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Thread: Merrill's 4G64 DOHC.

  1. #1


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    Merrill's 4G64 DOHC.

    So many years ago, I owned a '88 Mighty Max and absolutely loved it. It was my first truck and definitely miss it. The person I originally bought it from really ran it down to its last limb and one day the engine locked up and I had to get rid of it. I always wanted another one but for some reason I never bought one.

    I have a long history of racing and back in the day before I started building performance parts and race cars, I was a Mini Trucker. Bag, drag, hop, and body drop - all me, all day. I decided I needed a new race car (or truck in this case), and need a new shop truck, so I chose to build the Mighty Max I wanted to build waaaay back when I had my first one (except a little more modern). I have no plans to bag and drag since most track officials frown upon throwing sparks down the straight away.

    The original plans have always been a 4G64 DOHC build, high boosted, and well built to our standards. We were tossing the idea around of using the existing 4G64 that comes in the Mighty Max since the deck casting is exactly like the 4G63 DSM. You can bolt the head straight on and call it a day.

    The only problem (more like "what annoys me" most) is the lack of tuning and support. It's old, and so is the technology behind it. After a bit of research, and a stroke of luck, I located a 4G64 out of a Montero Sport which has the "newer" style block with the deck casting like the 4G63 Evo heads. It also uses the same sensors which means I can easily plug in an Evo ECU and tune it easily as well as adding a ton of tuning mods. The engine support for the Evo, in my opinion and experience, is far greater than the DSM.

    Modern 4G64 modders are turning to Hyundai cylinder heads because they are almost exactly the same as the Evo. The CC's are slightly larger, but this is a 2.4, so it matches better. I have built a couple 4G64/Hyundai DOHC engines already and absolutely love the minimum cost for the high potential. I have a couple extra heads laying around the shop, and they are a Dime a dozen anyway so I made a call to a buddy of mine at the yard and snagged up the engine and transmission from a '99 Montero Sport 2WD 2.4.

    Here is was after pulling it:
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    After getting them back to the shop, I tossed them in the washer for tear down and inspection
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    Now, for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why an extremely clean looking (internally) engine ended up in the yard. I didn't see a any holes in the block, no signs of a collision, and everything was straight and normal. I figured I just scored. After tearing down the transmission, I found out that the first gear synchro grenaded the shaft collar in addition to cracking off about half of first gear. That's why it was in the yard. Oh well.... I'll rebuild it eventually. The interesting thing is the Model number has the same coding as some of the DSM transaxles =, so maybe I can put together a custom gear set for it. I'll mess with it later.

    So the engine was stripped and disassembled followed by a quick shot of paint. Once the block and a couple other parts came out of the oven, it was time to mock-up.

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    Just like the DSM's take mods to fit, so does this one. Obviously the first issues are going to be the intake and exhaust being on the opposite sides. To my knowledge, there is no manifold that will bolt on easily. Only 2 intake manifolds I know that fit this engine are the Evo, and the Hyundai/Kia versions (Sonata, Optima, Santa Fe). Both manifolds will face the firewall just like the DSM swaps, but they are easy fixes just like the DSM swaps. I'll just build a SMIM for it once I get it in the truck. The exhaust is the same issue. No manifolds will just bolt right up and let you roll. I'm boosting this engine, so again, once I get it in the truck, I'll build the turbo manifold for it and all the other stuff.

    If you look at the mock-up pic on the left, you'll notice the 2 tubes leading around the back for the heater. Notice the top tube runs right up to the outlet of the head. This will have to be modified to fit better (for me). The tube wrapping around the back pops out on the other side and has a port for the throttle body thermal valve. I don't need a functioning thermal valve for cold idle, so it will be deleted.

    This is how I did it:

    Here is what they look like for fitting to the Montero Sport
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    All I did was rotate the right side 90 degrees, and cut out the left side
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    Here it is complete and ready for a fit check
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    That's one problem solved.

    Next up is the issue of this being a FWD engine, and I am mounting it to a RWD block. The Montero Sport has its thermostat located on the lower radiator hose/inlet tube, and the Hyundai's thermostat is located on the back side of the head. I don't need 2 thermostats, and I really don't want to run a water pipe to the back of the engine, so I decided to delete the rear housing.

    This engine still needs an outlet for coolant and a place to install an upper radiator hose. The fine folks at Mitsubishi conveniently located a freeze plug right at the front of the head so there will be my exit. Very simple - pop the freeze plug out, and add a 1.5" aluminum tube.

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    Once I get it in the truck, I will trim it down and build some stainless hard hoses for the cooling system.

    Next up is the valve cover. I personally love the look of exposed gears and belt. The timing covers are not the same, so I won't be using it. I also need to modify the ventilation system to accept one of our catch cans. Seeing "DOHC 16 Valve" on the valve cover is cool, but pointless. If you pop the hood and see 2 bright gold cam gears, it's obviously a DOHC lol. First I had to weld the factory PCV and Vent holes shut. I also got rid of a screw hole I don't need while I was at it.

    After a soak in the hot tank to remove the factory coating, I took a grinder to the lettering

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    Next is the mounting tabs for the upper timing cover
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    Then a couple welds followed by smoothing
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    Then a quick sand blast to clean it all up
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    I shot it with a coat of primer after that. Once I get the engine assembled I will add the new fittings for the ventilation system and give it the final coating. That pretty much wraps up the head Mock-up.

    I'll have more later...
    Last edited by camoit; 05-08-2014 at 06:47 PM. Reason: title

  2. #2


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    Very nice work. looking good so far.

  3. #3

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    this might convince me to keep the 4g64 in my d50.... almost we will see but i love it so far this is shapin up to be an epic build though

  4. #4


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    1991 Mitsubishi Mighty Max
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    Thanks for the comments! I guess we'll see how it goes. Of course I (like any other builder) think it is epic, but everyone has their own opinions.

    So with the head mock-up complete, I started on the block mods. This is going to be a little tricky, but I'm sure I can find a solution. I wan to try and run a 6 rib style belt like the Evo so I can use a SFI certified harmonic balancer. The problem so far is the water pump. The Evo uses a reversed rotation pump with a smooth pulley turned by the back side of the belt. It doesn't match the position of the 4G64 pump and the 4G64 pump spins opposite the Evo. The snouts are also different lengths. Worse comes to worse, I can just machine a pulley.

    In the mean time, the Monty 4G64 setup is actually 3 separate belts. I also don't require power steering. AC is one of those things you either have to have, or don't care about. I want my AC living in the desert. It only takes power while in operation, so I wont be racing with it on obviously. The Monty tension system will not work with my intended setup, so here are the quick and easy mods to the brackets.

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    After a little cleanup, they were coated to match the block and tossed in the oven to cure.

    Now on to the balance shafts. Same story - I don't want them. Most DD's I suggest keeping the balance shafts installed and using a strong Kevlar belt for the right side shaft. This is a race/promotional/shop truck and I can rebuild or replace easily so I can afford to run without balance shafts. There is no need to spend $50-$80 for a balance shaft delete kit if you know how to do it yourself. I don't have all the pics because it literally takes 2 minutes to do.

    First - cut the oil pump driven shaft off just after the location of the seal.
    Second - weld the hole shut
    Third - smooth

    You get a nice OEM stub shaft as a result.
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    On the other side, you can spend 4 bucks on a seal or a dollar on a freeze plug that fits the bore to seal it off. The engine rebuilt kit includes new balance shaft bearings so I will swap them out to plug off the right side shaft oil ports. If you have the means, and really want to save money, you can pop the shaft bearings out and rotate them. As long as you don't damage them, you can toss them back in. All they will do is plug a hole.

    After all that was done, I did a quick mock-up assembly to see how I like it all.

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    I only found one issue I want to remedy. The heater tubes I modified earlier fit just fine, but I don't like the way they look. They just don't match up looking like they were meant to be there. Here is what I mean:

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    The right side tube sticks out about an inch past the Hyundai head tube. The left side tube just sticks way out even after being shortened. They just don't look right. I shortened them more and sent them off to coating along with the lower inlet tube to get coated. I'll have follow up pics later this weekend most likely.

    So there is one huge piece of this build currently missing.... I don't have the truck yet. I've been striking out on finding a clean Mighty Max that meets my wants. They are either too expensive (more like over inflated), too messed up, not the right engine, or require so much work to straighten it out that no matter how much polish goes on, it still looks like shit. So the search continues for a Mighty Max...

    This engine will not be swapped until the chassis or other mods are complete. As soon as all the mock-up is complete, I will finish the build (cams, pistons, rods, etc.). There is one more mod I can tackle real quick while I have a spare minute - A short shifter. I can't find one, I don't want to pay for one if I did find one, so I'll take a few "anti-lazy hours" and build one.

    Its very simple to do...

    Cut the shift rod off and add 1 inch to it
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    Weld it back together
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    Then cut a 1 inch spacer
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    Reassemble
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    A little trimming needs to be done at the base for range selection movement, but that's how you make a short shifter.

    I'll get more done this weekend and have a few more pics to share.

    Questions and comments are welcome!

  5. #5


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    Nice build. Magnus makes a bolt on intake manifold on special request. I believe jmf dose to. One day, I will have the Magnus dsm smim race intake manifold modified to fit my rwd as it only costed me 500 used vs 1k new.
    1989 Mitsubishi mightymax; 1990 4g63 6 bolt swap: malhe 9.0 pistons, eagle h beam rods, acl race bearings, rebuilt head, evo 3 16g, aem afpr, Maft, 3" gm maf blow through, walbro 255 fuel pump, hks ssq bov, fmic, coil over plug, FIC 750 injectors, dsmlink, apexi avcr, AEM eugo, s90 throttlebody, JMF FIAC block off plate. LT1 T56 in the works.
    Why a mightymax? Why not? 18 psi FTW.

  6. #6



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    Badass build, been waiting for someone to do a proper 4g64t dohc build. Keep up the great work
    Josh
    09 BMW 335i E92 Twin turbo
    89 Macrocab 4g63 Turbo swapped & Bagged: Build Thread

  7. #7



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    Very nice indeed and coming along very good. Give us all the information you can because as you see there are many interested.

    Welcome to the forum!

  8. #8


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    Thank you for the welcomes and comments!

    I'm waiting on the post I put up last night to be approved with a few more mods.

    If anyone has questions in the mean time, just ask. I'll be happy to fill in the blanks.

  9. #9


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    My post from last night is posted up a few posts back.

    Today I was able to finish the mock-up of all the parts minus accessories. Here are the corrected heater pipes. I think they look much better, like they actually fit, shortened.

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    Here is the whole engine coated and assembled.

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    Next will be the valve cover vents and coating. With any luck, I will be able to solve the fitment of the accessories after converting to a single 6 rib serpentine belt.

    I have to take care of a few clients' cars next week but I will post more as I get it done.

  10. #10


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    With the engine mock-up at a stand still while I gather more parts, I can move on to other parts. We did a ton of searching and crossing of parts for a big brake system that will work pretty much as a bolt-on to the Mighty Max, and this is what I’m going to work on next.

    I plan to narrow a Ford 8.8 4:10 axle with rear disc. This gives me a lot more workability, strength, and options for future performance. There really is nothing wrong with the Mighty Max or Mitsu diff’s in general, but Ford diffs are hard to beat, extremely easy to source, and simple to modify if needed. The Explorer 8.8 gives me rear disc and with narrowing and 5 lug which offers up a much better wheel selection for fitment. It’s really hard to beat, and I can do it in one day.

    Obviously being a 5 lug is going to make it look a little funky seeing 6 up front and 5 in the rear, so I will do a full 5 lug swap. Thanks to the good folks at Mini Truckin for showing everyone the ease of a 5 lug swap as that made my research much less of a hassle. I made a call to my buddy at the yards and picked up a set of Tacoma front hubs.

    The Mighty Max brakes are tiny at 258mm. The Tacoma discs are even smaller at 254mm. The first thing that comes to mind is the Montero (obviously) because it is pretty much the same platform - just bigger. The problem you run into is the offset. Mighty Max offset is a measly 33mm while the Montero Sports sit at 45mm. If you tried to bolt those on to the hub, you won’t be able to tighten the hub to the spindle. They just don’t work.

    Montero Sports have 2 disc sizes:
    Small rotor = 276mm
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    Big rotor = 314mm
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    Whether small rotor or big, you get dual piston calipers. The brackets are sized accordingly. The brackets have the same bolt spacing and fit as the Mighty Max brackets so they will bolt right up all day long. The only challenge is finding a rotor to match.

    Small rotor caliper on the left, big rotor caliper on the right
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    The Tacoma rotor has a hub offset of 41mm. According to the Mini Truckin article, they had to machine a spacer 0.465” (11.8mm) to correctly space the Mitsu caliper to the Tacoma hub/rotor offset. That means we have some wiggle room to find a large rotor with the correct offset.

    In the fast world of Mitsubishi, there were only a few cars that used a rotor offset that is close to the Tacoma offset. There were even a bunch that used a 276mm rotor (same as small Montero Sport). The common vehicle using the 276mm rotor are the Diamante. There was only one rotor I could find that provided the correct offset AND is 314mm diameter. That rotor belongs on the 2G 3000GT VR4.

    The rotor offsets for the Diamante and 3KGT VR4 are both 45mm. The Tacoma offset is 41mm. Since a spacer needs to be utilized to adapt the Mitsu caliper to the Tacoma rotor, simple math tells us that we have about 11mm of space to play with. Since the offset difference between the Tacoma and Diamante/3KGT VR4 is only 4mm, they will fit. While at the yard picking up the Tacoma hubs I snapped a quick pic of the Tacoma rotor next to the 276mm Diamante rotor.

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    The first thing you notice right off the get go is the hub bore. The Diamante and 3KGT VR4 both have a bore of 69mm while the Tacoma bore is 86mm. This will require machine work. A few bucks and a smile at a Mom and Pop machine shop will get the job done in a couple hours.

    It’s not really a huge issue, but one thing I should mention is the Tacoma rotor is built to be bolted to the hub. There are 5 threaded holes in the rotor hat. The Diamante and 3KGT VR4 do NOT have these holes. The solution is simple - use a nut and thread locker or safety wire (or all 3). There is plenty of room in the hat to fit it. What you ABSOLUTELY should pay attention to is the hub bore when taking it to the machine shop. When you drop off the rotors, drop off the hubs with them. Why is this necessary? Measuring the exact hub diameter needed will allow the machinist to better fit the rotor. You need a completely centric rotor to keep the balance of the system proper. A tight fit of each rotor to hub will keep it centered and balanced, so drop off a clean set of hubs with the rotors and explain it to the machinist. They will understand.

    Now on to the Brake Master Cylinder. This is very important. The Mighty Max BMC is tiny just like the brakes. You really don’t need a very large bore master cylinder to fill up 2 single pot calipers and 2 wheel cylinders. The Mighty Max uses a BMC bore sized at 15/16”. Thats bigger than most of the cars, but not big enough for dual piston calipers. The Montero Sport uses a 1” bore BMC which is good enough for stock brakes. There is one bigger and that belongs to the 3KGT VR4 at 1-1/16” bore. The larger bore will accommodate the dual piston calipers up front, my rear disc, and still give a very strong brake response.

    If you flip the Brake Master Cylinder over, you will see the bore size cast into it. If you are at a salvage yard, and don’t have the tools, don’t want to remove the BMC, too lazy, quick search… whatever - take your smart phone with a front facing camera and stick it under the BMC to reveal the size.

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    Just about all BMC’s in the Mitsu world are the same bolt spacing and hose location. They literally used the same design for over 10 years. The only difference between the chassis models, other than the bore, is the reservoir. If you feel so inclined, you can swap your stock reservoir over to the big bore BMC. In some instances, you may have to in order to clear brake lines and other obstructions in your vehicle.

    In the event that you are a scroll reader and missed all those specs, or are just searching for a fast combo, here is a quick parts list. If I start getting a ton of messages asking for which combo goes where, along with all the info, I will refer you back here.

    Parts needed for 5 Lug Big Brakes on a Mighty Max:

    - Small Rotor (276mm)
    -- 1995-2004 Toyota Tacoma 2WD front hubs, wheel bearings, wheel seal.
    -- Mighty Max spindle (standard or drop)
    -- Mighty Max castle nut
    -- Tacoma bearing dust cap
    -- 1996-2008 (depending on region of the world) Mitsubishi Montero Sport small rotor Caliper assembly including bracket (you can buy a “loaded” set with everything)
    -- 1995-2002 Mitsubishi Diamante front brake rotor (276mm)*. You can used drilled and slotted as an upgrade.
    -- 1996-2008 (depending on region of the world) Mitsubishi Montero Sport front brake pads
    -- Brake master cylinder either 1” or 1-1/16” bore (may need to swap reservoirs).
    * A custom measured spacer will need to be cut to correctly space the Mitsubishi caliper to the offset for the hub and rotor.
    ** Hub bore needs to be machined to approximately 86mm to fit Tacoma hub. Bring the hubs and rotors to the machine shop with you at the same time.


    - Big Rotor (314mm)
    -- 1995-2004 Toyota Tacoma 2WD front hubs, wheel bearings, wheel seal.
    -- Mighty Max spindle (standard or drop)
    -- Mighty Max castle nut
    -- Tacoma Bearing dust cap
    -- 1996-2008 (depending on region of the world) Mitsubishi Montero Sport big rotor Caliper assembly including bracket (you can buy a “loaded” set with everything)
    -- 1994-1999 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 AWD front brake rotor (314mm)*. You can used drilled and slotted as an upgrade.
    -- 1996-2008 (depending on region of the world) Mitsubishi Montero Sport front brake pads
    -- Brake master cylinder of 1-1/16” bore (may need to swap reservoirs).
    * A custom measured spacer will need to be cut to correctly space the Mitsubishi caliper to the offset for the hub and rotor.
    ** Hub bore needs to be machined to approximately 86mm to fit the Tacoma hub. Bring the hubs and rotors to the machine shop with you at the same time.

    IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT 314mm VR4 ROTOR AND MONTERO CALIPERS

    You will need to shave the rotor about 3mm (1/8th inch) and the caliper brackets can be done the same. Just remember to take off equal amounts from each side.

    See post #27 HERE for a reference pic (bottom of the post)


    Example: 1/8" needs to come off the rotor. Remove 1/16" (1.5mm) from the front and the back. Total removed = 1/8" or 3mm and the balance remains the same.


    You can also try to find a different 314mm rotor with the correct offset.

    You will also need larger wheels of at least 16” diameter to clear Big Rotor swaps. Make sure you measure your offset correctly. Every wheel is different so if you do not know how to measure offset, there are eleventy billion articles and videos on Google showing you how. They range in tech level from purple dinosaur style (very easy), to full tech with expensive machines. All you have to do is search the articles until you understand.

    So far swapping to 5 lug is the only solution I have found for getting big brakes that fit well. I did try searching for 6 lug combos but there is nothing I can find that will set up like this. First I tried using the setups from a 2WD Montero Sport but the 2WD hub is actually matched in style to a 4WD hub which does not bolt to the Mighty Max spindle. You can not swap the spindles from one to the other easily because the tie rods are located up front while the Mighty Max locates them to the rear. The Tacoma Pre-Runner 2WD is pretty much the same deal. It uses a pressed beading and a different style hub that will not match the Mighty Max. I’m set on the 5 lug swap for my build, so I am done researching. All it really takes is a few hours comparing spec sheets and you can probably find a 6 lug version that will bolt up with little mods needed.

    Another possible upgrade is using the 2G 3KGT VR4 4 pot Calipers with your swap. This is for extreme stopping, but you gotta stop how you gotta stop. The only hurdle someone has to conquer is building a bracket since they are not floating, they are fixed. To someone with the ability to fabricate a bracket, its a piece of cake. Right now, I will run the 2 pots since I already have them. Later I might upgrade to 4 pots.

    I have my drop spindles and rotors ordered. Sometime this week they will show up. Once I put it all together and dig up all the little details, I will put together a How-to for the board.

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    ~Merrill
    Last edited by Merrill; 04-30-2014 at 12:38 PM.

  11. #11



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    Nice build up, I'm already doing a 3000gt vr4 quad piston brake swap. Its in my build thread
    Last edited by DroppedMitsu; 01-27-2014 at 11:19 AM.
    Josh
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    89 Macrocab 4g63 Turbo swapped & Bagged: Build Thread

  12. #12


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    Quote Originally Posted by DroppedMitsu View Post
    Nice build up, I'm already doing a 3000gt vr4 quad piston brake swap. Its in my build thread
    Right on. Looks pretty simple. I'll probably make the jump to 4 pots eventually, I'll just build the brackets later on down the road... it's an easy swap.
    Last edited by DroppedMitsu; 01-27-2014 at 11:21 AM.

  13. #13



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    Yea very simple, just find a rotor that fits your needs and then build a very simple adapter bracket. I like your basically bolt on setup though, will make it nice for all the owners who aren't that good with fabbing.
    Josh
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  14. #14


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    Yeah we figured it was too simple to ignore lol. We had a neat design for large 6 lugs in the beginning but all the shimming and adapters were just stupid in the end. It was pointless. All in all, it would take about 4 hours drafting it all up, and 10 minutes for the water jet to spit it out, but it just wasn't worth the time when I can bolt on factory brackets and spend 30 minutes machining everything.

    It does also make it easier for others (like you mentioned) and I don't mind sharing the info. I'm a professional fabricator and not everyone can do what I do all day, so a simple contribution makes others have what works well and is simple.

  15. #15


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    Well after tracking everything, parts will be arriving between Friday and sometime next week. I guess I'll be at a stand still for now since there isn't much I can do without the truck. I would build the intake manifold, but we haven't nailed down the final engine plans yet (cams, pistons, etc.) so it's pointless to build an intake manifold that potentially doesn't match the engine specs. I was going to machine my fuel rail for it today, but it would just be sitting around until I finish the intake manifold so it's near pointless.... i guess I'll just have to sir here and wait

  16. #16

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    then go find a truck for all this beautiful work to be installed on!

  17. #17


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    It's definitely on the list lol. I'm just not finding what I want right now.

  18. #18


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    Cool news - I think I may have found the water pump I need. I mentioned earlier that I want to use single 6 rib belt so I can run a Fluidampr for an Evo. The problem I have is the water pump. The Evo pump is clocked different than the G64 Monty, and it spins the opposite direction. Clocking is an issue I cant resolve in a way I feel is a well engineered solution, so I started searching for a different pump. There are 2 near identical pumps for the 4G64. The 7G Galant has the same pump as the Monty, but it is a short snout. It spins the same direction, fits the same way, uses the same inlet. All I need to find out now is if the shout is the same length as the Evo. Then I can find a pulley and I'm good to go!

  19. #19

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    great info thanks

  20. #20


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    Quote Originally Posted by meandmit View Post
    great info thanks
    Not a problem.


    EVEN COOPER NEWS for today, my drop spindles showed up an hour ago. They arrived in one day. Already being coated with a protective epoxy coating and I'll have pics a bit later.

    I did a fit check and the caliper fits without any obstructions so that's great news thus far.

  21. #21


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    These pics don't do the size of these calipers much justice, so I found something to compare it to

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And here we have some assembly and coating action. Nothing fancy.
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    One thing I will do is change the wheel studs from metric to standard. The Explorer studs are 1/2"-20, and both Mitsu and Toyota use 12mm. I want extended studs for my race wheels (when I use them), and its easier to find an extended stud with the correct knurl diameter needed for the Tacoma hubs, so I will swap it all over to 1/2"-20. I'm still waiting on the extended studs, brake rotors, pads, and a couple other pieces to show up from my vendors. Hopefully sooner than later....

  22. #22

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    Those calipers grab a lot hard than the stock ones, I have been using for while now,nice to see somebody else trying them out

  23. #23


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    Extended wheel studs showed up today. Rotors will be here tomorrow, but I am out of town dealing with a client, so I wwon't be able to do anything until Wednesdaynext week when I get back. Business is business.

  24. #24


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    So here are the extended studs. Nothing fancy....

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I do have to modify the hubs to fit these though. Its easier to find the right knurl diameter for 1/2"-20 studs than it is to find 12mm. The price is better too when you do find them. Since the Ford 8.8 is equipped with 1/2"-20 studs, I want them all to match, and these were easier to source, I chose 1/2"-20. I couldn't find a close enough size to the Tacoma hubs, so I will drill them bigger.


    It's pretty cool how you end up scoring when you least expect it. I currently live in San Diego, and my home town is Vegas. I travel back all the time and many of my clients are in Vegas. I took a quick gander on Vegas CL and spotted a '91 that has been listed for almost a month. I went over to check it out and the owner and I struck a deal. I did want 93+ but this isn't so bad. It fit all my other requirements.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pretty straight, not in need of a billion repairs, has an 8V 4G64.... I can't complain for the price. At some point I will get it back to my shop in San Diego so I can start working on it. Right now it's sitting in Vegas.

  25. #25

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    right on looks pretty clean cant wait to see it get torn down!

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