1982 FJ40 Restoration Questions for High Resale Value (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
34
All,

Its been years since I've posted here but always found this place to be extremely helpful. Here's my story. Its a 1982 FJ40. Wife and I have decided that we need to part ways with our beloved land cruiser of over 20 years. There are many reasons that aren't really needed to voice here. Its not an easy decision but the right one for us. When we purchased her the previous owner had started to transform her into a Full Off Road vehicle. 4 inch lift, 33's, lockers in the front/back, etc... Over time we have slowly be getting her back to stock. At this point she is probably the best daily driver I have ridden in. She will go 75 mph and straight as an arrow. You can literally drive her that speed with a single finger on the wheel. Something I (and others) never thought was possible. This is due to the following changes:
1. 5 speed conversion. Best overall upgrade Ive had.
2. New Stock Height Suspension (no casters needed)
3. Stock Shocks
4. 31 inch road tires
5. Rebuilt Knuckles (huge improvement over road wandering!)
6. Tie rods and steering dampener. Large steering shock.
7. New Power Steering Box (Stock)
8. Good balance and good alignment

Other improvements worth noting
1. Desmog 2F (rebuilt motor with only 10K miles)
2. New Desmog carb
3. DUI Distributor/wires
4. New Starter/Battery
6. New Power Steering Pump
7. New Clutch

So mechanically speaking she is really close to top notch. From the air cleaner to the tail pipe its pretty solid. Unfortunately I cant say the same for the body. :(

The wheel wells and floor pans are pretty much bondo at this point. The left bottom rail and back rail is pretty well gone as well. The sides have diamond plate so that's pretty much shot. Top, Doors, hood, front fenders, windshield, fire wall are good and repairable. The frame rear leaf spring mounts might need to be cut off, cleaned up and remounted as it appears there rust between the mount and frame expanding a bit. Nothing too major though.

So here come my questions. She is happily sitting in friends garage and is awaiting restoration. At first I was just going to patch/bondo her up, replace the obvious body parts (rails), and give her some paint for a quick sale. Then, upon researching the resale values of these things I am considering a frame off restoration and higher resale value. Daily Driver Late Model FJ40's seem to go for a high resale. Due to the mechanical state it seems like its worth the time and money to go the extra mile and get her back to original condition. Doing so will probably run me about 7500$ if not 10K to do it right. New 3/4 Tub is probably warranted at this point if I go the high resale route.
So, my questions have to deal with restoration for a high resale value. What should I consider when trying to sell her for top dollar? Here are some questions.
1. General Question: Should I be going with 100% stock for the highest resale? meaning...
2. Should I go with a stock paint color? I wanted to do Desert Storm Flat with a possible clear truck liner on top. Seen pics of this and it looks really good. I don't want to go this route if I am going to lower the value in doing so.
3. Stock Seats? I have audi tt heated leather seats in there now. They are way more comfortable than stock but I did have to remove the front elevated mounts to get them in. If I get a new tub should I get stock seats? Don't want to install other seats if they are going to look down upon as not stock.
4. Rear Seats. Sorry for all the purists out there but jump seats (stock) are horrible to use. I have a mounted leather MDX third row seat on top of the wheel wells. You can fit two (non tall) adults back there fairly comfortable as a result. I am opting to NOT mount this but offer it in the sale. Considering not installing seats ... Looks like you can get jumpers for 500$ if I had too. Not sure if this is even a question... lol
5. Front Locker. Right now it has the front locker still on it. I am considering removing this and selling it. Seems like a no-brainer to get that out of there.
6. Trim Paint. I have started painting the black trim (hinges, bumper, bumpetts, hood latches) in black truck liner. Should I go with stock paint instead?
7. She came out of the show room white. Is that what I should consider or does that not matter?

I think everyone can get the gists of my questions. I would like to hear what others think about this approach and the pros-cons of attempting to get a high resale. One part of me wants to make the best ride possible for the person buying this (ie: heated seats)... the other is concerned that those buying a high price FJ40 want stock condition... which is not necessarily comfortable and practical.

Thanks again for all of your help over the years. I really couldn't have gotten her to ride like she does today with out all of the help here on the forum. Its been a great 20 years of Fj'in.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
8,570
All,

Its been years since I've posted here but always found this place to be extremely helpful. Here's my story. Its a 1982 FJ40. Wife and I have decided that we need to part ways with our beloved land cruiser of over 20 years. There are many reasons that aren't really needed to voice here. Its not an easy decision but the right one for us. When we purchased her the previous owner had started to transform her into a Full Off Road vehicle. 4 inch lift, 33's, lockers in the front/back, etc... Over time we have slowly be getting her back to stock. At this point she is probably the best daily driver I have ridden in. She will go 75 mph and straight as an arrow. You can literally drive her that speed with a single finger on the wheel. Something I (and others) never thought was possible. This is due to the following changes:
1. 5 speed conversion. Best overall upgrade Ive had.
2. New Stock Height Suspension (no casters needed)
3. Stock Shocks
4. 31 inch road tires
5. Rebuilt Knuckles (huge improvement over road wandering!)
6. Tie rods and steering dampener. Large steering shock.
7. New Power Steering Box (Stock)
8. Good balance and good alignment

Other improvements worth noting
1. Desmog 2F (rebuilt motor with only 10K miles)
2. New Desmog carb
3. DUI Distributor/wires
4. New Starter/Battery
6. New Power Steering Pump
7. New Clutch

So mechanically speaking she is really close to top notch. From the air cleaner to the tail pipe its pretty solid. Unfortunately I cant say the same for the body. :(

The wheel wells and floor pans are pretty much bondo at this point. The left bottom rail and back rail is pretty well gone as well. The sides have diamond plate so that's pretty much shot. Top, Doors, hood, front fenders, windshield, fire wall are good and repairable. The frame rear leaf spring mounts might need to be cut off, cleaned up and remounted as it appears there rust between the mount and frame expanding a bit. Nothing too major though.

So here come my questions. She is happily sitting in friends garage and is awaiting restoration. At first I was just going to patch/bondo her up, replace the obvious body parts (rails), and give her some paint for a quick sale. Then, upon researching the resale values of these things I am considering a frame off restoration and higher resale value. Daily Driver Late Model FJ40's seem to go for a high resale. Due to the mechanical state it seems like its worth the time and money to go the extra mile and get her back to original condition. Doing so will probably run me about 7500$ if not 10K to do it right. New 3/4 Tub is probably warranted at this point if I go the high resale route.
So, my questions have to deal with restoration for a high resale value. What should I consider when trying to sell her for top dollar? Here are some questions.
1. General Question: Should I be going with 100% stock for the highest resale? meaning...
2. Should I go with a stock paint color? I wanted to do Desert Storm Flat with a possible clear truck liner on top. Seen pics of this and it looks really good. I don't want to go this route if I am going to lower the value in doing so.
3. Stock Seats? I have audi tt heated leather seats in there now. They are way more comfortable than stock but I did have to remove the front elevated mounts to get them in. If I get a new tub should I get stock seats? Don't want to install other seats if they are going to look down upon as not stock.
4. Rear Seats. Sorry for all the purists out there but jump seats (stock) are horrible to use. I have a mounted leather MDX third row seat on top of the wheel wells. You can fit two (non tall) adults back there fairly comfortable as a result. I am opting to NOT mount this but offer it in the sale. Considering not installing seats ... Looks like you can get jumpers for 500$ if I had too. Not sure if this is even a question... lol
5. Front Locker. Right now it has the front locker still on it. I am considering removing this and selling it. Seems like a no-brainer to get that out of there.
6. Trim Paint. I have started painting the black trim (hinges, bumper, bumpetts, hood latches) in black truck liner. Should I go with stock paint instead?
7. She came out of the show room white. Is that what I should consider or does that not matter?

I think everyone can get the gists of my questions. I would like to hear what others think about this approach and the pros-cons of attempting to get a high resale. One part of me wants to make the best ride possible for the person buying this (ie: heated seats)... the other is concerned that those buying a high price FJ40 want stock condition... which is not necessarily comfortable and practical.

Thanks again for all of your help over the years. I really couldn't have gotten her to ride like she does today with out all of the help here on the forum. Its been a great 20 years of Fj'in.


A factory fj40 color(doesn't have the be the exact color it came with but then you gotta paint the firewall and such if you don't do white) will bring the most resale value, all stock equipment will also give most resale value including smog equipment and seats. 10k will not get you very far at a decent body shop these days. From what you describe, 20k for body work sounds more realistic. Paint alone will cost around 1200 bucks-just for the color not for spraying it. Doing all that, 40k in my opinion should be within reach. Many people ask really big numbers, not sure how many of those actually get those numbers though in a sale.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
34
Thanks so much for the info! It's what I thought would be the case. I do plan on doing all the work myself. My friend has a shop. 40k was the mark I was aiming for. For what it's worth here is how I got to the 10k estimate.
3/4 body 5k
Paint 1k
Seats 1k
AC 1k (optional)
Misc 2k
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
425
Location
Louisiana
assuming its a US truck, IMO returning to stock is going to give you the best resale value.
81-83 FJ40's are hard to come by and command the highest dollars....especially a US model.
 

pb4ugo

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Messages
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Location
spay-lay-wi-theepi, Ohio
I'm with Mr Hanson on this 1, I think you are underestimating the cost of restoration and the resale numbers are just a guess. You could easily just break even. Is the 3/4 tub going to be after market? If it is then it's not going to be stk anymore. It sounds like there is quite a bit that has been altered already. A 100% stk will be expensive. How long is it going to take for the restoration? Does that fit with in your time frame? It sounds like you want or need to sell it. You might be further ahead, if you sell it as is. Or... FYI, There's a new Tseven aftermarket tub for sale in the classified section. That might be plug and play with minimal bodywork and down time.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
Messages
517
Location
Seattle
Agreed- definitely sell it as is. As a sense check, just buying new OEM weather stripping will cost you ~$2,500. The after market stuff isn't very good, and you won't want to use it if you're going for a high $ value. If your tub is bad enough that it needs replacing, you can go for an aqualu tub... but that won't bring the high $ you're after since it's very noticeably different that stock. Cool Cruisers' 3/4 steel tub is $10,500.

If you buy a used tub, you're still going to find some rust that needs replacing, and you'll probably be in it around $5k.

Then you need to consider sand blasting, body work, paint, seats, and countless other odds and ends that will mean death by a thousand paper cuts.

I'm about 90% of the way through rust repair on my rig (and probably 60% through my restofreshmod) and I way way way underestimated the amount of time and money it would require. If it weren't for the fact that I'm keeping it for my own enjoyment, I wouldn't have the motivation required to persevere. It's a long slog, my friend. Lots of ups and downs. you also really need to enjoy the process itself for it to be worth it. You seem primarily focused on selling the rig at a profit, which is completely fine and up to you. But I don't think the math will work, and you will probably struggle with motivation.

I estimate that I'll have about $25k into my rig (including the purchase price) once I'm done with it, and it will be worth (Drum roll please) about $25k at best. So again, I'm doing it for enjoyment of the process, the learning experience, and enjoyment of driving the rig around and tinkering with it for years to come. So I have the drive I need to finish it.

My firm advice: sell it as is and move on with your life. Flipping landcruisers is not a profitable venture unless you have a brand name behind you, like Icon/TLC or FJ Company. i hate to be a wet blanket though.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
34
Great info. Greatly appreciated. Having owned the cruiser for over 20 years I do know the money pit they can become. I also know that you take your estimates LOE and multiply it by 3 when dealing with them. Those comments are very sound advice that I am keeping in mind here. There is a feeling here of wanting to give her the send off she deserves. Lots of good history and energy on that beast. So, that is a factor as well. I certainly wont be jumping into this too quick... Going to take time, keep the investment in check and not ignore the exits. Maybe in the end, a few jars of bondo and my (already bought desert storm flat spray paint will be the extent of it. That's the bare minimum Ill do. She'll sell way better with just that alone. To say she drives nice is an understatement.

In reading the above info I see there is a difference between Stock Restoration and a Refurbishment(? lack of better word). I am leaning more towards the Refurbishment of the ride... not a focus on a Stock Restoration. I certainly wouldn't be paying 2500 in weather stripping and thus the resale would understandably take a hit.

But, I also think with the comments above that if I go the Refurbishment route it is best to stick with stock (or like stock). Paint color, seats, etc. Especially if I go the new tub route. So that begs the question on the tub.
I'm in Maryland and there is a local shop in Hagerstown called Land Cruiser Heaven. They sell 3/4 tubs primed up for 4700$. I realize that it would then not be a stock tub. But they do look pretty dam close.

If I cut out the bad parts out that would be about (1000 quarter panels wheel hubs, 300 Floor pans, 250 Rocker panel, another 500 unknown)Probably 2500K in body parts if keep my tub. That would save me about the same amount. Lots of work though cutting those pieces out.

But if I replace the tub then Im left with my old tub... The front floor board (300) and rear floor board (300) are good. Diamond Plate quarter Panels (150) are good. That's possibly a 700 - 800 sale depending on finding a buyer. If by chance that math works out it may only save me 1500$ trying to save my tub.

I'm going to start taking her apart soon and see what I'm into. Ill start a build up (or bondo up) thread with pics to keep suggestions coming. Again. Big thanks to everyone. I've used this forum way more in the past than ever really posting and hope to provide some good info back to the group in the process.
 

Rigger

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If the truck now has original paint on it, preserve that. 40's with original paint and some patina are really nice!

Post a pic of the rig. It'd be cool to see it.
 
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Location
Takoma Park, MD
There’s a Capital Land Cruiser Assn. monthly meeting this week. You should make time to stop by and chat this Wednesday. I’m out of Takoma Park and I’ll be taking off tomorrow to work on my project and stop by in the evening.

Even if you don’t go, I’ve found some local resources that provide access to tools/equipment. I’d be happy to pass along the information.

I’m taking a TIG welding class tonight in Baltimore and I’ll have access to the equipment afterwards. Check out Foundery.com
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
19,615
If the truck now has original paint on it, preserve that. 40's with original paint and some patina are really nice!

Post a pic of the rig. It'd be cool to see it.

X2 on pictures but for original paint patina think it may be past that point with the mention of all Bondo already.

Wish I could find a 82 like this location (AZ). While not perfect already have a 82 tub that is worth restoring. What isn't mentioned on the local 3/4 tub for sale for $4,700 is all the fitment problems of aftermarket tubs. Seen enough second hand ones being sold without installing because of all the work require to get to fit. Even worse if your planning on a hard top. One thing to consider is the frame. Tubs don't usually rust out without the frame suffering the same fate.
 

FJ404345

Drive your 40 series daily !
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There is a feeling here of wanting to give her the send off she deserves

If you are so worried about that why just now at the end of your ownership you are finally trying to catch up with all the body work after having neglected that for a long time?

It seems more all about "trying to pick a piece of the hype pie" story to me

When you are doing the resto properly, in the end you will have stay with her forever or you will have to take a loss


:cheers:
 
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Joined
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@Chaumpa definitely spend some time reading about landcruiser heaven on this forum before you order anything. There are some less than favorable opinions of them on here.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
34
All great suggestions and comments. I see a need for pictures here so we can all be on the same page. One persons idea of a rust bucket body could be someone else's idea of a salvageable body. I would like to document this process (whatever it turns out being) on the forum. What is the best way to do that? Should I start a thread in the Build Up area? Seems like I remember something about picture posting and a certain thread that allowed you to post up more pics.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
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Took some pics tonite. Got the doors off and ready for pulling off the top soon and dig in. Looking at some other threads on here it appears I have work to do but a tub replacement isn't required. Yeah some areas are bad but they are isolated.

IMG_0857.JPG
 

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