||I'm back on the FJ55 project again! I spent most of
the summer working on my other cruisers, so I let the
55 sit for a while. The good news is, she runs! And like
a champ! I'm trying to finish up the power steering on
it right now, so that will be in the next article. As
for now, check out what I've done lately.
Here's the Chevy bell housing with the Advance Adapter
mounted. You can also see the bracket I made for the
slave cylinder to attach to the bell housing. A very
simple bracket to make, and will save you about $50.
The adapter plate is to mate a Toyota 4spd to the Chevy
motor. I do plan on putting an SM-420 transmission in
the very near future, but I already had this done when
I decided on that!
|Here is the 4spd tranny and 4spd transfer case mated
and being fitted into it's new home.
||Here is the cross member bracket I built. I had one
for an FJ40, but on the day of the install I realized
that the FJ55's frame was about 6 inches wider than the
FJ40! So I built my own, once again saving myself about
$150. Plus I was able to build it a little beefier than
the AA brackets. The rubber mounts are old tranny mounts
I saved and cleaned up.
Here's a picture showing how I had to bend the heck
out of the stick shift and cut away at the heater for
it to fit and for it to shift through all the gears!
||This picture shows the very steep front driveline angle.
As of now, I have a stock front end under it, but I plan
on putting a wider (59") FJ60 front housing in that has
the knuckles cut at 16 degrees. That will fix the driveline
problem. As for the rear axle, I already have swapped
in a FJ60 axle (59" wide) with a Lock-Rite and 4.88's.
The front will have an ARB, 4.88's, and Marfeilds.
|Ok, maybe I'll need a cv-joint too! Here's the front
axle receiving the disc brakes. For disc brake conversion
info, check out the disc brake conversion article here
in the Tech. Dept.
||Here's the radiator. It came out of an early 80's Ford
F-250, it has a tranny cooler built in, so I could use
that as my power steering cooler. It damn near bolted
right in with no modifications! Alls I had to do was weld
a couple pieces of strap steel to the radiator support
and bolt it up.
|| Here's just a pick of the motor sitting inside an ugly
engine bay! Since the install I have added block hugger
headers, stock GM aluminum intake, a few chrome accessories
and some black paint. I have run it a few times and it
runs like a champ. I have not yet had the exhaust done.
That will come later.
|| Ok, it's not finished yet (not even close) but here's
the beginning of the power steering conversion. I've tried
to make this as simple as possible, but it's just not
gonna happen! Something always seems to be in the way
of something! First of all, I had to cut a lot more than
I wanted to out of the front cross member for the Saginaw
steering box to fit. No problem, I plan on really beefing
that area up later anyways.
|| This picture shows the heim joint in the background.
Because of the extreme angles of the steering box location
and the column, and the off set of the column at the firewall
and the steering box, I have to use a heim joint at the
frame to push the steering shaft away from the frame and
||Another shot of the heim joint.
|| Here is the steering box plate being fitted up to the
frame. In the picture it's not finished, but it did come
out very nice, and points the box at about a 25 degrees
||At this point in the project I have the rear end finished
(FJ60) with a Lock-Rite, 4.88's, GM disc brakes, and Rancho
9000's. The rear driveline is in, tranny, T-case, and
motor are all hooked up and in working order. I still
have to finish doing a lot of wiring inside and out. As
I mentioned, the front end is also done, but I'm going
to swap it out with a matching FJ60 housing with all the
goodies to go with it. The suspension is done, and sits
about 8 inches over stock with 35x15.5x15 Super Swampers
on 15x10 aluminum mods. I still have a lot of work to
do with the interior, and the engine compartment (painting
and cleaning). In part 4 of the build up I plan on finishing
the power steering, building bumpers, building a rear
traction bar, and doing the Flowmaster exhaust system.
And also cleaning up and painting the engine bay. The
current cost of the Budget Build up is at about $1100.00
$605.00+ $130.00 transfer case $75.00 for motor stuff
(hoses, wiring, etc.) $200.00 ring and pinion $50.00 for
radiator $40.00 for head light bezel, throttle pedal,
and windshield wipers.