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Introducing: The Sniper 4 Door FJ-40

Written by  Mike Francis
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 It has long been a dream of mine to have a 4 door fj40. But until recently it was just that. My original plan was to cut a 40 into quarters and place it on an 80 series chassis and then just fill in the voids. At SEMA 2013 I learned Todd at Aqualu was thinking the same thing, so after a couple phone calls and emails we got rolling. My basic requirement was that I wanted the body to fit directly onto an 80 series chassis. I wasn’t concerned about the drivetrain or suspension too much as I was going to change all that anyway. The plan was a fuel injected v-8, custom 4 link rear and 3 link front and 40-42” tires. 

Introducing: The Sniper 4 Door FJ-40

While Aqualu was busy with the body we got started on our chassis. Everything was removed from the frame and it was sent off for media blasting. When it returned it was given a quick coat of epoxy for protection and we waited for the body. We decided to take delivery of the body in Moab during Easter Jeep Safari, since Aqualu was already planning a trip south. Once back at the shop the body was perfectly fitted to the frame. 

Introducing: The Sniper 4 Door FJ-40It was at this point that our target wheelbase of 120” just wasn’t enough. This thing is a monster and needed to be moved a little more. We pushed the front out for better approach and moved the rear back for a better departure angle, resulting in a 135” wheelbase. I then Contacted Josh miles of 5 ace designs to work on some concept ideas. 

After a few layouts I wasn’t happy with any of my color choices. So what about polishing the body? Maybe a full wrap? It was decided that a combination would look awesome. So we contacted Zephyr for polishing and they hooked us up with Mario at extreme polishing, who made the body look like a mirror. We then selected Gatorwraps for the partial wrap and the design of the wrap. Now with the body under control we focused on the drive train. 

We had Brian and County Machine build the motor, which is a 383ci full roller with aluminum heads. It runs an MSD ignition, fuel injection, and stainless ceramic headers from Gibson. Our compression ratio required a heavy starter and so a Powermaster 9500 was installed. The 9500 is capable of 18:1 compression and can be clocked to clear all headers and oil pans. Cooling The Sniper is left up to flex-a-lite and a 27x19” aluminum radiator and fan combo. The transmission is a 4l80 from Maximum transmission and we are using a split case transfer from an FJ-60. Since this will be a street ride as well as trail truck, we decided against full hydraulic steering and opted for AGR performance’s rock ram and pump. A tilt column from Ididit is attached to the AGR box, again because of its dual purpose we wanted the tilt.

For suspension we wanted to stay Toyota. We want to use as much of the donor car as we can. However the high pinion 8” front wouldn’t be happy with our large tire size. So we decide to have Ruffstuff build us a housing for the 9 1/2” diff as well as all our hiems and brackets. Nitro gear chromoly axles and birfields and 80 series high steer knuckles from Hellfire fab complete the drivetrain, so we moved to shocks. Bilstein Black Hawk 9100 series coil overs and springs from Hyper Coil will keep everything in control. While tires haven’t been chosen as of yet, we have gone with Method race wheels new 20” 105 full bead lock as our wheel of choice. 

For electronics in this Land Cruiser, we’re going to keep it simple. Lights from VisionX, gauges to be determined, sound system of course and for recovery a 12.5 talon from Superwinch. With the electronics ready, we need to work out our power system. 4x4spod was the answer and they sent out a double stack set up of their source units complete with switches and panels. 

Accessories for The Sniper are equally as simple. A Powertank for airing up tires, a box of billet grab handles, and a quick release extinguisher from Off Road Solutions. Rally venture seats and belts from PRP including a 60” rear bench finish off the interior.

The Sniper will be on display at the Off Road Expo in Pomona in October, and of course SEMA 2014 November. We’ll also make the rounds at the major events on the west coast. Full build updates are available online at RSOperformance.com and see our videos on our YouTube channel.

 

  All Photos!

black hawk 9100 series
concept final
P1016618
rear sub removal3
rear sub removal5
  • black hawk 9100 series
  • concept final
  • P1016618
  • rear sub removal3
  • rear sub removal5
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