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Unread 04-15-2008, 01:29 PM   #1
97kurt
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Default Passenger front diff bracket

So I thought I would start a thread of all things related to the passenger side diff bracket.

So far we have seen 3 failures, in each failure its caused damage to the oil pan and a CV to break. This is the same bracket that is on the front passenger side of the diff on the 4th gen 4runner and FJC. My034runner is going to verify if its the same on the tacoma but I have a feeling they have something different. All 3 breaks were on the same spot shown in the pics below.

Vegasrunner sent me his busted bracket for me to look at. It is basically a steel cast "I" beam that has been machined for the two mounting holes and a bushing pressed in on the frame side of it.






The center section of the "I" beam is only about 1/4" thick. It would of made more sense for Toyota to rotate the metal 90 degrees into an "H" beam if that makes sense.

Here is a crappy pic to show what I am talking about.


So after shooting some PMs to BruceTS and showing Bulldog my first revision this is what I came up with. Its a very simple mod for anyone that has access to a Home Depot and someone that can weld. Should take a total of about 30min to do once the bracket is off.

I started off by getting some 3/16" by 3/4" flat bar and cut two strips. Stripped some of the coating and paint off the cast piece and heated the cast up with some map gas. Welded the flat bar up to the bend, then put it in a vice and bent the bar to fit. Then finished welding it up. Bulldog suggested adding some more beef to where it meets the circular section near the bushing which you can see in the later pics.




First version with it boxed


I made the same mistake BruceTS made and painted it with the bedliner coating while it was still hot (thats why it looks wet in the pic).

2nd Version with plate near the bushing.


Anyways the end result is a fully boxed passenger diff bracket.


Here are some pics of what the stock bracket looks like mounted (for reference)

FJC:

4R:
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Unread 04-15-2008, 02:45 PM   #2
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Very cool, when can we place an order?
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Unread 04-15-2008, 03:26 PM   #3
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Looks good!!! That should hold up pretty well in trails now.
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Unread 04-15-2008, 03:29 PM   #4
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WOW. You are the MAN!! Great ideas and fab skills.
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Unread 04-15-2008, 04:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog View Post
Very cool, when can we place an order?
No orders yet.

If someone wants to ship me their un-broken bracket I'm sure we can work something out for me to plate it and ship it back. But since that will make most peoples daily driver un-drivable, my best bet is to find an intact bracket to modify and have people ship me back their cores.

Anyways, just wanted to put this out there. Let me know what you guys think or if you have any questions or concerns.
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Unread 04-15-2008, 04:23 PM   #6
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Looks like that will really help firm up that piece. I'll be getting in line to get one from ya, too.
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Unread 04-15-2008, 04:51 PM   #7
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Looks good. I was thinking of doing something similar, but I've never welded cast iron before. Is the trick just to heat it b/f welding? Or did you just do that to bend the flat stock? My worry would be that it breaks anyway. In that case, the dealer might deny a warranty claim, and I'd have to pay for all the collateral damage as well.
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Unread 04-15-2008, 06:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbs11 View Post
Looks good. I was thinking of doing something similar, but I've never welded cast iron before. Is the trick just to heat it b/f welding? Or did you just do that to bend the flat stock? My worry would be that it breaks anyway. In that case, the dealer might deny a warranty claim, and I'd have to pay for all the collateral damage as well.
Since the 4th gen came out in 2003 I am think alot of owners are out of warranty anyways. That and with all of the other mods most of us do it might be a similar situation.

I've always been told to pre-heat anything cast prior to welding. Cast iron is a different animal and will crack if it cools unevenly. The heat was not used to bend the 3/16", the vice was able to do that on its own.

Also to note, those that have had the failure, did your warranty cover any of it?
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Unread 04-15-2008, 06:37 PM   #9
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It seems to be a failure that comes with time. All the broken ones were 03s and 04s that were wheeled often with some suspension mods and larger tires. So it is more than likely that it will fail out of warranty anyway and even if it does fail within the warranty period most dealers will reject a claim due to the mods.

Either way seems like a well worthwhile insurance policy to get one for a wheeler.
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Unread 04-15-2008, 06:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97kurt View Post
Also to note, those that have had the failure, did your warranty cover any of it?
Mine was out of warranty.

You did a nice job on that. It should be a good upgrade for people wanting a beefier bracket to avoid the type of failure I experienced.
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Unread 04-15-2008, 07:50 PM   #11
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Nice Kurt! Thanks for investing the time.
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Unread 04-15-2008, 09:56 PM   #12
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I was actually thinking about fully plating the whole piece. Weld plates on top and bottom then redrill the 2 holes(no plating on the big bushing end) then weld plates down each side to box it in.

As for welding on cast, it's no problem since it's a forged piece, no worry about fractures occuring like exhaust manifolds....

I'm still waiting for Mark to drop by so I can make one for him....
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Unread 04-15-2008, 11:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97kurt View Post
Since the 4th gen came out in 2003 I am think a lot of owners are out of warranty anyways. That and with all of the other mods most of us do it might be a similar situation.

I've always been told to pre-heat anything cast prior to welding. Cast iron is a different animal and will crack if it cools unevenly. The heat was not used to bend the 3/16", the vice was able to do that on its own.

Also to note, those that have had the failure, did your warranty cover any of it?


Mine was!! For all who never bought extended warranties.........

But, not everyone has a great friend to look out for you!
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Unread 05-23-2008, 10:45 AM   #14
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UPDATE!!

Took me a month but I got my hands on some near brand new brackets to modify. Now I just have to find some time to get-er-done.

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Unread 05-23-2008, 10:59 AM   #15
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/beer Kurt
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Unread 05-23-2008, 12:13 PM   #16
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Very cool!! Order placed
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Last edited by bulldog; 05-23-2008 at 12:15 PM.
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Unread 05-25-2008, 07:31 AM   #17
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I'll be interested in a pair of driver/passenger.
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Unread 05-26-2008, 01:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexJet View Post
I'll be interested in a pair of driver/passenger.
I thought you had the fabtech lift?
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Unread 05-27-2008, 06:06 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97kurt View Post
I thought you had the fabtech lift?
I never had a Fabtech kit. I used to have a custom 7" buld using Fabtech drop bracket from a their kit, but took it off. I remember talking to Andries on this and he mentioned that bracket kits may be not that good as they apear. After having it for 6 month I can tell you that he had a point. Most of the lift on bracket lifts is gain by the bracket (6" Fabtech has less clearance then 3" Icon). Another downdraw is that it's not that stable. I allign after doing it, but after just a gravel roads my allignment was way off and this continues on all 6 month not counting off-road. The only positive of it, that you can fit large 35" tires. After having it, I switched back and made custom 5" coilover setup with 35". SO now I have more ground clearance and nothing hang down. For my kind of terrain (sand, mud, snow, some rocks, deep forest fire roads) its better to have flat bottom as high as possible.
But I'm still thinking of a few uprrades. When you'll make your brackets, I'd like to ask you to make a small change for mine to accomodate my lift. Thank you in advance.
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Unread 06-08-2008, 12:07 AM   #20
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Install pics and instructions for the Kurtfab bracket here
http://www.toyota120.com/forum/showt...0471#post40471
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