- United States
Just a bit of warning, this will be a very long read with more details than you probably require to make a purchasing decision. If you're looking for a very special FJ40 Crawler that has been built by a Master Craftsman (not me) and sorted properly continue on. It’s way more than a Rock Crawler! One quick note on the pics since you’ll probably skip to them then come back to the copy if you like what you see. I have added a few to this listing but have 78 detailed pics in a Drobox folder linked below or if it’s been scrubbed off I can send it to you. These were all just shot down at my office so what you see is exactly what you’re going to get. I did just clay bar, polish and wax the 40 but keep in mind this is a “working” rig so I have not painted any of the undercarriage to make it look new…if you see fresh paint then it’s something I have just completed working on or fabricated and have not had the chance to add the trail patina to it yet. The last couple of pics in the file are from days past just to show what it looks like with the Soft Top/Doors and with the 42” Pitbull Rockers.
Pics: Dropbox - FJ40 - Simplify your life
Alright, onto the details…1971 FJ40 Total Build…MPI V8, Locked Dana 60s, Custom Suspension, Saginaw PS, Power 4-Wheel Discs, yada, yada, yada. You may have seen some of the rigs my son Mitch and have built and sold over the years on MUD but this one is going to be a bit different. We did not build this 40 but purchased it from the creator who had owned it since 1989. He was an active member of a Jeep group up North and was a well-known fabricator assisting and building Jeeps for his local troop. Wanting to be different, he chose the FJ40 to be his base and was more than happy to take the ribbing from the local club throughout the years. He has drug this thing coast to coast behind his converted Freightliner Toy Hauler and finally came to a point where the off-road lifestyle became too much to keep up with at his age. Y’all may have seen this thing out on the trails and it has remained pretty much the same set-up with the exception of a few upgrades that Mitch and I added/updated with some new trick parts. We can’t justify a trail only toy to use a few times a year so we made some nice improvements so it can safely cruise the streets if you’re willing to put up with all the stupid Jeep owners giving you the “Jeep Wave” since they have no idea it’s a Toyota…really gets old and why in the world do those guys have to wave at each other anyway.
For reference, the rig has been base lined by us within the past 6 months and the prior owner just went thru both axles last fall.
Let’s start with the body. The pics look great as most do and accurately depict the condition of the body. I have never in my life seen such quality of work on an off-road monster and doubt many have put this amount of love into something they intend to abuse. There are a few paint chips and very light trail stripes that will buff out but, that’s it. I may not be able to properly describe how this body is constructed but I’m going to do my best. The original tub was modified and grafted to a base of rectangular and round tubing providing the main structure and body rock protection (integrated sliders). Essentially, the main tub was re-skinned with heavier gauge sheet metal that has been reinforced with more round tubing throughout. The round tubing that is grafted over the wheel wells is beautifully formed into the sheet metal with metal (no filler) and finished out as if it had been factory made. Gone are the ripples and spot weld dimples, straight as an arrow with zero cracking anywhere again due to the fact that everything was filled and shaped with metal rather than Bondo. The front clip was completely recreated out of heavy gauge material and can be removed as an assembly if need be. Remarkable craftsmanship as I had no idea until I saw it firsthand that it was not the original front clip with a few mods. There is no rot or areas needing to be apologized for and in need of attention. The builder told me there is only one panel that does have some Bondo...the hood. He had to make a repair once in its past when it decided to roll over on its back and dinged the front edge of the hood a bit. I forgave him. It is absolutely gorgeous and masterfully engineered and executed.
Moving on to the interior, a full integral Roll Cage has been added that ties into the frame from the front to the rear. You’ll see in the pics how it’s all hidden away behind the scenes allowing for the recognizable character of the 40 to not be lost. The windshield frame is fastened to the roll cage up top and easy to remove as the hinges have been modified to allow it to be folded and slide right off. The factory dash has been removed and replaced with a custom engine-turned flat panel with just the basics of instrumentation. The cage is still within the original FJ measurements thus allowing for a conventional soft-top/doors to be added and I also ordered in a BestTop Bikini that fits great. I do have one pic showing the rig with this installed but I have never put them back on. They are in new condition and the windows zip out and the door tops can also be removed if you just want a little trail/branch protection. The seats are from a Chevy Van and in great shape but we added the covers to add a water-proof element to them. Had originally thought we would replace them but dang it if they aren’t super comfy and not all broke down. Currently the rig is outfitted with lap belts only and I have purchased a set of conventional 3-point retractable shoulder harnesses to install. I have yet to do this as the next owner may prefer to install 4 or 5-point harnesses so I’ll leave that for you to decide. There is no rear seat and as you’ll see in the pics, there is a 16 gallon fuel cell added in the very back hidden under the aluminum structure. I’m sure it wouldn’t take much to put a small little seat back there but you will likely need to reduce the size of the fuel cell to provide safe noggin clearance for the folks in the back. Plenty of room for a big cooler, gear, tools, strong box, etc. I have added removable carpets throughout that are weather proof and since they were cut from some large rubber commercial carpets you won’t have to worry about them blowing out or distorting as they age. The floors do have several drain holes and everything was designed to get wet and dry quickly. The wiring harness was constructed of much heavier gauge wire and protection is all handled by thermal circuit breakers rather than conventional fuses. We did order in a set of those fancy LED Headlights from CityRacerLLC.com and they are spectacular. I also ordered in a set of 4” round LED rear lights but have decided we like the old-school look of the bulbs for this but I will include them if you want to pop them in the holes. Of note, there is no high-beam switch, no horn and the turn signal on the steering column is the classic big-rig style that you cancel yourself. The rig was built to be as simple as possible with the least amount of circuits needing to be monitored or worried about. Oh, and no tunes. Mitch and I had bungeed some Bluetooth speakers inside to play with our iPhones so you can add what you want if you need more than the sound of the V8. Almost forgot, there is a switch on the dash to control the winch as well as a conventional remote for it.
The heart of the beast is a GM 350 Vortec V8 (out of the same van the seats came from) that was refreshed several years ago, however, it is now sporting PFI’s (Performance Fuel Injection Systems) Complete MPI set-up. This gal fires right up, never hesitates, big increase in power and torque and way improved reliability. PFI’s MPI system really is the best one out there as it uses all off-the-shelf parts so if you need something in BFE, just find a NAPA, O’Reilly’s, etc. and you’ll be set. No idea what the miles are but assume 100K+ total and a few years and very few miles since it was gone through and less than a year on the MPI. The cooling system was upgraded with a very large aluminum radiator and electric fan that can be controlled from the cockpit (on/auto/off). I’ve never seen the temp above 190 no matter what the outside conditions are. At the time of the refresh, a high output oil pump was added so this thing has very high blood pressure…not a problem with the gauge annunciation. Originally the rig did not have a keyed ignition, just a switch and push button so we did add that for security purposes. This also frees up a button if you want to add a horn in the future. The MPI system does have a brain and uses an O2 sensor just south of the factory cast exhaust manifolds. The rest of the exhaust was skillfully installed and tucked out of harm’s way and sounds just like it should…angry but not obnoxious. There is also on-board air thanks to a converted a/c compressor that is controlled via a switch on the dash. There is a regulator and port under the hood and a pancake holding tank tucked up under the butt. Compressor is a bit scratchy sounding but works fine and provides adequate air but there is a leak somewhere as it won’t hold pressure overnight. One other item is the MPI system has an “idle up” switch on the dash which actually makes very little difference but maybe more in cold weather and it also has a CEL so it can help diagnose any problems that may occur. The engine is mated to a built Turbo 350 which is the perfect tranny for this type of power set-up. We were super stoked that with the performance with the 40’s on it as pictured and the 5.13 gears, the rig turns 2000RPMs @ 45mph, 2500 @ 55mph and 3000 @ 65mph which is pretty much what every street rod, custom car/build ends up at. The transfer case is a Spicer 300 4:1 with a Twin Stick conversion. If you haven’t had any experience with these don’t stress…super easy and once you wrap you head around it you really start to understand the advantages of having this type of flexibility as your skills develop. The rig has been converted to power steering and also has the typical front and rear disc brake conversions with the GM power booster and dual master.
Lastly, let’s talk frame, axles and suspension. The original FJ frame has been modified from just about every angle. It has been lengthened, completely boxed in front to back, clearanced for suspension manipulations and beefed up at all points of question to allow for the 104” wheel base. Dana 60 Axles fitted with Detroit/Eaton TrueTrac Lockers and 5.13 gears handle putting the power down while adding an increased track and ridiculous strength…pretty obvious choice for most folks building this type of rig. Currently, the front axle is still set up with the Dodge Hubs/Rotor Assemblies which are 23 spline outers but the inners have been converted over to the beefier 35 spline set-up. When it comes time to replace the front rotors buy the GM 35 spline hub/rotor assembly (direct fit, no mods needed) and simply change out the outer shafts (outside of the u-joints) to the 35 spline. It has the manual locking hubs but we also have Drive Plates which can be swapped in when you get to the trails. Manual hubs are always a week spot on 4x4s so the definitely take the time to swap out to the drive plates at the trail head…takes just a few minutes with a cordless impact. The belly is totally protected as the suspension design itself protects the drive shafts and the transmission and transfer case mounts are actually skid plates made from ¼” plate. Even the engine has its own tubular skid protection integrated into the tranny mount and frame.
The suspension is based on a tried and true design the Jeep guys have used for years which is what the builder specialized in so no surprise in his choice. The front is a Single-Sided Radius Arm set-up that uses a single control arm on the passenger side, a radius arm on the driver’s side and a panhard bar keeping everything centered up. All tubing utilized in the construction of the arms is 2” OD ¼” wall DOM so it’s stout. One thing we switched up was how these arms attach to the frame and the axle housing. We chose 2-5/8” Ballistic Joints for the frame mounting locations, 2” Steinjager Poly Bushing Ends at the axles, an Artec Industries Rod End for where the upper radius arm bar attaches to the lower and Currie Johnny Joints for both ends of the panhard bar. There is also a front sway bar that has quick disconnect pins at each end which really helps keep things safe on-road. Basically we updated the suspension design with the latest in technology regarding attachment products that offer better reliability and incredible performance. The rear suspension is really trick and articulates more than anything I’ve been around. I’ve heard it called a Texas Two Link, a Single Link, a Grader-Ball and a few other odd names. Essentially it has upper and lower arms coming off the rear axle that triangulate into a single point right at the transfer case along with a panhard bar keeping things centered up. There are two pivoting axis’ that work much like the hitch on some of those high-end off-road trailers. This suspension design has been around forever and still winning races at King of the Hammers… some use the blade pivot balls off of road graders for the frame attach joint, or Bulldog Coupler Trailer Hitch Balls but neither are as secure as the system designed on this rig. The coils are caged in a housing that works very similar to a coil-over where it is in charge of limiting the suspension movement and also does a great job of preventing coil drop outs. The shocks are conventional F250 units so there’s a multitude of choices if you don’t like the ones on it now. We had thought about converting at least the front to a 14” travel coil-over as that would be an easy swap but really haven’t figured out why we need it. Everything works so well together. There is a front sway-bar that can be disconnected which really adds to the street stability. As mentioned earlier, it has the Saginaw Power Steering setup and it utilizes dual steering stabilizers which really tame the monster tires.
The rig will come with TWO sets of Wheels and Tires:
1) Four PitBull 42x15.0-15LT Rockstar Tires-Bias Ply sticky knobby suckers mounted on 15” Steel Beadlock Wheels. These only have a run or two on them and are like new with no visible wear or damage. Super expensive shoes that if you don’t need or want to keep will certainly be easy to sell for $2K+
2) Five Cooper STT Pro 40x13.5-17’s-my favorite tire for everything and fantastic road manners mounted on KMC RG231 17x8.5 et-0 Aluminum Beadlock Wheels. Maybe 100 miles...couple months old.
I think that’s about it but I’m sure I’ve missed a few items. Long story short, this is a super cool turn-key FJ40 ready for your next adventure. If you have any specific questions please don’t hesitate to give me a ring and I’ll do my best to find the answer.
Thanks for your interest,
816 – Eight Six Three – 8600
Update: Question keeps coming up…Why are you selling it? A few reasons…first, the boss (wife) says I can’t get a bigger dock at the lake which allows me to get a bigger boat until I sell a few toys to fund it. Second, Mitch has entered college this year so we simply don’t have the time to play that we used too. Frat parties seem to be winning out over camping with the old man. I just can’t justify keeping a rig like this in my life when it will get used maybe a couple of times a year. I know I’ll regret this one as I couldn’t build one like this anywhere close to this price and I likely will never see one built with such attention to detail. Oh, did I say I want a bigger boat.
***I have an excellent shipping resource and would be glad to assist you in getting this picked up from me in Kansas City and dropped at your house. With the extra set of wheels and tires as well as the Soft Top/Doors which I would not install for the trip it’s not going to be cheap. I’d budget $750-$1500 depending on how far away you are from me.***