’80 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ-40

An Old Project Given New Life

The Finished Product

This vehicle was a complete hit, making for the perfect Christmas gift. The new features, such as storage tailgate, Mud terrains, and reverse camera/navigation system updated this classic cruiser with modern features and benefits. The custom paint job and soft top went a step further, making it a visually stunning cruiser that quickly catches attention. As with every job, it was difficult to see this FJ-40 go, we loved working on this vehicle and still talk about it.


Custom Painless Wiring Harness Aqualu Aluminum Body Aqualu Aluminum Half Doors and Storage Tailgate
4″ Lift Custom Paint 33″ BFGoodrich Mud-Terrains on Factory Wheels/Hub Caps
Vortec Fuel Injected V8 with Factory 4 Speed Custom Intake Vintage Air A/C System
Custom Soft Top w/ Large Tinted Windows Reverse Camera with Navigation & Sound System Tuffy Security Console
Bestop Seats Front & Rear Custom Roll Bar w/ Padding ARB Front Bumper w/ Warn 8000lb Winch
Dakota Digital Dash  Ididit Steering Column w/ Grant Steering Wheel Rhino Lined Interior

Custom painless wiring harness

Aqualu aluminum body

Aqualu aluminum half doors and storage tailgate

4″ lift

Custom Paint

33″ BFGoodrich Mud-Terrains on factory wheels and hub caps

Vortec Fuel Injected V8 with factory 4 speed

Custom intake

Vintage air a/c system

Tuffy security console 

Bestop seats front and rear

Custom roll bar with padding

ARB front bumper with Warn 8,000lbs winch

Dakota Digital dash

Ididit steering column with Grant steering wheel

Rhino lined interior

Custom Soft Top w/ Large Tinted Windows

Reverse Camera with Navigation & Sound System

The Backstory

Salt Lake City, Utah

This vehicle came in as an abandoned project that the customer had purchased off eBay. All of the previous work was of poor quality, with parts ordered online and installed. In order to meet our company standards, almost everything had to be redone. The project started in December 2017 and took just around a year to complete. This restoration would serve as a surprise Christmas gift the following year, making it one of the most special restorations we have done so far!

Assessment & Prep Work

The Land Cruiser was dissembled in December shortly after we received it. The main priority was redoing all the previous work, this time with our level of skill and the proper parts.  We were extremely excited to be working with a soft top, something that we made custom in-house. This is the only FJ-40 with this style top we have made in-house. We also found that the body was entirely rusted out, as it was made of steel. The body, doors, and tailgate would need to be replaced in their entirety.

Body Restoration & Soft Top

Since the body was a rust box, we decided to redo the body with high-quality Aqualu aluminum. The new Aqualu body, half doors, and storage tailgate helped give the cruiser new life. Not only is aluminum less prone to rusting than steel, but it also offers better acceleration and control for the driver. The addition of an ARB front bumper (with a Warn 8000lb winch) and custom padded roll bar completed this FJ-40’s body.

The most exciting part of this project was being able to work with a soft top, something we had never had the chance to do on previous projects. As this was our first opportunity, we made sure it was of the highest quality. We included large tinted windows (instead of the smaller factory windows), and made the soft top in-house.

Painting & Accessories

Painting was the next step in this restoration, and we went with a custom black paint. This new coat of paint made the cruiser look like it was brand new, and the features we added took this a step further. Besides the winch, we added a new Dakota digital dash, Rhino lined the interior, installed Bestop seats, and a Tuffy security console. A new custom reverse camera and navigation sound system put the finishing touches on this for a nice modern update. All of the these features came out amazing!

Steering & Suspension

The original tires were replaced with new 33″ BF Goodrich Mud Terrains on factory wheels and hubcaps. These tires are perfect for tackling any challenge, especially when combined with the new winch system. We also installed an Ididit steering column with Saginaw power steering, further elevating the sense of control the customer will have when the project is completed. The axles were fully serviced with high quality components, similar to the wheel bearings, seals, and gears.

Engine & Drivetrain

The vehicle was overhauled with a 5.7L Vortex out of a 1998 Chevrolet 1500 truck, along with an Advanced Adaptors kit with the factory four speed. We decided to add disc brakes all around. The engine was in excellent condition and gave the FJ-40 some much needed power (300hp). This new build also allows us to add in the Vintage Air a/c system, something that delighted the customer.



We’re always on the lookout for the next big project. We’d love to help make your dream vehicle become a reality!



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