1970 FatherSonJ40 project

Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Messages
74
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Colorado
Just bought the project I've dreamed about for years. 1970 FJ40. Has the original 1F w/ Holley EFI and a 3spd converted to floor shift. 33s and what looks like 2in OME lift. The body and frame are in decent shape, though I've got a few different colors on the outside. Most stuff works.

I've wanted one of these forever and have come close a few times but it never made sense or was the correct one. When I was a kid, my dad bought his dream classic- 1970 El Camino SS that we redid top to bottom and he still drives all the time. It was the greatest father son experience a car crazy kid could ask for. Since I've had a 98 chevy 6.5 I covered to WVO, a 1984 W350 I but a 6bt, NV4500 etc in, and most recently an 05 Ram 2500 cummins I did a ton of work to. I'm a decent shade tree mechanic and fabricator and want to share that experience with my son and the one coming in January. I've got a workshop full of tools that will likely be rebuilt in the next couple of years so we'll have a good place to work. I find I have more bucks than time these days, so might be farming out the first few projects and things till the boys are old enough to join in. Can't wait for the adventure! Plus my wife loves it!

Plan is to add power steering and a full cage and drive it for a while. Headed to Redline in December to get those two things taken care of. I have a 4spd I may have put in too to improve drivability some. We have a slide in camper for my Ram, so also plan to set it up for flat towing and have it tag along on some camping trips. Eventually would love to do full paint and body and a tasteful diesel swap. Thinking a 1KZT driveline, but other wise want to keep fairly original. I'll update with progress and ask many many questions.

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Joined
Dec 13, 2012
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KY
Sounds like you've given it a fair amount of thought and looks like you've got a good starting point. Can't wait to hear more of the journey.
 

Roastchestnuts

TLCA #28675 Salt wagon Fj40
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Oct 15, 2019
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684
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Ocracoke island North Carolina
a 1kzt would be really cool in one of these. I feel like they are probably easier to get than some of the other Toyota diesels in the states. I am about to buy a fj40 and I think a diesel is the 5 year plan for me. The engine swap would happen after the body work is all done aka the rear quarters and sill. I feel like adapting the transmission would be difficult buy I could be wrong. I cant wait to see what you do!
 
Joined
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Seattle, WA
Looks like a fun ride and a great father son(s) project when they get older.
Don’t sweat the exterior colors. My first ‘69 was 1/2 beige and 1/2 cow print. The only thing that made sense was to finish what was started with the cow…
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Messages
74
Location
Colorado
a 1kzt would be really cool in one of these. I feel like they are probably easier to get than some of the other Toyota diesels in the states. I am about to buy a fj40 and I think a diesel is the 5 year plan for me. The engine swap would happen after the body work is all done aka the rear quarters and sill. I feel like adapting the transmission would be difficult buy I could be wrong. I cant wait to see what you do!
I've been seeing quite a few full drivetrains come across eBay for the $5k neighborhood. Most are the TE, but a mechanical one shows up every now and then and would be my preference. Think I need my shop rebuilt before something that ambitious happens though.
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Messages
74
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Colorado
First project in the books. Built a quick scrap wood shelf to put all my spare parts that came with the FJ. Now to find the time to go through and figure out what everything is.

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Joined
Oct 27, 2022
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Colorado
First significant parts order placed. Went with some Pro-Car 90 headrest bucket seats for up front. My arms are too long to be able to shift comfortably with the bench seat in the middle. Also the bolsters are non existent. Also picked up a set of retractable 3 point seat belts fro CCOT. Can't wait to get this thing a bit more comfortable!

I really wanted to do the FJ60 power steering kit from Iron pig or JT outfitters, but neither has it in stock. Bummer. After reading a lot of the threads on here, I'm going to start collecting parts to do the "FJ60 swap" using an FJ80 steering box. Looks like a lot of the same parts are used and I'm comfortable being able to fab up my own frame plate. The 80 series boxes are much cheaper, readily available and you can even get the upgraded/tweaked boxes from redhead and PSC. Will post plenty of pics as I go along, probably will be a few months till I get it started though. The mini truck setup is tempting from a cost, install ease, and availability standpoint, but I would love to eliminate some of the linkages and the FJ60/FJ80 setup seems like the "right" way.
 
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Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Messages
74
Location
Colorado
New seats came in. Huge huge improvement over the old bench seat. I definitely don’t think my original bench was original, it really didn’t match up to any factory bolt holes when I removed it. Anyways, I’m going to make a whole new mounting frame for it. Looks really nice just sitting in there:
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New question- I’m looking at my horribly cracked steering wheel- is there metal inside the plastic, or is this thing as close to snapping off as it looks?!
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Joined
Jun 13, 2022
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First significant parts order placed. Went with some Pro-Car 90 headrest bucket seats for up front. My arms are too long to be able to shift comfortably with the bench seat in the middle. Also the bolsters are non existent. Also picked up a set of retractable 3 point seat belts fro CCOT. Can't wait to get this thing a bit more comfortable!

I really wanted to do the FJ60 power steering kit from Iron pig or JT outfitters, but neither has it in stock. Bummer. After reading a lot of the threads on here, I'm going to start collecting parts to do the "FJ60 swap" using an FJ80 steering box. Looks like a lot of the same parts are used and I'm comfortable being able to fab up my own frame plate. The 80 series boxes are much cheaper, readily available and you can even get the upgraded/tweaked boxes from redhead and PSC. Will post plenty of pics as I go along, probably will be a few months till I get it started though. The mini truck setup is tempting from a cost, install ease, and availability standpoint, but I would love to eliminate some of the linkages and the FJ60/FJ80 setup seems like the "right" way.


Looks like you're off to a good start. Document that power steering upgrade, and keep us updated. I'm planning on doing that when the time comes.
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Messages
74
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Colorado
Next round of parts in the works (using this thread also as a parts list for my benefit). Going to pickup the Sweeting performance hydraulic brake booster and upgrade to a 1 1/8th master. The current brakes I have are pitiful, they feel like the get zero boost from the vacuum setup. Plus I did hydro boost on my old Dodge truck and it was one of the best upgrades I did. When I eventually do the diesel swap, this will be helpful too.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Colorado
Started the tear down for the power steering. The FJ80 box is huge! Is definitely going to be a huge improvement. The radiator and grill definitely need to come off. Looking at it, the shock tower is the biggest source of interference and basically just flipping the support around to be to the rear of the truck seems to be the best way to get it out of the way.
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Joined
Oct 27, 2022
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Colorado
Question for the experts- can my 3 speed floor shift lever be reused on a 4 speed transmission?
 

mrboatman

GOLD Star
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
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1,545
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Southern Nevada
No 3 Speed and 4 Speed shift canes are different
 

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