ROTW Rotw 78-fj40

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Dec 20, 2005
I’ve always enjoyed outdoor activities (fishing, camping, hiking, etc.) and about 16 years ago I bought my first 4x4, a stock 1988 Forerunner. I didn’t buy it for the sake of four wheeling, but for better access to remote fishing spots. Well, after a couple such trips, I was hooked on the driving part. After putting a winch on the Forerunner and attempting more difficult local trails, I quickly discovered the limitations of the stock Forerunner. That lead me to looking for a more capable rig. After searching for a while, I found a 1978 FJ40. It was already set up well with an SM420, 3-speed case, ARB’s, winch, and 35” tires. My intent for the 40 was to have a hardcore, but street legal rig. I liked the idea of being able to drive to the trail, run the trail, and drive home (although after 15 years of that, and with a young daughter about to hit the trails for the first time, I just bought a car hauler).

The first thing I changed was to trim the panel under the doors as high as possible for better clearance and make a diamond plate cover panel. Over the years I upgraded one thing after another until I decided to do a major overhaul. This is where I’d like to thank Poser for the recommendation of MUDRAK and Gary for his excellent work. After my 40 was “MUDRAK improved” it is now what you see below.

I only run a soft top and, with ambulance style doors, I had to install a tailgate panel. It worked fine, but made it difficult to reach anything in the back. So, my favorite “cheap mod” was to cut the panel in half and use the stock rear ambulance door hinges to create a swing open tailgate.

Next on the modification list is a full cage (in May) so I can install a back seat for my 21-month old daughter and more comfortable front seats for my wife.

Under the hood:
- Stock 6-cylinder
- Premier Power welder
- ExtremeAire 12v compressor
- ARB compressor
- Heat exchanger and pump for shower
- Optima

- SM420
- 4.0 Orion
- 4.88’s
- ARB’s front/rear
- MUDRAK built drivelines
- 96” wheelbase

- 30-spline Longfields
- Polyperformance chromo rear
- Warn hubs
- OME leafs front/rear
- Rancho adjustable shocks
- 4x4 Labs high steer
- ARP stud kit
- Larger bolt pattern knuckles
- Disc brakes front/rear
- 15x10 steel wheels
- 37x12.50x15 IROK radials
- Staun internal beadlocks

- 6-point ¾ cage
- Metal Tech tube fenders
- Metal Tech tube doors or aluminum half-doors
- Diamond plate quarter panels (removed annually for rust inspection)
- Rock sliders
- Weld-on front diff armor
- Blue Torch Fab rear diff cover
- MUDRAK t-case armor
- MAF tail light protectors
- 4-point harness belts

- AutoLoc Snake Eye headlights with integrated turn signals
- Front/rear rock lights
- Front KC off-road lights
- Back-up light

- MAF tire/cooler carrier
- Warn 8274-50
- Conn-Fer tool boxes
- CCOT center console
- Switch panel in place of ash tray
- Dual jerry can mounts
- Decker front bumper/air tank
- Borgeson steering shaft
- Saginaw power steering pump
- MAF rear fender flares
- 2.5 gallon air tank
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A couple more pics:
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A few trail shots:
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Very nice! Looks like you enjoy it.

Good luck with the new seats. Keep us posted on the install.
That's a big bad ass looking rig! Nice!
Hi All:

Very nice rig! :beer:

Thanks for sharing with us!


Sweet chrome shocks. :flipoff2:

Seriously, nice truck. I need to steal your axleshafts.
Nicely done! :)

What did you for the back up light? Drill the top plate of the SM420 for a reverse switch? Last item I need to pass inspection - bought my switch today!
I hadn't seen that type of headlights before....

might need to use that idea on my 55...

great looking rig!

Nicely done! :)

What did you for the back up light? Drill the top plate of the SM420 for a reverse switch? Last item I need to pass inspection - bought my switch today!

I don't have anything that elaborate. I simply have a light mounted under the cooler carrier and a manual switch to activate it.
nice rig..........

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