..And so it begins.... my BJ40 frame off restoration

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Mar 12, 2008
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Central America and USA
I have been looking at 40s for years and seriously hunting a good one for months. Yesterday the stars aligned and I bought a 1980 BJ40. As some of you know I have been asking some pesky newbie questions for about a month now trying to get organized on exactly what I want done in a frame off restoration of this vehicle. I am not a "wrench" and given the breadth of knowledge and skill displayed daily on this forum I can tell that that will change, slowly, over time.
The purpose of the vehicle is (1) daily driver (2) camping/backpacking transport and off road trail exploration on light to moderately tough trails. ( Might try my hand at an expedition run even though folks say 40s are too small) For now the plan is to leave the breakdown and refit to the pros with a road map from me inspired by you guys. I picked my new baby over three others based on a few factors chief among which were:
1)was currently driving well (2) very little rust on the tub (3) very, very little rust on the doors and (4) had alot of its original fittings, e.g. firewall plate, some badges, jump seats and in working order too!!, trailer hitch, spare tire holder etc.
Right now the plan is to get it into the shop next week and get the body off the frame next:
1) sand blast and powder coat the frame
2) new leafs and shocks all around looking for about a 2" lift
3) disc brakes all around
4) presently have mismatched hub locks in the front (AISIN and Warn) and none in the back. Not sure what to do, suggestions???
5)Replace the original B motor and 4 speed transmission with a 13BT engine and H55f transmission
6) new hoses and belts and complete new wiring throughout (piles of loose wires going nowhere from the engine into the cockpit)
7) replace non working gauges and dash bits
8) add frame mounted roll cage and lap belts for the jump seats
9) Sand and repair minor rust in the tub and doors
10) Body and doors stripped and painted with match color on the tub liner
11) strip the roof and repaint original white if possible ( PO painted the fiberglass roof black)
12)add ARB front bumper and winch
13) add on the missing badges, usable stereo etc

I welcome all ideas as I am sure that I missed something huge and will just learn as I go along. Wish me luck.:bounce:BTW the new baby pics:
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583
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Central America and USA
BJ40 frame off

Before I forget it would really help if you guys could give me suggestions on parts suppliers that you have had experience with that will ship to Central and South America. I need to start ordering parts as I understand they can take a while get here. Thanks!!!:grinpimp::clap:
 
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Before picks

As you can see from the above the PO painted it black roof over burgundy body. According to the trim code on the firewall plate the original body color was green with the traditional white roof.

Rear doors and tire carrier (missing a bolt)
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Interior and tub floor
all hardware on jump seats work fine. No rust holes in tub floor.
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Driver and co-pilot seats and dash. PO had no idea what several of the dash controls were for. Wiring is a mess and likely why Odometer, speedometer and several gauges don't function.
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B engine and side shot of radiator. On a few build threads the "chicken wire" mesh in front of the radiator seems to only go an inch or two down. Mine clearly gives complete coverage. Any thoughts on whether or not this poses a problem?
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Wow! Thanks for all the lovely photos jabxyz.

That a whopping big list of things to do!

:cheers:

PS. We have basically the same model BJ but yours has quite a few differences to mine. Must be due to the different markets they went to. (Mine is Australian Spec.)
 
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Wow! Thanks for all the lovely photos jabxyz.

That a whopping big list of things to do!

:cheers:

PS. We have basically the same model BJ but yours has quite a few differences to mine. Must be due to the different markets they went to. (Mine is Australian Spec.)

Yeah, it is a big dang list. Frankly while it was scary to write it all out (had a pile of notes.) I think it was necessary to have a plan of what will get done to the rig. Of course I gotta remember to stay flexible as this could all go to crap if parts shipment becomes a problem.:hmm:
 
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That grille is from an earlier 40 series, as is your bezel (and probably the bib). The '79 and later trucks came with a 3" or so strip of expanded metal lath with a little 14g. 'L'-section support across the top, attached directly to the rad support frame. These nearly always rust off. On my truck, that was the case, and I took an early model grill, sectioned the top 3" or so off it, and welded it to the radiator support frame. The early ones were much stouter and don't seem to rust out. If you're interested, check out my build thread (linked at the bottom) to see a couple of pictures of the grill fitting I did (page 28 or 29 of the thread)

Your truck originally came with factory fog lamps, a pretty rare option. The fog lamp switch and mounting bracket are fixed to the lower dash lip at the left of your steering wheel.

It also looks like you have the a/c condenser there, and the a/c in-cab unit. Is the rest of the a/c system in place? I didn't spot the compressor or the dryer receiver in your engine bay picture. Pretty rare and desirable if you have that set up. Let's see some more engine bay pics.

Any idea how many original km?

It's curious that the truck is a 1980 and has an early style dash, with the welded on windscreen securing brackets and no dash pad. Is the windshield washer nozzle on the hood or on the top of the windshield frame?

It's also odd that the valance below the windscreen has the air intake grill - this is not what you would normally see on a 1980 - in fact, I'm thinking early 1970's for the tub on this truck. Perhaps though it has something to do with the lack of a heater on Central American trucks???

It looks like someone has wired in a push button switch for your glow system activation. The little round device on your dash to the left of the steering wheel, which has a small mesh screen in front is the Glow Controller - it should glow a dull red when the glow plugs are being activated. Some of your other dash buttons (need a clearer picture) and lamps do not look stock.

The key places to check for rust, if you haven't already, are the foot wells, the rear lip of the tub at the rear door sill, and the underside of the upper valance at the bottom of the windscreen. your truck looks in decent shape body-wise, of course, you won't know until you strip it down how good it really is.

Looking forward to pictures of your progress with this build.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 12, 2008
Messages
583
Location
Central America and USA
That grille is from an earlier 40 series, as is your bezel (and probably the bib). The '79 and later trucks came with a 3" or so strip of expanded metal lath with a little 14g. 'L'-section support across the top, attached directly to the rad support frame. These nearly always rust off. On my truck, that was the case, and I took an early model grill, sectioned the top 3" or so off it, and welded it to the radiator support frame. The early ones were much stouter and don't seem to rust out. If you're interested, check out my build thread (linked at the bottom) to see a couple of pictures of the grill fitting I did (page 28 or 29 of the thread)

Your truck originally came with factory fog lamps, a pretty rare option. The fog lamp switch and mounting bracket are fixed to the lower dash lip at the left of your steering wheel.

It also looks like you have the a/c condenser there, and the a/c in-cab unit. Is the rest of the a/c system in place? I didn't spot the compressor or the dryer receiver in your engine bay picture. Pretty rare and desirable if you have that set up. Let's see some more engine bay pics.

Any idea how many original km?

It's curious that the truck is a 1980 and has an early style dash, with the welded on windscreen securing brackets and no dash pad. Is the windshield washer nozzle on the hood or on the top of the windshield frame?

It's also odd that the valance below the windscreen has the air intake grill - this is not what you would normally see on a 1980 - in fact, I'm thinking early 1970's for the tub on this truck. Perhaps though it has something to do with the lack of a heater on Central American trucks???

It looks like someone has wired in a push button switch for your glow system activation. The little round device on your dash to the left of the steering wheel, which has a small mesh screen in front is the Glow Controller - it should glow a dull red when the glow plugs are being activated. Some of your other dash buttons (need a clearer picture) and lamps do not look stock.

The key places to check for rust, if you haven't already, are the foot wells, the rear lip of the tub at the rear door sill, and the underside of the upper valance at the bottom of the windscreen. your truck looks in decent shape body-wise, of course, you won't know until you strip it down how good it really is.

Looking forward to pictures of your progress with this build.

Wow thanks for the info. Please keep it coming especially regarding my mystery dash switches. Now as to the items that you noted I was able to sand the paint soot etc off of the firewall plate. I tried to shoot a photo of it but the numbers are the same as the background just in relief . Here is the info:
TOYOTA MOTOR CO. LTD. JAPAN
MODEL: BJ40LV-KO
ENG: B
FRAME: BJ40-047640
COLOR TRIM (JAPANESE CHARACTERS)
681 LP11 C-18?

PLANT: H41-KO82
A11

36415 (JAPANESE CHARACTERS)

Per the Production code chart this means (assuming a tub/ frame match) that I have a B engine made on the J production line, 40 series hardtop with a left hand drive, 4 spd, ambulance doors and I think that the loose A11 means that it was meant for the North American market. Per the color and trim codes the rig was originally medium green offered on 40's from '81-83. Given the transmission engine combination, the H41 transmission with the B engine was offered on 40 series rigs in 1981 and not in the USA.
Given your observations I am now intensely interested in getting everything off the frame to see if the frame number matches the one listed on the factory body plate. I'm starting to think that the PO and DMV registration of this vehicle are off and that in fact this is an '81. A/C: The rest of the system seems to be in place and connected see pics below. Mileage: The odometer stopped at 198,298km. Windshield Washer nozzle: before I read your post I was cleaning out the rig and running basic safety checks when I noticed that the wipers worked but there is no washer system. Repeat no nozzle above or below the windshield and no washer fluid tank in the engine bay. As you correctly observed no heater either. This will have to go onto the to do list as I plan to take this rig back to the U.S. with me in 18 months when my tour is up and we do have winter. RUST: the lack of rust in these areas is what won me over to this truck vs. two others. Passenger front foot well three nickel sized rust holes. Drivers side: none but has bee repaired with sheet metal at some point ( all solid). No rust visible looking up from the underside at the drivers foot well. Air Vent/Washer Arm compartment under the windshield: no rust visible from the outside, minimal rust from the inside after I removed the covers. Rear door sill - no rust. On the exterior of the sill, facing out a quarter sized rust hole ( that is the largest one on the entire rig.) It would be great to find a regular owners manual for a 1980 BJ 40, that would help me decipher the dash at least.
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Mar 12, 2008
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Suspension pics

got tired last night and fell asleep before I could post these:
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MarcoPolo

Mud.. it's a life...
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Messages
589
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Seattle ..north
got tired last night and fell asleep before I could post these:

Nice truck, and welcome to MUD :flipoff:

That third pic there, of the first set.. is that the tail pipe with the severe 90* bend on it :eek:
...that'll need attention ;)






:popcorn:
 
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Messages
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Nice truck, and welcome to MUD :flipoff:

That third pic there, of the first set.. is that the tail pipe with the severe 90* bend on it :eek:
...that'll need attention ;)






:popcorn:
Thanks for lookin out. No it's just bad optics coupled with a **** photographer. The bend looks more like 45-60 but need a protractor to be accurate.
 
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You wrote,

"Here is the info:
TOYOTA MOTOR CO. LTD. JAPAN
MODEL: BJ40LV-KO
ENG: B
FRAME: BJ40-047640
COLOR TRIM (JAPANESE CHARACTERS)
681 LP11 C-18?

PLANT: H41-KO82
A11

36415 (JAPANESE CHARACTERS)

Per the Production code chart this means (assuming a tub/ frame match) that I have a B engine made on the J production line, 40 series hardtop with a left hand drive, 4 spd, ambulance doors and I think that the loose A11 means that it was meant for the North American market. Per the color and trim codes the rig was originally medium green offered on 40's from '81-83. Given the transmission engine combination, the H41 transmission with the B engine was offered on 40 series rigs in 1981 and not in the USA."

I can help a little with the VIN info:

'B' = 'B'-engine type
'J' = jeep
40= series

The frame number on the VIN tag indicates a Sept-October 1980 build date.

"A11 means that it was meant for the North American market"

No, it refers to the manufacturing plant number in Japan, which is A11 (seems like that was the main plant for L/C's since i have seen no other plant number on a Landcruiser VIN

H41 is indeed the transmission type, while K082 refers to the axle type, in this case 4:11, regular type (i.e., not limited slip or electric locking, etc)

While the VIN tag and the chassis number (the chassis number is visible on the side of the chassis rail just in front of the passenger side front wheel) may match, the tub on your truck sure looks earlier than the 1980 date, but that may be some sort of peculiarity to Central American trucks - perhaps the tub has been swapped out and the VIN swapped over, or for some reason they used the older style pressing to make up truck for the Central American market (why they might do that I have no idea). Another way to tell would be by sheet metal gage - the 1979 and later trucks have 18 g. metal, while earlier trucks had 16g. and the pre-1968 rigs had 14g.

Nice score on the a/c. Does you truck have power steering as well?
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2008
Messages
583
Location
Central America and USA
You wrote,

"Here is the info:
TOYOTA MOTOR CO. LTD. JAPAN
MODEL: BJ40LV-KO
ENG: B
FRAME: BJ40-047640
COLOR TRIM (JAPANESE CHARACTERS)
681 LP11 C-18?

PLANT: H41-KO82
A11

36415 (JAPANESE CHARACTERS)

Per the Production code chart this means (assuming a tub/ frame match) that I have a B engine made on the J production line, 40 series hardtop with a left hand drive, 4 spd, ambulance doors and I think that the loose A11 means that it was meant for the North American market. Per the color and trim codes the rig was originally medium green offered on 40's from '81-83. Given the transmission engine combination, the H41 transmission with the B engine was offered on 40 series rigs in 1981 and not in the USA."

I can help a little with the VIN info:

'B' = 'B'-engine type
'J' = jeep
40= series

The frame number on the VIN tag indicates a Sept-October 1980 build date.

"A11 means that it was meant for the North American market"

No, it refers to the manufacturing plant number in Japan, which is A11 (seems like that was the main plant for L/C's since i have seen no other plant number on a Landcruiser VIN

H41 is indeed the transmission type, while K082 refers to the axle type, in this case 4:11, regular type (i.e., not limited slip or electric locking, etc)

While the VIN tag and the chassis number (the chassis number is visible on the side of the chassis rail just in front of the passenger side front wheel) may match, the tub on your truck sure looks earlier than the 1980 date, but that may be some sort of peculiarity to Central American trucks - perhaps the tub has been swapped out and the VIN swapped over, or for some reason they used the older style pressing to make up truck for the Central American market (why they might do that I have no idea). Another way to tell would be by sheet metal gage - the 1979 and later trucks have 18 g. metal, while earlier trucks had 16g. and the pre-1968 rigs had 14g.

Nice score on the a/c. Does you truck have power steering as well?

Looks like you are using a different and more detailed set of production code charts than I was able to find. Anyway that you could send me a link or a file to it? I only wish that I had power steering after muscling this around town. I haven't had to work to steer a car like this since my old 77 VW Bug going across the Tapan Zee Bridge on a windy day. Not like I don't have enough on my already scary long to do list but how do these rigs do with a power steering conversions? Anyway today is bits and bobs inventory day. The gf read my thread last night and reminded me about lag time in getting parts shipped here. My plan is to order systems, parts now so as not to slow up the rebuild once we get started hopefully next week.
 

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