’70 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ-40

RESTOMOD

The Finished Product

This Land Cruiser was featured in the 2019 January/February Issue of Tread Magazine. One of the cool features of this magazine shoot was that we were able to take the cruiser to all Greg’s old 4 wheeling spots from when he was in high school. Brought back some good memories!

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VEHICLE OPTIONS

Custom L33 V8 Swap With a 4 Speed Mini Truck Power Steering Conversion KC Daylighter Fog Lights – LED
Stainless Tig Welded Exhaust w/ Flowmaster Mufflers Late Model FJ Steering Column w/ Custom Firewall Custom Exterior Beige Paint, Similar To Factory
Custom Aluminum Radiator With Electric Fans Factory Restored Interior Locking Rear Differential
Vintage Air A/C System Raptor Liner Spray-On Floor Liner Bluetooth Sound System
Dakota Digital Dash 35″ Nitto Trail Grapplers M/T with American Racing Wheels Custom Roll Bar
4″ Suspension Lift Kit Warn Locking Hubs Late Model Disc Brake Axle
CCOT Winch Bumper with Warn 8000lbs Winch

Custom L33 V8 Swap With 4 Speed

Stainless Tig Welded Exhaust w/ Flowmaster Mufflers

Custom Aluminum Radiator With Electric Fans

Vintage Air A/C System

Dakota Digital Dash

4″ Suspension Lift Kit

Late Model Disc Brake Axle

Mini Truck Power Steering Conversion

Late Model FJ Steering Column w/ Custom Firewall

Factory Restored Interior w/ Custom Roll Bar

Raptor Liner Spray-In Floor Liner

35″ Nitto Trail Grapplers M/T W/ American Racing Wheels

Warn Locking Hubs

CCOT Winch Bumper with Warn 8000lbs Winch

KC Daylighter Fog Lights – LED

Custom Exterior Beige Paint, Similar To Factory

Locking Rear Differential

Bluetooth Sound System

World of Wheels Showcase

The Backstory

New Mexico to Massachusetts

Dale had always been into Land Cruisers his whole life since he was a child and had dreams of building a truck with his father. His Land Cruiser brings back memories of when he was a child with his father, who is no longer with us. For this reason, Dale went on the hunt to find a southern rust-free Land Cruiser from Arizona. The year of the vehicle was very specific because it was the year he was born, and he liked the early Land Cruiser body features and accessories.

Some of the cool features of the early Land Cruisers were large jump seats that could hold two people, a bench seat, 3-speed column shift, vintage style emblems, unique reverse light, round taillights, chrome hood ornament, and under-seat tool compartment. The early Land Cruisers were one of a kind and built purposely as utility/off-road vehicles.

Dale’s overall goal with the FJ-40 was to make it his daily driver. So upgrading the axles, brakes, steering, suspension, engine, and transmission was a must!

Body & Prep Work

In the winter of 2017, the project began! The vehicle underwent a year and a half frame-off restoration, which included stripping the body down to bare steel, sandblasting and epoxy priming the entire vehicle, body working the frame, and spraying Eastwood chassis black to all the components. The tub was in excellent condition from living in a rust-free dry environment its whole life. Minimal metal repair was done, and the vehicle used all its original body panels. It’s very common to have rust or rusted panels on a Land Cruiser because the bodies were so prone to rusting out due to poor rust preventative measures from the factory. We did have to modify the firewall to accommodate a ’78 firewall and upgraded the ’78 FJ-40 steering column. Once the bodywork was done, we primed and seam-sealed the entire vehicle.

Paint & Floor Liner

The exterior of the vehicle was painted with a Sherwin Williams Automotive basecoat and clearcoat to a color that was original to the factory but slightly custom to our liking. Every vehicle that we restore has a custom touch from Greg’s that is different from any other cruiser! The underside of the body was painted to match the exterior for a clean, custom look. Most Land Cruisers by this age in life are undercoated to help save the vehicle, but we had to go over the top with the restoration. No expense spared! The interior floor and running boards were color-matched with Raptor lined for a durable finish.

Interior & Accessories

The interior was left stock with the factory bench front seat with an under-seat lockable toolbox. The lockable toolbox is one of our favorite components on the truck and it shows its age! The rear jump seats were modified to fit an aftermarket roll bar. Usually, the jump seats fit between the roll bar in the later model FJs, but this particular truck has extra-large jump seats. All the upholstery was restored to original and a color-matched spray-on bedliner was added for a durable and custom look. Bluetooth speakers were added as part of the sound system. We installed a Vintage Air brand air conditioning kit to the vehicle, it was one of the first FJ-40s with their new-gen IV kit on the market. We added a Dakota Digital gauge cluster for a nice custom touch.

Suspension & Steering

We added late model Toyota axles with disc brakes and 4″ SOR suspension lift. The vehicle’s firewall had to be modified to accommodate the late model Toyota steering column and Toyota mini-truck power steering box.

Engine & Drivetrain

We went with a 5.3L L33 Chevrolet Aluminum V8 to be different from all the other LS swaps. The engine has an LS1 intake, shorty headers, and Corvette valve covers. We mated the engine to a late model FJ-40 4-speed manual transmission and transfer case with Advanced Adaptors bellhousing and engine mount kit. For the vehicle’s electrical system, we built an in-house custom-made electrical harness using a universal street rod harness due to the age of the vehicle’s current wiring. No companies reproduce any wiring kits for these vehicles. We finished it off with a custom Tig welded stainless exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers.

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