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.

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.

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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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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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.

So far so good. Next stage.

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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.

Not much of the base left but it’s all I need. I’ll build the rest of the floor from scratch.

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Everything in place ready for chassis to base glueing.

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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!

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

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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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.

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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.

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Front housing glued to the suspension arms.

Rear attached. Time to mount on this on the chassis rails. If only 1:1 was this quick!

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Glued in place, half an hour later it was outside going through some off road testing.

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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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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.

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Ok, suspension works. Enough bench testing, lets get out in the real world.

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

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.

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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.

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Some patchy info on Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_La…