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Rotw/m? Lt1-62

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by LT1-62, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. LT1-62

    LT1-62

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    In an effort to try and reignite this thread (maybe ROTM would be less ambitious...), here's my truck, recently 'completed' (whatever that means).

    Here is the most stock picture I have, but it wouldve been really nice to have taken a pic when it first rolled off the auction floor on flat suspension and bald 31"s...



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    In this pic mods included 33"s, 2" lifted Dobinson springs and 2" overstock shackles. Driveline totally standard with 3F engine (4L straight toyota 6), H55F (5 speed cruiser box) & 3.7 diffs.

    So I started to get a bit itchy for a bit more pep and having read all about the tried and true 350 chev cruiser conversion, and having always wanted to own a v8, I thought why the hell not. Given the fact that you have to shell out pretty serious cash for the bellhousing adaptor kit to do the conversion I thought you at least wanna spend some bucks on a decent engine, so I invested in some newish technology.



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    The donk:

    The engine is a '95 generation II Chev 350ci LT1, fuel injected, with alloy heads rated at 305hp and 340ft lbs of torque. It was cut from an (apparently) driving '95 camaro (apparently) with 69k miles complete with loom and computer, cat and even fuel lines...

    With a new engine and all that extra power I decided I needed big new tyres and some new wheels to boot, so I got these:




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    35x12.5x15s BFG MTs and 15x10" rockcrawler wheels with 2.5" backspacing. New tyres and 10" rims with such little backspacing gave me an improvement in track width of about 6"s. I decided on 35" BFGs since this was the biggest tyre I could run with my suspension setup, and the BFGs are famed for having good offroad performance whilst maintaining good road manners.




    So if your gonna spend s***loads on an injected smallblock, chev to toyota alloy bellhousing, and new wheels and tyres, why not paint the sucker as well? And for that matter why not add new front shock towers to run some big long ranchos.

    The first pic shows the new front shock towers tacked in place.

    The second pic shows the new wheels tried on for size, as well as the first of the new paint. You can also see the shiny new bellhousing :)




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    Ranchos installed




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    Here comes the engine, wonder how many kgs that block and tackle's rated for...




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    Engine mounts tacked. The engine mounts, new rubbers, cast alloy bellhousing, new flywheel, and a large handful of weird looking associated hardware was purchased from Marks 4wd Adaptors in Aussie (www.marks4wd.com).




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    Rancho 9000 incab controller bling....




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    Off to the paint shop. The colour is matte green aka olive drab. I also considered a flat black paintjob but heard they are difficult to spray and can end up looking like s***e...




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  2. LT1-62

    LT1-62

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    Bumper fab
    I wanted to build new front and rear bumpers for a couple of reasons.

    Firstly, both the front and rear bumpers limit approach and departure angles quite drastically. It seems especially bad in the rear of these wagons because they have a big fat ass that tends to drag on things, the low slung factory rear bumper and tow bar makes it even worse. I had a factory PTO winch bumper on the front and decided to take it off. The number of places that the 400+mm platform bumper had limited me from going was greater than the number of places that the winch had saved me from, so it was gone. It also created another $500 to my budget after selling it on an auction site. Secondly, the 50mm gap left by the bodylift needed to be filled and looked stupid IMHO.


    The first pic shows the panels put back on after paint and the middle section of the front bumper fitted up for test.




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    First step to designing the bumpers was surfing the likes of this forum and others for stuff other people had done, and trying to find something I liked. Thanks to Lowtide for sending me pics of his rear bumper, kudos goes to others on this board whom I cant remember but inspired me nonetheless. After compiling a folder full of bumpers I had a general idea what I was after, so I stole a bunch of cardboard from work and got me old tape measure out.

    Having gotten in touch with my artistic self and made a cardboard template, I had a piece of 3mm steel plate folded up to my specs, and ripped into it with the grinder.




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    The folded inserts that sit inside and bolt to the chassis rails are also 3mm plate, however the strength of the bumper mounts come from the 10mm flat bar which also extends through the front of the bumper and can be used as tow points.




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    The strength of the bumper comes from 100mmx50mm steel box section that sits snugly ontop of the chassis rail mounts and runs the full length and contour of the bumper, including the side 'wings'. You can see from the above pic that I have made the bottom of the bumper start at the chassis rail, so the lowest point of the front of the truck is now the chassis, this is a VAST improvement over the factory setup, and hides the body lift nicely.




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    Unfortunately I dont have any build pics of the rear bumper but it was made a similar way. I made a cardboard template, got the steel shell folded up and then ripped into it with the grinder. The frame mounts are 10mm flatbar that extend through the bumper to serve as tow points, and inside the 3mm plate shell there is box section providing the meat of the bumper.




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    I decided to remove a crossmember that was built into the frame behind the bumper. You can see a picture of this in one of the previous 'getting painted' photos. I then chopped a few inches off the rear of the chassis rails so I could recess the bumper as close as possible to the rear of the truck whilst still providing adequate protection for the rear doors. Like the front bumper the lowest part of the truck is now the chassis rails.

    I also wanted to incorporate a removable hitch into the bumper and I found pics of one I liked on ih8mud.com, where the reciever protudes through the face of the bumper, meaning that the reciever had zero impact on rear departure angle.

    I copied this design and to make it strong I integrated the receiver into the new tube steel crossmember to replace the one I cut out. the reciever is also welded to the box section that makes up the core structure of the bumper. For the 'wings' of the bumper I used some 5mm plate steel to add some protection for the rear quarters.




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    I dont have a picture of the 30cm drop on the removable tongue but Im certainly glad its removable since it looks ridiculous.




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    Landcruisers are not renowned for the comfort of their seats (not ones built pre 90's anyway) so I installed comfy new seats to boot. Here is a picture of the super beef mounts I built. In New Zealand modified vehicles need to be 'certified' by an automotive engineer so they can be road registered. Things like seat mounts undergo close scrutiny hence the beefy design.




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    pic of the seats installed




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    The seats are from a '95? Mitsubishi Diamante. They fit perfect, JUST managing to squeeze in. They are super comfy and kinda make you forget your driving a 4 corners leafsprung vehicle with 35" mud tyres. The arm rests are awesome, this mod alone changes the whole feel of the vehicle, making bouncing around offroad and long distance driving a breeze.


    Here is a pic of the front bumper painted up, I also sprayed the grill black which looks way better IMO. Many, many thanks to my old friend Garett (aka TOY350) for sending me a bunch of parts for this build, including the flexible fender flares also shown in this pic. NZ law requires that wheels be enclosed in the guard so this was the cheapest/easiest solution to that problem...




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    In addition to adding new shock towers in the front, I also wanted to get longer shocks in the rear. Given that you are not supposed to run rancho 9000s upside down and the damper adjuster nob of the shocks hang in the breeze in the stock position, I decided to move both top and bottom shock mounts in the rear. In order to move the bottom shock mounts up to the axle case, a new crossmember had to be built that sat significantly higher than the stock top-mount cross member. We were able to make good use of the extra space under the body afforded by the 2" bodylift, putting the new cross member up as high as was possible. We even had the foresight to include extra mounts on the new crossmember if I ever decided to fiddle around with the rear suspension again (an insightful design given my propensity to fark around with stuff).


    This pic shows both the old and new lower shock mount, freshly painted. New mounts were recycled from old spring plates.




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    This pic shows the new crossmember. You can also see the old crossmember and the old top shock mount. You can appreciate how far this mount has had to move to accomodate the longer shocks and moving the bottom mounts to the axle. Also in this pic you can see the external high pressure fuel pump and the extra mounts out wide (which should come in handy if (when) I decide to spring it over).




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    Another...




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    Here is one of several interesting little problems I had to overcome when converting from my 1980s carbeurated engine to a 1990s fuel injected computer controlled engine.

    I decided to go with the stock computer on my install both because of cost, and because of the wealth of wiring/computer information regarding conversions using LT1 350 chevs (thanks to all you US hotrodders). Stock engine computers are also ALOT more sophisticated than aftermarket computers which usually means better fuel economy and more functionality, the downside being you have to deal with extra sensors if you want to retain this functionality.

    A bunch of these sensors have not been used in my install, but one that I retained was the vehicle speed sensor. The VSS tells the engine computer how fast the vehicle is going and uses this to calculate fuel mixtures and other operating parameters. For example at highway speeds the computer turns the engine fans off and when not under hard acceleration will adjust the fuel tables for economical highway driving. The VSS has a magnetic pickup and is usually located inside the gearbox, reading 40 pulses for every single turn of the driveshaft. This meant that to run the sensor on my install I had to somehow also read 40 pulses per rev of the driveshaft.

    I was reading up how to tackle this problem on the US hotrod forums and found a guy named Paul Sutton who has an LT1 in his 80 series cruiser who was asking the same questions. I emailed him to see if he had managed to solve the problem and wouldnt you know it he lived in Auckland! He had dealt with the VSS by adding a 40 tooth reluctor wheel to the output flange of his transfer case, and mounted the sensor using the transfer case cover bolts. Wouldnt you know it he had a spare wheel having originally milled up two and being a kind fellow sent me the spare one for the price of a bottle of whiskey :)

    I then had an alloy sensor mount tigged up which bolts to the rear of my transfer case (alloy to avoid signal interference with the magnetic pickup). The setup is shown in the below pics, after programming diff ratios and tyre sizes into the computer my ecu now knows how fast Im going




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  3. LT1-62

    LT1-62

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    In terms of other computer stuff for the conversion, the same kind chap who gave me the VSS reluctor wheel offered to reflash my engine computer as well :)

    The vehicle anti theft system (VATS) was programmed out of the ECU along with air conditioning and auto transmission codes. Although the LT1 uses a mass airflow sensor and a manifold absolute pressure as a backup, I chose to just run the MAP sensor.


    In terms of tuning I ordered an email 'power tune' from MADZ28.com, a camaro/corvette tuner that came highly recommended from the Camaroz28.com forums. I gave him all the specs of my engine, quoted the length of the header primaries etc and he emailed me back the tuning file and some software to flash the ECU. I also ordered a USB to serial data cable off the net and wired it into the serial data and ECU earth at the back of the ECU.

    I mounted the ECU in the glove box and now have a USB port on the dash, I can plug in my laptop and get real time data re engine operating parameters using data logging software :D

    Right this thread is getting hella-long so here's a summary of the remaining mods, and a few action pics.

    So with the engine in, suspension sorted, little rust removed and body work painted, it was time to install the exhaust, wire the bitch up and drive the sucker! I used a relay box from a nis*an sylvia (braces for flame) and used the relays and fuses in this for all the chevy related stuff, the lights/remaining toyota electrics stayed in the original toyota fuse box.

    I had custom mandrel headers made for the donk since this was an easy way to get some extra ponies and if you're gonna spend money on an engine and tyres and bellhousing kit and...errrrrr you get the idea...

    The headers run 4 into 1 and have oversize, midlength primaries that run into 3" collectors. They are HPC'd and definitely look the business, wish I hadve taken pics outa the truck but alas never got around to it. The exhaust is also 3", full mandrel with a single muffler, the bitch is LOUD, not s***ty loud but kickass thundery setoff car alarms loud. Its not overly droney on the open road but is definitely capable of making babies cry and scaring old people.

    I had a coldair box tigged up for the passenger side and am running a large pod close to the passenger guard.

    Cooling wise I used the stock cruiser rad and picked up a ford taurus electric fan off ebay for about $100 IIRC. These fans flow MASSIVE amounts of air for an electric fan and Id definitely recommend to anyone who is having problems with cooling. They are two speed fans and flow more air on low than most (more expensive fans) do on high. Other cooling stuff...the camaro radiator has multiple inlets and oulets so I had to tap the water pump housing of the LT1 to plumb back in one water line that otherwise had nowhere to go.

    I added 4runner callipers and new rotors up front, Id definitely recommend this bolt-on calliper upgrade to anyone with an 80s cruiser, the difference is night and day.

    One final mod that came after cert and after my move from the South Island to the North Island was a diff regear. My truck originally came with ultra poo 3.7 diffs, and with the 35"s one thing I was kinda dissapointed with was the gearing. Even though I had doubled my horsepower, with the WAY larger than standard tyres I pretty much had a 4-speed, since in 5th at 100kmh I was doing about 1500 rpm. I came across some (needle in a haystack) 4.56 stock landcruiser diffs in a truck being wrecked (an HJ60). Unfortunately the rear was a semifloat and my rear is a fullfloat, so I ordered new ring and pinions from the states for the rear. A mate of mine happened to be in the states at the time so I added a lockright locker to the order and he brought the whole lot over with him free of charge :)

    Setting up a diff was starting to stretch my level of mechanical expertise so I enlisted the help of my dad (the mechanic) and we spent the weekend removing, setting up, and replacing the diffs. I have JUST finished running in the new gears in the rear and the truck now drives awesome. The truck pulls alot harder and 4wd low is nice and crawley. I now sit at about 2.5k rpm at 100 kmph and my speedo is back to stock to boot.

    Thanks to Gary Waggoner for the tach correction info (and other info for that matter), this was achieved via a 50 cent 200ohm potentiometer wired inline from the coil (vs. $140 AUD kit from MARKS 4wd adaptors). Speedo correction (pre diff regear) was achieved simply by pulling the needle off and pretensioning the spring before putting back on.

    Right piccies of the final product!!!!!!


    Engine bay




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    Right header bling




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    Left header




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    Front and rear rainy pics....




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    New wheels and flares




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    Action pics! Nothing too serious...




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    Bit of squeeze...




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    Manu the 8 week old Jack Russell




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    Gettn all artistic...



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    Ceramic coated bling...




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    Well thats it (for now). Im going on a 3000km+ snowboarding and 4wding roady to the mighty South Island in less than two weeks, so hope to add a few extra wheeling pics soon. Hopefully Ive started the ball rolling and we will see ROTW/Ms on a regular basis... Cher, Matt
     
    TLC Norway likes this.
  4. Rig of Mortis

    Rig of Mortis

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    Wow....That's quite a build up, thanks for sharing.
    You've taken some wicked photographs along the way, some real eye candy and you really did your homework on designing up a clean set of bumpers.

    Great colour choice (I have the flat black), now did you fab up those fender flares or are they available for your truck over there?

    You can now enjoy many years with that 62.

    PS, I love the ambulance rear doors (never available to us over here, the grass is always greener).

    PPS, That photo of Manu is priceless - Both genders can love that photo.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2006
  5. Dirtgypsy

    Dirtgypsy

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    absolutley stunning. you have a great sense of craftsmanship and detail. look forward checking up on this thread for a while.

    dg
     
  6. LT1-62

    LT1-62

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    Gday Nicolas
    I had to import the fender flares from the US. I had some 2" flexi flares but they werent quite wide enough to enclose the tread of the tyres, and the only universal fit ones I could find were some Lebra ones on the net. So I got my old buddy TOY350 to send em over for me :)
     
  7. FJ60_cruiser

    FJ60_cruiser

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    congrats!!! really nice build up! how do you feel the 35's with that suspension setup? do they rub? I imagine that they rub but how much cause I'm planning on doing the same susp setup.

    :cheers: really nice cruiser
     
  8. LT1-62

    LT1-62

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    The suspension setup is pretty good, its nice having a low COG and at the same time good diff clearance but both the front and rear does rub under full compression. The rub is tolerable, and is not really damaging anything, but a total change in suspension is on the cards. What Id really like to do is a 4-link coiled rear and coil front. What is slightly more realstic is SOA front and 4link rear, what will probably happen is front and rear SOA. The present setup is fine for most of the kind of offroading I do and if I was honest the only reason I am looking at changing it is for the crack of it, building is the fun part of having IMO...
     
  9. FJ60_cruiser

    FJ60_cruiser

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    That's ok I'm going 35's with almost the same seutp as you but as you said my off-roading isn't that hard enough to be worried so I think that if the setup rubs but doesn't damage anything I'll go with the 35's :)

    thank's for the response
     
  10. BlueBoxFJ60

    BlueBoxFJ60

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    Love the fender flares. where u get them?
     
  11. LT1-62

    LT1-62

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    I would actually prefer not to have the flares, but the law requires them. They do keep crap off the side of your truck though, and these ones look better than most universal fit ones. Here is a link to the ones I bought, search the name/part # and you will find a bunch of online vendors for these:


    http://performance.thepartsbin.com/basket.php?makeid=25&modelid=341&year=1986&partid=70&brandid=1907

    Mine are the 3.5" ones p/n 4100100 made by Lebra

    Dont do what I did and order two sets, I thought they came as pairs but you actually get all 4 in a set :)
     
  12. hodag

    hodag

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    Great looking rig. I love the flat green. By the way, your steering wheel is on the wrong side, I figured with all the other mods, you would have addressed that issue.:D

    Good job on the write up.

    Hodag
     
  13. SLOwag

    SLOwag

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    Thanks for posting up your truck, great rig and good choice on the color. We need to get a few rigs from this forum into a sticky of 60 series and your's is definitely one of them. Long thread but I really enjoyed your writing style, I'll be bookmarking this one for future ideas.
     
  14. FJ60-Hokie

    FJ60-Hokie

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    WOW!

    What brand rims are you running?
     
  15. TOY350

    TOY350 #1 Super Guy SILVER Star

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    Nice write up Matt! Looks really good. Have fun on the South Island trip. Glad I could give a little bit of help on such a nice build. Thanks for the NZ shirts! :cheers:

    FJ60-Hokie- Those are Rock Crawlers by Pro Comp. Model #51-5183R2.5. 15x10 with reverse 2.5" back spacing which really sticks them out.
     
  16. LT1-62

    LT1-62

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    what he said :D

    Yeah stoking out on my upcoming South Island trip, got the truck back from the upholsterer this week with the custom canvas top for the TJM roof tray, and a 2 layer fitted foam mattress for the back (1 layer soft foam, 1 layer harder foam). Gonna load all our gear onto the roof and have a fully funtional bed for roady shift driving :)
     
  17. bundy18

    bundy18

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    nice truck and sweet thread
    loved reading it and will be using it in the future
    impeckable job on the bumpers
     
  18. rapovt

    rapovt

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  19. rapovt

    rapovt

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  20. agent orange

    agent orange

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    That is an awesome truck! I love the no frills, military look of it. Ive had musings of doing something similar with mine. At first the bumper looked a little massive, but it makes it really hard to tell you have so much body lift, gives me ideas for my own upcoming creation.

    What kind of camera setup do you use, those pictures are outstanding!
     
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