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John Stewart

Replacing Toyota AUTO Hubs

Aisin Manual Hub

In this article I will explain to you how each of the Toyota hubs works and what each one looks like. Hopefully this will help to end the confusion about the different types of Toyota hubs that have existed over the years. I will talk mostly about the troublesome AUTO hubs that some Toyota 4x4s came with between 1984 and 1989, and how to rid yourself of them if you choose to do so.

Toyota has always offered manual locking hubs on all of the Toyota has always used Aisin manual hubs. They are the best available hub on the market for your Toyota. Their quality and strength surpasses all aftermarket hubs. Unfortunately, their price also surpasses all aftermarket brands. Buying a 'new' pair of Aisin is out of the question. If you need to replace a hub visit a wreck yard and buy a used Aisin, or get a pair of new aftermarket hubs with a lifetime warranty.

With manual hubs, IF you have both hubs LOCKED, you will be able to shift into 4WD at any safe speed.

Read more about Replacing Toyota AUTO Hubs on 4x4Wire Archives.

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John Stewart

Anti-Sway Bar Bushing Replacement

After running some challenging four wheel drive trails, I found the anti-sway bar bushings were split and badly in need of replacement. It's no surprise really, since I never disconnect the bar while off-roading. Unlike the earlier models, the 2001 and later Tacomas have very short endlinks, so they don't offer much of an opportunity for fabricating a quick disconnect. That's fine with me, because during my attempts to measure the difference between connected and disconnected, I've never found enough of a difference to worry about. In other words, I could still reach the limits of travel with the bar connected. I have yet to test the flex with the new urethane bushings. If the suspension doesn't flex as well, I'll be visiting the dealer for a new set of rubber bushings. In the meantime, here's the info on the urethane ones!

Split Bushing - as I found it... ...and off the vehicle.


From the manufacturer's product listing, it appears that two sizes of bars were offered for the 1995 1/2 to 2000 Tacoma, a 26 and 27 mm diameter. The difference between those two sizes is roughly half the diameter of a toothpick, so you'll need a caliper or other fairly precise tool to measure your bar. I used the Energy Suspension 27mm kit, part number 8.5118G. It included bushings and washers for the endlinks, which are not needed for the 2001 and later models.

Read more of Minute Mod: Anti-Sway Bar Bushing Replacement from the 4x4Wire Archives.

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John Stewart

Understanding OBDII Engine Systems and Fuel Mixture Control

Tech: Understanding OBDII Engine Systems and Fuel Mixture Control

When the Check Engine Light comes on due to the fuel mixture related error codes P0171 and P0172, or your 3rd generation Toyota with either the 3.4L V-6 or 2.7L 4 cylinder engine is just not running like it should, the oxygen sensor and the Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF) are common suspect items. They do work closely together in performing their function, but without additional information on exactly how they do their job, it can be confusing to determine which might be at fault. Either sensor is too expensive to do a trial and error replacement to determine which might be causing a problem. This article will examine the role these sensors play, along with the Main Engine Control Unit to maintain proper fuel/air mixture control.

Read more of Tech: Understanding OBDII Engine Systems and Fuel Mixture Control on 4x4Wire Archives

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John Stewart

Toyota Tech: Regearing the Land Cruiser Electric Locker

Once I made the decision to swap a solid front axle onto my 2001 Tacoma, I knew I wanted a selectable locker. I've been running an ARB air locker in the IFS front axle for three years without a single strength or reliability issue. But for this project I wanted something with a little more 'yota in it. I chose the high pinion electric locker from the front of a full size FZJ80 Land Cruiser. After checking the classified listings on various message boards I found I could buy a new unit for roughly 30% more than a used one. Unfortunately these came from the factory with 4.10 ratio gears, and that just wouldn't be adequate for the tire size I expect to run after the axle swap. Since I was already running 4.88 gears in the rear, I decided to use the same ratio for the front diff rather than changing the rear also. I'm very happy with the driveability I have with the current tires and gears, so only time will tell if the smarter decision would have been to go with a 5.29 ratio!

When I asked around to find out who could install the ring and pinion for me, two people recommended Ken "Zuk" Francisco just from his reputation, even though neither one had their gears set up by him. I took a look at the write-ups on his website and could see that he has done many installs, learned some handy tricks of the trade, and understands the process very well. It's interesting that Zuk does this as a part time/side business, yet recently in the span of one week, he had five differentials to setup. That sounds like a bit more than part time to me!

Here are some great pictures and text provided by Zuk showing helpful tips on how to setup gears in the high pinion electric locker.  I hope you find the photos and text both interesting and helpful.

Read more about Toyota Tech: Regearing the Land Cruiser Electric Locker on 4x4Wire Archives.

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Adam Fertig

Manual transmission sloppy shifting? Try a new shifter seat!

The shifter seat is located at the base of the transmission at the very end of the shifter.  Unscrew your shift knobs too. You will need to remove all the trim parts to access the shifter boot.  There are several bolts holding down the 2 shift boots to the body, remove those and pull the shift boot up and out of the way.  You will see the shifter base plate and the second shift boot:

 shifter

Pull up on the shifter boot to expose the lock ring.  You will see two flat spots.  Push down hard on these, one hand on each flat spot. 

lock ring 

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