It's more than you need to do. Shift into 4wd, maybe move the truck slightly so the gears get into place. Lift up one front wheel. If you can't spin the wheel, you are in 4wd. If you can spin the wheel, something isn't working right. Reach under the truck and try spinning the front driveshaft with your hand. If you can spin it, there's a problem in the transfer case, Encoder may have failed if it's electric shift, chain broken are common things, but it could be other stuff. If front driveshaft doesn't spin, then the problem is in the front diff. Unscrew the actuator in the front diff (put the vehicle up on jackstands for this). With the actuator removed, plug it back into the wiring harness, and see if it goes in/out as someone shifts in/out of 4wd. If the actuator does go in/out,then something is broken inside the front diff, likely the passenger side stub axle or the locking ring (this is what the actuator moves). If the actuator doesn't go in/out, then it could be the actuator, or a wiring/connector problem, or the sensor on the transfer case that isn't working. Diagnose, then replace/fix what's broken instead of just throwing parts at the truck.
Yes there are a bunch of regulations w.r.t. mirrors. Just off the top of my head, the (main) drivers side mirror must be flat (not one of those "objects may be closer than they appear" mirrors), And they have to be mirrors, as I remember reading one of the manufacturers wanted to switch to a camera/display setup and US regulations wouldn't allow it. They are considered a safety device, so there will be a LOT of regulations as to placement, size, and anything else they can think of.
Well, the LQ4 in my truck starts up well enough, even without being plugged in, this week, and with a weak battery in Edmonton... But, if you really want to do something, I would suggest: -a battery warmer, as the battery is more important nowadays with all the eletroncis in your truck -an inline, circulating coolant heater (easier install and gets all the coolant heated)
Does the new alternator have the right pulley? When I upgrade my truck, the 145 alternator had a bigger pulley, and I needed a longer belt to make it work. If you did need the longer belt to make it work, then next I would suggest using an actual voltmeter to test the voltage from the alternator, and then if it is fluctuating, diagnose why that is. You may need a more advanced tool like a techii to assist, and/or access to the full service manual to do this.
Well, it makes more sense now. You were giving it the beans, and broke the rear diff. That's totally different from "recently swapped out my 308 gears and installed 373 gears"... Your transmission could easily have been damaged at the same time.
I think the studs are replaceable, at least on mine, so you shouldn't have to spring for a new manifold. It wouldn't surprise me if the stud was recently stripped and not stripped by previous work, as the stud is pretty long, and you would really have to work hard to get a nut on all the way, with it cross-threaded...
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