The Restoration And Build Thread For My 1992 FJ80

First post here. I figured I would share with the ExPo crowd. I will update this thread with more as I have time to. I will be posting quite a lot of photos to show its progression over the past 4 or so years.

Edit: Here is the most complete mod list I could come up with, but I am sure I am missing other small things. (Updated 3/28/18)
Full Custom Paint Job Inside and Out (FJ40 Dune Beige, with matte black on hood, bed liner on flares-rockers-rear cross member-rear hatch wind deflector, gloss black around windows, VHT Graphite Gray on wheels-misc. trim, and satin black mirrors-door handles-door stripe)
95-97 Grille Conversion
XPEL Paint Protection Film on the Hood
3M Paint Protection Film on Lower Rear Doors
15% Window Tint
Cloth Interior Redone to Leather
Color Matching Wet Okole Seat Covers w/ 1" Padding Underneath (Front)
Black Zebra Wood Interior Trim
Retro "TOYOTA" and "4WD" Decals on Tailgate
TRD Decals on Rear Quarter Panels
License Plate Relocated to Passenger Side
TRD License Plate Frame
Rear Hatch Wind Deflector
JDM 80 Series License Plate Lamp Assembly
Bumpers, Armor, and Recovery
Ironman 4x4 Deluxe Bull bar
Custom Built Rock Sliders
Custom Driver's Side Tire Swing Out
Custom Passenger Side Cooler (Yeti 45) Swing Out
12,000 lb Badlands winch w/ ARB 4x4 Accessories
48" Hi-Lift Jack w/ Custom Dune Beige Handle
Hi-Lift Bull Bar Mounts
Factory Rear Crossmember Replaced by 2x4x1/4" and set up with a Custom Receiver Hitch
OEM Tow Hooks Front/Rear
TredPro 4x4 Recovery Mats
Ironman 4x4 Performance Series 50mm Lift
Ironman 4x4 Foam Cell Shocks----Replaced By OME Nitrocharger Sport L Shocks
Ironman Steering Stabilizer----replaced by OME Stabilizer
Custom 1 3/8" Front Coil Spacers
Custom 1/2" Polyurethane Body Lift
Air Lift 1000 Kit in Rear Coils
15mm MetalTech Leveling Spacer on driver's rear coil
Washer Mod Castor Correction
Sway Bar Drop Brackets
Rear Bump Stops Lowered 1"
Extended (Extended) Brake Lines
Tires, Wheels, and Gears
35x12.5r17 Kenda Klever Mud Terrains
2011-2014 FJ Cruiser/2010-2013 4Runner Trail Edition Wheels
Internally Ground Down Center Caps
Nitro Gear and Axle 4.88 Ring and Pinion (Front and Rear)
TRD Valve Stem Covers
Roof Rack, Roof Top Tent, and Awning
Custom Built Full Length Flat Rack
CVT Mt. Bachelor Roof Top Tent and Annex
Custom Wind Fairing for RTT
Custom 8ft Awning
Head Unit, Speakers, Cameras
Pioneer DDX470 Head Unit
USB/AUX Port in Center Console
Kicker KS40s For Dash Speakers
Four Kicker KS65 Speakers with Custom Front Door Speaker Holders
Kicker 10CVT654 Shallow Mount Subwoofer ----replaced by a Pyle
Reverse Camera (Have yet to reinstall)
Front Camera
Kicker KX400.4 Amp for KS65s
Kicker CX300.1 Amp for 10CVT654
Kicker Fuse Block
Kicker Power Distribution Block
On Board Air System
Custom York 210 On Board Air Compressor
Air Outlet in Front Bumper
Air Outlet in Rear
Air Horns
5 Gallon Air Tank
Custom Rear Air Tank Mounts
Grand Prix GTP Hood Vents
Aluminum radiator
Electric Pusher Fan
Green Hub Fan Clutch w/ 15k CST Fluid
Osidetiger 4-Hole Fuel Injectors
NGK Iridium Spark Plugs
EGR Delete
High Clearance Cat-Back Exhaust with Single Cat Conversion
EFI Relay Relocated to Driver's Kick Panel
Stoptech "FZJ sized" Slotted Front Brake Rotors
FZJ Front Brake Calipers
Powerstop Carbon Ceramic 100 Series Pads
Custom Euro-Spec Depo Headlight Conversion
Slee Offroad Headlight Wiring Harness
40" LED Light Bar on Roof Rack with Custom Mounts
Two 4" LED Light Bars (Rear)
LED Interior Lighting
LED Reverse Lights
LightForce 240s w/ Amber Combo Filters
Depo Valence Lights
LED Running Lights/Turn Signals in Ironman Bumper
Fog Lights in Ironman Bumper
Tinted LED Brake/Turn/Running Lights in Rear Bumper Wings
Blue Sea Contura 6 Gang Rocker Switch Panel
Daystar Rocker Switches (Labeled)
Custom RTT LED Lights
Custom Rear Storage Box --Removed
Rear "Attic" Storage Rack
Custom "Tuffy Style" Center Console
Custom Rear Drawers With 36" Accuride 9308 and 9301 Slides
Custom Fridge slide for 63qt ARB Fridge
Creature Comforts and Miscellaneous
Northshore NSR-4 Bike Rack
Custom 2-Bike Tray Rack that mounts to cooler swing out
ARB 63qt Fridge
Custom Drop Down Table on Cooler Swing Out
Custom Ram Mount From Grab Handle for Garmin ETrex
Midland Handheld CB Radio
4' Firestik Antenna
Pin 7 Mod
OEM Passenger Dash Grab Handle
Keyless Entey
TRD Seat Belt Pads
Strong Arm Hatch Struts
Land Rover Cup Holder Mod
Third Row Cup Holders
Dual Fold Out Cup Holder on the back of the Center Console
Dual USB Outlet on Console
12v Outlet on Console
Extended Differential Breathers
Custom Driver's Seat Extension Brackets
Third Row 12V Outlets
Seat Recline Mod (2nd and 3rd Rows)
Dorman Front Window Track/Motor Assemblies
Anyways, this is how my 1992 Land Cruiser looked when I first inherited it at 16 with 310,000 miles. This was the car that took me to preschool, elementary school, middle school, and some of high school. My parents purchased it back in the early 2000s with 175,000 miles on it. As far back as I can remember, I remember this car. My family would always take it to Colorado in the summers and explore the alpine roads. My dad has always been meticulous when it comes to maintenance. It is still on the original head gasket, transmission, transfer case.

Just before I inherited it, the build started. In an effort to get rid of the "mom-mobile" look, my dad and I painted the wheels with a VHT wheel paint, added an Ironman Nitro Gas 2" lift with 1 1/4" spacers on the front to level the ride height, had the windows tinted, and added 33x10.5x15 BFG KM1s.

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With the Colorado trip around the corner, we pulled off the damage multiplier on the front, took off the running boards, painted the grille/headlight trim/bumper trim to match the gray wheels, and painted the flares and bumpers in Rustoleum bed liner to see how it would hold up.


After returning home from Colorado and passing my driving test in the 80, it was time for fresh paint. My dad and I had always planned to repaint it to something more retro and unique. He had some left over FJ40 Dune Beige from a restoration he had done on one of his 40s. It was decided that it would become that color with many black accents.

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Hood Vents and Painting

Several years prior to paint, my dad came up with the idea to use some older Pontiac Gran Prix GTP hood vents to help keep the under the hood temps down. This was after packing snow into the engine bay to keep the truck from overheating on Ophir Pass. After measuring many times, and then measuring several more times, the holes were cut and the GTP hood vents went in. Around the same time, we fitted an electric pusher fan in front of the radiator also. Since then, the truck has never gotten over halfway on the temperature gauge...even when sitting in drive-thrus at 100+ degrees F!

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On to what everyone wants to see....The painting!

Some people might think we are crazy to repaint a pristine white 80, but for us, white was too common.

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After eight weekends working 12-14 hour days with my dad, the painting was completed.

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We painted the window trim in a gloss black, the middle area and jambs in beige, and the lower portion and rockers in bed liner. This added a significant amount of time to the painting process as I remember spending 12 hours this day just taping up all the lines to perfection.

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Painting Part 2

Finishing touches and assembly. This was just prior to wet sanding and buffing.

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Mirrors, door handles, various small pieces, and license plate light cover were all painted in matte black.

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This was just prior to putting the flares back on. If I was into more hardcore off-roading, I probably would have left the flares off, but in order to help save the paint from rock chips and for looks, I wanted them on.

The body line stripe in the door was also painted in a satin black.

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Stay tuned for Roof rack/RTT, bumper, slider, gears, stereo, and more.
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So after not getting a door ding, scratch, or otherwise damaging my Land Cruiser in the first year of driving, something was bound to happen. I had been saving for months, and I was about to purchase an Ironman Deluxe bull bar so I could have it on the truck by the time we went to Colorado for our annual family trip. On the last day of school, a girl in line to leave before me apparently became confused on what the "D and R" meant on her shifter. She happened to smash into my friends car in front of myself and push his car into the front of the Land Cruiser. At first I could not believe what had happened, and I was angered by the incompetent driver. Within seconds, I realized I was going to be getting that bumper, lights, and winch completely paid for by her insurance! Thankfully there were many witnesses, including one of the school's principals!

The wreck just happened to barely miss the hood. Thankfully we didn't have to repaint an entire hood and cut out new hood vents.

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With our Colorado trip approaching in less than two months, it was time to fight the insurance company and get some parts!
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Repairs and Bumper

After taking it to our local dealership collision center and getting an estimate to replace everything without bondo, it came in at slightly less than 4 grand. This included a new bumper, bumper trim, headlights and trim, grille, valance, driver fender and flare (the bumper was pushed into those two bending the lower fender pretty good. No frame damage, but everything on the front in some way or another was broken or misshaped. After dealing with an insurance company who kept dodging us, we threatened legal action if they did not do anything. They kept claiming they were waiting for the story from the girl, but we had multiple witnesses and another involved in the wreck and there was no reason we should be waiting on that...especially since they were not doing anything to get the story from her. They told us that story for several weeks. Once the adjuster came out to our house and saw the truck, he didn't even try and fight it. If I remember correctly, his father was someone with Toyota and he loved the truck and agreed that it needed to be fixed as we saw fit. He also gave us an additional $100 for the two Hella lights that were broken. With the check on the way, I ordered an Ironman Deluxe front bumper, two Lightforce 240 Blitz lights with amber filters, a 12,000 lb Badlands winch and wireless remote, and a new valance. Doing all the repairs ourselves, we made things work. One of the headlight mounts was broken, but some plastic washers and JB Weld fixed that issue.

After getting the valence painted and put on the truck with the old grille, I noticed there were some annoyingly large gaps on the bottom and sides.

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Autopartswarehouse had sent us the lower front valence for a 95-97 LC and thus did not fit nicely with our 92 grille. This ended up working for the better as they refunded us 1/2 the price of the valence and sold us a grille for 50%. Then I bought a Toyota emblem off eBay for $20.

When the box with the "grille" arrived a week later, I thought there was no way that it was the grille I needed. Opening it up confirmed my doubts.

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They sent us a roll of brown fabric and a lower VW Beatle grille. After trying to figure everything out the phone, they told us they had no idea where they shipped our grille.

Within a week, the grille had appeared on our front porch, and then we painted it and put it on. It required adding nylon spacers and extending the headlight mounts.

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While waiting for the grille, we installed the winch and a Hi-Lift jack on the front bumper with a custom dune beige handle. Once the grille was installed, we were able to wire up the Lightforces. We also drilled new holes and used square tubing to space them further back in the bumper and higher up.

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Cruiser is looking great! Pleased you got everything sorted with the insurance company

Where did you source the clear corners and indicator lights?
that color looks rad on the 80, keep up the nice work

That is one sweet 80!!! you guys have done an amazing job!!!
Cruiser is looking great! Pleased you got everything sorted with the insurance company

Where did you source the clear corners and indicator lights?
Thanks you guys. There is still a lot more I have to post to show how it is currently. This is from about 3-4 years ago. The clear turn signals and corner lights are Depos. I think they were around $60 for them on eBay.
Sliders and Roof Rack

After the wreck in the Spring, nothing major was changed until sometime in November. With money still left over from the wreck, I was able to get 4 new 33x10.5 BFG KM2s. Various other mods had been performed, such as the 7 pin mod, 12v outlets in the 3rd row seating area, extended diff breathers, color coordinated Wet Okole front seat covers, and Slee extended brake lines. In the following year, we built a York 210 OBA system, rear storage box, and upgraded the head unit and all of the speakers. We also took it to several Toyota off road events in Texas and the FJ Summit in Ouray, CO (we stop by there every year) About a year ago, I started planning a two week Colorado camping/biking trip for a couple friends and myself. With some extremely close calls on damaging the rockers, sliders had been on the build list for quite some time. Since no one makes sliders for the 91-92 that I could find in a design I liked, I had the exhaust redone and converted to a single catalytic converter and a high clearance muffler. No more exhaust hanging below the frame. That allowed the slider build to commence.
We used 2x2 square tubing for the main slider and the outriggers to the frame. The frame mounts are made out of 3/16 steel and they cradle frame on the bottom and sides. Then bolts slide through the cradles and over the top of the frame to hold them in place. I wanted the sliders to have a kick out in the rear, and an angled up rub rail. The middle support is the same angle as the kick out. The kick out starts at the beginning of the door seam and ends slightly in front of the end of the flare. Then the back edges of the sliders were cut to contour to the same line as the flares as they work their way down the side of the vehicle. Then we capped the ends. First coated in POR-15 and then in VHT Graphite and clear coat to match the wheels and trim.


I also added an eBay snorkel around this time. I had always been against them, especially not having a roof rack, but with the 3FE being as underpowered as it is, I was hoping to just gain a little bit of power from the fresh air that it would bring into the engine. It also happened to fix an annoying wind noise that I was getting from somewhere around the passenger window.


While wrapping up the sliders, I also started planning a full length flat roof rack build to accommodate the roof top tent I had just purchased during the annual 2014 CVT Group buy. After coming up with some plans and with what I wanted incorporated into the rack, it was time to order supplies. Auxiliary LED back up lights were definitely on the list, as well as a 40" front light bar. I had put led bulbs in the reverse lights, but my windows were too dark to really see anything out of when backing up. I never really considered any of the expensive name brand light bars due to the fact that I had the John Deere HIR bulbs in the headlights, bumper lights, and the massive LightForce 240s. I found a bar for $130 on eBay that arrived that same week. I sealed all of the edges with silicon to help protect it. Close to a year later, I have not had one single issue with it.

We used 1.5" round tubing all the way around and 1.5" square tubing for the 7 crossbars. Outside dimensions= 84x54"

I wanted the roof rack as close to the roof as possible because I think they look better, and to help preserve the fuel mileage. We used 8 Kargo Master 4" gutter mounts.,1&gclid=CM2U89Oxyr4CFWgF7AodsgcARA

The mounts are beefy and are super low to the middle of the roof. Because the roof isn't perfectly level, metal plates spaced the rack up on the farthest front and rear mounts on each side. All the gutter mounts are welded on.
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Roof Rack Part 2

Prior to constructing the roof rack, I removed the OEM Toyota roof rack and filled all the holes with JB Weld Steel Stick except for one. I saved one in the front so I would be able to run the light bar wires into the truck. Then I bondo'd over the holes and fixed some hail dents that had been on there. When we painted the truck, we left the top alone because we knew we would have to do this eventually.
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At this time, all of the nutserts for the spoiler were removed and replaced with larger, stronger ones. We also gave the roof the wet-sanding and buffing treatment the rest of the paint received.
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With the roof ready to accept the rack, we could start doing test fits and fitting the light bars.

Front bar just being held on by hose clamps and without the drop down fairing.
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Rear bars
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After everything checked out, we bent up some more tubing and made a drop down fairing similar to the Baja Racks design. I liked the look and figured it my help a little bit with fuel mileage and wind noise.


Before I completely welded up the rack, I ran some old nasty wires through the entire rack so I could wire up all the light bars internally. Once it was time to put the nice wires in, I just taped them on and pulled them through.

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One day I was sitting in class thinking about how I could mount the light bar in a unique and more secure way than the original feet. I took some measurements, came up with an overall shape and design, and then the next day I took my design to my woodshop class and cut out a template 1/4" smaller on the band saw. That allowed me to take it home and use it to guide the plasma cutter around it.


To make sure nothing would rust, we coated all the welds by hand in POR-15 and then sprayed an entire coat of POR-15 as the base coat followed gloss black and a clear coat.

I ground down the tops of the mountain mounts to give them a "snow-capped" look before we sprayed on the clear coat.

To attach the fairing, all stainless hardware was used, bolts, washers, and nylon locking nuts.

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