Transforming a rolling chassis
When we last left our Toyota project, a mid-'60s FJ45 shortbed, we had just finished swapping in power steering (June '99) along with new gears, front brakes, and ARBs (July '99). Now, we're in the final stages of transforming our classic (read: very tired) import into a reconditioned, muscle-flexing masterpiece.
From the outset, we've wanted to take the advantages of the longer wheelbase of the 45 but do some improving on the departure angle. Some trimming of the bed and rear framerails proved not an easy task but well worth the effort. With a new suspension and shock setup in the works, we needed to take all the measurements for new spring mounts and attach points. With that behind us, we had the frame blasted, shot, and sprayed, and we got spectacular results. With all the parts prepped, all we had to do was start bolting together springs, axles, shackles, and brakes.
For the most part, there were no surprises, except for the interesting shackles we have lined up for our project. Basically, it's a cantilever setup, practically able to leap tall buildings in a single bound...in theory. We'll be watching it on the trail (and even its road manners) in a future episode. Here we go.