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'68 FJ45 one ton truggy (stubborness and stupid don't pay)


What an idiot...
May 22, 2020
Member Number
Land of Mary
Huge thanks to Dave's Offroad Supply for support throughout this entire build including parts from Advance Adapters, PSC, PRP, RCV, Ruff Stuff Specialties, Trail-Gear, and Yukon. Dave does not d*ck around - he's awesome with communication including great prices and good tech advice. Dave's proactive with contacting vendors and sending tracking info immediately. I'm extremely lucky to have his support. This wouldn't have been possible without you, Dave. Thanks, brother.

Big thanks to East Coast Gear Supply who always impresses with their selection, customer service, and great pricing. WFO for hooking me up with their super nice 14 bolt housing parts. Last but not least - Stephen Watson - Off Road Design on whom I have a shameless man crush. Stephen, his team, and ORD's products are awesome. I'm super stoked to run ORD's Magnum under drive unit.

Project Background: For over 10 years, this project has been has been all about forming friendships and shaping metal. I never could have imagined that anything could have brought people together like this truck has. I'm starting out my build thread with some history so if you can't handle it - move on.

2008 – Brennan’s little brother Jared, 18 or 19 y/o then, brought me a beat stock 4Runner. One of the rear quarters was caved in and the wheel openings where all rusted out. We cranked on it over several months - SAS, FJ-60 steering box, swapped the trans, geared single case, RUFs, 63” Chevies out back, cut the rust out the front fenders and way over the cut the rear quarters which Jared hated, LOL. The build process was cool, we had zero budget, but built a capable trail truck. When that truck left my little single car garage, I knew I'd own it eventually.

'08 - Nov 2014 – Jared wheeled the snot out of the 4Runner over those 6 yrs then decided to move on. The timing was perfect since I needed a project to help keep my head screwed on throughout my divorce. Building and wheeling has always been therapeutic so it worked. Dave Williamson kept the parts coming which allowed me to thrash on it straight through to November. Rebuilt and spooled both axles, patched a ton of the frame, back half, dual cases, cage, PRPs & harnesses for my kids, new fuel system, brake lines, etc. I couldn’t have done this without the help of the Southern MD based Hard Rock Crawlers (HRC). Rob & Shannon opened their shop and house to me for almost a year while I came down every other weekend to work on the 4Runner. Dan Powell, Austin Stewart, David Kusik, would also give me their time when they could. They’re all awesome people and I’m lucky to have them as friends. We shook the 4Runner down at HRC’s Turkey Run at Rausch where it did awesome day 1 but ran awfully day 2. I drug it home and it pretty much sat for the rest of the winter. I try to wheel it once but it was't happening.

Spring 2015 – I meet an amazing woman (sweet), my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer (suck) so the 4Runner got back burnered. I lost my Mom that August which really sucked. God bless my friends and (then girlfriend) and (now) wife though - They’d try and help with the 4Runner, trying to get me to focus on it again. I just kinda slipped into a funk which lasted for months.

Spring 2016 – Jared past away which was a pretty big blow. I’m the youngest of 4, never had a younger sibling but felt like Jared was my little brother. I hope he knows I think about him every day. The 4Runner sat, I knew I wanted to do stuff to it, I just couldn’t get in gear to make it happen. It was a good year though; me and Amber got engaged, she and my kids became closer; we moved in together, got another dog, and were well on our way to becoming a family. It was the beginning up the up-swing.

March 2017 – Another good wheeling buddy of mine, Brandon Antowiak, is going through hardcore wheeling withdrawl and this full size Chevy guy buys a YJ (WTF!?). We thrashed on it from March – November. All hands on deck; all the guys I mentioned before and more. For a couple of non-Jeep guys, we built a killer YJ. For a couple of non-Jeep guys we built a killer Jeep which totally re-ignited my building and wheeling fire. On the way back from the shake down run, Brandon and Rob got me psyched about putting an FJ40 tub on the 4Runner frame. A phone call later to my buddy Ary – we end up with a ’79 FJ45 cab (right hand drive) and sheet metal.

On 7 Dec, Brandon and I started thrashing on it to get the body in position. In the process, realized the body couldn’t just sit over the 4Runner frame otherwise it would be crazy tall. Over the next two nights,
we fabbed up something resembling a sub-frame, cut & capped the frame rails which dropped the cab about 8”. Ride height on the 39s is awesome. I really hope Jared would like it.

The low down:
FJ45 body on SAS'd '89 4Runner rolling chassis.
Chevy D60 front. 5.13s and Grizzly locker. Yukon 4340s & Super Joints.
Late model 14 bolt out back. Shaved w/Ballistic kit, 5.13s and Grizzly locker.
Chevy 5.3L LM7 - Chevy TH400 trans (32 spline output, short) w/FRMVB - Off Road Design Magnum - NP205
Toyota rear springs up front w/Chevy 52s mixed in. 63 Chevies rear.
PSC full hydro w/dual ended ram
39” red label Krawlers, Trail Gear Creeper bead locks
1.75" & 1.5" x 0.12" DOM full cage
PRP suspension seats & harnesses
Warn 8274 winch

-Craigslist buy 2000 Chevy 5.3L LM7 w/harness and computer & accessories
-Harness and ECU work by Jim's Performance - Ellicott City, Md.
-The hood hit the truck intake but swapping to a car intake (Thanks, Eric) fixed this.
-GoatBuilt accessory bracket part numbers 4405-10, 4406-TC, and 4405-TEN.
-Dorman Engine Harmonic Balancer Bolt 917-139
-720-LSRC1 - GM LS Rear Cover Alignment Tool
-720-LSTC1 - GM LS Timing Cover Alignment Tool
-LS6 intake manifold bolts (ARP 130-2001, ~$36)

Reworked by Marty Brown Racing and Machine in Glen Burnie, MD // www.martybrownracing.com
MB fixed: -2 broken off exhaust bolts in one head (U.S. passenger side), a damaged spark hole in the other (U.S. driver side), -valve seats, -valve steam seals, -heads were decked 0.005", -pressure tested.
Head bolts - FELPRO (bought through machine shop)

TH400 (1 - 3/8" output shaft stick out, had a 203 behind it). Automatic Transmission Design's FRMVB w/compression braking in all three gears.
Winter shifter

C6 LS2 Vette manifolds
Flowmaster Super HP-2 Mufflers (2.5" in/out; 5x"12" case, Summit # 12512409)
Summit Racing V-Band Exhaust Clamps (2.5", stainless #SUM-694250)
Decent GEN III & GEN IV LS/LQ factory exhaust manifold thread - LS Exhaust Manifolds - LS1TECH - Camaro and Firebird Forum Discussion

Cooling system
-http://www.championradiators.com/Landcruiser-Radiator-shroud (3 Row w/shroud, fan, and wiring kit) from LedFoot Racing
-2010 Camaro water pump which I understand works with the LM7 truck crank and truck alternator pulley spacing - ACDELCO 251734
-Jegs rad hoses

Fuel system:
892-010-01 Jaz 10 gallon poly fuel cell
546-40019 - FITECH Hy-Fuel Single Pump Regulated In-Tank Retrofit Kit - Install instructions here
555-15030 - JEGS 40 micron serviceable fuel filter. -6AN male fittings on both ends.
361-AT592906 x2 - Ano-Tuff AN Fitting Caps -6AN
555-14400 - EFI Fuel Rails for LS1 and LS6 Factory Intakes
361-682006 - UltraPro Series Hose Size: -6AN
555-41522 - Fuel Pressure Gauge 1-1/2 in. Diameter
C73-735-B - Fuel Filler. Manufacturer: Pro-Werks. Ordered through Pro-Werks vendor Heintz Performance / Concord, NC.
Goodbye Walbro Hello HydraMat - This looks pretty great..might have to pick up some for my fuel cell.
Great article that explains the differences between JIC and AN fittings: AN 37° Flare vs Industrial 37° Flare Fittings: What's the Difference?

Drive Shafts
-Spicer 3-2-1819: 1410 U-Joint Flange. 1/2" diameter holes x 3.0" diameter bolt pattern.
-Spicer 094-3-3-1831KX: 1410 slip yoke. 8.25" long x 1.5" diameter x 10 spline
-Spicer 094-5-1410X: 1410 U-Joint, non-greaseable (they're solid)

Front Axle
Stock D60 K30 front housing, factory inner Cs, knuckles, spindles, upper & lower king pins, hubs, lug studs, caliper stands.
5.13s and Grizzly locker.
DIY4x shock tab - knuckle gussets
Artec dual ended hydro ram mount
WFO Concepts Dana 60 70 Flange, 29 Spline (Flange plus 4, 1/2" bolts)
New pinion seal, thrust washer, and nut (7/8" - 14TPI, 1-15/16" thin wall socket. Eff-ton of LockTite)
3/8" - 24 TPI to -3AN adapters & banjo bolts on rear axle
Stainless braided brake lines (made by Cauliflower Hydraulic - Baltimore, MD)
K30 rotors (Rock Auto)
K30 calipers (Rock Auto)
Upper king pin seals (ECGS)
Upper king pin bushings (ECGS)
Inner spindle bushings (ECGS)
Knuckle-spindle hardware (ECGS)
Spindle thrust washer & seal (ECGS)
Stage 8 locking spindle hardware (ECGS)
Yukon 35 spline cro-moly inner & outer shafts w/Super Joints
Yukon 35 spline selectable hubs (replaced Warn 35 spline hubs that didn't fit)

Rear Axle
2002 GM 14 bolt - shaved w/Ballistic kit, 5.13s, Grizzly locker, High Angle Drive Line 14 bolt flange. Stock brakes. Replaced metric wheel studs w/9/16 - 18 TPI.
WFO truss and anti-wrap bar brackets.

Artec's dual ended hydro ram mount
PSC 1.75" x 8" dual ended ram
PSC ram clevises
PSC Orbital
259-15800 - Electra-Cool Cooler Assembly Inlet Size: -8AN
4WheelSupply steer arms & knuckle tie in hardware (drilled by Verb Precision for knuckle tie-in bolts)
Artec D60 steering arm studs and tapered nuts
Stock knuckles
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Going back to the beginning before retiring the 4Runner body. It was running like crap if it would run at all and the body needed a lot of trimming to clear the 39s. The wheels had too much back spacing so the front tires were all up into the springs and the rear tires would rub on the frame rails. Fast foward about a year, I made the decision to retire the 4Runner body and Toyota axles. The last picture we put the FJ45 body on the frame but sat way too tall.



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Despite two snapped off exhaust manifold bolts and a sketchy spark plug hole, the heads are in great shape. The valve train was clean and there wasn’t any any sludge or burnt oil. I dropped the heads off to be gone throgh and should hopefully have them back before the end of the week. The cylinders and tops of the pistons look good too. I’ll probably clean them up a bit a drop some WD40 into each cylinder before bolting the heads back on.

I dropped the oil pan, cleaned it out and everything looked good there too. One thing I didn’t realize - the factory oil pan gasket is riveted to the pan in two places. I drilled the river heads and drove them out with a small punch. A little Right Stuff where the timing cover and rear main gaskets meet the pan surface, a new gasket, wrapped that up.

From there, I cleaned the block and shot it with some high temp paint.


Assembled and installed Yukon 4340 shafts, Super Joints, replaced front spindle bearings with East Coast Gear Supply bushings, new spindle seals, new thrust washers, cleaned and repacked the wheel bearings, cleaned up and painted the hubs, installed new brake rotors, new inner hub seals, new calipers, brake pads, and Stage 8 locking hardware. We’ll be able to finish the rear axle once I receive new rear wheel studs.

Some tech to go along with the pictures below. At first, the spindle bearings kicked my butt. I didn't have a puller that would fit and they wouldn't budge with a slide hammer alone. So Noah and whipped up this quick and dirty fixture from some scrap box tube and a few clamps. From there, we split the lower lip of the bearing cage with a chisel, removed all the needle bearings, then wiped out the grease. From there, I placed 2x - 1" (give or take) long stitch welds on the inside of the bearing cage, about 180* from one another. From there, they came right out with the the slide hammer. We cleaned the inside of the spindles then greased inside the spindles before installing the new bushings with a seal driver which went in like cake. We set them to the same depth as the original caged needle bearing.


One of my eff ups of the first iteration was how low I placed the ram mount on the first D60 housing. I'm glad I raised it on the second housing.


Southern Maryland Hard Rock Krawlers 2021 Turkey Run at Rausch Creek was awesome. Ran a ton of trails over 3 days including 5, 16, 17, 19, 20, F, CV, Cemetery, Krawlers Ridge, Stair Step, Crawl Daddy, Rock Creek, Otter's. Shoot the Moon, BFG Hill, Talisman, Devil's Den, Affliction, and probably missed a few others. Weather Thursday and Friday awesome. Saturday started out windy, cold and rainy then turned to snow. We were pretty frozen ran by mid-day Saturday, ran F as the last trail of the trip and came super close to rolling it. Bran could touch the ground and I was thinking we'd go over if I moved my eye balls too much one way or the other. Fortunately it settled down and made it back drama free. Only breakage was a couple of front center pins that we replaced and kept on wheeling.

You're gonna get good at swapping them pins as long as there's a shim in there. I was wondering how the trip worked out, glad it was mostly drama free. Sorry but the weather for Saturday killed any chance of us making it since Pete was gonna ride with.
Yea - That reality is starting to settle in which sucks. I'm going to try and drill the leaves to 3/8" to see if running a bigger center pin helps.
I'm also thinking about welding the shim to the bottom of the spring plate to keep things from shifting around.
If you were to weld the wedge to the axle and spring plate and drill them so the center pin fits in them and the axle/spring plates the weld would take the load instead of the center pin. Or grind the axle spring pad and make a perch to fit. The weld/shim is effectively both fighting to go push away from each other under compression. Other side simply hack off and burn on a new one.
The diff side shim is already welded and I'm going to do something like you're talking about over the next week and change before headed to AOAA for the day on the 11th.
I'm out for a bit, Friday was my last trip for awhile. My trans is a glitter factory and both RF links are bent. Good luck with the repair.
I hopefully stopped breaking center pins for a while.
-Increased the center pin hole diameter in each leaf to ~0.375" (3/8")
-Installed Grate 8 3/8" bolt for center pin
-Drill and tapped the shim in 3 spots for 3/8" - 16 hardware.
-Bolted the shim to the spring plate with 3x Grade 8 3/8" - 16 bolts.
-Installed NORDLOCKs on everything and cranked it all down tight.
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