Family FJ Build : '76 40 Resto/Frame Off (a.k.a. the Japanese Baby Buggy)

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Nov 29, 2020
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Wausau WI
This thread is a bit of catchup - started tearing things down in November, and been chipping away all winter. Making good progress, and will try to get the thread caught up to current day as time permits. My parents bought this 1976 FJ40 new in late '75, and have had it ever since. It was a daily driver for most of its life, so the WI winter salt took its toll, although could be worse.
We still have the original title and bill of sale - look at all those options...snow tires and a rear heater! Still get a chuckle from the "Get your hands on this Toyota - you'll never let go" tagline on that bill of sale too.
:lol:


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Wow nice history, looks to be a great family story👍
 
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About a month in, had the frame blasted and ready to start the reversal. Had to do some minor patching at the rear "knee", and had to rebuild the frame tails...plasma cutter was worth its weight for that job. Made some plates and boxed in the rear section as well - while it was serviceable, it had the most loss from surface scale, so it was nice to box it in to stiffen things back up a bit to accommodate. It probably would've been better to find a new frame, but it's not going to see much for hard trail-type use, and it's nice to keep the numbers-matching frame as well.
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Joined
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Another thread catchup - epoxy primer with a chassis-black topcoat on everything. Fresh shocks/springs/shackles - went with an OME 2" lift. Rear brakes are all new, decided to keep the stock drums, and bent up new brake lines front to rear. Still need to redo the front knuckles, but that's been low on my list with this cold snap and an uninsulated garage.


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Joined
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Yet another catchup installment...if only it went this fast in real life. (Although I'm quite happy with my progress thus far, can't complain).

Blew the front seats totally apart...blasted, painted, greased, recovered, and reassembled. Opted to disassembe the rails with a bit of work...had to drill out the front rivet, but was worth it to get them cleaned up. They were pretty gunked up with years of sand, but they roll like new again. Foams weren't too bad, only needed some minor work on the one bottom. Swapped the driver and passenger foams around, should be good for another 45 years.

Still need to repaint the silver backs, but batching that up with the other "pewter" parts as they get prepped.

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Covers were from CCOT. The fit and construction is pretty well done, and they went on pretty nicely. Planning to do the rears this weekend since it's going to be -24 and I can do them in the warm basement.

The gray is pretty close to the original color-wise, but the factory vinyl was a bit more "silver/metallic", so there is a very slight difference to the door cards that are still the original. I'm not sure the average person would notice, but a 40 aficionado likely might. :-D
 
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Another batch of catch-up updates...ended up breaking the horns down to get them cleaned up. Small cap screws with nyloks worked well to replace the drilled out rivets.

If anyone else does this, you'll want to use a guitar-tuner type phone app to know what pitch to reset them to, as they'll lose their tuning when you blow them apart. Lots and lots of fiddling with the tuning screw on the back once reassembled, but they're back to that FJ beep again.

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Joined
Nov 29, 2020
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Stripped the rear wiring harness down for cleaning and repairs - the rear portion past the axle was pretty beat up from the years of service. Switched out the broken factory connector by the axle for an 8-pin Deustch and rebuilt the rear harness from scratch from there, with provisions for trailer lights while I was at it. It was nice to that all rewrapped and tucked away, and everything checked out once installed. I also picked up LEDs for all the exterior lights, which should be nice going forward, too.
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Not much garage work today, but did dabble with the idea of 3D printing a new dome light lens...the old one pretty much disintegrated, but the base on the hardtop is still ok.

Just a quick proof of concept, but seems doable. I didn't want to put too much time into getting it dialed in before testing the light transmission. I'm guessing there's a few other parts that might come handy to print, time will tell.

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Andrew S

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Are you familiar with the "acetone bath" treatment to 3D printed parts? Depending on your filament material, that might help smooth out the print lines and even out the lighting? Great work with the lens!
 
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Indeed - I did a very rough draft print, so there's room to improve it. The infill was low, so there's scaffolding inside the walls that added some variance in the light - version 2 should improve that bit. It does at least gives me confidence that polishing up the model is worth my time...more fun tomorrow.
 
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Wrapped up the dome light while blasting apart the starter on the bench. Final model came out pretty close, and the finer print settings also worked a bit better. For $0.50 instead of $50, it'll work juuuusssst fine. I'll have to upload it to the Thingiverse repository sometime.

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Joined
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Oddly enough, the factory/original horns seem to be unobtainium at this point, at least for what's on the '76...that was surprising to me, given most things are even still available as OEM.

And what fun is that...luckily, winter is a great time to knock out stuff like this, and should make reassembly go pretty quick once it's warm enough to throw body paint on. My basement looks like an FJ parts store, though...at least it's organized, could be worse. :p

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