Builds 1984 Desert 40 - Teardown and Rebuild

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Apr 1, 2013
Dhahran, K.S.A.
Hi All,

After purchasing this truck back in 2013 and starting working on it at the beginning of 2014, I finally feel like I've made enough progress over the past 2-1/2 years to start a thread about it.

It's a 1984 FJ40, FJ40LV-KC, 033 White, with the H41 transmission, power steering and factory air.

Plan is to keep it largely stock with some minor updates: OME lift, H55, upgraded sound system, etc.

Hopefully I can get it done sometime before retirement... :)


subscribed :popcorn:
Structurally, she's in good shape. Superficial rust on the frame with the usual quarter panel sheet metal rot. A bit of rot on the rear sill and lower amby doors as well.

I wish I could say the same for the 2F. From the outside she looks fine.


And even the head looks respectable.

But on closer inspection the block had a major (to me) issue.

Pistons were already 1mm over indicating likely multiple rebuilds.

And upon inspection of cylinders 5 and 6, found large amounts of scoring on the pistons.

Full rebuild to commense in 3, 2, 1...
So if you're already 1mm over and 1.5mm oversize are not available, what do you do? The answer... sleeve.

Machine shop sleeved the block back down to standard and all new pistons, rings, bearings valves, valve guides, valve seats and springs were installed. All toyota parts except for the valve seats as a PO had had larger valve seats already installed. Had to get custom cut valve seats turned to fit the head.

Of course I'm kicking myself for not taking enough in progress pics - I can see what I want to show in my head, but I cannot find shots that I was sure I took...



You can see the sleeves in the shot below.

I sent the head and block to the machine shop before properly cleaning them. I can't decide if this was a mistake or not. Because the shop machined it first, I had to re-remove the crankshaft, pistons and all associated bearings from the block, as well as the pistons, valves and the one-use valve caps from the head, in order to give the block and head a through cleaning. On the other side, doing it this way allowed me to get a good flush of the block and head after machining.

Here is a shot of the block after painting with high temp black paint.

And a random shot of what I think a really cool Christmas tree could look like. This is the piston tree from the machine shop.

Head cleaned and painted, valves re-installed, new springs in place and new valve seals installed (had to purchase a second set since they are one-time use). New freeze plugs installed.

Oil galley plug fix done. Hole tapped and two M8 allen head plugs if I recall correctly.

New standard size pistons installed with new rings and camshaft bearings installed in the block.

Engine as it stands right now. New oil pump, trollhole distributor (I am picking up a FJ60 large cap from Toyota this week), new oil cooler, new fuel pump.


New thermostat upper and lower housing (with thermostat), new water pump, new harmonic balancer.

To install: new power steering pump, new carb, new starter and new a/c compressor. I need to source a rebuilt alternator for the truck. Interestingly, even though it is an 84, it still has an external voltage regulator so I will be using an alternator from an earlier truck. Still need to decide what to do about the valve cover.

Rebuilt the front and rear axles. Original front was drum brakes - pulled disc parts from an 86 FJ62 and did a disc swap. "New" reman calipers, new rotors, all new hardware.

Diff was pulled and found to be fine so no rebuild. Front axle rebuilt with new bearings and seals from Cruiser Outfitters. Rebuilt the factory hubs and decided to keep the original paint on the selector.




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The full floating rear axle was a bit more involved. The rear differential pinions and pinion shaft were toast, so these got replaced. Full set of new bearings and seals from Cruiser Outfitters for the diff. Interestingly, the design of these differentials do not use a crush sleeve, which was a bit confusing at first.

Oil deflectors were looking a bit worse for wear so replaced with two new ones. The exact part for the 84 FJ40 was still used in my 2000 LC100. Got to appreciate the standardization of parts across lines.




Reinstalled the rebuilt diff and then rebuilt the rear axle hubs again with a Cruiser Outfitters rebuild kit. All new hardware for the hub.

Still need to install all the brake components but decided to wait to do that until a bit later...

Frame was blasted, coated with Rust Bullet, epoxy primed and painted jet black.


Frame was brought inside, lifted, suspension and front and rear axles installed.

Went with an OME suspension from Cruiser Outfitters and right now have 60-series rims. I have a mixed set of split rims that I need to work on at some point.

Next up is some touch up to the frame and then install of brake lines and exhaust fabrication. Install of the 2F and transmission will be after completion of the H55F and split case rebuild which has been an experience all its own.

There's something satisfying about getting the wheels underneath the frame after it being completely apart for so long. :)


Great to see someone else other than myself and @Mcladin posting here from KSA! And its a full on resto too:popcorn:

Thanks @boozewz! Just saw your FJ62 post - that is killer! I have half a mind to get a second project after this. Keep seeing late 40's and 60's come up every now and then. They seem to all be in the Asir/Taif... :)

A couple of updates - replaced the upper radiator support expanded metal section.


The original was not in good shape.



Fabbed up a new section and tacked it in. The original was not tacked at the bottom but we decided to tack the new one.



Painted, front and back.

Fiberglass repair. Had two sections in the roof that were in very poor shape.


One side in original condition.


Cleaning the area to provide a bite.


Removal of the damaged section.


Underside patch applied.


Current view from top.

The upper side will be patched once the lower has fully cured. Then we'll sand it back down and smooth it in.

Great work and photos!
Thanks! I'm trying to take better pictures now. I wish I had taken more before. I feel like I'm getting to the point where I'm going to be asking "where's this part go" and "how do I run this line"?

Hopefully everyone here will be gracious in their patience.

Nice work man!

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