1980 FJ40 Chevy Conversion - Engine Stalls when the clutch pedal is fully depressed

May 22, 2018
Brooklyn, NY
This is a new and interesting one for me...

82 degrees out. First warm day drive of the year so decided to take the FJ40 out to run an errand.

The car started and ran without issue through stop-and-go city traffic for about 20 mins. Parked for 15. On the way back home car suddenly stalled while driving. Had to pull over. Couldn't get the car to turn over. Sputtered, whirred, almost turned over. Then nothing. Initially, I thought I may have flooded the engine. Eventually got the car started, made it almost home and the car continued to randomly stall.

Through trial and error, I discovered that fully depressing the clutch pedal caused the car to stall consistently. If I have the parking brake on, the car is in neutral, and do not depress the clutch pedal, the car starts up consistently without issue. The moment I depress the clutch down fully, the car stalls. (If I throttle the car to approx 25000rpm and lightly and quickly shift, I can get the car moving before it stalls again) I'm guessing my shifting gears is what caused the initial stall while I was driving and depressing the clutch when trying to crank the engine was what I was fighting against. I'm only finding possible issues with newer cars, not sure if the same applies to mine. Would appreciate any possible insight!

1980 FJ40 w Chevy small block conversion


Elder Statesman
Supporting Vendor
Apr 14, 2004
Probably time to rebuild the trans/tfr. Best guess is that you have a bearing that is on the verge of seizink up (rear main/countershaft/ tail shaft support)that will let the input shaft spin in neutral, but basically wants to lock up once motion is forced to carry through the gearbox.

I would disassemble immediately, as there is still a chance the gears are ok. If the transmission locks up, you will fishtail out of control, unless your driveshaft breaks first!😱

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