Boy, how things have changed. I guess when you live so close to outstanding off-roading and 6 hours from Moab it was inevitable. She's definitely not stock anymore but she is back on the road!!!
This has been a long build with a steep learning curve. Like most, one thing leads to another. I've learned some invaluable lessons along the way; for example, patients, how to fabricate, weld, and ignore naysayers that seem to find their way onto every forum. I've also encountered a few setbacks; i.e., mini or power assist p/s that just wasn't going to cut it and the H55/ unobtainable parking brake drum kit debacle. Let's face it, a 2F and five gears are for sea level but not here in the Rockies!
In addition to setbacks & burnout, we’ve moved once, flipped two houses, and had two kids.... yes; life does continue to go on even when building a 40. Although my wife recently accused me of being more in love with the 40 than her! Yeah, she was really thrilled when, like most Cruiser Heads, I came home with another Landcruiser and proclaimed "that each kid needed one"!!! Fortunately she really digs the “family” aspect of wheeling and the fact that I'm in the garage (often with both kiddos) rather than the local pub.
On that note, we get out a dozen times per year and have made two Cruise Moab rallies, both in the 80. This last trip we wheeled with the infamous Woody and, thanks to JKimmel, definitely came back with some lifelong stories. Rising Sun has been awesome and we've met some incredible people along the way. It’s a sport that has stuck and, therefore, the rig had to match the style. So here's what I’ve done:
-1986 2F motor swap
-Four speed tranny/ split case with Marlin Crawler Box
-4 wheel disc brakes conversion
-SOA with flipped springs and anti-inversion shackles
-Saginaw P/S with GM tilt column
-Cryo'd shafts & Longfields
-4x4 Labs hi steer and 6 shooter steering arms
-35's and rear Lockrite
-Family cage with tumble/fold rear seats
-Painless wiring harness
Still to come:
-Front ARB locker
-Bumpers, tubed fenders, and sliders
For those of you that are ready to give up, sell the rig, or even light it on fire; it truly is an incredible feeling to finally drive a “labor of love” and know that you’ve done 95% of the work. I’d relate it to catching a fish on a fly you tied only greasier! All the eye injuries from 49 years of crap falling in them and the countless busted knuckles was worth it!!!
This Wednesday will be her christening. I thought that it would be appropriate to run (Red Cone) the same trail where many of the earlier pictures in this thread where taken; back when she was truly “stock”……..
Thank you to all that helped along the way, Hope you like her.
1970 FJ40- TBA