Advice on Potential FJ40 Purchase (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jun 13, 2022
Messages
283
Location
Nashville, Tennessee
Not sure if this is in the right sub-forum, but I was just curious as to what members here would have to say about this. There doesn't seem to be much available in my area in the way of FJ40's. It's not hard to find one that is completely roached out, but I'm not really looking to get into a project of that depth, at the moment. I have the ability, but I'm looking for something that a little closer to instant gratification. I'm not full-blown, but I'm somewhat of a purist, so I'm looking to get something that I can make halfway close to original. I certainly don't mind small mods to help drivability, as long as they don't take away from the vintage feel/look of the vehicle. Anyway... all this being said, there is a local FJ for sale, and I actually know the guy. I would say he is a little more than just an acquaintance. We have hung out several times with mutual friends. He's a pretty good fella. It's a '71 model, and the engine has approx. 12k miles on it after a fresh rebuild. It also has power steering, and a front disc brake conversion from an '83 model. He gave me a price of $10,500, which I know, is less than he has in it. Unfortunately, it does not come with a hard top, but I have a friend that has one that's in decent shape. If you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them. I'm just curious if this looks to be a decent deal, or if I should hold out for something better, and/or closer to original. Any info would be much appreciated.

279582316_10159779530040795_2441498188752955584_n.jpg


279623029_10159779530070795_2385864418486038443_n.jpg


279606779_10159779530240795_8916079505181642023_n.jpg


279628666_10159779529935795_1047876972020821144_n.jpg


279579371_10159779529985795_8536992484736064882_n.jpg
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
436
Location
Arkansas USA
That rig is missing a lot. It does look like the body is good and if the F motor runs good I would think it is probably worth the asking price if most of the electrical is working. It will make a good driver for running around the fire roads and national forest. If my sights were set on an original FJ40 I might look elsewhere but for a truck with some mods and something to build it is a good platform. Sometimes there is a lot of worth in getting something you won’t be tempted to tear down and restore. Instead of being apart most of the time it can be used like it was built to use.
 

pb4ugo

SILVER Star
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
2,851
Location
spay-lay-wi-theepi, Ohio
It looks like a decent trail rig/driver. There's been quite a lot of modifications done to it and it maybe costly to get it back to anything original. The steering is not fj60, it's Saginaw steering. It is a common setup. Make sure it's done correctly and that the frt crossmember is not too compromised. The bottom of the fenders and rockers have been cut for more clearance and steel angle iron sliders were adapted. The rear wheel openings are cut and flares adapted. Nice rear bumper, but the frt is not my style. It was built for the trail. The sm420 trans is a gm tranny with a very lower 1st gear for a better crawl ratio. It is a truck tranny and shifts like one. Make sure the Trans does not pop out of 2nd gear. It's a common problem with them and not really repairable. Dont grind it into 2nd, if you do it will eventually pop out of 2nd gear. The rear arb is nice. You can lock it for the trail and disengage it so it will drive similar to stk on street. I'm not a fan of shackle reversal but is not uncommon. The dash is hacked. It has a smittybuilt roll bar. You need to look deep into the floors and rear sill. No top no heat. I'm just calling out some of the obvious things i noticed at a quick glance. I generally won't comment on value, that's between you and the owner. It's probably a little high.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
Messages
636
Location
Seattle
Rust is the biggest thing to watch out for with FJ40's- it can really get involved to repair it. This rig has signs of typical rust, as his description says. It's not terrible, but there is definitely some rot here:

The rear sill
Front door bottoms
front door sills/rockers

My rig didn't look quite this bad, and I found a ton more rust as I stripped it down. So I would basically assume it has rust in a lot of other places as well.

The bottoms of the front fenders have been cut- original front fenders are pretty tough to find- I paid an arm and a leg for some in Germany.

That said, there are some nice upgrades here- disk breaks and power steering. the rebuild is great. I think $10,500 is a reasonable price for it in today's market, but I look at this rig and the fact that you're looking for more of a "purist-ish" rig, and I think this thing will need a restoration to get it to where you want it... which is not what you're looking for.

If you want a nice driver with a good hard top and no serious rust but some stuff to tinker on, you're probably going to need to spend more like $25-30k I think.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2022
Messages
283
Location
Nashville, Tennessee
I really appreciate the info so far, guys! What you've both said, is very much in line with what I've been thinking. I definitely don't like the fact that it's been hacked on a little. I found a few more pictures that show better views of the underside. If I decide to go look at it in person, and like it, I would be inclined to offer around $9000, pending what I see.

IMG_0575.JPG


IMG_0577.JPG


IMG_0579.JPG


IMG_0578.JPG


IMG_0587.JPG
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2022
Messages
283
Location
Nashville, Tennessee
Pierps, thanks for the info on the rust and other things. I've uploaded a few more pics I found to help with the description. I'm pretty good with fabrication, but I don't want to get into too big of a mess. I really don't want to go out and spend 25-30k on a nice one. (even though I would like to have one) I have, however, seriously considered taking a trip to Costa Rica to purchase a nice diesel model to have shipped home. That still might be my best option. I just don't know yet. I travel to the Philippines on a semi-regular basis, but the export process from there is far too much of a hassle to deal with. It's a real shame, because I could pick up a nice one for peanuts.
 

pb4ugo

SILVER Star
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
2,851
Location
spay-lay-wi-theepi, Ohio
Rust wise it look fairly solid. It looks like a lot of surface rust. Like I said, most of the body trimming and driveline were done for the trail. I did most of the same on my 1st 40. Trim and protect the sheet metal rather than bending and crushing it. Instead of trying to rebuild the body, I'd probably try to straighten and clean up what's there. Pick your battles. I'd also avoid imports, especially from S/A or C/A. There are many threads on bad restorations from there. Those vehicles typically been beat to hell and rigged together.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2015
Messages
2,558
Location
East of Eden, in the land of Nod
Just 2 cents worth of free advice. This rig has a great deal of character. If u buy it, make it reliably start, stop and go then enjoy it. I admire the “better than new” resto‘s to the enth degree. But, truth be known, this type of LC goes off the chart with the “cool factor”. It’s had a previous life with the battle scars to prove it. It’s has tons O‘ Po-ten-tial…If you can get it for a fair price it would be hard to pass on. Hop on over to some of the Patina build threads and have a ”look see”…😉

:popcorn: Looking forward to see where you go with this.


Nice old school Con-ferr brush guard.That‘s worth at least a couple of good stories.
 

EWheeler

4 Cruisers, No Garage !
GOLD Star
Joined
Apr 5, 2008
Messages
2,310
Location
Menifee, CA
This is a great deal in my opinion for under $10k if you want a trail truck. I think this truck is probably worth a little more than $10k if you wanted a trail truck. Setup well with the SM420 for low 1st crawling, saginaw power steering, and has ARB locker in rear. This truck should be pretty darn capable off-road. If you just want a weekend cruiser, those two items won't really be value adders. This truck looks to have some cool history based on the way it's been outfitted and Mudrak doing the modifications.

If this truck was listed on the open market here out west in CA, I think it would be gone in hours at $10,500.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2022
Messages
283
Location
Nashville, Tennessee
@airon23 I think you're both right. Actually, I think everyone has made some good points. I was struggling with the decision at first, but I think I'm leaning toward getting it. I mean, how can I go wrong? I can do what I can to make it nicer, while having a sense of instant gratification. In the end, when I'm done with it, I'm sure I can sell it for more.

If I do get it, I will be making several immediate changes. I would most likely be inclined to go back to stock wheels (assuming they will fit over the front disc brake calipers), with some skinnier (is that a word) profile tires with a retro look. (something like what the FJ in the pic below has) Pending an evaluation, I might even go back to the stock ride height. Obviously, I would replace the grill bezel. (or whatever it's called) I would also replace the triangular tread plate behind the front fenders. Might even fabricate some that are thicker than OEM. Mustard yellow has always been my favorite color for the FJ's, and there's a slight possibility I would paint it if I could go with a less than glossy paint, maybe a matte finish. I just don't want it to look new. All that will just get me started.

c84ec93ab09dd5c23fe43d04f88cf316.jpg
 
Last edited:

pjohnson

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 15, 2003
Messages
2,895
Location
Idaho
If you're usage is on the streets or just dirt roads, you're probably going to hate the SM420. It's great for rock crawling, not so much elsewhere.
 

John McVicker

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
3,834
Location
Big Pine, CA
I say: Jump hard, jump hi and jump quick!👍
 

pb4ugo

SILVER Star
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
2,851
Location
spay-lay-wi-theepi, Ohio
I say: Jump hard, jump hi and jump quick!👍
This/\/\/\

It looks like a solid 40. Most of the stuff done to it I've done b4. A sm420 shifts fine, the shifting is just more gated than a stk fj40 4 speed. It's way better than the 3 speed. The sm420 driveline has value and is desirable and could be swapped out. After clean up and mechanicals, I'd consider the patina thing to start.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom