1987 JDM BJ74 Crawler Resto Mod

Theblackflag

Mall Crawler
Vendor
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
140
Age
21
Location
Bozeman MT
#1
First up this is not my truck, I wish it was but Im stuck with my 3rd gen. This is my friend's cruiser he bought a year ago and is doing a full frame off resto-mod on.

So the truck itself, it is a 1987 JDM BJ74 Landcruiser that was originally registered in Okinawa Japan. It was imported to the US and then resold by the guy who imported it. It is a pretty rare truck too because of the options it has. 13BT turbo diesel, factory cable lockers front and rear, pto winch, removable top, manual trans, and a whole bunch of other things that I don't even know about.

Heres the original import sales video.

As you can tell from the video shes a bit rusty... which is to be expected with pretty much all 70 series cruisers especially ones that lived on an island surrounded by salt water.

When my friend bought the truck it had already been somewhat modified by the original owner in Japan.
Heres the mod list:
3-inch body lift
35-inch Goodyear MTRS
custom front bumper
Custom side dump chrome exhaust
Beadlocks
1.25 wheel spacers
Shackle lift, 3 inches I believe?

As you can tell its kind of a strange build but its also super cool to see how its done in different parts of the world. So the truck was driven for a few months and overtime received ARB bumpers, some lights, and an updated grill. And that's where things get fun because it was at this point that EVERYTHING came off the truck.

Before the restoration began...
http://instagr.am/p/BYwaqVNlb69/
And how it sets currently next to his other "daily driver" a 1974 FJ40 on 37s
http://instagr.am/p/BnE-_QgHlT2/
Now, what's the plan? well, that's where I come in. Both my friend and I are mechanical engineering students and I am a welder/fabricator by trade, we like driving over rocks and Toyotas. Over the next year, I'll be helping him with all the welding and fabrication to put this beast back together and turn it into a totally one of a kind kick ass crawler.

Heres a sneak peak of what's to come...
  • 37 inch maxxis trepadors
  • stealth custom series stealth 6 rims
  • black box transfer case setup
  • full float 60 series axles front and rear with original cable lockers
  • rear dual triangulated 4 link with 14 inch king coilovers
  • front 3 link with 14 inch king coilovers
  • @Plastics Guy bumpstops
  • stretched wheelbase
  • hydro assist steering
  • full armor
  • possibly a full cage
  • completely restored body with destroyer grey linex
  • bigger turbo
  • and tons and tons of little things to fully restore the truck to its former glory
Well be starting fabrication this weekend and will be working on the truck whenever we have the time to

and I'll just leave these here...
http://instagr.am/p/BnKyVs5HNmH/ http://instagr.am/p/BpPmLPUH73h/
 

AssBurns

will wheel for beer
Staff member
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
5,091
Location
Yucaipa, CA
#2
First up this is not my truck, I wish it was but Im stuck with my 3rd gen. This is my friend's cruiser he bought a year ago and is doing a full frame off resto-mod on.

So the truck itself, it is a 1987 JDM BJ74 Landcruiser that was originally registered in Okinawa Japan. It was imported to the US and then resold by the guy who imported it. It is a pretty rare truck too because of the options it has. 13BT turbo diesel, factory cable lockers front and rear, pto winch, removable top, manual trans, and a whole bunch of other things that I don't even know about.

Heres the original import sales video.

As you can tell from the video shes a bit rusty... which is to be expected with pretty much all 70 series cruisers especially ones that lived on an island surrounded by salt water.

When my friend bought the truck it had already been somewhat modified by the original owner in Japan.
Heres the mod list:
3-inch body lift
35-inch Goodyear MTRS
custom front bumper
Custom side dump chrome exhaust
Beadlocks
1.25 wheel spacers
Shackle lift, 3 inches I believe?

As you can tell its kind of a strange build but its also super cool to see how its done in different parts of the world. So the truck was driven for a few months and overtime received ARB bumpers, some lights, and an updated grill. And that's where things get fun because it was at this point that EVERYTHING came off the truck.

Before the restoration began...
http://instagr.am/p/BYwaqVNlb69/
And how it sets currently next to his other "daily driver" a 1974 FJ40 on 37s
http://instagr.am/p/BnE-_QgHlT2/
Now, what's the plan? well, that's where I come in. Both my friend and I are mechanical engineering students and I am a welder/fabricator by trade, we like driving over rocks and Toyotas. Over the next year, I'll be helping him with all the welding and fabrication to put this beast back together and turn it into a totally one of a kind kick ass crawler.

Heres a sneak peak of what's to come...
  • 37 inch maxxis trepadors
  • stealth custom series stealth 6 rims
  • black box transfer case setup
  • full float 60 series axles front and rear with original cable lockers
  • rear dual triangulated 4 link with 14 inch king coilovers
  • front 3 link with 14 inch king coilovers
  • @Plastics Guy bumpstops
  • stretched wheelbase
  • hydro assist steering
  • full armor
  • possibly a full cage
  • completely restored body with destroyer grey linex
  • bigger turbo
  • and tons and tons of little things to fully restore the truck to its former glory
Well be starting fabrication this weekend and will be working on the truck whenever we have the time to

and I'll just leave these here...
http://instagr.am/p/BnKyVs5HNmH/ http://instagr.am/p/BpPmLPUH73h/
:popcorn3:
 

Theblackflag

Mall Crawler
Vendor
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
140
Age
21
Location
Bozeman MT
#3
Moved the frame across town last night to the shop we will be working out of for the majority of the suspension work. Were picking up steel today and the plan for Saturday is to start repairing and replacing a few spots on the frame that have some rust issues, rework the front body mounts for additional tire clearance, clean the inside of the frame rails, and hopefully get the leaf spring hangers cut off the new 62 series axle to prep it for the front 3 link.

Starting picture for reference
IMAG0618
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
 

Theblackflag

Mall Crawler
Vendor
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
140
Age
21
Location
Bozeman MT
#6
Rust repair is complete on the frame. We ended up replacing the rear most cross member and the front 15 inches on each frame rail.

Where the steering box mounted on the frame was the worst area, the internal structure held salt and sand in there for years and there were a few holes that had started opening up on the other side of the frame rail.
IMG_0599
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

Post cut... You can see just how much rust fell out. Thankfully the severe rust stoped right at the cut line
IMAG0624
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

With the front of the frame open we decided to roll it outside and give the frame a good rinse and lost about 50 lbs of sand and mud
IMG_0605
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

With everything nice and clean it was on to replacing the rusted out section with 4x2x.120 wall square tube
IMG_0609
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMG_0615
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMG_0611
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

The weld seams will be plated over later once the front shock mounts are in so that everything can be plated at once.

With the front repaired we focused on the rear. The rear most cross member was rusted through in several places and was just not going to work. This is the solution.
IMG_0618
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMG_0617
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

And here is where it sits as of now
IMG_0616
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

Next up will be redoing the front body mounts on the new section of frame and then moving to the rear suspension and 4 link since we are waiting on some things for the motor to be able to put it back in and properly mock up the front links. Its also looking like the frame will be headed to Salt Lake at some point to be acid dipped and then galvanized to neutralize and prevent any more internal rusting from happening.

I got the 62 series front axle stripped of all the old leaf spring perches and sway bar brackets the other night as well, I decided to run a wire wheel over it as well and it cleaned up surprisingly well.
IMAG0619
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMAG0622
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
 
Last edited:

Theblackflag

Mall Crawler
Vendor
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
140
Age
21
Location
Bozeman MT
#12
Some more progress. This weekend I got the rear axle trussed and ready for the link brackets to be welded on. The offset diff on the land cruiser axles required an asymmetrical truss to allow the link mounts to be centered. I took my time welding everything, moving around a lot, and never got the axle housing hot to the touch so hopefully its all still straight ish.
IMG_20181110_214208_817
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMAG0696
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

With the axle trussed we are now at a standstill with the suspension work. We have prepped everything as much as possible but we are waiting on the transfer case to be worked over and mated up to the black box setup. Once that is done we will be able to stab the trans, motor, and tcase back in and then start working on the 4 link and 3 link.

We then moved onto addressing some of the rust issues and cutting for the 37s and coilover towers that will have to come through the floor. We decided to cut roughly 3 inches out of the fenders, right where the top of the flares used to be since they won't be going on. And also cut out the entire wheel tub because it just won't work with the tires and everything. We'll make new ones later on.

Rough cut
IMAG0693
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

Cleaned up
IMG_20181110_214214_003
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMG_20181110_214211_389
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

We also started cutting the rockers off to where they will be capped off at and the small portion of the rocker that needs to be replaced due to rust.
IMG_20181110_214206_141
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
 

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