FJ60 LS Swap - From Oil Burner to Gas V8 - Stoffregen Motorsports

A while back, I got a phone call from a guy up in the Pacific northwest. He wanted to ask me about making some improvements to his FJ60. He proceeded to describe the mods done to it already and one of them was a MBZ 5cyl diesel conversion. The chief problem that it wouldn't get out of it's own way. After making a few calls, one of them to my friend Luke Porter of 4x4 Labs, I decided that the best course of action would be to remove the 5cyl turbo diesel and try talking the owner into a gas V8. When talking with Luke about the truck, he snickered and said that the truck was just too heavy for that motor.

In describing his truck, the person (we'll call him Popeye) explained that he was working towards trying to achieve an off-the-grid lifestyle. I totally understand, but there was the problem. How do I convince someone with strong ideals that converting a mechanically injected diesel powered 4x4 to a modern EFI gas V8 would actually help him? I knew how the conversation would play out and I was not excited about making the phone call.

I too have strong ideals, and one of them is reflected heavily in my work. During every build here in my shop, there are often situations where a custom part is needed, but I always try to come up with a solution that includes over the counter pieces, so that future repairs are made easier, thus alleviating stress and thereby maximizing the chances that the vehicle I built will be enjoyed long into the future.

After explaining that "GM V8" is spoken fluently around the world, the guy (Popeye) bought it. He gave me the green light and I'm glad he did. I think he'll enjoy this truck for years to come.

Why Popeye, you ask? Because his truck is olive green, the color of olive oil, which is the name I've given his Land Cruiser...Olive Oil.

Here is the truck. Beautiful, isn't it?

The engine was sourced from Pacific Fab. or Tilden Motorsports as they also go by. The customer wanted a new engine, and I had a hard time explaining that even if we bought a new engine, it still made sense to start with a takeout from Pacific Fab. A new engine costs in the neighborhood of $5000, but by the time you add all the accessories, pulley, pumps, sensors, wiring, etc, it becomes a $10,000 purchase. The takeouts from Pacific Fab are not just takeouts. They buy only the best ones, and then put them through a process to check out and run test every single engine. They also build the wiring harness to suit and re-flash the ECU to eliminate the immobilizers and emissions controls. They can also build them to be CARB compliant for those of us who live in states where emissions testing is required.

While we were at it, I had Pacific Fab install a low profile oil pan (the stock ones are very deep and not conducive to offroading). We also purchased a generic fuel pump kit and snorkel kit as well. Those items can be modified to fit the FJ60. For those of you who are wondering, I do plan on installing the fuel pump in the fuel tank.

Here's the engine. I bought two because after this swap, I'm also doing a LS conversion to a FJ80.

The truck is already equipped with a Toyota 5 speed manual trans, and the owner wanted to keep it, so I called Advance Adapters and ordered the LS to LC 5spd adapter kit, made by Marks in Australia. Luckily, they had a shipment coming, which meant that I had the parts in 2 weeks. It could have taken a lot longer...

I'm doing this build thread a bit differently. It's going to be in real time. Normally, I wait until I have a lot of pics compiled or a lot of work done, but I figured I would give this a shot.

So patience please!


Expedition Leader
Sweet. I love your work, I would love to see some more 'how' you do things vs just the cool finished result.
Thanks everyone.

Metcalf - I used to do a lot of "how to" stuff, but it's very time consuming. I'll try to keep that in mind while taking pics on this build. I should probably get back to that way of thinking anyway.



^ I know that's why I never get pictures "in process". I get working and I don't feel like stopping every 20 minutes to clean my hands and take pictures. I try to stop for pictures at various stages of mock up or assembly/fabrication, when doing any documentation, much more than that becomes too time consuming to be productive in a professional setting.
Just keeping the camera handy is troublesome. I don't want it on the welding bench while I'm cutting, grinding and welding.

I try to use my "good" camera during the builds, not my iphone, and it doesn't fit in my pocket. Keeping the phone in my pocket while working is not something I like to do. I broke my screen a couple years ago when I leaned up against something. Cost $300 to get fixed.


Expedition Leader
I hear ya. I try and document as much as I can with my builds, but it does add another layer of work.
I honestly use my phone for most of the pictures, it is good enough. I just leave it sitting on the tool box. With a case and screen protector I don't worry about how clean my hands are that much.


^ same. My phone sits on my box and I just use it for quick pictures mid-process. Even that is time consuming enough. I don't think I've ever documented with my "good" camera. As you said, too much risk.

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