Copper and Rust (72 FJ40)

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Joined
Aug 14, 2021
Messages
8
Location
texas
I got my 72 FJ40 a little over a year ago.
I think that one of the previous owners built this rig for offroad use only. Some of the modifications are awesome and show serious know how while others seem a little slapped together. My vision was to drive this FJ40 on the road way more than I drive it offroad. I spent the next year trouble shooting a short in the electrical, getting the wipers to work, getting the gas guage to work, and getting the parking brake to work. All things I needed to pass the Texas state inspection.

The electrical short was a shorted out alternator. one or more of the diode banks must have gone bad. That threw me for a loop and I couldn't find the drain with all of the fuses pulled....

The windshield wipers - I stalked heavily on this forum. It looks like someone had wired power to the switch. Several high speed wiper runs and several blown fuses later, I realized that the switch was a grounding circuit.

I installed a floor hand brake lever in the tans tunnel and rebuilt the transfer case mounted parking brake. I installed a double seal from valley hybrids in the transfer case while I was in there.

I passed the state inspection and enjoyed driving my FJ40 around. Now I am more informed about what I would like to do.

- Remove the 3" body lift
- Maybe swap for a 5VZ motor (it currently has a TBI 327 with a TH400 transmission mated to an Orion Transfer case build by Valley Hybrids.
- Lots of Body work
- Paint

I will take this slow, I think I will start with the body lift, then the body work (will likely stay primer gray for a while). I will likely put it all back together after that and drive a little longer before I do a total frame off restoration.

Now, I am starting on the removal of the 3" body lift. The lift was done pretty well which meens that it will be a real pain to remove. All of the blocks are welded into the frame.

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Joined
Dec 2, 2002
Messages
17,054
Location
Helena MT
someone spent a bit of time and energy doing that body lift
unfortunetly it won't be easy to undo it.
 

cruisermatt

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for what you want it would be 100% worthwhile to start with a different 40 that is more original. There are plenty of good ones out there to choose from.

Alternatively, if you do want a massive project, maybe get an original chassis and swap under. Classic Cruisers has them stacked like cordwood and would only be a weekend trip from Texas. Then you could bolt on a regular lift kit to undo the shackle reversal and whatever else. I think that would be really worthwhile as well if you are really attached to this 40
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2021
Messages
8
Location
texas
I knew that wasa coming! I totally agree that the smart thing would be to start from a more orginal cruiser. I think I'm going to give this one a go. At this point, I know what I don't like about it (it's alot) and I can take my time messing around with it. I don't think it will ever be a SEMA FJ40 but it will be somthing I can work and learn on. I'm not into it for a ton of money and anything more original is more expensive than what I paid for it (from what I've seen anyway). I consider it a hobby so I'm not charging myself for my time. So.... Maybe not the smart option, but I'm going to stick with it.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2021
Messages
8
Location
texas
Got the Cage out (that was a lot heavier than I was expecting), the steering column out, and the exhaust off.

I had a pretty narly exhaust leak so I am also taking the oppurtunity to pull the headers and swap gaskets while everything is out of the way. Next will be the trans tunnel because there may be modifications needed when I drop the body 3". I'm running into lot's of hard sealer where I would expect metal. When I go back, I will weld up all of the sheet metal.

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Clutchee

I'm fun sized!
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
4,268
Location
Hotel M-F, home weekends!
Hope this cruiser brings you joy…… lots of memories with my dad working on it and riding around Moab with him.

Carry on.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 14, 2021
Messages
8
Location
texas
Hope this cruiser brings you joy…… lots of memories with my dad working on it and riding around Moab with him.

Carry on.
Absolutely. I’m cleaning it up for my daughter to drive until she goes away to school. I’m hoping to make lots of memories with it myself.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2021
Messages
8
Location
texas
It's been a while since I posted an update. Work and Family.
I was able to get the roll cage frame tie-ins, body lift, and rock sliders cut out. I lowered it to the new body height to see if there was any interference. I had to make some adjustments for the transfer case linkage. It doesn't look like I will need any modifications to the trans tunnel (except for patchers some lap patches and ensuring the parking brake functions (the body is much closer to the hand brake lever and it is very tight now).

Next steps -
I will hit all of the ground spots with a finer grit and POR15 the frame and hit the rest with epoxy primer.
I ordered a new rear sill and both rear quarters from Real Steel Cruiser Parts. while I was under the rig I pulled away alot of mud that was hiding a rotten floor board between the innner and outer rocker on the drivers side. I'll have to get in there to fix. The rest of the flooe is in great shap so I hope I don't need to replace the whole thing.

I have a feeling that the hood will not clear the radiator now. I will test fit that next and I may be trying to lower the radiator.

Here are some pics of the items cut off and of the FJ40 with the new stance sitting on the new bofy mounts (ordered from Marlin Crawler)

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