1975 FJ40 Running Project

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Edit to adjust...... I recently purchased and now own this March/1975 FJ40. It's been in the same family since the '80s, runs, stops and is in pretty good shape. It's not perfect, but was the best one I've found in a price range I feel good about. It has what I think is pretty standard rust attacking the rear sill and rear quarters. I'm hoping to enjoy it for a while, and eventually make the repairs. It's also had a sunroof added...bummer, but looks like that can be patched eventually too. I have a lot to learn! Thanks all!
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ceylonfj40nut

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Anything more than surface rust is a no go. Very hard to work on crunchy things. Sill is manageable. Fluid film it to keep it stable longer.
 

Pura Vida

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What price range if you don’t mind me asking? Under 12k, everything will be rusty, I think some rust in the rear quarters is ok if you are willing to spend money on body work and stuff. Land cruisers rust. It’s what they do.

Any frame rust at all, walk away

Make sure the doors close and body panels line up. If they don’t, it could because of a collision, or parts of it have rusted so far that the body panels aren’t straight anymore
 
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Going to look at, and if all goes well planning to buy my first FJ40 tomorrow. It's been in the same family since the '80s, runs, stops and is in pretty good shape. It's not perfect, but it's the best one I've found in a price range I feel good about. It has what I think is pretty standard rust attacking the rear sill and rear quarters. I'm hoping to enjoy it for a while, and eventually make the repairs. It's also had a sunroof added...bummer, but looks like that can be patched eventually too. When I'm crawling around and under it tomorrow....what else should I be looking at? How much rust is too much rust? Thanks all! View attachment 3229934
Hi,

That rear member is notorious on the 40's

Check whildshield surround, fange on the bulkhead where it joins to Kick vent panel, floors, everything really!

Repair panels are available for these but can be pricey!

Check where the side window surrounds join the FRP roof, moisture gathers under the rubber seals there.

That rear member is very important on the 40's

Good luck!

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Chilkoot

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Along the same area of the rear “bumper” double check where the rear leaf springs attach to the frame and the angle braces that go from frame rail to rear bumper/crossmember. Fairly common for the worst frame rust to be here. It’s fixable but will require welding and ~1K in aftermarket frame pieces. Ask me how I know ha.
 
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Anything more than surface rust is a no go. Very hard to work on crunchy things. Sill is manageable. Fluid film it to keep it stable longer.
The rear sill and quarters are definitely beyond surface rust. Floors look really good. Hard to tell if frame has rust by looking at photos…so taking a drive this morning. Almost every FJ40 I have looked at has had rust at rear sill and quarters.
 
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Along the same area of the rear “bumper” double check where the rear leaf springs attach to the frame and the angle braces that go from frame rail to rear bumper/crossmember. Fairly common for the worst frame rust to be here. It’s fixable but will require welding and ~1K in aftermarket frame pieces. Ask me how I know ha.
Thanks! I’ll be crawling under with a flashlight to check this now.
 

TheHardWay

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Don't forget to take a magnet!
 
Joined
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What price range if you don’t mind me asking? Under 12k, everything will be rusty, I think some rust in the rear quarters is ok if you are willing to spend money on body work and stuff. Land cruisers rust. It’s what they do.

Any frame rust at all, walk away

Make sure the doors close and body panels line up. If they don’t, it could because of a collision, or parts of it have rusted so far that the body panels aren’t straight anymore
We have agreed on a price that’s not too much more than that assuming this is the worst of the rust and it’s solid otherwise. I’ve seen lots of pictures, but taking a drive today to see it in person and if it is as described bring it home.
 
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Like others have said, they're all rusty in that price range, so don't let it scare you off. That looks like a Colorado original, so frame rot likely a non issue. Body rust won't keep you from driving and enjoying it. I don't get why everyone thinks every fj40 needs to be pristine. (I grew up in Michigan and my first 40's had more diamond plate and rust than sheetmetal, but I drove them everywhere). More important is to assess what it will need to be a runner. Take a compression tester, see what parts are missing or need replacement, how bad does the wiring look, etc. Stuff adds up quick. Good luck, post more pics!
 
Joined
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Like others have said, they're all rusty in that price range, so don't let it scare you off. That looks like a Colorado original, so frame rot likely a non issue. Body rust won't keep you from driving and enjoying it. I don't get why everyone thinks every fj40 needs to be pristine. (I grew up in Michigan and my first 40's had more diamond plate and rust than sheetmetal, but I drove them everywhere). More important is to assess what it will need to be a runner. Take a compression tester, see what parts are missing or need replacement, how bad does the wiring look, etc. Stuff adds up quick. Good luck, post more pics!
Thanks! Yes it has always been in Colorado, and spent most of its life at a family’s mountain home. It’s been a backcountry 40 which is what I plan to use it for along with around town. Don’t want pristine…I’d be scared to scratch that! Just a solid and fun driver.
 

brooklyn

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I think a lot of us start with I will just drive and enjoy and then over the years we start fixing — just look at all the threads on this site! I am 12 plus years with mine and I am still fixing 😀
 

kudzugypsy

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i would say 80% of 40s, esp the post 70s ones are going to be rusted in that same spot - you're lucky the door bottoms look fine. just deal with it - have it fixed if you have welding skills prob @$1k for replacement panels/repaint...tack on $2500 above patch price if a shop does it. if you are scared of rust....a 40 might not be for you unless you find one that lived in the southwest
 
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It all depends on your level of capability for rust repairs, and/or how much rust you're willing to live with. As long as it's not rusted out where the body mounts are, you can drive it 'till the wheels fall off, no matter how it looks. That rear sill might be a little bit of a pain to repair, even for skilled people. I'm not trying to discourage you, because it can surely be done. Good luck!
 
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What price range if you don’t mind me asking? Under 12k, everything will be rusty, I think some rust in the rear quarters is ok if you are willing to spend money on body work and stuff. Land cruisers rust. It’s what they do.

Any frame rust at all, walk away

Make sure the doors close and body panels line up. If they don’t, it could because of a collision, or parts of it have rusted so far that the body panels aren’t straight anymore
A rust fee 40 series for just over 12k? I haven’t seen that since the 90s. I haven’t looked recently but I bet tub replacements cost that now. There was a pair of new fenders for sale in Boise that just sold in 1 day for $1000. A good set of doors is over $1000. I dont know where “rust free” starts in a 40 but if it’s 12k I have spent way too much time and money cutting it out of mine and I’m not done yet.
 

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