How to Identify an '87 Toyota Pickup's Rear End

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The 1987 Toyota pickup's rear end, or rear differential, was the Toyota 8-inch differential. The Toyota 8-inch is a removable-carrier type, which means the gear housing bolts to the front of the axle unit, while the back of the unit is a plain metal dome. Depending on the size engine installed, variations of the Toyota 8-inch differential exist, and are identifiable using visual characteristics unique to each. Identification of the rear end is also possible by locating the axle code found on the driver's-side door jamb.

  • View the front of the rear differential where the drive shaft attaches. Located midway between the rear wheels, the differential housing is best viewed by going under the pickup at the front of either rear wheel.

  • View the rear differential housing, noticing the ribs on the casing. According to 4x4 Wire, the four-cylinder differential has three ribs on each side, the six-cylinder/turbo differential has four ribs with a trapezoid-shaped top rib.

  • Read the Vehicle Identification number located in the far right-hand corner of the driver's side dash, visible through the windshield. If the pickup was manufactured in Japan, the VIN begins with "JT" and American-manufactured trucks begin with "4T."

  • Locate the Toyota information tag. According to Off-Road, the Toyota information tag is found inside the driver's-side door jamb and it contains the color, trim, axle and transmission codes. The axle code is the third code code on the tag, "G282," is a Japanese-manufactured axle code example, and "B03A" is an American-manufactured example.

  • Decode the axle code. According to the charts found on Off-Road's Toyota differential identification page (see References), the first position of the example, "G282," "G" identifies the Toyota 8-inch differential, positions two and three identify the gear ratio and the last digit identifies the number of pinions in the carrier. "G282" is an 8-inch differential with a 4.300 gear ratio and two pinions. On the American-manufactured pickup, "B" identifies the 8-inch differential and the code "B03A" is an 8-inch differential with a 3.58 ratio and two pinions.

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