Toyota FJ45 Land Cruiser – Crusty Cruiser made new!

You might look at that photo above and think “that Land Cruiser doesn’t look that crusty”, and you would be wrong.

A closer look at that photo shows just a small sample of what this particular truck was all about: patches. Patches on patches, of all different shapes and sizes. As a result, none of the panels were especially straight, and nothing fit particularly well on this truck. Just for an added challenge, the frame under this truck was in pretty rough shape as well. Things were looking grim for this build, but you know what they say: when there’s a will, there’s a way. Or in this case: when there are companies that make new aluminum bodies and new steel frames, there’s a way.

As it sits, there’s already not a whole lot of original left with this truck. Along with the patched up cab, the bed is a bit of an oddity. It appears to be hand made, but also appears that some parts of an original FJ45 were used in the making of this bed. For better or worse, we decided that working with the bed was our best course of action knowing that finding another, more original bed was not a likely option.

Fast forward a few months and it’s pretty much a whole new truck! As one can expect, the aluminum tub and fiberglass top will have its own set of challenges in terms of fitment. The frame is ready to take a beating though!

Some storage is added to the aluminum cab where the gas tank used to go. That’s right, no more tank in the cab! It’s a bit less “original”, but also less chance of smelling fumes while driving. At this point, originality is kinda thrown out the window anyway.

One last look at the patchwork cab before it’s sent packin’. With the easy part outta the way, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of this build! The drivetrain is going to be a refreshed original unit, but the truck will get an OME suspension upgrade. Let’s get dug in!