1969 FJ40 10yr frame off restoration project

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Mar 18, 2013
I started this project about 10 years ago back in 2013. I thought I might like restoring old cars in my retirement (I'm 53 now) and figured 10 years ago, I might want to give it a try. If things worked out, I could make a good profit off of the final product. I'm a Cloud Architect in my day job, so I did a lot of research and crunched numbers and figured I could buy a starter shell, calculated restoration costs, and make a minimum of about $15k profit. Well that was 10 years ago, I have about $60k invested and have come to terms that I've spent way more than I will ever get back. So...oh well, I'll keep it and my Son and/or Grandson will inherit it some day :).

Figured I would share the journey so far. I'm about 90% complete, but not quite done yet.

I'll have to post these pictures in batches, but here are the first of the beginning pics....





Start the tear down...OK, a little redneck engineering, don't judge. I needed to move the body and frame independently around a small garage...

Strip things down to the frame, pull the engine and get the frame media blasted and painted.




Hire a body shop that knows what the hell they are doing to do the heavy lifting of fabrication and painting. I welded in new floor boards and replaced the bed tub panels, but I know when to stop and hire professionals when I've reached my limits



The existing wiring harness was a rats nests, so bought and installed a new harness from SOR. I started as an EE in college, so wasn't too concerned about this part. In the end, just had to be careful and things worked out. My only issue was my initial location of the main fuse block. I had to move it in the end, which was a royal pain in the ass. I tried to restore the gauge cluster, but wound up installing the Dakota digital dash cluster. It worked out nicely. The only thing that's odd is that this 50+ year old rig has a digital brain under the glove box and the only cable plugged into the back of the dash board is an ethernet cable...doesn't seem right, but works nicely.




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