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Old 10-28-2020, 11:58 AM #1
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2001 Limited 5-Speed Manual Swap

Hello everyone,

I recently made a foolish purchase of a very rotted 1998 5-speed 4runner with 190k. The condition of the T4R is fairly standard for my area (Michigan). At the time, I was convinced I could make it into something I could daily drive/weekend warrior and still have some dignity left at the end of the day. At last, I faced my fears and admitted the amount of work it needed to get to that point was simply not worth it. I have accepted my mistake and its consequences (mostly money), but am determined to make the most of it.

Several weeks later, after joining the forums and the 3rd gen Facebook group, I learned A LOT more about these trucks and what they're worth. One fateful evening on FB Marketplace, a 2001 Limited with 235k was listed for sale near me with a blown auto transmission for $1200 and I convinced my friends we could throw a new transmission into it and flip it for a quick buck. After reading other 5-speed swap threads, I decided the swap would solve most of my problems as follows...

1. I made a mistake purchasing the 1998, but I could salvage all things necessary for the swap, then part out the rest to make some of my money back.

2. I did not have to search for a new auto trans for the 2001, replace it, list it, and hope we make enough money back for my work to be worth it.

3. The 2001 has very limited rust and is very clean for my area and has no visible rust, the rust that can't be seen can be addressed.

4. I run a small mobile auto detailing business and needed a vehicle to haul my tools + look presentable at a client's home. My current daily driver (2008 Honda Civic 5-spd Coupe) has almost no clear coat on the roof/hood/trunk - NOT presentable and limited storage space.

5. As I am half-way through the swap while typing this, I have learned A TON. I had very limited mechanical experience before attempting this swap - this is something, I think, anyone can do with enough time and determination! Prior experience only included small regular maintenance items. I am doing all work without a car lift, only jacks, jack stands, a driveway, and a piece of cardboard to lie on.

Enough backstory for now... here are some photos of the rust damage on the 1998. More pictures to come.
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Old 10-28-2020, 01:41 PM #2
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thats pretty awesome brother, are both the 4runners 4WD?
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Old 10-28-2020, 02:51 PM #3
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4Runner
IMG_3868
IMG_3844
IMG_4064
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Old 10-28-2020, 02:52 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lord rigatoni View Post
thats pretty awesome brother, are both the 4runners 4WD?
Thanks man. Yes, they are, so wiring should be very simple.
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Old 10-28-2020, 09:03 PM #5
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Gonna be quite the show
Holy rust
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Old 10-28-2020, 09:31 PM #6
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Quote:
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Gonna be quite the show
Holy rust
I'm tuning into this too... rust! Broken bolts! Swapping parts! What could go wrong!?

Good luck with the build!
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Old 10-29-2020, 02:28 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G_Raw View Post
I'm tuning into this too... rust! Broken bolts! Swapping parts! What could go wrong!?

Good luck with the build!
People said removing the front driveshaft or reaching the top trans bolts were the hardest part of the job... but these desert dwellers didn't have to deal with the crossmember bolts being completely "rust welded" together. I could full arm swing a 5lb. sledge until my arm fell off and those things wouldnt budge. Wish I could post the video easily lol,
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Old 10-29-2020, 02:33 PM #8
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IMG_3847
IMG_4061

This Swing Arm had already rusted off and was "professionally repaired" by a shop - commissioned by PO.

IMG_4065

Brand new cat back exhaust though! Definitely coming with me when I part it out.

IMG_3851
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Old 10-29-2020, 03:57 PM #9
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Looks like a good job for an acetylene torch. If it doesn't budge, then torch. Can't be stuck if it's liquid
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Old 10-29-2020, 05:50 PM #10
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A 5-speed swap is still on my "dream list" to do if I ever get bored and have loads of time on my hands, ha. Looking forward to your future success!
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Old 10-29-2020, 07:38 PM #11
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My old fj40 was rusty but not that bad....

I tended to hope for broken bolts. Big breaker with a cheater bar (like 4-6' long).
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Old 10-29-2020, 07:38 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Luck View Post
Looks like a good job for an acetylene torch. If it doesn't budge, then torch. Can't be stuck if it's liquid
Especially if you're not worried about it. Light it up and cut away, angle grinders work great too
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Old 10-30-2020, 12:22 AM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nateboor View Post
Thanks man. Yes, they are, so wiring should be very simple.

I think youíre in for a treat with the wiring.

The 01 is a DBW system; so unless youíre going to swap it all over from the donor, itís going to be a PITA.

Just my .01Ę.


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Old 10-30-2020, 07:37 AM #14
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Youíre going to have to use a manual Tacoma ecu that plugs into your current engine wiring harness, none of the wiring from the 98 will be compatible unless you plan to swap over all the wiring like the body and dash harness. Trust me you donít want to try and remove the body and dash harness, it will be a nightmare
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Old 11-02-2020, 12:25 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyBobandy View Post
Youíre going to have to use a manual Tacoma ecu that plugs into your current engine wiring harness, none of the wiring from the 98 will be compatible unless you plan to swap over all the wiring like the body and dash harness. Trust me you donít want to try and remove the body and dash harness, it will be a nightmare
Thank you for this response, Randy! I did some more investigating and learned that the only harnesses and ECU's that will work for the 01-02 4runners come from 03-04 Tacomas due to the drive by wire as was mentioned (link to thread - 2001 2002 Manual Swap).

HOWEVER, the truck will run perfectly fine with the auto harness + ECU, although you will have a CEL. This is totally fine with me and I can take my time searching for those parts if it starts to bother me. This is especially good news since I can keep the harness + ECU in my '98 and possibly use it as a shit n' git trail bomb rig, if I manage to source a cheap r150f in my area.
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