(1977 FJ40) - "School of Hard Knocks" Build Thread (1 Viewer)

Advrider639

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Atlanta, GA
 
Ive got an original build thread buried way back in here, but I did I terrible job of keeping it up to date. It'll be cleaner and easier to start new:

Short story:
I was a senior in high school and decided I wanted an old Land Cruiser. I did not want a project, rather one to slowly learn the ropes and go So after looking at a few trucks on craigslist I pulled the trigger on a '77.

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It soon became apparent that the truck was in terrible shape and needed lots of work. What do I do?.... Sell it and get a better one?.... NO!.... Start tearing it apart in the garage! I will just hit the main problem areas and not dive too deep.

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At this point I was politely told to get this s*** out of the garage, so lucked up and was able to rent a couple bays from a neighbors shop.

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I think this is where I probably said my first, "well while I am here". So now what had started off as a simple fixer upper, has now escalated into a full blow restoration. On a high school budget. Here goes nothing!

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Advrider639

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Joined
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Atlanta, GA
 
Many many many hours of wire wheeling, POR15 metal prep & paint later I ended up with something like this:


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Always searching craigslist, I found something that could be helpful... a parts truck! This has officially gotten out of hand.

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Turns out the body was in terrific shape, only needed some slight quarter panel patching. Saves me some work on my rusty tub! Lets get it shot with some primer. Now some may notice the tool box on the floor. It is a 1971 tub, in hindsight I probably should not have done this, but at the time it really did save my ass on the metal repair. I think it makes my build unique to me, but it defiantly led to some head aches down the road!

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Advrider639

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Its 2012 and I headed off to college, so not much happened for the first couple years :beer:

Well I did manage to get it painted:
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Around 2014 I needed to get this thing going. I moved it to a friends auto shop and with the help of their mechanic we got it some what put back together. Even drivable around the parking lot!

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At some point it got power steering!

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Advrider639

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Atlanta, GA
 
Also at some point in all of this I rebuilt the front knuckles.... I hear you can't be a cruiser guy until you do this...

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After the land cruiser spent some time getting much needed dedicated attention, I was able to drive it home! Still a lot to do!


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Once again the project stalled, not much forward progress. Although I did use it for scouting some new deer property.
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Advrider639

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I graduated college, so the truck and I returned to Atlanta.

This is where something big changed about the restoration... Funding! I landed a job here in Atlanta with a commercial general contractor. Lets get this thing going! How about a soft top?
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Figure I should tackle the leaky timing cover, I can only put it off for so long....



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Advrider639

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Messages
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Location
Atlanta, GA
 
Gas tank needed to be cleaned out after years of little use. Full chemical strip and professional coating. New OEM fuel pump, fuel lines, and @Trollhole carburetor.
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It is starting to come together! New coolant over flow bottle (@ToyotaMatt), and OEM H4 headlights. Both terrific upgrades!
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Cleaned up my dash items and rear heater:

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Advrider639

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Things were rocking and rolling at this point, so naturally something needed to go wrong.... One of the last things on the truck I haven't touched were the rear axle and wiring harness. Ill let you take a guess which one failed:

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Don't worry, we deal with the rear axle soon....

I tracked down a nice used harness, and swopped it in along with HD battery cables and some nice finishing touches from @Coolerman. Easy!

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Also got my tailgate mounted. Starting to feel like a finished truck. Thanks again for the help @LDowney !

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Oh yeah, I finished rebuilding my doors and got them mounted. If I never have to put weatherstripping in these doors again, I will be quite content. Never again.

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So now that I've got the truck back on the road, its time for some new tires. After all the ones that came off were 10 year old Chinese tires... yuck!

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Advrider639

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All of this work, plenty not pictured, has gotten us here. Feels great.

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Ive got my antique 4x4 all fixed up and running well, it'd be a shame to leave it in the garage. Time for its first real putting in quite some time.
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Cover your eyes @GA Architect. I really need to put that slash guard back on.....

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Advrider639

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On the way home from the mountains, I had some carburetor issues. For what ever reason, my secondary decided to not work. Doesn't make for a fast drive home. Off with the carb and back to Marshall. While it is off getting looked at, why don't I change out my brake likes with these stainless steel ones Ive had sitting on the shelf for quite some time. When I get to the rear drums, they are nasty. Time for a rebuild as well. Well turns out for the same cost I could go with disc brakes. I am not 100% dedicated to stock, so this was an easy decision.
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Pulled my diff to find all the gears to be pitted, and the bearings not rolling so well. Luckily I found a replacement diff in good shape. I checked all of the internals, replaced the seal and washers, and cleaned the housing.

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Since the axle is pretty much stripped, why not pull it and clean the entire thing up. "while I am here". New bearings, seals, studs, etc...
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Advrider639

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Joined
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And while I did not even come close to documenting all of the work, this pretty much brings me to today. I will be sure to keep this update from here on out. I have learned a ton from my mistakes, and wouldn't want to done it any other way.

Thank you:
@Wadesters
@HENDOG
@LDowney
@Trollhole
@Coolerman
@cims1970fj40
@GA Architect
& the rest of Ih8mud



And what did I do today?.... Lean drop the fresh carb, and test drive. Runs great! Still need to bleed some air out of the brake lines though. Ignore the low vacuum, I am idling at 19", 650RPM, slightly advanced timing.


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Advrider639

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So let me ask the crowd a question. I noticed that my front axle was missing the 6deg shims from the TPI kit, so I ordered replacements. I spoke with TPI and this will correct steering caster angles. This would explain how when turning at low speeds some times there’s a lag then the truck will shoot off to which ever direction you are turning.

These are made from cast metal... should I be worried about cracking? The 2deg shims I got for my rear axle from @orangefj45 are machined and seem much more durable.

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Edit: Decided to just go for it and bolted them on, noticeable improvement when turning at slow speeds.

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