Land Cruiser
Front Disc Brake Conversion
1971 FJ40

Remove everything from the knuckle out, including the birfield and inner axle. You will not use the inner axle, but you must separate it from the birfield. To do this, you can put the inner axle in a large vise, and with a block of wood and a large hammer or mallet, drive the birfield off the axle. (wear safety goggles!)  

Since you won't be using the Cruiser parts anymore, an easy way to remove the knuckle assembly is to remove the locking clip on the outer birfield, just inside the locking hub, then remove the bolts on the back of the steering knuckle. These bolts hold the gasket seal on the knuckle. Now remove the steering arm from the knuckle. You may need to pound the sides of the steering arms to get the acorn nuts to pop out. Now the whole assembly will slide right off, and you don't have a mess of greasy parts to deal with!  

Now pull the Cruiser birfield and inner axle out, and perform the same procedure as separating the pickup axles. Take the the donor birfields from a 79-85 toyota 4x4 truck and attach them to the cruiser axles. They will just slide right together. If you happen to get the Cruiser and mini truck inner axles mixed up, don't worry. The mini truck ones are about one inch longer than the Cruiser inners that you will be using.  


Before you put the 79-85 toyota 4x4 truck birfield into the Cruiser axle housing, you must do a little bit of grinding on the lower inside of the knuckle ball for the birfield to fit. Approximately 1/16" should be shaved off in order to squeeze the bigger, stronger mini truck 'fields in. You should not have to grind the top part of the housing. 

Once you get the birfield and inner axle to slide into the housing, you can start putting the mini truck parts onto the housing. This should be done part by part, so that you can inspect and repack bearings, and properly torque every bolt. Don't forget to refill the knuckle chock full of grease!  

If your Cruiser is a '68 or newer, then the brake lines will fit right up. If it is older, then the threads are different, and you will need to change them. Also, if it is older than 71, then you won't have a brake booster and more than likely want one. I recommend the booster and master cylinder from the mini truck you got the front end parts from. The booster and master cylinder from a later model Cruiser will work as well. Some firewall modifications will most likely be necessary for the new hardware.  
 


Before you put the driver side steering arm on the knuckle, you will need to cut it. Cut approximately where the white line is marked in the picture. 

Once both sides are complete, you can put the tie rod on. You must use the mini truck tie rod because the ends are larger than the Cruiser ends.  

Now bleed the brake system, and check everything over. Make sure you fill your front diff back up with gear oil!  


This story was written and compiled by Jeff Fretwell, club President. You may reach him via email, at jeff@pirate4x4.com

 

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