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Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers Makes What Might Be the Perfect Small Pickup

Posted in Features on July 26, 2018
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While Toyota imported the 60 Series and 80 Series wagons to the U.S., the 70 Series was never offered stateside. These no-nonsense vehicles were put in service around the world in heavy use like mining operations and U.N. peacekeeping missions. And naturally, human nature being what it is, that is the model Toyota enthusiasts in the States have an unhealthy obsession for. The 79 Series pickup was the last and best of the 70 Series, and Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers has built one with a dream list of components that you don’t have be a Toyota fan to appreciate.

Jeremiah Proffitt has been building and restoring Land Cruisers for decades, making contacts near and far along the way. This particular vehicle started with a cab and bed imported from an armored car company in the Middle East. The sheetmetal was grafted onto an 80 Series chassis, which is readily available and comes with coil suspension front and rear, not to mention beefy full-floating axles with selectable lockers straight from the factory.

Proffitt didn’t use the 1FZ-FE engine and automatic transmission that came standard in the 80 Series. Instead he retrofit a Cummins R2.8 turbodiesel engine and backed it with an Aisin H55F five-speed manual transmission. Combined with a 60-gallon fuel capacity, this effectively gives him a range of 1,500 miles or more. Imagine driving all the way across the United States while only having to stop once for fuel! If the pristine 79 Series didn’t already make other Land Cruiser enthusiasts green with envy, that fuel economy and range certainly will.

This photo would lead you to believe that the Cummins R2.8 was a factory option in the 70 Series Land Cruiser, but all of Proffitt’s engine swaps show this attention to detail. The crate engine comes with everything from the throttle pedal and starter to a complete wiring harness and accessory drive with alternator and power steering pump to ease installation.
The Camp King rooftop tent makes for a comfy night’s sleep after a long day on the trail. The aluminum construction allows the tent to close up quickly in the morning, and there’s no concern about tearing fabric when you travel under low-hanging branches.
Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers fabricated the bed rack, which holds a variety of Rotopax containers, a Hi-Lift Xtreme jack, and a set of Maxtrax recovery boards. All of these items are within arm’s reach without taking up any space in the bed of the truck.
Space is limited in the regular-cab truck, but an ARB roof rack provides additional storage space for two aluminum Zarges cases. These cases are waterproof, dustproof, and lockable, making them perfect for storing everything from clothes and camping gear to spare parts and tools.
The bed of the truck is coated with Vortex bedliner and holds a fullsize spare tire, a SnoMaster freezer-fridge, camp chairs, and enough gear for extended forays into the backcountry. Under the bed, Proffit’s fabricated two fuel cells that hold a combined 60 gallons of diesel to ensure Jeremiah and Chandra have an opportunity to use all of that gear before having to head back to civilization.
The 80 Series front axle is incredibly strong in stock form. It came from the factory with 4.10 gears and a selectable electric locking differential. Note that the tie rod is behind the axle, where it is protected from harm, but the drag link is in front and connects to the steering arm that bolts to the bottom of the knuckle.
The 80 Series radius arms were retained to locate the axle. They are supplemented by Old Man Emu coil springs and Bilstein 5100 monotube nitrogen-charged shock absorbers.
The 80 Series rear axle has full-floating hubs and is offset to match the HF2-AV transfer case. It came equipped with disc brakes, 4.10 gears, and an electric locking differential from the factory, so no upgrades were necessary. This is one of the reasons Proffitt loves Toyotas so much.
The rear suspension uses a five-link design with a Panhard bar to locate the axle. Old Man Emu coil springs and Bilstein 5100 shock absorbers make room for 285/70R17 Maxxis RAZR M/T tires on Pro Comp 5001 wheels.
You can’t tell from this photo, but “the interior is one of trickiest parts of the build,” Jeremiah Proffitt confesses. He purchased this truck without an interior and completed the build out with used components from mining trucks and some new parts from Toyota. He will actually buy complete mining trucks just for the interior!

Tech Specs

1993 Toyota Land Cruiser 79 Series
Engine: Cummins R2.8 4-cylinder turbodiesel
Transmission: H55F 5-speed manual
Transfer Case: Toyota HF2-AV
Axles: Toyota 80 Series with 4.10 gears and factory electric locker (front and rear)
Springs & Such: Old Man Emu heavy load springs, Bilstein 5100 shocks (front and rear)
Tires & Wheels: 285/70R17 Maxxis RAZR M/T on Pro Comp 5001
Steering: Factory Toyota power steering
Lighting: Rigid Industries Radiance Series LED light bars (front and rear)
Other Stuff: ARB Bull Bar, Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers rock sliders and bed cage, Warn VR10-S winch, Factor55 FlatLink, Maxtrax recovery boards, ARB Twin Air compressor, Hi-Lift Xtreme jack, factory snorkel

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