#1 Quality #1 Performance #1 Service
#1 Quality #1 Performance #1 Service
A real-world product showcase from one of our own.
From an early age I always had an appreciation for cars and 4wd’s. We would go camping in my Dad’s HJ61 Toyota Landcruiser most weekends and just loved exploring this amazing country. As i grew older i learnt how to drive in that same Landcruiser my Dad had owned since new. Naturally as time went on I wanted a classic Landcruiser of my own. The utilitarian styling and overall ruggedness of the 40 series Landcruiser always peaked my interest. I started researching prices online and saw an upwards trend of prices over the last few years. I knew if i wanted to get one now would be the time. I finally found a suitable candidate in regional NSW which needed a lot of work but was drivable. It was a 1984 Toyota Landcruiser HJ47 Ute for sale for a fair price with factory air conditioning and a PTO winch. We drove down and towed it home with the same HJ61 from my childhood years, it was a great feeling. Once we got home i got stuck into disassembly, carefully labelling all the parts and making sure i was taking photos along the way. It is much easier taking things apart than putting them back together!
Once i started the teardown process i knew i was fully committed to the rebuild. There was definitely no turning back! The sheer amount of rust and dirt that was caked in the chassis rails made me wonder how this car drove at all.
I got stuck into removing the tray first then all the body panels and interior pieces. Placing them into labelled bags certainly helped me down the track. The chassis and driveline was then steam cleaned to remove most of the built up dirt and grease.
It was now time to start cleaning up parts and repainting. I decided to start with the front and rear axles as i had all the parts to rebuild them on hand. I used our MAGNUM CLEAN DISC to strip back all of the old paint and rust back to bare metal ready for painting. This worked great and gave the paint a nice surface to adhere to. This was the main product i used throughout the build. For nearly every part i stripped the paint and rust off using the clean disc and painted it.
The Diff housings and chassis were then painted using the KBS painting process.
This has by far taken the longest amount of time. Lucky for me my dad has a lot of panel beating experience otherwise this would be a very costly endeavour! Since the previous owner used the car almost extensively as a beach fishing vehicle every panel and join was rusty. Firstly the sections were stripped of all the old paint, bog and rust to get back to bare metal. The Magnum Clean Disc made short work of this while not harming the base material.
Each piece was cut out using our Magnum Finecut 1″ cutting disc. This allowed for fast, precise cuts which made it a lot easier to weld in new metal. Each piece was made out of 1.2mm sheet. Firstly a rough shape was cut out using our Finecut Disc, then the piece was shaped using a Fix flap disc to achieve a tight fit of the patch piece. The piece was then welded to the body making sure not to introduce too much heat to avoid warping the panel. The welds were then ground down using our Trimfix hellfire disc. This disc is very aggressive and made short work of the welds. A fast material removal rate is important as this limits how hot the work surface gets, limiting the chance of warping. The inside section of these panels is going to be treated with rust converter and cavity wax to limit future corrosion.
Time was then spent on cleaning up engine bay components such as the intake pipes shown on the right. Since they are cast aluminium i wanted to make sure i kept the original look of the casting marks and texture. To achieve this i used our Magnum Fleecetop Grit 600. The 600 grit provides a very fine finish with minimal material removal. This process was very simple and satisfying as the results were fast to achieve and should really make the engine shine!
Once all the rust repairs were completed (this took a very long time as we were very meticulous and there was a lot of rust!) we started to prepare the panels for paint. This involved stripping all the old layers of paint, bog and rust. Again the FIX Clean disc was great for this job. It removes all surface layers but doesn’t remove the base metal. Dry Ice was applied to the old bitumen based sound deadening. This made it very easy to remove.
All the panels were then sent off to be epoxy primed this will give us a nice base to work with and stop the bare metal panels from rusting while in storage.
Then started to long process of applying body filler, sanding, priming, sanding, more sanding then finally painting! Obviously this would have been much easier to send to a spray painter but I wanted to learn the process for my self and I’m glad that I did. For sanding the primer and painted panels I used a combination of wet and dry sanding sheets and white stearate sanding discs. These discs have a coating that helps them reduce clogging.
Deciding on the colour was a big decision, do I keep it the original white to keep the purists happy or do I go something more modern? In the end I chose a period correct original Toyota colour known as 6H9 Greyish olive. I always thought the 40 series had a utilitarian military look and I’m very happy with my choice.
I painted each panel seperately as I could only paint on weekends and didn’t have the space to paint everything in one go. This made the painting stage take a few months. I definitely learnt a lot and am really happy with how it turned out. Now is the fun parts where I get to start re-assembling and it starts looking like a car again!
The small brackets that I painted were cleaned up with the clean discs or a wire brush. Every bolt that I used was either a refurbished original or a cadmium plated, high-tensile replacement.
All the new parts I sourced from Japan or the UAE for genuine Toyota replacement parts. If they lasted this long they must be doing something right!
My main theme with this build is to go for an OEM+ finish. Basically to make it better than original. That means better soundproofing, rustproofing and updating things like headlights to LED while still keeping the classic feel of the car.
There is not long left to go now, I have a small amount of wiring left to finish off, mounting the tray and installing the bullbar and winch. I am very keen to finally start driving this car around and enjoying it. It has taught me so much and will hopefully provide lots of great memories in the future.
This was used to clean up cast aluminium pieces to a nice bright finish. 600 Grit was used in this case. Was also used for cleaning up zinc plated engine parts that were slightly rusty before painting.
Variable speed angle grinder used for the majority of work as the speed can be adjusted down for use with clean discs or fleecetop discs or adjusted up for cutting and grinding
Used for finer grinding and shaping usually 80 grit was used for these tasks as we only wanted to remove a small amount of material at a time to ensure patch panel fitment. Like all of the FIX line of products it was used with a velcro backing pad.