1968 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser Buildup
In 2002 I bought my classic 1968 Land Cruiser with the intention of doing a frame off restoration at some point in the distant future. Little did I know that "distant future" was only two years away, and the FJ40 rebuild has been ongoing ever since.
By the time I got my hands on Toyota FJ40, the drive-train was stock except for the 35" mud tires and"updated" paint schemes. Mechanically, it was solid, easily able to cruise the highway at 80 mph, cosmetically, on the other hand, there was a lot to be desired. The rattle can yellow was exciting, but couple that with the metallic brown hard top and what we had was a very "unique" combination. The FJ40 didn't look half bad from a distance, but under all those aluminum panels was the cancer that plagues most vehicles of this age, rust. Unfortunately for me, what appeared to be areas of surface rust, turned out to be patch panel after patch panel of stitch welding the body tub rebuild.
My goal with this site is to document our progress as we rebuild this classic Toyota Land cruiser into modern daily driver with off road capabilities. The final product will have a 2001 Chevy 5.3 from a Silverado with a NV4500 and the NP241 transfercase. The axles have been converted to Dana 60's with 4:56's and have 325/80/R16 ProComp X-Terrains mounted on Helo Maxx 8 wheels. I've got a Kayline (then STC now out of business) soft top to install at some point in the future. The new cage is 1.75", .120 wall DOM. The new custom FJ40 Land Cruiser frame was made from .120 wall 2X4 and 2X6 tube with 2X.25 steel strap along the bottom. The new/custom FJ40 dash is a 1' round tube frame, skinned in sheet metal. For the guage cluster I've got a 2002 Cadillac Escalade cluster that will be wired into the data feed from the PCM. I'll keep the Honda Del Sol seats up front and add a Jeep fold-and-tumble to the rear.
Basically what the Toyota looked like when I bought it in 2002. Not bad from 20 feet, not even that bad from the inside, but pull the carpet or crawl underneath and you'll find what appeared to be "just" surface rust.
Here's the inside of the FJ40 (Those Honda Del Sol seats actually aren't half bad)
That was before..................................... ...............................this is now!