Considering buying a '69 FJ40 (1 Viewer)

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Then again, most of the people here reflect to different times. Sometimes you can find something you took for granted and then later , screwed up. Just remember baseball cards and coins.
 
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Remember when you are offering whatever you decide to:
most of the moving parts will be worn to the point of needing rebuilding or replacement. Doubly so due to the V8 swap.
These mechanical parts all cost as much or more than their modern equivalents if in very good or new condition.
Good point
 
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I don't see that being a $10k cruiser... I see closer to $8k or less. Too many bends and dings plus surface rust.

305 is nothing to write home about. It looks like over the frame rail exhaust. To me that hints at potentially questionable engine swap.

There is absolutely zero HD about FJ55 rear axles. They are an FJ40 axle with sway bar mounts.
Good to know. Sounded impressive, anyway. ;)
 

KingAir Driver

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I’d say 6-8k range. If it’s California surface rust. I spy FST door hinges and a smidge of Vader light. So should be a soft top with added hard top. I’d ask if there’s parts stored away. You’ll get prices all over the board, it’s all about what you’re comfortable paying and knowing what you’re paying for.
 
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I’d say 6-8k range. If it’s California surface rust. I spy FST door hinges and a smidge of Vader light. So should be a soft top with added hard top. I’d ask if there’s parts stored away. You’ll get prices all over the board, it’s all about what you’re comfortable paying and knowing what you’re paying for.
Can you translate that for a newbie? How do FST hinges differ from other hinges and what is Vadar light (Like Darth?)
 

KingAir Driver

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Yea. The factory soft top door hinges allow the doors to be easily removed by sliding out of the hinge attached to the body vise unbolting or driving the pin out. The Vader light is just to the right of the glovebox. It’s a hooded map light on soft top models only. I think we need more pics to assess over all value.
 
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Yea. The factory soft top door hinges allow the doors to be easily removed by sliding out of the hinge attached to the body vise unbolting or driving the pin out. The Vader light is just to the right of the glovebox. It’s a hooded map light on soft top models only. I think we need more pics to assess over all value.
Yes, from what the owner's wife says, I think it started out it's life as a soft top (so that makes sense) the HT was bought subsequently.

So if I wanted to fix it up to sell it, is this a likely scenario: I pay 8K for the vehicle, put about 10 to 12K in parts and paint and sell it for 20K. Basically coming out even with the "fun" and bragging rights of doing a "build".
Am I far off??
 
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flee

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Yes, from what the owner's wife says, I think it started out it's life aa a soft top and the HT was bought subsequently.

So if I wanted to fix it up to sell it, is this a likely scenario: I pay 8K for the vehicle, put about 10 to 12K in parts and paint and sell it for 20K. Basically coming out even with the "fun" and bragging rights of doing a "build".
Am I far off??
Those figures depend on the skills you have and the surprises that await you. 10k might be enough to pay for bodywork and decent paint.
 

flee

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Ouch!, w/o new soft top, mirrors, door hinges, bumpers, shocks, etc.??
There are many options as to where to spend money on these.
Maybe keep looking for a less compromised project FJ40. This one will probably be available for a while.
 

KingAir Driver

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I'd explore the site, look at what some guys are doing with Patina builds vs. full refresh. A legit soft top and new bows will cost in the area of $3.5k. Replacing warn out suspension, brakes could be 2k. Who knows about the motor, tires, cooling system, wiring, clutch? When it was last road worthy. Popular saying on here, buy a FJ40 and open the wallet. These things are a labor of love. If you're looking to flip it for the experience, go on bringatrailer and look at what some of the nicer refreshes are selling for. It's up to you and your skill level. I'd need to see more photos, especially the back end, underneath, engine bay before going above 6k.
 
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Dont confuse surface rust with cancer rust. Surface rust comes off with a Brillo pad.. I see a lot of surface rust. I’d say 8-10 is fair (if it runs and shifts) if you don’t mind tinkering, it looks ok... also what’s it look like underneath?!
 

RWBeringer4x4

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I may catch flack for this but I'll add my two cents.

If the plan is to fix it up and sell it, you will almost definitely lose money. As a point of reference, I bought my truck in similar condition for roughly $7k. It is also V8 converted. I have easily $15-$20k into it, it's mechanically (almost) perfect now but I haven't touched paint or bodywork at all, and I've done the vast majority of the work myself. I paid a shop for very little. With the V8 conversion, even if I spend another $5-6K on paint and body (again, doing the work myself) or easily double that paying someone else to do it, I don't foresee a V8 rig ever commanding much more than $15-$20k - maybe $25k if the workmanship is immaculate. This one is a Factory Soft Top which is rarer and arguably somewhat more collectible, but the money you'll spend bringing it back from its abused state is not going to turn a profit. As I see it the only way you have a prayer of making money off it is if you restore it to stock and restore it's collectibility, and do the work yourself.

I never intend to sell mine so I went into this with both eyes at least halfway open. But to break even (not factoring in my time and labor at all) I'll probably be in this rig for $30-$35k when all is said and done, and I sure as hell wouldn't buy it off me for that.
 
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I may catch flack for this but I'll add my two cents.

If the plan is to fix it up and sell it, you will almost definitely lose money. As a point of reference, I bought my truck in similar condition for roughly $7k. It is also V8 converted. I have easily $15-$20k into it, it's mechanically (almost) perfect now but I haven't touched paint or bodywork at all, and I've done the vast majority of the work myself. I paid a shop for very little. With the V8 conversion, even if I spend another $5-6K on paint and body (again, doing the work myself) or easily double that paying someone else to do it, I don't foresee a V8 rig ever commanding much more than $15-$20k - maybe $25k if the workmanship is immaculate. This one is a Factory Soft Top which is rarer and arguably somewhat more collectible, but the money you'll spend bringing it back from its abused state is not going to turn a profit. As I see it the only way you have a prayer of making money off it is if you restore it to stock and restore it's collectibility, and do the work yourself.

I never intend to sell mine so I went into this with both eyes at least halfway open. But to break even (not factoring in my time and labor at all) I'll probably be in this rig for $30-$35k when all is said and done, and I sure as hell wouldn't buy it off me for that.
Of all the helpful answers, I think I like yours the best for honesty looking at the whole picture.
I guess it all boils down to: 1) do I want to fix and sell it or 2): do I want to fix it and keep it and use it for off-roading.
Well, I already have a 98 Jeep (sorry to mention that word in this forum) Sahara that I love and takes me anywhere in the desert I wish to go. So that answers the above question #2. I paid $8,800 for it about 13 years ago and it runs like a top. Still worth about what I paid for it all those years ago.
I still may go out and take a look at it the FJ (it's about 50 mi. from me) but I'm leaning to let someone else fix it up and use it.
 

RWBeringer4x4

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Of all the helpful answers, I think I like yours the best for honesty looking at the whole picture.
I guess it all boils down to: 1) do I want to fix and sell it or 2): do I want to fix it and keep it and use it for off-roading.
Well, I already have a 98 Jeep (sorry to mention that word in this forum) Sahara that I love and takes me anywhere in the desert I wish to go. So that answers the above question #2. I paid $8,800 for it about 13 years ago and it runs like a top. Still worth about what I paid for it all those years ago.
I still may go out and take a look at it the FJ (it's about 50 mi. from me) but I'm leaning to let someone else fix it up and use it.

I certainly don't want to dissuade you, but having been down this road - I've spent way more time/money than I thought I was going to. I don't MIND because, like I said, resale has never been my goal, just lessons learned.

Every build is going to be different. If the V8 conversion was done RIGHT and the engine/driveline are in good shape, you'll be money ahead of where I was. I basically had to completely redo the whole conversion - including an entirely new engine and transfercase. I've also spent some money on off-road upgrades that you could probably avoid, but if you think you'll be in it for another $10-12k and come out with a show piece on the other side, I think you'll be sorely disappointed! On the flip side, whether you spend $7, 8, or $10k on the rig, that $3000 difference is pretty minimal by the time you factor in the restoration/repair costs.
 

Dizzy

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No one on Mud expresses content with selling a 40, unless they are, 'thinning the herd.'

I'd say that the best outcome would be that you get lucky, you buy it for $10,000. That the rig is actually just neglected, and that the majority of it is still okay. Then you turn an okay to 'better, but with character.' Then you sell it for $15,000, to someone with about $10,000 of your money put into it, plus a documented history of your service, and a proven record of its function. It would be a loss of $5,000 for maybe half a decade. That would be a $1,000 ride for every year of your ownership. That would be a decent, financially, and lucky.

However, I'm not talking paint, because, if it doesn't need welding, then painting it won't do much for the rig without dealing with the frame, body mounts, and underside; surface rust / patina is in vogue. Actually, one of the more imperative modifications to go with a V8, in my opinion, is getting the firewall and front cab coated with an acoustic and heat insulation. The manifolds/ headers make summer driving a 40, especially a V8, a bit uncomfortable for the family.

Also, a V8 often has a battery kinda mounted on the body (fender); Toyota put the battery on a tray with a bracket that attaches to the frame, that could be something that you look into, as it is one of those complications.

Also, you see the rust dust on the spare in the back of the cab, that is because the rain gutter is probably in rough shape. The hard top itself could be close to needing some work just to keep it safe as a driver.

The big thing is more pictures, and information about the integrity of the rig. However, it is a good year, if you can get it registered as a '69, as everything before '76 is emissions-exempt.
 
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Of all the helpful answers, I think I like yours the best for honesty looking at the whole picture.
I guess it all boils down to: 1) do I want to fix and sell it or 2): do I want to fix it and keep it and use it for off-roading.
Well, I already have a 98 Jeep (sorry to mention that word in this forum) Sahara that I love and takes me anywhere in the desert I wish to go. So that answers the above question #2. I paid $8,800 for it about 13 years ago and it runs like a top. Still worth about what I paid for it all those years ago.
I still may go out and take a look at it the FJ (it's about 50 mi. from me) but I'm leaning to let someone else fix it up and use it.
I feel you on this sentiment and I love my 40! But I wheel with a LJ jeep, early bronco and fullsize blazer regularly. The jeep and the blazer are the easiest($$) to get parts for, but have the least soul/style in my opinion. If both owners sold their rigs tomorrow, I wouldn’t be surprised at all- they are not emotionally invested in their rigs. All that being said the LJ followed me around or lead the way on recent wheeling trip and he had ac on the hot days. No issues at all, it just got the job done.

The early bronco and my 40, on the other hand, are an affliction of sorts- expensive mistresses, but they are very satisfying deep down.
.
 
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I certainly don't want to dissuade you, but having been down this road - I've spent way more time/money than I thought I was going to. I don't MIND because, like I said, resale has never been my goal, just lessons learned.

Every build is going to be different. If the V8 conversion was done RIGHT and the engine/driveline are in good shape, you'll be money ahead of where I was. I basically had to completely redo the whole conversion - including an entirely new engine and transfercase. I've also spent some money on off-road upgrades that you could probably avoid, but if you think you'll be in it for another $10-12k and come out with a show piece on the other side, I think you'll be sorely disappointed! On the flip side, whether you spend $7, 8, or $10k on the rig, that $3000 difference is pretty minimal by the time you factor in the restoration/repair costs.
Makes sense. I guess I should get it checked out at a 4WD mechanic before I make a final decision.
 

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