4x4 AnswerMan Tackles Reader Questions

Keep on Wheelin' with the 4x4 AnswerMan

Nov. 12, 2009 By Jaime Hernandez

4X4 AnswerMan – November 2009


JT Outfitters Disk Brake Conversion Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40
Letter sparked by Disc Brakes for your Toyota 4x4 Land Cruiser article

I have a 72 FJ40, I have a few questions, what year and model do I need to ask at the parts store for the rotors and ditto for the calipers? Will my stock master cylinder work? I have to rebuild it anyhow, should I buy a different one? They are pretty expensive, might as well buy one that would work better with this setup? I like the JT Outfitter solution. It looks to be the easiest way to convert to disc.


Bartlesville, OK

Hi Joe,

I’m glad you like the JT Outfitters Disk Brake conversion kit for Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser—we do.  The calipers are off a 1980’s Chevy Monte Carlo, and the rotors are off a K1500 Chevy Pick-up (1988-1998). 

The rotors will need to be machined, as the center bore is a little small for the Toyota hubs.  It’s less than 1/8 of an inch I believe, but you can always call the folks at JT Outfitters to confirm.

What makes this kit come together is the JT Outfitters bracket.  It’s a direct bolt-on.  You can pick up that bracket for around $150/pair at http://www.jtoutfitters.com

As for your brake booster, there are several ways to go.  You can certainly use your stock maser cylinder, but power brakes are much better for disk.  I am currently running a 1st Generation Toyota Tacoma brake booster and master cylinder on my FJ40.  It uses vacuum from the intake to power to booster.  It does well with 33-inch tires.  Parts are also easy to find (Toyota Tacoma 4x4 1995 – 2002)

JT Outfitters has had some luck with a Toyota T100 booster and 4Runner Master Cylinder.

The choice is yours.




Hummer H1 Manny MacMillan
Letter sparked by Surplus Military HMMWVs article

OK, I don’t know how old this post is but couldn’t u just get a chassis or what ever of a Hummer H1 like the civilian style Hummer that looks like a HUMVEE and then go looking for parts of destroyed or parts that look like parts from a real HUMVEE and just build one.

Would that be considered illegal?

Waterloo, Canada

Hi Adam,

The US Government has strict rules about rebuilding HMMWVs.  There are parts you can get from these military vehicles that might fit a civilian Hummer H1, but that can be a problem in itself.  They’re hard to come by.

If you’re really interested in buying old HMMWV parts to build a Hummer H1 my recommendation would be to contact a Canadian Military Surplus store that sells vehicles and find out what your local laws are.

All I can say is that you can’t re-build a Military HMMWV in the United States.  They’re not DOT approved and there’s a law prohibiting the sale to civilians.

I know, it sucks!

You can read more about military HMMWVs and other military vehicles on http://www.olive-drab.com


Toyota RAV4 Skid Plate Rock Crawler
Letter sparked by Rav4 Crawler: Building Front Armor article

4x4 AnswerMan,

I know this article was published a while ago but I’m wondering whether it is possible to get a second skid plate like this one made-up for my RAV as I have lost my patience replacing the Barbie-doll plastic guards from soft hits in the sand.

East Maitland, AUSTRALIA
Ah…Barbie doll plastic.  So perky yet so fragile.

If you want it to take a beating and ask for more, then metal is the way to go.  We checked with the owner of Project RAV4 Crawler—Off-Road.com Contributor Justin Fort on availability.  Unfortunately it seems like the fabricator of these skids, Armor Craft, has closed shop. 
So Sad = (

Your next best bet is to find a local fabricator in Australia and have them make one for you. I know you Aussies make some killer off-road gear.

Make sure to show the RAV4 Crawler article to your fabricator so he gets the creative juices flowing.  Hank Watson would have wanted it that way.

To give you a head start, here are some of the key features of the RAV4 Crawler skid plate: 

  •  1/4–inch Aluminum plate for skid plate
  • .120 DOM Tube for frame and anchor points
  • Counter-sunk bolts: to prevent any hang-ups in rock
  • Powder coat finish

Now get to work!

Send us some photos of your Aussie Rav4 when it’s done.


Send your 4x4 and Truck questions Attn: 4x4 AnswerMan
to [email protected]


JBA Headers 4.3L V6
Letter sparked by Toyota Truck V6 Conversion article

4x4 AnswerMan,

I have a Toyota 4x4. Took the 22r out put in a Chevy 4.3L V6! Can you tell me if there is an after market Header I can use for this conversion? Or what to do! Any information will be greatly appreciated!

Mims, FL

Hello Wayne,

Sounds like you’re about to give that Toyota 4WD a little more grunt.  The 4.3L V6 should work out real nice.

As for headers there are two ways to go about it, you can have some custom ones made.  This can be pricey, but if you work with a good fabricator the results will be awesome—both looks and performance.

The second option is to buy some headers designed for your engine.  Keeping in mind that you are working with a small pick-up truck and not a full size, I would recommend finding an application for Chevy S-10 Blazer or S-10 Pick-up.

We really like JBA Headers (http://www.jbaheaders.com) and Doug Thorley Headers (http://dougthorleyheaders.com).

They are tuned and tested for each vehicle to increase horsepower and torque.

Don’t forget about Craigslist and Ebay…there are tons of good deals on there if you’re okay with a used set.

As with any modification made to a vehicle…you will need to modify the rest of the exhaust system on your Toyota 4x4 to work with any of these headers—but the hard work will be well worth it.

Send us an update once you get’er done.



JT Outfitters FJ40 Disk Brake Conversion Kit

Hello 4x4 AnswerMan,

I need your help. I want to buy this kit for my fj40 78 but I need a guide for how to do disk break conversion.  If you can send me all your pictures. Thanks "Amigo no se si lees español pero si puedes enviarme las fotos completas de la conversion a frenos de disco te lo agradeceria de verdad muchas gracias saludos"

-C. Delgado

Hola Amigo,

I see you’re also trying to do a front disk conversion on your Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser.  Did you read our answer to Joe in this months’ 4x4 AnswerMan?  There’s more info on the parts needed for the swap.

All the pictures we have of the JT Outfitters Disk Brake kit and installation can be found on Off-Road.com

Disc Brakes for your Toyota 4x4 Land Cruiser Article

Vaya Con Dios!



4x4 AnswerMan,

I have a 1995 Ford with 12-inch lift but I want to go to a solid front axle.  What would you go with or do?  It has a Dana 44 with 4.56 gears.

Tawas City, MI

WOW…12-inches—is that legal?  If you’re serious about doing a Straight Axle Suspension conversion (SAS) on your Ford F-150, get ready to spend some moola and many late nights in the garage.

If it were my truck, I would look for a donor F250 or F350 to pull the Dana 60’s out of.  You can find a slew of part donors at your local wrecking yard thanks to “Cash for Clunkers”.

If you can do some of the fabricating and welding yourself, Ruff Stuff Specialties will be a good resource for tabs, brackets, etc. (http://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com)

Make sure to start a blog and keep us posted on My.Off-Road.com


Send your 4x4 and Truck questions Attn: 4x4 AnswerMan
to [email protected]


Bilstein TRD Tundra Coilover

4x4 AnswerMan,

Can I run the Bilsteins with my '97 factory coils?

Bootboy Ogden, UT
Hello Sheriff,

Yes and No…Bilstein OE replacement shocks can be used with your stock 97 4Runner Factory coils, but will not provide any lift.

The OE replacement shocks from Bilstein will give you the same height as the OEMs, but much more control on the road and on the trail.

Part# F4-BE5-2450-H0
1996-2002 Toyota 4Runner 4WD

If you’re looking to get an extra 1 to 2.5 inch lift, then I recommend you go with an adjustable coil-over from Fabtech, King, Fox or ICON.  You can also do what Justin Fort did on his Toyota 4Runner—use TRD Tundra Springs with Bilstein Tundra Performance Shocks (Part# BE5-6929-HO)

You can find all the details on how to use Tundra Coils/Shocks on your 4Runner in the article Toyota 4Runner 3rd Gen – Suspension Part 1
http://www.advanceadapters.com).  If it can be done, these guys will have the parts to do it.

Make sure to start a blog and keep us posted on My.Off-Road.com


Send your 4x4 and Truck questions Attn: 4x4 AnswerMan
to [email protected]

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