Advice please - FJ40 has been sitting for a very long time

Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
10
Location
San Diego
I'd appreciate some advice. Without writing some long winded story about why I'm in this situation, I'll just get right to it. My FJ40 (1974) has been pretty much sitting for 20 years. I'm just about to get the brakes working and I'd like to be smart about getting it ready to get out and try driving it.

I've owned this thing since about 1988. A quick little history...

Way back in the late 80's I did the V-8 swap. I'ts super mild and kept stock. I did the Downey conversion using the stock 4-speed and transfer case. Probably around 1994 I ended up taking the transfer case to Marlin Crawler to regear it for the V-8. I couldn't tell you the details of it its been so long but it transformed the thing into a crawler. I used it everyday until about 1997 and then it just sat in a state of disrepair. Over the years I'd every now and then turn the engine over and run it for awhile. The compression even now is still good now which is a relief.

I'd would be great to hear from you guys what you think I should do to it before I try driving it. I'd hate to break/damage anything in the power train. I'm a bit paranoid since and never rebuild the axles or serviced the birfiields. I plan on replacing the oil in the transmission, transfer case and axles as well as hitting the grease ports on the drivelines.

Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks.
 

jmylie

 
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Messages
840
Location
CT
Seals tend to dry out when sitting for long periods. Check for leaks.

Inspect anything rubber, especially fuel lines and brake lines.

Replace the hydraulic fluid in the brake system.
 

C6H12O6

SILVER Star
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2004
Messages
1,762
Location
Beaverton, Oregon
Minor thing, but you might want to disconnect the speedometer. The grease on the plastic gears gets dried out and super sticky after sitting for a long time. If it jams up, you can break the plastic gears. Easy cleaning job when you have the cluster out sometime for new light bulbs.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
10
Location
San Diego
Thanks. I'll take a good look at the rubber brake brake lines. I'll have all 4 wheels and brake drums off this weekend to inspect the brake lines, shoes and wheel cylinders. Not to mention I need to get familiar again with the whole drum adjustment technique. I just replaced the booster and have a new master cylinder to put into it.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
10
Location
San Diego
I had about half the day to work on the cruiser. I had a heck of a time getting all the brake drums removed. When I finally did I couldn't believe all the dead bugs and spider webs I found inside. Come to think of it I haven't had them off since probably 1994. I was able to adjust the shoes back on the fronts so I could get those drums off. The rears on the other hand where a different story. The adjusters on 3 of the 4 back there are seized up. I'm very happy I was able to got the drums off back there. I was getting worried.

What do you guys advise me to do, replace the 4 wheel cylinders back there or while I'm at it just replace all 8? But first...I'm going deep...

My steering knuckles are bone dry and when I spin the front hubs (not locked), I can hear that sort of hollow bearing sound indicative of when there is a lack of grease. When I do lock them and spin them (note, only one is locked at a time) I can hear an obvious ticking noise as you turn them. Is this normal? I was going to wait and just get this thing out driving first but now I'm thinking if I should just take care of it now. Before I can really use this thing I always planned on putting a new suspension under this thing (current was the original). Since I'm doing the suspension anyway I'd like to think that in a perfect world I could drop the axles out and have them serviced. Do shops do a full service on axles without them installed in a vehicle? What is really attractive to me is to be able to clean the housings well to, e.i. rust removal/sand blast and repaint. There is so much built up goop, old paint and rust I'd like to clean off these things. Or is that something I'd have to do myself. Unfortunately I can't do sand blasting or painting like that at home. I have a garage but its pretty tight and my neighbors are close. What are my options?

Thanks!
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
10
Location
San Diego
I've learned so much form this site just digging around and reading discussions on brakes and axles.

I managed to replace all the wheel cylinders, brake shoes and brake shoe hardware (pins & springs). I spent considerable time cleaning the brake backing plates as well as the front knuckle area. That took so much time to do in my garage by hand but really makes a difference to see the state of everything. I just installed a new MC and new booster push rod, since I unfortunately lost my old one. I'm so happy I managed to find a Toyota replacement that worked. Replaced oil in trans, transf and both diffs and hit all the grease ports at the steering. I still have to hit the ones on the U-joints on the drive lines. I was surprised that in order to get to them, with my grease gun at least, I'll have to remove one side of the drive line.

I just ran into a snafu that I'll have to work out...I put the drums on to bleed the brakes (no wheels) and then realized that my front drums weren't on all the way and flush with the hub. I didn't realize it but both drums are so tight around the hub that I barely got one of them off and still haven't got the other one off. I'll have to figure out how to remove it and then do something to mitigate the situation. I suppose I'll have to just clean off the grim on the OD of the hub and try sanding down the ID of the drum a little in the hopes I'll get them to slide on and off easily. If anyone has any suggestions I'd like to hear it. So far I'm liking the idea of hitting the drums a torch to heat them up a bit in hopes to open up that ID a little. I'm so worried that down the road I'll never be able to get them off without a ton of work.

I'm really close to getting this thing on the road!
 
Top Bottom