December 1974 FJ40 Refresh

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Jun 16, 2012
Southcentral Alaska
First post after a few months reading here. Thought I'd introduce my project to the fray.

Purchased a December 1974 FJ40 (1.5F engine, 4 speed) a couple months ago and began a frame-on refresh of the truck. The plan is to eventually (when money and time collide) tear it down for a full frame-off restoration. I'd like to enjoy it for the next few years in a semi-clean state and thought I'd remove the layers of grime and detritus piled under the seats and gas tank, treat as much of the rust as I can, and deal with a few maintenance issues.

I've wire brushed most of the floor pan down to bare metal and am getting ready to prime it and probably lay down a coat of rustoleum to tide me over until the eventual restoration. I figured paint would be easier to take BACK OFF when I get to that point than bed liner. It's also running Rancho 5000's which are hopefully to blame for the kidney busting ride.

I do have one question for the paint experts here. What color is this? I looked at the swatches for 1974 and it looks like it should be dune beige, so I purchased a couple spray cans from Cruiser Corps (FJ40 Paint / Dune Beige 416 Aerosol) but it's no where near a match. I checked the 416 paint against some of the spots that shouldn't be faded like inside the dash and can see that the paint on the 40 is much lighter and less green than dune beige. Or maybe the paint I purchased just sucks. Thoughts?
It looks like regular dune beige to me, but being that it's a bit faded, color matching might be difficult. do the colors match inside/outside? Check up under the dash to see if it's been re-sprayed at some point. great looking 40. where in Alaska are you? I'm in the Fairbanks/ North Pole area. Welcome to Mud btw!

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fine looking 40===welcome to the club....i like the tires as well---my rig is a `1974----the best year made as per A. Peterson... ;)))
I'm pretty confident it's the factory paint on there after pulling the body apart. Everything matches, but with just various shades of fading going on. :)

I'm outside of Anchorage near Eklutna Lake. Thanks for the welcome!
December of '74 is my favorite year for a 'Cruiser so far...both my Pig and my (sold) 40 were 12/'74. Which means you also have the "transition Year" transfer case. Which means that if you have the gears from a 3-speed transfer case, you can drop them into your transfer case with minimal trouble for that measly (6%?) crawl ratio increase...
After a bit of experimenting I found Krylon Khaki Gloss to be a near perfect match for the paint that's on the rig right now. Tests were done on the interior surface of the fuel tank shroud/cover which I'm guessing is a good gauge for what the factory paint looked like prior to fading. The Dune Beige I ordered from Cruiser Corps was quite a bit darker and had a strange green hue that I don't see in any photos of Dune Beige online. I wonder if what they sent was mixed incorrectly? I'll be sanding down the exterior, priming and rattle canning the whole thing with Krylon Khaki Gloss this week hopefully. Photos to follow.
exterior paint doesn't look bad to me at all - why even bother ?

patina on my rig is to the point where no amount of matching can make it look good :hillbilly:
The photo is more flattering than reality. The other side of the rig had a replacement fender with a different color that I had to do some repairs to. It's now in primer and with paint peeling in a few other spots and surface rust forming I figured I'd take care of it before it got any worse.
Really nice looking rig man, I love seeing some fellow Alaskan 40's!

While you're in the painting mood, you might like the way it looks with the bezel in Cygnus White, but it looks sharp either way. :cheers:
Finally got around to uploading some photos of my progress.

Fender before and after with welding and a bit of filler:


Tub Before:



Tub After:


Other stuff:

Sorry, apparently the links didn't work and for some reason I don't have privileges to edit my posts to fix it. I guess if a forum moderator sees this post and the previous one please feel free to delete and I'll work on figuring out how to embed dropbox photos here next time around.
working images

Sorry about the broken images in the last post. Here are a few for those interested. My whole plan with this phase of the project is to simply stabilize the rust problems and get the vehicle useable for as cheap as possible so it can be enjoyed while I wait for the time to start the frame off. The full restoration will happen in a couple years. I've learned my lessons with a few other projects and I decided when I bought this fj40 I was going to take my time and drive it for a couple years before it was totally disassembled. Besides, it runs way too nice to rip it all apart right now!

Dealing with rust on the floor pan:




Rustoleum enamel (which I figured would be easier to remove than bed liner when the full restoration happens in the future):



All the minor surface rust between the hard top and roof was death with and new weather stripping was placed around the tub. All rust has been dealt with and everything should be mostly stabilized at this point so I can enjoy driving the truck without worrying about it too much.


Next up, a rattle can paint job! :hillbilly:
That Rustoleum looks really good! I was just thinking about the same issue recently, I don't even want to think about trying to remove bed liner. I think I'll go with something similar to what you did.
Got a '74 myself; I like the interior work that you've done so far, keep up the good work! :p

Great photo by the way!

Just a few photos here showing the rattle can paint job. Final photo shows the FJ40 in Krylon Khaki Gloss.

What she looked like before:

In rust inhibiting primer:

Krylon Khaki Gloss:


Over all it turned out WAY better than I thought it would for my first attempt at painting something as large as this. Not a single run, paint is uniform with a semi-glossy satin finish. Exterior paint now closely resembles that of the less faded interior and the replacement fender matches. I ended up using 5 cans of primer and 11 cans of Khaki Gloss. Total cost was just around $100. Painting took place in one day and was a blast. The masking was another story but it's as close to flawless as I could manage without removing the weatherstripping and unbolting everything.

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