1974 FJ40 build/learning project

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Jun 1, 2010
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351
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Plain City, UT
I have been working on my 40 now for about 10 months and I guess it is time to finally start a build thread on my adventure. I wasn't going to but then thought that this will be a great way to document the work I do on it, but most importantly, I am hoping that others will read through what I am doing and offer up suggestions and advice on my projects.

I am by now means a gifted mechanic or have a wealth of knowledge about what I am doing. Many years ago my dad and I rebuilt a couple of 40's and that is when the love affair started. About 10 months ago I decided it was time to introduce my two boys and grandson to the great and frustrating hobby of Land Cruisers. Since then, my oldest son (16) now has an 80 that he is working on....game on!

I have been pretty good at taking pictures from the beginning and so I am going to try and start from the beginning and get caught up slowly over the next few days. My plan is to do this here at work during breaks, slow times etc.. so it may take awhile. I will start with pictures of the 40 before much was done to him. I tried to find the picture of when I bought it but can't find it. So this will have to do.

The first thing I tackled was the front end.

Getting ready to take the front end apart and see what surprises there might be. It has probably been about 20 years since I did any kind of work like this.
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Joined
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One thing I am learning is that things move slowly on these projects. I am sure that I am much slower than most folks working on these types of things but I really like to make sure that I take my time and do things right. Like the title of the thread states, this is also a learning project for me. I can't tell you how satisfying it is to me when I learn something new and finish a project successfully. Great lessons to teach my boys as well.

Tear down of front end continues...
Again, I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be seeing but the knuckle ball seemed like it was in pretty bad shape. And at this point I wasn't even sure what my plans were with the front end.
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Joined
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As often happens, I started out thinking that I would simply tear the front end down, clean it up, replace seals and move on. Then of course the wheels start turning and I decide, "well heck, since I am this far, I might as well....." and then all bets are off.:doh:

The rig was SUA with aftermarket (I believe SOR) springs that gave it roughly a 3-4 inch lift. It also has a 3 inch body lift that will be addressed later. The next thing I know, I had the axle off, leaving me with all sorts of options of where to go next.

And of course at this point, the springs had to go as well.....:)
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Joined
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Hello Hoz. 1974 and the engine is actually an older 350 with carburetor. That recently joined my list of things to change. That list just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Another thing I found as I started to strip things off was that the frame fork up front had been hacked on a bit. This is the before picture, not sure what those holes were put in there for. I have since fixed this issue and I am pretty sure I have the after pictures somewhere and will post those later.

And of course, the next logical step (at least in my world) was to remove the hood and front fenders etc.. to find more areas to spend my money on. At this point I am a little more than nervous, wondering if I have already gone to far and if I will ever be able to put it all back together. Oh well, too late now!:whoops:
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So at this point of the build I had no idea of what I was going to do with the 40. Why have plans, they only change right?:confused:

But I knew that I had to decide soon what I was going to do. So I decided to go SOA, why not! Go big or go home. This is picture of me welding up the new leaf spring mounts. I chose to go back to original 40 springs and reverse them to give me a little more wheel base. I believe the time this picture was taken I was also waiting for a new axle housing that was being cut and turned for me.

Shackle mounts tacked on, and frame cleaned off a little, at least as far as I can reach at this point. Things are moving along!
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More stuff!

Time to put the front end back together. I received my cut and turned front axle. Here I am getting ready to position and tack on the leaf spring mounts to the axle.

I believe I will want to run 37's on the 40 when complete so I decided to go with chromoly axle shafts.

Coming together nicely!
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A little bit further.

Hubs are all greased up and installed (these will be removed shortly, more to come on that story).

I went with the 60 hubs with large bolt pattern (I think that's what I did, does that sound right?):doh: Put in ARP studs and went with a Hi-steer set-up and of course beefier steering components (drag links??) These are just sitting on there for now, I will get to finishing up the front steering once I tackle the rear drive train.

That second pictures shows that I still have those darn ragged holes in the front of the frame forks, but at least they are now cleaned up and primered. My idea is to clean the frame as I go and as I can when they are exposed around the work I am doing. Sooner or later the tub will come off so that I can get to the rest of it. . I need to find that picture of those holes fixed.

Disc brakes up front, all new components. Everything is starting to look purty and flat black as well. Once I am all done everything will get a touch up on the paint.
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Joined
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Ha! I guess that does sound a bit funny. However, having not done much of this, and not on a regular basis I do sometimes forget some of the details like whether or not the knuckles truly were from a 60 series. That is why I write everything down at home.

It's funny, I do the research, learn how to do it, get it done and then it is like my mind only has so much memory and so I have to do a memory dump every so often! Oh the joys of getting older.:D
 
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Hence the joy of build threads!!! I doc everything on my threads and also on excel spread sheet cause I forget alot of stuff too...it all just bleeds together. Anyway your build looks awesome!!!
 
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So, I had the front end put together and was actually working on the rear end when I started to further research on the front end. I know, bad mistake. As mentioned before, I had decided to go with a SOA, make it as strong as possible and go with 37's or 38's. I started to think about what some call the weak link, the hubs. Or more specifically, the studs and dowel pins.

I had the front end all put together but I don't know about you, but when I get an idea in my head and I feel like it is something that I should have done, I can't put that thought aside. So I decided to take everything apart and use Bobby Longfield's process of adding four larger dowel pins to each hub. I have to say, it worked very well and I think it turned out pretty good.

Now that this was done, I could rest again.....until I get another great idea!
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So, we have the new pins in, ARP studs all around and Chromoly shafts. My work here is done, at least all that I can think of to do right now!

I re-greased everything and put it back together. Here are some pics of the finished product.

I don't think I ever had a pic of the front 3rd member either. I had this rebuilt with 5:29:1 gears and an ARB air locker installed.
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Next step was to install the shock mounts on the axle and above. I decided to go with the Ford mounts. Here are some pictures of the mounts. The axle mounts are done and painted, the upper ones are on and primed.

I think the only thing left now will be steering stops and brake line mounts at some point.
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Joined
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Last pics of the day. I wanted to follow through with pics of the front end frame. In a couple of previous posts I showed a few pics of ragged holes in the front frame forks. Not sure what happened there in the past but it concerned me. Here are pics of the holes fixed and it has been cleaned and primed.

Now time to work on the rear-end for awhile.
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Next I set out to revamp the rear axle and see what damage I can do. I took the rear axle out and found something a little "different". This may be common place, but seemed strange to me that the rear axle had one disc brake facing forward and one facing back. The only thing I can think of is that the PO bought two right brakes (or left) and made it work!

I went ahead and strip everything off of the axle housing, cleaned it up and welded on new spring perches to accommodate the SOA. And, as I did in the front, I had the 3rd member rebuilt and re-geared to 5:29's and I put in an ARB air locker. I primed it, put the third member in and it was good to go. In keeping with my desire to give the axles as much strength as possible, I took the axle shafts and cleaned them up and had them cryo treated. I am not even sure if that works but heard of it, some said it was good and so I did it. I then put in a little longer wheel studs to compensate for the brake discs. Things look pretty good don't they?

The bottom picture is what the axle looks like now! Explanation in the next post.
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