1961 FJ40 Hardtop.....rattle can rebuild

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May 15, 2008
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After a bunch of Craigs List searching, I found a new project. It's a 1961 FJ40 hardtop. While reading and looking for info on early Cruisers I discovered this one belonged to a fellow mudder. Here's the thread he started about it:

61 Fj40 worth

Long story short. I headed to Las Cruces. Met Tim and bought this 40, had some good ass New Mexico food (Hatch chillis) and made it home by 7pm. It was alittle over 800 mile round trip from Phoenix.

Here's what I got. More story and chit chat later.
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The plan, at this point, is to do a "rattle can rebuild" and stay as close to stock as possible. Get it running and driving and improve the looks a bit too but on a slim budget. I won't do anything that can't be undone. I will use whatever year parts I have or can get easily to help speed up the process. I will replace with the correct parts if I can.

More importantly, the plan is to have fun and bring another Cruiser back from the dead. Hopefully learn a few more things along the way too.
 
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Well then help me out with some of the missing things I need.:grinpimp:
 

Living in the Past

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Well then help me out with some of the missing things I need.:grinpimp:
Yours looks more like a parts vehicle than mine. I'm trying to avoid ended up with stripped tubs and frames. 61 still had the FJ25 bumper. Turn signals were 61/62 only and had lenses on both sides. Gas cap are hard to find. Rear jump seats were 61 only. They had front and back arms like the FJ25 only lower like the later FJ40 with just a rear arm. Those brackets on the front of the rear wheel wells are for the front arm. This would have the early, taller bug catcher door. Wish we got together before you bought this one. Have a later 61 FJ40 that is pretty complete including the PTO winch for the early three speed transfer case.
 
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I have reached out to you a few times to meet up and you don't seem interested. I have offered to help you with working on Cruisers and still nothing. The ball is in your court, plus you know where I live. :D


Thank you for the information about the 61's
 
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I picked up this circa 1971 F155 (will check numbers later) with trans and tcase awhile back. I test fired it and started right up and sounded good.
Alittle clean up, some paint, and back into it's new home it will go.
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oregon fj

Serial rescuer of old vehicles
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I have a whole back yard full of this stuff. Problem is it's too easy to find in the Southwest.
I've only been on Mud for less than a year, but this is not the first time LitP has bragged about having a sizable stash of rare parts, yet not being willing to help out others who could use them. Or the second time, or even the third. Totally different than the attitudes of most others on Mud.
 

whitey45

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I remember wanting to buy this rig, what a super solid base to build from, and rare! Looking forward to the build, I love bringing these back from the dead. I’m sure it will be on the trail soon!
 
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Gave the motor a rattle can rebuild. After looking at the pix, I should have painted the trans too. Motor will be getting installed this weekend. Maybe even test fire again?
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Do you guys think it would be better to dress this motor with some items off an 1965-66 F135? Would any of these items be correct for a 61? Valve cover, oil filter canister, thermostat housing, and starter? Anything else? Here's the donor. It has sat out in the elements since the 80's. Stuck for who knows how long when I got it.
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middlecalf

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Oil fill with earlier valve cover and no fill tube hole on the side of the block?

Dumbish questions- do you start the engine as it sits, or on some stand? And do you use the clutch (if so how?) to put tranny in neutral or just leave in gear when starting off the rig? I guess I’m actually seeking how one could test the clutch/shifting (incl hydraulics) with the engine in the state yours is (no clutch pedal). I’d like to be able to do this before putting the cab back on to make sure everything is working. Gracias, following your build “from scratch!”
 
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I will either weld in a later F valve cover oil fill or just fill it thru the pcv.

As for test firing, I just did it right there on the ground. No special stand needed. I don't run it very long.

I just put the trans in neutral and go. I have no way to test the clutch till it's in the rig.
 
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