Reviews and Articles
Feature Rig - John Sanderson's FJ40 Landcruiser
John Sanderson always regretted selling his original 1976 Toyota
Landcruiser that he bought brand new off the lot. When he had a chance to pick
up another one, he jumped on it.
||Unlike his original Cruiser, this one has had a grocery list
of upgrades done to it to improve on what Toyota equipped it from the factory.
To start off with, the whole rig was stripped down to the frame The frame itself
was stripped and the steering box area was modified to accept a new steering box
from a 2000 Chevy Silverado 4x4. Then it was all coated with POR15 and new
wiring was installed.
|The Body was also stripped down with the tub being replaced
completely with an Aluminum version to shave off some weight and to end any rust
problems that could happen there. The wiring was completely inspected or
replaced throughout and the exterior received a fresh coat of 2003 Chrysler
Intense Pearl Blue. New body mounts and stainless steel bolts put it all back
onto the frame. The interior was insulated with new carpet, stereo, gauges, and
a grocery list of other add-ons. All door and window seals were also replaced.
Still on the list to do is to mount in some custom seats and build a center
||Axles are the original Toyota units with 3:73 gears stuffed in
both ends. The front axle is running a lock rite and the rear is currently open.
This year of cruiser normally came with 4:11 gears so to keep the lower range, a
rebuilt three speed transfer case was swapped in behind the factory four speed
transmission. New 2" lift springs were also swapped in with Hydro 8000 extended
travel shocks and the front received a shackle reversal kit to help on road
|Under the hood, the old 6 cylinder was swapped out in favor of
a warmed over 350 from a 1968 Chevelle. The Chevy V8 was upgraded with a new HEI
distributor system and topped off with an Edelbrock carburetor that gets fed
from an electric fuel pump. It also got new seals, timing chain with gears and a
new oil pump. Future plans are to upgrade to a full fuel injection system.
||Sitting right behind the engine and in front of the
transmission is a new Ranger III Overdrive unit. This provides a 27% overdrive
for the freeway. This is manually engaged via a new lever that pokes up through
the floor between the transmission shifter and the drivers leg. This also acts
as the adapter between the Chevy bell housing and the Toyota transmission.
Between the V8 engine and the overdrive, this rig cruises nicely down the
|The first obvious outside upgrade is the Milemarker 10.5K
Hydraulic winch. This runs off of the power steering pump that was robbed off of
a 1999 Chevy Silverado. The system is protected with an in line filter system.
Other upgrades include aftermarket mirrors, a seven prong trailer plug with a
With the work done so far on this FJ40 Landcruiser, it should
be performing for years to come.
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