Builds Clifford is coming home again- a 1965 FJ40 FST (1 Viewer)

red66toy

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Hello all.
Its been a long time since I have been part of the 40 group but I am happy to be back! I was never expecting to be back honestly but fate had other plans.....
I purchased "Clifford" back in 2001 when I was 16. I paid $2000 for it from a guy name "Rusty" in Davis, CA. It just came with a bikini top, broken old seats, no doors (well it had chains that ran across the openings) or seatbelts and questionable brakes but it ran great. For some reason my mom let me buy it even though it gave her more grey hairs on her head as the years went by. At some point it had been repainted in a blue-green color, also had a weird aftermarket rear heater (no front heater), old school SOR roll bar and a GM alternator. Other than that it was pretty original. Here it is soon after I purchased it. My dad and I took it for a fishing trip up at Davis Lake.
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I remember we walked out to the parking lot near our camp ground to find a big puddle of gasoline under the cruiser. The gas tank sprung a leak from a rust hole on the bottom. A trip to the local NAPA autoparts had us back in action with a patch kit (still holding apparently! ).

I drove this cruiser through the last years of high school and the first few years of college. At one point my dad painted it and it got bigger and wider tires. The drives between home and college would take me 7 hours in this rig. After 7 hours of sitting in these old seats with a screaming F135, you definitely felt a little beat up. But I still loved it.
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Driving around with @pismojim :
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The tires were used and lasted me a couple years until I could save up for the tires I really wanted... BFG 33x9.5! :D I also had @FJ40Jim rebuild the carb, I recovered the seats with the SOR kit at the time, swapped the front axle for a 69 FJ40 one and put on FJ60 front knuckles and brakes. Added a Chevy S10 brake MC with a spacer so it cleared the firewall rib. Swapped the old metal fan for a spacer and a plastic version from @65swb45 . Installed a Mojave front heater. I installed a stereo at one point hanging below the dash but took it back out after a while. Did a few other improvements but thankfully left it mostly stock.
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Met some other cruiser heads in Humboldt county (@Russ in California )
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After a while those long drives between home and college got old and it became apparent to me that I would need a more modern and faster car....so regretfully I decided to sell it. Sold it to a young man in 2007 and I remember shedding a tear as I watched it drive away. :cry:


Fast forward 11 years. Lots happened in between and another cruiser came into my life:
Greetings from Seattle...Fixing up "Blue Guy"

Then one day while looking for cruiser parts on craigslist, I spotted an unmistakable FJ40, MY FJ40!!!!! I think I literally jumped out of my seat with shock. There was my old FJ40, almost completely unchanged since the day I sold it. It was still in CA, now down near San Jose. A serious talk with my wife... and a call to the seller and it was on!
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I didn't know anyone down there that could look at the cruiser for me, well until I realized that @Racer65 lived very close. I want to give a HUGE shoutout to Roger for being so kind and helpful for not only looking over the cruiser for me, but facilitating the final deal for me since I couldn't be there to swap money for the cruiser. Roger is really a great dude and I hope I can return the favor some day, at least shake your hand! :cheers: I would also like to thank @NookShneer @Kleatus @Aravind Dileepan and @KeilOver for also pushing to stop thinking about it and just buy the damn FJ40 already.

That brings us to present day. The cruiser is on its way to my family's farm in Dixon. I plan to fly down in November, get it road ready (new tires and full fluid and engine tune up) and drive it back to Seattle. Thank you @beno for helping me get those early 40 parts. It doesn't have a top except a bikini top so this will be weather dependent. I'll update as the journey commences.

As for plans for the cruiser. I am definitely going to give it the love I couldn't before on college budget. Basic plan is to preserve its originality as much as possible (with exception to the front discs). Definitely going to finally get the OEM style top I always dreamed of , fix the rear sill rust, and refurbish the rest as I go. I can't wait to drive it again. :steer:
 

red66toy

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Thanks all. Looking forward to the long drive back to Seattle. @NookShneer may join me for the cannonball run. Should be a fun one. We will probably stop in Oregon for the night a split up the drive. Anyone have a recommendation on a good place to stop?

Unfortunately the old 33x9.5s are cracking so I will loose my rubber over drive. Thinking of going with Toyo AT2s 30x9.5 before the drive back.
 

red66toy

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Special delivery today in CA. :bounce: Wish I could have been there.
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Been doing a little shopping as well:
Early 1960s service manual I found for $30
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NOS early FJ40 center arm rebuild kit from Venezuela
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Beautiful restored period correct choke cable from @RAGINGMATT
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NOS flasher unit courtesy of @Racer65
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Also picked up a great reproduction TOYOTA rear sill sticker from @oregon fj

Top of the list are tires. Leaning towards the Cooper AT3s in the 235/75R15 size. Seem like an excellent tire for the money.
 

Kleatus

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Soo, how bad are the tires? My rule of thumb is 5-6 years and they shouldn't be on the road. Maybe thats too conservative? I have gained some appreciation for how much the rubber really hardens up over time by manually mount tires. New ones are easy, 3-4 years are OK, 5-6 are tough, and 7+ the beads crack and tear up as you try to mount/dismount them. Since yours are a long since discontinued tire, have they been out of the sun? What kind of cracking are talking about?

I should be in Antioch later this week, want me to just drive it home and save myself a return flight and you the trouble? ;):grinpimp:
 
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red66toy

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Soo, how bad are the tires? My rule of thumb is 5-6 years and they shouldn't be on the road. Maybe thats too conservative? I have gained some appreciation for how much the rubber really hardens up over time by manually mount tires. New ones are easy, 3-4 years are OK, 5-6 are tough, and 7+ the beads crack and tear up as you try to mount/dismount them. Since yours are a long since discontinued tire, have they been out of the sun? What kind of cracking are talking about?

I should be in Antioch later this week, want me to just drive it home and save myself a return flight and you the trouble? ;):grinpimp:
I’ll have to see if I can find a photo of the cracks. They were small cracks in the sidewalks. Based on the condition of the soft top I would say it sat out in the elements for a bit. Not sure how long. The tires were new in like 04/05 so they are definitely old.

If it was road legal I might have taken you up on that offer. :steer:
 

red66toy

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Got some essential parts for the F135 from our favorite parts guru. Plan to do a complete fluid change in the 40 so wanted all new filters and other essentials.
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Thanks @beno for the mini 40. My daughter loved getting her own 40.. which was quickly put to the test: :rolleyes:
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Looking forward to seeing the real fj40 in a week. :D
 

red66toy

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Finally got a chance to see Clifford in person again and go for a test drive. It was both in better and worse condition than I had anticipated. Some rust starting on a few spots by the windshield and some of the body seams. Thankfully they didn't eat through the metal yet. I attacked them with a wire brush and put OSPHO on them. :) After replacing the battery, it fired up with only a little effort. Its not road legal or safe yet so the test drive was limited to the immediate property but it was a blast none the less:
Here are some general pics:
Horn relay still has the plastic cover?!
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Sketchy alt to battery wire junction:
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Still has the original PCV hose:
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Original clutch MC with non vent cap
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No engine serial number?! Guess its a factory replacement block?
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Guessing an aftermarket mirror:
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High horn:
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red66toy

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One cool thing I rediscovered is that the back tail lamps still have the plastic protective cones! One is cracked but I am sure I can find a good plastic patching compound to make it strong again. :)
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Current plan for work when I visit again in December is to replace the steering box and rebuild the center arm. I think the tie rods were still good.
 

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