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What did I get myself into?

Discussion in 'FJ45 Owners Club' started by DanS HJ-45, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. DanS HJ-45

    DanS HJ-45 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    4,061
    Location:
    Idaho Springs, CO
    I'm sure a few of you noticed a 1976 HJ-45 on eBay a couple weeks ago in Colorado. In fact, I'll bet I was bidding against a couple of you on it. :)

    Anyway, I bought a blue one. 1976 HJ-45 LWB pickup originally from Honduras. It's ROUGH. Well, the wiring is worse than any PO pics I've seen or heard of. It's been beat up, and had some interesting repairs. Ever seen someone weld patches onto a muffler to save money? Neither had I until I got this. (but it's an original Toyota muffler, albeit with some nasty patches).

    Anyway, this thing popped up on eBay and we (my Dad and I) just had to go check it out. I've been more or less on the prowl for a diesel 40 series for a couple of years now, and this one was within driving distance. So we headed up to Colorado (in my 1991 Toyota--converted to a Toyota diesel) to get a good look at it.

    It's pretty much something right up my alley. It needs bodywork/replacement and electrical help--which are both things I'm pretty good at. The cab tub has rust through in the right rocker and the left rear floor. Easy enough. The fenders are beyond shot. The front bib will need a *little* straightening, the aprons are straight, but have been hacked on the insides (the bracketry), and the hood is in really nice shape. The doors are fine, and the upper half of the cab rear is probably salvageable. The steel top is in fantastic shape. The bed is another story. Hard to tell. Someone went to town with Bondo on this truck (for no good reason--it's like they tried to french the fenders and runing boards together with the stuff--they even put it on top of some perfectly smooth aprons), so the bed is really hard to get a good look at just yet.

    The frame has had some *interesting* work done near the rear axle. Looks to me like someone overloaded it and cracked the frame right over the axle. They also welded on some pretty impressive patches. But the patches might just be there to prevent the frame from cracking--I'll take them off just to see what I have going on in there. The frame is, however, straight and true.

    The engine is pretty clean. And it will kick over on ether, but past that is anybody's guess. I suspect it's an EDIC or fuel pump problem, but because of all the other work to get it roadworthy, and some other projects right now, I'm pacing myself to not tinker with it too much at the moment (which is NOT easy to do). I don't really mind rebuilding it, and I might think about repowering it with a 2H or possibly 12HT, but I might very well leave it as is. I'm not exactly concerned with having tons of power or going fast.

    The transmission and T-case seem like they are in good condition, but that's based more on the aura they give, than anything else. :) Either way, we've got a spare H42 sitting around with about 30K on it, and I will probably investigate an H55 to help out highway economy.

    Basically, my plans are to do a frame off. Compared to other trucks I've restored (and am in the process of restoring) this should be relatively easy. Easy because parts are somewhat available, and because most parts of this thing can be lifted by hand. The current project (a 1949 White semi truck) has a rear axle housing that weighs as much as a 2F, with the third already out of it. :)

    Like I said, the basic plan is to do a frame off and keep it mostly stock. Maybe replace the H with a 2H, maybe put in an H55. Without a doubt new suspension, probably just OME Heavy 2.5" kit. Probably box/rebox the rear frame area for more strength. Not sure if I care about power steering or not, if I were able to source a pump for the H engine, then I'd look for an OEM unit, even though I know they are hard to find and pricey--I just like Toyota quality, eh. I think I'll just get it restored without the box for now, because I'm kind of tempted to weld up a flatbed/stakebed for it because I like the way they look (and it's easy)--that would also make it easy for me to add a second fuel tank, which I am leaning towards because with another 20-30 gallon tank there, I could have a solid 800-900 mile range to help me avoid buying petroleum based diesel (I'll definitely viton it up for Biodiesel).

    Either way, it's going to have to sit for a while before I can get to it. The White truck is about to have it's frame powder coated, and is about to start coming back together, and I think the HJ-45 will be best suited if I save up a big chunk of cash to try and do it all in a short span of time. So probably about a year before I have the White far enough along, as well as have the money saved up to sraight up order the suspension, new body panels, etc... In the meantime I'll probably put in slow work on the bodywork, so that by the time I'm ready to do it, the rust holes and whatnot are already taken care of.

    Here's a pic of it with the bed, this pic was on eBay. I've got to resize my other pics, I should be able to resize those later today.

    Dan

    PS-longest first post ever?

    Attached Files:

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  2. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

    Messages:
    20,678
    Location:
    Central California
    Welcome to MUD!

    Yep, I was one of them that was bidding on it.

    There was a ton of work it needed to bring it up to road worthy status.

    Some people confused the price with a road worthy one that was a basice turn key set up.
  3. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

    Messages:
    20,678
    Location:
    Central California
    I could see dropping $10k to $12 in it in a heart beat. That particular diesel engine is very weak on power, most install a turbo system on it and it really wakes them up.

    Coming from central america I knew that it would have patch work done to it all over the place. The fenders and body were full of bondo. The frame was straight but had some unusual fab work done.

    The transmission in it should be an H41 with the lower gearing in first. If I switched it out I would go with an H55 but not an H42.

    Congratulations! It is a good foundation to start with.
  4. DanS HJ-45

    DanS HJ-45 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    4,061
    Location:
    Idaho Springs, CO
    Then I'll end up dropping 20K :) I put probably twice as much into the 2LT-E conversion on the pickup than most do, but I just can't justify putting something back together with old seals, bearings, bushings...

    Here's a couple more pics...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's a foundation, and anything else is a bonus! I think in a year or so I'll know if I paid too much for it or not. :)

    Here's my Dad's FJ-40
    [​IMG]

    And our 1962 Dodge WM-300. Snow plows aren't ideal for pushing gravel, but they work! :)
    [​IMG]

    Dan
  5. Wadesters

    Wadesters SILVER Star

    Messages:
    743
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    Welcome to the HJ45 Club!

    Hi Don, I am a member of the HJ45 club as well (see the following) http://www.fototime.com/inv/4414E22EB35EBE1
    I am a little bit ahead of you but not much. Mine has a great body with some work needed only of the floor of the bed. I have a new piece to go in it and have started the restoration. My biggest issue was the "H" engine. I could only get 49 mph out of it. I too was told to change it to something else. Was just about to do it when Marv (of Specter off Road) talked me out of it. He said it was a good engine and something must not be set up right with mine. After finding a guy who knows everything about Diesel's he was right. Now 65 and even 70 are able to be reached. Very happy I kept it as it is very unique. Mine will go back to original "Nebula" Green. Good luck with your project...
  6. Nomis

    Nomis New Member

    Messages:
    1,177
    Location:
    Tampa
    Dan,
    What tires are those on the 1962 Dodge WM-300? I like the look of them.
  7. cruiser_guy

    cruiser_guy Moderator

    Messages:
    11,204
    Location:
    Wherever the truck stops!!
    Here in Central America they LOVE bondo when they do "bodywork". My FJ45LV is also covered with it. Just because it's straight doesn't mean it couldn't use a layer of bondo right?!? Naturally it will ALL be coming off to do it right (bondo ONLY where necessary).
    If you haven't been to Central America and looked under the hood of a few vehicles you haven't seen scary repairs yet! Some vehicles that are rolling down the road are of no known make, they are simply a conglomeration of different parts!!
    The FJ45 pick ups in Central America are routinely overloaded with coffee or whatever they are growing and then driven down roads that we in the states and Canada use as off road tracks! Frame breakage is not uncommon I'm told.
  8. DanS HJ-45

    DanS HJ-45 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    4,061
    Location:
    Idaho Springs, CO
    [Mods: feel free to move this to the diesel forums if it makes more sense there, I assure you my feelings won't be hurt]

    Yeah, my goal will be zero bondo. It is, coincidentally, time for me to learn lead work. :) Actually, I'm only half kidding on that.

    I've been to South America (close to Central America--Peru/bolivia) and I'm not surprised what I found here. It's absolutely amazing where and how much bondo they used. On a perfectly flat apron, I picked off a piece no less than 1/8" thick. That's more work to get the bondo smooth than I can imagine! At least the bondo worked as a sort of body armor. :)

    Speaking of scary repairs, on our old dump truck we are about ready to send the frame out. When I took the rear spring off the drive axle ont he left side, the front hanger had literally no steel holding it together. The pin was rusted into a cracked hanger and that somehow held the thing together. What's truly amazing is that this truck spent it's life working on a gold mine in Utah, and was retired because the engine blew a piston. From the looks of the wear, it soldiered on for years with that front spring hanger messed up. I know that empty it had around 12,000 lbs on that drive axle.

    Nomis: those are "Multi Mile" "super traction" tires. I know they don't make them any more, but the pattern was sold to someone else. We bought a new one less than six months ago. I'll have to go check who the new manufacturer is, but I think we would have been able to get it through a Big-O.

    Dan
  9. Henry James the 47th

    Henry James the 47th New Member

    Messages:
    2,814
    Location:
    Greenfield, MA
    The chassic doesn't look too bad, and the truck isn't sagging in the middle. What condition is the cowl top panel in, looking from underneath inside the cab?

    Let's see some engine bay pics!
  10. DanS HJ-45

    DanS HJ-45 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    4,061
    Location:
    Idaho Springs, CO
    The top of the cowl looks good and straight. Basically, it's got the rust on the rocker and floor, and a couple dings, but nothing show-stopping.

    I've got good pictures of details of the engine bay but I've missed overall shots. I'll fix that tomorrow first thing. You can never have enough pictures.

    Dan

    PS-thanks for the move Mods!
    Last edited: May 1, 2007
  11. Landpimp

    Landpimp New Member

    Messages:
    12,946
    Location:
    PNW
    for what you paid you did fine........seen worse sell for more....

  12. jsaltlick

    jsaltlick The Bar Whisperer SILVER Star

    Messages:
    4,772
    Location:
    Millis Beach
    That dodge is beautiful.
  13. SteveH

    SteveH New Member

    Messages:
    1,372
    Location:
    Southern Colorado
    That power wagon with the Western Pro-plow simply rocks! It gives a resto-ride like that a real sense of purpose. Makes my '83 GMC pickup with the same plow look like a girly-ride.

    I'm sure you'll have fun with the HJ45 - enjoy! Good find at any price - virtually unique in the States.

    Steve
    '65 FJ45LV, '78 FJ40, '95 FZJ80,
  14. Dan, congrats on the 45 and welcome to Mud. I also want to plug a TLCA Chapter, High Desert Cruisers, in ABQ. A few of us have 45s, but no H-series in the club. Check out the club forum here on Mud, if you're interested.
    cheers,
  15. DanS HJ-45

    DanS HJ-45 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    4,061
    Location:
    Idaho Springs, CO
    2many, I'll definitely check out HDC.

    But back to the pictures of the HJ-45. As promised (although a day late) here are some engine pictures.

    Dan

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 2, 2007
  16. PVCruiser

    PVCruiser New Member

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    Kalifornia
    Hi Dan-

    99.9% of all the pickup in central america have this patch. It's located at the back of the frame where it curves up and back down (above the rear wheel).... It's one of the reasons I have such a tough time finding good vehicles in Central America... I would grind off the current patch and put a new one on... my $0.02


    Are you sure it has an edic motor? Do you know what one looks like (not trying to be a jerk, just trying to help you trouble shoot). A number of the rigs in that region didn't have them... (EDIT) Looking at the pictures closer, looks like it does have one...


    Welcome to MUD! You bought a standard Central American vehicle. You will learn more about cruisers, fixing this one up, then you would ever want to.:grinpimp:


    I can't wait to see your build!
  17. wdukes

    wdukes New Member

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Clearwater Beach, Fl
    45

    I'll have to agree with landpimp. For that price on a 45, it is much better to emphasize what you HAVE and not what you don't. I have paid closer to 7,000 to 9,000 for vehicles that look better, but you end up redoing the same things to reach the quality you want anyway. I often feel like you are better off spending less, getting something that looks worse, but at least you know from the begining that you need to redo everything.
    On your frame split over the axle...that was one thing that concerned me on the picture. It had a clear tilt to the bed as it met the cab. I feared what you have confirmed.
    Good luck. It is no worse than most I have seen at that price.

    Dukes
  18. DanS HJ-45

    DanS HJ-45 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    4,061
    Location:
    Idaho Springs, CO
    I definitely plan on taking off those patches and redoing them myself. I'm totally curious as to whether it was cracked under there or not. If it turns out to be bent, I'll see what I can do about getting it onto a frame bench.

    The bow you see in the first pic is due to the bed not being bolted onto the frame, and it was sitting at an odd angle. I've got the bed on there now and it is indeed straight (or at least it is to my untrained eye).

    I *think* that is an EDIC. It's the fuel cutoff solenoid, whatever the real name is supposed to be. :) All I know is that when you energize the solenoid, the lever pulls back (or is supposed to). I also understand that there are three positions: off/on/start. do they have detents when I pull the lever by hand, or no? I don't feel any... I'm assuming the EPC will show if mine *should* have an EDIC, or if it was later added on mine. With the state of the wiring here, I'm not yet brave enough to hook up a battery to see if that unit actuates the arm. I think I'll jerry rig something up with my 12V power supply to see if it actuates or not. Since it is only one wire, I assume that it's a modulated voltage to actuate it between off/run/start, but I don't really know. I've got a FSM for the FJ/BJ series, and I don't offhand remember if it includes the HJ. I'll have to check when I go up to the shop later today. I'm sure it will have that info (if it includes H series trucks)

    I also have discovered something peculiar. The door locks work great to engage the locks. They do not work well to unlock. I locked myself inside it for about a half hour while I fiddled with the linkages to get it to unlock. d'oh!

    The brake booster gets it's vacuum straight from the intake manifold on this truck, is that adequate? I don't think I'll do more than rebild the stock brakes (discs on the front and drums rear), but it seems a bit odd for a diesel to simply tap into the intake manifold. I know my 2LT-E (and many other Toyota diesels) use a vacuum pump on the alternator, but my 2LT-E is obviously turbocharged...

    It's amazing what I've learned just by comparing my dad's FJ to this one. Toyota really does use an efficient manufacturing system.

    Dan
  19. cruiser_guy

    cruiser_guy Moderator

    Messages:
    11,204
    Location:
    Wherever the truck stops!!
    I doubt that the stock brakes were disc on the front. I've seen post 1980 FJ45's here in Guatemala with 4 wheel drum. I'd bet that the disc front was added stateside and they did not have a vacuum pump for the altenator. A diesel doesn't produce much if any vacuum at all.
  20. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

    Messages:
    20,678
    Location:
    Central California

    Now that is funny stuff.

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