Builds 77 FJ40 Build, It begins...and may take a while

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Well the time is finally here. i bought my 77 Fj40 about 6 years ago in my first year of marriage (i have a great wife). the two of us flew out to BC and drove it back through the mountains on a prayer but made it with no troubles. i've been driving it as a daily driver since but as i was going through school i had very little time, money or space to work on it and honestly it has been deteriorating mechanically to the point that last winter the engine went (and yes my wife was with me stranded in minus 30 winter waiting for my dad to come tow it home). So there it sat for the past four months until we moved to an acreage with a dedicated shop. We've finally unpacked and have settled in and i finally had some time to start work. i've been dreaming about the project during study breaks over the past 6 years and have lots of ideas but i'm not going to spill the beans at this point. it's nothing many of you haven't seen but maybe a few rarer ideas along the way.

here's what i started with (i did the lift with BDS springs and put 33s on it and have a aussi locker in the back. other than that its stock. wouldn't recommend the BDS..its way too stiff and the shocks that came with the package are way too short)

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Over the past two days i've been tearing into it. the rust isn't as bad as i thought at this point anyway. i know i paid too much for it looking for a clean body that really wasn't that clean but it's not too bad so far.


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Here is the tub so far. i know there isn't much rust under the insulation (i put that is one winter) but there is some fibreglass patch under the drivers floor mat so that's going to come out for some new metal. there is one bad patch on the passenger side rear corner that will need some serious help.

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I did have the typical breakage of the nuts as the fibreglass top came off and a couple stripped screws but nothing that slowed me terribly. my plans are to go down to the frame as quickly as possible but then go slow rebuilding it. i'm also going to replace the screws with either stainless steel nuts or allen key bolts so as to avoid future frozen bolts and also replace the imperial ones the PO used so that i can just use one set of sockets for repairs in the future. hopefully i'll be updating regularly as to the progress.
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they have not been replaced as far as i know but the PO may have done it. i kind of doubt it though seeing as most of the work was a cover up and not a good quality fix. i haven't seen any repair welds either but i am kind of new to spotting that kind of detail. hopefully i'll have that kind of eye by the time i'm done though and know the intimate details of a 77 cruiser!!
 
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then again after a quick google search i see what you mean about the ribs. i guess they may be newer metal.
 

Chamba

 
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High and dry in the desert, dancing between hemisp
There should be ribs on top of your rear wheel wells just like you have on the sides. This is why the little plinths of your roll bar have bumps in them. I can't tell for certain on that pic on my phone, but if they have been replaced that is not necessarily a bad thing. If done well then it's a good thing.
 
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Even though they aren't OEM, If those wheel well tops are proper gage and in good shape I would leave em be. I just replaced mine...what a PITA.

What's behind your front seats, metal speaker boxes?
 
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fibreglass speaker box with a built in rear heater. the OEM one bought the farm so I put a flex a lite one in. works quite well.
 
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after a longer than anticipated time building a fence I have once again found some time to work on the 40. it's still in tear down mode but I think one more day of work and I'll be ready to separate the body from frame. the PO had installed an alarm which literally doubled the amount of wire under the dash. what a rats nest!!

after cutting it out I've been trying to figure out what goes where. I've been labelling things as best as I can ( not planning on using the old harness of course) so I've got some reference for installing a new one. any one with suggestions of what harness to use when I rebuild. I've heard variable reports on painless. I'm not electrically competent enough to build my own at this point. it would just take me too long.

can anyone tell me what this is? it was on the fire wall inside the cab beside and down from the glove box.

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there was also a couple wires attached to the out side of the glove box. what do they do. sorry no pictures for that one. there is a slot on the inside but I can't tell what's in it.
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it's not too bad so far but I'm not holding my breath. the PO did a pretty crappy job covering it all up to make it look good. it's full of filler so when it's sand blasted ill know how many holes there really are. definitely not as bad as some but worse that I had originally wanted. I was a noob when I bought it though and learned a valuable lesson about sight unseen purchases. that was a long time ago already and I don't regret the truck one bit. it's just going to be more learning than I had expected in terms of body work. no problems though, I've got some pretty resourceful and skilled friends I'm sure wont mind helping :).

anyone have an answer to what the part earlier in the thread is?
 
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a socket meaning a light socket? thanks for the reply. I'm also still looking for info as to the part in picture number 7 of this thread. it was on the firewall between the heater and the glove box about half way down.
 
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another half day in the shop has brought be to the place that I can now separate the tub from the frame. I just have to organize things and build some saw horses to put the tub on so I have room to work on it and the chassey indoors. I'm really having fun figuring this truck out. I'm more and more impressed with the design that went into them back in the 70s.
 
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