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LEXUS 1UZ-FE Engine Swap My blood sweat and tears. It will be worth it!!

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  #31  
Unread 11-14-2009, 11:11 PM
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Another side view of the Toyota Tacoma front bumper mounts, fender mounts, radiator supports and front grill mounts. You won't see me rear-end anyone ever in this truck that's for sure... with all the work that went into this stuff... just crazy. It makes me want to build a tough pre-runner bumper just to protect all this stuff!

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  #32  
Unread 11-17-2009, 09:53 AM
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Alrighty I'm pretty much done with the front end support system for this Tacoma. It's come out quite nicely. Here is what it the Toyota looks like without the front end support assembly in place:



And here is what it looks like installed with only of the main bolts in place - the bolts that hold it down at the bottom. I'll be adding a little more material for strength and to make it adapt to the upper fenders at each end. The top ends will be held on with just two bolts on each side.

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  #33  
Unread 11-17-2009, 09:56 AM
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I did plan for the upper front part to be detachable from the lower part but it just didn't make sense to go through the trouble because it can come off in one complete piece. I can also use the tabs I had planned for that to mount lights or horns or whatever.

Here is another view so you can see the main bumper mounts that I threw on there. These aren't measured but when I put the bumper in place I just welded them where they needed to be. I'll also be completing the welds on the lower frame brackets later on when I drive the truck to my friends shop to use his welder on em. At least I didn't do this before because I have to leave open space to secure the nuts to the bolts that come down from above... and I had to weld on the bumper support as well. So boxing them in is best done when everything is mounted.

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  #34  
Unread 11-17-2009, 10:00 AM
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And here is a pic from behind the drivers side. Like I said I have a little more work to do on the upper fender mounts and I'll be adding a support on each side to finalize it. It will look sweet but I have a feeling I'll be building a new beefier upper cross piece when I put a rollcage in the truck and redo my front suspension.

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  #35  
Unread 11-18-2009, 11:40 PM
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V8 Tacoma project progress has been slow this week. I have been slowed down a bit by a headcold... everyone in town seems to be getting sick. But back on track, I made the support shelf for the battery, the charcoal/evap canister and power junction box. I made a good effort to keep these components raised up a high as possible so as not to interfere with the tires path that it travels up into the fender. This has always been a tight area and if you even put an aftermarket battery cable terminal on the stock battery location it will likely hit the hood. With longer wheel travel the battery is often relocated to the back in offroad trucks unless you raise the body up off the frame.

I have lifted the body, yes, and with the larger tires and increased travel that I want something has to be done. And of course I have to do this because I removed everything up front. Here is what I've come up with so far that will have to hold me over until I put a cage in the whole truck.

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  #36  
Unread 11-18-2009, 11:46 PM
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And big surprise... I am laying down the Optima on it's side. The dimension on it's side is 2 inches lower than if the battery was right side up. I'll be insulating it with some rubber to keep it from wearing through the weaker plastic on the side. We will see how it holds up. This really lets me tuck the battery up in the fender area and it puts the Optima battery terminals closer to where they need to be anyways.



The rail type system I made from a couple 2ft pieces of tubing is really stout and holds everything inline very nicely. Being mounted with 3 mounting points I'll be powder coating this section as well. Cutting the inner fenders out and tucking the edges of the body really makes it nice when it comes to mounting these components away from the engine.
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  #37  
Unread 11-18-2009, 11:51 PM
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Up under the fender of this Lexus V8 Tacoma you can really see how nicely things push up into there. There is no way the tire will come up that far into the body. I took this while I was adjusting the height of the battery shelf. I'll be reinforcing the side of the inner fender even more with a plate of steel that I cut for this purpose. After this the mounting points will be much stronger and welded into place.



Another look at the side fender mounting area:
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  #38  
Unread 11-29-2009, 09:26 PM
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Just before I took the front end support to the coaters I made sure to reinforce the mounting points just in case. For good piece of mind I put some 5/8 or whatever tubing pieces inside the holes and welded them top and bottom.



Polished up and providing good piece of mind:



I'll be working on welding up the boxed frame mounts and probably adding some extra material to the mounting holes as well. Probably just double plate it while I'm finishing it up.
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  #39  
Unread 11-29-2009, 09:36 PM
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Now one more thing that's pretty important: the hood latch for the new 2004 Tacoma hood that I have going on. I measured my neighbors newer hood latch location and it's the same as my older Taco so I put on my old hood and started to scratch my head.

Here is a shot looking upward from the bottom with the latch on the hood receiver so I could see where it needed to be secured when shut.


If you look closely you can see the chalk marks I made to show just where the steel taps would need to be welded in place. The tabs need to be about 9/16 away from the tubing and I trimmed some excess steel off the latch a little bit to make it fit in place better. It's very hard to describe all the small tricks I used to make it fit exactly where it needed to go, sorry.

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  #40  
Unread 11-29-2009, 09:38 PM
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And wallah! Here are the tabs welded into place and super sturdy compared to the original factory mounting points. I made these tabs from the same thick plating I used for the foot area firewall plates. Just drill some holes in these and the Tacoma hood latch will bolt right up.

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  #41  
Unread 11-29-2009, 09:40 PM
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Cleaning up some last minute things before I took the whole Tacoma front end to Powdercoating USA to be processes in krinkle coat black.



The battery tray all finished up and cleaned for coating.
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  #42  
Unread 11-29-2009, 09:43 PM
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Hanging out at Powdercoating USA here in Paso Robles. They do an incredible job prepping the parts and applying a beautiful, consistent finish. I am lucky to have these guys in my backyard!

My piece waiting for sand blasting:


Everyone needs a truck to play with. One of the projects under construction:


And OF COURSE everything that can be powdercoated will be:


The Powdercoating USA Paso Robles Facility. Powdercoating USA also known as Pacific Metal Finishing:
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  #43  
Unread 11-29-2009, 09:46 PM
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Woohoo! How about this? And notice the new curved hood resting on top.



And a look behind the grill showing everything mounting up just fine:
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  #44  
Unread 11-29-2009, 09:47 PM
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The nice even powdercoating makes my work look even better. ; )
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Unread 11-29-2009, 10:51 PM
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Not exactly the easiest way to convert the 1996 style Tacoma front end to a 2004 Toyota Tacoma grill. But I did it.

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