The story an explanation:
So because all I've found is how to do twin stick conversions and what the hole looks like from the top side when these installs are finished I thought I would make a pretty informative install thread once it is finished! But for now a teaser pic and the baseline story!
So fast forward from brand new to a little over 3 years about 60,000 - 70,000 miles later I started to off-road a good bit! The warranty was up and I had already thrown my drive train warranty out when I put my bigger tires and lift on so the heck with it! In this process I found a very weak Toyota item which through further research proved to be a common problem! The infamous 4wd actuator! This item is absolute crap and has a absolute bull crap price to go along with it!
So in thinking of other ways to fix my problem and get my 4wd capabilities back i ran across RST (Rock Solid Toys) and there I learned the best kept not so secret of Toyota!!! The FJ Cruiser Manual Transfer case! Traditional strength and durability you would expect from a Toyota product in a modern package! It was light at the end of the tunnel! Competitive pricing with the replacement actuator (The used t-case is actually cheaper if you price the actuator through Toyota)! Then I read on... You don't have to have a crawl box to use it! It is a direct bolt up to the Tacoma transmission!
CRITICAL UPDATE PLEASE READ:
So for those of you planning on tackling this in the near future use my FAIL to your advantage! There are 2 types of these Transfer cases out there! They are both Manual select gearing just 2 different type drives.. 1.) Automatic Transmission 2wd/4wd select with 4wd Lo and 2.) Manual Transmission AWD with 4wd Lo. Out of these models the Manual T-case absolutely will not work if you plan on using it on a stock application like I am.
Below is a Manual Transmission AWD FJ Cruiser Transfer Case \/\/\/ (This WILL NOT work in our stock application trucks! Notice the length compared to the Automatic Transmission FJ T-case below)
Automatic Transmission Fj Cruiser Transfer Case \/\/\/
So I did the conversion over the weekend and got tons of pics only to figure out half a mile down the road that the Manual Transmission case will not work at all! I found out by talking to Wyatt from RST and because I told him that my case seemed to be about an 1" longer towards the back then my stock and he knew right then that I had the wrong case! He is a mechanical GENIUS! He can walk me through the steps on how to do this in his sleep! He has been a great help and I've decided to do a harder mod then originally wanted.
THE WINNING FIX!!!:
With advise from Wyatt, he recommended that I go ahead and purchase an Automatic FJ cruiser case and swap my factory input gear set with the input gear set on the FJ case. So I talked with the local enough LKQ company in Ardmore, AL that I bought my T-case from and told him everything that has happened and told him I need a Automatic transmission T-case instead! I asked him what he could do for me and he hooked me up! He told me all I have to do is bring the one I bought back and trade it out even! He just had to order it from another shop. So I did, now for the differences!
The main difference in the 2 is for Tacoma and FJ Cruiser Manual 6-Speed transmissions is the Input spline. The Manual has a 23 tooth and the Automatic has a 22 tooth! To swap it read below! Plenty of information to get you through this simple task!
My Install! (Most pics are of the wrong case but because I did the right case by myself the steps are the same!)
FIRST: Drain the Transfer case completely then do work!
To make it easier on you.. Loosen the drive shaft nuts from the transfer case. Then lift the rear end to rotate the axle and allow easier access to the flange bolts. After that proceed to take off the carrier bearing support, unplug the sensors, take off the front drive shaft shield, and then the front drive shaft flange bolts. Note: all flange nuts are 14mm and to hold the front shaft steady I used a 17mm closed wrench on the flange bolts.
Front Drive shaft flange shield
Then once you get that completed you are ready to disconnect the transfer case! Be sure that it is in 2wd before you disconnect it! It will come in handy later! There are 8 12mm bolts holding the T-case to the transmission one of which is located directly in front of the Transmission mount. Pull that one out last! It won't fully come out but you can ease the t-case out a little to get it disconnected then drop the T-case!
The break down! (Manual Only)
Go here for more information: http://www.rocksolidtoys.com/forum/showthread.php?t=112
Both cases will break down the same. I'm posting Wyatt's pics because I did all of this case by myself so I didn't have time nor the energy to take pictures as I went! Most of the pictures above and below were of the original attempt. I'm stating this because it can be done solo and all with hand tools in an apartment! (That's where I did mine!)
Input shaft side of case
Take the oil pump guard/screen/magnet off
Then take off the oil Pump
Once that is complete you can take the housing over the input shaft off if you haven't already done so to reveal a bunch of bearings and clips. There you will take off the clip holding it to the t-case!
Once both gear sets are out, swap the gear set and its housing on to the FJ case and put that side back together.
Twin stick mod it while you're in there for the just in case scenario!
More info on how to do this: http://www.rocksolidtoys.com/forum/showthread.php?t=35
Here is what mine looks like now and I am still using a Single stick for now.
Then reassemble the cases... (Preferably the FJ case first so you can finish your truck) Once reassembled install the proper shift sensors in the correct side and plug the hole as shown below. According to the thread the sensor with the keyed center goes on the driver side.
Also install your speed sensor out of your original Manual Transmission Transfer case into the plugged whole in the FJ case!
More Info: http://www.rocksolidtoys.com/forum/showthread.php?t=164
After that get to work on disassembling your center console area! Once completed assess where the hole will be cut and make sure no wires or anything important is in the way.
Here I cut the carpet that was crossing to give me a better view of what I am working with! NOTE: A section of this was layered with another piece of sheet metal for some mounting brackets and was tack welded in spots. You'll have to cut that piece out also.
Once cut I test fitted the T-case!
Then I installed some rubber flashing for the shifter to move freely!
Under the truck view
Once you are happy with the install reassemble the truck and fill it with oil (80w-90 Almost 2 Quarts) and you are almost done!
Product placement!! ^^^^
I'm sure you were wondering how are you going to get your 4wd lights to work again... Well the answer is behind the glove box. Follow the instructions on the bottom of this thread: http://www.rocksolidtoys.com/forum/showthread.php?t=60
Also after this towards the end of the month check back for more on the Twin Stick conversion of my T-case and my version of the install! Thank you for checking it out.. Sub for updates to come!