Toyota V8 Engine Conversion

Photos and Text By Tim Miller

Answers to most common asked Questions.

1.) What motor should I use?
     You can choose from the vast variety of engines from Chevy to Ford. GM offer the Ram jet series to new crate motors. Adapters are offered for most motors. Do your research before you buy the motor. In this guide we will be installing a 1996 Chevy Vortec 5.7 (350ci) V8 into a 1986 Toyota 4x4 X-cab Pick up.

2.) Will my truck pass smog with a V8?
     It varies by state. You need to check your state laws. You should install a newer motor than the one you are removing.

3.) How long does it take?
     If you have all the parts on hand and are fairly mechanically inclined it should take you no more than 3-5 days.

4.) Do I need a lift kit on my truck?
     Yes! You need the clearance for the V8 oil pan and the V8 is a lot heavier. 3-4 lift minimum.

5.) What about my Toys Transmission, Will it hold up to a V8?
     Toyota s 5 Speed Transmission is very durable and can handle V8 power. 85-95 are stronger and recommended. In this guide we are using a 4l60E auto that came with our V8.

6.) How strong is a Toyota Transfer case?
     It should have no problems handling the power of a V8. You may need to up grade to a bigger out-put shaft. From our test we have had no problems yet.

7.) What Pump should I use for my power steering?
     You can retain the stock Toyota Pump. You can either build a custom bracket or buy a bracket from a supplier on our list.

Engine and Transmission Removal

Under the truck

1.) Remove front and rear drive shafts from T- case and Axles.

2.) Remove Speedo cable from rear passenger side of T-case

3.) Disconnect exhaust at manifold

4.) Remove Complete exhaust system from under Toyota

5.) Support Transmission and T-case with Jack or Jack stands

6.) Remove two bolts holding Slave cylinder and tie out of way

7.) Remove all bell housing bolts and starter bolts

8.) remove starter

Inside the Cab

1.) Remove shift knobs and shift boots from both transmission and T-case

2.) Remove transmission shift lever

3.) Remove T-case shift lever

Under the hood

1.) Remove hood.

2.) Disconnect and remove Battery.

3.) Drain and remove radiator and fan shroud.

4.) Disconnect and remove Alternator.

5.) Disconnect Power Steering hoses from steering box..

6.) Disconnect Power steering pump from block and remove.

7.) Disconnect and remove AC Pump.

8.) Disconnect And Identify Oil Pressure and Temp. sending units.

9.) Disconnect Coil and Identify yellow wire.

10.) Remove coil and Igniter.

11.) Disconnect Throttle Linkage and ground strap at rear of motor.

12.) On fuel injected motors you must disconnect and remove injection wiring harness from motor.

13.) Check and remove any items left on motor.

14.) Double check the Transmission and T-case Supports.

15.) Remove motor mount bolts.

16.) Lift motor and divorce bell housing from rear of block.

17.) Remove motor from Toyota.

18.) Support transmission and T-case with jack.

19.) Remove eight bolts holding cross member to frame.

20.) Slowly lower and remove Transmission and T-case from under Toyota.

Note: With engine and transmission removed now is the time to clean and repaint frame, firewall and transmission tunnel.

Preparing V8 Before Installation

1.) Now is the best time to install all brackets, accessories, and pulleys.

2.) Bolt on new motor mounts to block.

3.) Install Toyota sending units in V8 ( With Toyota being metric and Most V8 being Standard threads you Will need to purchase adapters. These can be found at most local hardware stores.)

4.) Install power steering pump and bracket.

5.) If you are using a fuel injected motor now is a good time to check and predetermine new wiring harness Configuration and layout.

Note: Do not install exhaust manifolds or headers at this time. This allows you more room to work and allows you to reach the motor mounts easier.


1.) You will need to divorce your motor from the transmission for installion. It is a two part process.

2.) You may need to modifi the trucks firewall to accept chevy motors. You need clearence for the Distributor cap.

3.) Double check for necessary clearance.

4.) Slowly lower motor in to engine compartment.

5.) Properly align motor mounts to the holes in frame.

6.) Bolt motor mounts to frame.

7.) Support rear of motor and remove hoist.

8.) From under side align and install transmisson and t-case.

9.) Install new cross member and bolt to frame.

10.) Depending on what t-case you use you need to match drive shaft flanges and adjust them to proper length and reinstall front and rear shafts.

11.) Reconnect speedo cable to T-case.

12.) Install starter

13.) Install radiator and fan shroud

14.) Reconnect throttle linkage

15.) If using fuel injection rought and connect wiring harness to injection.

16.) Connect all grounds, starter wires, alternator, coil, and battery connections.

17.) Install new exhaust manifolds or headers.

18.) Install transmission and t-case shifters and shift boots

19.) Reinstall battery and connect

20.) Install hood and check alightment with fenders.

Note: You need to have a custom exhaust installed before you run the motor. Most local muffler shops can build you a custom system.

Note: Your floor boards may need to be slightly modified depending on your transmissions and t-case choice.

Note: When installing a fuel injected motor you may need to have the computer reprogrammed.

Note: When Doing a V8 swap there are a number of options , be sure you have double checked and have all the nessery parts on hand to make this project as easy as possible.

Note: With there being so many options out there we can not give you every step on the reinstalltion of your motor. It depends if you are installing a automatic or a manual transmission, what type of t-case are you using. So we got you this far and hopefully you can button it up and fire your new V8 powered Toyota.