Truck Thursday: Expedition Ready Cummins-Powered Land Cruiser

I’m in the process of writing up the review of a Nissan Titan XD with the new Cummins diesel engine. You may have seen the picture on our Facebook page of the Titan towing our Lada Lemons racer. To summarize, my gawd, that engine is just fantastic. Having been a diesel fan before, I am now a super-fan! Therefore expect me to be writing a lot more about diesel this and diesel that.
Starting this off is this expedition ready Toyota Land Cruiser. Sure, it has all the things commonly seen on expedition vehicles: lift kit, tires (not too big), rack, big bumper, winch, sleeping platform, and all that stuff. But the owner ditched Toyota’s excellent 4.5-liter in-line six and replaced it with a Cummins 4BT. Sure, it may not be even as powerful as the already under-powered factory engine but it has a few things going for it. First, torque at low engine speeds, which is nice to have when going up hills with a loaded truck. Second is increased gas mileage, which helps for many reasons. And finally, diesel fuel is available all over the world.

From the ad (many more pictures there):

1995 Toyota Landcruiser w/ 4BT Cummins 3.9L Turbo Diesel Conversion, Interior Build

For Sale is my dutifully maintained and built 1995 Toyota Landcruiser (80 Series) with a 4BT Cummins 3.9L Turbo Diesel. This is not your average diesel swap and is NOT a project car. Every major system has been gone through before and after our recent successful journey with it to the bottom of South America (2015-2016), as almost everything important is new under the hood. Mechanically it is sorted, field tested, and ready for another great adventure of your own. Over 200 professional shop hours went into it AFTER the swap was completed to make everything right and trusty, plus hundreds of hours by the owners. This vehicle represents over $55,000 invested to make one of the most no-nonsense, backcountry capable, vehicles available. If you are willing to read the entire build list, you’ll find that you would not be able to recreate this vehicle for the sale price, and an extreme amount of time went into the practical upgrades that make for an outstandingly flexible and reliable overland vehicle.

As the full list is long, here is the condensed FAQ & Good/Bad
The Good:

  • Everything is new, literally every part that matters was fitted since late 2015
  • Complete for 2 Adults for extended travel/camping/zombie apocalypse/offroading
  • NO Overheating; you will probably not find another turbo diesel 80 with an Intercooler, 3 row aluminum racing radiator, and mechanical fan – stays at 185F-195F normally.
  • NO Rust
  • NO Accidents – comes with clean Montana Title, if you have emissions in your state/county, it is possible to set-up a permanent plate (one time, under $150 fee) in Montana. This can also be done with an LLC and Montana mails everything out of state.
  • MPG: 18-22 depending on weight/speed, we rarely drive over 70MPH, but it can go +85MPH
  • FASTER than OEM Toyota diesel; I have driven an imported stock OEM 1990 Landcruiser and my engine setup is faster from 0, all with common Dodge parts.
  • READY to drive: SIX brand new tires (500 miles), Full Service just completed, etc.
  • RELIABLE: we tested, fixed, and tested again. Anything that was going to break from the PO, did and is now fixed.
  • Lots of hidden details for extended travel. Ex, oil changes are super quick w/ remote mount, fluid storage on the frame rail, triple fuel filters, hidden storage, etc.
  • Full Mandrel 3” Stainless 304 exhaust – INSIDE FRAME – example of Craftsmanship that went under the skin
  • Gauges: I’ve added gauges above what Toyota provides, to give more detailed information about the powertrain. Trans Temp, EGT, Boost, Oil Pressure, Fuel Pressure, Fuel Filter warning light, & Voltmeter

The Bad:

  • What did you ask? (It’s LOUD outside, but not with the windows up, as over $1500 was spent on new window seals, sound & thermal deadening, and thicker carpet)
  • Dodge oil leaks & there is some remaining undercoating that I can’t get off from Bolivia, that was added to protect the car from the salt flat
  • Small quirks w/ swap – Some may see this as a good thing, but the trans is controlled by fluid pressure (i.e. NO ELECTRONICS) so shift points are old school and the Torque Converter Lockup is manual (switch on dash) and can be locked in 3rd or 4th OD, but not necessary. This requires more attention than a newer automatic transmission, but less attention than a stick.
  • After I added the Fluidampr Harmonic Balancer to smooth out the engine, the Tach is displaying incorrectly, I am currently resolving this with a Dakota Digital Tach Converter, but it may not be done for your test drive.
  • Antennae only goes up 80% – I only listen to from my phone, so I left this alone
  • Paint: While there is NO body damage, the clear-coat is fading and there are numerous nicks and parking lot scratches. We spent our money inside the car and thought having a fresh paint job to take to South America sent the wrong message, so we left the paint as-is.



  • 4BT Cummins 3.9L Turbo Diesel w/ 47RH Transmission (approx 175k on motor, 19k trans)
  • New Holset HE221W Turbo w/ Billet wheel – Boost up to 22psi
  • SteedSpeed Exhaust Manifold
  • Prince of Darkness Injectors
  • BD Cool Valve Covers
  • Replaced Mechanical Lift Pump w/ Air Dog II 100g/h Fuel pump with water separator and fuel filter
  • Remote Oil Filter Relocation
  • Billet freeze plugs
  • New Fluidampr Harmonic Balancer
  • Aussie Rear Locker w/ CDL Switch
  • OEM 4.10 gears
  • Front Double Cardan Drive Shaft


  • 1995 47RH w/ shifting controlled by pressure switches. Rebuilt in 2016, approx has 19k miles
  • Manual Transmission lockup switch on Dash
  • New Electric OD switch solenoid
  • MagTec Extra Capacity Transmission pan


  • Frontrunner Slimline I Rack
  • ARB Front Bull Bar Bumper
  • Armor: OPOR Sliders
  • 4x4Labs (Custom)Dual Swing Rear Bumper with dual tires and LED lighting- AFAIK I am the only Landcruiser with this specific set-up.
  • Gobi Hatch Ladder
  • Lighting: HIR headlights, Rigid rear flood lights, Side LED Rock Lights, 50W HID Driving Lights
  • NEW 255/80R17 Cooper ST Maxx tires
  • LCP Aluminum Gullwing Rear Quarter Window


  • Rear Sleeping Platform and storage – marine baltic birch, Velcro & Sunbrella material
  • Isotherm Marine Drawer Fridge
  • Pioneer BlueTooth USB Head Unit & speaker upgrades to 6.5 Rockford Fosgate all doors
  • LED interior and Cree backup lights
  • Triple A pillar pod gauges: EGT, Trans Temp, Boost, Fuel Pressure, Water Temp
  • Additional Cupholder
  • Second Skin sound deadening and Thermal insulation throughout body
  • New carpet kit w/ mass backing
  • 8” Tuffy locking center console (custom welded & matching leather armrest)
  • DIY HDPE Tailgate
  • Manual Front seats reupholstered
  • new ignition and door locks, new hatch lock
  • Cargo Area Shelf
  • New window seals, rear hatch seal
  • Marine fans
  • Suspension:
  • Slee 4″ HD Springs
  • Slee upper & lower rear adjustable control arms
  • OME Sport Shocks
  • Ironman panhards
  • BudBuilt HD draglink and tie rods
  • Cruiser Outfitters HD tie rod ends
  • New OEM Bushings & Clearance Control Arms



  • Upgraded & Extended SS Brake lines
  • Mean Green Performance Starter
  • New Performancer Alternator and HD voltage regulator
  • Full Mandrel 3” Stainless 304 exhaust – INSIDE FRAME

Cooling System:

  • Aluminum performance 3 row radiator & Intercooler
  • New Mechanical Fan and Fan Clutch – this was the secret sauce to make this 4BT swaps run well in the desert, AFAIK I am the only Landcruiser with this set-up
  • New Water pump and Thermostat
  • Aux Electric fan that is Auto temperature controlled
  • This thing stays around 185F unless hauling uphill w/ AC on.

Cooking, Food, & Water:

  • Tailgate converted to HDPE Cutting board material
  • AT Combo Slide out
  • Partner Steel Stove w/ screen
  • Isotherm Marine Drawer Fridge
  • Custom designed propane tank mount

Recent (2015-2016) Maintenance:

  • Synthetic Fluids – Motor Oil, ATF, Transfer Case, Radiator, Diffs
  • Birf / Axle rebuild – Wheel Bearings, Trail Gear Locking Washer system
  • Silicone High temp hoses,belts, Intercooler lines
  • Replaced Rear Heater Valve Control
  • New Denso AC compressor, AC dryer, fan control, new lines, cleaned blower
  • Killer Dowel Pin Fix – Cummins preventative maintenance of weak spot
  • New power steering pump, resealed vac pump, New water pump
  • New Idler Tensioner
  • 6 NEW tires – under 500 miles
  • New Front brake rotors and rear pads, brake lines
  • New Front U-joint
  • New Throttle cable
  • New Starter
  • New Alternator
  • 200+ hours of Professional Shop time to make everything right
  • New Transmission and low stall HD Torque Converter


  • Dual Battery Set-up w/ Group 34’s AGM – 1 yr old
  • CTEK MPPT Solar Controller (prewired & hidden in dash)
  • 1000w Xantrex Power Inverter: 4 gauge wire
  • BlueSea fuse box (x2) w 4AWG
  • Scanstrut Deck Seals for waterproof exterior wiring


  • ARB 12V Air Compressor mounted in quarter panel w/ On-board air lines front & rear
  • Misc Overland Gear:
  • Fire extinguisher, orange vest, & safety triangle (2x) – You need these for South America
  • Box of Spares: Alternator, starter, gaskets, plus more
  • Rear AT Jerry Can mount under vehicle & hidden – Scepter MFC not included
  • TEQ Bottle Opener
  • TEQ Silicone Cup


Reason for SALE & Misc Details: I have another similarly built 1997 LX450, but is supercharged and set-up for more of what my needs going forward are (4×4 wheeling around local places in AZ). This car deserves another adventure and it will only be parked at our house for the foreseeable future. I purpose built this Landcruiser to take me to the end of the planet, and after completing that goal, we want it to still go on adventures.
We are open to trades of 2004 and newer Landcruisers, GX470s, GX460s, other Toyotas, or other fun vehicles. The Majority of the work completed was done by Camelback Toyota in Phoenix, Sierra Expeditions of Mesa, AZ, Forced Air Tech of Phoenix, Strapt Performance in Phoenix, and TAV LLC in Albuquerque, NM.
PRICE – Option 1:
$37,500 w/ Everything (including several thousand dollars in spare parts), Full Documentation & receipts, tutorial by the owners, Excel Spreadsheet of Dodge Parts (where fitted), and full tank of Diesel.
Option 2:
$31,500 w/ everything above EXCEPT the rear bumper & Interior sleeping platform (w/ accessories).
We understand that everybody’s budget is different, and as such, are offering some flexibility. We are open to OBO, but are fairly firm, as these prices represent a good value for what you are getting. Please reach out if you have any questions, but note that low-ball offers will not be responded to. Also, even though the list above is long, it is not 100% of the work that was done, the proverbial “too much to list.” If you are just curious about the car, but not interested in buying, we are putting together a longer, more detailed, build thread on IH8MUD or ExPo shortly.
Thanks for looking. Car is Located in Scottsdale, AZ. I can pick you up at the airport and you’re ready to drive anywhere in North America. I will not ship the car.

I can’t even be unbiased here. I love this thing. It’s perfect. I’d drive to Peru right now.

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2 responses to “Truck Thursday: Expedition Ready Cummins-Powered Land Cruiser”

  1. outback_ute Avatar

    I wonder why not use the Toyota diesel, which would probably be more common in South America

    1. Kamil K Avatar

      Probably because they’re non-existent in U.S., whereas the Cummins is common.