258/727 Swap For Old Willys
Q I want to swap the 258ci I-6 engine and the TorqueFlite 727 transmission into my '62 Willys. I have the motor and tranny and can get the 4x4 tailshaft for the 727. After I bolt up the Dana 300 transfer case, how long will the rear driveshaft be? I have a small lift and 33 inch tires. Would the driveshaft be too short and bind up on me?
I assume that you are planning to use the 4x4 shaft, adapter and 300 transfer case from a Scout to make this swap. You don't say what model of Willys that you are going to install it all in, so again I will assume that it is a CJ and not a utility wagon or pickup. Here is where the problem comes in: the engine compartment is really not long enough to handle the conversion without really cutting up the firewall and moving the engine back into the passenger compartment. While this can be done-and I have seen it done-it really takes up a lot of legroom. The real downside of this is that with a CJ-5 you virtually have no room for a rear driveshaft. Well, one that will be able to cycle though much suspension movement, anyway. Now if you are talking about a Willys wagon or pickup of the same year, then yes, you can do it.
As to how long the driveshaft will be, I am sure you have a tape measure, and because you have access to these parts you can measure them. By my calculations, from engine mounting surface to the yoke on the transfer case, it's about 35 inches. Your T-90 trans and transfer case is, what, maybe 20 inches? Apply this information as to where the engine has to mount, and roughly figure the length of the driveshaft. However, I would not take my final driveshaft measurements until you have the engine and trans/transfer case actually installed.
4Runner Rear Locker Won't Engage
Q I just bought a '97 4Runner Limited V-6. It has a factory electric locker which will not engage. The local dealer says it is no good, and the cost of a new one is over a thousand dollars here in Canada. I called the previous owner, and he said he never even used it once. If you could see this truck, you would believe me. It is in perfect shape. He never used it off-road and needed the four-wheel drive just for winter driving. The truck has 170,000 kilometers on it, but the locker should be just like new. Is there any way that the actuator could be freed up without having to replace it? There are not any dedicated 4x4 shops in my area, and most mechanics here are not familiar with lockers. Any information would be awesome.
Hartland, New Brunswick
A Did the dealer actually pull the unit out and physically look at it, or did he just make a wild guess that the unit was bad and figured he could make a few bucks by replacing the whole thing? You do realize that it will only work in 4-Low, right? Nor will it engage at speeds over 5 mph. There is an ECM that controls all that in the driver-side foot kick panel.
If it was mine, I would start by finding the fuse that sends power to the switch and make sure it is not blown. If it's good, then with a simple test light (the kind with a light in the handle, a probe on the end, and a wire for a ground) make sure that there is power going in and out of the switch. Then, with the switch on and shifted into low-range, I would probe the connection at the actuator to check for power there. The actuator is nothing more than an electric motor that moves a control arm that in turn locks the side gear. I have been told that Downey Off Road made a cable kit that eliminated all the electrics. However, they are now out of business. Something else you might want to try is a Google search for "Toyota locking differential." I took a quick look and found quite a few sites that you may find helpful in solving your problem.