4x4 Answerman: Your Off-Road Questions Answered [June]

Jun. 22, 2010 By Jaime Hernandez
Have a truck or SUV question for the 4x4 Answerman? Send your questions to editor@off-road.com. Please include your name and location, and be as detailed as possible about your questions.

Question sparked by Dana 70 Disc Brake Swap.

4x4 AnswerMan,

This is a pretty good article, but what about the master cylinder and prop valve? I would love to do this on my 1-ton Chevy but I am wondering about these two items. Any info would be great.

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Hi Jepperscreepers,

Thanks for re-surfacing this article.  It just goes to show how much good tech we have here on Off-Road.com.

As for the Master Cylinder, if you say you already have a 1-ton, that should be good. Although updating to a heavier duty power booster would be awesome. The big hydraulic-assist power brakes found on 1-ton ½ and heavier trucks is the way to go if you want to beef things up.

As for a proportioning valve, sometimes you need them, sometimes you don’t.  It all depends on your setup, the weight of the vehicle and tire size. First, try running without the proportioning valve. If you feel the rear is locking up, then a proportioning valve is needed to adjust the bias to the front. You can easily add one from Wilwood or Summit Racing.

Now get going!



4x4 AnswerMan,

I have a Dana 70HD dually with 16-inch wheels and wanted to know if the drum to disk brakes would fit on this axle. I have another truck that has a GM 14-bolt with the conversation kit on it and the dual wheels will not fit.


Lafayette, NY

Hi Jim,

I don’t think this specific conversion will work for a dually. 

Your options would be to either get a Dana 70 from a late-model dually donor that has factory disk brakes or to use a disk brake conversion kit specifically designed for a dually.

Take a look at the Dana 70 dually disk conversion kit from 4WD Factory.

Good luck.



Question sparked by DON'T GO LUG NUTS!- Understanding wheel patterns

4x4 AnswerMan,

Will a 1998 8-lug Ford F-250 rim fit on a 1996 8-lug Dodge 2500?

Chicago, IL

Hi Kevin,

Yes and no. The bolt pattern might be similar, but only on pre-98 wheels. Ford went from the standard 8x6.5 to 8x170mm. 

Chevy and Dodge wheels are interchangeable. They are still 8x6.5. Some milling might be needed in the front wheel to clear front hub assembly on the Dodge. The H2 wheel on a Dodge 4x4 is a popular swap.

Good luck.



4x4 AnswerMan,

Recently re-built the 1.3L motor in my 86 Samurai and it was great ... at first. Within 1500 miles the valves started getting noisy, so we readjusted them and it was as quiet as a sewing machine, then again within 1500 miles it started sounding like a diesel again (the cam was mic'd and found to be in spec. and the head was sent out to a machine shop for a 3-angle valve job).

Why won't the valve adjustment hold up any longer then this amount of mileage?  I almost never rev above 4,000 RPM (my daily driver). Please help me with this. I'm going crazy constantly setting valve lash.


Dayton, OH

Hi Carl,

I understand your frustration, but no need to go crazy—we already have too many running around. There can be a number of factors as to why your valve adjustment keeps changing.  Without knowing all the facts it’s really hard for me to say exactly what is causing the change in valve lash. In all honesty, it can be that the engine is simply breaking in the new parts added during the re-build (e.g. valve springs).

My recommendation is that you take it back to the person who did the re-build.  They should be able to give you some direction on why this is happening—and hopefully a solution.

Good Luck.

I have a Toyota Pick-up 1991 4x4 3.0 motor and I need the ignition order diagram to the wire connection.  Can you tell me where I can find it?



Hi Alejandro,

Don’t laugh … the order is Uno,Dos,Tres,Cuatro,Cinco,Seis. 

Really, it’s 1,2,3,4,5,6 counter-clockwise.

Below is a firing order diagram for a Toyota 3.0L V6.




4x4 AnswerMan,

I have a V-6 ‘91 Runner. Any info on swapping that to a 7M-GE?


Yigo, HI

Hi Mike,

Sounds like a cool project.  There is definitely some modification involved to make this Toyota Supra 7M-GE motor work in your 4Runner. 

Here’s a link to an old Off-Road.com tech article on the topic that will get your gears turning.  Keep us posted if you end up going this route.

The Supra Swap

Toyota Supra 7M-GE



4x4 AnswerMan,

I have a 1991 d21 4wd with a 6-inch lift and bla bla bla. What I was wondering was could I put a V6 motor out of a ‘90-94 Pathfinder in my truck that came with a 2.4 without changing transmissions? With the over-sized tires I have, the 2.4 just doesn't have the power I need.

Thank you,

Mountain Grove, MO

Hi Jeff,

Yes, you can put a V6 in your Nissan Hardbody truck (d21), but the wiring is different than the 4-cylinder you have in place. The trans will also be different. If you’re able to get the engine and trans wiring out of the Nissan Pathfinder—you’ll be ahead. I’m not sure on the transfer case, but you can compare the one on your truck to the donor Pathfinder.

A good resource for Nissan truck and Pathfinder vehicles can be found here on Off-Road.com

Nissan Hardbody (D21) and Pathfinder (WD21) FAQ

TIP: If you are running tires bigger than 31-inch on your Nissan Hardbody, consider changing gears. This will help move your truck around and you will feel more power. You can determine what the best gearing for your rig is by using the Gear Application Guide on National Drive Train’s website.




4x4 AnswerMan,

I have a 92 Sidekick that I want to lift. I started with the rear, I used some Honda springs and it fit perfectly but my stock shocks were too short. So I found some 240sx rear struts and took the springs off and mounted them.  They are aftermarket struts and seem to be working pretty darn good.

My project for this week is to lift up the front and I have some springs for them, but I need longer shocks for them. Can I get aftermarket shocks for the front that are longer? The rear lifted about another 5-6 inches. I was amazed and the ride is very smooth.

Lo Saechao

Check out the Suzuki Sidekick Off-Road.com Project here.

Hi Lo Saechao,

Sounds like you enjoy playing with puzzles. To answer your question, yes there are companies that sell aftermarket shocks for your Suzuki Sidekick that are designed for lifted applications. The shocks will be longer than the factory ones on there. Manufacturers like Old Man Emu and Pro Comp have parts for you. 

A good place to get info and parts would be Rocky Road Off-Road out of Utah. They’ve been playing with mini trail rigs for many years. They’ll be able to tell you what works and what doesn’t.

You can also do a search here on Off-Road.com for “Sidekick” for additional tech and feature articles that show what others have done. The options are endless.

Have fun and make sure to let us know what you do.



4x4 AnswerMan,

Do you know the arm length for a 71 FJ40 fuel sending unit?

Harrisonburg, VA

John, let me go into the garage and see what I can find out.

Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser Fuel Sending Unit

Well, I have a 1970 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser that should be the same.

Here’s what I measured:

Total length is about 11 inches. There are also some bends in there to keep in mind.

2-inches from sending unit to first bend
110-degree bend
8 inches flat
100-degree bend at float end
1-inch to float

Hope that helps.



4x4 AnswerMan,

I have a 1947 Willys Pickup truck, 4x4.  I want to put an engine and an automatic transmission in it for "today’s highways," keeping it 4x4. What is the best engine and trans for this type of truck? I can't wait to get started on this baby.

Thanks Much, Tracie
South Bend, IN

Hi Tracie,

The ‘47 Willys Pickup is one sweet truck. The most bang for your buck conversion would be a Chevy 350 and auto trans. Do a TH400 or 700R4 for better highway speeds. Ideally you would find a donor vehicle that would have all three: engine, auto trans, and transfer case. You can also go with a manual trans if you like—but the automatic will give you better MPG.

If you have some extra cash to spend on the project, fuel-injection is a nice option. You can either go GM Vortec or Dodge Hemi. The tricky part about this option is the electronics. If you don’t have the wiring harness and computer—she ain’t going to tick.

Again, find a donor vehicle, strip out engine/trans/t-case and all the wiring, including ECU.

If you have huge gobs of money: Crate Motor, Trans of your choice, Atlas T-case. 

If you need an adaptor kit to make these mesh--Advance Adaptors is the way to go.  They have applications for the most popular off-road engine/trans/t-case combinations.

Please let us know what you decide and keep us posted on your progress. 



4x4 AnswerMan,

I have programmer.  I would like to know the location of remote starter fuse or # for 2007 Avalanche so I can install.

Pickering, Canada

Hi Wayne,

The remote starter fuse is more than likely going to be inside the engine bay or underneath the dash. Look for a black fuse box. There usually is a fuse number and description on the lid.

You can also contact the manufacturer of your programmer to get better instructions on how to do your installation.

Have fun, and please don’t blow your fuse on this project. 



4x4 AnswerMan,

I just purchased a 2007 GMC Sierra Denali AWD.  First off, the governor shuts me off at 98 and I need to get that fixed. I heard you can buy a chip for that in specific without having to spend 300 buck.

Next most important question: I am going to put a 3 to 1 leveling kit on the truck. My rims are 18 x 8 and currently have 265 65s. I want bigger, wider, more aggressive, but the catch is I only want to powder coat the rims and use them to put some more aggressive wheels with tougher looking sidewalls.

Without sacrificing my ride too much, how big can I go?  Please help, dying to get rid of the pizza cutters I got now.

Temecula, CA

Hi Joe,

I’m not sure why you need to go over 100 mph off-road, unless you’re Robby Gordon and racing the Baja 1000. Yes, you can use either a Superchips or Hypertech module to get rid of the speed governor.  It will also add some ponies, and might even increase your MPG.

As for bigger off-road tires, it can be done—but there are some things to consider. The 18-inch off-road tire selection is slim. You’re going to have a better selection with the popular sizes like 20s, 17s and 16s.

You might consider getting some 17-inch GM take-off wheels and adding bigger tires. You might also consider the expense of powder coating each wheel—you might almost be better off getting some aftermarket wheels that are already black. 

Don’t forget Craigslist … good deals if you don’t mind waiting.

If your Denali is 4x4, you can fit some 285s (almost 33s) without lifting, although the leveling kit will add some extra wheel well clearance and a tall stance.

Whatever you do, have fun and be safe. 

Have a truck or SUV question for the 4x4 Answerman? Send your questions to editor@off-road.com. Please include your name and location, and be as detailed as possible about your questions.

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