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Toyota Garage Project: Profile 2

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The Kiwibuild FJ45 Project

In our second profile of the Toyota Garage Project series, we bring you the story of Brad and his Land Cruiser FJ45 - nicknamed the Kiwibuild FJ45 Project!

After eight years of sitting in the shed, the lockdown has given Brad the opportunity to start on the ‘Kiwibuild FJ45 Project’ – the restoration of his 1977 Land Cruiser FJ45. Little is known about the history of this FJ. However, thanks to a sticker on the back window, we know that it was originally purchased from Grey and Inch Toyota, which is now called Tasman Toyota in New Plymouth. Brad is happy to keep the truck close to its roots, as a ‘Naki local himself.

Now for the details! The restoration plan first involves a full strip down, blast and paint of the chassis, as well as blast of the cab, and prime and repair of any rust before its paint job. Moving away from it’s existing sunny yellow exterior, Brad is going to fulfil his car dreams and paint it beige with a white roof and grille.

But the restoration doesn’t end with the exterior, originally sporting the 2f petrol engine, Brad has removed this to house a bigger diesel engine - but in true restorer spirit, the 2F petrol engine lives on in the Land Cruiser of another enthusiast. Having sourced a 60 series Land Cruiser, with the 12HT 4-litre turbo diesel engine and five speed transmission, five years ago, Brad has managed to strip the engine as well as the gearbox and power steering – all of which will find a home in his FJ45.

As Brad puts it, 4-wheel drum brakes just “ain’t the go”, so using the front diff of a 70 series he is converting the front diff in the FJ45 to have disc brakes. Nearing the end of Brad’s restoration to do list is the conversion of the H55F 5 speed transfer case from Vacuum 4WD engage to manual, so then it will fit inside the FJ chassis rails. Plus, a 2-inch suspension lift will be installed. And, to top it all off, a new flatdeck tray will be built.

But Brad is sure that the project will continue to go on… Although, in 12 months, Brad plans to have the FJ45 on the road, and off it, ready for a number of roadies, camping and 4WD drive adventures.

Thanks Brad for sharing the story of your Land Cruiser FJ45! Do you want to be our next Toyota Garage Project profile? Head to our Facebook page and message us about what you’re working on.