79FJ40….fuel pump/carb issues….time for conversion to EFI?

Joined
Jan 26, 2003
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173
I’ve got a question in here so bare with me….first some background to help folks respond.

I did a full frame off resto on my 79FJ40 about 10 years ago…..literally everything was rebuilt or replaced back to factory original. Took me two years to do all the work. Truck has factory power steering as well. Only real non-stock item is I went with a disc brake conversion on the rear axles to give me 4 way disc brakes…..love it. However, even after rebuilding the carb a few times it never really ran “great”….summer time is ‘worse’ than other cooler months.…always something with all those darn vacuum lines and switches. Truck isn’t driven a lot and as a result my factory fuel pump is likely on the fritz…

I’ve disconnected the fuel line from carb and cranked it….no fuel to carb. Disconnected the fuel line in front of the factory fuel pump and was able to handpump fuel from the tank no problem…no restrictions. Fuel filter is clear as well so I’m pretty confident the fuel pump has finally given up. I’m going to confirm by hooking up a small portable tank to the fuel supply line of the pump and then crank it again to be sure no fuel is going to the carb. If that is in fact the problem…..I’m thinking it might be time to save money on buying a new factory OEM fuel pump and apply those $$ ($150 ish) to a 2 bbl Holley Sniper EFI. From what I’ve read on this forum and others…..everyone has experienced greatly improved performance and reliability.

So fellow cruiser enthusiasts ……would making the conversion hurt the overall value of the truck going forward? Keep in mind that I’m not interesting in selling anytime soon. I’ll keep all the stock items in a box so if I ever need to reinstall I could (yes, that’s unlikely). I know I’ll enjoy something that runs better and if/when I do sell I suspect the new owner would as well. I live in state that no longer requires emission inspections or for that matter any inspection on a truck of this age. I’ve included a few pics of my truck for view. Thoughts?

PS….the 79FJ40 stock fuel tank has a supply and return line already built into the tank. That said the tubing is a bit small for what Holley recommends for the Sniper install….minimum of 3/8” for supply and return lines while the stock lines are I believe 5/16”. Since the supply/return junction with the stock fuel tank is removable with a few screws….I could fairly easily fab up a new supply/return setup and attach back to the stock tank.

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John McVicker

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I’ve got a ‘’75 40 (purchased new) that still has all stock running gear, engine etc. My suggestion would be to get a new OEM fuel pump and get your carb to run properly.

HOWEVER…there’s nothing at all wrong with going Sniper…well, cost. Do not believe it will decrease resale value at all. If you ever do go to sell it, the potential buyer will likely never have driven a car with a carb anyway. So really it’s whatever you feel best with.

But I personally say save the $$ and get what you have running well.
 
Joined
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Looking at what you have I'd say start with a new fuel pump and see how it improves the running. With all the work done to keep it stock I'd say you may need to rejet the carb since it runs better when cold than warm.

Keeping all the emissions connected will probably not be easy with an EFI conversion. I know you're not worried about passing an inspection but it does look good the way you have it.

FYI, this is coming from someone with who has done a V8 conversion including EFI and 4 wheel disc brakes. I've also owned it since 1976 and it was 3 years old when I bought it.

You're just going to have to decide if you want to keep it factory stock or continue the modifications.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
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Thanks for feedback……I had this “stock or resto-mod” discussion with myself about the time I started the restoration 12+ years ago…..decided the stock route since I had formerly had a 1963 Corvetter roadster many years prior and kept that stock as well….at the time it was a major no-no to mod a corvette. But if you look at Mecum or other auction houses almost all of the old carb cars are now converted to EFI and other modern mods for comfort and reliability. To your point, Mr. Vicker….most resto-mods are bringing better money than original stock on many 1960-70 cars. While I enjoy “turning a wrench”….a lot of folks just like jumping in, crank it and go…..

That said…..the simplest route to get me back on the road is the replace the stock fuel pump and try tweaking the carb a little……thanks and love to hear any other comments from folks. This forum is a wealth of info and a huge help to me during my restoration work years ago.
 

GA Architect

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FWIW - Although my FJ40 was desmogged, I took a similar approach when going EFI (Holley Sniper). Preping for my EFI install, I kept all the original parts. As someone who drove/drives his rig quite often, installing the EFI was the single best modifications I've made to my 40. Now, I did have a few trials and tribulations, which you can read in my thread. However, I'd do the EFI install all over again in a heart beat!

I now have a box with all my '77 goodies that just sits upon a shelf and collect dust now.
 
Joined
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Good insight…..I read your posts on the EFI…..very informative/helpful. If I go that route I’m going to try to do a video/photo trail so I can post on this forum. For desmogging….I assume you pulled the smog pump, EGR, air rail, etc. and “cleaned up“ the look under the hood. My first FJ40 when I was in college (several decades ago) was a 1970 model….I remember the engine bay being wide open and ‘clean look’….making everything very easy to work on. If I do the Sniper….might as well as Vintage air to the truck as well……I have the right flywheel pulley on my truck to run the compressor already.
 

Skreddy

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Does your vented cap actually vent? I’m going through a 79 right now and the pump was having a hard time pulling fuel from the tank because of partially clogged lines and the vented cap not venting.

I went sniper and though my quirks are just being worked out, I love it. But with how your rig looks, I’d try a new fuel pump first.
Check your oil as well for gas in there. The fuel pump can leak internally and flood the oil pan with gas. A migh level on dipstick, thin or gassy smelling oil would be good indicators.
 
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Thanks for tips……I have checked the oil and thankfully no issues there. Vent cap is fine as well….I was able to use a hand pump and pull gas from the supply lines without any resistance/problem….I have the stock evaporator and vent lines installed so tank does not appear to be building up a vacuum lock. My plan is to test the mechanical fuel pump today….I’ll post an update accordingly.

Glad to hear that your Sniper install has been a success. I’ve been chatting with one of the Holley factory service reps and he’s been extremely helpful/responsive.
 

brooklyn

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I would vote for keeping that stock setup. Resolve the fuel pump and see how it runs and then make any necessary adjustments.

The other options, although sound, will take time and maybe have some issues you will have to sort out. You spent so much time keeping it stock!
 
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Quick update…..today I ran an small auxiliary tank/line directly to the stock mechanical fuel pump….disconnected the output line at the carb and put in a container…..cranked…and cranked the engine…..no fuel at all. Will go with the stock mechanical fuel pump for now to get it back on the road……but the EFI has taken over my brain……so, guess I’ll be sourcing the correct adapters….making a 3/8” in and out lines for the stock fuel tank, etc. so when I start on the job I’ll have “everything” on hand. I want to keep the stock air cleaner so guess I’ll fork out the bucks for the adaptors unless someone knows a great place to source those items. Thanks again to everyone for their input.

Just to be sure…..since the truck has sat for several months….I’m assuming these mechanical pumps do not need to be primed since they basically work off a vacuum??
 
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Interesting alternative…..but for $500 I think a new insert into the tank is another option. As you can see from this photo of when I had the tank prep‘d and ready to reinstall during my resto work….the inlet/return fitting is made into a removeable ‘bung’ that is fixed with a gasket and few screws (you can see it in the top of the photo)…..shouldn’t be that hard to fabricate that setup with 3/8” lines…..

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knuckle47

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So if you need another 2 cents…here. My first foray into FJ40 was in 1974, brand new …loved it. Then in 1975, I discovered Downey toyota, man-a fre, smittybilt, air conditioning, and companies like this … and I saved and bought , saved and bought I was 22 and a bit swayed by youth. Eventually with headers, Holley carb, lift kits, Armstrong Tru-track tires, full rollcage, 1/2 cab top my vehicle looked great and ran great. No way a stock Land Cruiser.

You have preserved the original stock truck and that is highly valued by someone who in a few years or decades, will step over the top to acquire something so well preserved. I see it in my ‘50’s Thunderbirds.

I am back enjoying my ‘75 land cruiser and spent a good deal of money returning much of its appearance to stock. But I did opt for Holley EFI based on some life experiences. As a vintage motorcycle enthusiast from the 1920’s through 1960’s, these bikes needed to be primed with a few kicks, spark retarded and then kick started to life…sometimes many many more kicks than you might have wanted.

In 1995 Harley Davidson came out with electronic fuel injection. Turn on the key and press the starter. Instant startup…..that made some impression on me. Now as a car collector, any car I’ve owned that was not used weekly and sat 2 weeks or much more, needEd that same start routine in a way.

while my ‘75 is almost stock, the current Weber 38 starts about the same way, after a few days of sitting you crank for a bit longer…there are some performance issues with fuel delivery… EFI constantly determines fuel mixes and requirement for all driving habits, elevations, and other variables whereas the carb is set, fixed and provides fuel as predetermined by jets and adjustment, and thats all. I enjoy the efficiency of the EFI technology and the reliability it will bring to my vehicle.

remember, this is only 2 cents …. Just another opinion with little value. I do love your stock Land Cruiser as it. But if you save the pieces, you can always go back while you enjoy the newfound ease of operation.
 
Joined
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Does your vented cap actually vent? I’m going through a 79 right now and the pump was having a hard time pulling fuel from the tank because of partially clogged lines and the vented cap not venting.

Pretty sure once the return off the carburetor started the vented gas cap went away. The idea with emission is do away with gas fumes escaping from the gas. Charcoal canister is used to filter fumes getting to the atmosphere.

So if you need another 2 cents…here. My first foray into FJ40 was in 1974, brand new …loved it. Then in 1975, I discovered Downey toyota, man-a fre, smittybilt, air conditioning, and companies like this … and I saved and bought , saved and bought I was 22 and a bit swayed by youth. Eventually with headers, Holley carb, lift kits, Armstrong Tru-track tires, full rollcage, 1/2 cab top my vehicle looked great and ran great. No way a stock Land Cruiser.

You have preserved the original stock truck and that is highly valued by someone who in a few years or decades, will step over the top to acquire something so well preserved. I see it in my ‘50’s Thunderbirds.

I am back enjoying my ‘75 land cruiser and spent a good deal of money returning much of its appearance to stock. But I did opt for Holley EFI based on some life experiences. As a vintage motorcycle enthusiast from the 1920’s through 1960’s, these bikes needed to be primed with a few kicks, spark retarded and then kick started to life…sometimes many many more kicks than you might have wanted.

In 1995 Harley Davidson came out with electronic fuel injection. Turn on the key and press the starter. Instant startup…..that made some impression on me. Now as a car collector, any car I’ve owned that was not used weekly and sat 2 weeks or much more, needEd that same start routine in a way.

while my ‘75 is almost stock, the current Weber 38 starts about the same way, after a few days of sitting you crank for a bit longer…there are some performance issues with fuel delivery… EFI constantly determines fuel mixes and requirement for all driving habits, elevations, and other variables whereas the carb is set, fixed and provides fuel as predetermined by jets and adjustment, and thats all. I enjoy the efficiency of the EFI technology and the reliability it will bring to my vehicle.

remember, this is only 2 cents …. Just another opinion with little value. I do love your stock Land Cruiser as it. But if you save the pieces, you can always go back while you enjoy the newfound ease of operation.


Toyota use to have the solution to getting the carburetor primed up to the mid sixties. With a dead battery using the hand crank to start the engine was a lot more realistic if you could prime carburetor before hand. Between the hand crank for the engine, hand prime fuel pump and the tool roll these were a simple vehicle designed to get home in most cases on the early Land Cruisers. Today if the ECU doesn't like the input from a certain sensor you need a tow truck. Think the real down fall of the carburetor was US emissions. In some markets the J30 three speed lasted until 10/82 mainly because it was such a simple transmission to work on with simple hand tools.

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