Buying FJ40 - need some inputs

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Mar 5, 2003
Seattle, WA
I'm searching for a FJ40, and I've found one. It's a 1978 with 3' lift, 33' tires, soft-top, 94K, winch, and some dings and rust on the fenders (where the signal goes and on the bottom end of the rear panels) and the rear frame. Not that bad on the frame. The inside is still nice (some small rust spots). I drove it around. The owner told me that he has a rear locker installed (I remembered he said it was a lock right (sp)). Offroad is impressive (first time in a FJ40), and on road is ok. It tends to pull to the left. Is it alignment issue? When going over uneven surface, the steering wander a bit. Is this normal? The engine sounds good. He said he replaced the engine about 23K miles with the F engine instead. He couldn't find the 2F at that time. The carburator is not Toyota. I forgot what it was.

This is the first time I've look at a FJ40. And I would like inputs from all of you that has more experience with this vehicle. Is this a good buy. The asking price is 3800. Thanks.
Have your mechanic look at it or bring along a gearhead buddy to check it out, they'll be able to pin point all the problems, if the cruiser is solid without any jerry-rigged crap them I'd say go for it. Find out why the previous owner had to replace the stock 2F with under 100k?, those engines typically run much longer than that. The wandering issue is something I don't have a ton of experience with. Try to bring him down a few hundred at least on the price, good luck. :G
I believe he told me why he had to change the engine. I just probably didn't remember. He is/was also an offroader. I believe he did most of the work to the cruiser himself. He has a garage and other projects in there. He said that he just don't have time to take it out playing, because he is running his own business. I was able to knock down some $$ :). He has more knowledge about the cruiser than I do. Most of the stuff he said is correct to my knowledge (reading forums and research). He did mentioned that the first owner didn't really take good care of the cruiser, and it was tipped over. He said he had the frame checked, and it wasn't bent. I am just concern about the rusts and the steering. Still looking for anymore input(s). Thanks.
The rust and steering is not something to be concerned with. Both are easily fixable, or easy to live with. The stock manual steering is always going to have play, you will eventually get used to it, I did at least. There are two parts of the steering system, that if replaced or rebuilt will normally help the steering out a lot. (center arm/pivot, and rag joint).
As long as the body isn't rusted away and the frame is solid rust is just cosmetic, so long as you don't let it get worse. Just sand it and prime it if you have to. Sounds pretty good to me, only thing I don't like is the F. I wouldn't think there are many F engines left with less miles than a '78 2F.
Seems like a pretty good deal if you can talk him down a bit. The rust sounds like a minor issue. Mine has rust in the same areas and I'm always getting compliments on how good of shape it is in. I'm in agreement with CruisinGA. The engine situation maybe isn't the best, but I'd rather have an F than a chevy in there (IMO).
The wandering is an FJ40 thing. Its no big deal after you've driven it a bit. I've had two of my own and another 5 in the family and they all wander. Some worse than others. There are some things you can fix to improve it... it doesn't bother me so I live with it.
sounds good. id ask if he still has the 2f and if so have him throw it in with the deal, and any other parts he might have.
see if he has the aisin carb, that came with it.
you can pound the dents out, and fix the rust slowly.
the fj40 is a great rig. the wandering can be addressed like others have said, center arm probably needs rebuilt, more than likely the steering stabilizer is worn and needs replaced, you can add an aftermarket stabilizer also to help.
check to see if it pulls to one side when you step on the brakes. not sure what shape a 78 would be in, but ive almost rebuilt every brake wheel cylinder on my 71 along with replacing the master cylinder. its looking like ill need a brake booster and clutch master too. paid 3,000 for mine and its got a few rust issues, and some dents. wouldnt trade it though.

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