I know a few of you are aware that I’ve been in the process of converting my car to a full 6spd V160 drivetrain. This thread is dedicated to showing the work we’ve done on the car these past few months. First and foremost, I want to thank my dad for all his help and knowledge with the swap and my brother for helping out with pretty much everything. I also want to thank Omar (Quicksc4) for supplying me with the transmission and all of his knowledge as well as ScottURnot, HiPSI, and LexusFTW for their help and support.
Here’s a quick rundown of the build:
-V160 Getrag transmission
- All new OEM shifter parts
- RPS Billet Strapless Twin Carbon clutch with chromoly steel flywheel
- 6spd Supra tunnel install
- 6spd serpentine belt tensioner
- 3.13 USDM Torsen differential
- 6spd rear axles
- PHR 3.5” one-piece driveshaft rated at 1200wrhp+
- Custom made shifter bezel
- Dynamat Xtreme and Cool-It heatshield install
Parts list and part numbers used:
6-speed drive belt tensioner
16620-46070 tensioner cost 177.56
16621-46010 bracket cost 36.77
16622-46010 arm cost 17.46
16602-46010 shock absorber cost 56.64
91511-g0845 bolt cost .88 x 2
90901-16001 stud cost 1.97
90179-08171 nut cost .85 x 2
90116-08348 bolt cost .79
90080-17242 nut cost 1.24 ex x 2
33030-0w212 v160 assy new $6800, or used...
31123-14020 inspection cover cost 27.01
31121-14030 inspection cover cost 32.41
90080-11228 bolt list .77 cost .58 x 4
08885-01306 v160 oil qt cost 39.27 ea x 2
57255-14231 MEMBER, list 228.62 cost 170.30
90980-11051 Toyota HOUSING, CONNECTOR F list 6.87 cost 5.12
Shifter parts, tri-pod
33504-14130 shift **** cost 90.00
33511-14031 control shaft cost 20.84
33513-22030 yoke cost 6.35
33530-14442 93.5-95 short throw shifter cost 130.45
90301-11015 o ring cost 2.43 ea x 4
33531-14010 boot cost 32.42
90387-08134 collar cost 1.61 ea x 2
33555-14110 boot cost 26.21
33555-14100 boot cost 8.14
33556-14050 seat cost 1.28
33057-14010 bracket cost 36.86
33570-14070 shifter tri-pod cost 80.15
93381-16016 bolt cost .39 ea x 4
90179-08095 nut cost .97 ea x 2
90105-08200 bolt cost .76 ea x 2
91651-60835 bolt cost .20 ea x 4
90105-08076 bolt cost .66
90179-08233 nut cost .88
90250-06026 pin cost .90
90467-21010 clip cost 2.17
33546-22020 bushing cost 11.67 ea x 2
Supra 6-speed trans tunnel and rubber boots
58261-14010 upper trans tunnel cost 65.11
91651-60614 bolt cost .55 ea x 2
58280-14080 boot/plate assy list 25.72 cost 19.63
90363-12002-77 BEARING,PILOT COST 6.57
96152-00500 RING, SNAP COST 2.51
90903-63001 BEARING , RELEASE COST 60.83
90560-50001 SPACER COST 5.50
90560-79001 SPACER COST 2.25
90206-12006 WASHER, COST 1.49
90520-75001 RING, SNAP COST 2.77
31264-14060 SPRING, COST 2.77
31231-14050 HUB, COST 33.30
31204-14060 FORK COST 66.64
31234-14020 SPRING, COST 1.97
31236-14030 SUPPORT,FORK COST 29.08
90119-08079 BOLT, COVER COST 0.52 EA X 6
90910-02115 BOLT FW COST 9.17 EA X 8
13450-0W011 FLYWHEEL COST 555.17
Driftmotion stainless steel clutch line the long one.
2 cans of brake fluid for bleeding system
I recommend using an aftermarket clutch kit instead of the factory OEM clutch and pressure plate
USDM Supra 3.13 rear diff $1400-1800 depending on miles
Can also use a GS400 3.26 rear diff but it does not have an LSD unit, you can opt to install a Supra TT auto TRD LSD in it. $300 for diff used and $1250 for TRD LSD unit
2 qts of Redline heavy shockproof gear oil, best stuff!!!
PowerHouse Racing 3.5" custom driveshaft $899
Rubber rear driveshaft coupling from supra TT 37511-30020 COUPLING, FLEXIBLE cost $307.06 price $228.72
Supra turbo transmission cross member TT auto/6speed are the same one. $80-110 used
TRD transmission mount ptr04-00007 trd trans mt list 129.00 cost 108.00
42340-14140 SHAFT ASSY, RR DRIVE cost $563.58 price $419.80
42330-24030 SHAFT ASSY, RR DRIVE cost $437.10 price $325.58
The next step was ordering and installing all of the shifter parts and other misc. items for the V160. I ended up ordering everything new from Toyota. Brand new tripod, linkage assembly, 93-96 shorter style OEM shifter, inspection covers, clutch cylinder, TRD 6spd mount, V160 fluid, etc. I also ordered a 6spd Supra sub-tunnel that you can see in the pics below.
After we assembled all of the shifter parts, we went through the gears a few times out of curiosity to get a glimpse of how the 6spd feels. It was an immediate night and day difference from the R154. The throws are ridiculously quick and short and it had a much more direct and precise feel. Had a BIG smile on my face…very nice.
Next up was the serpentine belt tensioner. The main advantage of the 6spd tensioner is that it prevents the serpentine belt from coming off during hard shifting from what I understand. Now, had I known that the 6spd tensioner was different from the auto tensioner, I would have done this step last winter when we were doing the GTE swap. So for a little while, I was kicking myself in the head for purchasing a brand new auto tensioner earlier this year and now needing (or having the urge) to replace it again with this 6spd unit. Luckily I didn’t have issues selling the auto tensioner, so the whole situation worked out pretty favorably. You can see in the pics that the 6spd tensioner has two threads in it for the upper bracket that holds the damper arm. The lower bracket of the damper arm mounts to a spot on the GTE oil pump. If anyone is curious about doing this mod to their GE motor, make sure to get the GTE oil pump, because the GE one does not have a thread for this dampening arm bracket. The downside of doing this mod is that it is a lot more expensive than just using an auto tensioner when you factor in all the extra parts you need.
I also sourced a USDM 6spd diff with the 3.13 ratio. It was off a 97 TT Supra with super low miles. It literally looked brand new inside; the pictures don’t even do it justice. The main reason I went with the US model diff is for the slightly longer gearing and lower cruising RPM’s. Initial impression when I took delivery of it is that this thing is BIG. I guess there is a reason they call it a “big case diff”. It’s much bigger and a bit heavier than the 3.76 diff that was in my car. I also ordered some new axles from Toyota. Notice how one is shorter than the other one, which is unique to the 6spd diffs. Lastly, got my hands on some Redline Heavy Shockproof gear oil. This stuff is literally red… it was like pouring paint into the diff when we were filling it up. Needless to say, it didn’t look like any other gear oil I’ve ever seen.
When we removed the old rubber driveshaft coupling off the 3.76 diff, it showed its age. It was cracking when you gave it a good twist, so it had to go. I contacted PHR and was told I’d need to use the TT rubber coupling with the driveshaft I ordered. The 6spd and TT auto rubber couplings are the same. They are both larger in diameter and thicker than the NA couplings as you can see below.
And then we started tearing apart the interior. We’ve done this so many times, that this part always goes quickly; it honestly seems like we’ve done it a hundred times by now.
Notice the shifter extension on the old setup. Gives you a good idea how much it needs to be extended to properly fit through the center counsel.
Got a close-up picture of how the auto tunnel is laid out. Notice the auto tunnel design is flat shaped. Also, notice where we cut out the hole for the R154 shifter years ago. The hole must’ve got a little banged up from fitting the GTE engine with the transmission attached. All you guys going the R154 route that have the MKIII transmission, aka, without the Soarer tripod design, this is where you cut the hole.
R154 is out of the car, along with the Aristo TT diff, axles, 2-piece driveshaft, and everything else.
I know this is not an R154 thread, so without getting too technical, I felt the need to include these pics of how much the shifter needs to be extended. People ask all the time on the forums, so here is how this one was done. It was perfectly centered in the bezel.
Once the interior was stripped, vacuumed, and cleaned, something needed to be done about the auto tunnel.
Here is how the 6spd tunnel comes:
The upper portion of it is completely different from the auto design as you can tell. It has a big hump to make room for the 6spd tripod assembly.
I had it professionally painted and clearcoated factory Platinum Silver Metallic (1AO) for added protection from the elements and for a factory look.
I test fitted the rubber boots that I bought to see how everything is supposed to go in. The bottom boot is made out of thick double layer material. One of the layers tucks into the tunnel opening, while the other goes over the hole. Pretty clever design, and I am sure it helps with reducing road noise and transmission noise, something that was a pretty annoying issue with my old setup since we didn’t really seal the tunnel that well.
This is what the old sub tunnel looked like from underneath. The hand brake bracket and the tunnel all need to come out.
Close-up shot of the hand brake bracket. My tunnel only had one of these, which seems to be the norm for factory automatic equipped cars. I remember talking with HiPSI, whose car is a factory 94 5spd… that thing had two e-brake brackets, one on each side of the tunnel.
Nothing on the passenger side, just two holes with rubber plugs.
We did the next part a bit differently than the other two examples that were shown here on CL by ScottURnot and HiPSI. Basically, instead of cutting a massive hole at the top of the old tunnel, we fully removed the old auto-tunnel, not just cut it at the top to make an opening. Doing it this way gives you more clearance on the sides and requires no cutting at all. If you don’t remove the old tunnel completely, you’ll have issues fitting the new tunnel in place and usually it requires cutting off the rear section of the new tunnel because essentially what you were doing is stacking the new tunnel on top of the old tunnel.
To remove the tunnel, drill out all of the spot welds around the old tunnel and e-brake bracket. I don’t recall the exact amount of the welds, but it was more than 30. Once that was done, we used an air chisel to loosen the old sealer around the sides. Next, you just use a hammer or a rubber mallet and pound out the tunnel from the top. If you drilled out all the welds, it should come out pretty easily as a whole.
The new tunnel fits like a glove. There was absolutely no issue of any sort with pounding it in or needing to trim off anything as you would if you cut a hole at the top instead of completely removing the old piece. Get from under the car, and raise the tunnel in place with a jack. To make sure it is properly aligned, we bolted it down from both sides by the hand brake bracket threads. Tighten it well so that there is no free play for the next part.
The next part is pretty self explanatory. Once you get the new tunnel flush against the body of the car, drill holes into the new tunnel exactly where the factory spot welds were. Again, there are more than 30 of them. We used touch up paint around all of the holes that were drilled. When you finish, you can start riveting it in place. We used some heavy duty stainless steel BMW rivets. Just make sure the rivet is bigger diameter than the holes you drilled for obvious reasons. After riveting, you can remove the e-brake bracket bolts because now the new tunnel piece is as solid as a rock; couldn’t move it if you tried. Notice we removed some of the insulation material at the sides to see where the spot welds were. It was pretty old and started peeling off and cracking. No problem since I planned to Dynamat the tunnel area well in advance.
In these close-ups you can really see how perfect the fit is.
The new piece fits like a glove.
At this point, it’s pretty much finished. All that’s left is to re-seal it. This is the caulking we used.
It cures in about 18-24 hours. It’s very liquid, so it really pours down into all the gaps and gives you a very good seal. I planned on painting the area around the tunnel and what’s nice about this stuff is that it can be painted over when it’s hardened. I painted the side areas about a week after we sealed it.
And here are some finished pics after shooting the area around the tunnel with Platinum Silver Metallic 1AO. Now it’s ready for the Dynamat install to really quiet down the tunnel area.
When the tunnel was finished, the painstaking process of installing the Dynamat began. Installing it is not really difficult, but anyone who has done it knows it takes time. First, vacuum out any loose dirt and debris…ours cars are not new, so odds are, there’s going to be at least a little bit of crap on the floor. Second, you need to clean every surface. I personally used 70% IPA diluted 50/50 with water. DO NOT use any kind of strong solvents on the factory sound dampening material because all it is, is essentially a tar based product that was painted over. Using a solvent will create a mess in a hurry. I tried Prepsol on a small piece of it on the corner and quickly realized it’s not the right product for the job, so I resorted to the alcohol solution because it does the job well enough. Once the surface is clean and dry, you can go ahead and install the Dynamat. The product is pretty civil to work with. Get a roller of some sort and some type of smooth object to press the sheets tight against the car’s surface and to remove any excessive wrinkles. Also, a plastic razor blade is really helpful for cutting out holes for various threads in the body. A plastic blade won’t scratch the paint, but cuts the material with ease. The one thing I didn’t like about working with it is the way the sheets come packaged. They are folded into three sections so when you remove a piece from the box, there are wrinkles in those two sections that it was folded in. It would have definitely made for a cleaner install if they were packaged in a different fashion, but who really cares.
I purchased two packs of the Dynamat. One pack had 12 sq. ft. of material; the other was a bulk pack that had 36 sq. ft. of material. Dynamat Xtreme is 0.45lbs./ sq. ft. I ended up using about 45 sq. ft. of it when you factor in all the scraps and the few larger pieces I had left over. So, that’s about 20.25 pounds of added weight…not too bad.
I started with the back seat area, and I did this section mainly to quite down the fuel pump and maybe a little bit of exhaust and road noise too. You can see that I cut the piece that goes over the opening in the middle for the fuel pump. Did a double layer in the middle, hopefully that helps.
Then I tackled the entire tunnel and sub-tunnel area. I did two layers around the entire tunnel all the way up to the firewall (which BTW is a major pita):
I also did the entire floorboard with hopes to reduce road noise. I used a slightly different dampening material for the last section of the floor at the rear leg room since I ran out of larger sheets of Dynamat. It’s virtually the same thing, with an aluminum layer on top and a tar based material on bottom, painted black though.
The airbag ECU mounts perfectly with the new tunnel.
And you can get a glimpse of how far the Dynamat was installed. It’s actually in there way back all the way to the firewall. I think that was the hardest part of the whole deal because there’s so little room to work with.
This stuff was applied last. It’s a lot thicker than the Dynamat and it’s more of a heatshield, but it does have sound deadening characteristics as well. It’s very difficult to cut, so get a good pair of scissors if you ever use this stuff. The DEI spray on adhesive is also tricky because it dries almost instantly. As soon as you spray on a good layer of it, you need to install the piece ASAP, like seconds later, because if you don’t it will dry and not bond well.
I test fitted both of the boots to make sure no material was in the way.
And here’s how the work space looked during the install. It was actually a lot messier at times with pieces of Dynamat everywhere.
While researching about the 6spd swap, I started digging deeper into some of the small issues people were having. I learned that the 6spd shifter does not come out at the center of the OEM SC300 5spd bezel. It’s close, but it sits slightly further back and the reverse lockout ring hits the back of the bezel in 2-4-6-R. Some people were saying that it only hits during hard shifting, but I personally sat in a 6spd SC and very lightly went through the gears. The shifter hit the panel every time in those four gears, which is definitely an issue I wanted to address. I didn’t want to cut the hole in the bezel bigger at the rear section because doing that would mean the leather boot wouldn’t fit properly anymore, and it just looked weird to me cutting the hole even bigger than it already was.
So, instead, I ordered a spare bezel and decided to modify it in a different way.
You can take the bezel apart pretty easily. The plastic button with the Lexus logo comes out from the bottom. I just used a small flat screwdriver to pry the 4 little tabs and pushed it out…very simple. Then, to remove the leather boot and plastic ring that it is glued to is a bit trickier. It wasn’t designed to be a piece that can be removed and reinstalled because it sits on plastic pins which are epoxied in place permanently. Just get a flat screw driver and pry off the epoxy off each pin one by one. It’s not difficult. It looks like this when it’s all apart:
The main objective with the bezel was to cut out the middle opening and shift it further down to where it would center around the 6spd shifter. Also, since the opening size will stay exactly the same, it ensures that the boot will fit perfectly. I used a Dremel to cut out the hole. There are four mounting tabs on the bezel that secure it to the center counsel. You need to be very careful when cutting out the hole because the front two tabs are pretty close to the opening. Make sure to take your time and not accidentally cut the tabs off.
In the next picture, you can really see how much further down the opening will be relocated. According to my calculations, it should be perfectly centered now.
Next, find some creative way to secure the center piece in the new location. I used some regular tape and double sided tape from the bottom. Then, what I did was made a plastic template to fill in the gap at the front of the hole, got some 2-part epoxy and cemented the hole in its new location. Once it hardens, it’s like hard plastic, super strong stuff.
Then, I did a very thin layer of flexible Bondo and sanded it smooth, primer which was sanded, and painted flat black. Re-installed the leather boot and it’s done. Looks factory, and now the shifter doesn’t hit anything and the bezel still fits 100% like OEM since only the middle section was modified.
You can really see how much further the opening sits when you put it next to a factory 5spd bezel.
The next issue to tackle was getting the leather boot to fit over the reverse collar on the 6spd shifter. The 5spd bezel has a very thick, hard plastic ring at the very top of the boot. It has no flex to it at all and you cannot stretch it or get it over the collar without removing it. To remove it, you need to peel away the leather off the ring. It’s held with some sort of yellow adhesive which didn’t seem very durable, so peeling it off was not hard and did not damage to the leather.
Here is how the leather wraps around the ring:
And here is how it looks when you remove the ring:
I got pretty excited and tested how the boot fit before we even installed it on the car, and it fits perfectly, like factory:
The interior was put back together while still waiting on some parts to arrive.
Earlier this year, I was able to come across a brand new set of OEM black Lexus SC300/400 floor mats. Floor mats for SC’s have been long discontinued, so needless to say, finding these was kind of a once in a lifetime deal. Big thanks to Club Lexus’s own “Shern” who had a few spare sets and sold me one.
While the carpet was out of the car, I decided it was a good time to give it a nice bath. I deep cleaned it with my favorite interior cleaner “Autoglym Interior Shampoo” diluted 1:4. I was amazed at how much dirt was pulled away; it was actually pretty crazy because they didn’t look that dirty.
I also bought a new cluster panel cover. My old one was in alright condition, but it had some stains from the inside that would probably only be removed by machine polishing. When I found out how cheap a new cover is from Lexus, it was a no brainer. It was just a little over $20 through Lexus, best twenty bucks you can spend on your car…it literally looks like a brand new gauge cluster now with the clear glass.
Everything is back together, just missing a transmission
Here are some pics from this Saturday when we spent the day putting all this stuff together and in the car. What a day…
Started out with disassembling the clutch and putting the oil in the trans as well as the billet disk on the transmission.
A picture of the flywheel installed:
After raising the transmission, you can see it lined up absolutely perfect in the opening of the new tunnel:
I purchased a connector off a 6spd TT harness for the reverse light switch. It’s only a few bucks from Toyota and would ensure a plug and play scenario when incorporated into the SC harness. Toyota part number: 90980-11051
After getting that done, we got the transmission in place. It fit with zero issues. All the myths about needing to pound out the bellhousing area of the tunnel are totally not true, at least in this case with an original auto 97 car. There is plenty of room for the transmission to fit. Overall, the only modification to the tunnel was the manual sub-tunnel that was installed. The TT crossmember also lined up perfect with the factory threads, so I was very happy about that.
There is still about 3/8”+ of clearance between the back of the bezel and the reverse collar in 2/4/6R So I’m glad that’s not going to be an issue.
I had a couple of people asking me how I got the leather boot over the reverse collar and how I made it tight and snug... basically I had an idea that is pretty simple and the concept is the same as it is with using the plastic ring.
You obviously cannot stretch the boot over the reverse collar with the thick plastic ring that the boots come with from the factory. But, you can stretch a rubber O-Ring...
You get yourself one of these:
I found that to be the perfect size because it's both thick and once stretched back over the colar is extremely tight. I bought it on Ebay because I couldn't find that size in the local hardware stores.
Get the ring over the collar first. Then, get the boot over the collar while it's inside-out. Next raise the o-ring over the collar up to this point where it will get caught and won't move up or down.
This is what the end product looks like once it's all said and done:
Notice, right below the O-ring, I added a thin strip of sticky double-sided tape. That will ensure the leather boot is tight to the collar and doesn't have free-play. In other words, the O-ring keeps the leather boot in one specific place where I drew the arrow, while the double sided tape keeps a small portion of the leather tight looking. The tape part is optional, but I found it helps alot and is really cheap and simple to do.