Princess Rig: Diesel Manual Troopy-Style Pop-top Conversion and Off to Adventure

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This is Princess. So named by... some small child that loved her in a past life. She was rescued from obscurity & rot from the ancient forests of Maryland. At that time her 1FZ Powerplant was mounted in the rear Ferrari style. Well, more, “resting” than “mounted” really.

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So the original plan was to install a Mercedes Diesel OM606 that I built. Manual pump and hybrid turbo good for around 300HP and gobs of torque, hooked to a Chevy 6L80 6spd auto box. However a HDJ80 1HD-T/H151 landed in my lap and now I have a decision to make...

In the meantime, the frame is getting a "quick" cleaning of minor surface rust and a refresh for the axles/lockers/etc.

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This thread will be a slow burn. The plan is for this be a classic Overland Rig, (eventually) including a Troopy-style pop-top. I need something to replace my 400k mile Tacoma that I have spent the last 3yrs living & traveling in because I'm sick of replacing LBJs in extremely remote locations. I'm ready to replace strange new things in strange new remote locations.
 

Road Apple

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Wow...you’re not screwing around. The Mercedes diesel sounds pretty amazing. Six speed tranny, great hp and torque with comparatively good gas mileage. Win-win. Look forward to the build.
 
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I had a thread on the pros and cons of the MB Diesel vs. the 1HD-T. With a modest GTurbo setup I can get ~200HP and loads of torque. Should see about in the low to mid 20's for MPGs with that set up and the 5spd.

The bitch about the 606 is how much of it has to be fabricated and the electronic tuning/questionable reliability of the Chevy auto box.

The dead-nuts simple Toyota reliability of the 1HD-T/H151 is starting to pull me away from my original plan. But the jury is still out.

Convince me one way or the other! o_O
 
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Don't build potential problems into an originally incredible reliable vehicle.
 
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What’s the ‘rare full float frame?’ They’re both FZJ’s right? I’m probably confused. :D
 

Bama4door

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@mjosoba That was my attempt at a 80-Series joke as the entire frame is currently suspended in the air with both axles out. ;)
Very cool build. Curious where you found the HDJ80? Either power plant would be awesome, you’ve got a tough choice. Good luck on the build
 
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Doh. Of course. Here I was thinking there was some cool difference between a couple years.
 
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Very cool build. Curious where you found the HDJ80? Either power plant would be awesome, you’ve got a tough choice. Good luck on the build
The HDJ80 kind of fell in my lap unexpectedly. Well, as "unexpectedly" as anything can be when you search the classifieds for 80 stuff every morning over coffee... JDM, RHD, Diff Locks, gorgeous blue-grey velour interior but the body is rusty & crusty. It was too much to pay for a rusty 80 but cheap for a 1HD-T/H151 drivetrain. Trailered it back to WNY from the DC area.

My polling numbers are split as I am over which engine to use. Nearly 50/50. I'm sort of hoping another cheap, rust free, blown motor 80 falls in my laugh so I can build both. Lol. As if I have the time/money for that... :rofl:


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Interesting weekend rebuilding the 3x Actuators. Glad I cracked them open as all had corroded around the o-rings and 7 of 12 magnets were loose in the motors.

Thanks to Joey at Wits End (what's his handle on here again?) for the F&R rebuild kits. No one makes a kit for the center, so I'm trying to source o-rings for that right now.

It's going to be interesting to try to install the rear and clock the actuator with the axle off the truck and the harness not accessible. But I have a few days to figure that out while the epoxy sets on the magnets.

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Interesting weekend rebuilding the 3x Actuators. Glad I cracked them open as all had corroded around the o-rings and 7 of 12 magnets were loose in the motors.

Thanks to Joey at Wits End (what's his handle on here again?) for the F&R rebuild kits. No one makes a kit for the center, so I'm trying to source o-rings for that right now.

It's going to be interesting to try to install the rear and clock the actuator with the axle off the truck and the harness not accessible. But I have a few days to figure that out while the epoxy sets on the magnets.

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Hmmm my rebuild kit is waiting on me. Any tips or issues you ran into?
 
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Hmmm my rebuild kit is waiting on me. Any tips or issues you ran into?

My first tip is to read up heavily BEFORE you start. I could have saved myself a bit of hassle by reading a bit more before I got the things apart. There's a TON of info on this forum about it but not all of it is complete (hence me going down the rabbit hole half-cocked). The PDF in this link is the best resource that I found. Not heavy on photos and diagrams but has all the info you need.

Repairing Differential E-Lockers

The biggest hassles I ran into (SO FAR... they're not back in & working yet so I'll update if I need to):
-Stuck bolts/screws. The alloy these are made out of tends to corrode with the white rust and not mix well with the steel screws. I found a torch and a hammer were my best friends for getting things out in one piece. Looks like you're in CA so you'll prob just need a screwdriver and a decent playlist.
-Not measuring/marking anything before disassembly. I got it all back together but it took a lot more time this way.
-I found that the best way to clock the motors was to leave the bell off and check continuity by spinning the assembly with motor by hand. The only difficulty is making sure the motor doesn't pop up over the brushes or keep the brushes pinned back while you're clocking actuator.
-Loose magnets. As mine basically ALL came out in 2 of the bells, I figured out a bit late that orientation AND position have to be correct. As in placement in the bell AND magnetic orientation. If you only have one or two magnets fall out it's more obvious where they should sit in the bell.

Remember to give your magnets very detailed directions or they won't know which way to send your diff!
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D21FJ60

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I was wondering what happened to that truck. Saw it posted and for the price was curious as to why so cheap..

Truly lipstick on a pig. Body is White undercoat with over-spray everywhere. Very much a northern truck with rust and stuck fasteners everywhere. But the driveline is cherry. Very cool JDM stuff like adjustable height headlights and rear fog lights etc. I got it for way less than he had it posted for.
 

D21FJ60

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Truly lipstick on a pig. Body is White undercoat with over-spray everywhere. Very much a northern truck with rust and stuck fasteners everywhere. But the driveline is cherry. Very cool JDM stuff like adjustable height headlights and rear fog lights etc. I got it for way less than he had it posted for.
Then you absolutely stole that drivetrain and the goodies since he already had it at half of what any jdm truck even starts at. Congrats!!
 
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Mini Update of Sorts:

Knuckles completely rebuilt with all new bearings and RCV Axles installed. Both axle housings repainted. New Powerstop rotors.

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Frame got a final acid etch and then RustSeal paint. Still need to topcoat it. Absolutely no bloody way in hell am I ever doing that again.

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Oh and Santa came early. :santa: :cool:

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I have my Rear Coils and now the Stage 4 Icon Shocks for my Slinky Long Travel Kit. Still waiting on the Front Coils. The folks at MillCreek Overland have been as helpful as they possibly can be with some of their shipments lost in limbo in the crazy world right now.

I cannot wait until I start bolting parts back together. It has been months of teardown, cleaning, prep, paint, etc. Constant destruction. It's going to feel great to actually start bolting things back up into something resembles a truck again. lol.

Coming Soon: I get to pull the 1HDT/H151 out of the Albino Parts Pig for a refresh.
 

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