Aluminum FJ40s -- A Thread to Post Pictures of your Bodies and ask Questions. . . (1 Viewer)

TractorDoc

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Truck Bodies that is.

There are topics where you can post pictures of your 40 based on its color. . . why not have one for trucks with an aluminum tub?

This thread could also be a reference for people installing or considering the aluminum route. When I started my project truck an Aqualu 3/4 body was in place but that was about all the information I had to work with. I searched the archives and found some helpful posts here and there; I will try to attach several links to past threads of relevance.

First, a link to the Aqualu website (specifically the 40 category): FJ40/ FJ45
From there you can see different options/offerings. While some pictures/instruction was provided on the website I did not find it to be very thorough and moderately helpful. Thus my attempt at starting a reference/pictorial post.

As I moved thru my build I had several other members ask me questions about tub fitment and my overall thoughts on Aqualu. I was happy to answer questions but I do not know everything -- you've been forewarned. My take on Pros/Cons (which probably holds no real value :)):

Pros:
1. Biggest in my opinion is time savings. This is in comparison to repairing a rusted tub (obviously buying a rebuilt steel tub is just as efficient). I probably would have had as much time involved repairing the rusty tub as I had in rebuilding the chassis, if not more.
2. Rust. There should never be any.
3. Aluminum tubs are available and "standardized;" you know what you are getting when you buy one.
4. Stainless hardware is included with the new tub for mounting, seats, etc. -- (but it is SAE).

Cons:
1. It is not and never will be OEM. No stamping pattern on the floor, has a different transmission cover, etc.
2. Because its not OEM fitment may require some tweaks here and there just like any aftermarket product.
3. An acid or etch primer is helpful for painting the aluminum (although people have used two part epoxies with some success).
4. No predrilled holes for rear doors, seats, etc. Careful measurements are required and it is difficult to weld up a hole if you make a mistake!

There may be many more thoughts on Pros/Cons. Those are just what popped into my head.

How about some pictures??

Here is what I started with:

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On the plus side the body was in place. On the negative side any instructions were lost and any accessory items that came along with the tub where thrown in with all the other parts.

Mounting. This is what my cowl/frame looked like after I removed the tub. The PO actually removed too much of the cowl floor and I had to add it back before putting everything back together. The A Pillars were correct though.

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First remounting of the Aqualu Tub after proper treatment of the chassis, cowl, etc.
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Tub back off and sprayed with an acid etch primer:

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And lastly tub bolted back on for the last time along with several other accessories:

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Thought I should also add several archive links that discuss the Aqualu tub -- most information is relevant but pricing may be dated!

@White Stripe acquired/installed a new Aqualu tub along the same time I was rebuilding my truck; there is good info in his build thread:
Fj40 Daily and Wheeler build

General Aftermarket Tub Discussion:
The Aftermarket Tub Scene

Agonizing over Tub- Fix, or buy Aqualu?

Seams from Welds:
Aqualu tub weld/seams?

General Installation:
installing Aqualu tub, pics?

After all is said and done I am very happy with the Aluminum. The ONLY thing I miss on my tub vs. the steel are the OEM inner fender well flares, but those probably collect mud and gunk on the inside anyway so who needs that. ;)

I hope this thread going forward will be of some help when considering the Aqualu Option.

If nothing else post a picture of your rig with an Aluminum Tub installed!
 
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Sub'd. In a few months I'm going to start a frame off and I'm going with Aqualu for the tub. I'm just starting the research on the process and this board should prove to be a big help.
 
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Great idea for a thread! I could have used this for the past year. Here's some photos of my 83 Bj42! Aqualu cowl, tub, fenders, windshield frame, aprons, sidesteps and tailgate. Bought the truck 100% in boxes a year ago.
To this point, i've found fitment of body panels and other components fairly straightforward. With a second set of hands most of the body alignment and pre-drilling can be done in a day, with another round of adjusting to be done after paint. Ovalled most body mounting holes to allow for adjustment after paint.
My issues were partly related to my generation of 40, but I'll outline some of the key issues here: I very much wish the dash was pre-cut as I likely lost a few years off my life from the anxiety over how I was going to make it all look right. An issue with the 83-40 fj40/bj42s is that the Aqualu dash is flat and the centre dash panel confirms to fit the relief in the factory one. I ended up cutting the bottom part off- where the ash tray and stereo were- and will add an 82 or older model lower dash pad to take up the space. The gauge cluster is scribed out so is a straightforward install there.
I have zero regrets. This truck is going to be an awesome utility vehicle when its done and the body will suit my needs perfectly.

If anyone has any questions or wants to talk about their aqualu project, feel free to send a PM.
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Joined
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Minnesota
@TractorDoc great idea for a thread!! @GHalll Thank you!

I am knee deep on the install of my Aqualu 10" stretch tub right now. I have a question, I didn't look to see how the original body hung over the rear cross member or if it was flush? Can you guys tell me how it should end up? I have a little adjustment either way...


rear sill.jpg


rear sill1.jpg
 
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I want to only drill holes in the rer to mount ambi doors. The stock spare tire carrier will be gone ill go with a new rear bumper with a swing out built in. So whats the process to mount ambi door? Once the holes are drilled how do you reinforce them to accept a bolt?
 
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Joined
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I want to only drill holes in the rer to mount ambi doors. The stock spare tire carrier will be gone ill go with a new rear bumper with a swing out built in. So whats the process to mount ambi door? Once the holes are drilled how do you reinforce them to accept a bolt?
Not sure what you mean. Reinforce the holes?
 

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