Can I save this 40

Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
169
Location
Charlotte, NC
So the house I'm living in for at least the next year and a half has this fj40 in the garage. It hasn't been registered since 03 so it's been sitting for nearly 20 years, and it's got a pretty good amount of rust. I might be able to get it for free from the owner if I'm willing to put in the work to get it back in decent condition. So my question is, what would it take to get this thing back on the road? Obviously I can't get an exact answer through just pictures but if y'all had to guess does it even look like it's worth the work? I'm not a mechanic at all but I do enjoy working on my 80 and I've always wanted to have a project vehicle that I can take my time fixing up, so I'd be willing to learn whatever I need to. I'll attach pictures and thanks for the input!

IMG_5405.JPG


IMG_5406.JPG


IMG_0409.jpg


IMG_5409.JPG


IMG_9966 2.JPG
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
Messages
291
Location
Wausau WI
Doesn't look too bad to me, especially if you're just looking to get it back on the road...pretty sure that's better than what I started with body and frame wise. 🙃 The F engines are pretty simple as long as it's not locked up. Gonna need that rest of that rear axle though... 😆 I do appreciate the older models with the hood spear and the three on the tree...neat rig.

All depends on what you're aiming for...I bit off a full frame-off, and I'm looking like I'll end up having about 1000 hours into mine when I'm done, but that's a 100% soup to nuts project all done at home (frame, body, sandblasting, painting, engine rebuild, interior, etc). In this case, there's no hardtop and doors, and that was a fair amount of hours in itself for mine. I could almost see pulling the body to clean up the frame/drivetrain (it's pretty easy to get off the frame), but then leaning more toward a patina rig for the body with some tub patching.

It is definitely a mix of money/time and desired result/outcome. The old "good/fast/cheap" triangle...
 
Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
169
Location
Charlotte, NC
Doesn't look too bad to me, especially if you're just looking to get it back on the road...pretty sure that's better than what I started with body and frame wise. 🙃 The F engines are pretty simple as long as it's not locked up. Gonna need that rest of that rear axle though... 😆 I do appreciate the older models with the hood spear and the three on the tree...neat rig.

All depends on what you're aiming for...I bit off a full frame-off, and I'm looking like I'll end up having about 1000 hours into mine when I'm done, but that's a 100% soup to nuts project all done at home (frame, body, sandblasting, painting, engine rebuild, interior, etc). In this case, there's no hardtop and doors, and that was a fair amount of hours in itself for mine. I could almost see pulling the body to clean up the frame/drivetrain (it's pretty easy to get off the frame), but then leaning more toward a patina rig for the body with some tub patching.

It is definitely a mix of money/time and desired result/outcome. The old "good/fast/cheap" triangle...

I'm definitely not too worried about the looks of it, at least for now. My goal would just be to get it running so I could drive it around town when the weather is nice, and then as time goes on maybe spend more time making it look nice. I guess my biggest concern is that it seems like there's so much to do I just don't even know where I would start
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
468
Location
Bozeman, MT
They are remarkably easy to work on until something needs to be replaced rather than just adjusted or cleaned up. Replacing parts costs significantly more than you might expect and some parts on some years simply aren't available anymore. If you run into one of those issues, the options are to spend a LOT of money to buy the part from ebay or to find a part from another application that is or can be made to be compatable. That can sometimes require considerable skill or considerable money. There is no vehicle that is too far gone to be recovered if the owner has enough money, skill, and time. So, yes, you can save this 40. Whether or not it's a good idea is a question that probably won't be answered as easily.
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2012
Messages
1,406
Location
KY
Just go into it with your eyes wide open and not blinded by the light. It's going to take some real work but as long as you are willing to invest in the labor then I say the price is right.
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
Messages
291
Location
Wausau WI
I wouldn’t even consider turning a wrench on it if it’s not yours. Fixing it up with the hopes that the landlord gives it to you is a bit of a stretch.
Agreed there - didn't catch that originally. I'd need a title in hand, with a handshake agreement that it wouldn't be flipped or parted out if they're worried about that.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
428
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
I could probably spend around 4-5k over the next year, potentially more, but ideally I'd like to spend the least amount possible, and time shouldn't really be too much of an issue
You probably will need a new tub. No way 4-5k will be enough. I say this needs at least double that, and hundreds of hours to be in semi presentable shape. Parts are extremely expensive, and bills rack up fast. I would suggest only doing this if you have a lot of free weekends at your disposal. This is a big project.
 

TCEd

SILVER Star
Joined
May 28, 2017
Messages
674
Location
Traverse City, MI
If you could get the signed off title first :
You'll learn to like or hate rust repair, welding and body work.
You'll buy more tools than you expect.
You'll spend more time & money.
Your wife or girlfriend may leave.
Get a tetanus shot.
You may finish.
Weigh the positives against that.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
8,838
I could probably spend around 4-5k over the next year, potentially more, but ideally I'd like to spend the least amount possible, and time shouldn't really be too much of an issue
If you can do the work yourself, and the motor seems like it has good compression and will run with some work, I would say you could get it running and driving for that amount. Depends if the frame is still safe or if too much is rusted out.
 
Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
169
Location
Charlotte, NC
I wouldn’t even consider turning a wrench on it if it’s not yours. Fixing it up with the hopes that the landlord gives it to you is a bit of a stretch.

As far as cost is concerned, figure worst case scenario...then double it.

Agreed. Before I start anything I'll get the title in my name. I put up this post to see if it's worth me figuring all that out to make it mine
 
Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
169
Location
Charlotte, NC
You probably will need a new tub. No way 4-5k will be enough. I say this needs at least double that, and hundreds of hours to be in semi presentable shape. Parts are extremely expensive, and bills rack up fast. I would suggest only doing this if you have a lot of free weekends at your disposal. This is a big project.

I'm a college student so apart from work this summer and classes during the year I'll have a good amount of free time, but if it'll take 8-10k I'm not quite sure if I could swing that. Thanks for the input
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
428
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
Yea, most of the time, these have a lot of hidden corrosion, and hidden issues that you don’t discover until you start tearing it apart. It could be a fun project, but just make sure you will be able to finish if you start
I'm a college student so apart from work this summer and classes during the year I'll have a good amount of free time, but if it'll take 8-10k I'm not quite sure if I could swing that. Thanks for the input
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom