Toyota Questions and Answers

Dec. 01, 2003 By Jack Geiger
FJ80 Driveline Slop

Question: I have a 1997 Landcruiser 80 - Series. Is there any way off curing the backlash / play within the drive train system somewhere - is this common and has anyone come up with a solution? Kind regards.

Larry Page

Answer: Too much backlash can be a result of several different problems. I would recommend checking the 3rd members, drive shaft slip joints and the drive shaft U joints. I am sure you will find a problem with one or more of these items. Personally on my Cruiser I get a little extra play from the slip joints of the drive shafts and I find it goes away for a few thousand miles after I hit the shafts with a grease gun. It's not normal to see lots of play in the driveline and this may be a sign that something is worn out.

Solid Axle Swap or IFS?

Question: I have a 1992, with the 22re, I would like a straight axel, but I've heard different, like independent climbs better. Can you please clear up the myths and tell me if I should get a straight axel?

Thanks, Jordan

Answer: It really depends on what you plan to do with your truck. If your just driving down fire roads the factory IFS does a great job and gives a better ride than than a solid axle. If your looking to run hard rock trails, the solid axle is going to server you far better. Here is what I recommend for those that don't know what they want. The IFS is a far weaker setup with smaller R&P gears, fewer locker choices, weak axle shafts and Idler arms problems. Personally I have found the IFS works well with up to 33" tires. If your looking to go larger than that, consider switching over to a solid axle.

Ask yourself if the IFS is doing the job. If your not having problems like broken shafts, gears and idler arms then the IFS setup may be fine for you. On my 1994 4Runner I bent and damaged 3 axle shafts and 6 idler arms before seeking out a solid axle swap solution.

Transfer Case Rear Shaft Play

Question: I have a 87 Toyota SR-5 with the 22re engine in it. I recently purchased this truck and while performing your basic maintenance I came across the rear driveshaft and noticed there is a little play where it goes into the transfer case as well as into the rear diff, I have been trying to find a diagram or something that will explain the process of repairing, I am guessing that the problem is bad bearings? They are bearings correct? And what kind of money and work am I looking at?, should I just have the local garage do it or should I try to tackle myself? Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,

Jim Patmalnieks


Answer: Some end play of the transfer case output shaft is normal. Sometimes the nut holding the flange can come loose as well and can be easily fixed. Remove the drive shafts and check to make sure the nuts on the flanges are torqued to 95 lbs. If the play is excessive a transfercase rebuild kit, complete with all the bearing is available from Marlin Crawler for $157. They also offer complete transfer case rebuilding.

The pinion on the 3rd member should be tight, with virtually no play at all. Excessive play can sometimes be resolved by tightening the pinion nut, however it is easy to over-tighten this nut, resulting in the pinion moving and disturbing the setup. Ideally it would be better to remove the 3rd member and do a pattern check before reinstalling it.

Auto to Manual Transmission

Question: Is it possible to swap an 87 automatic tranny for a 94 manual in a 87 truck???


Answer: Yes, but it's a lot of work. In fact it's so much work I suggest selling your truck and using the money to buy the truck your looking for with a manual transmission. If your a glutton for punishment, this job is for you! You will need to start with a Manual tranny and transfer case, and pedal assembly. There is also some electrical works that will need to be done. The difficulty will depend on where you live and the smog laws in effect. Here in California you may be required to replace the wiring harness and engine computer. Then you will have to have the truck inspected and they will go over it with a fine tooth come to ensure compliance with smog rules.

Ring and Pinion Gears

Question: Is there a list of factory axle gear ratios available for Toyota's from 1979 - present? If so how can I get it?

Jugo DeLima

Answer: In the US Toyota has used 3.90 4.10 4.30 4.56 & 4.88 gears.

Bouncing Spedo

Question: I have a 1990 Toyota 4x4, V6 pickup. The speedometer is bouncing and making some noise. I set in to take the dash apart to get to the back of the speedometer and quickly decided against it. I was told that I could pull the cable out of the cable housing from the transfer case end, Lube it , and slide it back in with out any problem. Thanks Is this true?

Jeff Gibson


Answer: Yes, you will need to unscrew the spedo cable from the back of the gauge cluster. Slide out the cable and lube it with 3 in one oil, then reinstall. This may help reduce the bouncing. Sometimes it is necessary to completely replace the spedo cable to repair

Dragging 4Runner Rear End

Question: I have a 91' 4Runner and of course the rear end sits lower than the front. I've seen an ad in performance products magazine for rear springs with a one inch lift that are made to correct that problem. Is that the best solution or are there some other options?

Answer: You may actually want a little more lift to lever out your 4runner. Downey Off Road and All Pro Off Road offer a 1.5" rear spring lift that is approximately 30% over stock spring rate. I recommend these stiffer springs to firm up the ride a bit and help with load capacity.

Putting on 31" Tires

Question: Two questions: I just purchased a '93 4x4 reg. cab and want to upgrade the tires from the 235's it has now to 31x10.5's. Checking out websights that sell rims and tires for my truck, I noticed 15x5,15x6 and 15x7. Will any of these fit either the 235's and 31x10.5's or are the wider rims for the larger tires? I called Toyota and they don't recommend anything over 225 for the truck but I've seen 89-95 Toyota 4x4's without lifts with 31x 10.5's. also, the truck I purchased has 149,500 miles. It knocks/creaks when I turn hard, I've heard this about the older Toyota's, what is that noise? I just sold my 4x4 2001 Tacoma to make way for a family rig (baby on the way) so I have a great Toyota ride to compare a ten year old to.

Thanks DCB

Answer: Many of the 1993's came from the factory with 31" tire. When equipped from the factory with a 31" tire a slightly lower ring & pinion gear is used, but the difference is very minor. For a 31" tire the best wheel choice is a 15 X 7 Wheel.

The noise your hearing when the wheels are turned and you hit a bump, is the steering stops. Put a little dab of grease on each steering stop each time you change oil. This will greatly reduce the noise. Newsletter
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