6bt cummins NV4500 1996 LX450 swap

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Mar 10, 2020
Ground Control

This build began with a tired 1996 lx450 out of Arkansas. After checking carfax and seeing that it came out of south Arizona and spent its time in south Texas, I knew it was the perfect cruiser for my 6bt cummins that needed a plow to pull.

I bought the cruiser just north of Hot Springs and drove it home in the pouring rain. It had a leaky sunroof. It was a fun drive despite the constant drip. Once I inspected the Home Depot silicon caulk job, I knew it was time to delete the sunroof.

I studied YouTube videos on auto body welding, talked to several auto body guys and found some scrap metal behind my shop. After practicing on similar sized metal, I took a deep breathe and started welding.

I almost took the plunge and painted the cruiser myself but my Dad had just passed and I didn’t have it in me. I paid a local shop to paint it for me and replaced the motor seals.

I’ve found short moments here and there to work on it as time allows.

I want to thank Joel @Jonesys over at adventure vehicle nw. He has been very responsive to my questions and has provided top-notch customer support.

I ordered my suspension from Ozark overland outfitters and Jason Harris has also provided top-notch support. Even when dobinson was having supply chain issues, Jason was bending over backwards to make sure I was receiving good service. That says a lot to me, to see a small business take up the slack when the major manufacturer is encountering issues.

Below is a list of parts I’ve added to the build.

80 Series Part-Time T-Case Conversion Kits
80 Series Part-Time T-Case Conversion Kits - Fits 2/1995-1/98 FZJ80/LX450 - (TC80PTLKIT) - https://cruiserteq.com/80-series-part-time-t-case-conversion-kits-fits-2-1995-1-98-fzj80-lx450-tc80ptlkit/

Sumo Gear Land Cruiser Transfer Case 10% Overdrive Gear Set - Fits 8x/100 Series
Sumo Gear Land Cruiser Transfer Case 10% Overdrive Gear Set - Fits 8x/100 Series - https://cruiserteq.com/sumo-gear-land-cruiser-transfer-case-10-overdrive-gear-set-fits-8x-100-series/

Alternator: 1989-2002 Cummins One Wire Alternator 136 Amp With Tach Output SKU 2516 - https://www.dieselconversion.com/1989-2002-cummins-one-wire-alternator-with-tach-output.html?___SID=U

Dakota digital controller for tachometer SGI-100BT: Universal Speedometer and Tachometer Interface - https://www.dakotadigital.com/index.cfm/page/ptype=product/product_id=1192/category_id=694/mode=prod/prd1192.htm

A/C compressor
Conversion Friendly Air Conditioning Compressor - Adventure Vehicles NW - https://adventurevehiclesnw.com/shop/diesel-conversion-parts/ac-alternator-mounts-brackets/conversion-friendly-air-conditioning-compressor/

Cummins high mount bracket
B-Series Cummins HD High Mount AC Bracket Kit - Adventure Vehicles NW - https://adventurevehiclesnw.com/shop/diesel-conversion-parts/chevrolet-gmc/73-87-chevy-truck/b-series-cummins-hd-high-mount-ac-bracket-kit/

Motor mounts
80 Series Toyota Land Cruiser to Cummins 6BT Conversion Engine Mounts - Adventure Vehicles NW - https://adventurevehiclesnw.com/shop/land-cruiser/80-series/drivetrain-80-series/80-series-toyota-land-cruiser-to-cummins-6bt-conversion-engine-mounts/

Transfer case/NV4500 adapter
HF2A Land Cruiser Transfercase to NV4500 Transmission Adapter Kit - Adventure Vehicles NW - https://adventurevehiclesnw.com/shop/land-cruiser/80-series/drivetrain-80-series/hf2a-land-cruiser-transfercase-to-nv4500-transmission-adapter-kit/ Rockbug also has a nice adapter system Weld-in panhard support bar – Rockbug Industries - https://rockbug.com.au/products/removable-track-bar-support-land-cruiser-105-series?variant=39275826249797 Damien Jason Facebook and Rockbug website

Hydro-Boost System for 1969-1997 Toyota Land Cruiser 1996-1997 Lexus LX450 - https://www.powerbrakeservice.net/93tolacrhyco.html

Vacuum pump delete
Cummins B Series Direct Mount Power Steering Pump Adapter - Adventure Vehicles NW - https://adventurevehiclesnw.com/shop/diesel-conversion-parts/chevrolet-gmc/73-87-chevy-truck/cummins-b-series-direct-mount-power-steering-pump-adapter/

Intercooler: Mishimoto MMINT-UG - Mishimoto G-Line Intercoolers
Mishimoto MMINT-UG Mishimoto G-Line Intercoolers | Summit Racing - https://www.summitracing.com/parts/MIO-MMINT-UG

Delta Vehicle Systems - 1FZ Washer Relocation Kit - https://www.deltavs.com/all-products/1fz-washer-relocation-kit

Delta Vehicle Systems - 1FZ Dual Battery Kit Components - https://www.deltavs.com/all-products/1fz-dual-battery-kit-components

Powermaster Performance 9058 Ultra Duty Replacement Starter 07-16 5.9L / 6.7L Dodge Cummins - https://www.dieselpowerproducts.com/powermaster-starter-07-16-cummins

Valair Hydraulics Bracket HYD-BRACKET | 1998.5-2002 Dodge 5.9L Cummins - https://www.dieselautopower.com/valair-hydraulics-bracket-hyd-bracket

LX450 Leather Upholstery
LX450 Leather Upholstery — MOSLEY MOTORS - https://www.mosleymotors.com/leatherinteriors/lx450

Suspension @Ozark cruiser
Dobinsons - https://ozarkoverlandoutfitters.com/shop/ols/categories/dobinsons
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Sunroof delete

After deciding to delete the sunroof, I talked to several guys that do body work and got advice on how to weld it. The big take away was to keep the heat low to minimize warping. I randomly zig-zagged back and forth from one side to the other, welding in short burst and wiping the welds with a wet rag to cool them off. I would only weld in 10-minute intervals and it took several days to finish it. This provided me a good break from mundane office work and studying spreadsheets.

I found a piece of sheet metal in my scrap pile that was only slightly thicker than the Toyota sheet metal. The design of the metal structure around the sunroof gave a good area to weld to. I cleaned the metal and sprayed it with steel blue layout fluid around the areas that needed to be marked. My son and I laid the sheet metal in place and marked it with a metal scribe. I used an angle grinder to make the cut because I’m very sloppy with the plasma cutter.

It took us test fitting and grinding to get a good fit. I started welding in the middle at the top of the roof arch and made my way to the edges near the doors. I also added an extra support inside the cab. While I was busy working on the sunroof, I also welded all the roof rack holes. When the job was complete, I sanded the areas with 40 grit sandpaper and sent it off for paint. The paint shop added some fiberglass to the area to make sure it was sealed and to feather out the corners.

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After studying several threads on the conversion ( @lostih Post #4, @Dirty Koala Post #822-825, Damien Jason), I understood the importance of making some modifications to the panhard bracket. It is important to strengthen the area around the steering box and bracket, create more space between the steering box & steering pump and create more space and accessibility to the oil pan. I ordered chromoly interlocking tube clamps from Trail Gear (I encountered the same issue as @Dirty Koala and had a machine shop resize the tube clamps to match the Toyota panhard bracket) and got to work. I made some templates for the pieces of plate I needed to cut. I sprayed some steel blue layout fluid on the plate metal and used a scribe to trace out the pieces. The plasma cutter made short work of the cutting. Having the cab off the frame made this process a lot easier. While welding the bracket back to the frame, I used some weld-through primer to make sure I was protecting the metal inside the frame mount. The Hobart 210 handler was not acting right so I put it in time-out and pulled out the old miller stick welder and finished it up.

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Transmission cross-member modification.

When I started modifying the crossmember, I looked at factors like engine & driveshaft angle, proper spacing between the crossmember & tail housing and how I could utilize my existing crossmember. I had an OEM Dodge crossmember mount and decided to make it work. I test fitted the mount by drilling several holes in the crossmember and moving it around. I was concerned about the mount being in way of the bolts in the nv4500/HF2AV adapter plate (see last photo) and shifted the mount towards the driver’s side to give good clearance around the adapter plate. After setting my mount location, I welded a piece of flat stock over the area where I drilled all the holes. I then placed a piece of rubber between the crossmember and mount. I made the transition piece between the mount and tail housing with two pieces of flat stock welded together. I used two different sizes of flat stock to allow room for the bolt head that was screwed into the tail housing. The other end of the transition piece bolted straight to the Dodge mount.

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Transfer case shifter work.

When I started building the transfer case shifter mount, I tried to copy the mount made by @Dirty Koala Post #380 but mine turned out very crappy. I decided to take some thicker plate metal, angle iron and flat stock and fabricate the mount while on the tail housing. That turned out to be a quick project and is strong. I tapped threads (same pitch as the shifter bolts) directly into the plate metal. After doing that, I measured the shifter linkage and cut out some of the length and then welded it back together.

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Clutch master modification.

The clutch master/clutch pedal setup ended up being much easier to assemble than I first expected. I used an NV4500 slave/master and modified it to fit a land cruiser clutch pedal. I found a brake/clutch pedal combo from Australia on ebay for $80. Initially, I thought I would have to fabricate a mount for the clutch master, however; @Redbird Post #191 told me about the Valair hydraulics bracket (part number HYD-BRACKET) and that saved the day. The bracket I received was also angled for the dodge firewall. I used my angle grinder and cut out a section of the bracket and bent it down so the mount would be straight. I then welded it back together. I did knock out the studs in the bracket and modified the bolt holes in accordance with the clutch pedal mount. I did cut out a couple bolts under the dash where the clutch mounts but I left one there for mounting the pedal. I studied @mattimooseprime Post #189 and modified the clutch master push rod in a similar way. I had an old clutch master in my scrap pile and removed the push rod with an AC line tool. I made a test weld on the old push rod with some flat stock bent to a U shape. I wanted to make sure I could get a solid weld before modifying the new one. It was easy to weld. I do suggest not welding it all at once. I left the new clutch master assembled when I welded it. The push rod got hot very quickly, and I was initially concerned about damaging the plastic. I’m planning to put a couple of nylon washers between the pedal and push rod to make it quieter and reduce wear around that area.

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