There’s rare and then there’s rare. A customer in Montana shipped us this 1965 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ45 Wagon (LV) and we’re prepping to do a full frame-off stage 3 restoration. Soup to nuts…nut & bolt type restoration. Oh baby, this thing is going to be saaaa-weeet when it’s done. Check back for more pics through the restoration process.
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Colorado-based FJ (always buy FJs from dry states like Colorado!)
The current presentation is a bit rough, but this is a great candidate for a full-blown restoration as it is completely original! An aluminum 3/4 tub from Aqualu (Part #4005 – $3,300+$800 shipping from Canada) and a better hard top ($1,000)
Original F engine (straight six) runs strong
Recently tuned up
New brake master cylinder
Odometer reads 92,000 miles (not sure if this is original or not)
I’m working on restoring a 1975 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40. It’s an early 75, so it has drum brakes all around (and thus drum-style wheels). There are a couple different ways to go about restoring these rims. I could have them sandblasted (aka media blasted), which would cost around $100-150. Since I’m on a budget, I decided to go the wire cup brush route. I found a Milwaukee 3″ wire cup brush that screws on to my angle grinder at Home Depot for around $19. It was more than I wanted to spend, but cheaper than having them sand blasted. (NOTE: In the end, I did have them sand blasted. Check out this post about that process.)
STEP 1: Prep
There are some projects where you can cheat and go without protection. This project isn’t one of them (as you’ll see in an image further down the page). Eye protection is critical, so DO NOT run that angle grinder with the wire cup brush without proper eye protection. I also wore a dust mask, as the rust that gets kicked into the air was pretty thick and nasty. To keep myself from going deaf, I also threw on some ear protection (which was a good idea because this process can take several hours).
Step 2: Prepare Working Area
Find a good place with plenty of space to work. It was freezing here in Colorado when I was working on these rims, so I did it in my garage on my work bench. If the weather is decent, I’d recommend doing this project outside where the dust and debris can go wherever it pleases and you’ll have less to clean up.
Here are a few pics of my wheels before I started the restoration process.
Step 3: Attach Wire Cup Brush to Angle Grinder
Screw on your wire cup brush and make sure it’s nice and tight. I used a crescent wrench (while pressing in the spindle lock on my angle grinder) to make sure it was nice and snug. You don’t want this thing coming off at 11,000 RPM.
Step 4: Go To Town
You can see in this pic I’m only wearing one glove. That was only because I was managing the camera to take the pics. Be sure to wear two gloves. As you begin the process of stripping down the rims with the wire brush, little pieces of metal fly all over the place. I had several go through my gloves and poke me pretty good. When I went to shower off, I took off my shirt and found two pieces sticking into my flesh. Those little suckers go flying like crazy, so make sure you’re hands are protected.
Hold the angle grinder tight with both hands, especially when you get around to working near the clips. Don’t hit the clips with the brush. Instead, use sandpaper and hit those by hand. I learned my lesson the hard way when one of my clips broke off because the wire brush is just too powerful and snapped it right off.
Start with the edges.
After tearing down the front, backs and edges of two and half rims, my Milwaukee 3″ wire cup brush pretty much gave it up as there were hardly any wires left. Towards the end of the life of this wire brush, more and more wires were flying off faster and faster because there weren’t as many wires compacted together to hold them in.
As $20 was steep enough for one wire cup brush, I worked a bit harder to find one a bit cheaper. I found another flavor of the 3″ wire cup brush at my local O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store for $13.
I continued on with the new wire brush, but unfortunately (and is usually the case) the cheaper wire brush was…well…cheap. It didn’t last nearly as long as the Milwaukee wire cup brush. It was enough to finish the job, but next time I’ll spring for the better quality wire brush.
Below you can see some of the wires that came off the cheaper brush en-masse piled up on the inside of the rim.
This wire brush wire hit a little too close to home…
Step 5: Finished
As you can see, the wire cup brush did an okay job cleaning up the rims. I couldn’t get in very close where the clips were and in a couple other areas.
At the end of the day I decided to go ahead and media blast these. Below is a video documenting that process.
H55F 5 speed Transmission swap, Toyota Landcruiser
The H55F 5 speed transmission swap is a very popular service here at Red Line. We will convert your Cruiser with a brand new H55F 5 speed transmission, and all the required parts needed, into a fully tested and turn key service. This service will convert your existing auto or manual transmission to the H55F. We can and usually do supply all the necessary t case components, Clutch and pedal components. Thats not always the case, You can supply parts need if you have them. We recommend rebuilding the split t-case to go along with this new 5 speed. Please call us for a quote on this conversion. Pricing usually starts at 5,000$
Dubed Project “Cobb’s Pig” is a 1978 Resto Mod Toyota Landcruiser that is in the process of getting “Red Line Resto Modded”. This little FJ-55 was in died need of some TLC. We have used 3 FJ-55’s to get this Pig in a final Resto quality stage. As most cruiser heads know the 1978 and 1979 FJ-55’s are very hard to find. Red Line Performed A 350 H.P. 5.3L LS series V8 mated to a 4L60E, Conversion. The Toyota 4 speed transfer case was stripped down bead blasted and clear coated before we rebuilt the unit! Red line is keeping open Diff’s and 4:10 gears in the axles. All components including the frame, axles and other items have been powder coated for longevity! All new window gaskets and weatherstripping has been installed for the doors, tailgate and windows.
For the interior we line-x’d the underside and inside of the cab for extra rust and noise protection. On top of the Line-x we installed Dynamat extreme. This ensures a better noise reduction inside during operation, not only did the floor get this treatment, but we installed dynamite extreme inside all the doors, tailgate, firewall, rear 1/4 panels and even the roof! She is sure to be nice and quiet! A new headliner, custom carpet, custom door panels and refurbished factory bench seats will keep this FJ55 Resto Mod in an original feel!
For the heat and A/C conversion we used a unit we have not tried yet. So far we think its perfect for the FJ-55 series. It tucked really nice into the inner firewall are under the glove box. We then used electric controls set into a custom vent panel we crafted to keep an original feel inside, both visual and functional! So far Red Line has refurbished all the gauges, and dash components to a factory setting as well as a very rare FJ-55 AM TEN dealer installed Radio!
For the exterior we chose Factory Cygnus white and Sky Blue for the paint. We know the white is supposed to be Lilly White, but we just can’t help ourselves with the classy Cygnus White.
The wheels are Factory OEM Disc brake wheels painted in Cygnus White. Again We can’t help ourselves, we had to mix it up and we think it adds a little class and style to the truck. Factory hub caps finish the wheels and the tires are going to be 33 x 10.50 x 15″ At tires!
This FJ-55 Resto Mod will be cruisen the streets of Chicago very soon!
Red Line has acquired a very rare 1959 FJ-25. Its Titled as a 1960 FJ-25. So “Mildred’s” story begins with its Original owner buying this beast for his ranch in Colorado in 1960. It then served his ranch until 1975. It was parked in 1975 outside in the weather, taking a beating from wind, rain, snow, high mountain sun, ice storms, and the heat. We were very curios as to why it was parked in 1975. Upon us toying around with getting her to run for the first time since 1975, we had to clean out the fuel tank, find a rare OEM Big window 1bbl carb, witch we did! We bought all new Toyota wires, plugs, cap, rotor, fuel filter and oil filter. As we have had time we have replaced the oil, un sized the motor, cleaned the OEM green painted DIZZY, resetting the timing, adding zinc oil additive and re-priming the numbers matching motor, we fired it up!
Acorns, mouse droppings and Colorado ranch field debris flew out of the old rusty tail pipe, smoke filled the room in a hurry! With excitement running in my veins I know knew why she was parked…A slight rod knock. That noise filled my ears with the answer I was looking for, with a little disappointment. As I had these two different feelings going threw my blood, I knew I was lucky. Luck that without that rod knock I may not even have had the chance to stumble upon this rare, early 25 Series. Yep, I said I’m happy, happy to even have the chance to slowly restore this old girl to it’s original glory. FJ-25 series are the first land cruisers brought into the USA and are the predecessors to the well known popular 40 Series.
These Pics below are from when we first got her to replacing the carb! More to come as time goes on. I do know that finding this truck might also help other FJ-25 owners with part locations and pieces!. I am also working on a video of us getting her to run! Enjoy
This 1974 FJ-40 dubbed “Ol’ Blue was a project that needed a new heart! We received Ol’ Blue and she was so tired she would not go faster than 60MPH. So the plan was set, She need some help with the brakes and engine. We wanted to keep it toyota and not do V8 conversion, so our Freaky H.O. 2F was installed with our TBI fuel injection conversion. Making a 150 H.P. to the rear wheels was exciting, 75 MPH was no problem in a 2 block distance. Ol’ Blue then received a full front axle rebuild, disc brake conversion front and rear, bilstien 5100 series shocks, greasable pins and shackles, Pro Comp Lift 2.5”. To keep her cool in the heat she received an Vintage Air A/C conversion and a 3 row aluminum radiator. We added factory wheels, factory hub caps and Toyo 33 x 15.50 x 15 MT Open Country tires! We polished the paint and put in a few new window weatherstripping gaskets to keep the whistling down! Ol’ Blue was and still is one of our favorite customer projects!
That FJ40 bottle jack. It’s a thing of beauty. If you’re lucky enough to have the original one in your Toyota Land Cruiser, then it’s probably been scratched up pretty good under the driver’s seat and could use a bit of a refresh on the paint. That orangish yellowish color can be pretty tricky to nail down. It’s not quite yellow and not quite orange, but somewhere in between.
About a year ago we were restoring a 1977 FJ40 and were lucky enough to come across a bottle jack, both jack handles, and the crank for the handle on Craigslist. The color was pretty faded, so we began the search for the right paint. Sure, we could go down and have a quart of the good stuff mixed up at Dale’s Automotive Paint Supply in Colorado Springs, but then we’re talking $60 and our budget was more like $10 (scope creep on this 77′ LC had definitely set in!).
We hit the spray paint isle in a couple big box stores, namely Home Depot and Wal-Mart, but came up with a big goose-egg. Next stop was Pep Boys, who had a massive selection. We honed in on two different paints and found one that hit the jackpot: Dupli-Color Model # DA1663 “School Bus Yellow” General Purpose Acrylic Enamel (12 oz.).
Back at the shop, we sanded and primed the bottle jack, hand crank, and jack rods. After the y dried, we hung the parts up by a wire and went to town with the School Bus Yellow spray paint. It laid on nice and thick and smooth. After three coats, our old, crappy looking bottle jack was now a thing of beauty!
Have you used a different paint or different method? If so, share it in the comments section below.
Project Iron Moose is a 1979 FJ55. These 79s are few and far in between. So cutting one apart and putting new components into her is an opportunity to show that Red Line will take great care on this project. Red Line Custom Crafted full custom armor, a 5.3L V8 swap with a matching auto. For lower gears we built a 4:1 Low range Orion. Red Line provided a custom SOA conversion with FJ60 axles for width stability. Our full Big brake kit for the front axle and rear disc brake kit was installed. New gears and ARB air lockers with Chromoly axle shafts Power steering conversion and A/C conversion for keeping cool on hot days. Red Line Resto modded Cruisers are top notch in every category…Period Follow this build with the link below for up to date progress of this rare and beautiful Pig.
This custom crafted truck is an all aluminum FJ-45 Extra Cab!This meant another 8″ of cab space. As we all know The FJ-45′ Pick ups lack interior leg room! With all the modern components you can think of while keeping a Classy/Hot Rod/Classic theme, A healthy V8 engine, 5 Speed trans”NV4500″ , A/C and Navagation was installed. This truck was top shelf all the way! A custom aluminum body was crafted with the custom removable hard top. 350 H.P. V8 conversion. 5 speed transmission. Orion Transfercase. Old Man Emu (OME) 2.5″ suspension lift, Powers this hand crafted Cruiser with ease and comfort. Red Line Installed ARB air lockers both front and rear, disc brakes front and rear and a large capacity fuel tank allowing this truck to handle and drive in the safest way. A Power steering conversion was also fitted . Custom leather interior with red stitching, Custom rear mounted Hurricane A/C – Heat conversion was built to keep the inner passenger floor and dash area clean. Red Line installed a Custom Kenwood nav/stereo providing tunes and modern bluetooth/ navigation. Power seats from a 2006 Toyota 4 runner provide comfort and electric adjustments while re wrapped Katskin Leather with red stitching, trims out and matches the custom tan interior. A Custom removable rear bed soft top was Crafted to mimic the early factory Toyota FJ-40 soft tops. We then did the exterior paint with factory Toyota Landcruiser Red Color ” Free born” red paint. The trim color “Cygnus White” was used in contrast with the red to blend the Classy Hot Rod Retro theme. Red Line snag’d up some reproduction early Landcruiser hub caps for the Factory steel wheels. Wrapping the wheels with Toyo MT Open Country 33×10.50×15″ was a perfect choice for us to blend in the Retro feel.
“The Dog’s Bollocks” 1977 FJ-40 was crafted with the avid wheeler in mind! The customer wanted his FJ-40 Off Road capable as well as street legal. Red Line devised a 102″ Wheel base set up with Spring over axle. Custom front 69″ WMS toyota axle was built to widen the front to add a ton of stability. For the rear axle we went with a FJ-80 rear axle. Red Line converted the engine bay to hold a Mercedes OM617 diesel engine. We mated this OM617 to a Toyota Landcruiser H42 4 speed transmission then a Advance Adapters Rock box and Factory 4 speed transfer case. On the front axle Red Line utilized -High steer arms and chromo axle shafts ! So we tested “The Dog’s Bollocks” and with our steering and SOA set up we achieved a whopping 42″ worth of flex in front and 35″ in rear! Not bad for Toyota leaf springs! “The Dog’s Bollocks” needed some armor after the custom SOA and drivetrain was installed. This was achieved with our Now Avaiable Red line tube fender Kit and FJ-40 Family roll cage kit. This beautiful one of a kind FJ-40 was seen in 4WTO Magazine in 2010! Below are items and conversions that Red Line performed on this Resto Rock Rod! “The Dog’s Bollocks” 1977 FJ-40
We restored this beautiful FJ55 to it’s original condition. A stunning example of a rare, pure, untarnished FJ55. This project was refurbished with all original toyota parts. We revived the 2F and added fuel injection. Other that new interior we only changed it form OEM blue to Oem green! We miss this old girl. She was a very fun project. You just don’t get to restore these old FJ55’s all the time! Read more »