A few questions from a Longtime Lurker, who's feeling buy-curious.

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Joined
Jun 20, 2016
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7
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65
Location
West Michigan
Hey Everyone,
I've been lurking the forums here for a few months now, and (imagine that) the urge to acquire a 40-series has only increased in that time. Craigslist and eBay have been basically unhelpful in trying to find out: how much money do I need to have in a pile to get a decent truck today? I've tried searching around a bit, but the price guides I've found on here were written during the Bush administration. Times have changed. This isn't a WTB thread, it's a "what can I expect to pay" thread.

I'm looking for a semi-solid, 1976 or later WITHOUT a SBC or Auto trans conversion. (A conversion like that feels wrong to me)

It's not my first time restoring/repairing a classic car, so a bit of engine or body work is fine, but I don't want to start with a heap of Landcruiser-shaped rust. I'm also not looking for full restoration, or a hardcore crawler build, I'm hoping to resto-mod, with an eye for general driving and adventure.

So please, how much money does a young man have to save to join you in your Toyota-powered classic SUV heaven?
 
Hey Everyone,
I've been lurking the forums here for a few months now, and (imagine that) the urge to acquire a 40-series has only increased in that time. Craigslist and eBay have been basically unhelpful in trying to find out: how much money do I need to have in a pile to get a decent truck today? I've tried searching around a bit, but the price guides I've found on here were written during the Bush administration. Times have changed. This isn't a WTB thread, it's a "what can I expect to pay" thread.

I'm looking for a semi-solid, 1976 or later WITHOUT a SBC or Auto trans conversion. (A conversion like that feels wrong to me)

It's not my first time restoring/repairing a classic car, so a bit of engine or body work is fine, but I don't want to start with a heap of Landcruiser-shaped rust. I'm also not looking for full restoration, or a hardcore crawler build, I'm hoping to resto-mod, with an eye for general driving and adventure.

So please, how much money does a young man have to save to join you in your Toyota-powered classic SUV heaven?

I'd say $8500 to $10k to get a running driving stopping 40 if you are patient and know what you are looking for. Focus on rigs that are out west and be ready to buy the right one when it comes up. Our Midwest trucks seem to be more expensive and have more rust.
 
Don't know if this will help much but here goes. In 1976 I think I paid about $3,300 for a stock '73 with a custom tow bar and roll cage. Using a Consumer Price Index calculator my cost today would be nearly $14,000. I think I made a pretty good investment. :)
 
Run Forest Run !~!!!!

To stop your urge I wouldn't get into these things, look for another lifestyle,

and this isn't the Toyota-powered classic SUV Heaven, but the survival of the fittest Toyota 40 series trucks Hell !!




:cheers:
 
Having been in your situation for 7+ years in the same situation (numerous deployments kinda tempered my enthusiasm), I can agree that a lot of the pricing advice is a bit...dated. It's really tough to figure out the market. What could be had for $5-6k a few years ago is touching $10-15k+ because sellers seem to want to cash in.

I think the price range that Jdc1 gave is about right, depending on what you mean by "a bit". Unless you're incredibly diligent, trucks in that price range may be hiding more than you think. Ask me how I know...

For what it's worth, the DMV tried to stick me for a tax bill based of an average value of $15k. I almost came unglued, we fought a revolution for less...
 
Figure $10 - $15k. If you're lucky you'll find one at the low end, then use the savings for all the replacement parts you're gonna need. Ask me how I know:eek:
 
I've spent around $5k in the last month and a half finishing an "almost done" 1964 that basically had a frame on resto. Misc parts like bolts, weatherstripping, emblems, belts, hoses etc can really add up. I am going for full resto-mod on mine, so I wanted new or like new parts for everything I could not refinish myself. I'll probably spend another $3k before I am done. It gets out of control really really fast!
 
Got my 69 for $3500, in Allegan. At least that is what I paid for mine 2 months ago. Runs, drives, stops. With replacement lights and wiring, some previous PO decided to snip the wires to every light except headlights, it is streetable. Patience and a daily search is your friend. When they show up, they are snapped up quick. I'll end up putting $1500 into it to make sure everything is safe, but 5k total seemed a good deal to me.
 
I got mine for 10k...but it also what you willing to have. Do you want a sbc or original engine.. I think the one I bought was over looked because of the 350 sbc.. so I got it on the cheaper side... all will have gremlins, so your skills will be well used
 
I got mine for 10k...but it also what you willing to have. Do you want a sbc or original engine.. I think the one I bought was over looked because of the 350 sbc.. so I got it on the cheaper side... all will have gremlins, so your skills will be well used
Well, I said in my original post that I was looking for one with the original motor. I'm a sucker for numbers matching. And also apparently a sucker for cars that everyone wants to put SBC swaps into. (my first project was a first-gen RX-7, and EVERYONE said I should do a SBC in it)
 
Not a bad start.

They all end up being 15k+ into them... Spend it up front or spend it later. If you're luck it'll only be 15k
 
Bikersmurf has it about right...altogether probably $15k to get a decent looking and running rig. The days of finding that nice FJ40 for under $5k are pretty much gone. It can be done, but you have to find that one person who has no idea what they have, or some pissed off divorcee!
 
I bought mine for $1250 when I was a broke student. I put about 1k into it a year for the next 10 years. Now after 25 years I've got about 14k into it, and I've had some incredible luck and got some unbelievable deals. By the time I redo the rear 1/4s, some other minor repairs, and slap on some paint I'll hit 15k.

Had I started with the one I later saw for 3k (it was a long time ago), I'd likely have actually spent less. :D

That said, I don't regret my choice... Just my do-over would go a different route. Or I'd skip the 40 and get a 4x4 conversion kit by U-Joint for my Ford E350, and be restricted to roads 1/2 a mile wide... :D
 
I looked at trucks and this forum for nearly 3 years before pulling the trigger. My objective was similar though my goals and objectives evolved over that time commensurate with my understanding of the FJ market. This forum has been invaluable to catch up on what the 40 is about. As we say in used Porsche car world buy the best vehicle you can afford (and find). I would budget 15k and look hard, network and be patient. If you buy for less the balance will go right into the acquisition. Read through the FAQ sections, build sections etc.
 
I'll fess up and admit I paid $22K for my 1977 three years ago. I wanted it and had the cash set aside. It had a true frame off restoration already done on the body/frame. You can tell the body had been totally stripped before painting. I was already a few years into a restoration I was doing to a Bronco, so I knew how long and how much work it takes to restore a vehicle. My 40 came from out West. It needed some mechanical work done (only because it had been sitting) which I did myself. I have put about $4000 in parts into my 40 since purchase. Rebuilt both diffs, new ring and pinion adding 3.70 gearing, new rear bearings, rebuilt both knuckles, new brake lines and other repairs (new carb, installed A/C, etc). It has been my daily driver for three years. I have put 25K on the 40 so far. All stock, with 6 and 4 speed. Even has the original Toyota floor mat.

I had been looking for a 40 for a year before I finally made the purchase and had missed three different 40's that were around the same price range, but I got out bid (I tried to keep emotion out of my purchase and let them go). Finally found mine on an obscure website of a used car dealership and it was the owner's 40. So I was not bidding on it, but instead haggling with the owner. But it was also on his website for sale, Listed at $35K. I have not regretted my purchase one minute. Heck a new car costs way more than I paid for my pristine 40, so I feel I made out OK. I wanted one that was as finished as I could find. I wanted to just drive mine, not restore. So I paid a lot up front and was lucky in that the seller was extremely honest.

A 40 is definitely not for everyone. You probably want to try to get a test drive in one before you shell out some big bucks. I was nutty and I just wanted one, never having driven one. Ended up I simply love mine more after three years than the day I brought it home. But you got to put up with a slow, noisy, bouncy ride. To me it is part of the charm of owning it.

Prices for things always go up and down. The 40 might lose value, but right now it seems to be holding steady after a crazy price rise and fall.
 
in my experience getting one that runs well and is reliable is far cheaper than getting one that runs well and is reliable and looks really pretty. id say 10-15k for a good truck you don't mind getting dirty and exploring with. you're probably looking north of 20K to have it all though with paint and nice trim pieces but then you may not want to explore so deep into the backcountry with something so nice
 
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in my experience getting one that runs well and is reliable is far cheaper than getting one that runs well and ins reliable and looks really pretty. id say 10-15k for a good truck you don't mind getting dirty and exploring with. you're probably looking north of 20K to have it all though with paint and nice trim pieces but then you may not want to explore so deep into the backcountry with something so nice

You are absolutely correct on that. Mine doesn't go out in any bad weather. But, I did not want to go exploring with it. I just want to drive it and try to keep it nice. If I want to explore I'll go buy some beater Wrangler or something else that parts are cheap for and its expendable. To each his own of course and I see taking one off road, but mine means too much to me to beat it up. My Bronco also does not see anything but the street. But I spent too many hours making it like new to go out and trash it.
 

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