Downsides to a 63 fj40?

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Jan 14, 2006
Durango, Crawlorado
I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on one (knock on wood). Anybody know what the downsides are? My 55 is already modded, so I'd like to keep the drivetrain factory (or at least toyota 2f/4spd).

Am I nuts for wanting a 40 year old 4x4? What's decent price for a low rust stocker (original- needs gone through but "should drive")?

Let me re-phrase.

I intend to use this rig as a summer fun dd/fun/trailer rig. Are there sub standard drivetrain components or electrical gremlins that would make this rig less worthy than say, a 73?

A lot depends on what "low rust" means.

surface scale. If I had to guess I'd say it spent some time in a barn. I expect some chewed electrical wires and dried up mice.

Haven't seen it in person yet; coul be rotten but pics indicate otherwise and the owner claims the same.
If the body is clean and the price is right go for it.

I can't think of any obvious reasons why it would be less desirable than say a '73.

For drivability I would look at putting in the 2F/4sp you mentioned. Also if you could swap the front axle and get discs that would be nice for a DD.
thanks. That's what I like to hear.

I don't know jack about 2 vs 2f, and the faq search just brings up the never ending sbc vs 2f debate. What's the difference in the straight sixes?
Again; thanks.

I've got a month (at least) until I can swing this. I'm hoping for as much input as possible before it's too late.
Have you driven with an original F? That '63 would have an F135, and is a great engine for what you described...I would not change it, I would keep it stock, and enjoy it...especially since you have a cruiser that is already modded up.
63 and earlier FJ40s had two different body styles. Soft top and hard top. The soft top model is hard to find a top that will work. If this is a soft top model that has the door and bows buy it. These are hard to come by. Hard top model can be made to use later stuff pretty easy.

You should post up in the 25 forum if you buy it. You can get answers to most of your early cruiser questions there.

Be prepared to sink some $$ into my 65' and I'm up to $11K so far.


You're not buying $900 steering wheels I hope. :D

If/when it'll probably be the only 40 I buy/own so going slow and doing the work myself should help on the financial side. Acording to the fj25 faq the 63's account for 1k out of about 100k+ that hit the docks. It certainly isn't something I will j/y source a sbc, axles, etc. I'm not saying I won't wheel it; that's why I want it. Let's just say I won't be cutting holes in the dash for a $100 cd player.

D- like your "lego" project (box full of parts with no instructions- although the polaroids probably helped a little). Cool assemby thread- thanks. I'll post a s***-ton when it's a sealed deal. Seems inappropriate before (not mine yet).
The best way to keep cost down is keep the amount of body work down. Any F-2F can be use with out much in the way of mods. Same with transmission and axles. You can find parts easy and cheap with the number of cruisers having there power train changed out. People don't get rid of their good tubs to often. If the tub/frame are in good shape and the price is right I would say go for it.
I agree with the single curcuit brakes for safety reason. But I've never seen any problem with the ball and claw behind a stock engine and gearing. The problem is when you start adding horsepower, power steering, lockers and big tires. Then even the birfields don't hold up. The locker option with the corse spline axles is very limit. I've been using the ball and claw in my 68 for thirty-fives now. Installed lockrights by in 94. Only broke one outer axle. The only reason I know it broke was I found it when I installing the locker. Probably did pounding on rocks in the desert. I was getting body damage at the same time. If you don't plan on rock crawling the corse spline axles should be fine with a stock power train.
Parts guys laughing at me already. Since the seller claimed it just needed some carb work I figured I'd check on a weber, pull the old and run aftermarket until I fixed the stock. After he blew the dust off his books and said "no" to the rebuild kit he said $500 for an aftermarket carb and kit.

11k and rolling huh? :D

starting to see it......

I'll need a slush fund the wife doesn't know about and a parts guy that knows what's up.
Blew up the original F engine....rebuilding that, new bellhousing, power steering, new raidiator, fuel pump, carb kit, carb re-buld, knuckle bearing kit with wheel bearings, rear wheel bearing kit, rear diff kit, completley replaced my back pumper, new rear lights....some more but that all I can think of right now. (not to mention the labor)

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