Builds 1973 FJ40 a newbie

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Sep 15, 2005
Denver, CO
Howdy all. As most of you know, with treerootCO and nuclearlemon's help I was able to wrestle Oleg's 73 FJ40 out of the mud and into my garage.
As you can see in my sig, she has no engine, but I did get rid of the mouse poop over the weekend.
After asking around and talking to a few people here and on Rising Sun, I decided to get her on the road (or off-road) as soon as possible and worry about doing a complete restoration until later. Take a look at pics of the truck and the load of parts I got from Oleg:

Right now I think I am missing the following to get her up and running.
-engine/tranny/tcase: think I am getting a 2f/4spd/split t-case from Mike
-gas tank plus associated parts
-leaf springs (at least the front!)
-brake booster (I think everything else is there...) will probably need to tune the drums...anything else?
-no idea on radiator, looks ok, how can I test?
-steering looks ok
-windshield will need replaced eventually, will they look at that before I get it licensed?
-seats both frames look ok, ps needs recovering, ds needs new foam and recovering
-backseat and rollbar if I want my son to ride and if I want to go topless
-driveshafts: prob find one in Mike's back yard.

-tires: might have a deal to grab some temp. tires and wheels. would like to put my 33" MTR's from my 80 on there, so I guess I would need 16inch rims.

Anything else obvious I am missing? My initial idea to start was to ask where I should begin, but looking at this list, I have plenty to do...the $700 for new leafs from Skyjacker and buying the engine will be the top priority, but realistically at least a few weeks away, so I guess I can start on the small things. All feedback is greatly appreciated, and if you have any parts, let me know!! Thanks for all the help and info everyone!

Thought I would mention my long-term goals for this truck. For now it will be an occasional daily driver, especially with the top down on nice sunny days, and a mild off-roader. The locked 80 gets me everywhere I need to go now offroad, and safer with the boy. The 40 will be for when I am up in the mountains by myself.

oh, and I already have a case of PB blaster! :lol:

Decide whether you wanna keep the 2F or go with a V8 first. While it's all apart, I'd do a disc conversion on the front first then later the rear. Get used to the truck like that for a while then decide on what lift , wheels etc you want or need. Just my .02

keep the 2F!

heh, I think I will stick with the 2F for now, but a SBC could be fun in the future.

how much would a disk conversion run? I have that research on my to-do list. It could be something I work on until I save enough for the leafs...

rear is not too bad... maybe $300 or so... I have not finished my fronts.... but have bought all the parts... think I will have about $500 in them... see my build for my rear disc converson

Do you have to do all 4 or just the fronts? (I used to collect and semi-restore Mustangs, a few of mine had disk fronts and drum rears)


Do you have to do all 4 or just the fronts? (I used to collect and semi-restore Mustangs, a few of mine had disk fronts and drum rears)



no you can do just fronts... but if your rear drums need to be replaced now (ie they are worn out) it is cheaper to do a disc in most cases than to repair the drums... depending on how bad the old drums are...
So, the plan for this weekend is to just clean things up a little and take more inventory of what I have and what I am missing. I guess I will wire-wheel all I can easily get to on the axle, undercarriage, etc and POR-15 all I can reach. Any suggestions for the engine bay? Clean and paint?? Might as well get to what I can while the engine is out.

Also will see how the brakes look...can't test until I find a brake booster...

do then engine bay while you can... you might as well

Yeah, that's what I thought. Any good high-temp paint work ok for the engine bay and assorted parts?



OK, I got the grinder out over the weekend and started using a wire wheel and twisted wire wheel on the rust and paint in the engine bay. The twisted wire wheel gave great clean, smooth results but took forever! I slapped on a flap disk, and the sparks flew! Much quicker, but it did leave a much rouger surface. I am planning on some rattle-can primer and flat black, should I be concerned with the rougher surface? I did grab a finer-grain flap disk. Should I POR the frame and axles, at least where I can reach? Thanks!
OK...time for an update.

If you followed my other threads on Rising Sun, this is just a recap.

Let's see where I left off...ok, I had the 2f, 4 speed and split tcase from the FJ60. Moved the engine inside to replace the rear main seal and the clutch. 24 hours after moving the engine inside the garage to work on it, the tranny and tcase were stolen from the alley next to my garage. Then I could not get the flywheel to budge and spent a couple of days squirting PB Blaster and ATF in the spark plug holes. Thankfully I was just being too nice and with some help from Zepp and Ricardo I got the rear main seal replaced. I also got the correct bellhousing from Root. Then I started looking online for a new tcase, and saw a $400 FJ55 advertised down in Walsenburg. After a little negotiating, I was heading down there with Ige and Ricardo to pick it up. After a LOOONG day (where we also discovered NO tcase) we got it back to my garage where I spent a week pulling parts. Then spent a whole day with Ricardo and Rick getting the engine and tranny out. Ige then picked up the carcass for the scrapyard. In the process discovered the rear axle on the 55 had a locker! Score!! I still did not have a tcase, but after a little trading with Max, I have a 3 speed tcase. Tonight I was able to get the clutch and flywheel and bellhousing off. This 2f has a flywheel MUCH easier to move! I have a rear main seal on the way and a clutch kit on order.

Here is my plan for this beast...first things first, I want to get her running ASAP. As soon as I replace the rear main seal and clutch I will work on getting the engine, tranny and tcase in the truck. While I am waiting for the clutch I will finish cleaning up and painting the engine bay. Once the engine is in place, and running, it will need a few things to get on the road...battery, gas tank, driveshafts fitted, adjust brakes, run new lines to the 4 speed clutch, new exhaust, some other minor things. The next step after getting her on the road is to get the 55 axles under her. I want to spend a little time cleaning them up and POR 15 them both. Once I get them on and find a proportioning valve for the disc brakes and all the brakes re-done, I will have a disc brake front and a locked rear. Beefy axles from the 55 and maybe the leafs will go on with the axles as well. Hopefully at least the lift from a certain someone's axle package. Then some new 33's, and I might be ready for Moab and/or Rubithon. I am sure there are 100 things I am still forgetting, but this is the plan for now. Oh, and some sliders from SROR. Major thanks to everyone who has helped out, either wrenching or picking up trucks or advice or anything...especially Root, Ige, Ricardo (and Rick), Subzali, and Zepp!!!

All advice, scorn, laughter, encouragement, and skepticism is warmly welcomed.

Stolen from behind your place!!?? Man that's a pain. I've been broken into so many times.....not a good feeling. Sorry to here that part. Lookin' good otherwise!
Stolen from behind your place!!?? Man that's a pain. I've been broken into so many times.....not a good feeling. Sorry to here that part. Lookin' good otherwise!

thanks man...I was PISSED...and more than a little mad at myself. They were strapped to a pallet and under a tarp, and in less than 24 hours they were gone. My own fault, I knew the alley rats would grab them!

Enjoying ure step by step

I am enjoying ure step by step progress, Sorry to hear some Low Life Oxygen Thief pinched ure parts. Fingers crossed they will reap what they sow.
Keep up the great report.:beer:

Tim from Tasmania Below Australia.
Down Under / Down Under :)
Here is a pic of my Toy's
Tims Toys.JPG

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