ROTW: Pappy's 1969 FJ40

pappy

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Introduction.

Most guys give their rig a name. Mine is "Milli." No, it's not named after my mom, or some ex-girlfriend. My late wife gave it that name. In the summer, after it starts raining, the millipides come out. The millipide is a worm-looking thing with lots of legs. It's a slow moving crawling animal, like most Land Cruisers. The name stuck.

This project started in September 2003. I had been looking for a FJ40 project for several years. Word went around the club that there was a possible candidate in Edgewood, about an hour east of Albuquerque. Long story short, I bought the truck for $800 and dragged it home. It was later described as a "basketcase" and for the majority of the build it was known as Project Basketcase. It really was. The engine was a 2F from a 1978 with a Rochester 2 barrel carburator and 1969 manifolds. Mice, or rats, had taken up residence between the junkyard bucket seats. The 33" tires were rotten, but the rims were later cleaned up and powder coated. It had rust in all the usual places ... rear quarters, rockers, and the rear sill was gone. Nothing there. The truck was originally a Capri Blue color, but had been rattle canned black. The truck had also historically been on its side, maybe more than once. In general though, the body and frame were in good condition considering the truck's age.

As with any project I had grand asperations. None of which included a fuel injected engine. That is another story. I started out making a list of what I wanted to do. This was followed by a budget. Well, we all know what happens to budgets on projects like this. It hit the trash can fast as the project grew, and grew, and grew. There were two objectives I didn't deviate from. First, keep the truck as Toyota as possible. Second, retain the classic look of this vintage, making a few additions to improve safety, or just 'cuz. I didn't want to hack this LC up into an unrecognizable trail monster.

In a nut shell

  • July 1969 FJ40, though only the axle housings, sheet metal and frame are left from 1969.
  • 35x12.50-15 Goodyear MT/R tires on black steel rims.
  • Four wheel disk brakes.
  • Front diff: 4.10 geared in factory FZJ80 electric locker.
  • Rear diff: 4.11 fine spline gears. No-Slip lunch box locker. I want an ARB.
  • Steering arms from Luke at 4x4 Labs.
  • Drag-link and tie-rod are DOM from Marlin with FZJ80 rod ends.
  • Spring over axle conversion.
  • Knuckle cut and turn on front axle by Proffitt's Cruisers.
  • Shackle reversal in front.
  • Springs from Alcan.
  • Bumpers and sliders are garage built. I really need a winch.
  • Split transfer case from 1986 FJ60, rebuilt and regeared with Mark's 3:1 low range gears.
  • H55F 5-speed transmission.
  • 3FE Stroker (2FE) engine built by Tim Jenkins at DOA Racing.
  • 22 gallon gas tank from Northwest Metal Products
  • Wire harness from Centech and built using Weather Pack connectors.

Pic as received

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Pic as it sat at the top of Elephant Hill last month

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pappy

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Body

First thing was to get the truck cleaned up. I started out stripping off the black rattle can paint. I took the exterior of the whole truck down to bare metal using various disks on the grinder. Thank gawd I live in New Mexico because it sat bare to the world for four years, in the garage of course. It never rusted. I replaced the offending rusty parts with sheet metal from Cool Cruisers, learning how to weld along the way. Or, at least pretending to learn how to weld. The jury there is out. The grinder is still my friend, and this project consumed three DeWalts.

Fast forward a few years and I starting painting. This was done in my garage using a borrowed spray gun. The paint was cheap $9/quart Ace Hardware Rust Stop. Not a great paint. Took forever to dry. But, this was a trail truck and I didn't want an expensive paint job to fret over every time I took the project through the bushes or played on the rocks. I call the color Bushrat Beige. Ace will custom tint the paint if you bring them a sample to scan. My sample came from the Toyota family of colors. I bought a rattle can of Sierra Beige Metallic, code 4M4, sprayed it out, scuffed it up a bit to reduce the metallic sparkle, and had them scan the sample. This paint color can be found on T100, Tacoma, and 4Runner.

I painted the fenders, hood, aprons, bib, doors, tailgate, and windshield frame in the garage over multiple weekends. After awhile I tired of the project and just wanted it done and starting looking for a body shop that was willing to finish the tub using my paint. Through a connection at one of the Toyota dealers in town, I found the only shop in ABQ that was willing to accept the project. While they were more happy with the body filler than I would have liked they did a great job getting the tub painted. The underside and inside the tub was sprayed with bedliner and I'm extremely pleased with the result. The tub is sandwiched in bedliner top and bottom. The frame was powder coated black, along with much of the exterior trim. The final assembly used stainless hardware, mostly allen head bolts.

Inside I used seats from a 1991 Celica covered with Wet Okole seat covers. The center console is from Tuffy. Roll cage came pre-welded from Metal Tech. The shift instructions on the "pocket" (glove box) came from AATLAS1X with the H55F shift pattern and looks like the factory intended. The TEQ shift knob came from Mark (mmw68) at Cruiser Crap.

Pappy's Paint Shop

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Prior to Disassembly and Paint

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Rolling Chassis Prior to Body Installation

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The Back

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Shift Instructions From AATLAS1X

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pappy

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Suspension, Steering, and Brakes

The springs were moved to the top of the axle (SOA). I had Proffitt's Cruisers send me a cut and turn axle with the spring perches welded on ready to go. The springs came from Alcan and are 2 inches longer front and rear. For the front springs I also did a shackle reversal using parts from Proffitt's and the axle spring pins were moved 2 inches forward. The rear spring pins are 2 inches rearward as well. The rear shackle mount was cut off and I moved it backwards leaving the spring mount in the factory location. Wheel base is 94 inches.

Cross-over steering is from Luke at 4x4 Labs and uses the arms that place the tie-rod above and behind the axle. I did find that the OEM knuckle studs were a little short for my liking and replaced them with the longer ARP studs that Trail Gear sells. The tie-rod and drag-link were custom cut for me by Marlin Crawler and use 80-series rod ends. The flat pitman arm on the steering box came from Sky Manufacturing. Steering box is from an FJ60, and frankly, if I did this over again I would have gone Saginaw. Oh well.

I converted the four wheel drum brake system to four wheel disk. Front brakes are mini-truck/FJ60 knuckles, FJ60 vented rotors, and the larger V6 mini-truck calipers. For the rear I used the traditional Monte Carlo calipers, GM truck rotors, and brackets from Poser. The brake master is from a FZJ80 which supports the four wheel disks. The vacuum booster came from a FJ62, though I did try to fit a mini-truck V6 booster which is larger in diameter but not as tall. It did fit, but the clearance between it and the plenum was too tight. The booster was spaced from the firewall using a spacer from Mark's Off-road. The proportion valve is from Jegs and is mounted to a bracket off the master cylinder. I bent all new brake lines.

In order for the brake system to clear the engine I needed to cut out the pedal assembly and move it over three inches. I also had to bend the pedals so they were straight. Later, I found that the clutch pedal from a boneyard 1976 FJ55 was perfect for the clutch side.

On the highway this truck steers arrow straight with no bump-steer or wandering. I could not ask for a better behaving steering.

Attachments

Brake master, booster, and proportion valve.
Rear disk brakes.
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rear brakes.JPG
 
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pappy

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Tranny and Transer Case

The H55F did not fit directly in the FJ40. It required three things. First, I needed to cut out the cross-member that ran behind the 3-speed transfer case because the H55F/split case combo was significantly longer. Second, I needed a 1 inch body lift to clear the transfer case from the tub. It's still very close. And third, I needed to modify the transmission tunnel (dog house) to clear the shifter housing on the H55F. The whole thing is protected by a massive skid plate provided by Lance at Iron Pig Off-Road.

The transfer case came from a 1986 FJ60 with the 48mm idler shaft. The case was rebuilt and I installed 3:1 low range gears from Mark's 4WD out of Australia. This is an older gear set with the 8% underdrive in high range. They are also very noisy. Mark's now has a 3:1 gear set with a 1:1 high range. Even with 4.11 in the axles, 35" tires, and fifth gear the rpms are higher than they need to be. Cruising at 70mph the engine is spinning 2700rpm and it really doesn't need to. The engine has more than enough power to spin slower on the highway. Off-road the 3:1 low range is fine, but as we all know you can never be geared low enough.

Attachment

Modified transmission tunnel. You can see the extra height on top below the heater to clear the shifter cover. This truck came without shifters on the floor.
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pappy

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Fuel Delivery

The gas tank came from North West Metal Products. This was their auxiliary tank they modified for me to be a primary (fuel pickup and gauge sender). From the tank the gas is pumped by an external electric pump from Summit Racing. This pump makes the necessary 45psi for the Toyota EFI. In the near future the fuel pump will be converted to a Toyota/Denso fuel pump that was used on early 1980's Celica, Supra, and Cressida cars. The thought is to install Toyota reliability since I've already had one aftermarket fuel pump give me trouble. The pump is mounted to the rear cross-member using muffler clamps. I used the rubber isolators from the Celica/Cressida bracket to make a bracket out of 1/8" plate and 16g sheet metal. Originally, I mounted the pump directly to the frame rail and it was extremely noisy. Mounting with rubber isolators between the pump and the cross-member has made it much quieter, and I think the Celica/Cressida pump will be even quieter yet.

From the fuel pump the line runs into a 5/16" hard line on the frame to the front. The filter is mounted to the side of the charcoal canister and the flex line from the frame to the filter is from an FZJ80 (90923-01396). The same hose used on FJ62s and mini-trucks was stupid money, but the FZJ80 hose was significantly less expensive (thanks to CruiserDan for helping me "cobble" this together), and it fit the application perfect. From the filter the FJ62 hose was use up to the engine. The hard line that usually runs behind the cylinder head on FJ62s did not clear the FJ40 firewall and needed to be bent up to clear. The fuel return line is 1/4" hard line that runs along the frame to the tank.

Supply and Return Lines Routed Along Frame

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Mounted Fuel Filter

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Mounted Fuel Pump

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Cressida Fuel Pump

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pappy

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Engine

My original intent was to install a late model 2F under the bonnet. I had acquired from a fellow High Desert Cruiser his 1986 2F that was the casualty of a V8 conversion. Someplace along the way I received a phone call from 2manycruisers that there was a boneyard in Santa Fe with a FJ62 and I really needed to come up and harvest the 3FE bits for my project. He said he would help. I have no idea how I was convinced, but I don't think it took much effort on his part. At that time I only had the story written by Arron Thompson (tonkota) from Toyota Trails, so I knew it could be done. Thing is, there was no instruction manual for installing a 2FE into an FJ40. Not many, if any at that time, had been done. The challenge was on. I studied like mad, reading everything I could find, and in the end decided it really wasn't going to be too hard. The hardest part was making the engine fit in the compartment. You see, the brakes were in the way of the plenum. The solution was to move the pedal assembly over three inches.

Someplace along the way I also decided to have the engine rebuilt. I called Tim Jenkins at DOA Racing to see if he was up to the project. Tim built the 22RE in my 4Runner and I knew he was capable of building what I wanted. What was that? My instructions to Tim were to make me a "torque monster." I knew this engine was going into a trail truck. I knew the red-line on the rotating assembly was stupid low, so I didn't want the engine built for horsepower. Tim had moved from California to Nascar country and had more resources available to him than he did in California. The final product was an engine balanced to zero. Cylinders were bored .020" over. The head was ported, polished, and cc'd. The camshaft was a custom one-off. The throttle body was bored larger for obvious reasons, and the injectors were cleaned and balanced. The result was 124hp @ 3250rpm and 233 lbft @1950rpm at the rear wheels. Assuming a conservative 18% loss through the drivetrain, that equates to 151hp and 284lbft at the crank. In reality, Tim thinks the torque could be as high as 300lbft. The torque curve was nearly flat and the engine made at least 200lbft at the rear wheels between 1150rpm and 3250rpm. No, I won't say how much the engine cost.

I just came back from a trip to Moab, UT and the engine worked flawless. Plenty of torque on the rocks. The freeway drive out was very pleasant. The engine was smooth, and I easily cruised at 70mph with throttle to spare. Passing trucks at 80mph was no problem, except the fear factor of driving a tall, short wheel base truck with a twitchy rear locker that fast. Once this truck is in 5th gear it stays there.


Emissions

This truck has been de-smogged. The EGR and the smog pump are gone. The EGR holes in the intake plenum and the exhaust manifold were plugged using expansion plugs. The smog pump, which normally is the idler for the water pump, was replaced with a home built idler using a FJ62 power steering idler pulley. I did retain the charcoal canister, the PCV, and I did install a catalitic converter.


Attachments

The engine. Notice that the air tube has been modified and shortened from factory.

Instead of making a block-off plate for the EGR, I used a freeze plug. Simple, clean, cheap.
engine.JPG
egrplug.JPG
 
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pappy

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Pic in northern New Mexico the week the roll cage was installed. Half doors. Bikini top. Life is good, very good.
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Pictures on here don't do it justice. I have ridden in this amazing machine, and it is awesome. Great job! Hope my 40 doesn't take as long to finish.
 
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I really like that picture second from the top, very nice looking cruiser ! What brand is that top ? Thanks for the ROTW:cheers:
 

pappy

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Pictures on here don't do it justice. I have ridden in this amazing machine, and it is awesome. Great job! Hope my 40 doesn't take as long to finish.

Thanks Paul. Ya, six years was a bit long.

What brand is that top ? Thanks for the ROTW:cheers:

Kayline, a very old Kayline.
 

pappy

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Electrical

  • Amber lights in the front are all new OEM. This includes the turn signal/parking lights on the fenders, and the bib lights. It's amazing what is still available from Toyota.
  • Rear side markers from FJ62. These replace the rear reflectors that came on the truck in 1969.
  • Little lights replace the reflectors on the aprons. They are dual filiment bulbs wired as turn signals and parking lights.
  • Centech wire harness. I used the GV-16 fuse panel. There is nothing painless about wiring an old Land Cruiser. This is especially true when using a hot rod harness, with FJ62 wipers/lights/turn signal switches, and 1969 bits. Toss in LEDs, and oh joy.
  • The resistor on top of the heater box was removed. Instead I used a switch that had the resistor built in. The heater is now a simple two wire hook-up.
  • Weather Pack connectors throughout. I did so many of these I bought the Packard tool. I avoided splicing when I could. If it was possible to crimp on a new terminal and reuse the OEM connector, I did. A good example is the alternator.
  • Terminals were crimped and soldered.
  • LED taillights.
  • H4 headlights are e-code Hella. Those lights rock!
  • Three 12volt power points on the dash using Tacoma outlets.
  • For engine wiring see Adapting 3FE Induction to a 2F in a 1969 FJ40.


Wiring Details

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CB Installed in the Tuffy Console

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Cowl Harness On The Floor

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Ham Radio Installed

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krzyabncanuck

USFS HOTSHOT
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Between a great write up and a great truck, that truck is looking like it will go for a long time.

Great job and a sharp looking truck.
 

pappy

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Great job and a sharp looking truck.

Thanks, but it works good too.



Playing on the rocks at Moab

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Slickrock, Land Cruisers, Moab, the La Sal Mountains, wheeling with your buddies.
It just doesn't get much better.


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1911

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One of the best builds ever Jon; can't wait to see it in person.
 

DanS HJ-45

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The pictures here really don't do it justice. Not even close.

I see you got the group 31 battery installed: very nice! I've got one sitting in the shop for Dad's 40, and I will need to get one for my 45. After just returning from a 5 day trip having left my HAM on in the faux-lux, I don't think I can have too big of a battery. Starting with 11 Volts was dicey!

Steering box is from an FJ60, and frankly, if I did this over again I would have gone Saginaw. Oh well.

On the highway this truck steers arrow straight with no bump-steer or wandering. I could not ask for a better behaving steering.

Does not compute! What benefit would Saginaw be over your 60 series conversion? You can't actually want lighter steering could you? I've actually thought about putting a restrictor in Dad's truck after driving yours--it was so light and easy to steer.

Dan
 

pappy

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Dan, the issue was how the gear box mounted. I really don't like what I did with the shock. I have another idea, but it will take some fabricating I can't do. Also, off-road I didn't feel like I had enought PS, especially with the front locked. I have a new pump from CDan to go in. I rebuilt the one I had, and for the most part it held up. It did puke when I tried turning with the locker on.
 

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