New HJ45 Troopy Owner is Having Second Thoughts (1 Viewer)

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I just purchased a 1980 HJ45 Troopy here in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, I relied on some friends to do the prepurchase inspection so I'm now saddled with a vehicle that looks really good from a distance but suffers all the typical band aid fixes that are so common on Central American vehicles. I'm still trying to assess exactly what I've gotten myself into. It seems to run quite well but the steering is a bit sloppy. A lot of the electrical will need work. There are some obvious leaks that will need to be fixed. I've been studying the FSM for the truck as well as the H engine manual (Thanks Trollhole) to try and understand how things should be.

I'm hoping that mud members may be able to answer some questions that a I can't answer from the manuals:

The truck did not come with a spare tire or an obvious place where it should mount. There appears to be a place under the rear between the frame rails that could accept a tire but there is no sign of a tire winch ever being there. Also, there is no indication of a tire mount on the rear ambulance doors.

The exhaust is routed outside and alongside the left frame rail but then ducks under the frame rail before connecting to the muffler. It is clear that the pipe mount at the location where the pipe goes under the frame rail was a booty fab job. It looks to me that the pipe should have passed over the frame rail right next to the fuel tank before connecting to the muffler. If anyone has a photo of the proper routing, I would appreciate it.

This truck came with a minimum of options: No heater or A/C, no windshield washer. no power steering. Someday, I may consider installing a combined A/C-heater from Vintage Air but a higher priority is to address the sloppy steering. My guess is that the standard steering arrangement, with all the tie rods and stuff is prone to slop. A quick check appears to indicate the slop is spread across all of the tie rod ends, the rag joint, the gear box and that thingy {whatever its called} that changes the direction from fore and aft to side to side. Rather than try to fix the existing system, I was wondering if I could just pull the whole power steering assembly from a "parts" FJ62 (steering knuckles on out) and splice it onto the HJ. I realize that the tie rods will need to be shortened, a mount for the steering gear fabricated, the steering column spiced to the gear box, and a mount fabricated for the PS pump and reservoir. That I can do but will the FJ62 steering knuckles fit the HJ45 front axle?

Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

FJBen

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Most horror stories on mud start with: I bough this cruiser from South America...

you Probabaly have a long road of discovering many bad/cobbled/hidden issues on this cruiser.

That said, lots of options, and steering will be an easier one to piece together. Anything can be grafted on to there.
Exhaust is another easy one. Figure out how you want it run and take it to an exhaust shop.

baseline baseline baseline!
 
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So providing there isn’t rust holes you can fit your fist in, it’s not that bad.

Any 30+ Year old vehicle will need work, but the good news is most parts are available and not that expensive.

You can do a 60 series power steering conversion however it’s a little involved. Not sure what authorities are like there, but to do it properly you’ll need to weld crush tubes into the chassis rail. You’ll need to make up a custom steering shaft and ideally use a FJ55 steering column as it has a unijoiny on the end (which is easier to make a shaft fit). From memory you can use a 70 series drag link as it’s the right length.

I’ve converted a few, it works really well but does take a bit of time/effort.

Alternatively you can buy a 40 series power steering box, although they are expensive
 

tlaporte

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Regarding power steering, for me this post from @cult45 is hands-down the simplest explanation of one common method to convert the HJ47. I would think (though I'm no HJ45 expert) that the info here would apply for the most part to your truck.

As far as your spare wheel carrier, it looks like from a parts diagram that it's where you were thinking, underneath the bed between the frame rails, same as on my HJ47 troopy.
 
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Its never the mechanical things that sap you, it will be the rust. IMO the rust should be the deciding factor on whether to proceed or not. Although you seem to be leaning towards keeping it.
Mechanical problems are easier to define, and on a Landcruiser, once things like steering, suspension etc is fixed properly, it lasts a long time.
Ive found once the steering and brakes etc are done, it makes them feel new and encourages you to do more.

Rather than try to fix the existing system, I was wondering if I could just pull the whole power steering assembly from a "parts" FJ62 (steering knuckles on out) and splice it onto the HJ

Personally, I would look at keeping it stock if thats practical. Most of these parts are readily available. The steering box can be rebuilt. I guess a lot will depend on whether you want to start driving it soon or are prepared to have it on blocks for a while longer.
 
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Thanks for the responses. Fortunately, the basic body appears to be in good condition. The PO had spent a lot of effort on the body so any rust has been repaired. Only time will tell how well the body work will hold up. The PO also repaired the brakes including all new brake lines. I have no problem locking up the wheels on dry pavement. Looking over the truck makes me think that the PO had intended to do a complete restoration but after the body work was finished either ran out of money or interest and threw everything together to be able to sell the truck.

Regarding power steering, for me this post from @cult45 is hands-down the simplest explanation of one common method to convert the HJ47. I would think (though I'm no HJ45 expert) that the info here would apply for the most part to your truck.

Thanks tlaporte. This is exactly what I was looking for. 75 and 60 series parts are plentiful here in Costa Rica so I shouldn't have too much trouble rounding up the proper pieces. Not so sure about the 55 steering column.

As far as your spare wheel carrier, it looks like from a parts diagram that it's where you were thinking, underneath the bed between the frame rails, same as on my HJ47 troopy.

It looks like my HJ45 had the swing down spare carrier but I would much prefer the winch type, however, my truck doesn't have the crossmember that the winch attaches to. Looks easy enough to fabricate something.

Here is a photo of the truck:
1576635153526.png
 
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whitey45

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I think I have a cross member and winch if your interested, shipping might hurt from California! Welcome to the Troopy club. Don’t get overwhelmed, just attack each issue one at time. I definitely steer clear of any South American rigs, they got used hard, and I think when prices went up, they started to get quick botched resto’s and shipped north to unsuspecting excited buyers!
 
Joined
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I think I have a cross member and winch if your interested, shipping might hurt from California! Welcome to the Troopy club. Don’t get overwhelmed, just attack each issue one at time. I definitely steer clear of any South American rigs, they got used hard, and I think when prices went up, they started to get quick botched resto’s and shipped north to unsuspecting excited buyers!
Thanks for the cross member offer but my truck is in Costa Rica and I plan to keep it in Costa Rica. I think shipping costs would be exorbitant.
 

tlaporte

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Thanks tlaporte. This is exactly what I was looking for. 75 and 60 series parts are plentiful here in Costa Rica so I shouldn't have too much trouble rounding up the proper pieces. Not so sure about the 55 steering column.

I think the 55-series steering column is in the “nice to have” category. Many people simply cut down their 40-series steering column to the correct size.
 

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