AndyBones 1979 FJ40 rebuild

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Jan 20, 2012
Baldwin Park, Ca.
Hey everyone,
Ive been lurking on this board for awhile now seeing how everything works and learning tons of helpful info about FJs.

The reasoning behind this is that in feb. of this year i picked up a 1979 FJ40 as a restoration project for me and my now 14 year old son. I admit, that the 40 for a first car was my idea. 25 years ago I missed out on a chance to have an 40 for my first car and I never got over it. The guy lived up the street from me and was desperate to sell it quick. Well.. I couldnt raise the money fast enough and he ended up selling it to a company out of Chatsworth that deals in these types of vehicles.:D

So fast forward to now and i picked up this 40 as a fun project for me and my boy to get closer with. I was going tired of him playing video games and always being cooped up in the house. this was a chance to get him outside and doing something with his hands like i did when i was his age. The 40 is OUR 40. So when hes ready to buy a new vehicle.. poppa gets a 40! ;) That is until my newborn baby Sammy comes of age... then im out AGAIN!! Until .. well i think you get it.

Ok enough with the background, ill get to the rebuild.

Its a pretty much stock 40 and we plan on leaving it this way. I will be posting tons of pix and have taken TONS of pics. So if anyone has a need for any pix of a 1979 40..feel free to PM me and ill see if i can help out.
Here she is as we found her... warning: shes rough.

Passenger side tub has rear quarter damage. Top doesnt line up right. Not sure if she was rolled, But the frame was straight and it tracked straight.
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Some Interior to show how ugly she was.

The PO had screwed in an alum dash and cut into the original to make room for aftermarket guages:mad:. i was originally worried when i first saw this as i thought id have to fuse in a new dash but when i removed the diamond plate, I actually found that the original dash wasnt in toooo bad of shape.

The last pic is of my son and my goddaughter, Andy and Maiah. Theyre dorks.
Can you please advise if the pictures are too big and if they should be compressed or resized? Thanks Ben
Welcome and good luck. :flipoff2:

Thanks guys.. appreciate the welcome. My boy has been excited for us to start this thread. So heres to more posting.:cheers::beer:
Engine compartment pics

So here is the engine compartment. Lots of rust and tons of grease.:frown: The good thing is that most everything is there. The bad thing is that apparently there was an electrical fire under the dash (cowl) area that seems to have probably started where the engine wiring harness entered the firewall. Im GUESSING the grommet wore/tore through and the wires rubbed themselves to copper on the firewall opening and arced there. i dont know. Just a guess. So I was missing quite a bit on this 40 but im sure Ebay and the classifieds here will be a huge help.

Pic 1- tight shot of the engine
Pic 2- Larger overall pic. I have the air cleaner lid. you can also see the non factory wiring.
Pic 3- is a shot of where the harness melted as it entered the firewall. The harness is intact from the firewall to engine but anything that went in to cabin is gone. So we will have to figure out a way to maybe salvage it.
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What we are missing....

Figured i would post a list of things we are missing in this thread in the hopes that someone may have it on a shelf collecting dust. :D I hope in doing so i dont violate the forum rules about classifieds. Mods please remove if I did.

What was Missing:
Engine wiring harness
Emissions Control Module
All dash knobs
heater box and all under dash heater parts
'79 Bucket seats
ash tray
Instrument Cluster

What im still missing:
headlight Switch for our year
2/79 engine wiring harness
79 Bucket seats
heater box

If anyone has any of these parts please PM me. :hillbilly:

All of the parts under the hood and on the chassis have all the original Toyota stickers or stamps on them. The motor sounds good too. Compression test coming soon.
Congrats on the 79. I too have a 79 that I am starting a complete on. My PO had taken all the emissions junk off and I have a box full of stuff that I hope I won't need. I'll pull it out some day and take a pic and send to you to see if you can use any of it. Good luck with the rebuild!
Thanks Samiam. Im still not sure if I will desmog or not. Being that we are in Cali.. I know thats an issue but im still considering not reinstalling the smog equipment. Or maybe installing it and not having it hooked to anything in the case that i do need to have it for inspection purposes. But heck yeah if you can take that pic.. thatd be great. I know i will need the air rail as ours was rusted being recognition. Good luck with your build and post a link so me and my son can follow. Best of luck!
The Teardown...

So me, my boy and my cousin got right to work on tearing her down. The top and front clip came off without a hitch. Of course numerous bolts were broken due to rust and seizing.:bang: But for the most part, everything went pretty good.

Pics 1 & 2- Removing the body mount bolts.

Pic 3- a side shot before the tub is removed.
oops pic files were too big.

Here are the pictures. Sorry guys.
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Tub Dolly

Me and my boy decided after reading different build threads that we would need a dolly to move the tub around easily. So we slapped one together out of some left over 4x4s from on of my jobsites and some casters from the Home Depot. It took us about 30 minutes and works as expected. The back casters are fixed and the front swivel and that makes it very easy to manuever.

Pic 1- Building the dolly.

Pic 2 & 3- The frame without the tub.
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Duffontap: haha .. I guess i should post a disclaimer that this was started weeks ago. Im just trying to bring the progress up to date. Once I show where we are currently at.. things will begin to SLLLLLOOOW down.:D:p
Tranny and Motor are out....

Tranny and motor are pulled. Going to send the Trans and transfercase to a friend whos rebuilt his and who I trust. Engine is gonna be degreased and all new seals and gaskets plus a fresh coat of paint. The grease and dirt on the transfercase is baked on ... seems to be clay but with swome elbow grease .. it should be looking good soon.
Frame to Powder Coat

So the frame was stripped and sent off to the sandblast and Powder coat company close by at Legions Powder Coating in South El Monte, Ca. The guys really took care of me. Not only was the turnaround quick but they allowed me to inspect the frame after sandblasting, to make sure it was done thoroughly. And of course it was. So they went ahead and powdercoated it a semi gloss black. All said and done the total for sandblasting and powdercoating was $300. They were able to knock it out in a little less than a week and a half.
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Weve actually had to step away from doing any real work on the 40 due to our newborn son BUT we have been able to keep progress going by having all our necessary parts cadplated and by continuing to acquire parts from the internet. I didnt realize how much our 40 was missing. The moneys starting to add up.:bang:
Its all good though. Me and my boy are heading outside right now to start up work on her again. As sooon as I upload those pics I will post. There is lots to catch up on!

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