Inchworm Lefty Install: FJ Cruiser Gets a Tummy Tuck

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Inchworm Lefty Install: FJ Cruiser Gets a Tummy Tuck

10 Responses

  1. Fantastic build. I am debating on the single Inch worm versus the doubler. Obviously the doubler has more options for my 6 speed stick but it also applies more torque to the front differential and could snap CV. I only need a rock crawler one month out of the year, and am thinking the single lefty might be better for me. However, we do have a lot of snow and Ice in Idaho. One question. Where did you find those “factory looking switches” to hook up the lefty?

    Jim Vincent November 15, 2010 at 9:41 am #
  2. Thanks, Jim. The credit for this particular mod is really all Bud’s. I don’t know anyone personally who has installed a doubler yet so I can’t really provide any input on that debate. In my case I wanted to keep the internal cabin area looking as stock as possible so I opted for a single stick configuration and no doubler.

    As far as the switches go, I actually cheated a bit although you may not be able to tell from the photos. I ended up ordering a second “RR DIFF LOCK” button from Toyota and blacked out portions of the first “R” on the face to make it look like a front diff lock switch. I looked around for quite a while trying to locate an “ADD” button or something similar but I never did find anything. I don’t remember the part number off the top of my head, but I’m sure if you contact any Toyota parts department and ask for the “RR DIFF LOCK” button from an FJ Cruiser they’ll be able to locate it for you.

    Expeditionr November 15, 2010 at 10:18 am #
  3. Thank you. I will try to locate some switches. I am getting several conflicting opinions (ain’t America great?) whether to put in the single Lefty or Double on the six speed. We do have black ice and slick covered roads and some are advising the double while others say the single is enough for what we do. I only use the 2008 FJ as a rock crawler while hunting Chukars with my bird dogs one month a year. The rest of the time it is a daily driver. i will install the Lefty myself if it is a single but have a pro do it if we go double (ie, gas tank and drive shaft issues) What is your opinion about the ice and snow issues?

    Jim Vincent November 16, 2010 at 7:38 am #
  4. Jim, it’s just my opinion but I don’t know if the Lefty is going to prove overly useful when it comes to ice and snow on the highway. For rock crawling and slow, controlled maneuvers, definitely. But for road travel where the speeds are faster than 10mph, you’ll most likely be in 4WD high range. The Lefty high range gear ratio is the same as the stock transfer case so the only real gain for high range (with the Lefty) is that you can still use A-TRAC and the rear locker. The doubler (AFAIK) will give you lower gearing overall (higher gear ratio) in all modes (2WD/4WD/HI/LO) but it requires more extensive modifications to the gas tank and drive line and adds more to the installation costs.

    You might try contacting Sbechtold in the FJ cruiser forums or ih8mud forums for more details. I know he had both installed a few years ago and he may be able to provide some better insight as to the benefits of running both.

    Expeditionr November 16, 2010 at 3:45 pm #
  5. Jim,

    If you are seriously considering a dual cases or a crawlbox I would recommended looking at the Atlas 4 Speed instead. It enables you to have 3 selections on T/C gear ratios 2.72:1, 3.8:1, & 10.3:1. It will require similar modification level as a doubler or crawl box and be more robust than a lefty case overall. Atlas is what is used in the majority of competition trucks and has a great reputation.

    Lefty outputshafts (before they went Chromoly) and recently the 4Lo gear sets have been prone to failure. These cases were originally designed for 100hp vehicles which weighed substantially less…not for the weight & hp of a FJ, Tacoma, or 4Runner. An Atlas would be more reliable and robust. If you do go with a Lefty I recommend talking and ordering through Marlin. Make sure you get Marlin’s 4Lo Chromoly gear set if you do go the Lefty route.

    FJNewb November 17, 2010 at 10:03 pm #
  6. Thank you,
    I will probably go with the Atlas because I put in an Atlas 4 speed and Klune low gear drive in a Jeep Wrangler, and I know they are tough. I have been hearing a lot of negative feedback about InchWorm’s lack of Warranty issues. A pity…kiss of death for a manufacturer not to protect his dealers and customers. Having been a fly line manufacturer, I know something about customer service. It is the most important aspect of business. That is why BudBuilt and DeMello are so respected. I am going to try the stock case for a while to make sure it won’t be slow enough for my use. If it isn’t, I’m going to have Jason Demello put the Atlas in.

    Jim Vincent November 19, 2010 at 7:39 am #
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