/687-2607). These shops perform conversions and sell conversion kits.
Q I just ordered an '02 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab shortbed with the Duramax/Allison combo. Should be here end of August. It will be coming with 3.73 gears and 245/75R16 tires. I want to put on a 6-inch RCD lift with 35-inch tires. Will I need to regear, or will the Duramax be able to handle the taller tires? If not, what ratio would you guys recommend? Where would I get something like the Hypertech Programmer to recalibrate the speedometer and shift points? Also, does anybody make a power chip for this engine yet? My buddy put a power chip on his 2000 Dodge Cummins and it kicks butt. I am looking for the same type of gains. Any other performance modifications you could suggest I would appreciate.DaveChester, California
A Guess what, Dave, the new Duramax kicks butt without any modifications. I can say this because I bought one after participating in the initial pre-production comparison testing of the Chevy diesel versus the Ford and Dodge diesels. The Duramax is so new that the only thing that I know of in the form of modifications is a change in the exhaust system. It will most likely be a while before the aftermarket catches up with gears for this truck. So far, the only gear ratio available is the 3.73:1 from the factory. That's because this truck uses a different rear axle than the other GM HD trucks. They use the Corporate 14-bolt axle, which uses a 10.5-inch ring-gear. The 2500HD trucks powered by the Duramax 6.6L diesel use an axle built for GM by American Axle which uses a ring-gear that measures 11.5 inches in diameter.
As to the new engine and transmission combination being able to handle the 35-inch tire, that depends on what you plan to do with your truck. If you're going to haul 15,000 pounds behind it, then the answer would be no. If you're going to just four-wheel with it, and perhaps haul around a camper, then probably you won't have any problems at all.
A Grand Lift
Q In regards to your Jeep Grand Cherokee project ("Ain't It Grand," July 2000), I have a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9L Limited with the Quadra-Trac full-time transfer case. I need (want) to lift it. I called and asked one of Rubicon Express' phone reps about that company's 411/42-inch lift and was told that with the full-time transfer case, this much lift would tear up the front U-joints because of the resulting severe driveshaft angle.
How was your project Jeep affected after you lifted it? Please tell me that it really didn't affect the frontend too much. Would you recommend the 3-inch lift over the 411/42-inch lift?Judson MantheyCamp Lejeune, North Carolina
A Project "Ain't It Grand" used a 3-inch Terra Flex system just so driveshaft vibrations would not bother us. Yes, I do know of those using 4 inches of lift and more on Grand Cherokees, and yes, they do have driveshaft vibrations. The front shaft is quite expensive to replace but if you can live with the vibration and the price of a new front driveshaft every 30,000 miles or so, go for it.
Unfortunately, the vibration also affects the bearing on the pinion shaft and in the transfer case. How much damage it does is unknown. A solution would be to replace the original frontend with a high-pinion Dana axle to reduce the driveshaft angle.