1973 FJ40 New Project

Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
24
Location
Nebraska
I am new to the world of FJ40s. I always thought they were awesome, but I thought one would be unobtainable as popular and as rare as they are getting. Fortunately, I found out this old family owned '73 was available and I was able to purchase it from a family member. It has been in an old shed and probably hasn't run for nearly 20 years and it is rough. But I'm hoping I can nurse it back to life within the week and get it moved to another location under its own power. I have a little experience with old pickups, so I am hopeful I can get it running with my Dad's help.

I have tons of questions about this vehicle, but I have been trying to read on this forum a little before I post any up. If anyone reads through this, I'd be happy for any advice or tips with these old trucks.

My goal is for it to just get it running reliably and license it. I doubt I will take it off the family ranch much. Maybe an occasional trip to town down gravel roads. I don't have a small fortune to put into it (wish I could restore it to a pristine condition but that won't happen soon) so I'm hoping I can tinker away, tune things up, and just get it reliable. I don't even really want to lift it at this time (if ever) but a new top, door skins (or metal doors), and redone seats would be next basic things once it's running.

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Green Bean

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May 9, 2021
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I am new to the world of FJ40s. I always thought they were awesome, but I thought one would be unobtainable as popular and as rare as they are getting. Fortunately, I found out this old family owned '73 was available and I was able to purchase it from a family member. It has been in an old shed and probably hasn't run for nearly 20 years and it is rough. But I'm hoping I can nurse it back to life within the week and get it moved to another location under its own power. I have a little experience with old pickups, so I am hopeful I can get it running with my Dad's help.

I have tons of questions about this vehicle, but I have been trying to read on this forum a little before I post any up. If anyone reads through this, I'd be happy for any advice or tips with these old trucks.

My goal is for it to just get it running reliably and license it. I doubt I will take it off the family ranch much. Maybe an occasional trip to town down gravel roads. I don't have a small fortune to put into it (wish I could restore it to a pristine condition but that won't happen soon) so I'm hoping I can tinker away, tune things up, and just get it reliable. I don't even really want to lift it at this time (if ever) but a new top, door skins (or metal doors), and redone seats would be next basic things once it's running.

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There are certainly plenty of stories here of folks who have done just what you are doing... they got rid of the old gas, put in a fresh battery and to everyone's amazement the old beast came to life. Here is hoping that you have similar good fortune. If you run into any issues, this forum is an awesome source of advice and resources. Good luck!
 
Joined
May 3, 2016
Messages
1,233
Location
odessa, tx
Great find! that is an FST. drain the fluids and replace with clean fluids. add some marvels mystery oil down the spark plugs holes and let it sit for a few days. turn the engine by hand if you can or bump the starter to make sure it spins. I am sure she will fire right up.
good luck.
This is exactly what I did with my 69. Me and my dad literally found it in a barn. Bought it. Took it home and the engine was seized. We pulled the plugs, squirted Transmission fluid down the cylinders. Let it sit for 2 days. Then it rolled over by hand. Changed fluids, new plugs and rebuilt the carb. Jump started it and it fired right up. Then we put a new battery in it and fixed the brakes.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
20,694
I am new to the world of FJ40s. I always thought they were awesome, but I thought one would be unobtainable as popular and as rare as they are getting. Fortunately, I found out this old family owned '73 was available and I was able to purchase it from a family member. It has been in an old shed and probably hasn't run for nearly 20 years and it is rough. But I'm hoping I can nurse it back to life within the week and get it moved to another location under its own power. I have a little experience with old pickups, so I am hopeful I can get it running with my Dad's help.

I have tons of questions about this vehicle, but I have been trying to read on this forum a little before I post any up. If anyone reads through this, I'd be happy for any advice or tips with these old trucks.

My goal is for it to just get it running reliably and license it. I doubt I will take it off the family ranch much. Maybe an occasional trip to town down gravel roads. I don't have a small fortune to put into it (wish I could restore it to a pristine condition but that won't happen soon) so I'm hoping I can tinker away, tune things up, and just get it reliable. I don't even really want to lift it at this time (if ever) but a new top, door skins (or metal doors), and redone seats would be next basic things once it's running.

View attachment 2806407

View attachment 2806408

View attachment 2806409

View attachment 2806410

View attachment 2806411


Looks like a great base to work on. Have a non operating 73 FST myself. Didn't need when I bought in 7/94. But for some reason never been able to bring myself to sell it. Keeping it on a ranch the three speed should be fine. The nice thing about the 73s is a few markets had a four speed in 73 and installing four is really easy compared to earlier years. The H42 four is really an improvement over the three speed. 73 is really step in to the next generation of the FJ40. Would be sure to keep your reverse light safe. Those are a 73 only light. Bucket seats, no factory roll bar and the reverse light make it easy to identify a 73.




Welcome to the '73 club.

You too. Like the original poster mine hasn't run in years. Last registered date on the plate showed expiring in 1988.
 

Engineer8000

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Messages
712
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SOUTHPORT NC
That radio looks like it could be an 08600-00014. When you first power it on, check the temperature in the bottom right rear area (you will feel 2 screws there). If it becomes hot, turn the radio off or you will fry the transistors and melt the plastic bias diode holders that are NLA new. This means the bias diodes have drifted from age. I have new diodes and small supply of holders if you find you need them replaced.

InkedDSCN3045_LI.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
24
Location
Nebraska
That radio looks like it could be an 08600-00014. When you first power it on, check the temperature in the bottom right rear area (you will feel 2 screws there). If it becomes hot, turn the radio off or you will fry the transistors and melt the plastic bias diode holders that are NLA new. This means the bias diodes have drifted from age. I have new diodes and small supply of holders if you find you need them replaced.

View attachment 2807027
Great info! Thank you
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
24
Location
Nebraska
It's ALIVE!

Biggest problem, it's leaking gas like crazy. I'm hoping a line is just rotted out and needs replaced.

Otherwise, it runs! It has oil pressure, it didn't get hot on the couple mile drive, it charges fine. Brakes.... Don't really work. Both the rubber covers on master cylinder are rotten and I don't know if there's much fluid in the system. Next few days:

- CLEAN! It's filled to the brim with mouse and racoons crap. Needs a lot of washing underneath underneath to see what's what.
- Have to figure out fuel leak issue (really hope it's just a hose)
- I have the stuff on hand to change the oil and coolant but that's all without a trip to a bigger town (before I change oil, I may fill the cylinders with ATF and let it soak down. A mechanic friend said I should have done that first thing but I needed to get it back to the shop first. I am open to advice on that)

Future Plans
- Tires: it has 30/9.5r15s. I would like to find a set of 31/10.5r15s if they will fit. I hope I can find some retro looking MTs or even aggressive ATs
- Once it's reliable and clean, the first real splurges I'm hoping to do is an S.O.R. soft top (seems like a nice OEM styled top), S.O.R. door skins, and rebuild or replace seats (if I can save them, that'd be preferred).

This is getting really exciting!

Also, P.S.
Can anyone tell me anything about that roll bar? It looks like aftermarket parts that my family member tried to weld in. Most of the welds are broken and I'm wondering if it's actually a valuable OEM roll bar, or if I should think of replacing it down the road.

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cruisermatt

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Beautiful FST, amazing find.
That does not look like a OEM roll bar.

Follow this thread and try these techniques. That original paint will pop.
Focus your time on mechanicals.

 
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
24
Location
Nebraska
Unfortunately, I have video of it running and driving, but the forum doesn't support my video files.
 

pb4ugo

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May 8, 2006
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spay-lay-wi-theepi, Ohio
Thats a great find. Be sure to checkout the thread that cruisermatt referenced. I think your going to be pleasantly surprised what you have, when it's cleaned up. I'm suprised nobody's ask to see pics of the dash and see if it still has the covented super rare vader light just to the right of the glove/pocket door.
 

SlapSmak

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Joined
May 16, 2010
Messages
321
That is a great looking truck. I would just clean up the paint a little and fix all the mechanical.
That roll bar is a smittybuilt, probably installed by the selling dealer. Factory Roll Bars started in 74.
 

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