Builds Skips FJ 35 BUILD

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Love those 45's
Jan 2, 2012
Nor Cal, Richvale,Ca
Started this project awhile back but wanted to get something done before I posted it up. I live in Northern California in the foothills above Sacramento. Started on cars when I was 14, it was a 1927 ford T bucket ford, as the years went by I had many cars that I worked on and built, Became a shop teacher in Auto and metals and the rest is history. However I got the 4X4 itch at a later age and been working on a couple of rigs, the one I am focused on now and this idea is not new to Murders is a 40 to Hybrid 45 conversion. Did a little research and came up with a idea and have been working towards this idea along with many that have been successful already here on Mud. Found a 1970 tub knowing that the back half would be cut off and built to my liking, so rust no problem. Sold off some of the parts and was into it for 1/2 of the cost and had fun to boot. So here we go with my story. As you can see this is not a cherry to start with, however I knew what parts I was looking for and this had them. All the rust was in the back part which I was removing. The rockers and floor would be replaced also so basically the front A pillar forward was in great shape. Hauled this piece home and started to work. I will post more in another frame.

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We will start of with some pics of the transition of of the tub, knew I need to cut it off at the B pillar so I got busy with saws-all and die cutter and came up with what you see in the first pic but after I got it where you see it I decided to go in another direction. The tub is about 8" longer than a stock 45, I wanted extra leg room. So I decided to make a one piece back using some of original 45 visuals. next two are of the back being fit new rockers were also welded in. next pic is of the floor being fabricated using the roller for strengthening. I wanted a one piece floor and I was able to do so with a standard 4x8 piece of sheet metal.




Aluminum... cool beans.
Have you decided on a wheelbase?
How are you going to stretch out your frame?
I'm assuming you will make your own bed also, right?
Fun stuff...
The third and final post for today will be showing the transition of the tub so you can see how it has transformed. It has been a great journey not with out it barriers however I keep moving forward. One of the first things I did was was weld in the cowl vent in this pic my friend Ron who owns North West Off Road Diesel in Athol Idaho and ol Hot Rodder gone 4X4 was helping me check out his web page multi talented. He comes down once in a while and we have a intense fabing time for about a week, 10 hours days then I keep pluging on by myself.
GW Nugget
Don't want to spill all the beans however I will say I have the frame mostly done and will have a pic section coming up soon, however It is 120'' WB and I used 2 FJ55 frames to make one.... Best
Looks like you have done your home work.
Many hours of thought & planning before execution.
Looking forward to this build.
These J4 bodies can be put together in many forms. Regular cab Extra cab, Short, Long & many inbetween configurations etc...
Excited to see how this one comes out...
Yes that is what I have discovered. Basically the 45 is the same B pillar forward and the back of the cab is changed to accommodate the pickup back. I have decided to give myself a little more leg room by 8 inches. As I unfold the build you will see how I have planed it. I own a 65 45 and it is nice to have it parked in my driveway to model after. TNX for the complements.
Thought I would post up my real 45 I got about a year and a half ago in Arizona. It was on a cattle ranch for about 15 years and wasn't driven much maybe 200 miles in all. Needless to say the dry weather was good to the body however it took its tole on the other parts seals brakes. However it is a great example of a well preserved 45. I have replaced the brakes down the line and played with other things but the previous owner swapped out the engine,trans, wiring and steering and replaced it with a 77 donner it is a great driver and will give me the fix I need till I get my hybrid going. Also it is great to have it in my driveway to model after if I need to come up with some measurements.


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Next in line is the frame as I wanted a little longer wheel base than stock and to accomodate the bed size I wanted, thinking 120" I started thinking about the possibilities and was given a green light on a FJ 55 frame in Chico and Luke over at 4X4 Labs had another one that was damaged in the front so the wheel started turning and I decided to take the two and make one. One cut long in the front half and the other the opposite. I carefully cut off all the parts and you can see the pile in the pic. next I cut the frames and proceeded to move forward. ground the welds on the inner frame plate to get the section out I wanted and managed to cut grind and weld the front and back frames together. In the process I had a inside glove made at the local metal works out of 1/4" plate tucked it inside the frame that is about 30" long and the inside outer frame plate bent also and welded in and ground. Many hours welding, didn't want to warp the rails. After grinding I came up with what you see the 55 frame like it is now. Luke at 4x4 Lab's helped me with the front plating and setting up the spring hangers to what you see. Still a few holes to weld in and make the front finish look good, however I think it will be a great platform for the Hybrid. The springs that I am using are Chev 63" in back and FJ 60 rears in front. After I get the engine in and know the weight distribution I will tailor the spring arches to match the project to get the stance I am looking for. Also I am using a 60 steering box up front along wit a 60 front end and a Rough Stuff full float rear with 60 brakes to stop the rig. There you have it friends next will be a continuation of the tub construction.


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looks great so far! you'll have 8 more inches of WB than mine and 2" shorter cab. makes for lots of good bed space.
I have looked at your build and you are doing things very similar, as you say it I am similar to yours. different moves with the same results. am thinking about going with a 45 style bed, that is if I can find one. Been checking around and maybe one out of south America but that is a long shot and expensive. A flat bed will be will most likely be in the picture.
that's why I did it. price is big if you can find one and hand making one is beyond my tool level.
Thought I would share the process of the top and how I came up with my top build. I started with a 79 top so I could have the kick out window just behind the B pillar and make it opening for extra air to come through the cab. The pics will pretty much enplane the process as to the construction of the top. so here we go.




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Also I am in the process of fitting the fiberglass top in these pics it is just rough fit as I have disassembled the drip rail off the top and will be fitting it to the new dimensions of the top as you can see in the pics. Still need to finish all of the welds on the top plenty of grinding and hammer dolly in front of me.

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You have been keeping this a secret a long time. How long has this build been going on & at what % of roadable are you?
Hey GW
It is not road worthy it is in about the same shape as you see it. However I have been working on it almost daily for a while. I started this project about year and a half and it took some time to figure what I was going to do and how to do it. I have had some help from my friend from Idaho North West Off Road Diesel when he can come down and also Luke from 4x4 Labs as explained in the first opener. my goal is to have it up on wheels this late spring and motor mounted $ willing. I gather parts and then build to use them up then save for more parts. Trying to stay focused and moving forward hope this answered your question...
Thought this would be a good time show the sandblasting of parts. They have been seen in other pics however here they are. The front clip sheet metal came out real nice not much body work will be needed and they are in primer at this point. The top back is back together as you have seen in other pics and is going together as I fit the fiberglass top and rain gutter. I keep working on the sheet metal and working out the spots that need attention. My goal is to get it as straight as possible and improve my skills. I used Precision Sand Blasting in Lodi Ca they are one of the best in the my area, very careful not to distort the metal as you can see they were just what the Dr. ordered for the preparation needed. Next will be the frame however I will have to wait till the weather turns more spring like to much moisture in the air, still plenty to do in other areas.

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