1972 Toyota FJ40: Low-Buck Conversion

1972 Toyota FJ40

Over the weekend, I visited my in-laws in northwest Florida. One of my favorite stops is at a small used car dealer in the one-horse town where my wife grew up. The dealer is a friend of my father-in-law and he currently has a white 1972 Landcruiser FJ40 for sale. I checked it out and he wants $5K for a non-runner with some rust, so by comparison, this ’72 listed for $4,500 here on craigslist in Seattle looks like an absolute bargain. The V8 conversion has already been done and most rust looks purely superficial at this point; plus, it comes with a host of new parts and just some cosmetic sorting left to do in order it make it perfect. Although I much prefer the idea of a classic Landcruiser with its original engine, the engine swap gives this FJ some added versatility and reliability, not to mention a healthy power boost over stock. Would you want yours in OEM condition, or is this swapped FJ the perfect compromise?


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  1. RayT Member

    The big question (at least for me) is: can you trust the previous owner’s work on the conversion(s)? I’m guessing some fabrication and cutting are part of the I6-V8 and transmission swaps (even though the original engine was a virtual Japanese copy of the Chevy “Stovebolt”), and I get the jitters when I think about depending on the work of someone I don’t know.

    If I were in the market for an FJ, I’d pay the extra $500 for the original. They’re good all-around runners, and reliable. Don’t know what the spares situation is, but I’d guess almost everything necessary can be found. Old Land Bruisers are popular enough that you won’t take a bath at resale time, too.

  2. Dan Farrell

    From what I understand the stock engine was an almost exact copy of the Chevy stovebolt six cylinder engine, which makes the conversion to Chevy V-8 much easier.

  3. Duncan

    The V-8 is a well known ,easy mod and a big improvement. This looks like it’s been to the beach/salt water playing. Weird widespread rust. That scares me.

  4. DT

    These early ones are 3 speeds for the most part,another gear is more important than some more horses, Looks workable though

  5. J.W.

    I would definitely take the V8 one and just use it the way it is for a driver knock around vehicle. Even if it needs a little going over to inspect the guys mechanical ability it looks to be worth it to me.

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