1971 Toyota Landcruiser Rebuild

This series of pictures shows part of the process of rebuilding and customizing a 1971 Toyota Landcruiser FJ40. The project was begun in the summer of 2000 by the father and son team of Don and Andrew Kinzer. It first took the road (legally) on August 27, 2002, the day before Andrew took off for his second year of college.

Unfortunately, we neglected to take pictures of the vehicle prior to disassembling it. It was in fairly good condition with only minor rust and a few dings here and there. A previous owner had installed a Chevy 292 straight six engine that was mated to the stock 3-speed transmission with an adapter plate. A transfer case cross member (very similar to the Advance Adapters unit) was used in place at the rear.

As of this writing (September 2002), it is running and street legal, though not yet finished. We still need to add the roll bar, finish the dash, add shifter boots, mount the rear doors, and assemble the side doors and hard top.

Here is the frame after being sandblasted and painted.

The front axle was refitted with disc brakes from a 1982 Toyota 4-Runner. One Birfield (CV joint) needed to be replaced due to wear. All bearings and seals in the front axle were replaced as were the rotors and calipers. A new tie rod was fabricated from DOM tubing. It is about 1-1/2" shorter than the stock tie rod.

The rear axle was also rebuilt and the drum brakes were replaced using a custom bracket, Monte Carlo calipers and Suburban rotors. The second image shows how the brake lines were attached.

After mounting the rebuilt axles using the 2" Rancho springs that a previous owner had installed, a GM crate 350 engine was mounted using a custom mount shown in the second image.

A Chevy SM420 transmission was rebuilt and mounted to the bell housing followed by a Warden's adapter plate and the stock transfer case which was also rebuilt. The first image shows the custom built rear mount modeled after the Advance Adapters unit. Note, also, in the first image the blocks for the body lift can be seen. The second image shows the linkage that was fabricated using a modified shifter from a later Landcruiser. The second image also shows the reverse switch (Napa p/n NS6578) that was installed in the transmission (just above the linkage).

A power steering box from an early 70's Scout II was installed. The stock steering column was replaced with one from a '73 Landcruiser; a later picture will show the custom steering shaft that couples the two components. A new drag link was fabricated from DOM tubing; about 5-1/2" longer than stock. The Pittman arm is from a mid-80's Camaro and provides about 3-1/4 turns lock to lock. A shorter Pittman arm would be preferable but we haven't been able to locate one yet that fits the Scout box and the Toyota tie rod end and has the right amount of drop.

This series shows the tub before painting, after it returned from the paint shop (still on the temporary stand/cart), and while being mounted to the frame. That's Andrew in the third picture. Three places in the wheel wells had to be cut out and patched; about 4x6" or so. A small amount of other welding/patching was done to close up the dimmer switch hole in floor, the backup light on the rear panel, etc. The body parts in the foreground are somewhat washed out by the flash. The paint is PPG 2211, "Lemon Twist Yellow" as used on early 70's Mopar muscle cars (Barracuda, Charger, etc.). The lawn mower gas tank on the passenger side of the engine was used for the test running of the engine.

Various angles of the semi-finished vehicle. In the front view, note that the hood and windshield have been replaced by later year parts. The hood was changed because the single piece hood has much cleaner lines than the two-piece version which has the chrome trim strip down the center. The windshield was changed to get the wipers on the bottom as opposed to the top position that was stock in '71.

Also, note that the turn signal/parking lights were removed from the fenders and replaced by early model lights mounted on the front bezel. The lights came with a two-filament socket but were wired for a single filament bulb. An extra lead was added so that the units function as both parking lights and turn signals. The stock headlights were replaced by Hella H4 lamps driven by Bosch relays.

In the rear view, the later model taillights can be seen. The pods in which they're mounted are fabricated from 4x4 tubing and 4" round tubing. This setup provides separate brake and turn signal lights along with running lights and backup lights. The disadvantage, of course, is that a converter is required for trailer lights. The license plate mount is temporary; the stock location on the left rear door will be used as soon as we can get the doors mounted.

The front fenders were shortened about 2 inches and re-flanged since the running boards were removed. Stirrup steps for each side are yet to be mounted.

These pictures show the custom dash with AutoMeter gauges. The knob to the right of the headlight switch is a dimmer for the dash lights (from a '77-'82 Accord). The hole in the center of the dash will be covered by a panel that will have the radio/CD and various switches on it (including the wiper and hazard light switches that are temporarily mounted immediately to the left of the opening). We elected not to put in access to the glove box space (on the right side of the dash). The alarm system components are in the glove box area but there is plenty of space left over if we choose to add an access door later.

These pictures show the engine compartment. The Edelbrock 4-bbl carb has a 2" riser on top of it to elevate the air filter above the distributor. The exhaust manifolds are center dump rams horn type with silver POR-20 coating (the entire exhaust system was treated with POR-20).

The engine still runs a bit hot even after adding a 7 blade fan and a high volume water pump. We plan to have a stock radiator re-cored to get more cooling area.

The dual reservoir brake master cylinder with vacuum boost was on the vehicle when we got it. I believe that it is stock. You can just barely see the Wilwood proportioning valve mounted on the firewall at the extreme right side of the first image.

The device mounted on the driver's side fender (with its cover off) is the throttle control from an '85 Corolla with speed control. We have an AudioVox speed control that we intend to install and it'll couple to this control with some modifications. The cables are from the same vehicle but had to be modifed on the outboard ends to adapt to existing hardware.

This picture shows the ATC-style fuse block that was scavenged from an '82 Toyota pickup. The wiring harnesses, front and rear, were reworked for the many new components and obsolete circuits were removed. The circuits on the fuseblock are divided into three groups: those that are "always on", those that are hot when the key is in the ON position, and those that are hot when the key is in either the ON or the ACC position.

This image shows the Scout power steering box with the hoses custom made by Bob Magill at Magillís Quality Radiator in Tucson, AZ. (His website may be seen here.) The u-joint on the p/s box is from Stock Car Products. The web page for the steering joints may be found here. This particular u-joint is 13/16"-36 spline on one end and 3/4" smooth bore on the other. A second u-joint that is 3/4" smooth bore on both ends was used on the other end of the intermediate shaft. The inner fender had to be cut and re-flanged to clear the p/s box. The stock opening in the inner fender for the steering arm was patched with sheet metal.

In this image you can see the seat frames that were fabricated from 1" square tubing. The seats are from a 2000 Imprezza.

This image shows better detail of the taillight pods. The are bolted to the rear frame channel. You can also see the 1" spacer that runs along the rear that was fabricated from 1x2 tubing.

Below are some links to pages that were created during the rebuild process. Some of them duplicate the information shown here, others offer a different perspective or useful information.

Scout Saginaw power steering
Warden's adapter for SM420 transmission
SM420 reverse switch
Service manuals for SM420 and SM465 transmissions
Scans of T-Case Tech article
Diagram for a rear disc brake bracket (Requires Adobe Acrobat)