LJ78 | Family Camper Build | NZ

Joined
Jan 10, 2021
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New Zealand
Over the last 22 months, I have been rebuilding a Landcruiser LJ78 | 2LTE | ATM | 1991.

The idea behind this thread is to present learnings, build process breakdown and a lot of photos for reference.

It was an amazing opportunity as the last car I rebuild was 20 years ago (VW Beetle).

There are a few remaining items, but hoping to have my truck back on the road and ready for the first 10 day trip in October and 30 Day trip in December to January :)

My intention is to keep the thread posts in an ordered timeline and will be working on the posts during the next few weeks.

Let's kick-off with the why: It is all about building memories and adventures with my family. My daughter is 10 and my son is turning 6 shortly. The project aimed to be a family effort from the start and to get our truck ready for trips around New Zealand. Secondly, I needed a new project and some tools :)

So, in October 2020 I had the opportunity to purchase the truck with 410,000km on the clock. From the start I knew I had a lot of work, a semi set budget that has now blown the roof and I needed time, a lot of time and the willingness to learn as I progressed.

The first time I started the truck, it just started, no smoke, no hard cranking, it just went. The owner's son imported the truck about 20 years ago and he took it over. Oil changes were done every 5000km.

Here are some photos when I got the truck, the final photos will be presented at the end, so if you are following this thread you will need some patience.

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On the drive back home, I had my first issue - knuckle grease all over the place :(

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GTSSportCoupe

2LTE abuser
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Right on! Looking forward to this. I bought mine in rough shape, and built it up to be a reliable family adventure machine also. It's taken us a lot of neat places over the past decade.
 
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Looking back and where I am now with the truck, I will definitely start next time with the engine, chassis and electronics vs. starting with the interior. This was a family effort getting the interior out and cleaned :)

I ended up taking all the seats apart, washed and resprayed all parts, including dying the seat fabric. the final result was not too bad. Just took a bit of time.


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Joined
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Messages
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Location
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After the interior clean-up, it was time for a few repairs.

Sunroof:
- Replaced all four draining hoses, glass panel (old one was rusted away on the sides), cleaned and regreased the rails.

Wiper Motor:
- The motor was burned out and the only near-match I could find was from a Hilux. Ended up using the LJ78 backing plate and rebuild the motor using the Hilux wiper motor parts.

Roof:
- There was a bad spot of rust on the roof. Initially it looked small...

Windscreen:
- Ended up taking out the windscreen to remove the headliner, and found a few more surprises.

All was good at the end.


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Joined
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The next major actions were to:

- black out the interior.
- Start work on the engine.
- Start taking panels and engine parts off for the respray and where replacement / repair was needed.

I initially used Duplicolor Vinal and Fabric spray. The end result was okay, but not ideal. I then learned about SEM Paints. I can highly recommend the SEM product range for vinal and plastic, with the use of an adhesion promotor.

Herewith a few photos as the journey unfolds.

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First panels washed, sanded and primed...

Ended up making a custom spray booth with an extractor fan in my garage. Used the setup with no real issues and managed to spray all the doors and panels with ease.

The body was a different story...


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Joined
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The respray officially started in December 2021 with the intention to remove all panels and doors for individual respray.

My initial estimate was 30 days for the respray. However, the body was a front pavement job and combined with weather, family and work commitments, it took me 3 months in total to complete all parts.

I decided to go with Dynamat for sound insulation. Still need to conclude if this was a wise option.

My neighbors were awesome and ended up meeting fellow 4x4 enthusiasts in my street. Luckily for me, most of my neighbors are DIY guys, builders and plumbers, so being busy over a weekend was very normal 😊

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Name the parts :)

It feels like I have replaced every part on the truck, and I still have 2 tubs full of old parts left.

Most parts were either worn out, broken or did not operate as expected.

The intention behind the build was to end up with a truck that will last another 30 years, or longer.

Summary of key parts replaced (As per photos):

- Alternator
- Radiator
- Door rubbers
- Tailgate light
- Door hinges
- Shock
- Springs
- Door cards - replaced with ACM 3mm sheets.
- Relays
- Front bumper
- Rear bumper
- Pipes
- Gaskets
- Wiper arms - inside duct

Part 2 coming soon...


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G'day Nomad, fellow Kiwi here. Looks like you've got your work cut out there!

What are you plans for the engine? Will you stuck with the 2LTE? Mods in mind?
 
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G'day Nomad, fellow Kiwi here. Looks like you've got your work cut out there!

What are you plans for the engine? Will you stuck with the 2LTE? Mods in mind?
Hi @Peter P

Thanks for the message. No mods to the 2LTE yet, but have replaced my injectors (1 is still a bit dodgy), removed the AC and heating core (rusted up and the truck came with no compressor) and new glow plugs.

May be looking at an inter cooler later on, but the engine is perfect at 415K. No compression issues, just a bit of while smoke on cold start (due to dodgy injector).

I am basically done with the truck, just delayed in getting the photos posted :). Will upload a few now.
 
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Been moving house due to the delay in updates. Herewith a few photos of the respray.

This was my first major spray job and enjoyed it a lot! Bit of a pavement special when I sprayed the body, but the panels were done in a custom made spray booth in my garage.

Interior was Raptor coated and then insulated with Dynamat.



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Once the respray was completed, I took the truck to a friends workshop to finish up the rest.

- Bushes + Correction ones for the 2 inch lift.
- New calipers, discs and hoses.
- Correction spacers for sway bars (front and rear).
- New shiny hubs

The reason why it is on the trailer - Check my post here - LJ78 L2TE Engine not starting | Filter light ON | Pre Heat light OFF - https://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/lj78-l2te-engine-not-starting-filter-light-on-pre-heat-light-off.1278702/page-2#post-14575868

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Hi @Peter P

Thanks for the message. No mods to the 2LTE yet, but have replaced my injectors (1 is still a bit dodgy), removed the AC and heating core (rusted up and the truck came with no compressor) and new glow plugs.

May be looking at an inter cooler later on, but the engine is perfect at 415K. No compression issues, just a bit of while smoke on cold start (due to dodgy injector).

I am basically done with the truck, just delayed in getting the photos posted :). Will upload a few now.
I see... all sounds good. You're saying the engine has done 415,000kms and is still running well? The more I read and the more experience I gather of my own 2LTE, the more I think these little engines are actually well made and tough like the other Toyotas but just suffer a lot of cumulative thermal stress from a woeful cooling system and the lack of an intercooler. A small engine with too little cooling in a big truck isn't really a recipe for success. All going well I should have a water to air setup up and running in my Surf in a couple of weeks. Should be interesting!

Nice truck BTW. Old school and understated. Looks like you've added some sound deadening stuff underneath the bonnet? Have you got it running yet and has that made much of a difference to the engine noise in the cabin? Cheers
 
Joined
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I see... all sounds good. You're saying the engine has done 415,000kms and is still running well? The more I read and the more experience I gather of my own 2LTE, the more I think these little engines are actually well made and tough like the other Toyotas but just suffer a lot of cumulative thermal stress from a woeful cooling system and the lack of an intercooler. A small engine with too little cooling in a big truck isn't really a recipe for success. All going well I should have a water to air setup up and running in my Surf in a couple of weeks. Should be interesting!

Nice truck BTW. Old school and understated. Looks like you've added some sound deadening stuff underneath the bonnet? Have you got it running yet and has that made much of a difference to the engine noise in the cabin? Cheers
Thank you. 2 years in the making.

Yip, 415,000 km on the clock.

Regular service and keeping in mind it is not a racing truck helps :)

I am looking to fit this water to air system - WATER TO AIR INTERCOOLER Kit 300hp - Universal - Redline Performance - https://www.redlineperformance.co.nz/product/water-to-air-intercooler-kit-300hp-universal/

Just need to measure the spacing...

The Dynamat seems to help a bit, but may go without for the next project.
 

GTSSportCoupe

2LTE abuser
Joined
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Messages
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I see... all sounds good. You're saying the engine has done 415,000kms and is still running well? The more I read and the more experience I gather of my own 2LTE, the more I think these little engines are actually well made and tough like the other Toyotas but just suffer a lot of cumulative thermal stress from a woeful cooling system and the lack of an intercooler. A small engine with too little cooling in a big truck isn't really a recipe for success. All going well I should have a water to air setup up and running in my Surf in a couple of weeks. Should be interesting!

This is the same conclusion I've come to as well.

@nomadtribe excellent work on this project!
 
Joined
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Messages
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Thank you. 2 years in the making.

Yip, 415,000 km on the clock.

Regular service and keeping in mind it is not a racing truck helps :)

I am looking to fit this water to air system - WATER TO AIR INTERCOOLER Kit 300hp - Universal - Redline Performance - https://www.redlineperformance.co.nz/product/water-to-air-intercooler-kit-300hp-universal/

Just need to measure the spacing...

The Dynamat seems to help a bit, but may go without for the next project.
Yep, I hear ya!

That's the WTA kit I was initially thinking I'd use for my truck but decided against it in the end on two counts. 1. I had one of Redline's alloy radiators but it only last two years before it started to leak and they weren't keen on taking much responsibility for it. TBF it was outside warranty but still, two years is disappointing. And 2. I suspect the barrel types are not as effective as the crossover types. I ordered one from Frozen Boost which admittedly has worked out to be almost twice the cost. At present am waiting for it to clear NZ customs but I suspect I'm about to get stung on the GST. I'm hopeful it will be very effective though.

You might want to have a watch of this:



This is what I eventually settled on:

 

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