1958 FJ25 aka The Cruncher (restoration thread)

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Joined
Jul 3, 2008
Threads
6
Messages
34
Location
North Carolina/Ottawa Canada/Earf
So I got away from Uncle Sam and got to work on the 25. I was nice to work on it for the first time since 2000. It's going to be a lot of work but as I said in previous threads I just want to get it running first. I'll post all the work and updates and millions of questions I'll have for all the experts here.

DAY 1: CLEAN!

So my first goal was to clean all the junk and presents that all the little critters left for me over the past few decades. I found a few little issues with it I had forgotten about. Small holes in the fuel tank, hacked up seat frames, etc. Cosmetically its pretty rough in certain spots, the area near the back doors and the roof. Mechanically it's not so much of a basket case which I'm happy about. In previous threads I've said it was stuck in 3rd gear, the reason it has not run since 1980. The shifter was already pulled off so I took a look inside and couldn't find anything that look unusual. I didn't touch it much since I just wanted to clean things today.

Now for some photos.

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It was pretty nasty before this so this is kind of in the middle of the cleaning.

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Pretty happy with how it looks so far. It is getting super hot here and I'm stopping until later day.

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Awwww Yeahhhhhhhhh.

Sorry for the crap photos, I'll fix that later on.
 
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Nice! You're at Drum?
 
Could just be the shifter. Pull the lever out and look at the shifter gates and line everything up in neutral. Once a little worn it is real easy to get the shifter slipped out of the gate and locked in one or two gears.
 
if not, drain the fluid and fill with atf. a little diesel fuel mixed in helps too
 
Day 2 and 3: Clean more and figure out why the transmission is stuck in 3rd.

I did more to clean it up and sadly this was my last day to work on it. I want to spend time with my family instead of camping in the garage. I have to head back to New York on Friday morning.

Anyway, I set up a new work table to work on the transmission. I found out why it couldn't get out of gear.

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The key in the picture above was not letting the sleeve slide back. All those years and one tiny part stopped the thing. My next big question is which transmission do I have. Sorry but I am fairly new to Land Cruisers when it comes to working on them. I know its not a J30 or H41 or H42.

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I'm happy that it's in pretty good shape internally.

Outside of that I have just been going through it and seeing what else it will need and I have a bit of a list but nothing to serious.

I also spent some time making my Mom's garage a better place to work in. Installed a new A/C unit and moved the 25 to a better spot to make it easier to work on.

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My mom helped me by cleaning up the windows and I wipe all the gunk and dirt from the wheels.

It's been really great to get back to working on it after all these years.
 
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the fj25 transmission is specific to fj25s only
 
Did someone swap out the grill at one point or another?

I would never have recognized that as a FJ25..
 
How did it get the name Cruncher..........I'd believe it if it was the gearbox, it is non synchro on 1-2. Looks pretty good there is usually some damage.

The tranny shares some parts and design with the early chevy four speed, pre SM420, forget the model. there are some threads on here.
 
How did it get the name Cruncher..........I'd believe it if it was the gearbox, it is non synchro on 1-2. Looks pretty good there is usually some damage.

The tranny shares some parts and design with the early chevy four speed, pre SM420, forget the model. there are some threads on here.

Sorry for the late reply, I was on the road. It was from the sound the tires made as it went over the ground. Thanks for the info, I'll look it up. Do you think the lock ring the holds the keys snapped?
 
Sorry for the late reply, I was on the road. It was from the sound the tires made as it went over the ground. Thanks for the info, I'll look it up. Do you think the lock ring the holds the keys snapped?

The springs may have broken. I have to say they're the most fragile synchro springs I've ever encountered.
 
So I finally made it back down south to enjoy the holidays with family and work on my 25. I pulled the transmission apart to see if the spring was the problem with third gear. I have to say it made me so nervous to work on it since parts are so rare and I think I may have messed up one of the bearings to the point where I can't reuse it. I went slowly, got the transfer case off, got the input and output bearings out and pulled out the primary shaft.

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The syncro keys dont look too bad really. Just look like they have some normal wear.

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The synchro retainer clearly isn't broken. Which is what I thought was the problem in the first place.

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I haven't pulled the remaining gears of the main shaft since I'm a litte worried about taking a brass punch and making an attempt to knock it off. I was curious about what you guys would do in that situation. Any tips?

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I'm also curious if this could be the reason why the synchro keys keep popping out when I move the ring back and forth. I have to pull it off the shaft first but I was curious if this could be the actual culprit.

I hope every one has a great Christmas! Thanks in advance for any advice.
 
So I'm back home for a little while (medically discharged from the Army now) and spent some time working on the 25.

No pictures to post but I'm just finding more and more issues with the drive train. I haven't touched the transmission yet but I'm doing more digging while I'm here to see what else this needs.

So far:

  1. The fuel tank has some rust holes, no biggie.
  2. The radiator has a rust hole in it around where the petcock was attach to the radiator.
  3. The most worrying thing. Engine is seized.
  4. The transmission issue.
Outside of that, the real bad rot is in the back.

The original goal was to get it running as it is but at this rate, I might as well start a frame off restoration. Clearly 30 years of sitting didn't help. Haha.

My thought is this, since 25 parts are pretty difficult to come by, would I be able to use the drive train from a 40 in a 25? Body wise it's already a mix of 25 and 40 parts and with the engine and transmission issues on top of parts being rare. I really don't know what else I could do.

I've only been home a few days but just thought I would post and update on whats going on.

Thanks for any advice.
 
Agreed the engine is most worrying, but you have time on your side. If it was free and running before, start soaking and working it.

Personal preference but it's way easier to do repairs by putting things back close to stock rather than modifying. However the 25 lends itself to relatively easy swaps. But yours is way more 25 than 40 even with the issues. Are you in upstate NY or down south? I'm in CT, you're welcome to stop by and see what either of these directions might generally net you.
 
Agreed the engine is most worrying, but you have time on your side. If it was free and running before, start soaking and working it.

Personal preference but it's way easier to do repairs by putting things back close to stock rather than modifying. However the 25 lends itself to relatively easy swaps. But yours is way more 25 than 40 even with the issues. Are you in upstate NY or down south? I'm in CT, you're welcome to stop by and see what either of these directions might generally net you.

Thanks for your input.

No, I am currently in North Carolina. But appreciate the offer, know anyone in the Charlotte area by chance?

It's really odd, I have helped friends that have gotten old cars running many times before pretty easily. I guess you just get a tough one every once in a while. :rofl::crybaby:
 

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