La Aduana: 1HZ Turbo-Diesel Land Cruiser

It’s no secret that we have a predilection towards classic four-wheel drives, but it would be hard for anyone not to love this little green cruiser. It first stole our hearts back in 2012 when we featured it in Overland Journal, but the various trips and photo-shoots since then have only made us want it more. If we had our way it would be on its way to the office now, but our financial advisers (AKA spouses) have informed us that we already have too many vehicles, so we’re sharing it with you instead.


Although it looks like many FJ40s, this Land Cruiser has been rebuilt from top to bottom. The original frame was stripped and powder coated before being mated to a custom fiberglass tub, body, doors, and OEM roof. The power-train was then swapped for a more powerful and efficient 1HZ turbo-diesel motor with an H55F transmission, but that is just the beginning.


From the all around disc brake conversion to the 70 series rear axle with 80 series e-lockers the best Toyota and aftermarket parts were carefully combined to create a reliable overland vehicle with modern conveniences. The list of upgrades is so extensive it would quite honestly take all day for you to read this article if we discussed every single one, so for everyone’s sanity we have typed them out neatly below.

This Cruiser is listed online here along with all contact details for sale inquiries.

“A truly unique and custom built Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 is now offered for sale. The heart of this capable rig is a 1995 Toyota 1HZ diesel motor with aftermarket mapped turbo and intercooler, which replaced the original 2F petrol motor. Had great fun and many adventures in this rig. Arrival of 2 boys since 2010 and larger family size now requires larger overlanding vehicle. I will miss it, but our family needs a 4 door off-roader now.”


• 1978 rolling chassis, powder coated frame,
• 1995 1HZ Toyota diesel motor,
• Mapped Alamo turbo,
• Intercooler,
• Boost compensator,
• Custom snorkel,
• H55F transmission,
• Custom fiberglass tub, body, doors, OEM roof,
• Custom air scoop on hood,
• OME Dakar 2.5″ lift,
• Rancho 9000 shocks,
• New rear springs for running cargo-overlanding loads,
• Late model factory gray steel wheels,
• 5 X Toyo Open Country MT 35″ tires with no loss valve stem caps

• 60 series power steering box,
• 40 series front axle,
• 70 series rear axle,
• 4.11 diff gears,
• 2.96 transfer case low,
• 4 disc brake conversion,
• Electronic transfer case switch,
• Front and rear 80 series e-lockers,
• Chromoly birf,
• Dual battery system with National Luna controller,
• Die-hard Platinum series batteries,
• Additional 3 gauge cluster; pyro, boost and oil,
• Upgraded LED illuminated gauge cluster,
• SOR overhead tray organizer


• Deckers locking steel dash box,
• Marine grade vinyl covered seats,
• Custom full wrap gray 100% sheepskin front seat covers,
• Removable front facing, fold down, rear seats,
• Center Tuffy lock box, dual cup holders, matching marine grade vinyl armrest pad, with 12V accessory port inside,
• 2 X rear wheel well Tuffy lock boxes with matching marine grade vinyl pads/arm rests,
• All Tuffy lock boxes on same key,
• LED interior lighting kit,
• LED dash light on gooseneck
• Light-Force driving lights,
• Upgraded Round-eyes brand headlight lamps,
• Stone guard and brush guards over head lights and signal lights,
• Warn 8274 winch,
• Custom front bumper, powder coated,
• Custom back bumper, powder coated with dial swing outs, for spare and cage for 3 Jerry Cans,
• Custom fabricated side steps,


• Custom Alpine stereo system with, CD, sealed waterproofed speakers, tweeters, subwoofer, amp, iPod ready, and bluetooth to synch for hands free phone use,
• Roll cage,
• 2 custom floor mounted underbody storage bins.

After initial build, all maintenance and additional modifications + refinements by Gary Kardum of MUDRAKs.


78,000 km / 48,467 miles on ODO.

Driven about 3,500 miles since delivered in 2008.



Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, in 2009. While working on his business degree, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. It was there that he fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, eventually leading him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. After several years of honing his skills in writing, photography, and off-road driving, Chris now works for the company full time as Expedition Portal's Senior Editor while living full-time on the road.