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

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Looks like more blocksanding tomorrow. 😭

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Lots of block sanding today, but got the hardtop sides, bib, and hood done. The hood dent leveled out nicely...that compound curve in a highly visible spot was a bit of a bugger. We still don't know what happened...our suspicion is that there was an "oops" at the body shop back in '88 when it was getting painted gray during the first set of restorations. My hunch is that the hood was leaned up against the wall, and it got backed into at the shop...the dent is right at that height, and it was enough to bend the inner hood support that runs down the rib. One of life's mysteries...interesting to find all the hidden "stories" when you do a resto, though.

Paint is all PPG, bottom to top - full materials list is below. Not cheap, but when you're this far in, what's a few more pennies into the abyss. From what I know, OEM was an etch primer, a red or gray primer, then single-stage enamel topcoat, but I went with a "modern" materials with the epoxy and the base/clear. *Technically* the entire rig was Cygnus White - body, bezel, top - but I'm going to try a whiter-white for the bezel and top to give a bit of the iconic FJ40 two-tone look. Worst case, those two parts are easy to repaint.

The epoxy primer is not the most fun to work with, but it should make up for it in durability down the road...

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Kerby J

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Great choice on going with PPG as that is some of the best paint in the industry. While your paint choice is not original, I think you will be very satisfied with the base/clear choice in the end. Did you change out your gun tip size to a larger one to shoot the epoxy primer?
 
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I did - the comment was more in general vs the shooting, but I'm working from the garage/shop vs having a dedicated paintbooth (I've got good filtered airflow through the shop at least). Due to the shop size, I have to work in smaller batch sizes as well.

It's some sticky stuff compared to the rest of the stack (except maybe the clear), with a longer mix time, slower dry time, and a bit harder to cleanup in the shop after. It'll all get done, though.
 
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This was the mystery dent that I found after sandblasting the hood - I added it to my photobook stash, but never posted it here. The hood spine got dinged as well as the lower section. The body guy in '88 at least did a good job hiding his oops, we never knew it was under there. 🙃

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ZTD, great progress! Would you share more about your through-bumper hitch receiver? I've been wanting to do the same, and yours is a perfect example. Was that a kit, or built from scratch?
Thanks!

Andrew
 
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It's scratch built from a weld-in receiver and some scrap steel leftover from fixing an aircraft tug. The rear bumper isn't the OEM Toyota, but was replaced with heavy tapered C-channel back in the 90's when the original rusted away, so that gives me a bit of extra structure from stock to work with as it's quite a bit thicker. I actually think it was from Bethlehem Steel.

I just plasma cut out the square in the bumper, then welded in the receiver flush vs proud - I know I'll need to reach under to work the pin, but that's easy enough to do for the amount of trailer duty it'll see...I'd rather deal with that than have the receiver sticking out all the time. From there I welded some tabs on to the receiver to let me bolt in some outriggers, both to stiffen the receiver as well as the bumper (similar to stock). I don't recall what I used to box the rear frame, but it was fairly thick as well, thicker than the OEM frame steel.

It should be sturdy enough, but it won't see too much heavy use - it was more for things like those hitch carry racks and the occasional light trailer...I've got the Cummins Ram to pull anything substantial. We used to have a ball mount welded directly to the bumper, you can see it in the photos in post #1. It got well-used through the years pulling stumps and plows, so the bumper itself can take it. 😆

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First batch of base and clear...always takes longer than you think. 🙃

Base went on really nice, but my lighting isn't quite up to par in the shop so I did get a few sags here and there in the clearcoat, and a few spots of orangepeel. Lighting is really key when shooting clear...will try to see about another setup for the next batch. It'll all get a wetsand and polish, which'll tidy up the clear, but always nice to get a good surface out of the gun. Filter/fan setup worked well, no stray trash in the paint for a garage-job, so that's a win. Bodywork all laid out nicely under the paint as well, so pretty happy there as well.

Curious to see how I'm doing on supplies after I knock out the rest of the doors and the front fenders - my hunch is that I'll be ok on base, but I'll need to pick up some more clear.

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Progress...not perfect, but the hardtop sides and hood buffed out pretty decently so far. Just a bit left to go, but ran out of compound and steam (and storms rolling in). It's interesting to see the factory color again in nice shape - I pretty much remember it only in the gray paint growing up. It's a very non-white, white...but the base does match the OEM paint that was left on the front doors/inners well. 😆

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Much much better this time...found my snafu from round 1. Rechecked things from top to bottom to see what I could find...the gun has it's own dedicated pressure gauge, but it apparently got tired and wasn't returning to 0 anymore. Soooooo, when I'd dial in the gun for the "right" pressure at the cap, it'd be low by about 5 PSI as the gauge was reading high...and hence, the extra orangepeel and sags in that first batch.

Picked up a new gauge tonight, but ran a batch through earlier and just compensated for the discrepancy, and got a nice factory-esque very light orangepeel like you'd want...much much better. I'm guessing it was off for a bit, but I hadn't noticed as I'd been shooting primer and surfacer - and there were a few variables this time around since my last paintwork last summer - new compressor, different brand of paint, etc.

They'll still need a bit of cut and polish, but should be much less work than the last batch, thankfully...and should have things dialed in for the tub/firewall.

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Spiffy...those small parts are more time consuming than one would think. And there's a lot of them! They all should have plenty of time to cure before assembly, which will be good. Blew apart the rear hinges as well, and picked up the threaded scooter axles to use for pins...it's nice to paint them apart, and they were due for new bushings anyway.

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