Box Rocket 1995 FZJ80 Build

On the way home one of my rear brake pads shattered and came out of the caliper, leaving only the backing shim. The pads were not worn out so it was a bit of a surprise. Didn't see it until I got home. Didn't hear it over the noise of the truck. Destroyed the rotor and the caliper. Got it all replaced on Saturday so all is well now but kind lame. Never had a pad shatter before.
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Carnage pics

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New parts.


 
I stumbled onto a really great deal on some seats from a 2011 VW Jetta in the local classifieds. They are leather, heated and power recline seats from a MkVI Jetta. I had been looking for some different seat options for quite a while to replace my stock seats. My stock seats are actually still in ok shape with no tears in the leather like you see on so many stock 80 seats. But they just weren't very comfortable. The rails on these VW seats are much wider than the Cruiser ones so I was a little worried about them working but the deal was good enough that I couldn't pass them up. If the didn't work for the cruiser they would have worked in my son's pickup.
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They required fabrication of new mounting brackets but that was pretty straight forward. I didn't need to cut anything off or anything like that, just built a couple pieces that ran side to side and bolted to the rails so I could weld the mounting feet on to the right widths.
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If you own an 80 and consider swapping to some of these seats, PLEASE NOTE: The raised rib in the floorboard for the front mounts needs to be modified (flattened out) a bit toward the center where it begins to go vertical over the transmission hump. If this isn't done, the seats will be off center and will also be to far to the outside and the doors won't close. I just did some hammer work but the rib could also be cut out for proper clearance.
Also, these will require removal of the rear heater unit under the passenger seat. This wasn't a big deal to me since I don't think I've ever used the rear heater in either of my 80s over the past 20 years. It's not a bad mod to remove it anyway since the hard lines under the body can corrode and fail causing complete loss of coolant.
Obviously the seatbelt from the VW seat won't work so I modified the bracket so I could bolt on the Toyota one. No permanent mods needed to be made to the stock seats so I can always put the stock seats back in.
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These seats sit maybe 1" higher than the stock seats depending on the positioning. They are much more comfortable than the stock seats IMO and I like the look. Makes me want to recover my second and third row in black leather with perforated centers. Maybe one day.

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Front mount. You can see where the inside rail is right up against the trans tunnel near the console. This is where the floorboard needs to be modified.

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Rear mount. Simple crossbar bolted to the rails with feet welded in the right spots.

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Minor change recently. I welded up a single fuel can basket last spring for a long distance trip and didn't want to add a second swingout to my rear bumper. So it was added to the existing one and meant relocating my Hilift. I moved the hilift to the outside (near the hinge) on the swing arm. This was fine except that the lift gate would rub the top of the hilift just a little when I opened the gate. I could push the jack out enough to clear the lift gate but it was just a bit annoying. Here's how that was set up.
This was the original location of the hilift.

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After building the fuel can basket and moving the hilift to the hinge side.

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So in order to fix the issue of the liftgate rubbing on the jack I moved the hilift back to the end of the swing arm toward the middle of the truck. Fabbed up a couple simple brackets that attach to the swing about but not the fuel can basket like it may appear in the photos. This solved the problem and after a recent trip this past weekend it is a solid spot for it.

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that setup looks GREAT. tremendous envy for your suspension setup. is there a place in southern california where we can check out the tepui hard shell tent in person?
 
oh man im so glad you ditched those baja claws
Why? Just for looks? They were actually a surprisingly good tire for what I do. Only complaint I had was they wear pretty quickly. They get kinda noisy if you don't rotate them regularly. Otherwise they worked really really well. Better than the Cooper STT Pro for sure. I still like the MTR Kevlars best out of all the different tires I've had but the Claws were not far behind.
 
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