Converting an 80 series to Part time 4WD

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 11:51
ThreadID: 31570 Views:17975 Replies:11 FollowUps:5
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I want to convert my 80 to part time 4WD and have been looking at options. The only car I have heard of with the part time conversion in is another 80 with the Marks adaptors kit. I am told it is a little fragile, but that is from a bloke who melts clutches so I am looking for first hand accounts.

Marks Adaptors Part time 4WD kit
4WD Systems Part time 4WD kit

If you have one, can you share any info on new fuel consumption, driveline back lash, front bearing and tyre wear, why you went for the one you did?

To all those that cant understand why I'd want to go back to 2WD, you just dont understand until you have a constant 4wd- Mud and gravel just isnt the same.
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Reply By: Scoey - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 12:52

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 12:52
Amen to that! Watching my mates in thier trol's and lux's get a bit tail happy around a gravel bend is hard to watch. Bit hard to get the 80 sideways! ;-) Mate i checked into it ages ago and I THINK I read somewhere that '93 on you can't convert them - something to do with the viscous centre diff coupling or some bloody thing!! Someone will be able to confirm that or tell you it's bullsh*t! ;-)

Interested to see the results!
AnswerID: 159486

Reply By: TerraFirma - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 12:56

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 12:56
You have a sickness, a mud and gravel sickness, this symptom usually goes away as you get older. The doctor recommends the Marks Adapters Part Time 4WD kit..! Speak to Marks , I'm sure it will be fine..!
AnswerID: 159488

Reply By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 13:16

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 13:16
I had mine done just before Xmas last year (94 model so there goes that theory). I originally took it in to address a worsening snatch in the drivetrain and, after some discussion, was convinced that it was the way to go. Not sure what brand of kit was used (will check), but it cost around $1200 to do. I know that it will take a long time to make up the $1200 in any fuel savings (assuming there are any), but the repairs were going to cost me in the order of $1000 anyway.

Arguments for having it done are:

1. Fuel economy. I have yet to determine if it is better or not as I have had the CT off and on since then, injectors overhauled and a number of other factors that make an accurate determination difficult. My gut feeling is that there is some improvement, but yet to quantify it. In any case, there is some logic to the theory that less moving parts/friction must lead to greater efficiency.

2. Reduced wear on front drivetrain. I guess it could be argued that the additional power transferred to the rear causes increased wear there, yet I would guess that it does not increase by a factor of 2. I also have some slack in the front tailshaft spline which was (in part) contributing to my original problem. Now it is only apparent in 4WD (and then marginally), which I can live with.

3. The car feels better on the road and lighter to steer.

4. I am not sure what impact on tyre wear yet, but I rotate them regularly so should not be an issue.


1. Cost. But as mentioned repairs to the original configuration were about the same.

2. 4WD is always nice to have on gravel and I now need to remember to engage it. The centre diff lock button has become the 4WD select button and hubs need to be engaged. Of course, you have to hop out of the car to engage the hubs, but the kids are good at this now.

3. Centre diff lock. This is the big one, the kit I had put in takes the centre diff lock out of play. I have not investigated whether ($$$$) another kit is available to re-configure it, or whether other part-time kits leave the centre diff lock available. We mostly use our vehicle to tow the CT on gravel and moderate 4WD tracks, so this is not a real issue for me. However, if you are into the more serious stuff, then you need to check out exactly what the kit you are fitting will allow you to do.

Hope this helps.


P.S. Fuel economy and the 80 series petrol are not good terms to use together. Perhaps mine has gone from absolutely atrocious to just atrocious.

AnswerID: 159494

Reply By: 4runner - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 13:31

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 13:31
A good friend of mine has an 80 series and converted the constant four wheel drive into a part time 2x4 system at one of the 4x4 shope here in Perth. The centre locking diff now becomes the locking mechanism for engaging 4x4 - not forgetting you have to jump out yourself and lock the fron hubs, or train your passenger/s to do it. So now you dont have the centre diff lock ( in my opinion it serves little purpose especially when you are cross axled ). He then fitted a Detroit locker at the rear, and since then has never had any problems.

He did have to replace the front wheal bearings at 150,000 Km and went for the 100 series bearings. Problem "solvered" with regard to longevity with wheel bearings. Hope that helps. If not, dont shoot the messenger, as I am telling you what he did ,and the successful outcome that has resulted from the mods.
AnswerID: 159496

Follow Up By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 22:24

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 22:24
The kits are available in Adelaide from 4wd systems, for under $600 I believe.
Not that hard a job, can be done with gearbox/tranfer in car, change front stub axles and dash switch becomes 4wd switch.
Have a freind who is going to have it done shortly and he looked into it.

Cheers Pesty
FollowupID: 414238

Reply By: Kiwi Ray - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 14:12

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 14:12
Hi , At the moment you have the best of both worlds with a very safe and sure footed truck that most of the other manufacturers are trying to copy. Why would you want to change it, the benefits that you may gain are very small to what you would be giving away.
My opinion, withe 700,000 ks of 80#
AnswerID: 159508

Follow Up By: BenSpoon - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 14:35

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 14:35
I dont like understeer. In fact, I love oversteer. If I can actually get some oversteer happening for $500 and then have some flow on benefits as well, i'll be stoked.
I was looking at getting an RV and swapping my accessories, but I dont have the time.

I dont consider a full time 80 to be a hell of a lot more sure footed than anything else- I reckon it comes down to the driver. Wheelspin is still wheelspin regardless of if its only a front tyre or a back, and understeer/oversteer will still happen.
I really dont want to give up the ability to lock in 4WD from the drivers seat, (especially when I see mates having to do it in extreme heat/cold/mud etc) but sometimes you have to make sacrifices. I know the first salt lake/gravel track/mud pit I get to after installing the kit will make it all worth it.
FollowupID: 414139

Reply By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 15:11

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 15:11
if you get it done I have heaps of tyres on splittys etc you can borrrow as long as you take the tyres to the tip afterwards
AnswerID: 159520

Reply By: bruce.h (WA) - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 15:31

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 15:31
ring mike clode at armadale 4wd service centre he not only does this conversion he did it to his own 80 serous phone number is 94973066
AnswerID: 159524

Reply By: Member - DOZER- Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 16:28

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 16:28
Your options are to fit a marks kit, or buy it outright for 700ish and fit yourself, or buy a secondhand dx transfer with rear tailshaft and fit that....i have one of these behind an auto 94 petrol intercooled turbo stopped the front wheels lighting up at the traffic lights....especially if it had been raining.....
Bad points.....remember the old cruiser used to fall off the gravel road if you wandered off into the boonies on corners??????????? thesame thing will happen with part time...... a turbo will help with the lack of opposite lock, but will aalso cause lack of foldy stufff :)
AnswerID: 159530

Follow Up By: Member - Dedalus (SA) - Friday, Mar 10, 2006 at 09:08

Friday, Mar 10, 2006 at 09:08
you have a "petrol intercooled turbo cruiser" .... wow!!
Regarding the part-time 4wd .... I'm sure if you buy a toyota you will like the "fulltime" 4wd .... I have an 80 series petrol and I will never regret the choice ... I'm also driving every day an 100 series GXL diesel for my touring job ... go toyota go!

FollowupID: 414275

Reply By: Laura B - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 17:27

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 17:27
only going by what i have been told,but wont be doing it myself,is that it cost 1000 but increased fuel ec. by 20%...friends had it done 4 yrs ago.....after having 2 4wd having hubs that needed turning, i wouldnt go back...nothing worse than having to get out in mud up to the top of th tyres and change them!!!!

sorry couldnt help much more.....

tyre wear is better that driveline back lash that clunking noise when you change gears????if goes!!!!

laura b
AnswerID: 159536

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 17:49

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 17:49

I think that this is a step back wards.

Fuel consumption, that will vary from day to day depending on how you drive that day and the GXL diesel were no worse on fuel consumption than the DX model

The extra wear on the front diff. If my 80 series is any thing to go by, one front diff replaced in 500,000klm and that was because the diff lock bolts coming loose.

The drive from the motor is spread over two diffs instead of one. This must mean that the diffs are not working as hard as one.

Safety. I remember a few years back when it started to rain really heavy while the Bathurst 1000 was on. All the two wheel drive vehicles were sliding off the track but the Skyline, constant 4wd, was still out there racing until the race was stopped.

I have since got the Troopy and it was so different to drive than the 80 Series. There is a big difference in the suspension but I felt safer in the 80 than the Troopy.

The cost of the conversion is a lot and I don't think they you will get your money back, and when you go to sell it, the person who buy it would have to like the idea of it having free wheeling hubs.

AnswerID: 159540

Follow Up By: Scoey - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 21:46

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 21:46
Actually if I remember correctly the race was called off a few moments after the Skyline driven by Skaife slid into the back of Dick Johnsons??? Falcon on the entryto Conrod?? Haha! Sorry to nitpick but as a young fan and a HUGE DJ fan back then I couldn't believe Skaife was declared the winner even tho he too crashed! haha! Ahhh good times! Sorry, where were we? Oh yeah - part time kits. Go on....

Scoey! ;-)
FollowupID: 414221

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 22:09

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 22:09

I never let the fact get in the way of a good story.

Bring back the Mini Cooper S and the Cortina 1500.

FollowupID: 414233

Reply By: michael & lisa - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 21:40

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 21:40
did it to me 80 3years ago. the best thing i did to it. no more replacing uni joints & no move cv clucking on the hard top. no better on fuel but beter in the bush. good for doing donnuts. drives better now.
AnswerID: 159592

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