Builds "The Survivor" 09/1990 (MY 1991) HZJ77 Refurbishment and Renewal (1 Viewer)

Onur

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Hey all:

This thread will document the refurbishment and renewal of "The Survivor" as my client @Chilly038 likes to call his 1991 HZJ77.

Mike (the owner) and I got to know each other a few years ago when he was looking for a mechanic to do some work on his HZJ77. We instantly hit if off and came up with a punch list for our first go around back in 2018. The key to this project has always been to make the truck 100% solid mechanically, functionally, while at the same time leaving the "patina" of the past 30 years completely alone. So, we wanted the little dents, scratches, dings, discolorations, and patina of the its life prior to coming to the US.

Thinking about working on a truck like this and keeping the goals in mind is way different than say doing a full restoration, or even just a paint job. Knowing when to say "ok, we need to stop here." is a bit more tricky when dealing with a truck that has to remain, visually, a "survivor" of its time period. Mike and I became fast friends as he understood my mentality to do things right, correctly and to do it using OEM parts always. He believed in the Toyota worldview. It helped that he has driven Land Cruisers and Hiluxes all throughout his deployments abroad with the US military.

The first go around in 2018, we did some critical mechanical things first:

1. Front axle rebuild including a manual hub conversion from the crappy "power hubs" the truck came with.

2. Complete brake overhaul with new calipers, pads, hardware etc.

3. Fluids and filter baselined.

The 77 already had a lift and some 40 series look-alike rims.

This is how the 77 showed up back in 2018. You can see that the truck was originally an automatic truck with the A440F transmission. This had been swapped out to an H55F by the importer before it arrive to me.

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A lot of things were in really bad shape then... trunnion bearings here.... Toasted....

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And a really damaged knuckle ball.....

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Onur

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Got a lot of things cleaned up, new OEM parts installed and were fast on our way to a completely rebuilt front end:

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Mike took back his truck and proceeded to drive it and enjoy the hell out of it. It gave him great pleasure. In the interim 3 years or so, we kept in touch and when I got back into wrenching due to COVID layoff from my aerospace gig, Mike reached back out to me to discuss round two of our refurbishment of the survivor.
 

Onur

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This time around Mike and I agreed that the overhaul would be much more comprehensive with a goal of making the the creature comforts of this truck more evident and making the driver experience more enjoyable.

As such, we decided on the following:

1. Complete interior overhaul: all mechanisms would be replaced, inside gutted out and cleaned, carpets cleaned, the driver seat installed with a new cushion and upholstery repaired. We are adding sound deadening, all new weatherstripping, stereo install with Apple Play, new speakers, etc.

2. New OEM exhaust system.

3. New H55F and transfer case rebuilt.

4. Engine refresh: timing belt and water pump and all ancillary bits, new injectors, etc.

5. Cooling system overhaul: new radiator, hoses, fan clutch, belts, etc.

6. New tires and rims.

Mike is currently deployed so the good thing was he would not be "out" his cruiser while all of this work was getting done. I picked up the truck in the fall and brought it back to my house about 2 hours north of where Mike lived.

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It was at a local service station being kept there while Mike was deployed:

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Needed a quick charge and I checked oil and out the door I went....

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Onur

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Brought the truck back and added it to my fleet of vehicles I was working on and maintaining:

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Parked behind the house for safe keeping while I worked on some other projects. I generally start the truck up every day for about 5 minutes at high idle. Then I drive it around my property and park it. This process is about 15 mins each day and keeps everything lubricated and keeps the batteries charged.

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Keep it safe out of the elements.....

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Bit on the smokey side.... It has over 267K KMs on it with a unknown maintenance past and usage history. So most likely the injectors or the IP have never been touched.

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Onur

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I have a number of projects (including two engine conversions) I work on concurrently, so there was a lot of down time between when I received the truck and when I engaged with it. The first order of business was a very detailed inspection to determine an initial parts procurement list.

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First up was new rims and tires. We went with the OEM 7x series steelies available in the US:

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Onur

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We decided on Toyo MT 255/85/16 pizza cutters. Japanese truck, Japanese tires. :)

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Mounted up:

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The perfect factory look, in my opinion. There are other rims out there, but nothing beats a factory steel rim...

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Since this was a long term project, other trucks came, stayed, and left better than they arrived.... after some spa treatments in the shop.

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Onur

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First off, I like room when wrenching. Tore apart the front clip to gain more access to the engine bay:
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Got rid of a lot of janky wiring in the engine bay and other junk....

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And man, my biggest pet peeve in working on Land Cruisers is when someone uses a crappy 13mm head (1/2") SAE bolt size. Irritates the fawk out of me. Puts me in a very bad mood. Ask my wife.

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Onur

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2nd order of business was tear down of the interior. I like working on the interior first in large scale projects like this because most of the time there is some interface with the engine compartment (in this case, the stereo) and I want to be able to have everything open for me to access systems inside and out.

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This was a smoker's vehicle in its past life, so the carpets will get power washed and then steam cleaned before reinstallation. The entire interior metal panels will be getting sound deadening as well.

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I was worried about the floor boards for corrosion. Everything actually looked great with no holes or anything. These will all get cleaned up, coated and then sound deadening installed.
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Small area of rust in the rear floor board on the LH side. I will cut this out and weld in a patch piece.

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Onur

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Also a small patch of rust with a hole in the rearmost lefthand door:

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This will also get fixed with a small patch piece. There is a small drain hole there. I will replicate that.

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As you can see, it's a bit nasty inside with 30 years of build up of the environment and other people in Japan. I'll be ridding of all of that nastiness and making things clean and new.
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Onur

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Front LH door stripped down and cleaned up:

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Door wiring harnesses stripped down and re-taped. I love using the factory Yazaki wiring harness tape. It's epic stuff. I also really like working the the Elliot fabric tape in areas of abrasion or high heat protection. All of the wiring harnesses I end up interacting with will receive a cleaning and re-taping.

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2nd order of business was tear down of the interior. I like working on the interior first in large scale projects like this because most of the time there is some interface with the engine compartment (in this case, the stereo) and I want to be able to have everything open for me to access systems inside and out.

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This was a smoker's vehicle in its past life, so the carpets will get power washed and then steam cleaned before reinstallation. The entire interior metal panels will be getting sound deadening as well.

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I was worried about the floor boards for corrosion. Everything actually looked great with no holes or anything. These will all get cleaned up, coated and then sound deadening installed.
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Small area of rust in the rear floor board on the LH side. I will cut this out and weld in a patch piece.

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I will be watching this! Sound deadening is on my list!
 

Onur

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That's where things are at now. I'm deep into disassembly and cleaning mode currently. I'll be updating this thread as I progress. Feel free to post up any questions you might have about parts or what I am doing, when I'm doing something. :lol:
 

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