ORP 010 - Solid Axle Swaps

Welcome to the Off Road Podcast!!  I am your host Greg Bakken and joining me is my co host Jeff easy line Bakken...This is the podcast for all things offroad.  Whether you're looking for Sunday jaunts on some fire roads or hard core rock crawling, we will cover it all. What's up Jeff?

Listener Feedback:

Thanks for answering my questions on your podcast, you guys did a great job of answering my basic questions and I am sure prevented me from going the wrong direction on jeep mods.

I realize I need to go wheeling with someone who knows what they are doing.

The Moab idea sounds perfect!

I really appreciate the time and effort you two put into answering my questions.   I built a relay box yesterday so I can add some  offroad lights, hopefully it works is was a pain to make, I probably should've bought a SPOD.

Best Regards,


Hey Guys, great show!  It really isn't known as a 400"M"; it is basically a longer stroke version of the 351M ("M" for Modified) which were common OE engines in late 70's Ford 4wds; replacing the Ford "Y" block. The designation was either 351M or 400; and it was basically 351 or 400 cubic inches with 2BBL (small port) Cleveland heads.  It is a great torque motor and we modified many back in the day.  It should have the same bellhousing bolt pattern as the 429/460 "385" series motors which makes it an easy swap with kits made by companies such as L&L Products in Texas; however, you are correct, they are not easy on gas but supplies tons of torque & durability; however his existing 400 with the right performance parts may be perfect for the weekend warrior on a budget.  Hope this helps, from your Off-Road listeners in Hawaii.


Hi, thanks for putting on the pod cast. Tonight was my first time listening to the off road one. Late 70's ford trucks are some of my favorite trucks.

First up the 300M, it's a fantastic motor if you need a boat anchor that looks like a Ford motor.  I believe that what makes it and the 400 modified such horrible motors is that they were fords first attempt at a smog motor. So that means that by virtue of design they are going to have poor performing cylinder heads, which as we all know is where horse power is made.

A great engine swap would either be the 351 Windsor or the 429 he already has. The advantage to the Windsor is weight savings since it's a small block. A set of quality aluminum heads and intake would be an even bigger improvement and weight savings. Which for those big old Fords is a good thing. And the 351 can be made to run very well with minimal effort. High performance parts are readily available.

The advantage to the 429 is that he already has it. The 429 is also a great motor, but being a big block it's weight is going to be a disadvantage. But again a quality aluminum set of heads and intake will help quit a bit. The 429 will bolt right up to his current C-6 with only needing to change the toquconverter. There are engine swap kits out there made just for this swap with pre fab mounts which is another bonus. I swapped a 429 into a 79 ford F-250 with only basic hand tools. I think I paid less than a hundred bucks to have some motor mounts modified and welded up. But this was a long bed extra cab, not a trail rig. So I think I would go with some prefab mounts.

The C-6 is probably one of the most well built automatic transmissions ever built. In fact as a factory unite it's as close to bullet proof as many well built trannies ever come. The size of the internals are what make it such a stout transmission. They are also why it's not a favorite, it takes a lot of power to get them moving.

Hey guys, really enjoy the show.  Please do an all Toyota show as I plan on building an early 80's yota and could use some tips and/or suggestions.  Also, was there an episode 006 in ITunes? - Gregg

Hi guys,

I dig your podcast and thought 009 was really good – lots of good info and it was pretty interesting.  We appreciate the shout outs for our brand.

Again, thanks for the episode and I should add that yes, Superwinch does still make winches in the US (for off-road, we make the X9 and S9000 here in Connecticut.)


Send us your questions and comments!!!


Main Topic: Solid Axle Swaps

I would like you and Jeff to discuss solid axle swaps for Toyota and Nissan xterra vehicles. Cost, what needs to be done. Do you need to buy an aftermarket kit?  Would you be better off starting with a jeep xj instead? - Thanks Chris

Calmini Nissans

Rugged Rocks Off Road Nissans

All Pro Off Road Toyota

Trail-Gear Toyota

Trip Reports: Cantina for the Con