CharlestonG8R's FJ40 Build Thread

CharlestonG8R

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Here we go! I had debated posting a build thread because I wasn't sure of the direction that I wanted to take the new-to-me FJ40 that is now in my backyard. I guess I should start this thread from the "actual" beginning... I bought my FZJ80 in 2005 but kept it stock until August 2013. Something many folks on here describe as "the obsession" or "the bug" or "the fever" came over me when I realized that Land Cruisers are capable of much more than I was using mine for. I joined the local cruiser clubs (SFLC, UC, Low Country Cruisers, and ONSC) and took it wheeling. I later met BBQ Boy and subsequently bought his 100. I've taken it wheeling as well; I still prefer wheeling my 80 but the 100 makes a great daily driver (quiet, comfortable, reliable...).

I always thought FJ40's were cool, my neighbor had a green one when I was growing up and I admired it from a distance. 30 something years later I still hadn't considered owning one until the wife saw one at LexTech and asked why I don't have THAT style Land Cruiser. Since I had just purchased the 100, I wasn't looking to invest in a 3rd Land Cruiser. Then I got "the message".

Sam was my best friend in my unit when I was in the Marine Corps; he talked me in to pursuing an engineering degree, so he's had a major impact on my life. His roommate was Shannon. Shannon is one of the nicest women a guy could meet - she's never met a stranger. We hung out often in my college days, but we lost touch after graduation. Shannon married a Marine pilot named Bryan; I don't think that I ever met him, but I know from multiple accounts that he was a good guy. The FJ40 in my possession was Bryan's baby. He was killed in a helicopter accident overseas back in 2006. Shannon didn't want to part with the vehicle. It was in her family for over 10 years, but she didn't feel it was safe for her children... So she IM'd me on Facebook and asked "if I wanted an FJ40".

Admittedly, the timing was bad... But I wasn't about to say "No". I bought it sight unseen and without a 3rd party verification (I knew Shannon and trusted her). The wife gave me the thumbs up and we made plans to bring the FJ40 from Texas to Charleston. Before I could bring it out, I had to have a place to put it. Our garage is so low that my wife's Venza barely fits and I'm not about to leave 3 Land Cruisers in the driveway... So we built a carport on to my workshop in the backyard (permitted of course). The wife has dubbed it "ShedMansion".

So, I have this wonderful FJ40 with a nice personal history. The 100 is a great daily driver and the 80 is a great wheeler. What to do with this thing... It doesn't really make sense to sell any of the vehicles. I'm undecided at this point as to whether it should be built for moderate crawling or nicely modified so that it can handle the trails if it ever goes offroad. One thing is for sure: it must be painted, I'm not a fan of owning black cars (they look nice, but they're not me).

Here is Shannon saying "Goodbye"
FJ40_2.jpg


Being loaded and leaving San Antonio
FJ40_1.jpg


Here it is arriving in Charleston
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About to head in to the backyard
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And situated in ShedMansion
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CharlestonG8R

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The vehicle ran fine, so I figured I could start on the cosmetic stuff and fix the suspension/drivetrain/important stuff as I discover the issues. This is probably a very bad plan as cosmetics are secondary to a well functioning vehicle... But I don't like the rust and it's got some. The prior owner, at some point, decided to modify the stock tire carrier in to a tire/container carrier. I thought this was a good idea, but the modified carrier didn't have a light for the license plate and I preferred the stock look anyhow... Shannon sent the original license plate bracket, along with plenty of other parts. Unfortunately, the bracket was twisted/folded and rusty, so I had to work it in to submission.

Here it is; reworked and wired in.

IMG_2589.jpg


I've sat on worse seats, but they were eventually recovered. These will also require some new covers.
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In my opinion, the worst rust on the vehicle is on the lower back side of the hardtop. I understand that this is typical.
IMG_2485.jpg
 

CharlestonG8R

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And we have mechanical issues! I'm not surprised by the oil dripping on the driveway... I sort of expect that from an older vehicle. But I have a water leak and a fuel leak. With regards to the water leak, I'm not sure if it's just a gasket or if the water pump is faulty. Since water pumps aren't terribly expensive, I'll probably just replace it and be done with it...

Can't really tell from this picture, but the entire outside of the water pump is saturated with coolant.
IMG_2597.jpg


I always hate seeing empty reservoirs...
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Does anyone recognize this carburator / manifold? The carburator is a "Clifford" - I did a search on Mud but couldn't find where anyone runs these. I'd like to swap with an AISIN, but I don't know if an AISIN will fit on this manifold.
IMG_2596.jpg


IMG_2601.jpg
 
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@CharlstonG8R - we should connect about the black before you ship it off for paint.

What color is underneath? Can u tell if the black is rattle can?

I'm doing a transformation now, striping the rattle can red off the top to unearth the factory olive. Waiting for the results before giving the community the details. Taking a long time and I'm losing steam and getting 40 A.D.D.

Glad to see the new thread, amazing story and a great rig to add to your fleet!
 

roadstr6

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Intake is an Offy (Offenhauser). Offy made performance parts for all kinds of vehicles. This may not be a 'cruiser specific part. If you end up changing it out, look up the price. These old vintage offys can be worth some coin. Clifford is an aftermarket performance company as well. They are still in business I believe. They specialize in 6 cyl fuel and intake systems. I know a buddy of mine has Clifford parts on his 6 cyl '65 Mustang. This vintage performance stuff may be worth keeping. Do some research before you replace it. Working correctly, these pieces may outperform stock, I don't know. If they don't, they might be worth some money to somebody (I'll take them if you are going to throw them out).

My guess is that a PO probably bought the header, intake and carb all at one time as a "performance package" offered by some company long ago who dealt in 'cruiser parts and hop-ups. If nothing else, they are interesting pieces from a bygone era. Cool find!

I just noticed that air cleaner. Is that cast aluminum? Dang! That is a beautiful piece. I need a better pic of that.
 
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roadstr6

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That carb is mounted on the intake using a "universal" carb spacer. There might be a hole configuration that will line up with the Aisin carb.

Jeremy, that looks like a really solid old cruiser that just needs some TLC (reminds me alot of the Crockpot). I think you did well and you'll have it just like you want it in time. Congratulations and keep the posts coming!
 

CharlestonG8R

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@CharlstonG8R - we should connect about the black before you ship it off for paint.

What color is underneath? Can u tell if the black is rattle can?

I'm doing a transformation now, striping the rattle can red off the top to unearth the factory olive. Waiting for the results before giving the community the details. Taking a long time and I'm losing steam and getting 40 A.D.D.

Glad to see the new thread, amazing story and a great rig to add to your fleet!

OH, I've been watching your progress with great interest! The black appears to be rattle canned. It's flat black and looks similar to what I've seen on B-2's when I worked on them. I don't have the patience to strip it off like you did… I think it's primer, so it won't come off very easily.
 

CharlestonG8R

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Looks like it might of been white in the beginning, doors and sides are white.
I like them white :). Just makes it a clean, clean ride.

Yep! It began its life as a white 40. It won't return to white, however… My 100 is white and my wife's Venza is white. Too much white… I was thinking red, because 'Merica… But the color that the wife and I agreed on was 653 Olive Green.
 

CharlestonG8R

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Intake is an Offy (Offenhauser). Offy made performance parts for all kinds of vehicles. This may not be a 'cruiser specific part. If you end up changing it out, look up the price. These old vintage offys can be worth some coin. Clifford is an aftermarket performance company as well. They are still in business I believe. They specialize in 6 cyl fuel and intake systems. I know a buddy of mine has Clifford parts on his 6 cyl '65 Mustang. This vintage performance stuff may be worth keeping. Do some research before you replace it. Working correctly, these pieces may outperform stock, I don't know. If they don't, they might be worth some money to somebody (I'll take them if you are going to throw them out).

My guess is that a PO probably bought the header, intake and carb all at one time as a "performance package" offered by some company long ago who dealt in 'cruiser parts and hop-ups. If nothing else, they are interesting pieces from a bygone era. Cool find!

I just noticed that air cleaner. Is that cast aluminum? Dang! That is a beautiful piece. I need a better pic of that.

So the PO had a bunch of work done at Urban Land Cruisers in Atlanta. I asked for the list, I think they still have the invoice. I'm thinking the intake and carb were part of it. The air cleaner is aluminum… Sadly, this is how I discovered that the carb and intake are aftermarket… The filter needs to be replaced so I ordered a K&N and of course, it didn't fit… I'm learning :) By the way, if you think I have an aftermarket exhaust header, I may just have to scrap the whole swap intake/carb thing...

That carb is mounted on the intake using a "universal" carb spacer. There might be a hole configuration that will line up with the Aisin carb.

Jeremy, that looks like a really solid old cruiser that just needs some TLC (reminds me alot of the Crockpot). I think you did well and you'll have it just like you want it in time. Congratulations and keep the posts coming!

Thanks, Dave! I think it has real promise. I enjoy the heck out of driving it around. If it works out to be nearly as awesome as the Crockpot, it will exceed my expectations!

My primary reason for changing back to the stock intake and Trollhole Carb is because there is a not insignificant fuel leak where the carb integrates with the intake. I'm sure that replacing the gasket wouldn't be a tough deal, but the carb needs a rebuild anyway… Marshall said that his carb won't match up with the intake.

I see you've got a shackle reversal and some sort of lift. That thing sprung under or over?

It's spring under, it looks like it might have aftermarket shackles. The PO sent me a bunch of Old Man Emu parts in their original boxes, but I haven't made heads or tails about what was already installed and what is original. It came with some greaseable shackles as well.
 
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Olive Green will work great.
Got family in Monks Corner and Charleston, may get down that way some day.
Will be watching the progress .
Shane
 

CharlestonG8R

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Let me know! 40's are cool, but you really gotta see @ErikinSC 's! It is SERIOUSLY impressive. I live in Summerville, so you'll pass right by my place if you take I-26 in to town.
 

CharlestonG8R

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After several weeks of searching and generally annoying folks, I was able to find the tire carrier that is correct for this vehicle. Got it installed, but the bolthead for the lower hook is broken... Anyone have a secret for removing these?
image.jpg
 

CharlestonG8R

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The radiator was leaking pretty fiercely, so I ordered a new one from Beno. Decided to replace most of the hoses as well. I can't get a good angle on the small hose that attaches to the oil cooler... There's just too much stuff in the way. I may leave that hose in place for now, we will see. OH, and don't worry, I'm only running the green stuff until I am sure the leaks are all resolved… The radiator was empty and I needed to fill it pretty immediately.

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This guy has seen better days… But a little steel wool and some paint should clean it up okay.
image.jpg
 
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CharlestonG8R

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Looks like it's time to replace the shocks...
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And looks like a squirrel has been chewing on my starter motor insulation.

image.jpg
 

Ambrew

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Grind it level if possible, then CAREFULLY make a punch mark in the center (as best you can) and drill it out. Once you get close to the diameter of the bolt, you can try a bolt extractor or the old bolt may fall apart if you are lucky. Then Tap the hole and you're done. If all else fails, Map the hole location, weld over, grind flush and drill/tap new hole.

3 bolts would work fine IMHO
 

Ambrew

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As far as cooling goes, I would replace everything I can IE new thermostat and hoses. Then you can forget about it. Congrats on your new ride! It's nice to have the back story. I bought mine site unseen as well, and it turned out great. Nice to see there are still honest people out there.
 

CharlestonG8R

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Grind it level if possible, then CAREFULLY make a punch mark in the center (as best you can) and drill it out. Once you get close to the diameter of the bolt, you can try a bolt extractor or the old bolt may fall apart if you are lucky. Then Tap the hole and you're done. If all else fails, Map the hole location, weld over, grind flush and drill/tap new hole.

3 bolts would work fine IMHO

Thanks for the suggestion! I tried dremeling a slot and using a flathead to remove it, but that didn't work… I was thinking that drilling it out might be the next best way to go (if not the best). Centering the hole will be the challenging part! OH, and this is a broken bolt on the 2-bolt hook that holds the tire carrier closed; the one that is located on the rear crossmember itself. If there were 3 holes, I'd just leave a bolt out… Darn the luck! :) I'll try to drill it out over the holidays. Fingers crossed I don't damage the threads… But like you said, worst case, we just re-drill and tap it.

As far as cooling goes, I would replace everything I can IE new thermostat and hoses. Then you can forget about it. Congrats on your new ride! It's nice to have the back story. I bought mine site unseen as well, and it turned out great. Nice to see there are still honest people out there.

Yeah, I picked up a new water pump, all gaskets, thermostat, and most of the hoses (missed the upper hose in the picture, but access is super easy to that one). I'll probably suck it up and replace the oil cooler hose, just trying to figure out the best way to get to the clamp… I'll have to remove the battery (no biggie), but I'm not really sure what else. I have a new Trollhole dizzy, so maybe this would be a good time to pull the old one out.

Thanks for the compliment! Yeah, I am pretty happy with this thing. Several folks in Texas offered to go and have a look at it and provide a report - the Mud community is pretty dang awesome! Your 40 is very nice looking in your avatar, do you have a build thread?
 

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