Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

[Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier

Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier

So while I was building the Land Cruiser UTE!! it dawned on me that I could make a long wheelbase wagon, better known as the ‘Troop carrier’ or Troopie down here in Australia. They are still everywhere on the roads despite sales of this model finishing around 1984.

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Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier

So I found a couple more of these casts and promptly cut them up. If the cuts are made in just the right places the left over parts make a UTE!! cab, how wonderful.

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Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier

Skipped a couple of steps, paint stripping and body gluing. This is just sitting on the UTE!! chassis for a visual.

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Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier

I noticed the chassis rails extended the right amount and with the flatbed mounts removed would go close to using the original rear tab on the cast.

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Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier

So I designed a new full length chassis based on the UTE!! drawings I had on file. After cutting the chassis parts I got too excited and assembled them without getting shots of the parts all laid out.

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Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier

So far so good. Next stage.

Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
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Once again the trusty Dremel comes out for a play. Awesome tool. I wanted to use the original base or as much of it as possible to save hassle and so the other bits fit inside still.

Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
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Not much of the base left but it’s all I need. I’ll build the rest of the floor from scratch.

Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
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Everything in place ready for chassis to base glueing.

Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
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Done!! I made it so the rear crossmember picks up the mounting tab on the cast, fits together like a factory issue!

Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
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Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier

Early mock up, sitting on some original wheels. I didn’t keep them. Maybe next time I’ll do a more stock looking one.

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Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier

Test shots prior to working out the suspension details. I noticed the diff housings I used for the UTE!! looked a bit on the small side with the bigger real riders so made a slightly chunckier set for the final assembly.

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Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
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Once I worked out how to do the suspension I drew the parts and cut them out on my CNC router (Robots Rock!!) New bigger diff housings as well. There’s two sets of arms and housings pictured.

Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
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Differential housing about to get glued together. Front housing shown as evident by the offset diff pumpkin. Bonus points if you know why the front is offset on the 1:1.

Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
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Front housing glued to the suspension arms.

Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
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Rear attached. Time to mount on this on the chassis rails. If only 1:1 was this quick!

Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
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Glued in place, half an hour later it was outside going through some off road testing.

Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
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Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier

So there’s body work yet to be done and some other bits and pieces but I’m happy with it so far.

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Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
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I messed up the wheelbase, it should have a little more rear over hang to be faithful to the 1:1. Again if I do a stock version I’ll get it right then.

Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
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Ok, suspension works. Enough bench testing, lets get out in the real world.

Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
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Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier

I know the shot above is the lead shot but I love it so it’s in twice!

Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
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Apart from sanding the body seams I still need to address the rear wheel arch issue. I could have gone with a 6x6 set up but I like 4x4 better.

Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
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My custom Land Cruiser fleet so far.

Ok, I’ll leave you with a couple of short clips. One proves this is no shelf queen, at least not until it’s painted...

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Here’s the real deal.

Illustration for article titled [Custom] FJ40 Land Cruiser Troop Carrier
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Some patchy info on Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_La…

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