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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been trying to find info for awhile so I thought I'd register and ask the good folks here.

I'm a fan, overall, of my 2nd gen xB, but like most other folks I keep daydreaming about how much better it could be. For example:
  • AWD
  • Turbo
  • Upgraded suspension
  • Wider tires
  • Larger brakes
  • and so on

Now, the most controversial thing on the list is probably the AWD. And I have read my fair share of people just hurling insults at folks saying they want to do a conversion, but I understand why. Converting the stock scion xB frame to AWD is complicated, expensive, time consuming, and then you would have trouble with the engine mounting correctly and so on.

BUT, has anyone tried to just body swap? (I know I say "Just body swap" like it's easy, and it's not, but it's easier).

I have an opportunity to buy an AWD 2010 Toyota Matrix S from a wrecker. The frame, engine, and drivetrain are fine, the body is just smashed. IT has the same 2azfe engine (with similar miles as mine), same transmission, same wheelbase, etc. The frames might be slightly different, but I'm not sure exactly by how much.

So, my question, ignoring all of the people who will tell me it's stupid, is would it be possible to remove the body, from the wrecked Matrix leaving only the engine, drivetrain, etc, and replace it with the body/interior from my xB? I know it would be a ton of work, and probably a huge headache, but in theory everything should match up pretty well, right? What would the largest hurdles be?

Thanks
 

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How about buying something xB-shaped that already has the 4wd? bBs were available with 4wd, though only with the long stroke 1500cc 1NZ engine. Model number is NCP35 and the 4wd-specific parts should fit the xB shell as the xB already has the higher (compared to the fwd bB) rear floor and a tunnel down the middle.
4wd bBs use the same rear axle as the Toyota Sparky / Daihatsu Atrai van, there's no centre diff so using 4x4 on hard roads will wind the transmission up, but they're remarkably capable on snow and mud, in spite of having only half an inch more clearance than the fwd models.

Disadvantages of the 4x4 are few, one being the luggage area floor that's higher than the tailgate aperture and doesn't leave space for the optional rear child seats, another being that the regular rear seat is fixed to the floor and only the backrest folds down, where in the fwd bBs the rear seat slides back & forward to adjust the luggage space to people space ratio and the whole seat, base and backrests, folds away to leave a low loading area.

These things don't put me off the NCP35 though, which is why a 4x4 will probably be joining my NCP30 and other weird cars in my collection at some time in the near future.

I'm not intending to put down the enthusiasm of anyone who plans to mount an xB shell on a chassis & running gear from a different 4x4 though, it's quite a popular custom thing in the UK where people will sit any shell on any 4x4 chassis just because they can. The mini in the attached picture is mounted on a Suzuki SJ410 chassis, cut down, sleeved and channelled to shorten the Suzuki's wheelbase to match (sort of) the mini's size:




:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I actually thought about that first, after all the xB is the same as a Subaru Dex or a Toyota bb (both of which offer AWD/4WD). The issue I ran into was that neither of those vehicles are available in the US. I could import one in, but that is itself a large, logistical problem. Plus, those were only available ith the smaller 1.4/1.3 liter engines. Which I why I thought of the Matrix, which I could pick up fairly cheap.

I've never seen an AWD/4WD xB in the US, but if anyone has done something similar please let me know.
 

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Lots o leather and copper
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OK, a few issue.

The 2nd gen xB and the bB share absolutely no parts. They are not the same vehicle. The xB is called a Toyota Corolla Rumion in Japan.

There is no frame on an xB, it is a unibody vehicle. I figure you know this but switching to the Matrix underpinnings would be a massive undertaking as you can bet that nothing would line up and you would have to fabricate most of the swap.

Now as for parts from the Matrix you can use, I would take the trans and rear driveshaft assembly as they will bolt up to your engine fine since both the Matrix AWD and xB run the 2AZ-FE engine. I wouldn't bother with the engine except as a spare to build up if you want to boost later on.

As for the rear suspension and underpinnings I would spend the money to get the driveshaft tunnel, rear floor pan, and rear suspension and axles from a JDM Rumion shipped over. Yes, it'll be expensive but probably about the same , or maybe even less than trying to fabricate the Matrix parts into a car they weren't designed for. Basically doing a "body swap" with the parts that will actually line up correctly and ease the fabrication substantially. You don't need to have the whole car shipped over as you don't need the engine or any of the other body parts so it'll cost less than bring over a whole vehicle. If you check on some of the FB xB pages there are guys who can help you get these shipped over as they bring shipping containers of parts over.

Oh yeah, you'll probably want to have the interior carpet shipped over as well since the floor pan will be different. The rear seats bolt in the same on all versions of the xB/Rumion from what I remember so you won't need that.

Here's a link to a Japanese online parts site I use that really helps in seeing the stock parts, http://auto-kat.com/index.php?route=saleepc/toyota/groups&region=JAP&modification=138745

Use it against a USDM site to see what the differences are between the vehicles so you know exactly what you need. I would also compare the Matrix parts pages against the xB just to see how different they are. I may be wrong and they might be an easy fit since they are built from the same base platform, but I wouldn't count on it.

Oh and one other thing to keep in mind. Only the Matrix XRS has the same wheel bolt pattern as the xB, 5x114.3. So if this donor is not an XRS, which I don't think had AWD, then it has a 5x100 bolt pattern for the rear wheels so you would need to do a hub conversion as well. While the Rumion does have a 5x114.3 bolt pattern.

If you are game to do it I say go for it. Just take your time to plan everything out thoroughly, because no matter how much work you think it will be it'll end up being at least 50% more. lol

PS, for larger brakes you can swap the front rotors and caliper from a 2011-up tC right onto the 2nd gen xB. You get slightly larger pads and the rotors are thicker and .75" larger in diameter. I did the swap on mine a few years ago and it works great. You can usually find take off calipers on eBay or at your local wrecking yard for $100 or so.
 

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All bB 4x4s came with the 1500cc 1NZ, the 1.3 was an option in the NCP30/31 but the long stroke, high geared 1500 is the standard fit in NCP35. I never heard tell of a 4x4 with a 1300 and in the later 2nd generation bB, 2005 on, the only 1400 option was a diesel. The 1500 isn't much liked in the trade but it certainly has a place in the 4x4, where its torque, peaking as it does some 800rpm earlier than the 1300, is more useful than the ability to accelerate from rest to 80mph in 1st and 2nd gears, leaving the sales reps in their new Ford Focus wondering what just happened! (for a time they do, then they catch up and pass you in a cloud of black smoke before vanishing into the distance).
>:D
 

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Lots o leather and copper
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All bB 4x4s came with the 1500cc 1NZ, the 1.3 was an option in the NCP30/31 but the long stroke, high geared 1500 is the standard fit in NCP35. I never heard tell of a 4x4 with a 1300 and in the later 2nd generation bB, 2005 on, the only 1400 option was a diesel. The 1500 isn't much liked in the trade but it certainly has a place in the 4x4, where its torque, peaking as it does some 800rpm earlier than the 1300, is more useful than the ability to accelerate from rest to 80mph in 1st and 2nd gears, leaving the sales reps in their new Ford Focus wondering what just happened! (for a time they do, then they catch up and pass you in a cloud of black smoke before vanishing into the distance).
>:D
JPB, problem here is that we are talking US market xB. We never got the 2nd gen equivalent of the bB as our xB. The 2nd gen xB for the US is the same vehicle as the Japanese market Toyota Corolla Rumion and the Australian market as a Toyota Rukus. The only engine oprion for the 4WD model was the 1.8L 2ZR-FAE engine. We were never offered the 4WD drive train here in the US and all of our cars came with the 2.4L 2AZ-FE engine.
 
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