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1970 Toyota Land Cruiser - Brad's Bold 40

Posted in Features on February 1, 2009
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Brad Clark bought a small portion of the 1970 Toyota Land Cruiser you see here back in 2006. At the time of purchase, the old FJ40 looked nothing like the beauty that graces these pages today. As purchased it was a decent, but well used, Cruiser with a 350 crate motor and sitting on 37-inch Swampers. The Chandler, Arizona, owner drove the rig as it was for a while and did some 'wheeling in it but he decided the one feature it really needed was power steering with a tilt column, lest Brad would soon have Popeye arms from turning the beefy tires.

Brad visited a few off-road and fabrication shops looking for a vendor to do the upgrade he wanted. When he walked into the Campbell Ent. shop he was immediately impressed with their work and the crew there was confident they could do the job he needed on the steering setup. Ah...but we wonder how many upgrades start out so seemingly innocent only to later balloon as you'll soon see in our story.

With his Toyota dropped off, the work began on the new steering. As Brad stopped by the shop on occasion to check out his rig, he spotted plenty of eye candy in progress. He started seeing other upgrades or mods he wanted and the work list began to grow. After a short while, Shannon Campbell talked with Brad and suggested he consider a complete custom build from the ground up. This would more fluidly incorporate all the changes he wanted and revitalize the entire vehicle into something new. Brad went with the advice and the project expanded.

Campbell started the foundation with a custom built 2x4-inch box steel chassis and skillfully mated the cage, nerfs, and other necessary metal ware as needed. The FJ40 tub was used and the tubework artfully integrated. Brad wanted a rig that he could use for weekend trail exploration, rock crawling, and a little high speed desert running.

When it came time to build the suspension, the Campbell crew went with their proven front leaf and rear link configuration. This combo provides a comfortable and stable ride on and off the highway and soaks up high speed dirt terrain well. King shocks are used at all four corners with coilover springs in the rear. King air bumps help smooth bottoming on rough landings.

With the suspension in place, it was time to decide on a powerplant. For this Cruiser, power comes from a 550hp Corvette LS2 engine and is shifted through a Hughes-built TH350 auto using a 2,500 rpm torque converter. From there, an Atlas transfer case splits the torque to Campbell-built driveshafts to the axles.

Final drivetrain consists of a Dana 60 front and 14-bolt Corporate rear axle, set a distance of 98 inches from each other. Both axles spin 4.56:1 gears and use ARB Air Lockers. Power disc brakes can be found at all four corners.

Jason Brown shot the body with silver metallic paint and the tube work was powdercoated in a contrasting candy apple blue. A Campbell Ent. fiberglass hood was used and the tub interior was Rhino lined for durability and ease of maintenance. Walker Evans beadlocks grab onto the 39-inch BFG Krawlers to put the V-8 power and traction to the ground.

Peering into the interior of this rig, you'll find color matched suspension seats, with Mastercraft harnesses. A custom dash and console were built and outfitted with full gauges, GPS, heater, and a stereo setup. The list of mods to this rig is long and the details immense.

The goal was a sharp-looking 4WD that could be used for some 'wheeling fun. We were impressed with the outcome and the rig handles well. When all was said and done, Brad left the Campbell shop with a big grin, a lighter wallet, and one cool FJ40.

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