1994 HDJ81 - Call Her Bertha (6 Viewers)

Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
516
Location
Langley, BC
I've had this rig for a long time. Longer than I've actually been a member here. It's getting close to 11 years of ownership now. I've had some threads on other forums, but those have slowly died, so I thought I'd post up here since this place shouldn't be going anywhere anytime soon :D

The name "Bertha" came from my wife. The Cruiser was so much bigger than the other vehicles we had at the time, she decided to name her Bertha due to her stature vs our Civic and Corolla we owned at the time.

Growing up my parents had a 1981 Land Cruiser, so it was a bit like coming full circle for me to buy one and now have kids of my own that ride in it. This 1994 HDJ81 is much nicer to ride in though! Prior to the Cruiser I had a Nissan Terrano that I had imported from Japan. It was stolen and written off. I went back to the exporter I used and mentioned I was looking for something else. I mentioned I would like something like the HDJ81 @ForealBoreal had at the time. As luck would have it, he had just purchased one to put into his stock. I replied back as fast as I could that I'd take it because I knew it wouldn't last long. This was back in February 2010.

As she was in Japan:

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Left Japan with:
  • 1994 HDJ81 with 114,000kms
  • Factory triple locked
  • Unknown lift with Rancho shocks
  • 285 75 16 Bridgestone Dueller tires
  • 4x4 Engineering Bradley IX wheels
  • Bosch fog lights
  • Aluminum roof rack
  • Robotic spot light on the roof rack
  • A few other random bolt on things and purple window tint :D (just faded, I know)
After it arrived I had maintenance done including BEBs and front end rebuild, new tires etc. Then I started removing stuff. The robotic light rattled making all sorts of noise when off road, so I took it off. The portion of the brush guard over the headlights were removed, and I got to work removing all the aftermarket electrical stuff.

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Such a mess...It also had the stock speakers, so I changed those out both the front and the rears and put a sub in the back.

Font:

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Rear:

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Then came the fun stuff....
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
516
Location
Langley, BC
Power/drivability modifications started with the "power rod mod" (modified fuel pin), 3" exhaust and a tune. The exhaust was run the inside frame route. I took a few videos after it was done:

Exhuast Video 1

Exhaust Video 2

Also had EGT, boost and trans temperature rigged up. Occasionally, the trans temp would stop reading like in this photo. Too many vibrations from the FSR miles I guess.

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It also became obvious that the Rancho shocks were tires, so I went with some Fox shocks. I definitely left the Ranchos too long because basically everything broke while removing.

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A few years after the power rod mod I was still looking for a bit more, so I had a FMIC installed.

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It's a smaller intercooler than what most people put in, but it's a bit bigger than what's used in the stock 100 series with the 1HD-FTE and it seems to cool well enough.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
516
Location
Langley, BC
That's an interesting 80 for sure. Never seen one of those fairing things on the hood before.

Always the first question I get from people. I believe the intention is to be a bug deflector. I would have removed it, but where the center support rests on the hood it's rubbed through the paint. Until I get the hood repainted I'll just leave it there.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
516
Location
Langley, BC
During the first 5 years or so of ownership I had the Land Cruiser out on the back roads quite a bit. I had the luxury of doing this for work :D

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Clean on the way there:

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Not clean on the way back...

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I have more photos from back roads adventures, but not handy at the moment. Most of the stuff I've done is just off FSR's, no major wheeling.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
516
Location
Langley, BC
Years of boosting ~18psi and a bit more noise from the factory ct26 had me looking at turbo options. The group buy came up on here for the MMP turbo, so I thought I'd give it a try.

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I've written my review on the forum (probably in the group buy thread), so I won't go into a lot of detail. Basic review, it's still running just fine after about 50,000 kms now. It doesn't boost as early as I'd like, but it's a beast on the highway and any driving over 2,000 RPM. I think I had this put on mid 2017.

Around the same time the exhaust I had made up was starting to show some pin hole leaks at welds and other locations. I decided to go with a used Fujitsubo system I was able to source out of Japan. The diameter is slightly smaller, but I only saw a negligible rise in EGT's and this is mostly observed on long hill climbs in warmer ambient temperatures.

Old "three inch"

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Fujitsubo

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Fujitsubo in a pile before it went on:

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ACtC-3cy_EhBXuGkfD4U3An9ZND-pVCgShVqvVTLBcLWYWJ9Ihoa3vV5qRKMD0vKNukiZDyoHxC9eH339pMTOr4esvopQG3h42gGJ0wcxjNW5ic65yGf5u4hgU7e6zs6M1FZJND4zoAdV3QoL6rJYbTPVv4G=w1052-h789-no


Around this same time I finally bought a house and had a garage to work in, so I was able to do more work on the truck myself. After a couple of years the front Fox shocks were tired. Being in Canada, the downtime to send the shocks out for rebuild really wasn't an option, so I went with a full Dobinsons kit since I really didn't know what springs I was riding on anyway.

ACtC-3c89tJgS-tBtjWJEcDDSiOUE_mD4I7O0-suKs3Je_WP2ehirVo_1Fbhda9Ffxf_wsagX0_CvOLfdo2TS8_KRn3lkfp9hj97IBspZDLR4jUcab-n-Z_DJHlM_Tb0Nl01nUDIyziNIxASkQD_ujp31wQ6=w1052-h789-no


After install, the truck was about 1/2" lower. Really not noticeable, but the ride was definitely better. Upon removal I also found out that the lift on the truck previously was only due to spacers that had been installed.

Some more recent modification work involved rigging up an air box from a Duramax. Definitely happy with how it turned out.

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Just from changing the air box I went from boosting to 1.5 bar to 1.7 bar. I'm still working on getting it dialed back to 1.5 bar.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
516
Location
Langley, BC
As she sits now:

ACtC-3eKUjP2qmXmHABcjJUnQhxzTh3-FWhLZI4oC8Y3dPeFIGcT_vlohl02WcwXhpEpY9VpQR_SxOq65Daaa4Djc4WSl8WcX7rbJ74l-I-ImzpsmNbTz7JfLPXBU1fuz0uS_lp8wrh6XXpwDe4WcDe9TwKH=w1052-h789-no


ACtC-3cSmi0bF_mcA4BUFm5RsCBz8HIs_ooks-DlX4Fwc1JUpV4dtZ_Jj1MI1rcRX9kgVSFg8dxKlADzExT47qDxf17WtsAOx92uJNq-BiHv2jeyq4AfInw6LW1cbgwbGorqGnnBQUzhoAPOGFvz5QyLtNbm=w1052-h789-no


I changed out the 4x4 Engineering wheels for some SCS F5 last year. I went with a more pedestrian A/T tire because my work no longer requires me to head out into the woods :( and with a toddler and a baby at home, out outdoor adventures will be limited for a while. I guess I also skipped over the part where I went with a part time conversion. I went with the kit from Marks but I sold the AVM hubs it came with and got a set of Aisin.

Recent work included new brakes with rebuild of all four calipers. I painted them with POR high temp paint. I wouldn't recommend it. The paint comes off when brake fluid gets on it. Next time I'll just use VHT. I also repacked the rear wheel bearings, new front and rear diff fluid, transfer case, painted the windshield wipers because the ends were rusty, and put Dynamat and sound insulation in the front doors. A few pics during the work:

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ACtC-3eTvcho-5kGpWZuAyK1BnaN4s2FcPtoznN4G7K7UEzBqdAX9f4UQAS_auDgYkPJ_kQkCPPDoZ49A7vWpeKf0AmY6SMHh7pgkTx0YNizSfwosFLvCwxG_5TemBB1nm3Zwyj2AMY2MwB2oIwEZM4_WUpJ=w1052-h789-no


ACtC-3cUbwSFxmsHnjgORFMDXfnUBMpZV0F_M9S6nI5gSv2SHwxez1Ez6a-8eh2s7M-AGpIm9PaKN4UbMrHHY4jQ6gKXsmjeDMer_0OK6TJRhl-IKCSCTGuZQnartRkybua8a5wDKmUYZ5w3dJ3iRq0IYT3H=w1052-h789-no


Cleaned up with new pistons and seals installed:

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ACtC-3eb6hoj04rSjHEqshB8f-YPbhlEuJNJdApHrbZQxF0FdPfsaMhdUJO9pO-xlz-MY4Tn6x0tz5AK1x2I-KdX_Lh3ws5Zdciv2GbAI7dEfyA3BsdzS-1Rk66vCu76GdKXCHVZkgIMjZe86Y1Arogp5Kk9=w1052-h789-no


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Wipers before:

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After:

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I'm also starting to work my way through replacing weather stripping. Rear hatch was just done and I'm thinking doors will be next.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
516
Location
Langley, BC
Short version with the highlights on the "to do" list:
  • I have a set of Depo headlights - do a projector retrofit
  • Build a custom gauge pod for 2 or 3 gauges on the center console
  • Install Gturbo I have sitting on the shelf
  • Front end rebuild
Of course I have a long list of other small items to be addressed, but those are the highlights with no real time line to get done. As mentioned above, two small kids at home makes for a short amount of free time to get things done.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
19
Location
BC, Canada
Always the first question I get from people. I believe the intention is to be a bug deflector. I would have removed it, but where the center support rests on the hood it's rubbed through the paint. Until I get the hood repainted I'll just leave it there.
if you ever wanna sell it, I'd hop on a Ferry and come grab it from you! I'm on the island
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
516
Location
Langley, BC
if you ever wanna sell it, I'd hop on a Ferry and come grab it from you! I'm on the island

Yup, I can let you know. In "normal times" I'm over on the Island a few times per year as I have family there. :)

Amazing progress, what year and model is air box from a Duramax? Very nice setup

I know it's on the top of the box, but I don't remember if it's from 2005 or 2006. I posted a bit more information on it here:


I still need to close up the gap between the fender and the air box.

I've been trying to get my ebrake set right, but I noticed today my right side is sticking. I'm sure there is a thread here on the best way to get that lever are loosened up again. Time to search!
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
516
Location
Langley, BC
Do you have anymore details on the intercooler setup?

Going a bit by memory, but it's just a cheap ebay intercooler and piping with the system custom built by a shop. I think the core is only 12"x12". Piping is all 2.5". I remember debating going 2" on the hot side of the intercooler just to keep it the same diameter off the turbo to try and minimize any disruption to the air flow. I don't remember exactly why I decided to make it all 2.5", but it's probably because any effect on air flow from increasing the pipe diameter would be negligible, if any, considering it goes through the intercooler after. I went with a Plazmaman adapter to the intake manifold. I hadn't seen the 90 bends some people have off the intake manifold. I think those would probably be better.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
516
Location
Langley, BC
Some more random stuff. Here's the GTurbo waiting to go on:

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I have a Greddy water temperature gauge for the coolant. One of the back lights burnt out, so for replacement I tried a green light rather than white. Stick with the white, otherwise the whole thing turns green.

Green

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White

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Old vs new "bulb". I went with LED for the replacement.

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Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
516
Location
Langley, BC
Partially disassembled the self venting fuel cap the other day. I wasn't aware that the cap was self venting and clearly it needed to be cleaned up. You can't even tell that the center portion is a mesh screen. No after photo.

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Started the mock up for the gauges in the center console. Still more thought and planning required. The white face Greddy is currently rigged up. The black face Pivot gauge is what I will be switching to. I plan to have two or three in this spot depending on how they fit. They are 60mm gauges.


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