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The Village Bicycle aka 1972 LJ10 build

flexy flatty

Red Skull Member
Joined
May 25, 2020
Member Number
1396
Messages
128
Loc
Arroyo Grande, CA
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This build has been a long time coming. I first had this rig in my possession back in 2007 when a friend of mine bought it sight unseen from seabass44 (12 volt guy) off of pbb. He wasn’t able to pick it up so another buddy and I drove up to Oriville to get it and hold it for him until he could come out from Arizona. It ran (kinda) but had no brakes and smoked like the out of tune 2 stroke that it was. A couple of years later Arizona friend needed to get rid of it so I bought it from him. The brakes still didn’t work but it sure had a nice new set of 30x9.5 og bfg muds and some new rancho 5000s. After getting it back to the central coast I would randomly drive it around the backyard and run it into foliage piles when I needed to stop. It languished for about 4 years when another buddy of mine in San Jose decided he’d like a go at it so $1500 later it was off to his house in 2014 (see the village bicycle theme?). He tinkered with it for another 4 years, the brakes still didn’t work, the engine was still out of tune and running on 1.5 cylinders, and for $1000 bucks I bought it back from him in 2018 and have kept it in storage ever since.

This is going to be a pretty straightforward build. I did some trading a couple of years ago and came up with a samurai 1.3/tranny/6.5:1 t-case to use in it. Ideally I’d like to find a wrecked metro to use the fuel injected 1.0 3 cylinder in order to save some weight, get rid of the carb, and just for the little bit of cool factor. I don’t want it to just be all samurai underpinnings. Axles are going to be Toyota 8s front and rear narrowed to 48” wms (stock being 44”) with the rear being full float using solid axle hubs and spindles. Wheels and tires will be stock 17” fj cruiser steelies as they keep things narrow and have 5” of backspacing and 255x75r17 Firestone mt2 since I got a new set of 4 delivered for $709.00. With the super narrow frame there is no way to run the leaves with the offset diff so the front will be either linked or radius armed with 10” ORIs that I bought used off of this board. The rear I’m hoping to be able to offset less and run leaves but if not it will have some type of link setup yet to be determined. This isn’t going to be a fast build but hopefully putting it out there in the public will be inspiration enough to keep me working on it.
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The first step was to pull the stock engine and transmission. This model had a 359cc air cooled two cylinder two stroke and a four speed. It was cool but at this point it was more of a novelty than anything and really lost its charm after the first 90 seconds of running it. Plus, at least in North America, parts were pretty unobtanium and it was having issues with the oil injection system. It went to a new home with someone from either here or the old place, I don’t remember off the top of my head.
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It was pretty cool that the motor/tranny combo was short enough to both be completely under the hood and not extend under the tunnel.

The stock axles have centered differentials front and rear since there is no oil pan clearance necessary with the two stroke, the diffs are about the size of grapefruits, and they’re super low geared so these were next to be swapped. I haven’t built the rear yet but have both an 83 housing and a t100 housing to choose from as well as ruffstuff full float ends and an extra set of spindles, hubs, and ifs calipers. I’ll probably wait until the transfer case is in place for this part so I can get the offset just right and hopefully be able to sneak the leaf spring in next to the diff but I’m not super optimistic. For the front I picked up what I believe was an 83 front axle (these things are getting fucking expensive) that supposedly had a lunchbox locker (it didn’t; I kinda knew it didn’t but it was in good shape and the price was ok enough that I didn’t push the issue). I originally was going to just shorten the long side but in an effort to keep as much clearance for the oil pan as possible I decided to not be lazy and pull out some length from the short side as well. This turned out to be more of a bitch than I expected because the short side tube turns not round very quickly. I packed the knuckle ball in dry ice and using my alignment bar I got it close enough for this application. I believe it was 5.5” removed from the long side and 2.5” from the short. I wish I’d have written these figures down to make ordering custom inner shafts easier.
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Swinging the new axle in place. The frame is blocked at ride height.
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New axle in position with the new 32s. The housing is tacked into place on the frame using metal spacers, this way links and shock mounts can be built in place. Outside of tire to outside of tire is 58”.
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Engine and tranny getting stabbed in. Axle is somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 inches forward from stock.
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Tight squeeze but it should fit.
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The hood even closes! This brings us up to date. Next step will be to fab the links (maybe adapt some extra fzj80 radius arms that I have to keep things simple and elegantly packaged) and then work on the engine and trans mounts. The right side frame rail will need to be clearanced a bit to make room for uptravel but it looks pretty straightforward.
 
Looks awesome, but are you going to be able to steer? :laughing:

Also too bad you bought those, truck tires are so stiff on on a samurai, much less this thing. The sxs tires work so much better, even the ones that look the same as a regular mt.

I also remember when Darren had that thing. I may have even seen it once, but damn that was a long time ago.
 
Ya Darren had that one and a hammered tin top one too that he tried to give us. The steering isn’t as bad as it looks because the frame is so narrow, we’ll see but I’m not too worried about it. If steering angle becomes an issue I’ll rework things a bit but I played with it some today and it seemed good enough. As far as the SXS tires go this thing is as much a fun driver around town and to and from work in the summer as it is something to really push off-road limits with. These tires were cheap, the wheels were cheap and got me narrower, and if I have the ability to take a bypass heavy trip through the rubicon or swamp lake or something I’m more than content with it.

I didn’t get any pics today but I did mock up my extra pair of fj80 radius arms and they seem like they’ll fit well with a little massaging. I’m kind of liking this idea because packaging an upper link, while possible, looks like a pain in the ass, and also the inherent bind in the radius arms should keep things a little tighter on the road (I get that this is a very general statement). Plus they’re free and they’ve served me well in my land cruiser for a long time. Also, I rechecked the spring spacing in the rear and they are outboarded from the frame so fitting an offset diff with the current spring under setup shouldn’t be an issue and will definitely be happening sooner rather than later. The only other thing I did today was to shorten the misalignment spacers that came with my ORIs. I just assumed that the mounting width was 1.5” but apparently it was 40mm. I thought about researching how and why and if SAE ones were available but in the end I said fuckit and just made each one 1mm shorter in my lathe. The plan is to next rework a body mount that’s in the way and then to get the radius arms tacked in place this week, then notch the right side frame rail and then do the motor mounts. I figure if I accomplish half of that list this week I’ll be doing pretty good.
 
Ya Darren had that one and a hammered tin top one too that he tried to give us. The steering isn’t as bad as it looks because the frame is so narrow, we’ll see but I’m not too worried about it. If steering angle becomes an issue I’ll rework things a bit but I played with it some today and it seemed good enough. As far as the SXS tires go this thing is as much a fun driver around town and to and from work in the summer as it is something to really push off-road limits with. These tires were cheap, the wheels were cheap and got me narrower, and if I have the ability to take a bypass heavy trip through the rubicon or swamp lake or something I’m more than content with it.

I didn’t get any pics today but I did mock up my extra pair of fj80 radius arms and they seem like they’ll fit well with a little massaging. I’m kind of liking this idea because packaging an upper link, while possible, looks like a pain in the ass, and also the inherent bind in the radius arms should keep things a little tighter on the road (I get that this is a very general statement). Plus they’re free and they’ve served me well in my land cruiser for a long time. Also, I rechecked the spring spacing in the rear and they are outboarded from the frame so fitting an offset diff with the current spring under setup shouldn’t be an issue and will definitely be happening sooner rather than later. The only other thing I did today was to shorten the misalignment spacers that came with my ORIs. I just assumed that the mounting width was 1.5” but apparently it was 40mm. I thought about researching how and why and if SAE ones were available but in the end I said fuckit and just made each one 1mm shorter in my lathe. The plan is to next rework a body mount that’s in the way and then to get the radius arms tacked in place this week, then notch the right side frame rail and then do the motor mounts. I figure if I accomplish half of that list this week I’ll be doing pretty good.

Ya, I get it. But it's not just wheeling. Ride, wieght, ect. They're just that much better.

Even c rated tires are crazy stiff and heavy compared to the sxs tires.

Either way, this build is awesome. Never thought I'd see someone narrow Toyota axles :laughing:
 
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A question for the masses since I’ve never worked on Suzuki stuff before: Does the transfer case get mounted so that the intermediate shaft has a straight shot from the tranny output to the case input? I’ve heard that you want some angle on any U joint to keep it lubricated but idk what real world practicality tells us.
 
A question for the masses since I’ve never worked on Suzuki stuff before: Does the transfer case get mounted so that the intermediate shaft has a straight shot from the tranny output to the case input? I’ve heard that you want some angle on any U joint to keep it lubricated but idk what real world practicality tells us.

What he said ^

Although be careful with too much. I mounted one in a tracker and figured fuck it, let it have some side angle to keep the floor intact, well it vibed pretty bad. I also hard mounted it, which was a bad idea as well :laughing:

If you haven't bought a cradle or whatever of some type, I like the low range end of story spine/mount the best. Those 6.5 gears will tear up stock style mounts quick.
 
Ya the case I bought came with some type of cradle that also supports the rear output so hopefully it survives. Fitting the case in the tunnel is going to take a little sheet metal surgery but it shouldn’t be too terrible, there is a ton of room under the passenger seat. Potato pics:
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That's a zor snatch. They're good too, just way harder to install, and put more stress on the stock frame mounts. Which won't matter for you.

Looks like you got a Toyota drive shaft adapter also.
 
I started playing around some more with the fj80 radius arms this weekend and I think that they’re going to be the way to go. Packaging an upper link is possible but a nightmare of compromise. The traditional mounting of the Land Cruiser radius arm is off of a bracket that spans the underside of the axle housing and with a single bushing on the bottom of the frame at the other end. This is totally possible with my setup, but with a little creativity I think that by doing a radius arm flip (something that has been going on in the 80 series community for a long time) we can gain significantly more clearance and also we can mount the frame side bushing to the outside of the frame rail and make for a nearly flat belly. This isn’t fully worked out yet but it looks like it has potential and the ORI should just barely sneak into the space left next to the radius arm if we do this. I made up a quick bracket to tack on and will use it as a base point to work around and confirm that everything will work and clear. One cool thing is that the profile of the inverted radius arm follows the profile of the frame almost exactly. I also got the steering box position mocked up. It looks like I may run into clearance issues between the tie rod and the oil pan unless I switch to regular low steer so that might be on the horizon, I need to confirm this and honestly I don’t care too much either way. I didn’t get many pics because I didn’t make a ton of progress but here’s the little update anyway.

My friend came by and pulled the front clip. The inner fenders had 50 years of dirt mixed with leaked two stroke oil coating everything
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Profile of mocked up inverted radius arm. I had to clearance the body mount outrigger a bit and will need to do more work on it before it’s done
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Temporary tab to locate things
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The plan is to build around this setup and cycle things once the shocks are mounted. If there is any interference then the final bracket can just be built onto the bottom of the axle as Toyota originally intended. This is worth a shot though.
 
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