1986 Toyota BJ74 Project - My First Cruiser

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Hello to anyone reading along here. Well where should I start... this is my first time posting pretty well anything of significance online so please bare with me while I figure this all out haha.

2 years ago I made the move from the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada to the magnificent coast of Western Australia. I initially came for the work but stayed for the amazing 4WD adventures and my love for over landing and surfing. I instantly fell in love with the LandCruiser here and had to have one, But what do I buy? at first I thought they were all the same.. nothing could be farther from the truth. I had so many decisions to make for myself, Engine options, manual or auto, factory locking Diffs, PTO winches (never had I ever seen this before) for anyone buying their first cruiser you probably know how overwhelming this can be. To be honest it also didn't help I was extremely picky. Well after about 1 1/2 years of probably turning down just about every model made I came across a model I didn't even know existed - The BJ74!! I instantly knew this was the one for me, big enough for me to take all the gear I'd need for a week or two away but small enough to be a reliable daily around the city.

Now onto the vehicle!


So what exactly did I get? I picked up a Jap import 1986 BJ74. This thing was immaculate, with only 165 000 KM on the odometer it was just past the break in period hahah(from what I hear the 13BT is a beast). It really was in prime condition, what do I mean by that? it still has the factory plastic wrapping on the door panels. I mean they're a bit torn but its a good story to tell. Everything looked amazing inside and most of the exterior as well. With so much good there is always some bad right? Land cruiser = Rust... am I right? The driver door suffers from the red cancer but I could ask for it to me in a better place for repairs to be made so im not to upset.. for now anyways. I was pretty excited to finally have a vehicle running on 24 volts, being a heavy diesel mechanic this was right up my alley. I love how fast it cranks over with so much life!. The PTO winch is cool as I have never seen this used before but I think the cool factor will wear off and I will be left wanting an electric winch for a few reasons but non the less I'm still excited to try it out, maybe I'll change my mind. I'm really not sure how I feel about the FRP top at the moment I think i sit pretty neutral I don't hate it but I dont love it either. After all that is what makes the 74 iconic and recognizable. I have to say I absolutely love the 13BT it has the right amount of power and probably a bit of room to grow with some tuning and upgrades. I drove the early 2000's era Hilux for a few months with the 3.0L diesel and it was and absolute slug even going down hill hahah. I was kind of expecting this from the 13BT but that turbo works a treat and really gives it what it needs to keep up in traffic and is not too bad on the hills/highway as well. The H55F is great, I dont have much to say here. it goes 1-5 and back again with no issues but a 6th gear on the highway would be nice but I'm probably dreaming here.

So what are my Plans for the ol girl?

- New suspension front/rear
- Tires/wheels not sure what size yet
- Some type of roof rack probably some form of exo cage but we'll see
- Rear Fit out
- Front/rear bumpers electric winch
- updated front seats with suspension bases
- Rust repair on door
- FRP surface crack repair
- Maybe a small 12V system for cruise control
- 24V stereo

Probably more to come but that is a start.

Attached are some pics of the unmolested rig. As I go along with the build ill probably be keeping all OEM parts just incase I want to go back to that original look.


BJ74-1.jpg
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FJBen

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Congrats! Nice looking 74.

Good start on the 74 plans.

I will say I was kind of lukewarm on the FRP top at first as well. I've come to really like the top as it give you a bunch of options that you don't really have with a hardtop or straight soft top. There are soft top kits for these, @4060seriesnut makes one if you want to go the soft top route. You can go full FRP, modify an FRP to a 1/2 cab ute setup, bikini top's are really cheap or full softtop kit.
 
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This week's project was tackling the install/set up of suspension seat bases. My model is not originally a suspension seat model but after lots of reading online I found out the nuts for the suspension bases are already installed from factory, this meant all I needed to do was drill holes and cut out the existing seat base mounts.

I was lucky enough to find suspension bases at the first auto wreckers I went to so pretty thrilled about that. They did need a bit of work to be operational and up to my standards. They needed new gas shocks so I hit up a local seat repair shop for road trains and they had almost a perfect match. Monroe makes a shock that's about 10mm longer which was no big deal it allowed full travel up and down with no issues. I also needed to find new springs. I didn't have any luck sourcing OEM springs so I went to a local manufacturer and they are now in the process of being built. This wasn't a huge cost but I'd definitely use it as a last resort if your not in a hurry. While I wait for those I'm just picking away at stripping the paint off.

As for the seats I picked up a set of 60 series sahara seats. They'll need a bit of fixing and recovering but I like that they are from the same era and will kind of keep that factor look to the vehicle.

Here's a few snaps of the bases and where the nuts are on the bottom side of the vehicle.
I'll post part numbers for the shocks in the next post when the install is complete.
Screenshot_20210711-223308_Gallery.jpg
seat mounts existing hidden.jpg
20210710_133743.jpg
 
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Found at the wrecker.. Lucky Australian.
I know one set of 2 up for sale here in Germany. NOS. The guy originally asked 170€ / 270 AUD. But obviously doesn't find a buyer. They are up for sale for quite a while, now asking best bets.


Enjoy your swing seats!
 

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