FJ75 Troopcarrier from the Middle East

HongerVenture

Adventurer
Figured it would be a good time to return to Expo and chronicle the build and adventures of my FJ75 Troopy.

It's a 1991 FJ75 Land Cruiser , Gulf Spec. It has a carbureted 3F engine with an H55F 5-speed transmission. It has factory AC and an additional aftermarket rear AC. No heater, yet. I bought it from Oman, imported it to the UAE (where I lived at the time), did some work on it there, and then brought it back with me Stateside when I returned last year. It's a project truck, but it's now to a state where I trust it to take my family around Arizona.

As delivered in January 2019...



After some work in the UAE and just prior to shipment to the States...


And where she stands now.

 

HongerVenture

Adventurer
A bit of an intro, or reintroduction of myself.

I started off on Expo waaaayyyy back in 2005. I was living in Indiana and had a T100 I built up mildly and that my wife and I explored and camped with. The truck is alive and well and now belongs to my dad... drive it every time I visit with my folks.

We moved overseas to Abu Dhabi in 2008 and bought an FJCruiser. We had a kid, and then we had a second kid, and the FJCruiser was sold and we upgraded to an 80-series.

Oh man... Goldilocks was special. GCC spec 80-series, triple-locked, factory swing-out spare, factory sub-tank, rear-AC, center-chiller, cloth interior. I added OME shocks but kept the stock height. I installed an OEM Toyota snorkel, added an ARB onboard compressor, built a roof rack and rear cargo deck, and installed our fridge/freeze. This truck took my family to some of the remotest areas of the UAE and Oman without missing a bit. I trusted that truck and it rewarded us with some amazing times...

Here she is as purchased...


And as I remember her...







When it came time to return to the States the 80-series couldn't come. It's a 1997 and won't be "old" enough to import until 2022. I'll be harassing the current owner to sell as soon as we hit that year. =)

Before leaving the UAE I knew I needed to find another Cruiser to accompany my 1977 FJ40 in the container coming home. So I started looking for a Troopy. In January 2019, 3 months before our departure for the States, I found it! Here's hoping this Troopy can fill the space left in my heart by the 80-series...
 
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HongerVenture

Adventurer
I like it, very nice. I wish I knew how to bring one over to the States as a Florida guy.
All it really takes is a vehicle older than 25-years and knowing someone abroad who can arrange to get export documentation put together and hand it over to a shipper. I've imported six cars to the States now... it isn't too bad.
 

HongerVenture

Adventurer
I bought the truck knowing full well that it was going to be a project. That was, in many ways, the point. I like to tinker and DIY. While it doesn't cost a lot to pick up a used Troopy in the Middle East that is old enough for import whatever you find will have been worked hard for those 25+ years.

The good:
1. It was roadworthy. It passed the required inspections in the UAE to be licensed.
2. The 3F fires up each and every time and runs very well. Only 236,000 kilometers on the dial at purchase. I'm surprisingly quite happy with this carb'd 3F
3. Drives straight and has a straight/true chassis.
4. Sub tank!
5. Front and rear AC that works!

The bad:
1. Obviously repainted a few times and obvious signs of bondo repairs.
2. Front left fender/rad support/hood damaged by an accident at some point and repaired questionably.
3. Lots of dust and dirt everywhere.

It was a gross mess under all the covers and mats and had a bulkhead wall behind the front seats that had to be removed...


The sub tank was mostly OEM parts but installed after the fact in a custom manner and it leaked...


Split rims were replaced with new 17" OEM Steelies...


A transverse bench seat from a Toyota HiAce was installed for the kiddos... new upholstery is a pending project.


Sourced used, but straight and true, replacement parts... fender, rad support, and hood. Started in on that...



Prepped the passenger fender for an OEM snorkel...


And took it in for a new paint job... we removed some bondo and fixed some shoddy panel work while in there, repaired some rust in the window frame, and replace the front windshield and seal.


Also had the air cleaner fabricated to line up with the OEM snorkel, had the sub tank patched and repaired, and had the wheels painted Porsche Graphite. It was delivered with a bit more assembly to be done at my request (I want some of the fun!).
 
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HongerVenture

Adventurer
Since returning to the States, and having the Troopy in hand, I've done a few things...

Added an Eezi-awn K9 rack and Manta 270-degree awning...


Rebuilt both axles with new bearings, seals, rotors, calipers, pads, drums, cylinders, shoes. Completely baselined. Had some helpers getting started... =)


New seatbelts all the way around, mounted with M12 hardware.


Replaced the clutch master and slave...


And most importantly I got her feet wet.
 

1leglance

2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
Loved my Troopy and glad to have you back stateside, I am Phx also if you ever need someone to run and camp with.
Camelback Toyota was happy to order all the parts I wanted as long as I knew the numbers (they can NOT look up most Troopy stuff).
Oh and if you are a member of the Copper State Cruisers you get a nice discount.
 

HongerVenture

Adventurer
Love the story! You have a very uncommon vehicle there in the United States, I bet it draws some attention.
Thanks! Yes, I get lots of questions, thumbs-up, waves, etc.

Loved my Troopy and glad to have you back stateside, I am Phx also if you ever need someone to run and camp with.
Camelback Toyota was happy to order all the parts I wanted as long as I knew the numbers (they can NOT look up most Troopy stuff).
Oh and if you are a member of the Copper State Cruisers you get a nice discount.
I am a Copper State Cruisers member... and Riverview Toyota is the dealership of choice for parts discount/service now.

Lance, I remember you from early days on the forum. I'd love to meet up sometime and get to know you. I work in Scottsdale so I'm sure we could work out a lunch or dinner or drink or something!
 

HongerVenture

Adventurer
We took a camping trip up north of Phoenix to the Mogollon Rim two weeks back... 4 days, 3 nights. It was perfect. It was made all the better because I got to test my new solar setup.

I had already picked up a 100W solar panel while living in the UAE... intended for my 80-series originally, it came home with me and has now been placed on my Troopy. I had a simple, cheap charge controller already in hand but a thread on MUD nerded me out, and I picked up a Victron Energy Blue Solar 75|15. After reading that the Bluetooth range was better with the external dongle, I went that route...


Marine-grade 10-gauge wire and a Blue Sea Cable Clam (very awesome gland for roof entry to the vehicle FYI!)...


And since the truck has a few pre-existing holes in the roof due to it's past-life in Oman, drilling the larger hole for the cable entry wasn't so bad. I did the largest Cable Clam that Blue Sea offers because it gives me room to add a few more wires in the future (lights, HAM antenna, etc.). I did the hole where one of the interior roof crossmembers will conveniently cover it.





I used aluminum angle to make brackets for attaching to the roof rack. I build these so that I can pivot the panel at an angle into either direction.


I also bought some new German-made MS4 connectors and reterminated the panel while working on things. The chincy Chicom connectors on the solar panel were already cracked.


Mounted up... still loads of room on the rack.


Shown angled into the sun here.


And it clearly keeps up with the fridge/freeze without a problem.
 

1leglance

2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
Thanks! Yes, I get lots of questions, thumbs-up, waves, etc.



I am a Copper State Cruisers member... and Riverview Toyota is the dealership of choice for parts discount/service now.

Lance, I remember you from early days on the forum. I'd love to meet up sometime and get to know you. I work in Scottsdale so I'm sure we could work out a lunch or dinner or drink or something!
Absolutely we should meet up...and good to know about Riverview, loosing Murph at Camelback sucks...
Good call on the Victron, I have used them on my last 2 builds and love the stuff..
Also if you ever want to increase your panel go with the residential size, cheapest per watt you can get and the Victron works perfectly with them.
 

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HongerVenture

Adventurer
So the whole point of a Troopy was to serve as our new family camping wagon. We finally got to base a trip off of the Troopy in early May. We headed to southeast Arizona to camp in the Coronado National Forest (near Chiricahua National Monument). The Monument was closed but dispersed camping was allowed inside the Forest. So we headed up above 6000' to a lovely area right next to a bubbling spring fed creek. Our friends had previously found this place on a single day trek and wanted to do a multi-day trip.



The kids took full advantage of the creek right next to our campsite.




On one day we just drove the various forest roads to tour the area... gorgeous scenery.



We hiked several trails. The upper-left peak with the remnants of a burned-out fire tower was our destination in this photo. My 6-year-old girl even made the full 500 foot ascent without assistance.



The view...



And a bizarre swarm of ladybugs that were all over the top of the peak. It was surreal... they were flying everywhere.



On our driving tour we did stop at one creek and hiked up a ways... only to find waterfall upon waterfall upon waterfall you could hike up and play in. Not sure what I was doing in this photo...

 

HongerVenture

Adventurer
We are definitely weeding bugs out of this truck... 27 years of hard work in Oman leaves a lot of previous owner issues to resolve. The alternator decided to start dying on this trip which made running the fridge and camp lights a bit of a hassle. Jumper cables were handy. I also had a de-smog related fuel tank pressurization issue to deal with. This was my fault though and while I've temporarily drilled holes in the gas caps I need to sort the charcoal canister out as well as get new vacuum switching valves to restore the basic Mideast-spec smog system. But on the whole, the truck is earning my trust. We still only travel with it with someone else or we take our 4Runner as well. Just in case. But getting close to remote solo family travel.

Man do I need to get a bit more efficient at packing...

 
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