When Toyota created the 2nd generation Tacoma they created yet again another best seller. It was bigger, more powerful and to most a better looking truck than it’s predecessor. The engine was brand new for the Tacoma as well as the automatic and six speed transmissions. They also added a new transfer case for the 4wd system.
The 05+ Tacoma’s transfer case is an all electronic transfer case. It is shifted by a knob on the dash board and for the purest in some of us there are no shift handles at all to be seen in the cabin. Some of us hated this while others had no clue what that little knob was doing on their dash and thus would never use 4wd.
After driving our new Tacoma off road for awhile, some of us found the problems with these new t case’s. They are shifted by an actuator at the back of the transfer case and when water gets into these, and it will, they stop working. Add in some dirt and grime and your either stuck in 4 lo or you can’t get into 4wd when you need it most.
We wanted real shift levers and we wanted control of the transfer case instead of relying on electronics to do so for us. But where were we going to find a manual T case that would work in our trucks without going to the ubber expensive Atlas, or Stak and didn’t require a ton of modifications.
Enter the Toyota FJ Cruiser. You see, when Toyota created the FJ Cruiser they thought it would be nostalgic to put real levers into the new FJ Cruiser. And why not? They were trying to bring back that mystique of the FJ series vehicles from years gone by. What they didn’t realize was that there were others out there that wanted these cases as well. They would bolt right up the Tacoma’s transmission without any modifications and the drive shafts would work as well.
We at RockSolidToys found a way to make the FJ Cruiser transfer case work in the Tacoma with all of the electronics and the ADD system and if you have a solid axle swap Tacoma, this FJ Cruiser t case conversion makes your entire 4wd system nearly bullet proof compared to what you had before.
So lets take a look at the difference between the FJ case and the stock Tacoma case.
In the picture below is the Toyota FJ Cruiser T case at the top and the Toyota Tacoma case on the bottom. You can see that the Tacoma case has an actuator at the back of it. This is where all the shifting happens with the Tacoma case.
In this picture you can see that the FJ Case at the bottom of the picture has a provision for a shift handle at the top of the case to manually shift the case from 2wd to 4wd and then to 4wd lo. The Tacoma case has a cover plate over this provision.
They are pretty much the same with the same low range gear ratio of 2.56:1 and they are both chain driven but its how they are shifted that makes them different from each other.
The Tacoma case is shifted by a single rod that shifts the 2wd 4wd shift fork when you turn the knob one spot. Turn the knob one more spot and it shifts it from 4hi to 4lo using the same shift rail. Below is a picture of the inside of the Tacoma case. As you can see the shift rod is in the center of the case as opposed to being at the top of the case like the FJ Case.