Builds Early Fj40 Rock Crawler Gets a Refresh (1 Viewer)

Joined
Apr 10, 2020
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Coarsegold
A few days ago I started a build thread in the 40 & 55 series tech section, but after browsing the forum and the other build threads, I decided my build would be a better fit in the hardcore section. Theres not many posts in the earlier thread, but if you don't want to go through it I will do a quick run through whats going on.
In fall of 2016, a 1975 FJ40 that has been in my family since new was passed down to me. It was built into a wheeler in the 90's by my uncle. Kids and life got in the way of wheeling the last 20 years so my dad, my uncle, and other in their group stopped wheeling and working on their toys. When I picked up this cruiser it had not been turned over in almost 9 years, and not driven really in even longer.
IMG_1275.JPG

First day getting it tuned up for the drive to my house.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2a.jpg

Top off and a tune up later, had it out on some local trails.
I drove the cruiser for a few months and every day a new problem arose. When it came time to register in January of 2017, I put it on non op and parked it until spring 2019.
This is my first cruiser but I am no stranger to wrenching and working on Toyotas.
I parked it because I was mid way through another project. My project was my first truck which i bought in 2015. Here are some quick pics...

IMG_0881.PNG



9A2E0005-161A-4B83-A9FD-7D3A8FB27C5C.JPG


IMG_1941.JPG

Pretty cookie cutter mini truck build. Duals, 5.29s, lockers, etc... The shining star of this truck was the 22r i had built. Still slow don't get me wrong, but this was my daily for a long time and I had just about ever goody you could throw at those things besides boost. I loved the look on Yosemite tourists faces when I would pass them on my way up the hill to work in my sketchy looking Toyota.

I sold the pickup in October 2018, and got back into working on the cruiser in early 2019. Started with a tune up, change some seals on the engine, trans, and tcase, and going through every bolt on the thing to make sure I wouldn't die on my first drives. By May my transfer case decided to eat a few teeth off the gears so that took some time to fix.
Since then I played with it in the hills a bit, did some snow wheeling, and then parked and started really going through it.

Im about one weekend of work away from finishing my complete re wire with an ez wire 21 kit. Pictures of that process are limited because I was initially trying to get it done in a weekend to go down to KOH (didnt make it). I do have lots of notes so if anybody goes that route and has questions feel free to message me.
I ditched the old broken Holley projection tbi on the 350 for an edelbrock q-jet thats been laying around the house. Keeping it simple and cheap for now since I'd like to ditch my oil soaked, smog era 350 for an ls style enging sometime by Summer 2021.
PRP daily driver suspension seats on the way.
Currently researching shock options to replace my worn rancho 9000
Also plan on building metaltech style tube fenders. My local trails are pretty tight and I like the look of the tube fenders. The factory fenders will not be going to waste though as my dad has a '76 Fj40 frame of restoration thats been on pause for 20 years, and it needs some fenders.

This build will always be evolving as I do not have a set in stone plan. I have friends pushing me to links and coilovers, but right now the only thing I want is to have my current setup fairly dialed and wheel this summer. I like to think of myself as a good driver but this current setup can still out wheel my driving capabilities. I know that I still have some learning to do. I have never been a fan of the idea going straight to a rig on tons, 40's, and coils, just because thats what you see on instagram. That is an appealing route though so who knows, by winter this year I could have this thing stripped down and I'll be messing with a link calculator.
 

mr jits

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Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
2,937
Location
Tualatin, Oregon
A few days ago I started a build thread in the 40 & 55 series tech section, but after browsing the forum and the other build threads, I decided my build would be a better fit in the hardcore section. Theres not many posts in the earlier thread, but if you don't want to go through it I will do a quick run through whats going on.
In fall of 2016, a 1975 FJ40 that has been in my family since new was passed down to me. It was built into a wheeler in the 90's by my uncle. Kids and life got in the way of wheeling the last 20 years so my dad, my uncle, and other in their group stopped wheeling and working on their toys. When I picked up this cruiser it had not been turned over in almost 9 years, and not driven really in even longer.
View attachment 2285439
First day getting it tuned up for the drive to my house.

View attachment 2285440
Top off and a tune up later, had it out on some local trails.
I drove the cruiser for a few months and every day a new problem arose. When it came time to register in January of 2017, I put it on non op and parked it until spring 2019.
This is my first cruiser but I am no stranger to wrenching and working on Toyotas.
I parked it because I was mid way through another project. My project was my first truck which i bought in 2015. Here are some quick pics...

View attachment 2285448


View attachment 2285450

View attachment 2285452
Pretty cookie cutter mini truck build. Duals, 5.29s, lockers, etc... The shining star of this truck was the 22r i had built. Still slow don't get me wrong, but this was my daily for a long time and I had just about ever goody you could throw at those things besides boost. I loved the look on Yosemite tourists faces when I would pass them on my way up the hill to work in my sketchy looking Toyota.

I sold the pickup in October 2018, and got back into working on the cruiser in early 2019. Started with a tune up, change some seals on the engine, trans, and tcase, and going through every bolt on the thing to make sure I wouldn't die on my first drives. By May my transfer case decided to eat a few teeth off the gears so that took some time to fix.
Since then I played with it in the hills a bit, did some snow wheeling, and then parked and started really going through it.

Im about one weekend of work away from finishing my complete re wire with an ez wire 21 kit. Pictures of that process are limited because I was initially trying to get it done in a weekend to go down to KOH (didnt make it). I do have lots of notes so if anybody goes that route and has questions feel free to message me.
I ditched the old broken Holley projection tbi on the 350 for an edelbrock q-jet thats been laying around the house. Keeping it simple and cheap for now since I'd like to ditch my oil soaked, smog era 350 for an ls style enging sometime by Summer 2021.
PRP daily driver suspension seats on the way.
Currently researching shock options to replace my worn rancho 9000
Also plan on building metaltech style tube fenders. My local trails are pretty tight and I like the look of the tube fenders. The factory fenders will not be going to waste though as my dad has a '76 Fj40 frame of restoration thats been on pause for 20 years, and it needs some fenders.

This build will always be evolving as I do not have a set in stone plan. I have friends pushing me to links and coilovers, but right now the only thing I want is to have my current setup fairly dialed and wheel this summer. I like to think of myself as a good driver but this current setup can still out wheel my driving capabilities. I know that I still have some learning to do. I have never been a fan of the idea going straight to a rig on tons, 40's, and coils, just because thats what you see on instagram. That is an appealing route though so who knows, by winter this year I could have this thing stripped down and I'll be messing with a link calculator.
FJ40, in the best color ever. Good shape, and tasteful, simple mods> than linked 40/buggy.
I kid you not, if you decide to cut and link this thing, slap yourself. After said slapping, post it for sale. Take sale money, and build a buggy with a 40 bezel and hood.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Coarsegold
FJ40, in the best color ever. Good shape, and tasteful, simple mods> than linked 40/buggy.
I kid you not, if you decide to cut and link this thing, slap yourself. After said slapping, post it for sale. Take sale money, and build a buggy with a 40 bezel and hood.
I agree 100%. I know in the long run I could never cut and chop up a cruiser thats remained this clean. I met some guy at hammers with one the same color, stretched and cut. The first thing he said when I mentioned a stretch would be nice was to drop that idea and build something else.
 

mr jits

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Joined
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Messages
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Tualatin, Oregon
I agree 100%. I know in the long run I could never cut and chop up a cruiser thats remained this clean. I met some guy at hammers with one the same color, stretched and cut. The first thing he said when I mentioned a stretch would be nice was to drop that idea and build something else.
Seriously, if you're even kicking the idea about of doing a hardcore crawler with this thing, talk to me first.
I'd love a truck on 35's, small lift, and an orion.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Coarsegold
Seriously, if you're even kicking the idea about of doing a hardcore crawler with this thing, talk to me first.
I'd love a truck on 35's, small lift, and an orion.
Besides not bringing myself to cutting a clean 40, I enjoy cruising around with good road manners too much to want to to ditch that so I can take a few hero lines. An orion sounds nice. The duals in my pickup spoiled me. Sometimes the sm420 isn't quite enough, and I miss the options of the 5 speed and duals.
 

mr jits

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Messages
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Besides not bringing myself to cutting a clean 40, I enjoy cruising around with good road manners too much to want to to ditch that so I can take a few hero lines. An orion sounds nice. The duals in my pickup spoiled me. Sometimes the sm420 isn't quite enough, and I miss the options of the 5 speed and duals.
When I went from duals in my last 40 to a 3.8 atlas, I thought I'd miss the gearing options, but didn't. I think the 4:1 option is damn near perfect (3:1 is great if you have HP, balls, and can drive).
 
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When I went from duals in my last 40 to a 3.8 atlas, I thought I'd miss the gearing options, but didn't. I think the 4:1 option is damn near perfect (3:1 is great if you have HP, balls, and can drive).
What trans were you running in front of the atlas?
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
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Rocky mtns
I'd love a truck on 35's, small lift, and an orion.
This is my setup with a SBC and sm465. It’s great, good road manners and is fun in the rocks. 5th gear would be nice - if I put the top on and wanted to go over 60. The sm465 is kinda clunky compared to a modern stick, but it grows on you when you drive it more.
 
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This is my setup with a SBC and sm465. It’s great, good road manners and is fun in the rocks. 5th gear would be nice - if I put the top on and wanted to go over 60. The sm465 is kinda clunky compared to a modern stick, but it grows on you when you drive it more.
I do enjoy the sm420 and don’t really mind the clunkiness. I kind of enjoy it sometimes. I still have 4.10s so Im not that desperate for an overdrive yet. My limiting factor for highway speeds right now is the 12 year old bias ply Iroks, not my gearing.
 
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I’ve done a bit of searching (maybe not enough) and I haven’t found an answer about a shock question I have. For now I’ll keep it in here instead of starting a new thread. Maybe somebody reading will have an answer or could point me in the right direction.
I have some soft, decent riding btb lift springs. SUA. Has anybody on here gone through the effort of running something like fox 2.0 smoothies, and taken the time to tune them? Or anybody have experience with some shocks that helped washboard road handling straight out of the box? I have 40 acres with dirt roads, plus a short drive to national forest so I’m not opposed to doing some actual shock tuning if some believe it’s worth it.
 
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Messages
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I’ve done a bit of searching (maybe not enough) and I haven’t found an answer about a shock question I have. For now I’ll keep it in here instead of starting a new thread. Maybe somebody reading will have an answer or could point me in the right direction.
I have some soft, decent riding btb lift springs. SUA. Has anybody on here gone through the effort of running something like fox 2.0 smoothies, and taken the time to tune them? Or anybody have experience with some shocks that helped washboard road handling straight out of the box? I have 40 acres with dirt roads, plus a short drive to national forest so I’m not opposed to doing some actual shock tuning if some believe it’s worth it.
Not much help on custom shocks. I’ll say my OME lift and shocks work well. Along with tight steering. I’d be curious how good you could get a short wheelbase vehicle to handle washboards. It seems it could only so good, but maybe I’m wrong.
 
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Not much help on custom shocks. I’ll say my OME lift and shocks work well. Along with tight steering. I’d be curious how good you could get a short wheelbase vehicle to handle washboards. It seems it could only so good, but maybe I’m wrong.
Yeah I know it is unrealistic to expect to blast through the desert on this setup. Mostly just looking to see if I can up my comfort levels when I am on the fire roads in between trails near my house. Most shock threads I have seen have lots of feedback on the Bilstein 5125's and the OME stuff. One reason I seem to lean towards something like the Fox is the fact that they are able to be rebuilt. So in theory it could be a lifetime shock.
 

mr jits

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Yeah I know it is unrealistic to expect to blast through the desert on this setup. Mostly just looking to see if I can up my comfort levels when I am on the fire roads in between trails near my house. Most shock threads I have seen have lots of feedback on the Bilstein 5125's and the OME stuff. One reason I seem to lean towards something like the Fox is the fact that they are able to be rebuilt. So in theory it could be a lifetime shock.
Fox and King will go the distance to help you in tuning custom shocks for your application. Reach out to both. I'll bet you won't be disappointed.
 
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Fox and King will go the distance to help you in tuning custom shocks for your application. Reach out to both. I'll bet you won't be disappointed.
Sounds like a plan. I just know I can do better than the old Rancho 9000 shocks that I have on there right now.
 
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Fox and King will go the distance to help you in tuning custom shocks for your application. Reach out to both. I'll bet you won't be disappointed.
What he said :) I'm going King 2.5 coilovers on my current build but I'm running rebuildable Fox units on the rear of my 40 now with Currie coils. I think the Fox shocks have been on there 7 years now and no issues. I've driven pretty hard on them with lots of on and off road miles.

Although the cost is higher, you're going to get what you pay for, especially with Kings. I'd recommend going through FilthyMotorsports as they are extremely helpful and they won't try to talk you into anything either.

That being said, you can only smooth out a SWB 40 on leafs so much....
 
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What he said :) I'm going King 2.5 coilovers on my current build but I'm running rebuildable Fox units on the rear of my 40 now with Currie coils. I think the Fox shocks have been on there 7 years now and no issues. I've driven pretty hard on them with lots of on and off road miles.

Although the cost is higher, you're going to get what you pay for, especially with Kings. I'd recommend going through FilthyMotorsports as they are extremely helpful and they won't try to talk you into anything either.

That being said, you can only smooth out a SWB 40 on leafs so much....
Just reached out to them with an email to see what they think. Thanks for the recommendation.
 
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Bilstein 7100's can be tuned and rebuilt as well. I got lucky and was able to trade some too short Rancho 9000's for some Bilstein 7100's in the front of my rig. As they don't leak or need a rebuild and work fine as is I haven't messed with tuning them.
 
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Back to work this weekend.
IMG_5482.jpg

Plan is to finish getting my fuel system all plumbed up and have this thing running. I should have that done today. After that I'm moving to the t-case. Rear output doesn't seal up so I ordered a speedy sleeve and an output seal from SOR. No concrete at my house, and the carport is full of other stuff so all my project are done in the dirt with cardboard padding. I count it as practicing for trail repairs. I have some new tail lights on the way as well. My factory ones were corroded pretty badly after they spent two years with mud packed behind the cover.
IMG_1311.PNG

You should be seeing the wires and plugs into the back of the tailights.

Also, rainy season in California seems to be over now that it is heating up. That means it is time to take the top off. Top off means I can also slide in my rear toolbox and wire the lights for it.

IMG_3885.jpg

Slides in the back giving me plenty of tool and parts storage. Plan right now is to modify it to have some drawers as well. Set it up to have an upper and lower section, with the lower section having the drawers. Put more important/commonly used parts and supplies in the drawers so i wont have to unload all my camping gear from the lid just to open everything.

Hopefully I have a successful weekend ahead of me. I would like to get this thing running and somewhat driving ASAP so that for the rest of the little stuff that I need to do, I can head to a friends house with a shop and shade.
 

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