If mass chaos comes tomorrow, or even later today, there’s one man who is ready to bug out. He’s the owner of this ’86 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60, and his rig has a variety of modifications designed to make the Cruiser the go-to vehicle in the event of civilization’s collapse or whatever bedlam should come to pass. The owner of this Cruiser wishes to remain anonymous, as many doomsday preppers do. But the truck’s builder, Jesse Nelson at JD Fabrication, says, “The idea behind this build comes from the doomsday prepper within.” He says the idea was to capitalize on reliability and function, while at the same time keeping drivetrain electronics to a minimum. “So going with the 12-valve Cummins turbodiesel engine and NV4500 five-speed manual transmission was a must,” he goes on to say.
The owner of this rig is no stranger to Land Cruisers. Over the years he has owned a number of them and he is a big fan of older Toyotas. Thus, it was a no-brainer that when it came time to build a bug-out rig, his first choice was a Cruiser. It was also a given that he’d have his friend, Nelson, build the rig for him.
The result is an incredibly capable 4x4 that’s packed with proven parts. This makes it a reliable machine to count on if things go south.
The stock six-cylinder Toyota gasoline engine is gone, replaced by a modified 12-valve 5.9L Cummins I-6 turbodiesel engine. The stock turbocharger has been replaced by an Industrial Injection PhatShaft 62/70 turbo with 12-centimeter housing. This turbo is making 34 pounds of boost. This Maximum Diesels-built engine has a custom JD Fab wiring harness, it rests on modified Dodge motor mounts, and is said to produce 320hp and 718 lb-ft of torque. The cylinders have been bored 0.020 inch over and fitted with marine-application pistons. There’s also a Hamilton Cams camshaft and 165-pound beehive valvesprings. The engine is cooled by a Ron Davis dual-pass radiator and the stock engine-driven Dodge fan, while exhaust gases are whisked away via a custom 3- and 4-inch-diameter exhaust that includes a Magnaflow muffler. The rig has serious amp-making capabilities thanks to an Optima YellowTop battery, two Odyssey batteries, and a DC Power 270-amp alternator. The pair of silver canisters you see on each side of the radiator are Unique Metal Products air filters and they ensure that there’s a steady supply of clean air even if bug-out conditions are dirt-filled. Sprouting from the air filters is custom 3-inch-diameter aluminum tubing to the turbo. Other underhood mods include a firewall-mounted front axle breather filter, custom windshield washer fluid reservoir, and the rollcage-integrated tubing that serves as the upper mount for the front coilovers.
At A Glance
Vehicle: 1986 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60
Stomping grounds: Somewhere in California
Build time: Two years (cost: approx $200,000)
Engine: Cummins 5.9L 12-valve I-6 turbodiesel, Industrial Injection PhatShaft 62/70 turbo
Transmission: NV4500 5-spd manual
Transfer case(s): Advance Adapters Atlas 2
Low range ratio(s): 4.3:1
Crawl ratio(s): 90:1
Front axle/differential: Dodge Dana 60, EMS Offroad 35-spline axleshafts/3.73 gears, ARB Air Locker
Rear axle/differential: Dodge Dana 80, GM disc brake conversion/3.73 gears, ARB Air Locker
Front: Custom 3-link, King 3.0 14-in-travel remote-reservoir coilovers, King 2.5 bumpstops
Rear: Custom 4-link, King 3.0 16-in-travel remote-reservoir coilovers, King 2.5 bumpstops
Steering: Custom cantilever, custom pitman arm, Lee Manufacturing hydraulic assist, Chevy C10 steering box, custom tie rod
Tires: 37x13.50R17 LT BFGoodrich Baja T/A KRT
Wheels: 17x8.5 TrailReady beadlock
Armor: Custom bumpers, custom rocker protection, fuel cell skidplate
Cool stuff: ARB roof rack, Warn 16.5ti winch, full-perimeter LED lighting
The passenger area of the FJ is almost a work of art and it features a slew of custom components designed and arranged for functionality. The CRB Fabrication-built custom dash is made of aluminum and it houses a collection of cutting-edge electronics. Front-and-center to the driver is a Racepac Street Dash that displays a variety of information including rpm, speed, boost pressure, voltage, exhaust gas temperature, and water temperature. Within easy reach are the switches for the ARB Air Lockers and air compressor, as well as exterior and interior lighting and the rear windshield wiper. Further to the right is an iPad and a Lowrance HDS 5m GPS. The dash vents are from Vintage Air and the heating and air conditioning controls are FJ60-spec. JD Fab designed and built the aluminum center console and it houses the transmission and transfer case shifters, a Kenwood two-way radio, and a Kenwood intercom system (that uses PCI headsets). The center console also includes cup holders and storage. Other interior features include a Momo steering wheel, V&J Upholstery headliner, and MasterCraft Safety seating. When it comes to occupant protection, there's a custom tucked-and-hidden rollcage made from 1.750-inch-diameter 0.120-inch-wall DOM tubing and Crow Safety Gear lap belts that have been modified to accept a removable shoulder restraint. Finally, the entire inside of the body tub has been coated in Line-X for easy cleanup.