My new 1990 HDJ81

TuffMudder

Still working on my FJ55!
Joined
Oct 2, 2013
Messages
756
Location
Fort Smith, AR
I bought a 1969 FJ55 several years ago and have been sloooooooowly restoring it. In the meantime I had been using our family sequoia (much to my wife's chagrin) for off reading. We have 300 acres of rick, trees and mountain that I like to spend my weekends on and it till it's toll on the old girl, so we traded her in last month (the sequoia, not my wife).

This left me without a way to get to my land and am iron pig that had aways to go before it's ready. I started looking for a cheap temporary 4 wheel drive to use until the fj55 is finished. This search led me to the previously unknown to me HDJ81. I swear, the more I read about it the more I became convinced this car was designed and built specifically for me. It eventually ended up replacing the 97 fzj80 (frame and suspension cut down for a 60 series body with a 6bt swap...what a pain right?) as my "holy grail" vehicle. I started looking and the mud fairy shined down upon me when I got in touch with a mud member selling his hdj from this build thread

DA Build, Story of the Blue HDJ81

Long story long, I bought it and after some shipping company turmoil, my new best friend arrived Monday! Man am I excited! She's the most beautiful vehicle I've ever owned and even my initially skeptical wife has fallen in love (I can't blame her skepticism as my fj55 has been a never ending process that she sees as a pile of parts that still isn't driveable).

The vehicle is completely rusty free and both interior and exterior are in excellent shape showing only the reasonable wear and tear expected in a 28 year old vehicle. Odometer reads 176k kilometers and she drives incredible well for having a 4" lift and 35" inches mudders, as in daily driver well. The prior owner told me there was an odometer discrepancy, so i'm looking in to having that corrected.

The previous owner had already done quite a bit to it. From his original message to me:

"upgrades and Recent Repairs,

Engine:

Valve Adjustment performed
Compression tested engine all cylinders at 440psi +-5psi
Valve cover gasket replaced
Intake manifold gaskets replaced
Timing belt and drive belts replaced
Big End Bearings, BEBs replaced with Taiho Bearings and new rod bolts
Injectors rebuilt with new nozzles
Injector pump sent to DFIS and was tuned and timed
Automatic Cold Start Device Eliminated ACSD
New factory fuel filter
Changed oil and factory oil filter
Air conditioning system converted to R134A, all A/C O rings replaced. Blows ice cold.
New A/C receiver drier
New OEM fuel filter

Drivetrain:

Pin 7 Mod and CDL switch to allow center diff to be locked or unlocked in high or low
Front Axle Resealed (trunnions) and front Timken wheel bearings installed
New Factory Koyo trunnion bearings installed
Upgraded front brakes with larger front reman factory calipers and factory rotors for a FZJ80
4 New Brake Hoses and Brake fluid flush
Modified load sensing proportioning valve
Longfield chromoly birfield axles installed.
New upgraded larger front axle flanges installed.
Rear Timken axle bearings replaced along with rear axle seals.
Front and rear differential oils replaced
Transfer case fluid replaced.
Radiator replaced
All radiator and heater hoses replaced with mostly Toyota factory hoses. ( Can’t get rear heater hoses without the pipes and the pipes are in good shape}
Transmission cooler hoses replaced
External transmission cooler installed
Coolant Flushed
Exhaust manifold Gaskets replaced.
New Melett turbo CHRA cartridge installed
Dawes Boost Controller currently running 11-12 psi
Glow Shift 3 in 1 Gauges installed, displays EGT, boost, and transmission temperature.
1995 LX450 Wheels refinished in graphite paint.
315/75/R16 Cooper STT Pro Tires 3000km on them including brand new matching spare
4 inch Ironman premium lift with foam cell pro shocks
Ironman caster plates
Ironman Adjustable front and rear panhard rods.
OME steering damper
New Toyota factory motor mounts
New Toyota factory transmission mount.
New front control arm bushings, Factory Toyota Parts
Whiteline 30mm spring spacers up front
Rear Whiteline lower control arm bushings.
New front Tatton dual cardan driveshaft
Factor 55 winch shackle.

Interior:

New sun visors
New ac center vents
New shift boot
All 4 window run rubber seals replaced
New hand throttle replaced
4 new Pioneer speakers
Brand new Toyota OEM front seat belts.
New rear hatch Struts"

Front LED lights

I'm not sure how long this honeymoon period will last, but I've been like a kid in a candy store since she arrived. I had forgotten the feeling that the sound of diesel engine gives me especially on startup, but quickly remembered it with that first startup. The 1hdt is a lot quieter than I expected and the diesel smell isn't bad at all.

I'll get pics and plans up later today!
 
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TuffMudder

Still working on my FJ55!
Joined
Oct 2, 2013
Messages
756
Location
Fort Smith, AR
Improvements and modifications.

Note: after taking her out in the mud and submerging the tires, I've decided to update my future plans.

Future plans:
Remote Start and door locks
Side windows 20% ceramic tint
Swap speedo to mph
Pioneer AVIC 8000nex head unit install
Front window Air80 tint
Add +15% speed adapter

Seat covers
Front seat cupholders
Rear seat cupholders
Cell phone holder

Rear seat shoulder belts
Replace cruise control sensor

Dash switch for rear dually d2's - Off-reverse-on
Dash switch to control winch from drivers seat (?)

Safari Snorkel
New airbox built around an ACDelco a3181c plate fliter with 3" intake and outlet

Front mount intercooler

White knuckle rock sliders (awaiting delivery)
4x4labs bumper (awaiting delivery) precut for Dually D2's and a backup camera (I hope) with ladder/Jerry can holder/license holder

Differential Armor
Convert to 12V starter with deep cycle accessory battery

Pin 15 mod? Probably not. See discussion in posts 60-75


Needs to be addressed
Steering slop
Drivers side lean which causes some pucker factor in curves or off camber wheeling
Transfer case easily bumps out of low on bumpy trails
 
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TuffMudder

Still working on my FJ55!
Joined
Oct 2, 2013
Messages
756
Location
Fort Smith, AR
Maintenance

All right, I will likely need some help on this, so feedback will be much appreciated. Current plan for PM is (all distances are in km):

Stanadyne fuel additive with each tank of diesel
Mobile 1 turbo diesel truck 5w-40 every 5k km's with toyota filter 90915-30002
Lucas Oil stabilizer with each oil change
Drain oil catch can every 5k
Check wheel bearing at each 5k service
Tie rod ends, inspect every 5k
Lubricate driveshaft and birfields every 5k
Transmission fluid, drain and fill every 15k
Fuel filter replace every 15k
Bushings, inspect every 15k
Differential fluids, check every 15k
Differential fluids, change every 30k
Transfer case fluid, change every 30k
Radiator coolant, flush and fill every 30k
Inspect intake and manifold gaskets every 30k
Radiator hoses, inspect every 30k
Valves, inspect for adjustment every 30k
Timing and drive belts, replace every 60k

Let me know if i missed anything
 
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TuffMudder

Still working on my FJ55!
Joined
Oct 2, 2013
Messages
756
Location
Fort Smith, AR
What I like about you...

I've long been searching for a reliable, tough vehicle, with minimal electronics and capable of being maintained by a shade mechanic. It also needed to be a diesel (despite the shade tree mechanic criteria) with a reputation for reliability and longevity. It needed to have a good off road credentials as well and of course I wanted her to look good.

I originally thought the way to go was on iron pig with a cummins 4bt diesel. While I still love the pig, they can pic up rust if you the word water. They are also hard to source parts for. That being said, I will continue working on my pig until she's up and running.

After seeing the limitation of my fj 55, I thought an triple locked fzj80 with a transplanted 6bt would be the kicker, though my mind often runs wild, so this eventually changed to an fjz80 with a shortened frame to fit a 60 series body would be even better.

When i found out i could get all of this in an HDJ81 with a toyota factory diesel, factory winch, retracting mirrors, headlight washers (both of wish i consider useful on the trail) AND a center console refrigerator capable of freezing ice!? I knew I had finally found the right vehicle.

I'm honestly not sure what there is not to like about the HDJ81. Anyone care to educate me? :D
 
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TuffMudder

Still working on my FJ55!
Joined
Oct 2, 2013
Messages
756
Location
Fort Smith, AR
Thanks @IanB. The truck is in great shape. I have quite a bit to add to my posts, but having to do it piecemeal. Hope to finish by tonight!
 
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TuffMudder

Still working on my FJ55!
Joined
Oct 2, 2013
Messages
756
Location
Fort Smith, AR
Absolutely @ZeGerman. @Crab Sack has been extremely helpful. I'm pretty sure he's eventually going to get tired of me constantly blowing up his phone with text messages, but he has kept up with replies and answered all of my questions.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
Messages
203
Location
Portland OR
I’m glad the 81 went to a Land Cruiser enthusiast. It was a fun build and it was not easy to see it go. I look forward to seeing the progress on the cruiser in the future and I will continue to build vicariously through you.
Now I need to debate building the 200, buying a boat, or just straight up burning stacks of cash. All 3 options have the same effect but which one is the most fun.
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
3,694
Location
Sydney, Australia
Nice rig. Reminds me of my old HDJ81 VX, same colour, same interior!

Now I need to debate building the 200, buying a boat, or just straight up burning stacks of cash. All 3 options have the same effect but which one is the most fun.
Boat is likely to eat cash fastest! A boat is just a convenient hole in the water to throw money into.
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
3,694
Location
Sydney, Australia
How could you let go of one of these?!?
Pretty much because I killed it.
Mine was never as clean as yours, I wheeled it fairly hard, and I tuned it up a lot when not a lot of info was available on performance tuning for these engines.
I pushed things too far, blew up a turbo, had to rebuild the engine as a result, then shortly after that, had the injection pump fail spectacularly.
Kind of too much of a bad run in short order! When things go bang, these things bleed cash fast.

Tune them right, they are tough and heaps of fun. Do it wrong and, well . . . . .
 

TuffMudder

Still working on my FJ55!
Joined
Oct 2, 2013
Messages
756
Location
Fort Smith, AR
Did this last week, but just now getting around to posting.

Went with 20% Ceramic tint


Got rid of the aftermarket japanese radio and replaced with a Pioneer Avic-8000nex which can actually tune in US radio stations!



They also added a remote start that includes door locks on the fob. Seems to be working well
 

TuffMudder

Still working on my FJ55!
Joined
Oct 2, 2013
Messages
756
Location
Fort Smith, AR
Next up, my intake manifold adapter arrived last week


And I had gotten in a cxracing intercooler the week before
CXRacing Universal Bar&Plate FMIC Intercooler 25x12x3 | eBay

I'm going to have these plumbed and installed along with a custom air intake box built around this ACDelco air filter at a local offroad shop here in fort smith.

I still need to install the cruise sensor replacement found below. Hopefully I can carve out some time for that this weekend

HALL EFFECT SENDER 12-24V 4 PULSE C6001 -
 
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