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Frank The 1982 Toyota HJ47

Posted in Project Vehicles on October 1, 2012
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We were exploring the high country near Silverton, Colorado, when John Floyd and his diesel-powered Toyota HJ47 appeared on the trail in front of us. We were so blinded by the ’yotas coolness we darn near drove our rig into a lodgepole pine tree. We knew a unique rig like this had to have a story, and this one does.

Unique doesn’t even begin to describe Floyd’s HJ47. The cab was restored to rust-free condition with a used hood and fenders and the exterior was painted Toyota white. The trick 5x6-foot TL Engineering tray is mounted directly to the chassis. That’s an ARB bull bar up front and it holds a pair of Hella driving lights. The rig rolls on Dunlop all-terrain tires that are wrapped around the factory Toyota 16-inch split rims.

Floyd has been into Toyotas for a long time. “My affection (affliction?) started in June of 1969 when my father purchased a new blue FJ40 Land Cruiser. I learned to drive in this vehicle and spent most of my free time exploring the mountains around Golden, Colorado. In 1976, I moved up to Steamboat Springs and took the Cruiser with me. For the next 30 years it served me faithfully as a snow plow and daily driver. I still have it with well over 250,000 miles and it still runs great,” he says.

I have always liked the original body style and am particularly fond of the Land Cruiser pickup. Unfortunately, Toyota only brought them into the States for a few years in the early ‘60s and they are very scarce today. My travels as a blasting consultant have taken me to Australia a few dozen times. There are a lot of Land Cuiser ’utes (Australian for pickup) running around and most of them are diesels, too cool! After a few years of indecision, I finally purchased one, an ’82 HJ47, with a strong 4.0L diesel and a relatively solid body in Perth. I drove it straight to the wreckers to replace a few rusted parts. I named it Frank (short for Frankenstein because of all the different body parts I ended up with),” Floyd says. Shortly thereafter, he had a number of other items installed, including the TL Engineering “tray,” which is Australian terminology for what most of us call a flatbed.

Under the hood is the Toyota 2H, 12-valve, 4.0L I-6 diesel engine. Stock, this engine has a compression ratio of 20.7:1 and it produces 107hp and 177 lb-ft of torque at a lowly 2,000 rpm. Floyd had a custom 3-inch-diameter exhaust installed as well as a Denco turbocharger to “provide a bit more boost in the mountains.” We’re guessing Floyd saw a significant increase in horsepower and torque with the addition of the turbo. Power is routed through a Toyota H41 four-speed manual transmission and its split to the axles via a Toyota two-speed transfer case with 1.96:1 low range ratio. Combined with the axle ratio of 4.11:1 and the 4.84:1 First gear ratio of the transmission, the rig has a crawl ratio of 38.9:1.

According to Floyd, current regulations allow the importation of vehicles to the U.S. that are more than 25 years old without the hassle of converting the righthand drive to lefthand drive, so he had the vehicle shipped from Perth to Los Angeles. The vehicle cleared customs “without a hitch,” so Floyd picked it up and headed east to Colorado.

Nowadays, Floyd uses the unique, versatile rig to explore the backcountry of the Rocky Mountains and in the near future he plans to point the rig north toward Alaska.

The Details
Owner/Hometown: John Floyd/Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Vehicle/Model: 1982 Toyota HJ47
Estimated value: “Who knows?”

Type: Toyota 2H I-6 diesel
Aspiration: Denco turbocharger, custom 3-in-diameter exhaust
Output, hp/torque: 107/177 (stock)

Transmission: Toyota H41 4-spd manual
Transfer case: Toyota 2-spd

Front: Leaf spring, shocks
Rear: Leaf spring, shocks

Front: Toyota/open
Rear: Toyota/open
Ring and pinion: 4.11:1

Wheels: Factory 16-in split
Tires: 235x85R16 Dunlop SP Road Gripper fw

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