Monday, 30 January 2012

works in progress

turbo kit waiting to be installed. still at planning stage.

job list.

new exhaust. new radiator. new air intake route. oil line to sump.

still debating weather to install turbo.

items ordered

full roll bar front and rear. half doors. winch. bikini top.

Work Done

Here's a list of bits I've done so far ...

Posting this for those like myself who have little or no mechanical knowledge. Hope to point out a few of the pit falls and stuff I've learned while doing the work.
First thing to remember is that I want a truck to have fun with and drive, it was never intended to be a full restoration ....
Anyone who is interested in BJ's will have read or been told they are just like a meccano set ... well just remember its a big meccano set and most stuff hasn't come off the meccano set in years.
A few tools that I have gathered while doing bits and pieces.
A good socket set, breaker bar, a wide range or wrenches, decent trolley jack, axles stands, pliers, vice grips, screws drivers, lump hammer, ball joint socket remover. The list is growing. A good lamp is very handy, you will find that a lot of time is spent under the truck and a lot of time working in the dark.

I have learnt to always expect a simple job to take twice as long as expected. Mainly to lack of mechanical knowledge and with most jobs, there is a correct sequence, its the sequence that has good me in trouble ever time leading to hours wasted..... But I keep telling myself its all part of the fun :)

So my first job was the suspension, and like most people I went for a 4" lift thinking it would be cool !. Again I should have done a lot more research before ordering parts. Why because lifting the truck requires more than just shocks and springs. So for those who are interested here what I ordered, how it worked out and what I didn't know

4" lift suspension kit ordered from TPI (my best contact for parts and advise yet ). The kit came complete with springs, shackles, bushings, shocks and all the bits required to swap out the suspension. Changing the suspension wasn't that hard really,I started with the rear. I got the sequence wrong, which slowed it down, and what I mean by that is I thought I could do one corner at a time, the problem I had was the new suspension (leaf spring alignment nut) would not align with the underside of the axle. It took me a while to figure out the problem, but the cure was straight froward. The cure was to sit the truck on stands and drop the complete rear axle, this allowed the axle to be pulled to align with the spring seating points.
The front was a lot easier, so not much to say there.

So the bits I didn't realize needed to be done as a result of the 4" lift. The rear brake line needed to be extended, no big deal extension lines can be got, just it would be very handy to have known because it meant the truck was sitting around for a few weeks waiting for the part. The axle vent lines need to be extended to reach the underside of the body. The u-joints should be replaced, I had a vibration in the rear shaft when i eventually took the BJ out for a test after the suspension swap. Apparently this is a common problem, and apparently an easy fix. so the next job was to replace the u-joints.

Again dont think that something like replacing the u-joints is an hour job. Removing the rear shaft is easy, removing the spider joints holding the u-joints/flanges is not so easy. Rather than give a line by line account heres a link that is by far the best and easiest 'how to' for replacing the u-joints

A couple of photos of the u-joint, the separated parts.

The resembled rear shaft.

Steering tie rod ends. Not a big job, but a lot easier with a ball joint socket remover.

Replaced alloy wheels with steel wheels.


Window seals.

Seats recovered.

General service.

24 to 12v reducer.

New tufty centre console with head set. Didn't fit straight out of the box, needed a bit of drilling. but works ok.

A brief history

ok …..
This blog is about my Toyota Land Cruiser BJ41 (1980) with the rare 2b engine. It’s a four cylinder 3.1 litre diesel with 4 speed transmission. It was produced for the Japanese domestic market only, but imported to Ireland by the previous owner. I had being looking for Land Cruiser for a while and came across one for sale in Kildare.  It had some body work done and had been resprayed red. The original colour was white. I would have preferred if the previous owner had kept the original colour, but then there aren’t exactly hundreds of BJ’s to choose from here in Ireland.

In the excitement for seeing it in the flesh I broke all the rules when inspecting a 30 year truck. The fact that I didn’t have huge mechanical knowledge didn’t help.

Things I would look out for in future
The obvious rust on the underside, below doors sills, underside rear bumper, play in steering, condition of suspension etc. .

My truck had all the problems noted above, but I was still undeterred from buying it J
A few things to note before purchasing a Land Cruiser.
They are effectively a tractor and don’t think otherwise, noisy and not very fast. Top speed around 100km/h (downhill). The lack of power steering and the required wider and standard wheels makes for strong arms in city driving. The BJ will run all day at 100km/p on motorways, but the noise can make any journey over 2.5 hours seem very long indeed. I have found the BJ most fun on secondary roads with lower speeds and better scenery.

The BJ is probably best known for its ‘work horse’ ability, due largely to its pulling power and go anywhere reputation. This is all true, however a note of caution to the unsuspecting would be Land Cruiser owner, as noted before the BJ is a 30 year old machine built for purpose with none of the comforts associated with modern off road vehicles. It will go anywhere and will not give any problems but do not expect all this on a cushion of air. The ride is frim and due to the short wheel base the BJ will hop and bounce if driven to fast off road. The BJ is best driven at slow speed (real slow) and with the right choice of gears.  

The best piece of advise I can give is, know and accept the limitations of a 30 year truck, then any journey can be an adventure with the fun and excitement  of doing it in an Icon that is the LandCruiser.

Am I happy ….. yes …. without question !!!

The BJ with its original colour as imported from Japan

The BJ when resprayed by previous owner

The BJ with proper steel wheels !!!! :)