Hilux V8 Transformation

Whether it's your first tourer or a hardcore playtruck, show us your vehicle or what you're building inside, and keep us up to date on your mods as they happen!
duza
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Hilux V8 Transformation

Unread post by duza » June 30th, 2007, 11:00 pm

I thought I'd better begin a buildup thread on my Hilux seeing as I'm midway thru the conversion and I think I've finally figured out how to insert photos.

Firstly, I'm fairly new to these forums, but started researching and asking questions several months ago after being transfixed by the buildups of people like Twisty, Boof and Nemesis. I initially wanted to do a conversion on a 95ish Navara as I am familiar with the Nissans, having owned a 90 model for 4 years and having done a commy V6 transplant in it. I looked into the 4.5lt Nissan V8 for that conversion and was about to start looking for a decent vehicle to buy, but decided to err on the safe side and go with a Hilux. There just wasn't enough info available to risk trying to jamb the V8 into a Navara.

So I found a 94 SR5 Dual Cab with a pretty good body and managed to offload the wifes Musso as a trade. This was back in April 2007. After driving the 2.8 diesel for a few weeks, I couldn't wait to take it off the road and begin the conversion, but the usual lack of money delayed it until I decided to sell my old MGB restoration project which I've had lying around in the shed for about 10 years. The reality was that it would never get done, so I took a financial hit and sold it on Ebay.

Initially, I bought a 4Runner 5 speed and transfer case cheap to mate to the Lexus motor, but after driving the Hilux for a few weeks, decided that I am really past manual gearboxes, so swapped it for a 4 Runner Auto and transfer. I then bought an Auto from a Celsior to mate up to the transfer case.
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I thought if I'm going to do this, I may as well do it properly, so proceeded to polish the alloy casings of both the 4Runner Tranfer case and the Celsior transmission. I also had the transmission serviced and a new oil pump fitted to it. I then had the torque convertor checked. Having fitted a transmission and torque convertor to the old Navara and then having to rip it out again because the lockup was playing up, I decided for just 130 bucks it was good insurance.

The tranny and transfer case came up looking the goods, but so they should have after about 6 hours of polishing with an assortment of wire brushes on the battery drill.
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After spending all the effort to tart them up, decided to make it easier to keep them looking clean, so gave them a coat of epoxy enamel. They still look very alloy colour, but hopefully, dirt will wash off with a water blaster in the future.

I'm going with the Celsior Auto rather than the 4Runner, as the electrics from the Celsior will plug straight into the wiring harness of the motor and the factory ECU will easily control it. The Celsior Box is an A341LE and the 4 Runner is an A340. The transfer case from the auto 4 Runner bolts straight up to the Celsior box except for 2 mods which have to be done.
1. There is a sensor on the output shaft which has to be swapped over. On the 4 Runner, the sensor has a 2 pulse pickup, whilst the Celsior has a 4 pulse one.
This is the 4 Runner pickup.
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This is the Celsior pickup after I modified it. To get it to fit onto the shaft, I had it machined down. It was originally about another 20 mm longer and was prevented from moving on its output shaft by some splines on the inside hole. As I had now cut that part of the pickup off, I tapped three little allan keys into it and I think it will hold well.

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2. The output shaft also needs cutting as originally it had a threaded end where the Celsior tailshaft yoke was located. I ended up cutting just with the angle grinder, rather than dismantling the transmission to have it turned down to length. I'll post some more photos and continue this tomorrow.

duza
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Joined: September 1st, 2006, 8:57 am
Location: Dural, NSW

Unread post by duza » June 30th, 2007, 11:05 pm

Can anyone tell me how to reduce the width of my posts? Both the photos and the text are too wide for the monitor and I can't figure out what I've done wrong

oldcourier
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Unread post by oldcourier » June 30th, 2007, 11:34 pm

I reduce the size of my pics before I upload them to Photobucket. I usually save them to be around 600 wide.

Hope it works for you!

Cheers,
Adam
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The Firetruck [url]http://www.4wdmonthly.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=36524[/url]

Celt's
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Unread post by Celt's » July 1st, 2007, 10:13 am

yeah reduce pics to a 640x480 and it will be sweet. Great good Duza with the polishing gee it came up so well hey and prep it will only make sure it stays that way.

Knowing boof & twisty and seeing their rigs first hand, you better be ready to have a non-stop smile when you plant your foot. Will be watching with interest and envy! Good luck.:thumb:
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boof
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Unread post by boof » July 1st, 2007, 10:36 am

Great job on the cleanup mate, I wish I had of done similiar with mine. Oh well its something else to add to the list :D

Good luck with it mate and I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine.
2014 FJ with a few mods

bowie75
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Unread post by bowie75 » July 1st, 2007, 11:03 am

Hi Duza,

Twisty has a lot to answer for, me thinks!!! His was the first Lexus conversion I stumbled upon, and the reason that (as of Thursday) I now have a very clean 91 Surf sitting in my carport...:D

My original plan was to go down the same route you appear to (1uz with Celsior auto), but I was going to get it done by Venom. After seriously considering a 1jz after reading killalux's build up, I think I'm back to the original plan. Since I may have to look at doing the job myself I'm really keen to hear how your build up goes. Any chance you could PM me your initial few post (or re-post) as I can't seem to scroll to pick up the bits that are off screen? Really keen to hear how you mated the engine/transfer/auto up.

That box looks great btw! Looks like you've just raised the bar again for these build ups! I can't wait to see how the rest of it goes: if you're willing to spend what must have been an excrutiating 6 hours cleaning and polishing the trans I can't imagine what the rest of the truck is gonna look like!!!:thumb:

duza
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Joined: September 1st, 2006, 8:57 am
Location: Dural, NSW

Unread post by duza » July 1st, 2007, 9:14 pm

Thanks for the positive feedback, guys. I do think it's a little indulgent of me to think that anyone is really interested in hearing what I am doing, but thank you all for your support. Yes, I think Twisty was also my first inspiration, then Boof and Nemesis, Guts and Bundymonkey. They have all done it a little differently and in different vehicles, but it has been nice to hear how they have overcome their various problems. Hopefully, I will end up with a very driveable vehicle that quite frankly should be a standard ute. Why should we accept second best when it comes to performance in a 4x4?

My 2 main aims in documenting this buildup is firstly because I feel i owe it to payback these forums for the invaluable help they have given me and secondly to hopefully help someone who may have similar silly ideas like myself. The auto route is fairly undocumented at the moment, so if it makes someone's journey a little easier, then it'll be well worth the effort of posting. I suppose the other upside is the positive feedback received by you guys also helps to keep up the enthusiasm, constantly being deflated by yet another invoice.

I had made the decision to do absolutely all the work myself except for the exhaust system and air cond regass/ piping and power steering piping, but have now also decided to get Sideshow to do the wiring. I feel a little guilty as I am an electronics tech by trade and have worked as a marine auto electrician, so could do the job, but for the sake of 700 bucks, I really can't be bothered. I'm better off working in my current job for a couple of days and paying Jim to do a job which will see the vehicle start first go, without the hassle of pouring over circuit diagrams for days. OK, I know I'm pissweak, but hey, I admit it.

Anyway, I'll contiue with the build. Here are photos of the completed output shaft configuration and the piece I hacked of with an angle grinder.
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Whilst I was doing that, I also decided to clean up the Hilux engine bay. It was a typical white Hilux (boring) and I fully intended to do a colour change while I was in the mood. However, after hitting it with copious amounts of our own brand of degreaser (shameless plug for Suds'N'Stuff) and countless applications of the waterblaster, I think you'll agree it scrubbed up OK. I now think I'll just get rid of the SR5 decals and put on some colourful decals on the side of the vehicle to break up the white. The underbody was just too good to play with.
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Having got to that stage, I now needed to buy the motor. I went back to SSS automotive in Sydney, but typical of my luck they had sold their last Celsior. No more stock till September. Jesus, I was pissed. They then found a half cut which was compatible with the Transmission I had bought off them 3 weeks earlier. Only thing it was 500 dollars dearer. It's only money, I kept repeating. In the end, it's probably a good thing, I can keep going back to the wreck for the little things which I find I've needed and in their defence, SSS auto have been pretty good. They have swapped the Celsior headers for the Crown block huggers, have given me a new timing belt and a couple of other things missing or broken from the half cut and the bonus is that they keep your ECU until you're ready for it. The warranty on the motor only begins when you pick up the ECU. I now have a spare auto box from the Celsior and a 4Runner Auto. Any takers?

This is a photo of the half cut. Wouldn't mind actually buying a Celsior or Lexus for the Wife later if I can ever sell her Triumph Stag. Quite cheap on Ebay.
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duza
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Unread post by duza » July 1st, 2007, 9:27 pm

Bowie75, I will PM you as soon as I get a chance. Thanks for the support. Having now fitted the motor, I really think we're pushing to have it fit. It really was never meant for such a small engine bay, but HOORAY, it does fit(just). I think maybe the Surf/4Runner have a few more mm to play with under the bonnet, but there isn't much space in my Hilux. I have massaged the firewall and placed the Donk as far rearward as possible, with only about 5mm between firewall and motor and there is no way in Gods' wide world that my preferred AU Falcon Thermos will fit, even with a custom 25mm thick Ally radiator. I will overcome this problem. I have a couple more days of sitting on the throne and lying in bed solving this dilemma somehow, but I will have a heat free Hilux. Stay tuned.

boof
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Unread post by boof » July 1st, 2007, 9:47 pm

duza wrote:Bowie75, I will PM you as soon as I get a chance. Thanks for the support. Having now fitted the motor, I really think we're pushing to have it fit. It really was never meant for such a small engine bay, but HOORAY, it does fit(just). I think maybe the Surf/4Runner have a few more mm to play with under the bonnet, but there isn't much space in my Hilux. I have massaged the firewall and placed the Donk as far rearward as possible, with only about 5mm between firewall and motor and there is no way in Gods' wide world that my preferred AU Falcon Thermos will fit, even with a custom 25mm thick Ally radiator. I will overcome this problem. I have a couple more days of sitting on the throne and lying in bed solving this dilemma somehow, but I will have a heat free Hilux. Stay tuned.


Hey mate I have managed to squeeze the falcon thermos into mine although it is very tight. If you need any pics let me know if you were local you'd be welcome to come and have a look at it. I am pretty sure my engine bay is no larger than yours??
2014 FJ with a few mods

duza
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Unread post by duza » July 2nd, 2007, 12:47 pm

boof wrote:Hey mate I have managed to squeeze the falcon thermos into mine although it is very tight. If you need any pics let me know if you were local you'd be welcome to come and have a look at it. I am pretty sure my engine bay is no larger than yours??
Yeh, Boof, I think I originally got the idea of using the AU thermos for my old Navara from your buildup, which unfortunately I can no longer find. As far as the Hilux goes though, I have 2 probs with using them.
1. Even if I cut bits out of the thermo housing to fit around the engine pulleys, the air cond compressor sticks out too far. Remember the air cond compressor has the clutch unit at the front. Not running air is not an option.

2. The size of the Hilux radiator is fairly square. It's actually a little higher than it is wide, whereas the AU thermos are quite a bit wider than high. The 2 fans would only each be partially in front of the radiator. I am convinced the secret to effective cooling is to have the shroud almost completely covering the radiator, so that all of the air being sucked by the fans are being drawn thru the radiator. Maybe your radiator is a little wider than my earlier model, but I would be interested to see some photos if you have any.

For now, I'm leaning toward a 16 inch aftermarket thermo, fitted to an effective shroud. The standard Hilux shroud is really just a tin finger protector, so I'm going to do the rounds of the wreckers this week to try to find something more appropriate.

I also want to get an alloy radiator. Maybe someone can steer me in the right direction here. I need one which is 2 rows wide (25-30 mm ) and is basically the same width as my Hilux one, but can be 50mm higher because of the body lift. I've left the dimensions at home, so will re-ask this question tommorow, but from memory there is a skinny Rodeo radiator from a V6 which may fit. I'm not prepared to get acustom one made by Mr Enforcer for the quoted $800, so hope to find an off the shelf one. The main thing of course is that I need a thinner one than my existing 48mm thick copper radiator, so it does need to be alloy.

Cheers,
Ric

boof
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Unread post by boof » July 2nd, 2007, 1:04 pm

Mate I will get some pics for you tonight I am also running a/c and the fans work brilliantly a 16" thermo is not even in the same ballpark.
2014 FJ with a few mods

THE RIG
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Unread post by THE RIG » July 2nd, 2007, 2:48 pm

awesome buildup duza,gearbox came up a treat,gonna watch this thread for sure...keep up the great work


tom
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Bundy
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Unread post by Bundy » July 2nd, 2007, 3:29 pm

I am also running the AU thermos for my 1UZ and it keeps it cool no worries. the radiator is the wrong size but i just used a bit of tin to cover the over hang
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bowie75
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Unread post by bowie75 » July 2nd, 2007, 6:47 pm

Cheers mate, look forward to the pm.

Let me know how you go with your loom as I too may end up getting one from Sideshow if Scott can't do it for me. I can appreciate that you want to do all the work yourself, but sometimes it's less painful to let someone who knows what they're doing do the job: especially if you work for yourself and it's costing you money turning down work to do it! That's just my opinion.

And yeah, from Twisty's I found Nem's, Boof's, Bundymonkey's, etc too! Great motivation seeing what these guys have done, even better learning from their experience, absolutely priceless when Twisty volunteers himself (and half of them unknowingly!) into helping you with yours!!!:waycool:
(I wasn't joking Boof!)

duza
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Unread post by duza » July 2nd, 2007, 9:41 pm

Ok, here are some more photos. Wish I had a better camera, but this will have to do. On Sunday the motor was fitted hopefully for the final time. The engine mounts are AU-EL Falcon and so far this was the most time consuming job. Probably close to a day fabricating mounts to bolt to the motor and adapting the existing chassis mounts to take the Falcon rubber.
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The welds look fairly crap there, but they're not as bad as that. Just the light from the flash, I think.

I also have some photos of the clearance between front of motor and radiator. It actually looks more in the photos than in reality. There's actually about 45mm between the front of the air cond compressor and the radiator. Bearing in mind I will be getting a slimmer radiator, there will be about another 25 mm saved there. Total expected clearance will be only 70mm. The AU thermos are around 95mm thick, so I will definitely need to rethink this. A bit disappointing as I know they would do the job brilliantly. Also note that the idler pulley which previously ran the hydraulic cooling fan will be removed altogether because it is taking up too much room and a shorter Serpentine belt will be used. This is the alloy thingo you see sticking out the furthest in the photos below. I thought that I might fit an engine driven fan to it, but unfortunately it's not in the centre of the radiator and I can't move the radiator across to compensate. God, these things are sent to test us, but I will not be beaten.

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This is the original radiator and as stated previously, I will be after a slimmer (25mm) alloy one which can be slightly larger than the original, the core of which is 530mm high x 480 mm wide. I can go up to 580mm high x 500mm wide, so if anyone has a compatible one in their 4by, let us know, please. It would be nice to get one from a wrecker, complete with shroud.
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