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1966 SWB FJ45 Built for the Carbon Neutral

Expedition

Well, toward the middle of January 2010 I was asked to be a part of a Carbon Neutral Expedition traversing 900 miles through parts of Utah and Arizona with the journey ending at the 2010 Overland Expo. I have a very capable 1963 Series II Land Rover I could use for the journey—but decided to challenge myself and build a new vehicle for the expedition. I happen to have a SWB 45 that I had bought with plans on building much much later this year—change of plans. The truck looked decent with an older restoration and it really just needed some love. The plan was not a full frame off restoration but close and with very limited time to complete everything. I also wanted to build this truck with the goal of achieving 30+ MPG and to eventually run on Straight Vegetable Oil. Originally the hope was to have the truck almost fully operational by the first part of March to work out any bugs for the expedition in the first part of April. However after fracturing my right hand in the middle of the project things moved along very slowly and questions began to arise whether this truck would be finished in time. The original build plans were as follows:

Build plans:

-Cummins B3.3 install w/ intercooler
-fine spline axles with 3.7 diffs and disk brakes up front
-shackle reversal
-saginaw power steering install
-power brakes
-NV4500 with Toyota split case transfer case with special gears
-33 inch tires on stock rims
-powder coat the frame
-second fuel tank

If there was time:
-install Vintage A/C and heating system
-rear ARB locker
-custom seats and seat belts
-SVO system
-rear bumper with tire/fuel carrier

What was actually completed with some help on the side to act as my right hand while I healed.

–Cummins B3.3 install w/ intercooler
-fine spline axles with 3.7 diffs and disk brakes up front
-shackle reversal
-saginaw power steering install
-power brakes
-NV4500 with Toyota split case transfer case with special gears
-32 inch tires on 16 inch rims
-powder coat the frame
-second fuel tank
-install Vintage A/C and heating system
-rear bumper with tire/fuel carrier

With a shakedown period of 480 miles and a last night of wrenching we were off for the Expedition. On board I had approximately 70 gallons of B99 Biodiesel, 15 gallons of water and lots and lots of gear. Here is a slide show of the build of this vehicle:


1952 Flxible Bus

Helping a vintage bus stay cool.  Originally this 1952 Flixbile bus was designed to be moved by a Buick V8 engine which had some interesting air flow patterns, including a pan around the engine to keep things running cool.  Now the bus is sporting an International Diesel DT-466 installed by the previous owner, but has encountered some cooling issues since the installation.  When the diesel engine was installed the original pan that surrounded the engine and maintained a certain airflow direction had to be removed.  In addition A/C units were placed on the roof of the bus disrupting the air flow into the roof scoop which directed air through the radiator.  Multiple issues each needing to be addressed, but at the end of the day we have a bus that can climb passes without breaking a sweat.  A new roof scoop was made doubling the height of the original design to help compensate for the roof mounted a/c units.  Louvers were placed on the rear engine compartment to aid in removing hot air along with a pusher fan on the engine verses a puller style.  And the last component needed is a secondary radiator as the stock location has a limited size opening restricting the option of going to a larger radiator.  At the end of the day it is all worth it as we have an RV that isn’t a square box and is still able to get 18+ miles to the gallon on biodiesel.

SWB FJ45 Truck

This early 1960’s Toyota FJ45 truck had a number of upgrades to improve its drivability, safety and fuel economy. When the truck arrived it was pretty much stock except for the transmission shifter being moved to the floor, however when it left it had the following:

*Five speed Toyota Transmission with split case transfer case—part of which was made to operate off of the original vacuum system that the original transfer case used.
*Differentials changed from 4.11 to 3.73 gearing
*Dual master cylinder for the brakes: big safety improvement over the stock single master cylinder
*Saginaw Power Steering
*Windshield washer system installed, seat belts installed, new door window glass seals.

Mercedes DoKa Unimog

This 1980 DoKa Cab Unimog came to us with an older restoration and needed a few items addressed. When it left it had the following work completed: *fuel tank cleaned and set up for use with Biodiesel *Auxiliary fuel tank installed for the diesel powered heater—The majority of diesel powered heaters will not run well on Biodiesel and need a separate fuel system *power steering leak fixed *As this truck has a 24V electric system we installed an electronic braking system that would work with the 12V electric trailer brakes most common in the USA. In addition the rear taillights were rewired to work with a 7 pin trailer plug. *custom hitch made for the rear of the truck that would accept any standard receiver and pin. *a few of the doors had new metal installed and the paint was fixed on the doors and roof. *new sound deadening engine cover installed

1965 Red FJ45 SWB

1964 FJ45LV

1956 Series 1 Land Rover