ROTW ROTW- Dustin's '71 FJ40 (1 Viewer)

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Oct 19, 2004
Better late than never. :) And kind of a duplicate posting after Mels. Nice Cruiser. 71's rule!

Here's another long ramble about life with my daily driver Cruiser

May, 1971 Hard top FJ40
Purchased- October 1996, Redwood City, California

* 1992 TBI 350
* 12" flywheel with standard Chevy clutch and stock LC master and slave cylinders.
* Bob Firestien motor mounts
* Rams horn center dumps to 2.5" Spintech muffler
* Custom aluminum 2 Core crossflow radiator
* Taurus fan with home made shroud
* AIRAID vortech intake
* Locar throttle cable
* Howell harness

* Sm420
* Cast iron bellhousing
* 1972 3 speed t-case with my own fabbed cross member and thin adapter plate ( soon to have twin sticks )

* Minitruck disks, knuckles, birfs
* Rear fine spline diff
* Front coarse diff (I know, I know)
* 4:11's (I know, I know)
* Aussie locker in rear
* Rear drums ( I intend to replace with disks soon )
* Rear CV driveline with minitruck CV's from South Bay Drive Lines
* Front with minitruck CV's
* open front diff. Would like to get an e-locker for the front
* Faultline Fabrication perches
* Front axle cut and turned by Proffits
* FJ60 dual diaphram brake booster

* 101" wheelbase
* 12" Bilstein 5025's in rear
* Still running my crappy old Rancho shocks in front untill I get my Ford shock towers on
* 55 rear springs with Slipplate
* Stock 40 springs in front with Slipplate. Soon changing to 55 front springs

* 4x4 Labs high steer
* Butch Built power steering plates/ frame extensions
* Saginaw 4 turn box
* Tilt column
* Grant steering wheel

* 37" MTRs with Airsoft pellets for balance
* Stock rims widened to 10 inches

* EZ Wire 21 fuse wire kit with GM Weatherpack connectors, all soldered ends, relays throughout
* Optima Orange top battery on home made battery tray (same as a red top with poles located reverse of red top. dont buy one.)
* All new lights with 1960's round turn signals
* OEM toyota fog lights
* Halogens

* VDO Cockpit Royale electric gauges
* Wardens gauge 'panel'
* Cobra CB (the remoeable one with everything in the handset)
* Firestick antennae
* Clarion radio with tape and iPOD hook up
* Tuffy Console
* Family cage from Wicked Fabrication in Santa Clara
* PRP sport seats
* Corbeau 3 point harnesses
* OEM gas tank is about 3 years old
* New late 70's dash with light
* New heater core
* SOR carpet kit and rubber mat set.

* Ehsan OEM top and bows (I think #2 top into the states)
* Stainless cowel cover for bling- which I have a solid piece of plastic under to keep rain from pouring into the dash
* Tinted windshield is about 2 years old
* Home made front bumper
* Home made sliders.
* Rockers trimmed up about as high as I could go.
* Home made cooler rack
* Conifer skid plate soon to get tossed in the dumpster for a home made flat one.
* Crappy MAF mirrors I hope to replace soon
* $25.00 for 4 cans of Charcoal Green spray paint got me a new paint job to keep the rust at bay until it gets real paint.

* York with Kilby York bracket
* Viair 2.5 gallon air tank
* Viair air gauge
* Hot Shower (still need to get intake and outlet ends hooked up. Hopefully this week.
* Bellview winch

Stuff I have parts for but need to install:
* TJ flares. Though I may get some of those longer Man-a-fre flares
* Ford shock towers when I get my welder back
* 12" Bilstien 5025 for front
* twin sticks- I have them mostly done, just need to install. This is happening in a month or so.
* 60's bib with marker lights
* When it gets paint, install my unbent hood, other windshield frame, set of front and rear doors, and 1960's bib
* All new seals for the doors and windows- every last one of them
* rear Monte Carlo disks. Though I still need the lines, rotors, proportioning valve.

Future mods:
* Speakers put up in roll cage
* 55 front springs to move the front axle a little back. I want the front axle a little futher under the front fender. Its pulled far forward right now- which is good for approach. But I dont like the way it looks. :)
* rebuild my anti-wrap bar
* Longfields and cromo axles shafts, front fine splne
* lower gears
* Metaltech tube fenders
* new skid plate
* add rear disks using minitruck disks parts
* replace fronts with IFS calipers and LC rotors
* e-locker for front
* PAINT and rhino line interior
* rear bumper/ tire carrier

Favorite Mods:
* Cage and seats
* Power steering
* Disk Brakes

Worst Mods;
* cutting front fenders. I like the stock Cruiser look.
* MAF mirrors
* old poly gas tank I used to have

Ok, get a cup of coffee. Its a long read...

I bought the Cruiser in 1996 from an aquaintance. I think I am the fifth owner of the rig though am not positive. I know it spent many years in the Clear Lake, California area from the stack of service records in the glove box. Before that, its history is spotty.

I had sold my Willy's CJ-2A about 6 months before I bought the Cruiser and was thinking about what I would do for another rig. I wasn't actively looking for one at the time, but once I saw this Cruiser I was really interrested in getting it. I like the FJ40 body style, which is similar in ways to my old 2A, but about twice the size which is much better for hauling camping gear and a dog. It took me about 2 months to gather the cash together to pick it up. In the mean time I read everything I could about LandCruisers. I got new auto traders every week, bought every 4-wheel mag available, rummaged through all my old mags, and even looked at a couple other Cruisers to make sure I wasnt making a bad purchase.

I picked the Cruiser up on a Saturday morning around 8am. I dont think I slept more than a wink the night before. I had to tow the Cruiser home since the previous owner had redone the breaks but not adjusted them. That was an interresting experience in my beater 2wd Mazda pickup! Fortunately the hard top wasnt on it, or I may never had been able to pull or stop it.

The Cruiser was in good shape and had a couple mods that made it interresting to me like the BTB "rock finder" shackle reversal with a mild Rancho lift, Smity Built roll cage, and a tow bar. I would later hate the suspension and cage with passion. :) The rest of the rig was completely stock with a 3 on the tree and bench seats. The body had decent paint and no dents though a bit of bondo. The owner had hardly driven the Cruiser in the last 3 or so years he had owned it but had the lift and roll cage installed. The F motor had a man-a-fre header and cherry bomb exhaust. The neighbors loved me.

I got the rig home, took a step back, and took it all in. I was a very proud owner. I immediately got to adjusting the brakes, mounted the dangling aftermarket oil pressure gauge to the a-pillar, and drove it about 200 miles that day. My bud and I thought it was the most bad ass rig. No top, bombing down the open road. Every aspect of the Cruiser was novel. The kick vents, school bus steering wheel, 3 on the tree, dash knobs with hardly any indication of what they were for, and the rumbling exhaust. It was awesome. I have been fanatical about the Cruiser ever since.

Most of the mods I did were to keep it running and improve the creature comforts. Since its my daily driver, I didn't have alot of interest in turning it into a rock mobster. Every time something would break, which was very often, I would replace with new and upgrade if I could. I wanted to make it a leak proof, rattle free ride I could take on long trips to the snow and camping trips through the Rubicon, desert, and beach. I figured if a new heep can be "practical" why not a Cruiser?

It didnt take long to start replacing things. My first mod was a couple months after I bought it when the linkage for the 3-on-the tree broke and I replaced that with a stick. Then it seems like I was doing valve jobs and replacing head gaskets and manifold gaskets on the tired old F motor every other weekend because of the warped and leaky exhaust manifold. I replaced the header with probably an even worse header. Leaking side valve covers because it was coming off so often had oil leaking all over the place. Good times driving down the road with billowing clouds of burning oil behind you. I got a lot of stares driving down the road.

Finally on a trip to Tahoe- the motor blew #6. I was probably 100 miles from home when it happened. A tow home would have been too much money so I thought screw it. I turned around and drove all the way home without incident. It was exceptionally loud and I kept thinking the motor was going to blow through the hood at any moment. It was 1997. That motor hung with me for a little more than one miserable year. I have to admit that for as much attention as it needed, it didn't leave me stranded.

I looked into buying a fresh 2F, but the cost was going to be about 2k. I hated the 3 speed transmission too. I wanted a solid drive train at a good value. Butch Lewis was a good friend and I hung out at his shop alot. He turned me onto the idea of installing a Chevy 4.3 V6. He was installing them into most of the rigs he built and had one in his 40. I thought it would be a great motor for my rig. A practical, economical motor which I could get for cheap. With guidance from Butch, lots of research including living in the LCML (Mark Watley- I got alot of advice from you...)- I did my first motor conversion. My buds (fellow cruiser owners) Marc and Doug made it was a very successful conversion. I have to say- (and its said often by others) Land Cruiser people are awesome. Its a real family feel and is a major motivation for this hobby. I know the average Hummer H2 circle wouldnt have been of any use.

The conversion ended up as 1994 Chevy 4.3, Howell harness and chip, SM420 w/ plate t-case adapter, advanced Adapters propeller t-case mount. The exhaust on the 4.3 also forced me to add power steering. So I installed (Marc welded them up) a set of Butch's PS plates, saginaw box, and tilt steering column. I drove it like that with Prelude seats, mild lift, Tuffy console, front disks, and various small things for over 7 years. I kept the 33" tires on it for ever, added a roof rack on the hard top, and traveled all over.

Years went by and I probably put 200k miles on that motor. With the exception of the drive train, I have always tried to keep it looking like an FJ40. Power steering, fuel injection, and disk breaks (almost) make the Cruiser a modern day ride though. I did lots of other small mods along the way to make it comfortable and to replace breaking parts. Plus widened stock rims, OEM top for looks. I've tried to keep it looking like a LandCruiser, though have deffinitely deviated. Welding equipment opens up a whole new world of possibilities for mods too. Rock sliders, front bumper, and tire rack are my favorite ones I have done. I hope to make a nice rear bumper with a tire and cooler rack soon.

Another trip back from Tahoe motivated rewiring after driving most of the way home in the dark and without wipers. I purchased the EZ Wire 21 fuse kit and redid the Cruiser using weatherpack terminals and replaced the stock gauges with VDOs. All the electrical is on relays. Its so nice having good electrical in the Cruiser.

Two years ago another Toyota came into my life. While bombing around Pismo dunes in the 40 I ran into transmission problems. I found out that it was my own fault (isnt it always?) for not installing the clip on the back of the bottom shaft bearing when I rebuilt the SM420. A 400ish mile tow home and coming to terms with a two hour a day commute led to the purchase of a 2003 4Runner. Finally the Cruiser had its chance to rest. Last spring I decided it was time to go SOA and make it more trail rig than daily driver. So I rationalized that 37" tires would need a bigger motor, and its easier to weld up the front shackle hangers with the motor out anyway- so (this is how I spun it to my wife) I should do a V8 conversion too. My goal was to get it finished before Rubithon, which *almost* happened. This is how it ended up in its current motor and suspension configuration.

The SOA and motor conversion build thread:

In September, on my way to work in my wifes car, I got rear ended and her car was totalled. The Cruiser was immediately put back to daily driver status. This time my commute is 62 miles a day and I dig it. After the accident I had the family cage, new seat belts, and the PRP sport seats put in. Last year was a big one for the Cruiser. I still have many small projects to tie up, but its nearly there.

Future plans for the Cruiser are to turn it into a truggy. Maybe a 110" wheelbase trailer queen. We'll see. As blasphemous as it may be, if I can find a nice 70 series, I might even part with the 40 and start over.

I've had some incredible experiences your average "new car" owner wouldn't encounter while driving the Cruiser. We went on countless camping trips through California and Nevada. Its been all over the Sierras, Northern and Southern California, Oregon, and parts of Nevada. Every year I dream of making it to Moab. Its an awesome road trip camping mobile. I met my wife with the Cruiser.

Though I have spent alot of hours wrenching on it, the pay off has been awesome. Tenacity will serve you well as a LC owner. I guess when you dedicate so much to something, you enjoy its rewards more. A lot of people dont get it. I do all the work on the Cruiser myself and with friends, and am proud of how its morphed. The tinkerer/ engineer in me thrives off it. The places its able to take me are always worth the drive. The people in the LC/ minitruck community seem to share the same take on life, and I dig that. Admittingly, I am a cheap/ do-it-yourself/ stubborn person and figure if someone else can do it- I can. When I can't do it myself, I try to get the best available. Wicked Fabrication in Santa Clara built and installed the cage, Lukes steering arms are artwork, Butch's steering kits are bulletproof, Proffits turned the axle, etc. Theres alot of incredible fabricators and manufacturers in the LC community. We're pretty lucky. Jeeps are so bolt on.

So, without further ado- heres some pics. I dont have any older pics immediately available though. I am going to try to get some scanned in from photographs tomorrow. I need to dig

As she sits today. I did rattlecan paint job wtih Rustoleum Charcoal Grey a couple weeks ago until I can get real paint on. I also need to make a bumper/ tire carrier so I can ditch the 33" spare for my 37":



Out on the Rubicon SUA and 33's. R.I.P. Gate Keeper-

Deer valley SUA and 33's-

Putting in the V8 and doing the SOA. What a crazy weekend.

After the SOA and V8, but still with 33's:

VDO gauges and Wardens gauge cluster-

Cage ( I have since trimmed the front and rear fenders too)

my crude Butch Lewis (Butch Built) style t-case mount:


ButchBuilt power steering plates which also extend the frame and box it in. The bumper is mounted to caps welded to the front of the frame. I think the steel is 1/2" plate. I like this ps mount because it keeps the box flat so the swing of the pitman arm is consistent and the front of the box doesnt sit lower than the frame or interfere with the spring hanger.



Engine bay:

York (filter wasnt on at the time pic was taken..):

Hot shower parts. The shower is in but I need to make a bracket for the pickup and output lines:

I'll get more up later tomorrow and this week. Also of the hot shower and my York install. I am looking for suggestions on both. Thanks for checking it out, and hope to see you on the trail.

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I love those gauges. I guess the cruiser is ok too :D
Very nice. Cannot wait to see your take on the shower.

And personally I would use a heavier fitting for the coolant inlet and outlet side of the heat exchanger.
thanks guys. :D

For the shower, the fittings that are in the foreground on the exchanger are for the coolant side. They are solid brass. Probably could take a few hundred psi. The ones in the rear I am redoing. The exchanger has these odd sized 1" quick connect fittings that I could not source female ends for. I am redoing the plumbinb to that side and it will be leak proof when done. It works the way it is now, but I dont want to have them come lose over time.

I mounted the pump to the drivers side firewall/ floorboard between the fender and floor. And the heat exchanger in the same place but on the passenger side. They are nice and out of the way.

I also replaced a couple of the other barbed ends after going back to the hardware store. Particularly the black plastic one on the fresh water Y connector.

I am just routing the hoses out the front of the Cruiser for now. I need to make a bracket for them and my air fitting to plug into. Taking a cue from your set up, I am also running hot and cold out. Space is tight between the winch and fog light, but it should work out well. I am buiing one of those 'privacy' tents for $50.00 to keep the potty in too. I really dig your shower curtain set up. I am still exploring a way to do that too.

thanks Bandy. We stabbed the motor in an afternoon. The rest of the time it took was for cleaning the motor, hooking up wire and fuel, drive lines, exhaust, t-case linkage. I think all said and done for just the install is about 2 days.

Bob Fresteins motor mounts make it a heck of alot easier to install. You bolt them to the motor and then can rest the mounts on the frame rails. One you have the placement decided, you just drill holes and bolt or weld them on. You still need to address the rear support- but Treeroots set up also has that as a bolt on. So if youre not a welder- you could easily do this whole thing yourself. I had put the motor in and pulled it out many times myself to take various measurements.

The motor conversion I did before this one used the AA mounts. They sucked. I deliberated for many hours before welding them to the frame. Because once they are on- theres no turning back. And the pucks are garbage.

I think the SOA was more work than the motor conversion.

Great looking rig!

I was hoping for a few views of your tire carrier and antenna mount and the cooler rack... thanks!

Nice looking stuff.

Rezarf <><
GREAT wheelin pix

those wheels look forkin great..... (widenend stockers)

what is the b/s? who did the conversion? costs?

Were they rivited b4 widening?

Could rivited ones work with discs once stretched?

Kudos to you for doing the wrenching

You just can't put to words the satisfaction of being your own crew cheif
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thanks again everyone.

Rezarf - The rack and carrier are really simple The tire carrier is the stock carrier. It works, but a 33 is about as big as it can take. Plus getting to the latch is a PITA since the tire covers part of the handle. I just drilled a hole in the top and mounted the antennae through it.
The cooler rack was made from another stocker tire rack. I scavenged the hinges off it for this rack. I reinforced the back of the tub when I bolted the hinges to it, but still cringe at the fact I did it. I was desperate. :) I'll snap some pics tomorrow.

I think the wheels have 3 inch backspacing. I need to double check. They are 15" x 10". I bought them from Morgan Fletcher who had them on his pig. He got them widened in Southern California someplace. Stockton tire in Stockton California can do it too. The rims are welded. I am running disks and they work fine. Backspacing is the key. If I were to get another set made, I would probably go thinner, like 8.5". my 37's are only 12" wide. I think Gary Kardum (Mudrak) used to have some widened stockers with beadlocks. They looked way cool.

I'm just curious, where did you get the shower and how much did it cost.
And does the york air commpresser provide the pressure for the water.
These may be stupid questions, but I dig the set up. Great work man!!!!
The shower uses a self priming pump which I mounted to the firewall. Theres also pumps you can put directly in the water that are not self priming. I have a picture of the pump above. Theres also a thread about showers in the outfitting area of this site. TrollHoll did a write up on his shower and his set up is pretty slick. I got the heat exchanger from this place that sells equipment from industrial companies who have gone out of business. But you can find these heat exchangers online and ebay, etc. Deckers sells shower kits with everything you need too. I think all said and done I have 300 into it.

The York is seperate from the shower. Just for air tools and airing up tires, etc.

thanks Hawk. I wish you were making bumpers back when I made mine. I might have asked you to make me one. :) Well, making the bumper was fun though.

BTW- if anyone is wondering why I have the 3 feet of coiled rubber hose on the York, its to help let the air cool a tad before going into the seperator. the York gets super hot. I mean- really super hot. :)

dang dustin, I really like the way the rattle can turned out. It looks killer! :cool:

I read this entire thread, then re-read the build up thread and I really like the way you went with the whole rig, especially the soft top and the cage. Keep up the good work
Lookin Good...
too kewal. nice rig and kudos on the wrenchin'

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