Super-Clean Land Cruiser Packs a Drool-Worthy Wish List of Parts

Stretch Armstrong

Harry WagnerPhotographer, Writer

Most of us learn as we work on our project vehicles. Looking back, we can all admit there are things we would have done differently if we’d had more experience. Now imagine how much you could refine the process if you had built dozens of 4x4s. This is what Tim Wehrer has done with Toyota Land Cruisers, specifically FJ40s and FJ45s. Tim has a day job like the rest of us, but he spends his free time in his shop building Land Cruiser for himself and his friends. The one shown here is perhaps the nicest one yet.

Tim started with a relatively clean 1978 FJ40 and lengthened the frame using 2x4 box tubing. He then cut the tub in half and added 12 inches from a donor body for storage space and a longer wheelbase for increased stability on the trail. The length was no accident either, as stretching the Cruiser 12 inches allowed Tim to add the pop-out window from a 1975 hard top to a pre-1972 top to stretch the hard top an equal amount while looking stock.

While the paint and body look distinctly Land Cruiser, none of the factory drivetrain was retained. A 6.0L V-8 engine routes power to an NV4500 and an Atlas II transfer case. A coilover suspension and the Dynatrac ProRock 60 axles capped with 40-inch Maxxis tires are icing on the cake.

With a wish list full of the best parts and a ton of bodywork you might think that Tim is hesitant to wheel his FJ40, but our experiences with him on the Rubicon tell quite a different story. After all, he can always build another one.

Tech Specs

1978 Toyota Land Cruiser
>Drivetrain
Engine: 6.0L Chevy V-8
Transmission: NV4500 5-speed manual
Transfer Case: Advance Adapters Atlas II
Front Axle: Dynatrac ProRock 60 with 5.13 gears and ARB Air Locker
Rear Axle: Dynatrac ProRock 60 with 5.13 gears and Detroit Locker
>Suspension
Springs & Such: 3-link with Sway-A-Way coilovers (front); triangulated 4-link with Sway-A-Way coilovers (rear)
Tires & Wheels: 40x13.5R17 Maxxis Trepador radials on 17x8.5 TrailReady HD beadlock wheels
Steering: Howe steering box, PSC hydraulic ram, factory pump
Lighting: Factory Toyota
Other Stuff: Stretched 12 inches, custom matching stretched hard top, dual Optima batteries, Warn 8274 winch, AutoMeter gauges, Tuffy center console, Howell engine harness, MasterCraft Safety seats, Santa Rosa Driveline 1350 driveshafts, 1-ton Chevy master cylinder
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