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BJ74 Importing Adventure to the US

Discussion in '70-Series Tech' started by Stickboy, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. Stickboy

    Stickboy

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    My story:

    Background
    I bought an 86 FJ60 with a shot 2f motor. I have no interest in gas engines so I decided to swap a 13BT into it with a H55 for a tranny. I shopped around and the best way for me to get this combo plus all the misc accessories was to buy a BJ74 in Canada and bring it across the line. That is more difficult than you would imagine. I still haven't done it.

    The Purchase
    I bought a Bj74 from Wayne at crushersrule.com last month. Highly recommend doing business with him. Very ethical and trustworthy guy. Pictures are posted below of the donor bj74.

    The Plan
    Talked with several folks about importing through an RI and what a pain. Not really feasible without a large $$$ outlay and a big headache. Hesitantly talked with the inspectors at the crossing and they were fantastic.

    In order to bring it across as parts the vehicle must be "not readily operable". What does that mean? motor removed? tranny removed? NOPE. Frame cut. OK, no problem. I'm putting the drivetrain into my FJ60 so no big deal.

    Next wed i'm going up to Calgary with my truck and trailer. Will stop at the border to double check my info and go from there. Get to calgary and drive the Bj74 around a little to see what it's like. Drive it up on the trailer and cut the frame. Drive back to the border, pay duty, sign some papers, and head home.

    Hope this works. will keep you posted and i know you all think i'm crazy but really this is the best option.

    Also, i'm going to have a bj74 minus a motor/tranny/drivetrain/FRP top/doors for sale with a cut frame. I know that doesn't sound like much left but there will be semi-floater axles/springs/tub/fenders/etc... If interested PM or email me with offers.

    -mike
     
  2. Stickboy

    Stickboy

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  3. Stickboy

    Stickboy

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  4. Brian894X4

    Brian894X4

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    Cut the frame? Nooo!

    Just pay a Canadian to drive it across the border. Meet them on the other side, load it up on your trailer and you're done. Then you have a totally complete BJ74 that worth huge bucks. Now all you have to do is get it titled and registered. May not be that hard. You just have to talk with your DMV and see what you can do. Some states are harder than others. And in a few years, it will old enough that many of the requirements become null and void.

    Geez man, don't cut it up. That's such a nice looking and rare Cruiser.
     
  5. Stickboy

    Stickboy

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    I looked into the drive it across method and that doesn't work anymore since 911. The canadians look at the plates that go across and if those plates don't go back across within a few months then they come looking. check out the What I've Learned about Importing topic.

    I know there are other methods of getting the rig across that are sort of sketchy. At this point I'm not really interested in selling Bj74's in the states so resale isn't really important to me plus my real interest lies in the 60 series with a 13bt not the 2 door.

    The risk of non-official methods of getting the bj74 across isn't worth it to me. Titleing a rig is pretty simple once it's here. That doesn't seem like an issue, at least not in Idaho.

    -mike
     
  6. VTCruiser

    VTCruiser

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    :eek:

    What were you quoted by the RIs? I paid $300 to get my HJ60 across, though not the cheapest, i feel it was well worth it. Saved me a lot of aggrivation with paper work, and I didn't have to cut the frame!!! Using an RI I found it more difficult to pick up my uhaul trailer in toronto (2 hr wild goose chase...) than it was to get it across the boarder...

    Couldn't you find a vehicle in worse condition for a donner rig? Maybe one WITH rust, or that already has a busted frame?.....

    That thing looks mint!
     
  7. beanz2

    beanz2 Moderator

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    I may be interested in the vehicle without the drivetrain. Check your PM.

    Dave
     
  8. semlin

    semlin discouraged user

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    geez I hope this works or you will have a bj74 with a cut frame stuck at the border. Individual US border guys have a ton of discretion and I am not sure how they will react to a vehicle that looks that nice with a cut frame. That approach probably works better with a junker.

    Why don't you just pull the motor in Canada and whatever else you need and ship it? Then you can sell the body intact in Canada, or part it out right down to the frame.
     
  9. beanz2

    beanz2 Moderator

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    Not to take any business away from Crushersrule but wouldn't it be cheaper to buy just an 13B-T engine and tranny and transplant it into the FJ60?

    Dave
     
  10. HZJ60 Guy

    HZJ60 Guy Tank Buster

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    HOW DARE YOU KILL A PERFECTLY GOOD BJ-74! AND SIMPLY TO POWER A 60 PIG!

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH~!

    WHY DIDNT YOU JUST BUY A BLOODY ENGINE AND TRANNY FROM SHELDON AT G&S CRUISERS?

    http://gscruiserparts.com/engines.html

    THIS IS FWKING REDICULOUS!

    THAT BJ-74 IS WORTH TEN 60'S!

    :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh:
     
  11. notagp_afj55

    notagp_afj55

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    Mike
    Looks to me like you are doing the right thing given your
    intentions. If Idaho is anything like Oregon it would be
    a nightmare getting it registered and pass smog for a
    diesel that never came to the US. I say that cutting
    the frame is worth the engine and tranny and etc.
    my .02 worth
    JimK
     
  12. rick_d

    rick_d

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    Mike-

    You have too much money and too few brain cells.

    these things are certain:
    You will be unimpressed by the 13B-T power in a 60 series
    You will not get better than 21 mpg (based on my 75,000 mile BJ74 in AZ)
    and you will wish you had done a straight 6 turbo after your first ride in one.

    Thanks for wasting a decent truck.

    flame off.
     
  13. 70sguy

    70sguy GOLD Star

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    I shudder the thought of you chopping the frame in hopes that the Customs officer on duty might allow that to qualify as a "parts vehicle" ..if not then what?

    I would be very interested in the balance of the vehicle to complete the resto of my personal BJ70.. and have a couple of ideas that might make life easy for you and less of a risk at the border, I have had a fair bit of experience in this dept. If you are interested please email me off line.

    Regards

    Sheldon Walsh
     
  14. Stickboy

    Stickboy

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    HZJ60_Guy,

    My reasons:

    1) I started my project in Nov. I think you remember some of the early emails i sent you regarding importation. After doing some exhaustive research online and with CFR's/EPA regs/etc... It is pretty clear that without many $$$ the BJ74 isn't coming to the states legally easily since it is a japanese destined vehicle. I think most people will agree with that. I know there are many ways around the rules and they aren't that difficult to do but I'm not willing to put myself, my family, my career, and my pocketbook at risk for a vehicle no matter how ridiculous the rules may be. I work for the government and I don't think they would appreciate customs violations in my record. With that said, I ruled out bringing an intact vehicle across the line.

    2) I've talked with G&S many times and at the time of my purchase the source for a 13BT/H55F combo was not available as a unit from them. I had another source for a motor, a tranny separate, bell housing there, swap input shaft, etc... I didn't want to get into that mess. Since I'm under some time constraints to complete this project Sheldon and I emailed and he thought that looking elsewhere was fine. My first destination in my search was G&S and Raddcruisers.

    3) I understand the $ value of the BJ74. However I separate the $ value and the functional value. I have a need for a good 4wd diesel landcruiser with 4 doors because I live rurally in Idaho and have 2 boys and a wife. My various VW TDI's don't cut it anymore, too small and not 4wd, i'm driving them into the ground. The BJ74 doesn't offer what I need other than the drivetrain. The functional value is much more important to me than the $ value. If I was in this for making money surely I wouldn't do what I'm doing. Likewise, I'm also not in this to throw money away so please refer to number 4.

    4) All $ figures are USD. It seems the going rate for a 13bt/h55 combo is $5500. $5837 with duty/shipping.

    Assuming $11250 for a basic Bj74 here are my breakdowns
    Motor/tranny 5500
    Axles 1000
    batteries 100
    radiator 200
    tires/wheels 500
    a/c components 200
    tub/fr.clip 2000
    brakes 200
    exhaust 200

    total 9900

    I really don't know if those prices are good or not but I think they are fair and not really complete either. My point is that financially it's pretty close to buy a vehicle and swap all the parts and sell the remainder. plus you get a complete wiring harness, all the little linkages, battery trays, air cleaner assembly, motor mounts, etc... which is worth a lot of headaches and $ in swapping. Having a donor vehicle seems much simpler and not really much more cost in the end.

    I hope I explained my reasons a little albeit I might have missed some points. I know this isn't popular but I guess I'll have to deal with that on it's own. I fully intend to document every step of the way and make it for public consumption, both my trip up to calgary and back across the line (hopefully) and the swap with many details/photos.

    I'm sure you all will let me know what you think,
    -mike
     
  15. crushers

    crushers post ho SILVER Star

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    Rick D,
    have you ever driven a 3B powered 60?? can you say GUTLESS? :eek:
    the 13BT is a sweet engine. it is much more fuel efficent than the 12HT. the power is very close. with my "Ol Smokey" 86 BJ74 i was able to pass a HJ61 up Cochrane hill and the HJ had a head start. This hill is long and steep, most diesels have a hard time staying out of 3rd but i was able to crest the hill at 110km/hr. :D
    the only way to do a easy swap is to have a complete donor truck, this way you are not looking for an elusive part that was missed when the engine was pulled. ::)
    Greg and Sheldon blessed this endevor since they were having a hard time finding an engine and tranny.
    Mike was able to get the truck at a smoking deal and although it is a shame to cut the frame and abandon a perfectly good truck, this is probably the best way for him to go about it.
    i drive both on a regualr basis. my wife drives a HJ61 as a daily driver and i drive an assortment if BJ74s. the HJ makes a beautiful highway cruiser and the BJ is just a blast to boot aroun in.
    Mike will be very happy when all is said and done.
    Wayne
     
  16. crushers

    crushers post ho SILVER Star

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    Mike,
    the AC is worth a ton more than that. no BJ70 in Canada came with AC. i wouldn't sell the complete setup for less than $1000.Can.
    sit on it and advertise it, deffinately don't give it away.
    Wayne
     
  17. semlin

    semlin discouraged user

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    Ok, if you really want to do this, then go for it. It's really not that extravagant. I do have a few questions.

    Did you get it confirmed from an RI that no 74 has ever been legally imported into the US? I find that hard to believe. I would call the NHTSA and ask them directly. As I understand the system, once one gets through there is simply a list of required mods to be done for others. You could bring it in, swap the motor, and throw any motor you want in the 74 and sell it for big$.

    You also didn't explain why you don't yank all that stuff out of the 74 in canada and leave the uncut body for someone else. We have tools and everything up here you can borrow.

    Finally, why don't you just throw a turbo kit on a 3b? Try this ad from the Vancouver papers for a contrast in the cost to you of that approach.

    TWO Toyota Landcruiser HJ60 ps 3B eng, 5 spd tranny, 2H eng, gd seat, dash or sale compl truck $3800 ea. New Westminster Tel: 604-526-4989
     
  18. HZJ60 Guy

    HZJ60 Guy Tank Buster

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    StickBoy, I'm just giving you a hard time. It's your money and your time. Good luck and dont hesitate to ask all these JOEBOBS on this site for help ifn you need it.


    Semlin, FORGET even trying to get a BJ-74 into the US legally. Maybe if you're Bill Gates and you are willing to pay 100,000 grand to do it you MIGHT catch some help. Otherwise you're waisting your time.


    TB :banana: :doh:
     
  19. 70sguy

    70sguy GOLD Star

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    [quote author=crushers link=board=21;threadid=12504;start=msg114827#msg114827 date=1078379949]
    Mike,
    the AC is worth a ton more than that. no BJ70 in Canada came with AC. i wouldn't sell the complete setup for less than $1000.Can.
    sit on it and advertise it, deffinately don't give it away.
    Wayne
    [/quote]

    The only probem is that to put a RHD set up in a LHD, you need a different cooler unit for the heat duct, and apparently they are $650 usd.. ouch! I am reserving the space in front of my rad for an intercooler :D

    Sheldon
     
  20. 70sguy

    70sguy GOLD Star

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    [quote author=crushers link=board=21;threadid=12504;start=msg114821#msg114821 date=1078379549]
    the 13BT is a sweet engine. it is much more fuel efficent than the 12HT. the power is very close. with my "Ol Smokey" 86 BJ74 i was able to pass a HJ61 up Cochrane hill and the HJ had a head start. This hill is long and steep, most diesels have a hard time staying out of 3rd but i was able to crest the hill at 110km/hr. :D
    [/quote]

    Was that with your boost tweaked up or were both in factory tune? I am quite impressed with my 13B-T.. I pulled 1800 lbs of 1HZ/H55F and trailer up a long 8% grade at 80 km with my 13B-T'd 70. My 3B would have been in second gear. I do drive around in HJ61s fairly regularly and I have to say that the 12H-T in the 60 does feel faster.

    Sheldon