Transmission / Drivetrain

Toyota RF1A Level Up

The gear driven RF1A Toyota transfer case found in 1979-1995 4 cylinder pickups and 4Runners fits the needs of many wheelers. It offers a strong, lightweight package with growing aftermarket support. These transfer cases have been used in numerous pickups, 4Runners, buggies, and even Jeeps! Everything from dual transfer case adapters, low range gear sets, twin sticks, and low profile crossmembers are available for Toyota transfer cases from a bevy of aftermarket sources. The RF1A is lighter and less expensive than a Dana 300, though they are not as easy to “clock” and do not allow front wheel drive operation.

A Tough Act to Follow

Though clutches rank below power-adders on the desirability scale, they are every bit as important. In fact, you’d be better off not spending the time and money on a trick blower or turbo kit if you do not plan on upgrading the stock clutch assembly. Sure, it is possible on some applications to improve the performance of your motor without a clutch and pressure plate upgrade, but you can only take things so far. Eventually, the engine will let you know by racing to the moon when you least expect it. Your clutch will likely slip under full throttle, and most probably at the highest load. Better hope you have a rev limiter or things can really get ugly. But have no fear … Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) has come up with a variety of effective combinations to cater to the needs of performance enthusiasts and racers.


Our old 350 Chevy-powered ’47 International was running a three-speed 350 Turbo trans with 4.11 gears, which, as you know, is not a great combination for this type of highway cruising. It is fine, however, for those who absolutely love in-town, short-?distance, stop-and-go cruising, as it does prove great low-speed throttle response. On the highway, however, it spins up the engine and uses more fuel. We decided that after having our low-speed fun, we were using too much fuel and weren’t comfortable listening to the whine of the small block as we approached 70 mph. It was time to make a change. We looked around for a number of answers and talked to many classic truck owners who had either installed a new set of gears, an overdrive trans or a Gear Vendors overdrive/underdrive unit. We figured that the new 700R4 trans best fit our application budgetwise, although future plans may call for a Gear Vendors unit, as it represents the best of both worlds. But we first wanted to start with a newer, more modern trans.


The 2022 SEMA Show

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show engulfs Fabulous Las Vegas annually. It brings together the biggest names in the automotive world to show off the latest and greatest, whether it’s new products, amazing custom builds, or the newest trends. TheAutoBuilder is excited to be in the thick of it all.

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