Duff150
Duff150 None
June 9, 2013 8:26 p.m.

Hey all, A friend of mine suggested I check out this forum, andI'm glad I did...

I bought my first FJ40 earlier today! I don't get it home until next weekend though as I'm not sure it's really ready to cross the Cascades quite yet, so I'm renting a trailer to tow it back next weekend.

What I know about it: it's a 1978, with a Chevy 350 that started life in a '79 Camaro. The guy I bought it from bought it from his dad 7 years ago. In that 7 years, he's gone from the stock Toyota motor to a 454 to a 327 to what's in it now. Additionally, a 4" lift was put on, and Downey power steering was added.

The frame looks really good, though it might be time for another coat of something. The body has some rust, but nothing super-concerning to me - a bit on the quarters, a touch on the body down by the driver's running board. The tub itself looks pretty solid.

Some things I want to do to it in the immediate future: the brakes are spongy, and there's a full 8" of travel in the pedal before anything happens. Might just need a bleed, but I'm probably going to rebuild the calipers/drums just to be safe. E-brake might as well not be there, so I'm going to look at that too - might be something I have done though, as I have no experience with the driveshaft brakes. The steering is a bit vague as well - fair amount of wobble in the steering wheel with no effect.

Otherwise, I'm planning on scraping off the big sticker in the windshield, tightening up the turn signal that has had too much to drink, and driving it around.

The thing comes with hard top, hard doors, bikini top, canvas doors, and another set of Downey gears for the diff (4.10 is installed, not sure what the others are yet). All this for $4k - I feel like I did pretty good.

My plan is to make it a weekend driver with some easy to moderate off-roading. It should be a lot of fun.

Pics:  photo CIMG6823_zps7159ac36.jpg

 photo CIMG6824_zps644ec926.jpg

Edit: Fixed my inability to add pics, because I suck...

nhmercracer New Reader
June 9, 2013 8:28 p.m.

Pics no worky.

irish44j UberDork
June 9, 2013 8:34 p.m.

<----- friend who suggested this site (don't hold it against him!).

Figured there would be someone here who as owned at least 11 FJs with at least 11 different drivetrains swapped into them

Also he didn't ask in his post, but please suggest to Eric any particular oddball tools that might be useful working on this thing. My experience is mostly with Jeeps (and cars), so I couldn't think of anything particular offhand when I talked to him earlier. Since he's just starting putting together "his garage" I thought he'd get much good advice here.

And Eric - use the HTML code on the right of your pics on photobucket

 photo CIMG6824_zps644ec926.jpg

irish44j UberDork
June 9, 2013 8:39 p.m.

Eric's other vehicle is slightly faster than the FJ

john s mccain photo:  800px-USS_John_S__McCain_DDG-56.jpg

Duff150
Duff150 New Reader
June 9, 2013 8:41 p.m.
irish44j wrote: Eric's other vehicle is slightly faster than the FJ john s mccain photo:  800px-USS_John_S__McCain_DDG-56.jpg

Thanks Josh. Maybe I can find a bumper sticker that says "My other car shoots missiles" or something.

Eric

ebonyandivory HalfDork
June 9, 2013 8:53 p.m.

I owned a '79. 100% original when I bought it. I put 31" mud tires on it and just drove it!

The 4.10's aren't the ticket for highway driving but adding some lift and 35's will help with that!

Just one warning, don't punch the gas pedal with the front wheels turned hard... Birfield joints don't like that.

Definately one of my top three 4x4's of all time!

Duff150
Duff150 New Reader
June 9, 2013 10:24 p.m.

In reply to ebonyandivory:

4.10s aren't ideal, but according to the guy, the other gears are good for running 38s and not much else. So...I might be moving the other way. Not really looking for interstate driving anyway...

Good gouge on the birfs. I'm already dreading the first time I have to do anything with them. Maybe I'll just dump the axels as I need to for Dana 60s or something...

DoctorBlade UltraDork
June 9, 2013 10:26 p.m.

I've learned brakes are very important to have working properly.

nhmercracer New Reader
June 9, 2013 10:29 p.m.

I had three. Two '77's and a 95 FJ80. One with the six, and another with a 350. The front disk brakes are good as long as everything is in good condition. The rear dual cylinder drum brakes are troublesome. They need to be adjusted constantly, and the cylinders don't like dirt at all. If the front end has not been greased recently, as Ebony said, you will have problems. The seal kit used to be cheap, right from Toyota, but that may have changed. The emergency brake is problematic. There were kits to replace the rear drums with disks, and remove the driveshaft e-brake.

There was a manufacturer of replacement tubs in Newburyport, MA. They were $$$$$, but made of aluminum. I had a fiberglass unit from Malotte. Wonder if they are still around?

Yep Malotte is on the web now! http://www.malotmfg.com/

And Cruiser Solutions is still around. In Hampstead NH. My backyard. http://cruisersolutions.com/

Yours looks good. Keep us informed.

ebonyandivory HalfDork
June 10, 2013 5:25 a.m.

I remember Birfield rings that are pressed on that provide support for the joint. Unless you're abusing your FJ off road, in the rocks you'll likely be fine.

Btw, I taught no less that three people to drive a manual with mine. It was almost impossible to stall. My brother and I used to hop out and let it drive through a big field by itself in first and 4-lo, with that torquey I6 it would just chug along at walking speed.

Vigo UltraDork
June 10, 2013 8:38 a.m.

I like it.. Just need to scrape off that windshield banner. Small block swaps into old 4x4s are so commonplace id be embarassed to advertise it as if it was special.

GameboyRMH UltimaDork
June 10, 2013 8:57 a.m.

Nice! From nhmercracer's post I'll second the rear disc swap. Drums that don't like dirt on an offroad vehicle? Not gonna work!

If bleeding the brakes doesn't fix the spongyness it probably needs an MC rebuild.

See if the steering rag joint is worn. Don't use a "rag joint eliminator kit," the rag joint is an intentional failsafe in the steering. Just have a good one installed and carry a spare for trail fixes.

ultraclyde Dork
June 10, 2013 9:05 a.m.

Very nice, I've always wanted an FJ40. My wife saw one and asked what it was, then paused a minute and said "If you buy a four wheel drive, lets get one of those instead of a Jeep. It's much cooler."

Love the color, too.

Brett_Murphy SuperDork
June 10, 2013 9:44 a.m.

I've never owned one of these, so I can't help.

I just wanted to pop into the thread and say great choice of ride.

Duff150
Duff150 New Reader
June 10, 2013 11:03 a.m.

Wow, thanks for all the tips guys. I'm definitely starting a list.

In the spirit of my other ride, I just got notified this morning that I'm meeting the ship overseas tomorrow, so...things are going to have to wait. I'm not even sure how I'm going to get it home.

I'll keep you guys abreast of the progress come October. Up first - brakes. Then steering, then whatever I feel like. I may want to do some fun stuff then - winch, roll cage, better seats, something.

Cheers, Eric

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