Re-power Your Land Cruiser with a GM Vortec Motor

Practicality and Reliability

Why repower your Land Cruiser with a Chevy drivetrain?

At it’s base, practicality and reliability. It is really that simple, but the benefits are varied and many. Land Cruisers have a well earned reputation as vehicle that will go just about anywhere under any conditions, which is why we love them so much. But alas, many of them have very tired power plants.

Land Cruiser Chevy Vortec Motor Rebuild

Land Cruiser Chevy Vortec Motor Rebuild

Re-powering your Land Cruiser with a GM motor and trans mated to a Toyota T-case will give you a vehicle that you can jump in and drive cross country or up the side of a mountain with confidence that you will make it back home without issue. The biggest attribute of this GM drive train is that it is reliable, affordable and will give you dependable long life. Fleet vehicles with the Vortec series motors regularly go well into 300-500K miles before requiring any kind of motor work. All motors are also equipped with an OBD2 port. This allows you to tap in to your ECU.

When you consider a re-power or re build you can not overlook long term cost of operation and maintenance. If you have owned your land cruiser for any length of time you are well aware that many parts are only available at the dealership. We all know how that works. Price out an oil pump on your big 6 vs the same for a 5.3L Vortec. Then find a mechanic that knows how to work on that big 6 in the middle of Kansas. Every parts store across this country stocks a large amount of parts for these motors and there is a wrench in every town that knows how to work on them.

We all will justify a re-power using the above information but the huge increase in power is what plants that big smile on our faces. You’ll be able to pass, out on the highway at 70MPH! You’ll have the power to actually tow a trailer that the vehicle is rated to tow. Not to mention that low V8 rumble that plants a smile on any car guy’s (or girl’s) face. This is the power and reliability the Land Cruiser deserves.

The down side is that your dealer will not wish to work on your rig any longer. I know that this breaks your heart but after paying cheaper prices for service and maintenance for a while I am sure you will recover. Worrying about head gaskets and pesky heater hoses are a thing of the past.

Land Cruiser Chevy Vortec Motor Rebuild

Land Cruiser Chevy Vortec Motor Rebuild

What is included in a re-power?

Every re-power is different and tailored to the owner’s desire but they all share a basic package. Included in that package are the following:

  • Vortec or LS motor, 5.3L & 6.2L being the most popular
  • Trans, 4L65E autos are the majority, NV4500 is an option as well as others
  • *T-case, OEM in the 60 series, 60 series split case or OEM in the 80 series
  • Custom motor and cross member mounts using common isolators
  • Drive shafts cut, balanced, new U-joints
  • Trans and T-case shifters vary, Lokar and twin sticks are most often used
  • Full Autometer gauges including fuel sender
  • New Radiator rated to 750 HP
  • Custom fan shroud to use GM mechanical fan
  • Custom exhaust
  • New fuel system, tank to fuel rails
  • Computer is programmed to your specific vehicle and your driving style
  • OBD2 Port
  • Under hood wiring is done to allow removal of engine wiring harness for service.
  • In most cases there are only two direct electrical connections between the truck and the engine. These are an Ignition power source and connection to the brake light switch for a torque converter lockup. **No converters or “hacks” to make it all work, the motor and trans are stand alone.
  • -All electrical connections are clearly labeled
  • AN lines and fittings are used for Power Steering, Trans cooling and fuel system. This system allows easy replacement of lines while re using hose ends. This can be done in your own garage. No trying to find a custom hose shop.

*Using a 60 series split case in the 80 series coupled with manual locking hubs turns your 80 series into a true 4WD capable of 2WD rather than the OEM AWD system. The split case is regarded as a very stout T-case and with a twin stick setup can be run in 2WD low range. 4.0 to 1 low gear ratio is also available from Marlin for this case.

**Some “hacks” may be required on the truck side in order to activate OEM lockers or T-case lock ups on some OEM 80s.


HFS Ranger Build

GM Vortec Conversion

Hardline Fabrication Services Ranger Build from Hardline Fabrication Services on Vimeo.