Using the Th350 would give me a little more shock protection on the driveline. The automatic transmission will help cushion driveline shock. And, I know it would hold up to V8 power. But the gear ratios are pretty high, and the transfer case is huge. Using the R150F would give me about twice as low of a gear ratio, and a more enjoyable driving experience with the 5 speed. Plus my drivelines would bolt right up. Cons would be buying a bell-housing adapter, and possible strength issues. But the R-series transmission are used in Supras pushing 600hp and they hold up, so I'm not too worried.
First thing to do, of course, would be to pull the engine. To make this easier for my situation, I decided to remove the front core support. My truck is parked in my garage, which has a low ceiling and garage door. I wouldn't be able to get the cherry picker high enough to clear the core support and not hit the garage door. Plus, my core support was bent from a previous encounter with a tree.
After spending a lot of time drilling spot welds in order to remove the core support, I removed the engine.
With the engine out of the way, I prepped the engine bay for the V8. I removed all the parts from the V6 that I would no longer need. The only wires left were oil sender, coolant temp sender, tach wire, fuel lines, clutch lines, starter solenoid wire, and a few wires going back to the transmission (reverse indicator, 4wd indicator, and speed-o cable). I also decided to paint the bay flat black since sometime down the road I will paint the entire truck flat black.
|Engine on hoist||Engine bay|
Next I cleaned, prepped, and painted the V8. The motor ran great when I pulled it, so I decided to leave the internals alone, just replace all the gaskets, timing chain, and an ignition tune up (plugs, wires, cap, rotor). The motor was supposedly a "crate motor" bought a while back and put into the Blazer. It's a 4 bolt main. I'm using an Edelbrock Performer Intake, Edelbrock 600CFM carburetor, eBay "block hugger" headers, and an HEI distributor.
|On the engine stand, stripped and degreased||4 bolt mains|
|Valve train looks good||After paint|
Next, I installed the new 153 tooth flywheel, Zoom part number # 50-6516.
Now, its time to install the clutch and bell-housing parts from Advanced Adapters. Here are the parts I received, Advanced Adapter bell-housing, custom clutch fork, flywheel inspection cover, Center Force pressure plate, custom Center Force clutch disk, and necessary hardware.
The only thing missing from the box was the 6 bellhousing bolts. The parts list clearly states that these are included, but they were not in the box. I called AA and they offered to send me some in the mail.
I closely inspected the bellhousing. I noticed there were some small cosmetic manufacturing defects. I do believe they are simply cosmetic and will not affect anything.
|Bellhousing Inspection||Bellhousing Inspection|
First thing to do is remove the old pilot bushing and install the new one provided in the kit. There is a trick to getting the old bushing out. You insert something that fits the inner diameter of the pilot pushing exactly. In my case, I used the punch tool that you get with "timesert" style spark plug repair kits.
Fill the cavity of the pilot bushing with grease. Insert the tool, and hit it hard with a hammer. The hydraulic pressure of the grease will force the bushing out. As the tool goes further in the cavity, you will need to ad more grease. After the old one is out, clean out the cavity, and install the new bushing with a rubber mallet or dead blow hammer.
|Pilot Bushing Removal Tool||Clutch plate and pressure plate installed|
Next, install the new 153 tooth flywheel. It is a Zoom part number 50-6516. Then you can install the clutch plate and pressure plate. Be sure to use a Toyota clutch alignment tool. This is not included with the clutch disk.
Now, remove the old bellhousing from the R150F. You are going to re-use the bellhousing to transmission bolts. Install new bellhousing to the Chevy motor using old bolts.
Then install the new clutch fork. It just snaps on over the ball stud on the inside of the bellhousing. Then you will need to install the FJ40 Land Cruiser slave cylinder to the bellhousing, and install the new rod provided in the kit. Instructions in the kit are very vague on this. It just says "install". There is a new rod, two nuts, and a spherical piece. I really wasn't sure which way they were supposed to be assembled, as they could go together two different ways. After a phone call to Advance Adapters, I figured out that you are supposed to install both nuts together as jam nuts, and slide the spherical piece after the nuts. I was a little leery of this setup since the only thing holding the spherical piece was the clutch fork up against it when installed. But they assured me I would have no problems. I adjusted the clearance between the release bearing and clutch fingers to 1/16" as stated in the manual. The AA kit does not come with a boot for the clutch fork area, but I was able to re-use the stock one, even though it does not cover the entire opening.
|Bellhousing with clutch fork installed||Bellhousing installed|
Next task was to locate the engine and transmission in the frame in order to make the motor mounts and new transfer case crossmember. There are few factors I considered when locating my engine. How high up I wanted it mounted, and how far back to mount it. I wanted it up as high as possible to gain ground clearance for the transfer case. I have a 3" body lift, so I can tuck it up nice and high. I experimented with moving the engine back and forth, and how it would affect radiator and fan clearance, transfer case cross-member mounting, drive line length, and firewall modification. One big factor is the radiator and fan setup. There are a lot of options available. Problem is, most of them are expensive. I am on a STRICT budget, so I wanted to use what I already have. I have the stock Blazer radiator, but that thing is way to big to stuff under the hood. So I decided to use the stock V6 radiator, and a Ford Taurus electric fan that I already have, mounted to the outside of the radiator, behind the grille. The motor also has the long water pump setup, so I'm staying with that as well. More on that later. I tucked the transmission as far up as possible in the body, leaving a big enough gap for the trans to move around. I moved the engine far back enough that I only had to slightly hammer in the firewall for distributor clearance. And my new t-case cross-member will line up with the back two stock mounting bolts.
After choosing the final spot for the engine and transmission to sit, I began to fab up the motor mounts. I bought the part that attaches to the motor from www.diy4x4.com/engine . I bought just the plate that bolts to the motor, and the tube and bushings with the bolt. The rest I fabricated myself.
|Fabricated motor mounts||Fabricated motor mounts|
Next I will build the t-case cross-member. Here's what I'm starting with. My stock rubber t-case mount is worn out. Instead of paying $100 for a new stock mount, I'm going to use parts of the old mount along with some bushings and tube I had laying around to make some new ones. I got the idea from Jayk's project here on 4x4wire . PICTURE That is of the 4cy mount. The 6cy mount looks a little different, but I think I can make it work.
The flat piece of steel used for the cross-member was some scrap steel I got from work. I have two other pieces just like it. Its almost long enough to go from frame rail to frame rail. I will cut up some of it at an angle and mount it to the rear two stock cross-member mounting bolts.
|Fabricated transfer case mount||Fabricated transfer case mount|
After test fitting the new cross-member onto the truck, I realized I forgot to clearance the mount for the front t-case output flange. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to redesign the mount. I am in the process of doing this right now, and I will update this when completed.
Next will be wiring the motor. Stay tuned.