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FJ55 restoration

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by cruiser_guy, Aug 20, 2003.

  1. cruiser_guy

    cruiser_guy

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    We're (my daughter and I) about to attempt our first restoration project on a '76 FJ55 ???. There is some body rust issues which we hope to correct using another damaged but mostly rust free FJ55. Any pointers on welding and cutting the body would be helpful. Also info on interchangability of FJ55 parts between years would also be nice. We'll primarily need parts other than the drivetrain (wiring harnesses, signals etc. etc.) as the drivetrain is not too bad.
    I've got plenty of experience mechanically on diesel BJ60's but have only ever seen a handful of FJ55's. I've done very little body work and little gas engine mechanics.
     
  2. zipp

    zipp

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    As you've noticed, the drivetrain will last forever. It's everything else that goes much sooner...

    Wiring harness: If you're looking for a harness for your 76, either rewire it, or try finding a harness from the same year- just due to compability issues with increasing electrical components. My 1970 has a very minimal harness, because it has just the basics. You might look into buying a painless kit and rewiring it... I don't know what a used harness would set you back. And I really don't want to think about what a new one would cost...

    Signals: keep your eye on ebay- there's always a handfull of stuff on there, mainly running lights, fuse blocks, etc... every now and then, there's a good deal. My last ebay buy was a pair of sunvisors for $3.00, and arm rests for $4.00...

    Other compatibility: The mirrors are interchangable. I think there are two distinct hoods. Winshield wiper arms changed in the mid 70's. Ummmm... Most stuff should work- I guess you'd have to throw more specifics out there.

    A good resource to check out is sor.com , or one of their catalogs. They have all of the exploded pictures for the various years, and you can cross reference part numbers fairly well.
    Anyways. Enough babbling for me. Hope it helps.
    Zipp.
     
  3. cruiser_guy

    cruiser_guy

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    Anybody have experience cutting out major body sections and replacing with others? The drivers side floor and rocker are 99% rust and 1% solid :-(. How does one keep the geometry straight when cutting out that much? I want the doors etc. to still work when we're done! We'll be cutting and welding the rear quarters as well as some other minor areas.
    Anyone know if all FJ55's have the same interior aka 1980 through 1984 FJ/BJ60?
     
  4. Pin_Head

    Pin_Head

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    Why weld anything? Just swap the good body on to the '76 or the '76 running gear on the good body. If you have to cut sheet metal, there are lots of choices: power shear, pneumatic body panel saw, Sawsall, cut off wheel. etc. If you want to butt weld it (my preference) make sure that the panel fit up is good. If not, use a flange tool and do a lap weld. .024 inch solid wire works well or .030 flux core.
     
  5. hammerhead

    hammerhead

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    AAAAHK! :p Flux core sucks! :flipoff2:
     
  6. dd113

    dd113

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    I have done 3 full frame off restos.
    Things I have learned:
    Take everything apart, as apart as it can go
    Bag and tag all of it. You will forget a lot of stuff as you go along
    take photos....lots of photos
    If it can be replaced with new replace it.
    If it cannot be replaced rebuild it
    Figure out the max amount of time and money you have to invest in this project; then double it and you will be about there!
    The first 90% is easy. It is the last 10% that will kill you.

    55s are rather easy on interchange of parts. Almost any driveline part will change out with any 40 series of the same year. Doors changed in 75(?) I think?! from vent windows to solid, hood changed around 76 ish with a bulge in it, ft turns changed about the same time as the hood but I think both early and late fenders will interchange,RR signals changed also at the same time. I am sure I missed a lot but that is all I remember for now.

    As for the body, look at the TLC website "garage sale" section. Lots of rare 55 parts. SOR also has a lot of body parts. At times it can be cheaper to just buy the body part than repair it.

    The best thing for me in all the jobs I have done is to learn the new techniques and skills that I never knew were possible for me.

    Contact me direct if I can help. I also have a pile of old 55 parts.
     
  7. cruiser_guy

    cruiser_guy

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    ???How do I get the tailgate glass up on the FJ55 tailgate? Right now the glass is down and the motor wont move the glass :mad: (I think the motor is bad). Is there some kind of emergency crank or ??? The Haynes manual I have talks about a couple of clips which hold the glass but I can hardly see them with the glass down.
     
  8. zipp

    zipp

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    I feel your pain. Sounds like you have the broken nylon gear- and it's quite common (you will see why when you open it all up).
    [​IMG]
    It's $27 from http://www.offroadwest.com/fj55.htm I bought mine from SOR a couple years ago when I bought my pig- but I just checked, and SOR, MAF, and CoolCruisers don't have it any more. Just offroadwest- and I've never dealt with them before.

    But yeah, the toughest part about it, is getting the window out. Here's what I did (if I remember correctly): I was able to open the tailgate and put it in the down position. Remove the window weather stripping. Then I put a zip-tie on the sensor, so it thought it was closed- or just have someone else push it in. Now, with the tailgate oriented horizontally, the motor was able to give enough gusto to let the window come out far enough to work with it. You might need to toggle the switch back and forth to try to get it going. I guess it depends on how badly the nylon gear is trashed. Anyways. Support the glass with stacked boxes or something, and get to the innards of the tailgate. It's fairly simple in there. Just cramped for space.

    Or who knows. You might just have an electrical problem. Tell me: when you hit the tailgate window switch, do you hear a click from under the dash? If so, it's got juice, and the broken gear is making it trip the circuit breaker under there. If no clicking, then maybe you've just got a wiring problem in the tailgate or something. But the common thing is the nylon gear.
    Hope that helps.
    Zipp.
     
  9. cruiser_guy

    cruiser_guy

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    :'( Zipp, the PO disconnected all the wires from the terminal strip IN THE DOOR. All that is left are the two wires which appear to go to the motor. This sensor you speak of, is that on the body or on the door? There is a hole on the left side of the door with some wires hanging out, is that where the sensor should be?
    Anyway, back to the problem, the glass is down, the terminal strip is on the WRONG side of the glass and only the motor leads are connected. Can the glass be removed? Please say yes :( and give me the instructions!
    I'll try it again tommorrow with a 12V source with more amp capacity (I was using a 12v DC power supply) and try helping the motor along. I did not hear any buzzing though when I was trying earlier :'(
     
  10. zipp

    zipp

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    On my '70, the sensor is mounted on the body on the drivers side- it kindof looks like a door striker, but has a little plastic rod that sticks out. I don't know what year yours is, or how different it is, but there should be a sensor to tell whether or not the tailgate is up or down. If it's down/open, then the tailgate window switch won't work. You might try looking in your haynes manual, connecting the wires for power that are hanging out of the hole(they might be the same color/markings)- that might allow the motor to have power. One of them might be a ground though- so you'd have to ground that somewhere. I haven't messed with the sensor- but there are three wires to it? Power in, power out, and ground? I don't have my manual with me- just looked at the sor page.

    As far as the wires in the tailgate- so you have the inspection panel removed, the glass is down, and not allowing you to get to anything inside- it's a tease, isn't it! Depending on which wires are left, you might still be able to operate the window. You might try using the key in the tailgate lock, and turning left and right with it. Or try the dash switch again, when you get a little more juice to work with. Here's the ordering page from sor to look at- mainly, it is an exploded view of the tailgate. http://www.sor.com/sor/cat138.tam?xax=32437&page.ctx=cat138.tam

    Yes, you can remove the glass- but the only way I was able to do this, was to have the window fully extended. There are two clamp/holders on the bottom of the glass, that have runners in them- so the arms of the window gears have little wheels that fit in the runners. I did not remove the runners- and with the window all the way up, and the tailgate all the way down (window supported on boxes, like I mentioned eariler) I was able to wiggle the glass from side to side, up and down, and get the glass detatched from the wheels that fit in the runners. I can't remember how the glass is removed from the runners- but it seemed like it was just a tension/friction type fit with rubber gaskets.

    As the sticker on the fire extinguisher case reads: "In case of emergency, Break Glass" So if nothing else, you could just break it, and replace it. From what I remember, it is just a piece of flat glass that you could probably buy at a glass shop.... But I guess, only in case of emergency- or when you've looked into replacement options, and come to your wit's end with removal.

    Best of luck Cruiser_Guy. If there's anything else I can do, just ask.
     
  11. cruiser_guy

    cruiser_guy

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    Zipp,
    After much trial and tribulation I was able to drag the glass out of it's track in the bottom of the door (the part that actually holds the glass) using a rope passed around the glass on each end! I took the mechanism apart and the nylon gear is cracked but not broken. The motor actually runs sometimes but it slowly builds up speed so it's either gummy inside or it needs some work. Just about amputated my hands when I pulled the motor off the rest of the mechanism though :)
    There will be other problems, I just haven't discovered them yet!
     
  12. zipp

    zipp

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    I guess that's one thing I didn't think about... I did have to thoroughly de-grease the gears. It took a couple days of sitting- but they work like a champ now!

    Good to hear you got inside there!
     
  13. cruiser_guy

    cruiser_guy

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    Zipp, another question! Both rear door windows are stiff to wind up, looks like the crank mechanism is bent when we took it out. Any experience with this?
    Have you had experience with rust in the roof just above the gutters? We got an other body which has much less rust than ours but the roof has rust perforations all around ??? (we'll be doing a re & re on the roofs).
    btw, We we were able to obtain a wiring harness from a year or two older than ours, got a much better body as well. :D
     
  14. kilercl0ne

    kilercl0ne

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    i'm in socal dude
    10/2015 need some body parts for my 79 fj55 roofs bad in socal