Because of my original plans of getting a fabricator to custom make my front tube bar and sliders didn't eventuate, I was forced to look for an alternative.....I didnt want to go another ARB bar or Ironman Bar as the style of the bars although they do look good hang too far forward (kept getting hung up on them) and weigh to much......so I ordered a set of rock sliders from Millweld and got the 2nd made Xrox Bar c/o Matty from Monster Rides.....highly reccomend both of them, customer service was first class...something that I have trouble finding lately.
Anyway, here are the pics -
I havent fitted the Xrox bashplate they have provided because it clashes abit with my own bashplate design but Im confident I can get them to work well together with a bit of work.
will need to do something with the rear quarters and departure angle to match the increase approach angle the bar has given me.
Next mod to come will be a Marlin Crawl Box from the US....was sent out today and should arrive this Wednesday.
Wyatt Scott, co owner of Demello Offroad and Rock Solid Toys in the US and Marlin Czajkovski, owner of Marlin Crawler in the US are coming down next month to install the Crawl Box into my Hilux here.
It will be the first current shape hilux in the world to have a Crawl Box fitted.
What is a Crawl Box?
It's one of these.....
Basically, its the front portion, the reduction gear portion of a gear driven transfercase that has adaptors put on it to suit the application and it sits infront of the factory chain driven transfercase....So basically a second transfer case with its own shifter that has the option of either High or Low.
So the hilux will have a High and Low range in the factory transfer case aswell as a Low Low or compound low for crawling over serious obstacles....
Crawler Boxes come out with 2,28 gears as standard but mine has been equipped with the 4.7 gears.
What does that mean?
What it means is that my factory transfercase will have a further reduction to factory crawl speed of 4.7 times.....
The Marlin Crawler 4.70:1 XD gear kit will replace your truck's stock 2.28:1 low range ratio with a 4.70:1 ratio, giving you a 51% lower final drive ratio. Your truck will become easier to control, harder to break traction, and will save critical components such as your clutch (if manual transmission) and your brakes. Additionally, your torque output will increase by more than 50%, which means you won't have to rev your engine to get power. You'll be able to go slower, control your vehicle, prevent bouncing and jerking, which will result in a safer trail ride with less risk of breaking parts.
Each Gear Kit includes the following:
Input, Countershaft, and Low Speed Gears
Japanese OEM bearings preinstalled
Completely Toyota gasket and seal kit including a new Transmission output seal
Now to put all of that into perspective and in a way the average person will understand better, Ive done some sums.....
Hilux D4D Auto
Diff Ratio = 3.73
1st gear Ratio = 2.804
Low Range Ratio = 2.56
To calculate the Crawl Ratio we multiply first gear of the transmission with the low range of the transfer case -
2.804 x 2.56 = 7.18
Now multiply the previous number (7.18) by the diff ratio (3.73) = 26.78 Crawl Ratio This would be far better in a manual Hilux diesel as first gear ratio in a manual is 4.313 and the diff ratio is 3.53 meaning it has a crawl ratio off 38.98
Basically, the higher the number, the slower the crawl speed is.
Dont forget Im on 33's so it kills the current crawl ratio in low range......
OK, now with a 2.28:1 crawler box it would be--> 26.78 x 2.28 = 61.06 Crawl Ratio Nothing to really sing and dance about really as its only slightly better than a standard Tacoma.
What really kills it for the hilux is the high diff ratio (3.73) and the high 1 st gear in the auto (2.804).
Now with the 4.7:1 gears that will be fitted my crawl ratio will be -
26.78 x 4.7 = 125.86 Crawl Ratio
So my standard Hilux has crawl ratio of 26.78 and with the Hilux in Compund Low with the Crawler it will be 125.86.....effectively, 4.7 times slower than standard.
If along the way I decided to change the diff gears to 4.1's that would change the final Crawl Ratio to 138.36 and if I went to 4.5:1 diff ratio it would jump to 151.86:1
That Crawl Ratio is a worst case scenario.....Ill be able to control the crawl speed by shifting the auto to the gears I need.......
This gives you so much more gearing options than just rock cralwer type gears in a gear driven transfercase and allows all the current and previous shape hilux's with Chain transfercases finally an option to be able to get that very slow crawl ability that up until now wasnt available.
Here's some install pics from the US
And attached to the front of the transfer case
Mounted in the vehicle-
The other benefit of this is you can "clock" the transfer case so you end up with a flat bottom belly of the vehicle between the chassis rails-
The factory transfer lever position now becomes the crawler lever position and you have to custom make a provision in your centre console for the factory lever....in this case, they used one of the cup holders-
New crossmember with second transfercase mount-
This mods shifts the factory transfercase back 8.5" so you will have to lengthen your front tailshaft by this much and shorten your rear one by that much again.
4WD Toyota Owner Magazine from the USA will be covering this install and Ive had interest from Rick, editor of 4x4 Extreme Magazine here in OZ to cover it if he manages to organise it......
So I decided that now I have better approach angle with the new front bar, I needed to do something with the a$$ end to match it and improve departure angle....so I've decided to do a rear 1/4 panel chop.
Ive got one week of work left before I go on long service leave (and the fact that my 3rd child is due in 2 weeks) so thought over that time Id hopefully find enough of it to complete this chop.
Heres what I have in mind from a Tacoma in the US -
After I cut it, I will paint the exposed metal with rust proof paint and then seal it with some rubber pinchweld sealer to go over it.
I will fab some new side brackets for the tow bar and raise it higher to suit but will leave it low enough below the tailgate for room for some tube when I eventually get round to making a tube rear bar to go along with the towbar.
I will also fabricate some mudflaps and brackets to use in the meantime to keep the law off my tail. The brackets will be removable so when offroad I can take the mudflaps off.
The following tacoma is my inspriation....
He has a removable mudflap that he take off for offroading.....I plan to do the same thing.
Below is a diagram of what he did....basically its two tube steel pieces, he used circle tube, Ill try and use square tube, but one slide inside the other. The shorter "inner" tube gets welded into place off the side of the chassis rail, the longer tube that has the rubber mudflap tech screwed into it slides over the smaller one and is held on with a bolt going through both. Simple. Then get some chain to hold the mudflap back abit off the tyre.
In the pic below you can see the mudflap bracket stub sticking out of the side of the chassis rail -
Here is a "Paint" photo edit of what the back end of the hilux I hope to look like?
The new lowest point of the tub will be much higher than the rock sliders, so realistically almost everything the rock sliders get over I shouldnt hit the tub.....in most cases :roll:
Here is some close ups of what I plan to do....Im going to try and follow the "lines" of the hilux's tub, that is the shape of the moulds in the panel work so it wont be exactly a horizontal cut, but angle slightly towards the front -
Like I said, later on Ill make a rear bar for it, but in the meantime Ill have the clearance Im wanting/looking for and with the mudflaps fitted it'll still be legal and not attract too much attention....I hope
Its not for everyone I know but its what I want to do to achieve a departure angle with my current ride height to match the increase approach angle I now have with the front Xrox bar.....then along with the improved ramp over angle I will achieve by "clocking the crawler box" that Ill be installing I should have the clearance that a much higher hilux has without the mods.
Here's a couple pics of Tacoma's that have had the rear quarter chop done fitted with custom bars. Not sure which way Im going to go yet...have time for that.
Plate Type Rear Bar
Tube Type rear Bar
Ok, got a friend to make up for me the mud flap brackets that Ill use once the chop is done.....the design is slightly different to that planned above....
I ended up with an outer sleeve that gets welded onto the chassis rail....35mmx35mmx2mm thicksquare tube....500mm long and the inner tube is 30x30x2mm and 370mm long.
The inner tube slides into the shorter welded on outer tube nice and tight (the way I like it ) and Ill drill a hole through both and put a bolt through to hold it in.
Rubber sheet (Mudflap) will tech screw into the longer inner tube. Hope all that makes sense? Pic below.
So I got some time to do some more preparation work on the rear quarter chop....I removed the rear flares off the tub....strewth, couldnt beleive there was that much mud in the bottom of each side of the flares...no shit, would have been a good 2kg of mud all up...all different coloured layers...would have been a geologists dream to work out were each layer came from......
Tyres Hanging out heaps with no flares
Well, heres the view for those that havent jumped under their tubs yet of the brackets supporting the sides of the tub -
As you can see I removed the mudflaps, then was the fun part to remove the plastic clips with the inbuilt thread for the mudflap screws....great fun....NOT
Removed the two 12mm bolts and drilled out the 3 spot welds on the right hand side....
Once the spot welds are drilled out, wiggle the panel around abit to break the seal the spot welds have left....
In the pic below, Im holding the stub of the mud flap bracket where it will be welded on roughly....and Ive drawn a texter line of approximately where the cut will be going on the inner side.
The bracket on the left you see hanging is removed by a couple of bolt at the top of it.....I left it on there for now as I put the mudflaps back on to keep driving it this week. After the week is up, I wont be driving the hilux hardly anything for a while so this save sme time later on when it comes to the actual chop.
Heres a pic of the line Ill be taking...the top of the tape is where the cut will be....Im not going perfectly horizontal for two reasons....
1st is it'll be too high above the side of the chassis rail and make mounting the mudflap bracket more difficult, and secondly, it follows the indentation in the side of the tub....so it'll look better.
Thats it for now...hopefully next weekend Ill get some time to pull the light and wiring out, tape it up properly and begin cutting.
I managed to do a little this morning and a little this afternoon on the hilux.
Pulled the spare tyre out, removed the tail lights and pulled the wiring out so its not in the way when i cut......i also drilled out the spot welds holding the panel to the brackets inside it. So that when i cut it will come apart easier then ill cut the brackets to suit seperately later.
I also taped her up and drew a guide-line that ill follow when i cut...had to double check on both sides to ensure it was even.
I toyed with the idea of having a perfectly horizontal cut but it would have ended up too high above the chassis rail directly behind the tyre and having it slightly tapered will suit the way im gonna do the mud flaps later.
all done.....only a few minor things left to do like tidy up the wiring, fit the number plate...fit some recovery hooks....the removable mudflaps but all in all it came out exactly like my photoshopped pic a few pages back. am thinking of leaving the towbar plug plugged in and tied out of the way and only fit the towbar if i need it which is rare.
the quarter panels are only very slightly looser, as in they flex a tad bit more than before but no where near anything to worry bout.
the tailgate still shuts properly thou clips the right hand side a tad as you slam it, but when locked no problems, no flex.
cant post pics atm, got the little one in me arms trying to put him to sleep while i type this.....
lots of scrap metal on the garage floor......i did use rust kill paint on all exposed metal surfaces and fitted the pinchweld rubber too.
here are the pics, not the best coz they are in me garage but you can make it all out....once everthing is done, ill fully detail the truck, something i havent done in ages.
here you can see the extra steel supports exposed on the corners after the outer panel has been cut off.
and a selection of a few more. i wanted to follow the bottom of the tailgate at the rear and taper it downwards towards the tyre.
yes, the chassis is abit exposed, but should be hidden abit better eventually when i get some sort of rear bar fitted.
you can see the number plate support panel is still there, that'll stay for now till i mount the number plate on a hinge so i dont destroy it offroad.....
so what do you think guys?
both positive and negative comments appreciated, i understand its not something most people would do and im probably the only one dumb enough to do it first, but you live only once and you learn as you go along.....hopefully others have picked up something from my little bit of butchery.
tip: use a 4 inch thin blade for outer panel and if you have access to a 9" grinder, use that for the corners, would have made my life so much easier if i had a larger grinder!
So for those of you that have been following some of my progress, you would have realised that I have recently completed a rear 1/4 panel chop and the fabrication of removable heavy duty mudflaps......
But I have taken some updated pics of the hilux this arvo after completing the removable mudflaps and thought you may be interested in seeing the finished product.
Left Hand Rear Quarter
Right Hand Rear Quarter
some may wonder why i left a space above the mudflaps between them and the tub - its room for barwork to go over the top of the mudflap at a future stage. And yes, the mudflaps go past the edge of the flare, its needed to cover the whole width of the tyre, i may fit some rubber flexi flares to the edge of the fibreglass flare to cover the tyre better and make it look more legal.
As others have said, some sort of rear bar with recovery points would complete it.....anyone willing to make one "pro-bonno" ?
Id love something like this with the wheel carrier but dont know if it would suit the lux.....may just settle for a simple tube similar to this one below -
Another small update to add a piece to the puzzle :lol:
I Have removed my front tailshaft (boot one in pic below) and the front portion of my rear tailshaft (since they are a 2 piece unit - top one in pic below) to get them modifed to suit the Crawl Box when it is installed.
The Crawl Box is 8.5" long so fitting this will require me to shorten the front portion of the rear shaft and lengthen the front tailshaft by that amount.
I fitted the side mount rubber flares to the outer edges of the fibreglass flares I have now on.......
One of the reasons for doing this is because of the rear quarter chop and the custom mudflaps Ive fitted its a little bit of extra "cop-bait" and the whole sidewall of the tyre was sitting past the flares as it was so I thought Id make things all "legal'ish" :roll: and cover the tyres properly.
As you can see the tailshaft isnt there, I picked it up yesterday...all modified to suit the crawler which is getting installed this coming Monday.....Wyatt and Marlin should be jumping on the plane in bout a couple hours time.....
Ive also slapped on some Marlin stickers to help promote their product......
The extra width of the flares means I can now run easily a full width 12.5 inch tyre if I want to and be covered by the flares....over my 12inch wide at the moment.
The bronze ***** is slowly but surely changing.....cant wait to take her offroad again, its been a while.
Edit: My daughter reckons the "little turtles" on the hilux are pretty cool ....LOL
Marlin and Wyatt and me began this project late sunday night, was supposed to be started monday but Marlin wanted a quick look below the transfercase shift lever boot through the cut out of the floor just to ensure everything was ok......first problem!
We found that the hilux has a forward shifting transfercase rather than a top shifting one like the Tacoma's and FJ cruisers do.....How does this make it a problem?
Let me explain further.....
A forward shift for those that may not know is when the actual shifter itself is located ontop of the adaptor plate between the rear of the transmission and the front of the factory transfercase.......the transfercase has extra long shift rods to accomadate the extra distance needed to shift gears.
This is a problem because we are required to remove this factory adaptor plate from the back of the transmission and fit the marlin Crawler one.
Other problem we encountered straight away was the fact that even thou every technical journal and resource we used to work out what transfercase it was and what gearbox the hilux had, once everything was apart we realised that the adaptor plates were incorrect.....for some reason Toyota used different adaptor plates/bel/housings on the hilux where they would have used a different one again for the US market even thou the transmission and gearbox itself were the same.
So halfway through Monday we weren't looking good.
Marlin contacted his workshop in the USA and organise to get the correct adaptor plates sent down for the Crawler Box, aswell as a short shift kit for the factory j-pattern transfercase as the location it would come up would be behind the auto shifter between it and the lid of the center console. Space is a premium here so we needed everything we could use to help.
Heres is some pics.
First one below is view from underneath with everything pretty much gutted! :shock:
Next pic is view on interior thats been gutted too! :shock:
Pic below is of the factory transfercase and the crawl box beside it with both the front and rear adaptor plates removed, which is why it looks so narrow......if you have a look at the front of the factory transfercase you can see the shift rods exit the front of it - this is where our problem lies......the extra length of those rods goes into the rear of the auto transmission adaptor plate to the transfer.....in this adaptor plate there is an opening on top just like the one you can see ontop of the factory transfercase where the transfer shifter fits in the standard configuration......the opening in the pic below you see is because we removed a blank cover that was fitted there.
Seems toyota uses the same transfercase in multiple market but this configuration is only for the hilux's......same transfercase in tacoma and FJ but they have their TOP shifted whereas the hilux is FRONT shifted......
A front shift configuration you see in applications where the vehicle has a front bench seat fitted and they move the shifter forward for more room.....looks like they have done this in this case and just carried it through across the range.
Last pic, I have just sat the extra shifter behind the auto selector so you can see where it will exit the transmission tunnel......we will be flipping the auto shift cable bracket you see there to make more room for a drilling a hole through the tranny tunnel......in this position is where the factory shifter will be located but we will be using a short shift design as space is at a premium here.
Late Monday afternoon, we went to a Toyota Wrecker to see what sort of transfercases they had here....if they had a "left hand dropped with a top shifter" we would have bought it and replaced it with mine......
Problem again is that no such beast exists here in Australia at all.
We found a couple right hand dropped transfercases with a top shifter but no left hand ones........The idea behind this is that we would purchase these if we had too and use the shift rods out of them.
Tuesday, we went to ARB headquarters here in Kilsyth for a tour of the factory and facilities with the guys.....absolutely awesome......I was speechless......you really get a great appreciation for the quality of a product when you actually see how its built and put together.....the ARB air locker was an impressive unit to see being built....I have pics but havent uploaded them yet to the PC, will do that later on at some stage.
On the way home from ARB, we swung past the wreckers again and we purchased a transfercase out of a 2003 Hilux 3.4 V6.......for 300bux.
We also found from other older toyota transfercases factory made short shifter's, shifter lever and the base and it was a perfect fit........so we took that aswell.
Got home, and we all got stuck into the job.
What an honour it is to see someone like Marlin himself stripping apart a transfercase literally with his eyes blindfolded and explaining exactly the process of it and what each little component does along the way - mate! did I learn abit watching him.
We pulled the shift rods out of the 2003 Hilux's tranfercase since they are shorter because of the top shift configuration and we then stripped my transfercase and removed the longer shift rods from the forward-shift design and slapped the shorter ones into it and then put it all back together.
By the end of last night, I was the proud owner, quite possibly of the only "Left Hand Dropped, Top 'Quick Shifter(Short Throw)' 05+ Hilux Chain Driven Tranfercase" in the world!!!!!!!!!
So we are looking good now.
We can still use the incorrect Marlin Crawler adaptor plates to mount everything up for measurements sake, and work on the new location of the factory J-Shifter Transfercase lever, extend the wiring of the sensors/pickups on the transfercase by 8.5" and ensure the tailshafts have been resized the right amount.
Then when the adaptor plates arrive from the US on thrusday, we just replace them and we are good to go!