BJ40 resto - "let it begin (again?!?)"

M1A1cruiser

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I'll keep this brief as I'm in the "I don't know what I don't know" stage of this Cruiser.
- Fourth Cruiser
- Second 40
- Second build thread ('60 in signature line)
- First diesel

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I'll be taking my own sweet time on this build, and it will be a bearing by bearing, bolt by bolt effort - should I call it a "frame off", not quite sure I'm going there, but generally a "bit at a time frame off". There will be some mods but nothing like the V8/H55/ARBs that I did on the '60. Maybe add heat/cool to the S. American-spec BJ, maybe a bumper, maybe power steering.... we'll just see, but this will mostly be restoration, which will be a *process*.

She (we haven't decided on a name yet) looks in pretty good shape. Yeah, the front floor pans need some metal, door sills probably will be "meh" once I get through the red candy coating, the rain gutter is a memory of what metal used to be, but the tub is generally solid, there's no rot on the frame, glass is good, transfer case and hubs engage as they should and she runs and drives (yeah, the B needs injectors, the brakes are sh*t, who knows if it's charging or cooling) so that's all I need right now.

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The PO (idk how many there were yet...) did a "good" (if screwing up the color, and trying to hide as many flaws as possible under paint was the goal) job shellacking the red paint on - even got inside the doors, so they were certainly determined to turn this one red. I'll be reverting back to the 857 'medium blue' that it's supposed to be, and restoring the knobs and gauges to what they're supposed to be and getting the B engine running how it's supposed to be (within my capability) - I understand that B parts are getting kinda scarce (yup, I've reviewed a dozen threads here and searched elsewhere...) so I'll try to get by without a full rebuild, and will be prepared to swap in something else down the road, but that's waaaay down the road (fingers crossed!).

Did I say I'd keep this short?!? I guess that's enough for now. I'll post up slow progress (and will try to use the search exhaustively before asking the same question about....x, y, z that's been asked a dozen times). It feels good to be back in the community - and the 40-series, and the diesel.

Happy wrenching/wheeling,
Trav.-
 

scrapdaddy

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Hey Travis,

Good to hear you're building again, but selling the 60 not so good. Did you import yourself or go through a company, that's a pain in itself.
 

M1A1cruiser

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In the (to be recurring) "I've got more time than money" series, here's some shots of taking the aforementioned offensive red paint and bondo off the L/C.

Don't get me wrong, I love red cruisers (see last build....), and I can appreciate a skim coat in the right application (I've read where many a S. American cruiser is done up with a thick coat). But if I wanted a plastic truck, I'd have bought a new jeep. Since I don't, I'm burning/scraping away. Not sure if I'll weld in *ALL* new metal (probably not), or just enjoy the natural dings that go along with a well-used, 25+ year old 4x4, but I cannot accept the 1/4" of body filler all the way around!! I'll weigh in once I get it all scraped off and see how my GVWR improves - increased mpg anyone?!?

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Yes....that's a pile of bondo with beer and opener for reference, and I've only scratched the L/R quarter!! haha.

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Yup. I do lilke this work.
TDC.-

PS. Thanks for the 'hello' Ron (@scrapdaddy) . Incidentally, I tried to by the '60 back from @EasternYeti (here on mud) but he's put a lot more work into it (and, frankly, improved/fixed some of my BS work!!) and he's enjoying it so, it's OK. I'll probably sell this one in a few years too. It seems I like the journey more than the destination.
 
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Lagunitas— a good SF beer. Will have to look at your other build and will most surely follow this one. Looks like a nice canvas to start from btw
 

M1A1cruiser

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OK. One bitch and one question (I have a couple of bitches....but let's keep them balanced....)

The question first, just in case anyone only reads this far:

Is this birf shot? I've never seen the splines rounded off at the end like this, and to be quite honest idk how much of the end the hubs engage when they're locked. It seems like they'd engage past just that little bit of the end, but I don't know (and I can't really tell in the FSM when it says "inspect here"; there's not a measurement given. I'd say this looks pretty bad....)

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It may not be necessary to say, but also :)doh:) there was no snap ring under the locking hub at this point on the birfield, so it just came off before the hub - without having to remove the cover.


Speaking of looking bad.... who in the holy hell puts bondo over bolt heads. I mean.... I was/am frustrated enough at having to remove all the bondo on on the body, but that's somewhat to be expected. But...seriously man.... who in the *F* puts bondo here?!? That's not a real question, although I'm open to witty (or actual) answers if there are some!

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This is going to be an interesting build....

OK, two questions I guess
*Which* knuckle rebuild kit do I order from Kurt @cruiseroutfit?
I'll give a call Monday, but don't want to bug them with tech questions; there doesn't seem to be a kit for an '81 40-series with drum brakes (the drum axle kit is listed as only through 9/1975), and I'm new to the translation between the non-US stuff and the FJ40. I'll be measuring the bolt pattern on the knuckle too, and try to make sure I replace with the correct size trunion bearings, etc. etc. (#learning).

Thanks.
 
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cruiseroutfit

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This is going to be an interesting build....

OK, two questions I guess
*Which* knuckle rebuild kit do I order from Kurt @cruiseroutfit?
I'll give a call Monday, but don't want to bug them with tech questions; there doesn't seem to be a kit for an '81 40-series with drum brakes (the drum axle kit is listed as only through 9/1975), and I'm new to the translation between the non-US stuff and the FJ40. I'll be measuring the bolt pattern on the knuckle too, and try to make sure I replace with the correct size trunion bearings, etc. etc. (#learning).

Thanks.

Give us a buzz with your VIN and we can get you all sorted. No problemo!

Now that bondo on the hub face bolts... WTF??
 

M1A1cruiser

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I won't spend a lot of time detailing the work completed in this update (there are a thousand other/better threads on knuckle/hub R&R), but will point out a few bits that I found to be interesting....

- The pipe/gravity method is absolutely foolproof when it comes to separating Birfs from axle shafts. I spent a loooooong time banging on the inner races with a brass drift and ball peen (and big ball peen, and 5lb hammer) as per FSM with Z-E-R-O results. Two drops with a 4' pipe and it was done. Amazing.

- Had the injectors rebuilt. I wish I had a "before" picture of the them, but here's the after. Suffice it to say....much different. I haven't bled the system yet so haven't run her with the 'new' injectors but looking forward to seeing an improvement. Subsequently tested (learned) that the priming pump works, AND the pump/handle actually locks down the way it’s supposed to if only one cares enough to try.

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- There was no heat insulator (that little “washer” that sits deeper in the head below the seat) so I put those in.

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- New leak pipe as I broke the old one trying to get the injectors to come out in one piece.


- Discovered that the vacuum tank has been completely bypassed with a hose/line going directly from the pump on the alternator to the brake booster, which might be some of the reason the brakes are (as seller put it) “a little weird…”


POs do some of the most interesting things:

- This groove in the thrust washer is interesting.

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- No snap ring on the end of the birf/axle (under the hub face)

- Which may explain how there were no guts in the hub!!! (no clutch, no inner hub "gear", just a silver barrel with a black top on it!)

- If these races are any indication, I'm pretty sure the preload on the trunion bearings was not right. I actually got to use that expensive SST I bought and measure out shims by the .1mm!

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- No grease at all remained in the PS knuckle, so that could have been some of the issue too.


- Removed and replaced broken bolts, missing studs, and odd sized nuts, missing lock washers. Many threads cleaned and brushed: it’s amazing to me how nicely clean, cared for threads work. I get it, some places just aren’t conducive to a nice smooth nut/bolt. But damn it’s nice when they’re clean.

So here's the obligatory "after" pictures.
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Does anyone know what the markings on the knuckle mean?


Next, brakes. It’s been challenging to find the proper wheel cylinders for a non-US, shoulder-model-year (03/81) BJ-series cruiser. Drums all around (yes, I have/am considering a disc swap up front…. but want to exhaust the attempt to just replace before I mod (yes, I know it’s a good mod, and I’m not a purist. It’s really just the irony and work that I’ve put into the knuckles as the first thing that prevents me from now tossing them in the heap and getting minitruck or -60 knuckles!). I've found that the diameter of the wheel cylinders’ bore is 31.75mm, and I gather that’s not the same across all 40-series (some have 28.57mm….). And no-one seems to sell the wheel cylinders based on this measurement; through other parts orders I've found that month/year/model isn't enough to specify what's needed on these non-US trucks (at least from the usual States-based suppliers). The M/C seems to have a 1 stamped into it. But, again, it’s tough finding the 1” M/C with the lines that exit on the top (yes, there seems to be some internal difference to the ones where the lines exit on the side, but I couldn’t tell you the mechanical difference!!).


Anyway…. I seem to have rambled for a lot longer of a post than anyone will ever read, but it’ll serve as a journal/reference for me!


I do enjoy repairing this stuff and getting the truck back to how it was intended to be (or better...). And I've certainly made my share of PO "good idea" mods. But some of this stuff is craaaaaazy. More fun to come. And probably more questions. And maybe a few updates if I find something interesting.
 

M1A1cruiser

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OK.... so.... all that knuckle rebuild work....?

Well, maybe you've seen the classified add selling the old knuckles and backing plates and stuff! haha.

Turns out the import brake wheel cylinders are a PITA to source. I mean, I know disc brakes are generally a safe upgrade (esp as my model year 03/81) would have been discs if it were a US (or FJ). I gave it a try, but on some good advice from @beno (Land Cruiser Consulting) and Georg (@valleyhybrids @cruiserbrothers), I just dug down and swapped to discs.

I suppose I need a new master cylinder now too, huh? Sh*t. Well, that'll wait for later. The lines will be redone too so.... eventually....

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As always, I'm not detailing the whole build. Just trolling for 'atta boys' and opening myself up for questions if others stumble across my stuff and don't wanna make the same mistakes. There are quite a few good disc conversion threads out there....

And for some reason, I guess I like to work on opposite ends of the Cruiser at the same time.
Completed the top resto. I don't have too many 'before' pics, but suffice to say it was pretty well mucked up with that black paint. The gel coat was not in the best shape (yes, the cracks will probably reappear through my repair and epoxy eventually, but.... I enjoy the work and it's ~$1200 cheaper than buying a new top!).

Sanded it down, patched the hole in the back where someone had added a brake light (yes, they just sliced into the fiberglass and added a third brake light!!! WTF?!?), replaced the gutter with one from CCOT, I added a strip of 1/8" rubber tube between the gutter and fiberglass on the inside to try and help with water getting in - I've heard said "your 40 wont keep out a dense fog", but I figure it can't hurt to try and preserve the gutter and interior as much as possible) patched gel coat cracks, lizard skin interior (sound control and ceramic insulation - I was gonna headliner, but.... chagned my mind), new visor piece (painted 857 - my first bit of the good ol' blue coming back!!), yadda yadda. Now I guess I get to store it away while I work on the 10,000 other things that probably should have been done first! haha!!

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Yeah. I didn't rivet the gutter on. I drilled it, tapped it at 4mmx0.7 and added the nuts on the underside. It looks kinda weird, I admit - I'm not sure I like the acorn nuts (they're only across the front) - but I figured it'll be easier to BACK to rivets than the other way if I have to take this down again for some reason.

Another 'moby dick' post. Like anyone is reading... hope the pictures are sufficient!.

Best, TDC.-
 
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M1A1cruiser

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John in Utah

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I ran into the same problem trying to find wheel cylinders for my late model drums, and I eventually began collecting disc parts.

Did you find you could re-use most of your old axle parts? (Spindle, knuckle arm, birfs, etc) From what I can tell the only things needed are the disc knuckles and hubs.
 

M1A1cruiser

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I ran into the same problem trying to find wheel cylinders for my late model drums, and I eventually began collecting disc parts.

Did you find you could re-use most of your old axle parts? (Spindle, knuckle arm, birfs, etc) From what I can tell the only things needed are the disc knuckles and hubs.

Yup. Bearings are the same. Spindle, reuse. Steering arm (assuming late model - with the same bolt pattern as the FJ60....), lower cap, birfs, locking hubs, all reuse.

"New": knuckles, hubs, discs, backing plate (or one of those eliminators I guess), a couple of hard brake lines from the caliper to the soft line and the little metal piece that holds the end of the soft brake line as it transitions from axle to knuckle. I'm not explaining that last part too well, but you'll need to consider the transition of brake line from the hard line along the axle to the caliper. The old drum brake backing plate has an 'L' union that takes the soft line and then connects to the 'horseshoe' hard line. I've got a couple bits an pieces on the way and will photo the backside as soon as it's presentable.

Best,
Trav.-
 

M1A1cruiser

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More body work.

The sheet metal turned out to be a lot worse than expected under all the bondo (caveat emptor). I sometimes kick myself for the purchase, but usually I am pleased to be saving a cruiser from rusting away and/or being shoddily repaired (not that my repairs are perfect....).

So let's build a new tub from scratch (well.... purchased parts, but bit by bit). I cannot afford to drop the $$ on a tub so I'll do it piece by piece.

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Yes, that's three layers of sheet metal between the old sill and the rear floor.

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After cutting through the sheet metal that was used to weld the top to the tub, and the bondo that covered it (yes, again, I feel sorta foolish for paying for such a rig... but that die is cast so the only thing to do is enjoy the build) I found that the rear quarter channels have all but disappeared. SH*T).

Mocking up the new rear quarter to make sure everything is in line (or close enough to be w/in adjustment tolerances).
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The beginning of the new rear quarter. Still some patching/fitting to go on, and smoothing welds and such, but it's beginning to go together. It's stunning how many little things I don't think about when adding an aftermarket piece: the captured nuts for the jump seats and hard top sides, the reinforcement plate for the door hinges and tire carrier, the mating between the sill, quarter, and corner channel, the alignment of the inner fender pieces and the reinforcement channels underneath.... etc. And that doesn't even include the fun of welding new patches to older (poor condition) sheet metal. I think I can salvage the rear floor for now, although it might end up getting a new panel too once I get both sides of the quarters back up to snuff.

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Oh... and just for fun. In keeping with the 'learn from my mistakes' series....always remember to be careful with power tools. I'll spare you the pictures of the five staples it took to close the gash in my arm.

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Man, looks like the OJ crime scene! Anyway, appreciate your perseverance given the challenging aspects of your build!
 

M1A1cruiser

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Haha.

Didn't realize I'd left this thread off with the attack of the angle grinder. And I can't believe it's been almost a year since I put anything up here!!. Lots of work has been done, but not a lot worth posting. Lots more sheet metal - more rear quarter, floor pans, seat mount points (yes, they had been cut off and some piece of pipe welded to the floor in their place!!!) - rocker panels, etc. Lots of sheet metal. Not my favorite thing but I'm getting better at it. Maybe those pics will get up here sometime...

Currently - with much help and advice from @Coolerman, @lostmarbles, and @bj40green - I'm diving into the wiring harness. Have removed it from the chassis and am going through wire by wire to pretty much rebuild the whole thing. I'll save wires where I can, but I'm finding only a few here and there where they haven't been snipped, spliced, worn out, or just plain molested and neglected.

I'm going from this:
IMG_7389.jpeg
 
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