When Ed Evans first took his '82 FJ40 Land Cruiser to T&J's 4 Wheel Drive Center, he sat down with Mike and Tom Barnett and laid out a vision of what he wanted his Cruiser to become. What he had in mind is what most four-wheelers want out of their vehicles: a solid off-road rig capable of tackling trails such as the Rubicon, but one that could still be driven on the street.
Because it had been so reliable, Ed decided to leave the stock 2F motor alone and concentrated on more critical areas. The underhood modifications he felt most necessary were a dual-battery system, a K&N air filter, and a Flowmaster exhaust for better breathing.
For a reasonable amount of lift, Ed looked to Old Man Emu for 3-inch springs and shackles coupled with Rancho RS 9000 shocks. For ease of use, Ed also had T&J's install the Rancho in-cab remote system. The controls are mounted between the seats within easy reach of the driver under any circumstances.
Ed then gutted the stock Toyota axles and filled them with 4.10 gears and ARB air lockers front and rear. It's a solid combination for on-road and off-road use. Because he had had past problems with shearing wheel studs, Ed had the staff at T&J's redrill the wheels and axles to accept 5/8-inch studs. It's a much stronger setup that will serve Ed well no matter what terrain he's on. Capping the axles are 33x12-1/2-inch Goodyear MTRs mounted on 15x8-inch American Racing wheels.
Because Ed plans to take his family along on his off-road trips, he had T&J's build a solid rollcage that will hold up to potentially serious abuse. Rather than pull out the factory rollbar, they decided to tie it into the full cage. It now provides mounting points for the seat harnesses and is designed to accept an overhead console later if Ed decides to go that route. If the weather turns ugly, the cage in no way interferes with either the soft top or the hardtop.
For comfort and safety, Ed went with Cobra seats up front that are equipped with Schroth harnesses. In back, the factory fold-down seats were maintained and actually still work great. For a little extra storage, an aluminum tailgate from JP Offroad was installed. This ingenious gate has an interior compartment that can be accessed when the gate is folded down, and locked when the gate is up.
Providing rock-solid protection front and rear are a set of bumpers from Bulletproof Manufacturing. Ed decided that he wanted some type of grille protection up front, so he had T&J's fabricate a steel grilleguard and then weld it to the Bulletproof bumper. The entire piece is extremely stout and looks very clean. In the back, T&J's did a little more modifying by welding steel corner guards to the Bulletproof bumper. Once they were done, everything was re-powdercoated and bolted on.
Similar to most rigs, Ed Evans' Land Cruiser is a work in progress. He's planning to have the 2F motor rebuilt and given a little more cam. And power steering is sure to follow. No matter what direction he plans to take his Cruiser, he has made a good start.
|Owner/hometown:||Ed Evans/Orange, California|
|Frontend:||Toyota with ARB air locker|
|Rearend:||Toyota with ARB air locker|
|Suspension:||Old Man Emu 3-inch lift with Rancho RS 9000 shocks|
|Tires/wheels:||33x12-1/2-inch Goodyear MTRs/15x8-inch American Racings|