Toyota F40 Dash Box Install
Date: November 20, 2010
Price Paid: $299 + shipping
538 Clifton Ave.
San Jose, CA 95128
Website: – none –
You may wonder why I’m doing a review of a dash box for a Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser on an adrenaline activity site. Well, my FJ40 has been a source of adrenaline for years. I’ve been slowly upgrading my toy over the years. The dash was looking pretty hashed. The Arizona sun has worked it’s magic over the years and the original pad was cracked, faded, falling apart, and looked like garbage. I had actually removed the original a couple years ago and was just living with what was left ever since.
For the money I decided to go with a dash box instead of replacing the original dash pad with another pad. Storage space in an FJ40 are at a premium and wanted the extra space that a dash box would provide. Besides, I wouldn’t have to deal with another pad slowly falling apart over time.
The best site on the web for information about Toyota Land Cruisers of all kind is IH8MUD.com. It’s a forum packed with anything you ever wanted or needed to know about Land Cruisers (and then some). For years I have seen people raving about the dash made box by a man known as “The Dashman”. It turns out that The Dashman is Mark Vickers. A quick search and I was able to find a contact number for Mark. I was very impressed with Mark. He was very friendly and easy to talk to. The product was in stock and was shipped out quickly.
I had to leave town for a week and the box was waiting for me when I returned. I wasn’t really knowing what to expect as far as what the product was going to look like or how difficult the installation was going to be. I was very impressed with the packing of the product. The box was the right size and the box was wrapped very well in packing material. After unwrapping the contents I was presented with a work of art. The construction, fit and finish of the dash box is superb. This is a precision made product and you can tell Mark has taken a lot of time and effort to produce a quality product that will last for the lifetime of your vehicle.
Alright, let’s get on to the installation…..
The stuff in the box is pretty self explanatory. You get the box itself, installation hardware, instructions, and a spot weld bit. The only items you will need to supply yourself once your original dash pad is removed is an allen wrench for the studs, a drill, a box end wrench, and whatever you want to use to treat the dash where you took the metal part off.
The first thing that needs to be done is removed the metal support strip for the old dash pad. I think for most people this might seem to be the most intimidating part of the project as there are fourteen spot welds that have to be cut through. I was expecting this to be a major chore and take a long time. I was wrong in a big way! With the tool provided it was a five minute job to hit each spot weld and cut a small circle around it. The instructions state that you need to center punch each spot weld. While probably helpful, I skipped this step and just used the center point of the tool to mark center and then cut.
For those of you who have never used a spot weld cutter before, it’s a nice tool that makes short work of what is usually a pain in the neck job. In the past I have used grinders, chisels, and a lot of cussing to get through spot welds. Never again! It was literally seconds to take care of each of the spot welds. Since the metal piece was going to be discarded anyway, it didn’t matter if the bit didn’t get a perfect bite to start with.
Once each spot weld was cut it was easy to flex the metal strip back and forth until it fell off. Once that is removed you will most likely find yet another spot that rust has accumulated on your cruiser over the years. Mine was just some surface rust so I hit it with some sandpaper and nothing else. If I lived in an area prone to rust, I would definitely treat the area with some sort of rust inhibitor.
Once the metel strip is removed take the three small studs that are included and use an allen wrench to screw them into the three holes already in the dash. The instructions don’t state how far to insert the studs but I would guess about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. If you need to adjust them after test fitting the dashbox, it’s an easy thing to do. The is a stud hole in the middle of the dash and one to each side towards the end of the dash.
After the studs are inserted the next step is to place the dash in place over the studs. Once in place it’s just a matter of putting a supplied washer, lock washer, and nut on each stud to hold the dash box in place. Make sure you don’t over tighten the nut as it would be easy to over tighten and snap off a stud.
That’s it! I will update this review as I have time to put some miles on my FJ. As you can tell by the pictures the box fits very well and looks great.