View Full Version : Some updates to the Turtle

05-25-2008, 10:34 PM
I've been sitting on some parts for my 40 for a while, and finally got around to installing the new suspension. I got a smokin' deal from ARB on these parts, so I kinda went nuts since it was a one-time offer.

- OME springs front and rear
- OME Nitrochargers front and rear
- OME Poly bushings all around
- OME steering stabilizer
- OME greasable shackles and pins (except for the rear shackles, which I left as is for now)

The tires on this truck were bald and cracked, and the wheels were, well, not my taste. The Tacoma world had turned me on to the 255/85/16 size (33+ x 10), and I thought they would be a great fit for the 40 with a small lift. I was already keen on the Maxxis Bighorns and Trxus MT's in that size, but when Bikeman posted up his slightly used Bighorns, it was an easy sale.

For wheels, 16x7 is a tough size to find in aftermarket steel rims, and not that common on older Land Cruisers. I've seen where 16x8 wheels with 255/85 tires has created bead trouble when aired down < 20psi, so I didn't want to go wider than 7". I liked the OEM "smooth" look, and ended up having Stockton Wheel build a set of 16x7 rims with 3.25-3.5" of BS. Lucky for me, they came on schedule and fit like a glove. I had them shipped bare metal, so I spent some time in the garage cleaning, priming, and painting. I struggled a bit with the final color choice, thinking black, gray and off-white would all look pretty good. The final choice was the off-white, mostly because I think it compliments the green, and makes mine sorta unique. I'm pretty pleased how it turned out, but welcome your opinions as well.

The suspension ride is 100x better - really. I wouldn't have believed it would make such a dramatic difference - a great balance of stiffness, control and stability on the road. Off road TBD. As for the tires, they do a great job getting me to and from Home Depot :p: Definitely louder than the old AT's, which is to be expected.

On to the pics:



Caribou Sandstorm
05-25-2008, 10:55 PM
Looks Awesome Matt!

Uncle Ben
05-25-2008, 11:40 PM
Schweeeeet Matt! :thumb::thumb:

05-26-2008, 08:13 AM
Outstanding! Looks like a totally different vehicle.

So, when's the trail test?? :)

05-26-2008, 08:17 AM
Cruiser looks really cool. I like the look of those simple steel wheels. I'd like their 20 series utility wheels in 16x7, but they are $145/ea, which is almost 2x what my American Racing Outlaw IIs cost (in fairness, that was 6 years ago, tho).

Test...not too late for Rubithon. ;-)

05-26-2008, 08:37 AM
Great call on the rim color. With the top and the bezel being white, I've often wondered why the only white wheels I saw on 40s where wagon style. Your rig is looking great.

05-26-2008, 10:40 AM
Great job bud, now it is starting to take the right "stance" for a 40!

I dig the white wheels, but the factory grey is awesome too with the hub caps like Martin. Keep it up man that is one nice set of upgrades!

Drew :thumb:

05-26-2008, 10:42 AM
Nice 40. That OME will settle a bit too and ride even better.

05-27-2008, 10:23 AM
So, when's the trail test?? :)

Good question. It's ready for some fun, and so am I. But I'll be taking the Tacoma to Chinaman this weekend.....

Thanks all. I couldn't be happier. I was sitting at a traffic light yesterday, and some yahoo in a Samurai was yelling something out the window. When I turned to look, all I caught was a thumbs up out his driver side window. I got a chuckle, and the :Princess: could only roll her eyes....

I think that next I need to spend some time on forward-facing rear seat options. Those jump seats just ain't all that safe for the youngin's.

05-27-2008, 05:20 PM
I think that next I need to spend some time on forward-facing rear seat options. Those jump seats just ain't all that safe for the youngin's.

TRUE dat!!

The 40 is looking awesome Matt :thumb:. Definitely look into a more appropriate rear seat for the little ones though. Quite a few choices out there. Everything from the Bestop and Procomp fold-n-tumble seats designed for Jeeps to more one off ideas. Are you wanting to end up with 3-pt seat belts (preferred IMO) or just lap belts?

I'm toying with a couple ideas. I want 3-pt rear belts which should be doable with the full family cage I have. Currently I have front bucket seats out of a Trailblazer (newer version) with integrated 3-pt seat belts (nice) but they are pretty tall (not so nice). The other thought is the 2nd row seats out of the older model Durangos (which I use to have). I measured and with the "20" portion cut out of the 40/20/40 I'm pretty sure they'll fit just right. They fold and tumble as well but they do not have integrated belts.

I've also read on MUD that seats out of a Dodge Colt Vista Wagon work well (fold-n-tumble). Can't remember if they are 2nd row or possibly 3rd row seats. Probably would require a trip to the salvage yard to try and locate them.

I'm figuring out now that the simplest solution would have been to just buy a ready made seat and install it ...They "seemed" expensive but in the long run are probably the least expensive option when all is said and done :rolleyes:

05-27-2008, 05:42 PM
I thought these looked pretty nice, and 4Plus has a good rep:

FJ40 rear seat (http://www.man-a-fre.com/pa/4plusfj40rearbenchseat.htm)

Plus it would be easier than retro-fitting. ;)

05-27-2008, 08:54 PM
Looks great! Cool that you had the wheels built -- I've thought about doing that for years.

Iron Pig also has a rear fold & tumble seat:

One word of caution concerning the rear seat: make sure the seat back is high enough. I spent a bunch of money and time sandblasting, painting, and recovering an old Conn-Ferr rear seat, and I am unhappy with the low back. It's comfortable for kids only, and I wonder how long that will last.

05-27-2008, 11:11 PM
That's part of the trouble I'm having, and why I keep putting it off. I've read a ton of stuff on the seats (mostly on MUD), where everything from minivan seats to Dodge Raider seats to an assortment of Jeep seats will fit. But not much on the pros and cons of each, comfort, seat belts, mounting, etc. There's a difference between shoe-horning something into the tub versus making a nice, clean and comfy install.

Matt - Any idea how tall your seat back is? I could use it for comparison when I get serious about shopping.

Jeff - I'd prefer 3 pt belts, and I know for sure my wife would, but realize that complicates things due to the lack of mounting locations. I hope to get the chance to see more setups this summer - I only saw a couple in Moab, and nothing I was keen on. Price seems all over the place, and that one that Martin linked too is pretty pricey (but the integrated seat belts are nice).

05-28-2008, 09:33 AM

I have a link to the seats that everyone is selling, not to lowball vendors that carry them, but they are WAY cheaper on this site. I will have to dig around for it though, I thought it was McMaster, Northern Tool or Grainger, but I could be wrong.


06-05-2008, 12:55 PM
Great to see your 40 at the meeting last night Matt! Looking great. The wheel tire combo fits that rig perfect, very cool. Hope to see it in action on the trail and get your opinion on that lift. :thumb:

01-10-2011, 04:49 PM
So Matt, how do you like the lift/tire combination off-road, seeing as you've had a couple years to experiment?

01-12-2011, 05:40 PM
Since I sold the Tacoma early last summer, the 40 got quite a bit of time in the dirt this year. Really the off road performance has been everything I've needed it to be. With the open diffs I've had a few obstacles that concerned me, but I haven't needed a strap yet. With the short wheel base and moderately good flex it always seems to find a good line and ride it up. The lift and tires give it the right amount of clearance while keeping the COG as low as possible. The tall 33's push the limits of the lift, and I've had a tiny amount of rubbing on the rear fender lip (fixed by bending the sheet metal up) and with one of the front fenders.

The only knock I'd give it is that the springs have been slow to break in and settle, and in stock Cruiser they are a bit too firm unloaded. With the top off, it's at its worst in terms of riding high on the shackles. But with the hard top on and several hundred pounds of gear in the back it settles in nicely and rides like I would expect/want. I've been tempted to load it with a few sand bags just to try and settle it a bit.

And if you already have Cruiser lean, the OME springs don't fix it....;)