One of the happy corollaries to the recent increase in value of classic 4×4 vehicles such as the FJ40 and other Land Cruisers, first-generation Broncos, Series Land Rovers, and others, is the increased availability of both new old stock (NOS) factory parts uncovered by enthusiasts and parts suppliers stacked up on dusty shelves in dealers’ warehouses around the world, as well as re-created parts made by aftermarket suppliers.
Sometimes the NOS searches turn up gems, such as the never-installed H41 transmission and split transfer case I recently scored for my FJ40, courtesy Johnny Schaefer of Overland Cruisers who got four sets from a guy in Germany who found them in France.
Shopping for aftermarket copies of factory parts is much more fraught. Some are excellent, some okay, and some downright criminally shoddy. I’ve had some re-created door weatherstripping that didn’t come close to fitting or sealing. Many hydraulic parts from China (clutch master and slave cylinders, specifically) seem to last a fraction of the originals.
One bright spot is a company with a name you’d never associate with Land Cruisers: City Racer. Roger Peng started with a small selection of items, very carefully curated, and has slowly expanded the range. As yet I have had nothing from the company that did not meet or exceed factory quality, and he continues to unearth NOS parts as well. My FJ40 rides on a set of his 16×6” steel rims with hubcap clips, possibly the perfect combination for an FJ40 not intended as a rock buggy. I’ve also installed his disc brake booster and numerous other bits.
One City Racer part that most definitely exceeds factory specs is a fully molded front floor mat for the FJ40, made to the exact size of the original but of vastly superior injection-molded PVC, which will not only far outlast the thin stock material but will dampen sound better as well. It’s wincingly expensive at $450—shocking unless you know that the original, when still available, retailed for nearly that much, and Toyota must have made zillions of them.
With tin snips and a box cutter, it took me about 15 minutes to make the few modifications I need to the mat, to fit around my aftermarket front roll cage and the safe I have bolted under the front seat. Otherwise the fit was perfect, even molded around the small protuberances on the edge of the transmission tunnel. I was surprised at how much it improved the looks of the entire interior.
Of course, what does one do with a handsome expensive floor mat? Why, cover it up to protect it, of course. Seriously, the City Racer mat, like the original, would not be very good at containing mud from boots, so I bought a set of universal-fit mud mats from husky, which are easily trimmed to suit most applications. The combination looks great, noticeably reduces road and transmission noise, and should last long enough to fully recoup the investment.
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