HJ47 pickup onto an HJ78 frame?

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Sep 8, 2008
High and dry in the desert, dancing between hemisp
G'day all,

I put this on the 70 series section and there were no replies, so I am trying it here: I just bought a mostly rust-free, '82 FJ45 pickup tub and I want to do a Soenke-esque creation on an HJ78 chassis. Has anyone tried this, or does anyone have any thoughts on it? With the wealth of Cruiser knowledge on here, surely there are some good ideas.

My plan is to extend the tub 10-12" and then shorten the bed by the same length (I am 6'6", and I simply cannot fit in a factory 45). I will still need to find a pickup roof, but there is time for all of that. I have a contact who can get rolled HJ78 trucks from up north, so I would have the entire running gear: turbodiesel (hopefully), 5 speed, coil front, leaf rear, etc.

I want to build the rig here, and then bring it home with me when we move back to the Up Above. Then, I will either get a bed from AWL_TEQ or from Aqualu. I want to make this into my daily driver when I get home.:steer:

Is this lunacy? Should I simply buy the FJ45 frame and put a newer engine in that? If I do that, then I will be moving the spring perches 2" further apart and putting 60 series axles under it to get the same track as the HJ78. Is this a smarter way to go?


In the 70 section there is a post with the chassis dimentions, although it's for the 75 model i belive that the only change was for the coil front with the 78.
I was thinking of the same thing. I'm yet to check those chassis dimentions with my 45 ones, but if you want i can try and upload them for you so you can cross check them yourself.
From all the research i have been doing the only problem will be the front bib and gaurds as the cab mounts are the same (thats the part i'm yet to check but have been told they are).
Hope this helps, Matt
a).. creation on an HJ78 chassis. ..

b)Should I simply buy the FJ45 frame and put a newer engine in that? If I do that, then I will be moving the spring perches 2" further apart and putting 60 series axles under it to get the same track as the HJ78. Is this a smarter way to go?
a) you are right Josh ;) on economic view it`s lunacy !
b) would do that.
Peter (Homo Economicus...my nick says it all*):D
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_economicus
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Don't listen to Peter... he's a purist (though there is nothing wrong with that either). Soenke's build is a real work of art. I myself have a Quad-cab short box turbo V8 diesel 45 on an 80 chassis floating around in my head. It would have all modern power amenities (door locks, windows etc.). But instead of wider fenders that may look a little too wide I think I'll section the whole truck down the middle and make it 6" wider...:hmm:

now, where did I put that lottery ticket...:crybaby:

PS - I actually consider myself a purist. I prefer all Toyota parts, just not assembled in the same order is all.:D
a)Don't listen to Peter... he's a purist (though there is nothing wrong with that either).
b)Soenke's build is a real work of art....

c)now, where did I put that lottery ticket...:crybaby:

a) :D... but not the reason why I wrote.
b) sure Soenke* build a great " TAXI" but these guys travel a lot, don`t know if some of you do the same.
On economic view I would have bought a Unimog

c) that`s why I replied (you are a craftsman and able to build all that goodies,
if you can`t do that, you have to pay a lot $$$$$$ !!)
again: On economic view it`s lunacy!

* forgotten: Greets too Meckpom ;)
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Cruisers are not about economics- if they were, then we would all be really bad economists...could probably even get a job with the British or American Treasury.:)


That would be great if you could attach those dimensions- I would really like to see how similar the frames are. I compared the FJ45 fram to my Father-in-law's HJ78, and the HJ78 is very obviously wider. It may be that the mounts are similar, though. I think that the fenders/guards and grille would have to be mounted using an internal frame like Soenke did. I think that would be the trickiest part. I wish I had Awl_TEQ's skill, and I would laugh at the challenge.


Speaking of talent... I'm with you to a certain degree about being a purist (he says, conveniently ignoring the fact that his Troopy has a Vortec in it). I like the idea of making what is old new with new Toyota parts. However, I am more of an aesthetic purist- for instance, I've never been a fan of tube fenders or the Aussie tray back. I love the look of the 40 series lines just the way Toyota made them.

I'd love to see a rig which you widened. Do you recall the rig which Grants Pass Cruisers made in the early '90s? He took an FJ40 and widened it to fit on a Blazer chassis. It looked pretty cool, but there were many things I would have done differently.

Here is the tub I brought home on a trailer yesterday. Unfortunately, it fell from the side of the trailer (it was too wide to fit on the floor) and hit the floor, putting a nice, gentle bend in the side:whoops:. You can see the bend just in front of the 80 series tyre, behind the running board. It made it almost all the way home (about 1 hour), and fell off about 2 miles from home.....


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Must not be too bad - not knowing where exactly to look I can't really see it. Doesn't jump out at me anyway. Pretty good looking tub you have there Josh. No rust, just dirty in the floor boards? Have you got the rest of the cab - doors, rear wall, roof, windshield frame, that piece that connects above the doors....

Where are you planning on stretching the cab? You've seen this shot before I assume?
There is a seam where the tub wraps around from the back and then overlaps the door jamb piece at the back of the doors. This is where I would split the tub and add material, the only spot really. That seam is where the cab transitions from straight sides to narrowing as you move forward. You could make a panel with an offset in it for the back wrap and then the other end would spot weld back to the door jamb. You would have to either separate the entire back wrap from the floor/rear shelf and extend the floor or cut across the floor and weld in a filler panel. Oh yeah - just remembered yours is external fuel tank type floor. The same thing would apply I guess - do I see a seam in the floor just ahead of the fuel filler tube?? maybe you can split the floor there and add a panel in?

The rear wall of the cab is a bit different. Mine has a crease or bend in it that corresponds with the seam in the tub. I know I could saws-all the crease and add in the required material. 10-12" is enough for a window?? The roof would be hard too. I would take a steel roof (or two) and splice them together. Not easy but suits my skill set better than a custom fiberglass top. With enough hours in it the top would be perfect and the inside hidden by a headliner.

Just random thoughts...

On another note - I could easily :)rolleyes:)make a custom bed that would maintain the overall length (i.e. not change the back end) but accommodate the longer cab by moving the front of the bed rearward. Hard to tell what you really need in that regard until you have the cab on a frame. I can "slide" the wheel opening forward or back to fit your axle location as well.


I have that photo on my hard drive- I have dreamt of it for years. It was taken by Henry Cubillan (at least, that is who sent it to me about that time) at the DC swap meet in about 94 or 95 and was in the Trails at about that time. The owner is Kurt Grasso from memory. He actually took an FJ40 and spliced a Central American FJ45 onto the rear- frame and all.

I want to leave the wheelbase stock, and take the extra cab length out of the bed.

I don't have anything but this tub and a clean frame (although, after driving my Father-in-law's 2002 HZJ78 regularly, I am really keen to do an HJ78 chassis). My thoughts are to find a troopy that is rusty at the rear, and then cut that tub about 10-12" back from the seam and weld the rear of the 45 pickup cab to that. This will give me the factory troopy fuel door for the front tank, and the factory pickup fuel filler for the rear tank. I will also get all the other Cruiser bits I need- doors, etc. Then I'll have to find a pickup roof, but that will not be too hard, as there are always a few floating around at the wreckers.

This is where I get a bit worried. I think that the top itself wil be well-and-truly beyone my abilities. I will cross that bridge when I get to it. Still very much in the 'hmmm, this would be really cool' stage.


The tub is well sorted then. Just the upper walls/ back to figure out. The donor Troopy would have rear doors so you would need a rear wall and have to splice it somewhere.
do you mean hj75 troopy 85-90 4x leaf or hzj75 troopy 4x leaf 90-99 or do you mean hzj78 which is oct 99 up troopy 2xcoil 2 x leaf
I think if all you have is the tub and no other 45 parts I think you HAVE to do it. Just not an option.

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