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Thread: cruise control swap

  1. #1
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    cruise control swap

    I have an Aug. 1986 LE Automatic 4wd van that was originally imported to Hawaii without cruise control. It seems to have the plugs on the harness and has the housing for the Actuator on the driver side floor. My donor van is a Sept. 86 Manual, not an LE.

    The factory manual mentions a Clutch S/W for the manual cruise control system and a Neutral start S/W for the automatic system. I'm hoping that the system will plug right into the Automatic LE van. It already has a neutral start switch, I'm hoping that will work for the cruise control system. I don't see any other differences mentioned in the manual.

    I have done some searching online. It seems that the topic was covered on another Toyota Van site but I can't access that info, no response, even after joining the group. I guess its toast. I also found parts listed on toyota sites that were not encouraging. I saw parts listed for cruise control systems that seemed to have big differences between the manual and automatic vans. It appears that some Automatics don't use the computer that is housed right of the glove compartment, but instead have a different ECU to handle the cruise control? I'm hoping that was not the case for my van.

    Can I simply plug the Manual cruise control into my Automatic LE? Or would it be easier to place a dixie cup on the horn of a charging rhino?

  2. #2
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    Re: cruise control swap

    I've never tried to do a swap like you mention, so I won't be of much help in that regard. I did however put an aftermarket cruise control system on my 89 auto cargo van. I used an all-electric Dakota unit with okay results. I mounted the control unit above my left foot (under the dash) and rigged the control cable directly to the accelerator pedal. It works decent for level, downhill, and mild inclines. It does not work so well for medium or steep hills. The problem has to do with travel. The Dakota will only pull the throttle about 3/4 travel. There simply isn't enough travel to go full throttle and/or engage the kick-down. If I do this again I'll probably go directly to the throttle body and/or I'll try another brand. Swapping the cruise from another van might be possible, but I don't think I'd try swapping one from a manual to an auto (or visa versa). Good luck. Tim

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    Re: cruise control swap

    I can't help much either.
    I do know that when my cruise actuator cable sheared, I checked OEM and was told both auto and MT versions of the cable were obsolete and that they had 2 distinct part numbers and were NOT interchangeable.

    After that I ran into an 89 auto at the local yard that was cruise equipped and stole the Cruise cable and actuator from it, in hopes I could adapt it.
    While its a total PITA to swap, I had no problems installing the "auto" cable into my MT van (though I did max out the adjusters), however the control unit was different.
    BB

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    Re: cruise control swap

    Just thought I'd mention I also tried installing an Audiovox vacuum actuated unit on a van once. It was a failure and never worked correctly. In that situation I also rigged it to the pedal. The throttle pedal assembly on the van is designed to hook up to a cruise control actuator (that's where the stock unit hooks up). For whatever reason, even though I went with a strong vacuum source, there simply wasn't enough power to actuate the throttle. It would move a little and it could even hold the pedal if I assisted it, but that was the extent. In retrospect what I discovered is the factory van cruise control unit has a stronger pull than the Audiovox and more travel than the Dakota. Either one of these aftermarket units may have worked acceptably if I had used the throttle body to actuate, but there's not a lot of space available in the engine compartment for an actuator (although I never seriously tried to find a spot).

    I recently purchased a Rostra Electric Cruise Control kit for my son's Corolla. When we install it I plan on checking travel. If it has decent travel I might order another one and try installing on a van. If I ever get around to that I'll post results here.

    FYI, I currently have a factory cruise on my 86 LE and I'm not terribly impressed by it. I do a lot of cruising with it set to 77 mph. With it set @ 77, even mild hills will slow me down to 73 or 74 mph before enough throttle is applied to get the van accelerating again, then on down-hills it will allow the van to go around 81 or 82 mph before it backs off. Part of the problem could be my heavy load (I carry a fixed load of around 3,000 lbs) & over-sized tires, but I know there are better systems out there. My Ford F-350 keeps my speed rock solid (never varies more than 1 or 2 mph) even when I'm towing. The only time it doesn't keep me at the set point is when I'm trying to do something beyond the vehicle's capabilities........like trying to tow a heavy trailer up a steep incline @ 75 mph. Tim

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    Re: cruise control swap

    Thanks Tim and Burntboot for the info. My manual van has rusted out from the coastal climate and is headed for the parts yard. I'm going to yank the cruise control parts regardless, maybe once I have it out, someone with an 87 automatic can tell if any of the parts are not on their system or are missing from my parts pile. If its hopeless, I'm sure someone could use the system to repair their existing system.

    All the mounts and plugs seem to be present on the LE. I guess they left it out because cruise control is of little use on a Hawaiian island. But I'd hate to plug it all in and create a bizarre electrical problem. Electrical systems are my biggest weakness as a mechanic and wreaking a perfectly running van is diffidently something I would do.

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    Re: cruise control swap

    If I were scrapping one of these out, the #1 thing I'd try to save would be the transmission/transfer case. I'd also grab the drive-shaft, shifter, & shift cables.

    These parts are unique to the manual 4wd vans are are becoming very rare. Not sure how much $$$ they are worth, but I would suspect you could command a hefty price if somebody with a cherry van needed some of those parts to keep it on the road. Tim

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    Re: cruise control swap

    clarification: Donor van is 2wd. Its lived many lives and who knows, maybe after its running again, (hopefully just a TPS), it will be spared.

    Thanks again for following up on my question, you guys (and many others) make this site great. Its very interesting to compare with the popular surfboard shaping site. A typical answer to a question is "maybe after you have rebuilt 5 vans we might stoop to answer one of your silly posted vomits".

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    Re: cruise control swap

    Quote Originally Posted by wavegobbler View Post
    clarification: Donor van is 2wd. Its lived many lives and who knows, maybe after its running again, (hopefully just a TPS), it will be spared.

    Thanks again for following up on my question, you guys (and many others) make this site great. Its very interesting to compare with the popular surfboard shaping site. A typical answer to a question is "maybe after you have rebuilt 5 vans we might stoop to answer one of your silly posted vomits".
    Okay, that makes a big difference. I just assumed we were talking about a 5 speed 4wd .

  9. 10-04-2017, 06:33 PM


  10. #9
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    Re: cruise control swap

    Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I have a somewhat similar question.

    I'm thinking about possibly installing a stock cruise control out of a 4wd LE auto into my 2wd manual.
    My current cruise is an old "Equus" after market kit. It is vacuum actuated with the actuator located behind the passenger seat (I never had rear AC) and the actuator cable is connected directly to the throttle. The computer is controlled by a rotary sensor on the drive shaft. It worked pretty well until the past few years. Sometimes the switches don't get power, and when it does, it feels like it does not have much juice to maintain or get up to speed probably due to a partial vacuum leak. Either way I want to upgrade to something more reliable and it would be cool to have the column controller.

    I'm looking to do the same set up with the stock unit, with the stock actuator controlling the throttle rather than being located beside the clutch pedal tethered to the accelerator pedal. Would there be a safety issue with this?
    Also, I think the manual CC units had a sensor to disengage the unit when the clutch is pushed, but I don't have that sensor being it's from an auto. I don't know if the cruise computer is any different between manual, auto 2wd or 4wd, (couldn't find any part #s) or if it really matters as long as I don't punch the clutch while I am in CC (I wouldn't do that anyway).

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    Re: cruise control swap

    Capt - the CC clutch disengage is merely a plunger switch, very similar to a brake pedal switch.
    I actually quite like that little feature as just tapping the peddle will kill cruise and avoids the resultant traffic congestion that can occur when one does same with brake pedal.
    Like Tim said, the cruise isn't accurate like new vehicles but as long as your willing to help out on the hills, it is a treat on long drives.
    Anything change beyond about 10kph of the set point will also the cruise to disengage, perhaps the auto would just downshift but I have no experience with those.

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    Re: cruise control swap

    Pretty sure that the engineers at Toyota only put the actuator where it is because that is where they could fit it in.

    If you were to look at say a P/U or 4 runner of the same vintage your not going to find a pedal actuated system, they all work off the throttle body.
    I would assume that besides the lack of space issue under the hood, would be the excessive heat under there too.
    Toyota doesn't usually do stupid things, just because they can.

    I would also expect that the throw of the factory actuator unit to be excessive, if attached directly to the TB

  13. 10-06-2017, 11:51 AM


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    Re: cruise control swap

    Thanks burntboot,
    The old aftermarket unit didn't have the clutch switch either. I accidentally pressed the clutch while CC was engaged and the engine revved pretty high, but the unit never disengaged. Probably was never set up correctly, but nothing blew and it worked for 20 some years.
    It also needed a bit of help on steep inclines. The MPH would vary by 5MPH on hills or windy conditions. I always blamed it on the lack of engine power.
    I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the term "throw" in regards yo the actuator. Could you clarify?
    I'm going to attempt the swap. If it doesn't work well on the throttle I'll just invest in one of those rostra units.

  15. #13
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    Re: cruise control swap

    Just meant its range of movement, as it is designed to actuate the pedal which has a greater range of motion than the butterfly in the TB.

    Interested to see how it all works out, keep us posted.
    Cheers
    BB

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