Front Range Off-Road Tacoma Transfer-Case Mount
Published by Trails Less Traveled on August 30th, 2004
Front Range Off-Road Fabrication, of Red Feather Colorado, is a company known for making Toyota truck products that address shortcomings of factory components. Their products are designed to fill voids existing in the aftermarket and help Toyota owners to build their stock vehicles into capable trail-rigs. Some of their 4×4 Tacoma specific products include twin-stick t-case shifters, U-bolt flip kits, full floating rear axle conversions and fabricated sheet-metal axle housings.
Front Range Off-Road manufactures a line of high-clearance transfer case mounts for various models of Toyota trucks. The Tacoma transfer case mount is designed to replace the factory unit, which hangs down below the frame rails and is prone to getting hung up on rocks. The Front Range unit bolts directly to the rear of the transfer-case and to the inside of the frame rails. The kit includes steel tabs that need to be welded to the frame-rails, a pair of high-performance polyurethane bushings and all of the hardware required to complete the installation. The FROR mount can be used to reposition the drive-train for increased ground clearance or to securely mount a second transfer case, although we are using this product in addition to the stock mount with a single transfer case to provide maximum drive-train support.
We needed to cut off one of the exhaust hangers to install the Front Range mount, but since it is a two-sided mount there is still plenty of support remaining. There are some differences between standard and extra-cab trucks that affect the exhaust-hanger location, so some trucks wont have interference issues. Either way, if the stock transfer case mount is going to be removed, the exhaust hanger will need to be relocated.
The Front Range transfer case mount can now be installed. Use the included bolts to attach the new mount directly to the transfer case. Then bolt up the urethane bushings and sheet metal mounting tabs (tighten the hardware until the sleeve inside the bushing bottoms-out). Mark the area of the frame-rail with a felt pen or scribe where the frame will need to be stripped down to bare steel with a wire wheel or angle grinder before welding on the new mounts. If you plan to raise the transfer case to gain additional ground clearance, now is the time to do so.
We chose to radius the ends of the mounts to clean up the underside of our truck. Then we spray-painted one side of the mounts and gussets (because the backside of these parts would have been more difficult to paint after they were welded). Make sure to leave any area that will be welded unpainted.
We re-installed the mounts and hardware, verified proper placement and tacked the tabs into place. To prevent damaging the urethane mounts, we removed them before final welding. Once the mounts were fully welded and had been allowed time to cool down, we sprayed a few coats of paint to protect the bare steel from the elements and then bolted the urethane mounts back into place.
All that was left was to reconnect the rear drive-shaft, speedometer cable and bolt the factory skid plate back on and the installation was complete. We did need to massage (hammer) the stock skid-plate a little bit to get it to fit over the Front Range mount.
We decided to use the Front Range mount in addition to the stock mount for the time being because of the incredible strength provided when both mounts are used together. The stock mount has plenty of vertical support but virtually no lateral support. This is where the new mount excels. Due to its hefty construction and mounts that spread the load all the way across the distance of the frame-rails, the Front Range mount provides tremendous resistance to drive-train torque.
The Front Range Off-Road Fabrication transfer case mount virtually eliminates power loss due to excessive drive-train movement and delivers power almost instantly under hard acceleration and downshifting. The only drawback is a slight increase in in-cab vibration, but it is only noticeable at idle. We might eventually remove the stock mount and were planning to skid-plate the belly of this truck sometime in the near future.
This Article was originally published on Off-Road.com September 2004
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