H55F Transmission Swap on a 08/85 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60

Oct. 01, 2005 By ORC STAFF
Toyota Land Cruiser
Part 2 (Cont. from Part 1)


Remove Transmission Output Shaft Cover and Nut
Just take off the 6 bolts holding the cover on and using your nice new $8 36mm Socket, bend the lock tabs out where they clamp on to the shaft with a hammer and screwdriver and take off the nut.

Remove Rear Output Flange
Bend the lock tabs out of this nut also, and use your awesome 32mm Socket to get this nut off, and then take the flange off so the transfer case can be split.

Remove Spring and Locking Ball
Above the rear output flange there's a big nut that, once taken off, reveals a spring and ball that set in indentations on the transfer shift fork keeping the transfer case in gear. Remove the nut, spring and ball, and don't lose them!

Split The Transfer Case
Remove all bolts holding the two halves together. Should be 14 bolts of various sizes. Remember how they go. 3 short bolts go next to the PTO cover and the enormous bolts fit into the transmission.

Remove Gearsets
When I first heard you had to remove gears I was scared to death for screwing something up. But the idler (middle) gears pull out without any exertion, along with the transfer case output gears and shift fork. Just wiggle them a little and they'll come off. The transmission output shaft has a bearing and spacer on it that needs to be removed, and the gear can be slid off with a few taps from a rubber mallet. I stacked all of my gears on the floor exactly how they came out to remember how they go back in.

Remove Transfer Case From Transmission
Remove the remaining 5 bolts holding the transfer case onto the transmission and give it a couple taps and it should slide right off.

Snap In Oiler, Tap Hole
Now you can snap in your little plastic oiler, as the place is very obvious. You can also tap the hole that is now unused. I put a bolt I cut off into it with some thread locker and a lock washer because, if it fell out, there would be big problems. Also make sure the bolt does not protrude since the 5th gearset is spinning right there and you obviously don't want any problems. These are the only two modifications that you would need to do with your transfer case.

Replace Front Case on Transmission
With your new H55F Transmission and gasket, fit the nipple of the oiler into the center of the 5th gear, and install the 3 bolts attaching the front case to the transmission. Only install the 3 bolts on the inside of the transfer case at this time.

Install Idler Gearset
Install the idler shaft with new O-Rings, followed by the thrust washer, with its protrusion in the grove in the transfer case. Then install the caged roller bearings and then the idler gear to the shaft.

Install Transmission Output Gear
Using a rubber mallet, you can just hammer the gear onto the input shaft. Be sure to put the square edge of the gear toward the transmission, and the rounded, bigger side toward the rear.

Install Spacer and Bearing
Just slide the spacer onto the output shaft, and use your 36mm Socket to hammer the bearing onto the shaft.

Install Transfer Case Output Shaft
With the shift fork in position on the hub sleeve, install the output shaft on the front case, while putting the shift fork in its hole.

Install Rear Case
Put some white lithium or equivalent on the rear thrust washer and stick it in place with the protrusion in the groove. If you look at the idler shaft you will notice a squared off portion. On the rear case you can see where that fits. Turn the idler shaft to the angle of the rear case so it will fit when you install the case. Now you can throw the case on there carefully, with the new gasket, making sure everything is lining up. Install all of the bolts with the correct sizes in the correct places and the correct metal clips in the correct places (for routing the 4WD indicator wiring).

Install Rear Flange
Torque down your new Rear Flange Nut to about 94 ft lbs using your special socket. Jam a long screwdriver in the front flange to prevent it from turning while you apply the torque. Then use a chisel and bend in the sides where the groves on the shaft are, just like it was before you took it off.

Install Transmission Output Nut
Same as above using the other special socket, at the same torque and pounding in the same tabs. This time, though, jam the screwdriver in the rear flange as you torque it down.

Install PTO Cover
Use a new gasket, preferably.

Install Transmission Output Cover
Again, use a new gasket.

Install Spring and Ball
Hopefully you haven't lost the nut spring and ball! Just throw the ball in the hole and put the spring in there and tighten the nut down. Shift the High/Low shifter a couple times to make sure it works correctly.

Install Crossmember Brackets
Steal the crossmember brackets from the old H42 Transmission and fit them onto the new H55F.

Install Transfer Shift Lever Axle
On the passenger side of the old transmission you can see the axle that the shift lever uses to pivot on. You must take that off and put it on your new H55F.

So now you're done and your transmission/transfer case assembly is ready to be installed. Now you must get the truck ready for the installation.


Replace Rear Main Seal
It's as easy to replace as it is to remove, but make sure it is completely seated. You don't want to have to come back to this point in a long long while. Use a blunt soft object to make completely sure.

Replace Pilot Bearing
Take your new bearing and a socket of the same outer diameter and hammer it in there all the way. Make sure it turns silky smooth.

Install Bellhousing
Just lug that heavy thing up there and install the six bolts.

Install Flywheel
Make sure you put thread locker on the six flywheel bolts and torque them to the correct setting (mine was 60 ft lbs). Use the same screwdriver stuck in the gear teeth to keep it from spinning.

Install Pressure Plate/Clutch Disc
Use your handy dandy clutch alignment tool to position the clutch disc correctly on the flywheel and throw your pressure plate up there. Hand tighten all of the bolts by spinning the flywheel around. Then torque them little by little so the pressure around the clutch disc is more or less constant. When they have reached their recommended torque (14 ft lbs on mine) you can take out the clutch alignment tool.

Install Throw Out Arm
After disassembling the arm and hammering the old bearing off of the hub and replacing it with a new one, apply some white lithium or equivalent to anywhere that touches something else, such as the ends of the lever, the ballstud socket, and the depression where the release cylinder pushrod fits. Then clip the ballstud socket on its stud and that's it. When installing the transmission the input shaft will line the bearing up, but until then it'll just hang there.

Install Transmission
Having a transmission jack for this step is very important, since you must get the correct angles to fit into the engine. I rented one for $20 for 4 hours, and it was well worth it. It's difficult to get the shift tower into its hole while trying to get the input shaft into the clutch disc, but with some maneuvering it can be done. When the input shaft meets the pilot bearing, though, it becomes difficult. But here it should be close enough to thread the bolts so you can bolt it the rest of the way in. just make sure everything is lined up, and you install the exhaust pipe bracket on the drivers side. Notice the crossmember brackets are not parallel with the ground. This is normal since the crossmember itself is at an angle.

Install Crossmember
Move the transmission jack out of the way (if it is) by using a second jack to hold it up, and fit the crossmember back on. Note the correct angle.

Install Bellhousing Bottom
I had to put a new seal set on the bottom part of the bellhousing, then I just bolted it on with the 7 bolts.

Install Clutch Slave Cylinder
Make sure you put the hose on the cylinder first, before you attach the cylinder to the bellhousing. Then once it's on make sure it's tight. And, obviously, make sure the piston is placed in its indentation on the throw out arm correctly.

Install Transfer Shift Lever
Install the lever itself first on its axle on the transmission, making sure the small plastic rectangle fits in the 4WD shifter, followed by the arm that comes from the High/Low Shifter linkage. Attach these two together by putting the end of the arm in the arm coming from the lever. Install a new cotter pin to prevent it slipping off. You can install the bracket at this time, but I chose to leave it off since the only purpose it serves is to prevent shifting into 2Lo. Sometimes 2Lo is appropriate, especially for slow, tight maneuvering.

Install Electrical Connections and Speedometer Cable
Install the same old 4WD switch on the side of the transfer case, and plug in the new reverse switch from the new transmission into the quick disconnect that was mentioned earlier.

Install Front and Rear Propeller Shafts
Make note of the marks you made before detaching the propeller shafts.

Install Skid Plate
You could wait on this step if you want to make sure everything works first.

Install Transmission Shift Lever
Put the old lever with the new bushing on the bottom into the transmission. Press down on the shift lever cap and rotate it clockwise to lock it in. install the boots for the transmission and the transfer case.

Fill Transmission and Transfer Case
The H55F uses about 5.2 quarts while the transfer case uses 2.3 quarts. I refilled my differentials at the same time.

Bleed Clutch
You'll have to bleed the clutch since you worked on it and inevitably got some air in the lines. It's a good time to check the quality of the fluid in the lines too. I would recommend a real bleeder kit, one with a magnet on the bottle so you can put it at the same height as the bleeder plug. Without the kit I got a good amount of brake fluid in the eyes. Ouch!

Install Wheels
If you remembered how they were before, you can go ahead and rotate them, saving work down the road.

Connect the Battery
Now you're ready to start it up and take it for a test drive!


After starting my engine the first time I got a horrible squeal from the pilot bearing, but after inquiring, I found it would probably disappear after a while, which it did. The first time through the gears was pretty tough, and I knew they had to be broken in. I guess that's why when you buy a brand new car it already has miles on it! The synchronizers and gears all made weird sounds, but after driving for about 15 minutes, things were beginning to get smooth. I would recommend pulling your truck out of the garage and letting the engine spin the gears for a while with the transmission in gear and the transfer case in neutral. Maybe go through the gears a couple of time and make sure the 4WD indicator light and reverse lights work. I knew, though, when I first hit the road, this was an excellent choice. The gears seem better suited to the 2F, and on the highway it is incredibly nice to be able to shift again into 5th! 1st gear, Low Range also produced a considerably better crawl ratio. I would recommend this modification to anyone with an April '85 or later FJ60. I would also highly recommend purchasing your H55F from CruiserParts.net. They included all needed Toyota parts for a very reasonable cost and free shipping, which would have cost a ton. They also offered excellent technical advice.

Though I may be smiling, I really have no idea what I'm doing.

If you do decide to undertake this demanding but enjoyable project, don't hesitate to contact me at [email protected] I also have a lot more pictures and comments saved on my computer (about 200 or ) at a lot higher resolution that I could either send through e-mail or send on a CD if you are interested. I will be as much help as I can, being a 19 year old with little (but growing!) technical skills. That said, anyone have any cute daughters out there they want turned into a cruiser chick?? :)


Return to Part 1

Contact Us
[email protected]

Off-Road.com Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!