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Thread: 78 Land Cruiser "The Land Crusher"

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    78 Land Cruiser "The Land Crusher"

    Well I couldn't leave well enough alone. After a few months of searching I found an fj40 worth pulling the trigger on. She's rusty, runs like poo, and is missing some bits but overall is a good start. Still trying to decide whether to trail rig it or make a light duty wheeler. Either way I'm hoping to "refurbish" it as a restore is crazy money. Held out for a 78 to get a 2F engine and 4 speed transmission. They also have disk brakes up front and fine spline pinion gears for strength. Didn't want a v8 and needed one with a solid frame which this one has, so it fit the bill. Lots of welding sheet metal in my future, also a tcase re-seal and finding some original parts.


    Here she is loaded up to come home
    94 4runner SAS Elocked 35's
    78 FJ40 35's
    15 Ram 2500 Cummins 6spd

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    Now that's cool, Ron
    1990 YJ, 350 sbc, AX15/231, Tom Woods SYE & shaft, Dana 44's F&R, 5.13's, detroit lockers, 3.5" springs, 1"bl, 1/2" boom shackles, 35" MTR's, Warn 8274, overland bound member #3644

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    Sweet! I'll be keeping an eye on this one. My dad has owned a '71 since around 1973 and it's currently sitting in my shop waiting to be restored with under 60k on the clock.

    I will make one request........get rid of the round CJ fender flares on the back and go back with the original square shape!
    Brad
    '90 Blazer - 6.2 diesel, 700r4, Dana 60, 14 bolt, locked, 39.5" Super Swamper TSLs, winch, rollcage, yada, yada, yada......

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    Thanks Ron, Got it running in about 15min while still on the trailer, but it seems like the electric fuel pump cant keep up with the Holley double barrel carb and the factory mechanical is shot. Runs fine while idling but driving only lasts 1 minute or so. This may be an act of futility but I'm trying to go back to original parts so I'm looking at a new OEM fuel pump, a new (non emissions) carb and air filter assembly.

    I spent a couple hours over the weekend installing the rear ambulance doors and removing a mixture of household wiring and scary splices/random wires under the dash and hood. Slightly less scary now, but only critical systems work (starts/charges and horn works...). The cruiser came with 35s and a spring lift, I didn't necessarily want to go that large I was thinking more in the 33x10.50 range.

    Short term plan is to try to get it running, stopping and not leaking as much in time for the club picnic so I can putt around some, but who knows what will happen. I only work an hour or so here and there when the little one is napping, projects are fun but I'm not going to give up any time with my son. He did witness the first start of the old cruiser and immediately smiled and made sounds reminiscent of "vroooom, vrooom..". Poor guy there's no hope for him already!
    Last edited by mtnbiker4evr13; 05-05-2016 at 03:26 PM. Reason: specified carb
    94 4runner SAS Elocked 35's
    78 FJ40 35's
    15 Ram 2500 Cummins 6spd

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    Sweet! I'll be keeping an eye on this one. My dad has owned a '71 since around 1973 and it's currently sitting in my shop waiting to be restored with under 60k on the clock.

    I will make one request........get rid of the round CJ fender flares on the back and go back with the original square shape!
    Actually the CJ flare is only on the driver's side, the passenger side has a cruiser correct bushwhacker squared flare. This one says 79,985 on the odo but who knows if it rolled over.
    94 4runner SAS Elocked 35's
    78 FJ40 35's
    15 Ram 2500 Cummins 6spd

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    Whats on it for a fuel filter? I've had really good luck with my weber carb, what did they originally run? Ron
    1990 YJ, 350 sbc, AX15/231, Tom Woods SYE & shaft, Dana 44's F&R, 5.13's, detroit lockers, 3.5" springs, 1"bl, 1/2" boom shackles, 35" MTR's, Warn 8274, overland bound member #3644

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    Quote Originally Posted by LAR-308 View Post
    Whats on it for a fuel filter? I've had really good luck with my weber carb, what did they originally run? Ron
    Nothing currently... but it does have a newish poly gas tank. It would have originally came with a Aisin carb with some smog stuff, there are some new pretty good quality ones being sold sans emissions that I'm considering. Still need to track down a factory air cleaner assembly as well. The Holley seems to run fine when it has fuel in the bowl so its not a pressing issue, getting fuel to it, installing seats, replacing dry rotted tires, replacing crunched brakelines, and sealing the Exxon Valdez of a tcase will be on the short list.
    94 4runner SAS Elocked 35's
    78 FJ40 35's
    15 Ram 2500 Cummins 6spd

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    I still have all of the old Man-O-Fre and Spectre parts catalogs from when you used to be able to buy just about every single bolt and bracket for these. Unfortunately most of the stuff is no longer available new but I can look stuff up or shoot diagrams over if you need them.
    Brad
    '90 Blazer - 6.2 diesel, 700r4, Dana 60, 14 bolt, locked, 39.5" Super Swamper TSLs, winch, rollcage, yada, yada, yada......

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    I have a couple of web sites that have carb parts for older carbs. I'm a little short on parts for old fj40. Let me know if I can help, Ron
    1990 YJ, 350 sbc, AX15/231, Tom Woods SYE & shaft, Dana 44's F&R, 5.13's, detroit lockers, 3.5" springs, 1"bl, 1/2" boom shackles, 35" MTR's, Warn 8274, overland bound member #3644

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    I still have all of the old Man-O-Fre and Spectre parts catalogs from when you used to be able to buy just about every single bolt and bracket for these. Unfortunately most of the stuff is no longer available new but I can look stuff up or shoot diagrams over if you need them.
    It seems like I’m late to the party on the FJ40 craze but that’s okay. I am pleasantly surprised every time I look at the cruiser so that’s an awesome feeling compared to my other failed project (f250) that was sold to fund this one. I have a nearly new Edelbrock carb but its 500cfm which would probably be enough for a pair of 2F’s… and a good electric choke electric choke Edelbrock that is also too big.
    Here are some more pictures of it.
    2F goodness



    Yay rear floor!

    Both jump seats are decent, hardtop sides are pretty solid as is the glass and vent windows

    Surprisingly clean front axle and lift springs ~4in I'd guess with stance on 35s

    Transmission hump needs work as do the front floors


    Stock steering wheel in good shape and the horn works… literally only electrical thing that does im guessing missing and foil wrapped fuses may be the culprit. Going over wiring schematics to track down cut wires but the harness looks salvageable.
    94 4runner SAS Elocked 35's
    78 FJ40 35's
    15 Ram 2500 Cummins 6spd

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    Updates!

    Its home cuddled up with Fiona, hope the barn gook and moss isn't contagious

    PO found a tree

    Yay for carpet glue!

    Unsure of the "original" color but she wore 653 Olive Green and this light blue. The green was over some 1/2" thick bondo in places so im guessing that was refurb #1 blue was #2 and black rattle can was #2.5

    Crusty windshield frame, but so is everything else. Fits right in!

    Top sides are surprisingly good, wonder whats under the diamond plate...diamonds?

    Nope, not diamonds...

    Better than I expected though

    First new part is a sending unit for the gas tank A) to fill the gaping hole you can see from the drivers seat which is a little unsettling and B) to maybe read fuel levels... maybe.

    2 ignition switches... 1 key.. and not the one you want, but it does work and doesn't cost $140 so it'll work for now.


    So I have been tinkering here and there with the cruiser. Figured out the carb was a Holley 4306 that was OE on a 70's or 80's Dodge 318... sweet... and I have been trying to get it to run for more than a minute under load with no luck. Also discovered the factory electronic distributor (78 was the first year for this) was removed and a distributor with points put in its place... sweet... . Have a carb, intake, and air cleaner in route off of a 79 2F, also seat brackets and a tank cover, and a carb off of a 76 (maybe 76) and a distributor. A lot of ands in that last one but I found them from multiple sellers on IH8MUD.com Always good to have backups even if I don't use them. I've been researching replacement steel panels and thinking about going back to 653 Olive Green (wife says its an acquired taste) as beige is a bit too common.

    I did sell every samurai part I owned and some other odds and ends to start getting the parts I need for this project. Kind of bitter sweet seeing all those parts hauled off, some I have owned since I was 16 and came off of my first samurai that started it all. It was similarly rusty and PO'd till it was abandoned much like this one... funny how that works. The cruiser is currently sitting without carb, waiting to rebuild the 79 carb and de-smog it. Hopefully the next update will read "and it runs!!!" but will likely be followed by "and then it died".
    94 4runner SAS Elocked 35's
    78 FJ40 35's
    15 Ram 2500 Cummins 6spd

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    I was hoping the next post would read "it's getting a turbo". In all seriousness it looks cool make it run and lets beat on it.
    1988 Suzuki Samurai,SPOA, 31x12.50 boggers, 15x10 Eagle 589s, 6.5:1 T-case gears, H shift pattern in t case. F/R lockers, diff guards, rocksliders, custom bumper w/ 5500LB winch, power steering, rear disc brakes, Sony CD player and 6.5" speakers, 300 watt amp, and 10" sub.

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    It runs!

    And then it died.

    Time for updates!
    Installed a new FUJI carburetor(made in Japan but less $$$ than new Aisin) and promptly filled it with crud but once cleaned it ran decent. I had to track down all the factory throttle linkages and a gas pedal to replace the modified setup, sadly the 79 pedal has the wrong bend for the linkages and needs more massaging to work correctly. Installed a new water pump, fan clutch, intake/exhaust manifold gasket, used turn signal lights, new taillights(wiring needs work), and cleaned all connections at the fuse box. It also got some hunter green rustoleum to cover the flat black/leaf outline camo thing it had going.



    I was doing longer and longer drives on the backroads and got to drive it ~20 miles on fathers day with the doors off which was really cool. Cleaning the fuse box got the gauges working and I rebuilt a melted light switch/harness with wires from an old samurai harness. I do have a problem with the #4 cylinder not firing which is looking like a valve issue hopefully. Still a long way to go but its getting better as I tinker here and there.
    94 4runner SAS Elocked 35's
    78 FJ40 35's
    15 Ram 2500 Cummins 6spd

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    Nice work, We'll see you at Barkcamp in the fj40, rite? Ron
    1990 YJ, 350 sbc, AX15/231, Tom Woods SYE & shaft, Dana 44's F&R, 5.13's, detroit lockers, 3.5" springs, 1"bl, 1/2" boom shackles, 35" MTR's, Warn 8274, overland bound member #3644

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    I would be surprised if it makes it, there are still some items needed that are just going to have to wait for $$ to complete. tcase output seals, brakes, bearings, u-joints, possibly burnt valve, registration/insurance. Some front seats would be nice since there is only a drivers seat currently(its gross) and I would love to take my wife around the back roads with it. It's not impossible but with my current time and $$ available it'd be a stretch.

    That being said I'm hoping to have it together enough in early October to help with an FJ40 "baton passing" where guys are relaying a baton from Michigan to key west in segments and one looks like it'll come through central Ohio to Kentucky.
    94 4runner SAS Elocked 35's
    78 FJ40 35's
    15 Ram 2500 Cummins 6spd

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    Figured I would update this, I made alot of progress on the 40 and was using it for trail rides and cruising around. Was running, stopping, and driving pretty well but had the opportunity to sell it and decided that would probably be best for how I was using it. Very fun but time/$$$ commitment to get it where I wanted it just didn't make sense. I'll find another one eventually but will get the 4runner back on the trail!
    94 4runner SAS Elocked 35's
    78 FJ40 35's
    15 Ram 2500 Cummins 6spd

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    Hey I just found this topic and I wanted to congratulate you on your progress and ask how is it going, but now I see that you've sold it. I guess that's what you had to do if you did that. Nice ride anyway Do you have any pre-sale photos?

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    Yeah, I had done more updates on the IH8MUD site but here are some pictures to fill in the gaps. Rustoleum made it look semi-decent and stole the MTR tires off my 4runner since they were more round than those crappy Mud Brutes. Had to put a new clutch in it before the Marietta ride, installed seats from a Subaru Legacy, rebuilt and replace everything in the brake system and a whole bunch of other small projects.




    94 4runner SAS Elocked 35's
    78 FJ40 35's
    15 Ram 2500 Cummins 6spd

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