AN FJ40 THAT SHINES AND WHEELS

Words and photos: Tiffany Tudyk

First published in the September / October 2005

Tim McBride’s 1973 FJ40 is a beauty. With a custom paint job that is silver metallic pearl with iridescent fl ames ranging from pinkish red to yellow, the rig really shines. The Land Cruiser has been completely restored and built from the ground up, including a frame-off restoration. It took about nine months to have the work professionally done by Pete and Tim Jones, who own and operate Cruisers, Rods and Customs, in Bakersfield, California.

Modifications include a built 1989 Chevy 305 engine that is equipped with a roller cam and fuel injection. The engine is topped with polished aluminum valve covers and air cleaner lid, both with embossed flames. Thanks to Advance Adapters (www.advanceadapters. com, 800-350-2223), the engine is coupled to a 700 R4 transmission that drives through a stock Toyota transfer case.

New custom front and rear drive shafts were installed. Both axles sport disc brakes and the diffs are loaded with 4:11 gears. Bolted to the axles with flipped U-bolts are Man-AFre Safari Springs (www. man-a-fre.com, 877-626- 2373) with a four-inch lift height and heavy-duty, grease-able, anti-inversion shackles front and rear. The truck rolls on 15×10 Mickey Thompson rims shod with 35×12.5 BFG All Terrains. For the highway or extended safaris, a long-range fuel tank holding 21 gallons is accessed through a relocated fuel door.

To handle precarious descents Tim has installed stainless steel brake lines all around, and has placed disc brakes at all four corners. A rebuilt brake booster from Specter Offroad (www.sor.com, 818- 882-1238) combined with a late-model Land Cruiser master cylinder complete the new brake setup.

On the inside, a custom instrument panel holds three pearl white Dolphin gauges (www. dolphingauges.com, 386- 437-1077) indicating the speed, temperature of the transmission and RPMs. To keep the FJ40 from the midnight auto dismantlers a custom car alarm with auto start and interior motion detector were installed along with engine hood pin locks.

Tunes are played on a Pioneer DEH 3500 XM capable/CD player wired to a 1500W amp with two 12-inch subwoofers, two 6×9’s in the back and two 6-1/2’s in custom front kick panels. Turning the front wheels is accomplished by a custom tilt steering column with a Grant GT steering wheel. Not surprisingly, this vehicle has a custom air heater/air conditioning system for any type of weather.

Tim has done some small fine tuning on the engine, such as a larger fan to help keep the 305 from overheating. In the future he is planning to change the gearing from 4:11 to 4:56 and put a locker in the front. To make the rig safer he is going to install a Metal Tech roll cage (www.metaltechcage. com, 503-330-3022).

Tim chose the Toyota FJ40 amongst all possible 4x4s due to the classic design and off-road performance. The open top, which allows him to feel the wind as he drives, is his favorite part about the rig. Yes, this Land Cruiser is street legal, making it convenient to drive to the trail head.

Tim is a member of TLCA (www.tlca.org) and has explored some of the trails in Ocotillo Wells, Big Bear and the hills around Lake Elsinore, California. The FJ40 is so clean Tim plans to enter the rig in truck shows. But fear not, this Toyota will not end up a trailer queen. His ultimate plans are to slowly transform it into a rock crawler. In the fall Tim is planning to do more wheeling and is going to try and make it to Rubithon in 2006 with the TLCA. All and all, it’s a great rig that’s been built for show and go. Nothing wrong with that!

SPECIFICATIONS
1973 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40
Frame-off restoration
1989 Chevy 305 V8, roller cam, fuel injected
Heavy duty aluminum radiator
Flex-A-Lite electric fan
Custom 3” exhaust
700R auto trans with cooler
Advance Adapters kit
Custom tilt steering wheel column with shifter on column
Grant GT steering wheel
Rebuilt stock transfer case
76 Land Cruiser front axle with disc brakes
73 Land Cruiser rear axle with disc brake conversion and rebuilt gears
New custom front/rear drive shafts
All new stainless steel braided brake lines
Rebuilt parking brake with new extended cable
New brake master cylinder from new model Cruiser specifically for 4 wheel disk brakes
Rebuilt brake booster from Specter Off Road
All new fuel lines and hoses
Inline chrome covered fuel filter and inline fuel pump for fuel injection Long range 21-gallon fuel tank w/relocated fuel door
15×10 Mickey Thompson rims
35×12.5 BF Goodrich All Terrain tires
Old Man Emu Nitro Charger shocks
Old Man Emu steering stabilizer
Man-A-Fre Safari springs 4”-lift height with shackle reversal kit
Heavy duty grease-able anti-inversion shackles front and rear
Man-A-Fre polyurethane bushings
4Plus U-Bolt Flip kit front and rear 4Plus 1” body lift
Saginaw power steering conversion
All new tie rod ends
4Plus 40 series front bumper
Kaymar rear tow bumper with swing away tire carrier with telescoping light
40 Series aluminum tail gate ,diamond plate with internal storage Aluminum
diamond plate kick step/ quarter panels and running boards with lip
Duraflare cut out rear fender flares
Custom padded roll bar
Elite Procar seats with 3 point seatbelts
Hella VisionPlus halogen head lights
All wiring throughout is new
All turn signals and running lights are new
New front grille
New bezel
All emblems new
New windshield and wiper motor and accessories
Stainless hood and windshield hooks
New fiberglass transmission hump
Front grille and side emblems are new
Telescopic side mirrors
Custom instrument panel
Dolphin gauges
Black denim Bestop Tiger top with full one piece soft doors, also half doors and bikini top
Bedliner sprayed inside, underneath, engine firewall, fenders
Dual Optima yellow top battery system
Custom Vintage Air heater/air conditioning
Custom car alarm with auto start and interior motion detector, engine hood pin lock
40 series metal replacement locking dash storage box
Custom car alarm with auto start and interior motion
detector Custom Memphis
audio “show system” with 1500 watt 5 channel, 2 x 12” subwoofers, custom subwoofer box with sprayed on bed liner, two Memphis
Audio 6×9’s with custom roll bar for speakers, security, two
Memphis Audio 6-1/2” two ways in custom kick panels,
XM satellite radio, Pioneer DEH 3500 AM/FM CD player detachable face plate
40 series metal replacement locking dash box, replaces original dash pad
Custom license plate holder
Custom flame paint job

Engine Cap
Check out the valve covers and air cleaner on the Chevy 305, dual Optimas, chromed fi ttings and more. Nicely done.

Seat Cap
The interior of Tim’s FJ40 is clean and almost spartan, yet with adecidely modern flavor.

Tailgate Cap
The tunes resonate from the Memphis Audio custom subwoofer box in the back. Tim loves to cruise in his Cruiser with the top off and the music jamming.

Axle Cap
The driveline and suspension have all been beefed courtesy of Old Man Emu, Man-A-Fre, 4-Plus and others.

The interior of Tim’s FJ40 is clean and almost spartan, yet with adecidely modern flavor.

 

The driveline and suspension have all been beefed courtesy of Old Man Emu, Man-A-Fre, 4-Plus and others.

Check out the valve covers and air cleaner on the Chevy 305, dual Optimas, chromed fittings and more. Nicely done.

 

 

The tunes resonate from the Memphis Audio custom subwoofer box in the back. Tim loves to cruise in his Cruiser with the top off and the music jamming.