1971 FJ40 Build Thread

Apr 12, 2021
Keizer. Oregon
This is my first actual post on ih8mud. Been lurking for about 2 years now. This thread is to serve as a full history of the step-by-step restoration for my records and any potential future buyers.
Picked up 1971 fj40 bone stock to start a full build from the ground up to my spec of how an OEM+ fj40 should be in my eyes.
Little back history about this rig to my knowledge. 1971 lived its entire life in Washington State. At some point, the original 1F engine seized up and was originally a 3 on the tree. It then was swapped with a late 1975-early 1976 2f and now is 4 on the floor. It was a barn find from the original owner out of Washington to another buyer in Washington. He then decided to transition to another project and was purchased by someone in Sheridan Oregon. He also went a different route on another build so I purchased it. Was given the title from the original owner out of Washington State. The reason I decided on this specific rig to build is it was a complete rig and basically all original. I didn't want to chase down parts and have it become a cobbled-up mess.

The plan is to completely disassemble the entire body myself and send it to a trusted body shop to allow them to do their thing. While I'm disassembling the rig I will make notes exactly on how it is disassembled and paired with all the diagrams I intend on ordering all new hardware from Toyota both inside and out. New gaskets across the entire rig as well as all consumables. While the body is off getting the attention it needs will go through the engine completely and refresh as needed. Will not rebuild the bottom end if the leakdown test is good but between the leakdown and compression test that will determine the exact build that pertains to the engine. Most likely will re-gasket the entire thing because that is relatively straightforward. Clean up quite literally every single component in the engine bay and the entire underside or replace it as needed. Por-15 the engine, trans, t-case, etc. polish all components, powercoat anything that will not be prone to chipping. Anything that is prone to getting in contact with materials such as rocks will get por-15 and a por-15 topcoat to ensure it will last another 50 years. Will convert it to power steering, potentially disc brakes, potentially add AC, and just build it as a stock OEM+ 1971 fj40 that is enjoyable to drive but not make it too modern. The idea is when you are driving this rig you know it is from the 70s but it feels as tight and smooth as a brand-new rig from 1971 could feel. I want it to be an experience when driving this as I believe all driving should be an experience and not just a means of transportation.

The real build will start this Friday with disassembling the entire body down to the frame and getting that sorted to go to the body shop as soon as possible.

Attached are the pictures taken when it was first picked up noting the original condition. It was an extremely solid base with mostly only surface rust. The only real rust is in the rear floor and is straight forward repair. The frame is in tip-top condition as well as the inside of the cab. No deep rust that will be hidden by Bondo and have paint slapped over it. The restoration of this one will allow it to be on the road for another 50 years and be a survivor.





Jan 2, 2014
Coalinga, CA
Very Nice, I can't wait to see what you do with it.
What is the change in transmission? Going away from the column shift 3 speed?


Jan 15, 2003
Nice rig to start a resto with.

I would reconsider por-15 on the engine. It's really not necessary. Also, with the rust you can see, there's as much you can't see. It'll become clear if you media blast the body.

Looking forward to watching your progress.

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