Builds Family haulin'

Jun 12, 2007
Sandy, OR
Family haulin' FJ60


These are the main points of a group of posts. (NOTE: These no longer work due to the forum software update)

  • posts 1-30... FJ60 tear down and 2F engine pull, cut up stepvan and cummins 4bta engine pull

    posts 31-60... rear frame channel removal and boxing, hydroboost adapting, rear disc idea, 203 tcase disassembly, leaf spring painting and mock-up

    posts 61-90... Transgo 4L80E-3 manual shift kit install, rear spring hanger welded, 203 GRB to 4L80e adapted

    posts 91-120... Jerry Nichols No. for 203 doubler to splitcase adapter and assembly, front spring placement, tcase rebuild, drivetrain mock-up (4l80e to 203 to splitcase)

    posts 121-150... front and rear springs mounted, fix 4BT killer dowel pin (KDP), 4BT cleaning and painting, turbo repair and pyro probe placement, LED dash lights, 4L80e to 203 mated, spectrum coating

    posts 151-180... rear axle mock up, 203 drilled/tapped, 4BT and 4L80 connected, 4BT placement, clearance and engine side mounts, downpipe start

    posts 181-210... frame side engine mounts, tranny crossmember and mounts, Art Carr shifter mount, intercooler mock-up

    posts 211-240... Tranny cable connected, intercooler to radiator mounts, doubler/tcase operation and install, rear axle perch welded, front/rear ubolt plates, front axle mock-up

    posts 241-270... front axle mounted, dual battery mock-up and trays, bum turbo, mech water temp gauge placement, dual fuel filters, rear disc brake install, AC compressor placement idea, fixed and improved turbo with link, throttle cable hook-up, front axle caster adjustment, front diff guard and axle truss, hydroboost and brake MC install, power steering box tap for ram assist

    posts 271-300... Wheel spacers, front axle shims installed, Aussie locker in front 3rd, completed downpipe, front axle assembly and longfield super 30 set installed, Marlin High Steer, hydroboost and power steering hoses converted to AN, overflow and PS fluid reservoir mount, brake lines, heater hose routing, lower radiator hose, alignment, intercooler routing

    posts 301-330 rear weather strip lip fixed, 4l80 rebuild

    posts 331-360 rear shackles lengthened, doubler/tcase shifters, rear shocks, front shocks and hoops

    posts 361-390 fender skirts, electric vacuum pump and regulator for tranny modulator, sound deadening engine bay.

    posts 391-420 doubler/tcase shifter linkage, vacuum regulator install, LED dash lights glowing

    posts 421-450 38's mounted, rear quarters trimmed, reconfigured front packs, minor flex

    posts 451-480 fuel pump and cut-off solenoid, wired up t.converter lock-up, spiral baffle in downpipe, reworked lower radiator hose adapter, tranny cooler installed

    posts 481-510 first major trip report, contour fan installed using spal controller, baffle removed from downpipe and downpipe heat wrapped, exhaust routed out back, 366 (3200rpm) govenor spring installed, intercooler pulled and cleaned, rig ramped for flex, front drive shaft started

    posts 511-540 rig gets named, front long spline driveshaft finished, new water temp sender, rear body mount cut for clearance, rear bump stops, first wheeling pics @ TSF, new amsoil air filter with 4" intake.

    posts 541-570 Modify Hydroboost for 1 1/4" master cylinder, bench bleed MC, heat shield for air filter, 8 groove pully alignment on CS-144alternator install, high mount rear speakers, hydroboost with 1 1/8" MC install from chevy astrovan, front fender trim

    posts 571-600 lower body line textured and painted, gutter reseal and paint, boost gauge signal line moved, battery straps, hydroassist ram install

    posts 601-630 wastegate signal line capped, beach wheeling pics and vid, mountain wheeling pics and vids, broke front driveshaft,

    posts 631-660 removeable rear mud flaps, rebuilt front driveshaft with stronger slip-spline, Hilift demount plate for breaking tire bead from rim, tried out BB for internal tire balance, Coretrax tie down strips from rear cargo area, TSF Cruise the Woods pics,

    posts 661-690 rear seat back painted, went back to 44mm inducer on my turbo, wastegate tied shut, made 3" intake for turbo mod, extended front/rear bump stops

    posts 691-720 intercooler and tubing pressure test for leaks, replace passenger side motor mount, made new tcase shifters and extended the levers, console 10" sub box, heater core replacement and duct cleaning, interior firewall insulation,

    posts 721-750 boost leak troubleshooting (gaskets and o-rings), tire grooving, fabbed steering stops, custom intake horn, snow wheeling pics, front shock repositioning,

    posts 751-780 42's (yeah right!), rear shock repositioning, reworked hydro assist mount and clamp, reseal hydrobooster, initial rocker cut and slider mock up

    posts 781-810 tube bending for sliders, pics of inside of rockers,

    posts 811-840 sliders mounted on the frame, car crushing pics and vid, smaller lower steering joint for shock clearance, rear bumper 1/4 sliders,

    posts 841-870 rear bumper mounted, mudflaps fix and remounted, radio flyer welding cart, bilstein 5150s leaking seal,

    posts 871-900 skid plate frame brackets, CB radio info, TSF wheeling testing out Dirtgypsy's SOA, bending tube for front bumper,

    posts 901-930 front drive shaft lengthened/retubed, johnny joint and antiwrap bar links, antiwrap bar axle brackets, Poly performance rear axles installed, aussie locker installed in rear, new front axle shock mounts,

    posts 931-960 Bilstein 7100s mounted, Brokenparts front bumper mounted, rear 1/4 protection bent and mocked, line lock swagelok ball valve and brake line routing, skid plate slapped together,

    posts 960-990 Rubicon 2009 trip report, Antiwrap bar,

    posts 991-1020 Front bumper phase 1, massive tire failure,

    posts 1021-1050 TinyTach install, better boost line fitting, HE351 Holset VGT turbo cleaning, H1 double beadlock rims with pressed centers and rock rings, Cobra 18 WX ST II CB install in dash,

    posts 1051-1080 H1 rims mounted,

    posts 1081-1110 Junction block for power, pic of Dora in 4WD Toyota Owners Mag,

    posts 1111-1140 CB antenna mounted on front fender, skidplate mods, CTW'09 pics and video, Rubicon Part 1 video, sloppy windshield wipers fix, resealed heater core, aluminum rear interior 1/4 panel,

    posts 1141-1170 Rubicon Part 2, Rubicon Part 3, lower coolant intake port moded, Rubicon Part 4, Rubicon Part 5,

    posts 1171-1200 Rubicon Part 6, Rubicon Part 7, Rubicon Part 8, Rubicon Part 9,

    posts 1201-1230 Reworked T.converter, fatigued crossmember, revised crossmember and mounts, revised shifter linkage, tranny failure and replacement, Rubicon Part 10,

    posts 1231-1260 Electronic tranny control box and circuit board, line-lock leak fix, new belt tensioner,

    posts 1261-1290


Alright fellow forumonians, I've got a project underway and it's time to start sharing. I've lurked here for a while and have absorbed much knowledge, so now it's time for me to show what I've done with that collective knowledge and put it to good use.

So here's the plan, and like all good plans the important part will be adapting to what comes my way.

Cummins 4bta (intercooled)
manual 4L80e
203 to splitcase doubler
larger fuel tank ***decided to run the cruiser tank instead 10/07***

and some other stuff like:
some kind of insulation/liner for interior floor/firewall
custom bumpers
fender trimming
marlin hysteer
arp knuckle studs
longfield super 30 set

Intended use is a capable all-rounder for trips, DD activities, some towing, and a whole lot of wheelin! It's been almost a year since I sold my last truck/wheeler and the offroad videos on youtube just aren't satisfying my need for the great outdoors, so I'm pushing forward on this project. I've got another kid coming soon so having more room to haul the family became a necessity since my wheelin' "photographer" pulls double duty as a mom.

So lets get some pics in here since all of us seemed to be into the picture books as kids rather than the story books. I'll have a bunch of pics to start with until I get caught up to where I'm at.

That's what I started with.


rear axle out

grill and headlight out

Front axle out

Yup, my seals were shot, bearing grease should be thicker than that. It's being rebuilt anyways.

the brakes still worked fine with that line smashed (wasn't me)

looks good inside

it's floating now

prepped for cut n' turn

this is where I'm at with the front axle so far

goodbye bumper brackets and spring hangers

starting to collect some scrap


next I started working on the springs I'm planning on using. The rears will be the chevy 63 inchers and the fronts will be a hybrid pack using a ford ranger rear main leaf. I used a 3 leaf plus overload on a ford ranger I built up and I was happy with the results so I'm going to do it with the cruiser since it's got such a big butt (plenty of room to mount). I have a 4 leaf pack that I'll thinking I'll add one more leaf to start out with and tune from there. The ranger main leaf is 58 inches long so I have a little work to get them under the front, but those flexed pretty well too. I'll just have to build up the pack since the 4bta is heavy in the mid section. I wire brushed and painted each leaf. The chevys are in the front and the ranger main leafs are the furthest away.

front spring mock up. The plum is the original center and since the holes are offset on the ranger springs I figure the axle will move forward 1-3 inches. I wanted to move the axle forward so this is good.

I'm doing a shackle reversal so I don't snag a shackle when approaching obstacles and the long springs will push the mounting point out to the very front.

the rear mount will be tricky since I plan on going through the frame to keep the SO low and that point of the frame just starts to curve out. The crossmember will be removed and relocated.

burned in a front channel and mocked up the spring hangers. So I bought a stepvan for the 4bta and have found that the frame has a lot of steel I can use for fabbing parts. Those hangers were made from that frame. Not bad for living in the recycling age.

you can see the plate I put in there to distribute the weight to both crossmembers on the front of the cruiser. Probably over kill but diesels do produce some good torque.

decided to commit and burn the hangers in. I'm using flux core since I'm doing this outside and am newer to welding than some of you so I usually end up touch-up grinding/flapper wheeling my welds since they aren't the nicest to look at. Paint usually improves the appearace some, or hides it in my case. I'm using a Ready welder II and really like it. Great for portability since I built a little cart to haul my batteries around with. Future plans include dual batteries in the cruiser and a connector wired in for my welder for trail repairs.

I'm out of time so I'll get more pics up tomorrow. Once I'm caught up, pics will probably come more on a weekly basis. I usually get 2 solid days to work on the cruiser on the weekend and after that I upload the pics.

Glad to finally join the ranks and build something I hope to be proud of.
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Feb 15, 2007
Santa Rosa, CA
wow i hope your one of those guys that hasta sell his rig as soon as he finishes it so he can start a new one case if yah did that i would by it.
but really it looks like you thought it out and are making good progress.

keep us posted
Jun 12, 2007
Sandy, OR
Thanks for the comments already. It's funny how having someone watching what you are doing can be motivating. In fact last night I did some more grinding. I work 12 hour days so I usually am not motivated to do much when I get home from work. So if I do get motivated I usually choose something easy like grinding or pounding. Here are some more pics to get caught up.

Pulled the hood, support, radiator, and disconnected all the little stuff that would keep the engine in


starting to lift


and it's out!


sure is a long engine


there really is alot of room in an FJ60 engine bay


here it sits until now awaiting sale


removed the brake master and booster plus the clutch master since I'm planning on running an auto. I ran a manual in my last truck and would rather wimp out with just two pedals instead of three. Plus I'm looking for it to cushion the drivetrain a little. However, the auto won't be a true auto, more on that later.


started taking off lines I won't need


more to come soon, time to do some work, the funding kind.
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Jun 12, 2007
Sandy, OR
Brokenparts thanks, I have been watching your stuff too since you are so close. It'd be great to see your rig up close to see how tall it really is. Is it close to being done from your last build-up? We'll definitely hook up an do a run sometime. I recognize some of your wheelin' pics from brown's camp. There sure are some decent trails out there, although it's been a while since I've been out there.

If Florida were closer lowtiderider, your many projects would be fun to see in person. How are you liking the open air feeling of your choptop? I don't think it'd be viable here in portland where we see colder rain, but I bet you dry off quicker after surfing.
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Apr 4, 2006
Hillsboro, OR
Brokenparts thanks, I have been watching your stuff too since you are so close. It'd be great to see your rig up close to see how tall it really is. Is it close to being done from your last build-up? We'll definitely hook up an do a run sometime. I recognize some of your wheelin' pics from brown's camp. There sure are some decent trails out there, although it's been a while since I've been out there.

If Florida were closer lowtiderider, your many projects would be fun to see in person. How are you liking the open air feeling of your choptop? I don't think it'd be viable here in portland where we see colder rain, but I be you dry off quicker after surfing.

Cool, I look foward to seeing yours all finished up and on the trails. I agree about chopping the top. If the weather/climate was different here or if I could store it indoors, I would have already chopped it. Until one of those changes... I've gotta keep the top and the big butt. Got another week or two until Big Blue is all buttoned up.

You should try to make it to the next Cascade Cruisers meeting next thursday at Buster's BBQ.


rock scientist..
Staff member
Feb 17, 2002
Las Vegas
Looks good!

Family haulers are fun :D
Jun 12, 2007
Sandy, OR
Brokenparts, is that cascadecruiser meeting thursday 6/21? What time does the meeting start and how long do they usually last (I've got a little daughter who goes to bed by 8:30 or she gets grumpy)? I thought about hooking up with you guys but figured I needed my crap back on the road. PM me any details I'd need if you cannot share them here, thanks.
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Apr 4, 2006
Hillsboro, OR
no secrets on the meetings... 7:00 every third thursday (yes to 6/21 queston :) ) of the month at Buster's BBQ in tigard just off 99 near the Baxters. Meetings are family friendly and usually dont much longer than 45mins to an hour. Alot of people hang out after and BS for awhile but getting home by that time shouldnt be a problem. The link to the local TLC "cascadecruisers" in down in my sig. Click on it and introduce yourself to the cruiserheads over there. Lots of good people from our club cruise this site too.
Jun 12, 2007
Sandy, OR
Thanks for the info, now I'm just waiting for approval to post over on the cascade forum. I'll probably link it here since I plan on keeping this my main thread. I'll plan on showing up at the meeting and shaking a few hands. And I definitely want to meet the other 4bt swapper. I've got ideas for the motor mounts and AC unit for the 4bt but it'd sure be nice to see one set up already. I also keep my eyes glued on the 4btswaps forum. Good info on this engine over there and that's where I've been getting my engine specific ideas.
Jun 12, 2007
Sandy, OR
OK so I've got a little more time to post pics. Lets get to some engine fun.

Here's what I brought home just two months ago. It started right up and was very close to my place. I had bid on a few on but did not have any luck and the prices seemed to be inflated at the time because now the vans in the NorthWest are going for much cheaper. If it's less than $3000 grand in the Northwest I think it is a good deal, at least from what I've seen for the last 8 months.


I found this one on portland's craigslist and was only the second one I'd seen since I'd been searching. Poor guy, he bought it to do a swap, found the jeep he wanted to put it in, went on vacation, came back and the jeep was stolen! So that pushed him far enough to decide to move to arizona where it didn't rain as much. So lucky for me he was selling all his stuff and that's how I picked up this one. The other lucky thing is that he neglected to state that this was the intercooled version! More power, better EGTs! Although I beleive in stock form it will easily pull my cruiser around and I don't plan on turning up the fuel screw for more power right out of the gate. I'm sure I won't be able to resist tinkering later though.

It had some shelves and stuff in it that I had to take out before I could start cutting away.


then I started going to town


more cutting


looks like the dude got stuck in the mud a couple of times. underneath was covered with caked-on mud.


that's how much I've cut off up to now. it was fun driving around the yard like this.


yanked the seat so moving it around became a balancing act pushing on the gas and brake and cranking on that steering wheel. This one did not have power steering but was easier once a lot of the body was gone.


then I drove it up to the concrete under it's own power for the last time to pull the engine.


the hoist just reached far enough to hook up. I ended up cutting that crossbrace by the tranny to make it easier since the intake elbow was hitting the top of the cowl. Many have pulled this out of an uncut van but I'm borrowing that hoist so I ended up cutting stuff first before I could get it to my place. It sure is nice when you've got some decent equipement for the job.


that's me getting some arm action on (pumping the hoist). That's why I'm called boots because I wear those things wrenching and wheeling. I'll have to get new ones soon since they are almost worn through the rubber.


Once it was up high enough it twisted inline with the hoist.


I pulled it around the front and in the shade. It's barely touching the tranny pan but nothing else. If for some reason it decided to fall I didn't want it to fall very far. I didn't have any problems but didn't mind being cautions with the heart of my engine transplant.


still have parts in there I'm going to use


I separated the tranny from the engine on the ground and then hung the engine on a stand and taped up all the openings. It was greasy so I soaked it with engine cleaner and rinsed it with my pressure washer. I sure enjoy having that pressure washer.


other side.


here's a quick shot of it a little cleaner


the idea for a larger gas tank starts here. This is the stepvan's tank. I think it's 30 plus gallons but don't know the exact amount yet, maybe someone seeing this does.


and use these crossmembers to mount it to the cruiser. I've seen tanks mounted to the body and to the frame. The cruiser is originally mounted to the body so I don't think it will be a problem to attach it to the frame. The crossmembers are shorter so I will have to lengthen them but that shouldn't be a problem. That is a 14 bolt and I was considering using it and was torn on that for a while, but I decided to run the cruiser axle instead. Running the 14 bolt I would have to run a centered Tcase, deal with the lug pattern, the width difference (I'm sticking with my FJ60 front), all of which can be solved but time and money play a part. If I snap a shaft I can always upgrade. Plus I like the offcentered diffs. If you have to plow with the front a path is already made for the rear.


driveshaft and exhaust from the stepvan


OK, I'm taking a break for now and returning to "work."
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Jun 12, 2007
Sandy, OR
Yeah, 4btswaps is a great place. Once I got the diesel bug I read just about every thread on that site! Great stuff over there. This is definitely the place for cruisers though, can't beat MUD!

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