Dads 1971 FJ40 Swap

jtaco1

 
 
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Dec 19, 2003
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Well, we are in the final stages of parts gathering for my dads 1971 FJ40 swap. We originally picked the truck up in the fall of 2000 at Fall Carlisle. Plans for the truck include a Chevy 4.3 V6, TH350 Auto, 3 speed t-case, Saginaw Power Steering, FJ62 Disc brakes, and 3.73 diffs. This FJ40 will probably never see offroading time, so we are building it so that my mom can drive if need be and to just have some fun with. We have my Tacoma and now 4 Runner for wheeling.

After some work and a few other things it was on the road and ready for body work. We spent the fall and winter cleaning a ton of sand out of the truck, it was originally from New Jersey.

One of the reasons we purchased the truck was because the body was in such great shape, a little rust in the one rocker, rear quarter and rear sill, but very minimal. We had a local shop do the metal work since we didn't have the tools or time to do it properly. The results were great and now the truck is 100% rust free. My dad new a guy up in Perry County that worked for a paint shop that said he would paint the truck at his place if dad help. Dad found a color he liked and ordered it through the local automotive paint distributor. A few weeks later they painted it and it came out great.

We then set to reassembling everything and installing some new seats out of a Mitsubishi Eclipse, since the original 60/40 bench sucked. That has been the most of the progress over the past few years.

Then I came across a listing on Ebay for a set of 3.73 diffs, which is what we wanted to install, guess who was selling them, your friend and mine Gary S. he also had disc brake parts from a FJ62 that we also purchased. i now have all of the parts ready to install for the disc brake conversion and diff swap for better highway running.

I contacted a vendor, TGTW Offroad, on Pirate 4x4 that handled Advance Adapter parts to se what pricing he could give me, I was blown away by the discount he was able to give me over AA’s pricing. So we placed an order for a TH350 to 4 speed t-case adapter, cross member, motor mounts, and front driveshaft to clear the sump on the tranny. That arrived a few weeks ago and was top notch and shipped fast.

We also went ahead and purchased a power steering conversion kit from Man-a-fre. I know most will say piece a kit together from various vendors and what not. Well we didn’t have the time to do that so when we found this kit that was fully rebuilt and warranted, we got it. It arrived at me work the other day and everything was again top notch and perfect.

The engine was next on the list of things to purchase, we had gone back and forth on whether to go with a 350 small block, like we have in our 1970 FJ40, or try the 4.3 liter V6. I figured the 4.3 would offer a longer rear drive shaft, fuel injection, 20-25 MPG with the 3.73 diffs, and a more compact setup, plus the accessories are the same as a small block. Well I am going to look at a 2000 4.3 V6 with 70k on it tonight out of a Blazer. If everything works out with the engine, I will be picking it up with the harness and computer this weekend or so. The harness and computer will be sent out to be stripped and reprogrammed by Jim’s Performance. I have heard nothing but great things about this shop, so that is what I am going to use.

That is where we are at right now. I still need to locate a TH350 for the swap and then we can drop that off at the tranny shop for a rebuild and rear output shaft swap to mate to the 4 speed t-case.
 
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mls57jax

 
 
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Jan 30, 2003
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Pennsyl-tuckey
JT,
Sounds like things are moving along nicely an it's good to see that Mom will be able to drive it once it's finished. Have any pictures of the Mitsubichi seats and the bracketry available??? My wife is starting to have some back issues and we've been considering new seats w/lumbar and heat but haven't settled on anything as of yet.
On the topic of tranny choices, keep in mind that the 4.3 will have to be able to motivate a 4-5000 lb cruiser around town and on the interstate. Althought the TH350 is a very good tranny, the 700R4 offer a lower 1st gear than the TH350, PLUS a 28% overdrive. Since you haven't found your doner tranny for a rebuild yet, consider the non-computer 700R4 or it's newer brother, the 4L60E.
I may be beating my drum here but the 700R4 has served me well behind a built 400 small block for the past 7 years. You still have time to change your plans...
Mike in PA
 

jtaco1

 
 
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Marysville, PA
Let me get some pictures for you, the seat came out of an earlier model Eclipse, the same era that had the Eagle Talon, that body style. We reused the main frame and bolted the seat sliders to that.

As for the tranny, I already have the adapter for the TH350 and 3.73 diffs sitting in the garage. The 4.3 has a little over 200 HP which is similar to a stock carbed small block. I was reading the thread that Texican wrote about his swap and this is the same drivetrain that he used and it would cruise at 70 spinning about 2300 RPM and MPGs were around 20. We have a TH350 behind a 375-400 HP small block in my dads 240Z and it has no problems on the highway or in the get up and go department. I know you love your 700R4 :D and I took that into consideration when lining up the parts, truct me I love how your truck is set up.

Hell my little 2.7 liter 4 cylinder in my Tacoma moves me around with 35's doing 80 on the interstate with ease and pulls out extremely well, I would bet that my truck weighs the same or more than a cruiser and it only has 150 HP :)
 

jtaco1

 
 
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Yeah thats probably what we will end up doing, looked at the 4.3 last night and the guy couldn't get it to start. The hole thing felt a little shady, so we are going to no go that engine purchase, the truck had a bullet hole in the one door :eek: Still on the hunt for an engine, we'll find one eventually. Prabbaly get the tranny built and assembled to the t-case in the mean time.
 

jtaco1

 
 
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Well i figured I would dig this thread back up since we just bought our engine, finally. Came across a guy in the Allentown area selling his 1997 4.3 V6 with painless harness, headers and a bunch of other goodies for a great price on Pirate 4x4. We are going to pick it up next week. Once we get our transmission built up, the only thing left to get, I will post pictures of the build. Should be a few weeks out, stay tuned.
 

jtaco1

 
 
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FJ40 will be getting FJ62 disk brake conversion and regeared starting tomorrow. Hope it goes smoothly, it's a lot to get done.
 

jtaco1

 
 
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Marysville, PA
Let's dig up an oldie as it is back in the front again. Since that last time I posted with this project the FJ62 brake and knuckle setup along with 3.73 gears are installed and work great. Over the last six months we got the TH350 transmission built. Had a local shop put it together with the Advance Adapters adapter to 3 speed t-case. Nice part was that the shop built the tranny with a K case, so it will be plenty strong.

Started this past weekend by seperating the 3 speed transfer case from the spare transmission I had from a 73 I pulled apart many years ago. Put it up on some saw horses to drain, oil looked nearly new, so that was good. Threw the plug back in and went about seperating only to realize that there was still about a gallon of gear oil in the case and tranny. The output shaft was very tight on the gears and had to use a 2 pound sledge to get them all the way apart. Here is the result



Here is the 97 4.3 V6 that we picked up about two years ago



It came complete with a Painless Harness, stock computer, headers, 4wd and 2wd oil pans, along with the proper flywheel to bolt it to the TH350.

I picked up this fitting at the dealer to remove the remote oil filter setup and put the filter on the block, as with V8's.


Fuel system will consist of the fuel pickup out of the stock under seat tank to a 100 micron filter, to an E8248 in-line fuel pump to a 10 micron filter to the fuel rail. Will also need to figure out a fuel return line setup.

Over the next week or two, I plan on mating the drivetrain together and getting it prepped for install. I will also be pulling the original driveline, so if anyone needs anything, let me know.

Other parts that we have waiting to go in include a Saginaw PS conversion, aluminum radiator package, and the parts to install the drivetrain. We are setting the drivetrain up so that in the event that we don't like the V6 or it has issues we can simply pull it and put a 5.3 V8 in without having to redo mounts and driveshafts.

Hoping to do a decent documentation with with build.
 

jtaco1

 
 
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Got a few hours on it last night, got the seats and what not out to see what I am working with. Forgot what all vacuum crap is under the seats, which will all be removed with the swap. The steering column and boat wheel will be replaced with a setup out of a 73 as well.

Pulled the bib, radiator, exhaust, and some other miscellaneous parts which left me with this

and this pile that will need to be organized


The drivetrain is for sale if anyone needs anything.

There are so many different lines for the vacuum system on this truck, betting I can drop over 25 pounds just in stupid vacuum stuff, when done the transfer case will be lever activated, along with a Lokar shifter for the transmission.
 

jtaco1

 
 
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Made a little progress last night.

Which lead to this


This engine is a pig and fought me a little coming out, but I left with this
 
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Hey, this is Jake,,I bought the motor from you last weekend. Good luck with the project!
 

jtaco1

 
 
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Hey Jake, thanks. Glad to see you over here. If you get a chance, post up your resto, sounds like a good one.
 

jtaco1

 
 
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Dec 19, 2003
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Frame rails ready to go, just waiting on my abrasives order from Lehigh Abrasives to come in to do final cleanup.

All steering is also gone as well and ready for install of new column. The steering box pedistal was a total PITA to get off, but it is gone now :)
 

jtaco1

 
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2003
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Made some more progress. Was cutting out the frame scab plates for the motor mounts and the plasma cutter decided it was done and blew the circuit board, but luckily I had just finished cutting. New board came in and am back in business. Was able to set up the motor mounts with hard tacks to test the engine fitment. Placement is set so that the 4.3 can be pulled and a 5.3 can be installed without changing the mounts or driveshafts.

Got the Saginaw box mounted into place. Mounted it low and back to get the upper two bolts in the frame and not have to notch the front bumper. Everything clears great so far and will weld out once I test fit the engine.

Next got the steering colum firewall plate cut and installed.

Then slid the 1973 vintage column in after a few cuts to get it where I want it and mocked up the Borgeson collapsable steering shaft, which should clear the motor mount and exhaust manifolds nicely - will confirm when I test fit the motor next.

Shot of the new steering column setup mocked up

I called it a night shortly after having a hot weld dingle berry fall into my ear canal while welding upside down, made for some interesting noises, but luckily didn't get to my ear drum.
 

jtaco1

 
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2003
Messages
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Location
Marysville, PA
Got the motor placed and everything looks like it will clear nicely. Need to move one of the O2 sensors as it is up against the motor mount on the frame, but not a big deal. Steering shaft should clear as well. Wanted to finish off the steering and a few of the other details, but got to late to use the noisier tools as I didn't want to wake the neighbors.

 
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