Builds Extremely Unhurried BJ75 Build Diary (1 Viewer)

gilmorneau

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Well, I've had this car for a couple of years now, and haven't really posted much about what I've done or what I have planned, so I figured I'd start a thread. It will be a lot of getting caught up for now--build comes later.

I first found this one when I was traveling in Europe a few years ago. I'd been looking for a clean Troopy for a while, and had already found a pretty nice one and bought it. But when I found this one, I knew it would be the "keeper" of the two.

I was initially unimpressed by the advertisement, though. Not much for photos, and a very brief description. Here's a picture from the ad:

ad pic1 small.jpg


The ad read (in French): "Toyota Landcruiser 1987, 3B diesel motor, manual transmission, manual front hubs, CT (inspection) OK, almost collector quality, 65,000km" Not much to go on, but the mileage got my attention--that's only about 40,000 miles! If that was correct, and original, I'm interested. I was in Spain at the time, so I had a friend of mine in Belgium go have a look at it for me. He confirmed that the mileage was original, and that the car was in remarkable condition. He suggested I'd be crazy not to buy it. So I did.

Unlike many Troopies (and pickups), this one was originally a civilian-market car, not a commercial vehicle like an ambulance or firetruck or anything. In talking with the seller, I found out that the first owner was a retired guy and had used it only occasionally for family holiday trips to the sea, and sometimes for carrying firewood at his property. Most of the time it sat in a garage.

The guy I bought it from estimated that he had put less than a thousand miles on it in the years he'd had it. He, too, kept it garaged at his country home.

Honestly, I don't think this thing had ever gone fast enough to squish a bug on the radiator before I bought it. There weren't any in there. lol...

Here's some photos of the day we picked it up:
IMG_4268.JPG
IMG_4248.JPG
IMG_4256.JPG
IMG_4267.JPG
 
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gilmorneau

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After we procured it, we figured out that the VIN number was incorrect on the French Title. Probably been that way from new and no one noticed. Bummer. No way we were going to get that through US Customs, or, especially, through the Colorado DMV. Thankfully, the seller was a very good guy, and agreed to get it straightened out for us. It was a long, involved, bureaucratic process, involving both the French government and the Toyota motor company, but he got it done and we got a new French Title with the correct number on it. I am eternally grateful to the seller for going to the trouble (thanks, Emmanuel!!).

The car came complete with all sorts of original documentation, including service receipts, the original owner's manual, and some original sales literature. If you were shopping for a Landcruiser in France in 1987, this is what you would have taken home to drool over:

sales brochure cover.jpg
brochure page1.jpg
brochure page2.jpg
brochure page3.jpg


Interestingly, these cars were never sold as "Troopy" or "Troop Carrier" or anything like that in Europe. "Troopy" is an Australian thing. The Germans called them "Buschtaxi", but the French just called them "Fourgon", or van.

It also came with the complete, original jack, tool kit and pouch:

at size.jpg
 

gilmorneau

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Next, arrangements were made to get it shipped to the USA. By this time, I had traveled to Australia, so managing the logistics of shipping a car from Europe to America was interesting, to say the least. But with some help on both sides of the Atlantic, I got it done and it arrived in Port Hueneme, CA.

This is what we saw when we picked it up at the port:

20180208_104916-1.jpg


Arrived safe and sound!

Because I was out of the country, my brother kindly agreed to store it at his place near Fresno, where it sat until I got back to the USA. Well, it didn't just sit, my bro and his wife both thought it was great fun to drive it around a little now and then.

Once I got back home, I started work. First thing to go was the stripes on the sides. Pretty sure they were dealer installed, not OEM Toyota, since they're not shown in any of the period photos. They were wrecked anyway, so off they came. Hours of careful heat and solvent. A royal PITA, actually, but it turned out nice:
BEFORE:
before at size.jpg


AFTER:
after at size.jpg


About this time I went to work on all the extra stickers that were all over this thing--insurance stickers, road service stickers, registration stickers, you name it, it had them all. Then I buffed out the paint and put on some wax.

Next to go were the split rims and bias-ply tires. For those obsessed with originality, maybe they're cool, but the world of tires and wheels has come a long way since then. I had some period-correct steel rims, and bought some new Toyo radials to go on them.

after.JPG


Now we're gettin' somewhere! Starting to look good.

Did some baseline maintenance stuff and headed out.
 

gilmorneau

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Drove from Fresno up to Northern CA to visit mom. First real road trip and it drove like a dream. A little slow on big hills, sure, but kept up fine on the highway and tracked straight and true. Rode better than I expected, actually.

I had a under-hood insulation piece stored at mom's, so I put that on while I was there. The old one was beat up pretty good (maybe somebody hit it with a pressure washer or something?).

BEFORE:
before.jpg


AFTER:
after.jpg


After that, headed off to Colorado and home:

Fueling up on the way out of town:
Ukiah fuel.jpg


...and again in Salt Lake City (Landcruiser museum was closed. Dammit!)
SLC fuel.jpg


...and arrived in Colorado without any drama at all (unless you count my wife getting pulled over for speeding in the RAV4. HaHa!)
avatar.jpg


More to follow.....
 

flx

Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
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France
About this time I went to work on all the extra stickers that were all over this thing--insurance stickers, road service stickers, registration stickers, you name it, it had them all. Then I buffed out the paint and put on some wax.
Did you got rid of the "TOYOTA BJ71 ELU 4X4 DE L'ANNEE" sticker ?
This one is a collector one !
 

flx

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Jan 4, 2019
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France
Interesting how they visualized the difference between both light / heavy duty and the various body.
Too bad they made a mistake on the LJ73 chassis.

Strangely (or to keep things simple ?) they decided not to display the BJ71 (and few BJ70) that were also sold while they advertised it as 4x4 of the year in the back of the other models !


Interestingly, these cars were never sold as "Troopy" or "Troop Carrier" or anything like that in Europe. "Troopy" is an Australian thing. The Germans called them "Buschtaxi", but the French just called them "Fourgon", or van.
Yup, particularly that the heavy duty 70 series were never sold with back seats in France (being sold as a utility vehicle, for tax reason with the big engine) so they were definitively not troop carriers in their usage.
(For the 40 series Toyota was selling back benches as a dealer installed accessory taking advantage of a tolerance/usage for utility vehicle that was ended in 1987.)
 
Joined
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Fantastic BJ75 . It looks pristine ! And yours has a very rare option ! The servo assisted clutch . Not all of them had that option as it was expensive . You sure have a soft , silky clutch ! The "Toyota BJ71 Élu 4x4 de l'Année" ( Elected 4x4 Of the Year ) sticker , should have stayed :) ! Congratulations !
 
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Bottom of the Sea
Can I recommend just replacing the thermostat and gasket for peace of mind? The local Toyota dealer has them (you probably know that), and even in 3Bs with low km's like ours, the thermostats can look a little gunky. I think mine was sticking a little a few months back, because on a not-so-hot day, the temp gauge crept up to 65% on one drive. After replacing the thermostat, with a fresh new one, the 3B runs at about the 35-40% mark on the temp gauge, which is basically where it has hovered for most of my driving. I also did a coolant flush with distilled water last fall, took the original radiator out to patch a small pinhole, and then reflushed it with Toyota red coolant. Happy cooling system these days....

Isn't the 3B pretty great for a little old engine? 😍
 
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Just a small suggestion to fix the crumbling / sagging hood insulators , as some are already very hard to find ( here in Europe at least ) and very expensive ( BJ45s for example ) : take them out carefully , clean them with a dry brush or very gently with a vacuum cleaner . When you are done with that , spray them with Raptor ! They will get most , if not some more of the original firmness but very easy to handle .

Cheers
 
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gilmorneau

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Did you got rid of the "TOYOTA BJ71 ELU 4X4 DE L'ANNEE" sticker ?
This one is a collector one !
The "Toyota BJ71 Élu 4x4 de l'Année" ( Elected 4x4 Of the Year ) sticker , should have stayed

Funny you should say that. I left that sticker in the window for over a year after all the other stickers were gone, but eventually I got tired of guys asking me if my car was a BJ71 (or just assuming that it was). Kinda wish I'd left it on there, but it's no use crying about it now.

Can I recommend just replacing the thermostat and gasket for peace of mind?

Your getting ahead of me. There'll be a post about that later.

Isn't the 3B pretty great for a little old engine?

Hell, yeah! The old 3B gets a bad rap--"Waah...no turbo", "Boo Hoo...people are passing me!"--but if you take care of a 3B, it will take care of you. For a long, long time.
 

gilmorneau

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To continue the story....

Got it home to Colorado and started using it as my daily driver. This was probably about May or June 2018. Here we are at a friend's house. No mods to the car yet, just a nice photo.

at misty sized.jpg


First really BIG repair was the clip that holds the hood support rod. It was fine when I bought the car, but I proceeded to break it almost immediately. Luckily, a replacement was easy to find.

IMG_6009 small.jpg
IMG_6008 small.jpg


While I was doing the really, really big jobs, I went ahead and replaced the resistor for the ventilator fan speed. When I got the car, the slowest speed on the fan didn't work. This is almost always because the resistor is shot. Sure enough, with the new resistor, all speeds now work perfectly.

IMG_6530 small.jpg

IMG_6531 small.jpg
 
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To continue the story....

Got it home to Colorado and started using it as my daily driver. This was probably about May or June 2018. Here we are at a friend's house. No mods to the car yet, just a nice photo.

View attachment 2425794

First really BIG repair was the clip that holds the hood support rod. It was fine when I bought the car, but I proceeded to break it almost immediately. Luckily, a replacement was easy to find.

View attachment 2425797View attachment 2425799

While I was doing the really, really big jobs, I went ahead and replaced the resistor for the ventilator fan speed. When I got the car, the slowest speed on the fan didn't work. This is almost always because the resistor is shot. Sure enough, with the new resistor, all speeds now work perfectly.

View attachment 2425800
View attachment 2425801

Having that same problem with the fan on my 86 and was getting ready to start looking into it... now I know where I'll start. Thanks!
 

gilmorneau

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Went to visit Robbie for something before he moved his shop...
at robbies.jpg


I think the next maintenance item I tackled was installing new glow plugs, buss bar, and grommets. One of the glow plugs that was in there tested bad, and the buss bar had some ugly surface rust on it, so all new went in. Pretty easy job.

glow plugs.jpg


plastic grommets.jpg


And installed:
installed.jpg


It wasn't like it was difficult to start before, but I figured eventually it would be Winter, and I'd want the glow system in good order. It's been over two years since I did it and I haven't had any problems at all starting the car at any temperature.
 
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gilmorneau

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Next up was the metal threshold for the rear door. The one that was in there was just kind of worn and crappy looking and it seemed out of place on such a nice car. The parts were still available new, so I figured why not?

threshold bit.jpg


end bits.jpg


installed2.jpg


Really looks much nicer. It's amazing what a simple thing like this can do.

Next, again in a nod to Winter, I bought a couple of new batteries for it. For reference, the correct batteries are 1x Group 27, and 1x Group 27F, which are the same, but the terminals are reversed (mirror imaged). One goes on the left side of the car, one on the right. This info is only correct for 24V, LHD cars, AFAIK. I'm pretty sure the RHD 24V cars have two of the same type battery. Anyway, here's a shot with the new ones (I went for Toyota True Start, mostly just 'cause they say "Toyota" on them. I think they're made by Interstate, but I'm not afraid to be corrected on that).

IMG_6108 sized.jpg


(I see I still had the old glow plugs and buss bar in there when I got the batteries. So everything's not in the exact sequence it really happened. Meh.)
 

gilmorneau

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When I bought this truck, it was completely empty in the back, i.e. no rear seats at all. It looked like this:

before.jpg


That's how they were sold in France. It's completely original as far as I can tell. Even the cargo divider (but I'm pretty sure this isn't an OEM Toyota part. It was installed either by the importer or at the dealer. As usual, correct me if I'm wrong.)

I had driven Troopies in Australia that had the rear bench seats, and found them to be extremely useful--not so much for carrying passengers, but for a place to hang out in the back of the truck, or even as cots for sleeping if the weather was too crappy to sleep outside. So I found these brand new take-off seats:

seats.jpg


...and proceeded to install them. One important thing you'll need for this job is a pair of these seat brackets. I wasn't able to source any new ones, so I salvaged some from a doomed Australian Troopy:

bracket.jpg


Drilled out the spot welds, cleaned them up, and gave them a coat of matching paint:

IMG_6039.jpg


Originally, these would be welded to the top of the wheel well, but since my Troopy didn't come with the seats, it had no brackets installed, either. I decided to bolt them in, rather than welding, so as not to disturb the paint. I can always weld them in later if I feel it's necessary, but for the last two years, they've been totally fine with bolts. I used stainless hardware, and sealed it with silicone:

after wheel well.jpg
 
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gilmorneau

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Since this car didn't come with seats, it didn't have any of the seat mounting points, either. In the course of talking to a Troopy expert in Australia (thanks, Ian!) I discovered that the captured nut for the front most seat leg was under the floor, it was only necessary to locate it and drill through the floor to access it. That done, I had a point of reference for the rest of the mounting. At the time, I also had another Troopy that was equipped with rear seats, so I could use that car as another reference for locating all the mounting points. After lots of measuring and marking, I nervously drilled the holes and installed rivnuts for mounting the seats. Yes, I know the original seat mounting points were welded in, but I found it to be plenty sturdy using rivnuts.

rivnuts.jpg


And the final product:

after.jpg


I even sourced the correct Toyota bolts for mounting the seats:

bolts.jpg


And the straps that hold the seats in the folded position when you want to load larger cargo:

straps.jpg
 

flx

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Nice ! I was wondering some time ago what it would take to add bench seats to a BJ71. You did a good job, clearly it's more than just finding the seats to be able to do this retrofit.

The cargo divider not too sure where it comes from but I have seen this exact same one multiple times in classifieds here. So it was at least a nation wide item I'd say.
 
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That's how they were sold in France. It's completely original as far as I can tell. Even the cargo divider (but I'm pretty sure this isn't an OEM Toyota part. It was installed either by the importer or at the dealer. As usual, correct me if I'm wrong.)
My troopy had that exact same cargo divider in it too when we first got it! I definitely feel it was a standard nationwide item.
 

gilmorneau

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My troopy had that exact same cargo divider in it too when we first got it!

Oh...it was exactly the same, alright. I pulled the one out of mine and Jamie wanted it in his red Troopy so his dog would stay in the back while he was driving. Same red Troopy you now own. Exactly the same cargo divider as in the photos above.
 

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