Builds My HJ 75 series ute

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Jul 31, 2016
Wellington N,S.W
Hi, new around here,
I have gotten the bug to do some outback camping & touring again & had been looking for a 4x4 for a while now, it all started when my dad gave me a bunch of old super 8 films about 12 months ago of my first outback trip away in 1977 when i was just 15, the films brought back lots of great memories from our 8 week trip across the Simpson & up the Birdsville track to Birdsville & Karumba stopping in at lots of great little towns & stations along the way, so i thought it would be great to try & do a similar trip again now some 38 years later, the first trip was done in a 60's model Landrover fitted with a 161 holden motor & a fairly overdrive box, we also towed a trailer which broke the draw bar about 100k's from Burketown, anyway that's another story & a little about my outback experience, I might try & put some of the old films onto youtube sometime down the track :)
Ok so i got the bug again and found a 1989 hj75 sitting on a farm in the paddock of a job i was doing, i asked the customer what they were doing with it & if it was for sale, the customers son owned it at the time & said he would be interested in doing a swap or barter for the work i was going to do on his parents floors, so it was a no brainer, no money had to change hands & all i had to do was sand & polish a lounge room & kitchen floor & i would become the new owner of a landcruiser ute :)
well 3 months later it was finally registered & on the road, in fact i have only driven it about 180 kilometers since getting it registered as i wanted to fix a few things that still needed attention,
this is how it looked when i found it & after putting a battery in it & driving it up to his house ready to take home once i completed the job

on completion of the job i organized to book it in to my local Toyota dealer for a blue slip inspection so that i could find out what would need to be done to get it back to a roadworthy condition & all registered again,
this is the list of things i needed to do for registration. :)

So after the inspection i got it home & started on my list of things to do :) first job was to strip the front end back to the pivots & replace all seals bearings ect.
PS the fix list was like reading a doctors script & it took me a while to read what he had written :)

more to come, lots of catching up to do & lots of pics to upload to photobucket so i can link them here, i tried the forum upload feature but it is buggy & keeps saying there was a problem uploading, so it might take me a couple of days to catch up & get it up to date with where i am at :)
most of the parts for the rebuild came from ebay at pretty reasonable prices, next on the list was to replace all of the front & rear spring eye bushes, i ordered genuine bushes through Toyota & found out after getting them that the rear bushes they sent were too small for my ute so a quick trip to Supercheap & i was able to get the correct size for the rear :)

this is the difference in size between my front & rear bushes.

As i want to fit a 2" lift kit some time down the track this will be something i need to keep in mind as most kits i have seen only have the standard size bushes.
next on list were rear shock pins, an easy fix, tick :)
then onto the front stabilizer D rubbers - i removed the near new neoprene ones that were loose under the sadles & replaced them with the correct sized ones, the red ones didn't look that bad but were the wrong size, guessing someone had replaced them not long ago with the wrong size ones.

next was the LH front tyre, well i thought instead of replacing the tyre i would just buy a set of 16x8 rims with the correct offset and fit a set of Wranglers my mate had given me until i decide on which type of tyres i want to run :) I am thinking about getting another set of rims & running the wranglers around town & on the highway & getting a set of 33" muddies for when i go away.

the right side hanbrake cable was disconected & hanging under the car, so i got a new pin & split pin & reconnected it into its position,
the wiring harness next to gearbox was hanging down, the previous owner had told me the ute used to have a duel battery system but he pulled it out as he wasn't using it, i later found that some of the wires hanging down were for the reverse lights that were also on the list of things to do, i fixed the reverse lights & taped up the rest of the wires as i am guessing they might be apart of the reason my two fuel gauges are not working, another job i still need to do,
moving on down the list, next was to replace the front tailshaft as it was sloppy in the slide joint, a new one was purchased from eBay at a reasonable price.

front brake pads were next on the list & i got a set from ebay & installed them, gotta love ebay :)

moving on to next on the list was a bolt missing in the rear of the center gearbox cross member, another easy fix, tick :)
then onto the next was the rear diff breather, I decided to just buy a diff breather kit from ebay and do both front back & gearbox, mounted them high on the firewall

next was right hand front park light, easy fix with just a globe :)
the next was the left hand guard indicator...there was none, back to ebay again :)

driving lights were next on the list, they only worked intermittent, i un plugged the wires cleaned the connections & they worked straight away, another easy fix :)
reverse lights were next on the list and were fixed using the wires hanging down around the gearbox.
next were the seat belts, they were frayed around the edges, sourced those from a wreckers in Dubbo :)
left hand mirror head was missing, got a new factory one from a second hand shop still in the box for $5 bargain :)
seat trim had a few small tears so i brought a set of cheap seat covers until i can get a good set of canvas ones.
left hand door had a small crack next to the front flipper window, quick zap with the mig & a bit of primer fixed that :)
a quick call to a windscreen supplier fixed my windscreen crack problem with a replacement windscreen.
windscreen washers weren't working, i got a pin & cleaned out the squirters on the bonnet, fix in 5 mins :)
next was the heater control, it wouldn't change between floor & screen, i thought it was broken & sourced a second hand one, but after removing most of the dashboard found that a clip had come off, while i had the dash apart i noticed there was a few rattles in the heater box, turns out it was full of everything that had fallen down the dashboard heater demister vents over the years. :)

next it was time to clean the old girl up a little, amazing what a bit of spit & polish can do, i found out through Toyota when they did the blue slip that this ute was a matching number factory blue & was factory ordered this color from new, he said it was probably the only one this color in this year model :)

I decided a couple of weeks ago i would fit new inner axle seals to the rear hubs, goit carried away & done all the seals & bearings, then fitted new brake shoes wheel cylinders shoe adjuster springs & anything else i could replace with the brakes including new drums, hopefully i won't need to touch the back hubs & brakes for a while now :) also brought a new set of front free wheeling hubs as i noticed whilst doing the frontend pivet joints one had a broken spring. i am also looking for a new set of brake backing plates for the rear.

i was having trouble starting her & the starter was kind of lazy & felt like i had a flat battery, after checking the voltage i noticed i still had 13+ volts, so back to eBay where i found a brand new starter motor for only $245 including freight, came with 12 months warranty also, I'm starting to like ebay :)

I replaced the front brake lines as they were frayed as well, mechanically everything is now pretty much sound, just a few more smaller things i want to attend to, as said earlier the gearbox was missing 5th gear & noisy so i brought this one from a Sydney eBay seller, it comes with 12 months warranty for $1500 exchange, i replaced the rear main seal, spigot bearing, & fitted the genuine Toyota clutch pressure plate & thrust bearing, so much better having 5 gears :)

this is the canopy when i got it, slowly coming along, the plan was to set it all up for camping & touring, i wanted to put a canopy on the cruiser & have a roof top tent but don't have the clearance to get into my garage so it looks like i will be sleeping in the canopy, I got this canopy off ebay for $460, i plan on extending it about 150mm it has some rust in the door frames that will need replacing & i want to remove the checker plate floor & steel beams from its underside to remove some of the weight, but it was a good solid cheap project to start out with,

a mate of mine picked the canopy up for me & drove over from Myall lakes to deliver it on the back of his patrol, we backed the two utes up to each other and slid it straight on :)
after bolting the canopy down i drove it around for a couple of weeks while i thought about what i was going to do with it, what better place to think about it than a bit of relaxing fishing at burrendong dam which is only 20 mins from my home :)
I decided to remove the diamond plate floor from the canopy with a few other changes along the way, i also removed the rear door and extended the canopy by 150mm so it now fits the full length of my tray i will be strengthening the rear section to carry my spare wheels & extending the front to house the house batteries, compressor, recovery gear & high lift jack, i am also removing all the steel sheeting and will be re skinning the canopy in flat alloy sheet once finished, still thinking up ideas :)
canopy diamond plate floor removed with a 9" grinder, just cut through all 4 corners.

then the decision was made to delete the rear door.

then i decided i would turn the canopy around and extend the area i had removed the rear door from to house the batteries, jack ect.
I welded new 50x50 around the bottom to hold it all together & was then able to remove the canopy from the back of the ute so i could continue working on it.

high lift jack now lives in its own compartment above where the house batteries will be installed, i made it so it can be lifted and slid out with one hand, it has a track each side made from timber and a ramp at the other end, so when you lift and pull it is guided up the ramp and slides between the two lengths of timber, it goes back in just as easy as it comes out, there is also room in this compartment for snatch & recovery gear.
with the floor area i decided to use 20x20 and added a section of 25x50 so that the fridge can sit in and not be able to move around, i will also have tie down points so it can't jump out of there

I have used 12mm ply for the floor which i have since coated both sides in a timber seal before covering in marine carpet.
the 100 liter 12, 24, 240 volt fridge freezer fits snugly in the recessed area i built for it.

this is the front of the box where i extended the canopy 150mm, the 21.5" TV DVD player mounts into this enclosure on a swivel bracket,

covered in marine carpet and cut out all the openings, the right side top door houses the 240 volt circuit breaker, as well as the 240 volt 15 amp caravan power inlet, the left hand top door houses the 1000 watt pure sine wave inverter, the DV-T digital free to air TV receiver with sd card slot & remote.the left hand bottom door is acsess to compressor, batteries ect, there is also going to be acsess from both sides of the canopy throgh two narrow lift up doors.the center door will be for acsess to high lift jack area incase recovery straps ect get hung up on anything :)

for house batteries i will be using 2 x 120ah slimline kickass, they measure L 397mm H287mm W112mm which will make them perfect size for this space under the high lift jack. i will run them in parallel, the will be in center of box at bottom & the compressor also mounts in the same space but off to the left, this leaves me another storag at bottom right for tools and spares.

this is a bare pic of the cavity behind the head board.

location of compressor
the kitchen area has a large lift out dog bowl for a sink & can be lifted out to use for something else or to empty, the tap has an electric pump hooked up to it and is turned on and off by a switch on the faucet, i also hooked up a master switch so if it gets bumped in transit it can't come on. under the sink area there is a 4 burner gas cooktop stove that comes out and mounts on the back of the tray & then stores back under the sink when not being used, the water pump for sink is also mounted at the back under the sink.

there is a panel that slides into place to hide the under sink area but is easily removed to gain access to the stove and other small items i will store under there.

above the sink to the right is where the travel buddy oven will be mounted, it also will have a solar powered exhaust fan and vent mounted through the ceiling above it, directly above the sink there is a storage cupboard for my melamine plates cups & cutlery ect maybe even room for breakfast cereal & coffee tea sugar ect, in the corner there is another powered box that has 8 switches for the 12 volt led's i have around the place, another double switch that is for 2 of the 4 240 volt led's for powered sites, there is a double USB charge station, a box with 2 x merit & 1 x cig power outlets, i have also munted a double pole double power point that will be hooked up to the 1000 watt inverter, also since this photo was taken i have added a few more switches, 1 for the sink pump, 1 for the bilge blower which is mounted behind the fridge to keep the fridge compressor and motor cooler on hot days, there will also be another 240 volt power point in the kitchen area for use on powered sites.

all wiring for both 240 & 12 volt is concealed in condute that runs in cavities behind the bed and cupboards and under the floor, so no chance of anything coming into contact with it and shorting wires.

all the 240 volt power runs in the square pvc channel concealed behind a wall behind the fridge and kitchen cupboard, i have an electrician coming around to hook up all the 240 stuff when i finish everything off.
this is the square pvc channel the 240 volt wiring runs through.

and this is the false wall that covers the channel, it also has the bilge blower mounted behind it that will blow air into the back of the fridge on hot days :)
on the right side of the canopy i built a slat bed with a king single mattress, very comfy :) under the bed i have 5 x 30 liter storage boxes, the bilge blower is also under the bed up against the false wall behind the fridge, there is also a small cavity at the end of the bed between the front wall and the bed which is big enough to store a bbq plate, also i have about a 4" space between the top of the storage boxes the length and width of the bed which could be used to store pillows tarps & extra blankets ect and if need be there will be plenty of storage space on top of the mattress if i need to take a little more with me on a trip :)

above the bed i built a cupboard to put my phone, keys ect at night, on one end it has a narva 12 circuit fuse box, it also houses the Bluetooth stereo, a switch panel with built in circuit breakers a UHF radio...why ? i thought it would be handy to monitor at night :) there is also another duel USB charge station & a single merit outlet,..still to be installed, there is a led light mounted inside the cupboard with a switch on the front panel near the stereo, all the wiring from the fuse box to all accessories runs along the floor of the cupboard & there will be a false floor making a cavity over them, all other wires from the fuse box run to various places throughout the canopy via a network of condute, i have also run a hdmi cable across the roof of the canopy then down through the back of the cupboard and it exits just under the cupboard where i have my tablet mounted using Velcro, the led gauge at top right of cupboard is the remote for the 1000 watt inverter, then i have the Redarc battery management system mounted just under the cupboard, the remote for this is mounted on the front wall on the RH cupboard door, all wiring for the BMS goes through the wall into a cavity wall on the kitchen side then back through condute to where the house batteries will be mounted, the wiring for the BMS Remote travel across the roof cavity and down into the right hand cupboard on the front wall, the BMS is not fully wired up as yet, i am waiting until i get closer to finished before i buy the house batteries as i don't want them sitting around & not being used.

the HDMI cable runs to the 21.5 " full HD TV with built in DVD player, it also has USB & AV input, outputs, it was cheap so i had to have it, just $99 from Target :) the TV is also 12 volt 3 amp 36 watt

the big white switch on the RH cupboard door is the main switch for the 240 inlet, it has a red light on it so i can see if the power is on or off, inside the cupboard i have a circuit breaker, i am probably going to install another one for the 240 led light circuit, will discuss this with the electrician when he comes to wire up the 240 volt power for me.
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I am looking at a fitting a bat wing style awning with an annex wall & floor, I have also been looking at the sliding acrylic caravan windows with screens to mount in both side doors, and was also thinking of some type of opening sunroof hatch with a fly screen as well, still dreaming up ideas as i go, everything i have done so far has been just made up as i go, some things i had to change until i got it right but there has been very little planning, its like i think something up and just try it lol. I will be pulling both canopy doors apart next as the 2 lift up door frames have some rust in them, this will give me a chance to see where i might be able to install a couple of sliding windows and what size i will be able to fit, I have also brought some of the double sided bubble foil insulation that will cover most of the outside before i sheet everything in aluminum sheets, everything is still a work in progress at this stage

Fantastic build mate! Great work on getting it all up to scratch, it's monotonous work. The canopy looks really well setup.

I saw a troopy in Carnarvon in that colour with the 80s graphics down the side (so not a respray), I'd never seen that colour before or since until now!

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