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Front Range Off Road Fab Toyota Transfer Case Crossmember & Skidplate
By Steve Hersh (steveh)

The Crossmember

The UPS man is always welcome at my house especially when he brings me products like the Front Range Off Road Fab Toyota Transfer Case Crossmember.

I was immediately impressed upon opening the box with the obvious quality of the product. The crossmember it self is made out of solid 3/8" Plate steel and comes with a beautiful black powdercoating. Also in the box is all the hardware needed to install it and step by step instructions.

Here is what is included with the crossmember:

    • Crossmember
    • 7 Longer 10mm Tcase rear cover replacement bolts includes lock, and flat washers
    • 2 Weld on frame brackets
    • 2 5/8" bolts with locknuts
    • 4 Rubber bushings

Since my truck is still in the build up stage, my tranny/crawler tcase is out of the truck right now, so this write up is going to focus on installing the Crossmember on the rear case in prep for installing the complete assembly in the truck

I started by reading the instructions, which I found to be well written and very easy to follow with one exception. The exception was how to configure the bushings and Weld-on frame brackets. The problem was resolved quickly with a simple email to Brian Ellinger at FRORF with some pictures showing the four choices. Recommended is from top to bottom: nut, cone bushing, xmember, big bushing, mounting bracket, and Bolt

Next, I took out the 7 stock rear cover bolts. Next I positioned the crossmember, and using the 7 new bolts,lock washers, and flat washers I bolted it on the tcase. I torqued it to spec, 29Ft/Lb.

No muss, no fuss, does not get much easier! I was totally impressed with the precise fit, FRORF definitely thought this part out! There are notches right where they need to be so there is no interference with the fill plug or speedometer fitting.

Since my tranny/tcase is out, I held off on bolting the mounts on the crossmember. But if I was installing it while in the truck, I would have done a few things first before mounting the crossmember to the Tcase.

    • Removed the rear driveshaft
    • Disconnect speedometer cable from the tcase

The final step is weld on the frame brackets. Since I did not have a welder I received help from a buddy of mine to complete this step. I Installed the Tranny / Xcase in the truck without the crossmember. I used the stock Toyota one to bolt it up. Once it was back in, I then reinstalled the FroFab crossmember. The reason for doing it this way is to manipulate the part on top of the exhaust system. In my case, it just cleared.

  

 

Next, We moved the stock Xmember from the Crawler box to the rear Tcase and used a screw style jack stand to push it up against the frame. This lifted the Tcase/ tranny up higher allowing us to get even more ground clearance with the new Crossmember. With the stands and the floor jack in place we played around with where to weld the brackets on. We decided to take advantage of them and lift the the back up even more. We settled on about an inch higher.

  

We then cleaned up the areas on the frame to be welded. Note that we also disconnected the emergency brake cable to keep it out of harms way.

  

  

Trimming the brackets for a clean fit so no material hangs down below the frame

  

  

  

Tack welding the brackets in place.

  

  

  

  

Final welding, spay a little flat black, reattach the parking brake cable and check out the additional clearance gained!

The Skidplate

  

Same deal as the Crossmember, could not help but be pleased when I opened the box. It even includes the longer bolts needed to mount it!

  

  

  

Here it is installed, I like the tight fit and the way it protects the vital parts

Out on the trail

  

  

How's it work out wheeliing? Well, like a champ! So far I have 2 trips on the setup and I've hit everything else but hardly touched the skidplate.

I can honestly say no regrets with either product! They are so well made they will outlast the truck, and not many things can outlast a Toyota! One of the features I really like is the crossmember design places the rubber mounts outboard at the frame rails. With this wider mounting the motor mounts are protected from breakage under the added torque of a crawler setup. So not only does it provide an additional 2 inches ground clearance over the stock crossmember, it solves the problem of broken motor mounts when using lower crawler gears.

For more information on this product and others from Front Range Off-Road Fabrication, Contact them at (970) 881-2418 or (970) 481-6508 or check them out on the web at www.frontrangeoffroadfab.com

"Information in this article accurate as of 9/3/2002. "