Fergytoy's 1977 FJ40 frame off resto. (1 Viewer)

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Jun 25, 2013
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Grand Junction, CO
Here I go again. Since finishing up my 1978 frame off resto this past Spring, I have been wanting to take on another project. Been on the lookout for a 1976 or newer FJ40 for another frame off restoration this winter. I like the 78's the best but I figured a 76-78 would be in my preferred range.
Found a 1977 on Craigslist in Denver that I had my eye on for the past month or so. Had to go to Denver on business last weekend and I had made arrangements to check it out. I liked what I saw and we agreed on a price. The wife and I drove down yesterday and trailered it back home.
This thread will document the restoration of this 40. Not sure what I am gonna do with it after I am done, the wife has mentioned several times she may want to keep it and make it her own. If not, then I may sell it or give it to my youngest son if he becomes interested in it.
 
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As you can see, the PO went a bit heavy on the diamond plating. I asked him if it was to cover up the rust and he said it was more for appearance. I also asked him about the hardtop and ambi doors. He kind of shuffled his feet and said he was too embarassed to tell me. He then said he dumped the hardtop and ambi doors at the landfill when he put the softop on years ago. He said he did not realize the value of the hardtop and doors and regrets what he did.
You can also see the aluminum ski rack bolted to the passenger side of the tub. He said he was the 2nd owner and had bought it in 1989 from the 1st owner. He stated he had the engine rebuilt in 1990 locally in Denver. He also put on a Weber carb and electric fuel pump because it started quicker that way. It still has the rear floor heater and OEM seatbelts, seats and most everything else. Radio hole appears to be uncut and all the rust is typical. Some rusted areas are worse than what my '78 had and some spots were way better.
My plans are another full frame off restoration. All rusted steel panels will be cut out, tub sandblasted and then all new steel panels welded in. Frame fully sandblasted as well. Everything rust proofed inside and out and put back together like new. Planning on staying with the original paint which is Sky Blue. The PO had it painted gray after he bought it in 1989 and then green a few years after that. But, back to the color it rolled off the assembly line is my plan.
 
Joined
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As you can see, the tailgate is the 3/4 plywood variety. The PO also had mounted an old school Sears Craftsman toolbox through the drivers side wheel well. It was bolted thru with 3 bolts. When you would open the toolbox lid, the tools would spill out! Weird!
I was kind of thinking I would move a bit slower on this resto. but here I am on the following day after I brought it home and I am tearing into it!!!
Just had to get rid of all the diamond plate!
 
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Loving the air horns but they had to go. Also, took notice of the interesting chain on the oil fill cap. I guess it minimizes losing it someplace. The engine was also partially desmogged but still had the smog pump and air injection rail mounted. The PO lived in the Denver metro area and had to have it Smog Inspected annually. He then re-registered sometime along the way in the mountains(different county) where he had a cabin and also where that particular county does not have Smog Inspections. The pump was a replacement/rebuild and it turned freely. I finished desmogging it and will pick up some plugs to replace the injection rail fittings. Also have to check my spare parts shelves for a 2F carb to rebuild and put on.
 
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Here are the plugs I sourced at NAPA (in stock). I had checked True Value and they do not carry them. I also stripped out all the PO accessory wiring from years past for aftermarket light switches, speakers and the aftermarket radio. While taking out the radio, I found a 5 or 6 inch speaker wrapped in cardboard stuffed inside the dash between the radio and the glovebox. It was pointing upward into the bottom of the dashpad area. Not too sure how well it worked. I never turned it on since bringing it home. Also found a FM radio reception booster mounted to the firewall above the passenger floorboard. I took notice of the "uncut" radio hole!
Took the time to clean the Weber air cleaner and also cleaned the carburetor. It was fairly clean already. I also adjusted the idle down a bit. I did find an intake/exhaust manifold bolt that had fallen out and reinserted it as well and tightened all the others. No apparent leaks found.
 
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Joined
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Apologies for no progress on this thread. Been care-giving for my wife Michele for the past 1 1/2 years due to her lung cancer. It has progressed to stage 4 and I have spending nearly all my time taking care of her as the disease progresses.
 

elkaholic

Left turn ...freakin wipers!
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Apologies for no progress on this thread. Been care-giving for my wife Michele for the past 1 1/2 years due to her lung cancer. It has progressed to stage 4 and I have spending nearly all my time taking care of her as the disease progresses.

Sorry to hear about the progression. My step father went through the same disease and I surely feel for you and your wife ....

Sent from across the country by an admirer of your work .....
 
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Apologies for no progress on this thread. Been care-giving for my wife Michele for the past 1 1/2 years due to her lung cancer. It has progressed to stage 4 and I have spending nearly all my time taking care of her as the disease progresses.

No apologies necesary. You have your priorities set correctly. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Michele as you go through this dificult period. Please keep us updated with your status. We want to hear from you. Hope to see you at Cruise Moab again in the spring but if you can't make it we will all understand.
 
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John:
So sorry to belatedly hear about this. You've been exceedingly generous with your time, shop etc. during this time. Now take care of Michele and yourself.
Jim
 
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My beautiful wife Michele passed away on February 4 this year in my arms at Hopewest Hospice here in Grand Junction. She fought a long and difficult battle with cancer.
She was my constant companion on many 4wheeling/camping adventures through out Colorado and Utah. She has left a void in my life that I can never fill. I will continue to get out on the trail and enjoy all that God has given us while reflecting on the many memories she shared in my life.
 
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Grand Junction, CO
Well, I guess its time to turn some attention back to working on this FJ40. My youngest son, Brett, has been anxious to get to work on it as he will be legally driving later this year and has visions of getting this done and out on the road. I suppose I may give it to him when we are done with it. Here are a few pics of more disassembly. 1977 FJ40 restoration 091.jpg 1977 FJ40 restoration 057.jpg 1977 FJ40 restoration 084.jpg

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1977 FJ40 restoration 129.jpg 1977 FJ40 restoration 104.jpg 1977 FJ40 restoration 126.jpg My friend Rick has been coming over to help a lot in the disassembly and has been enjoying himself. Good to have some extra help on the project.
 
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Once the frame was stripped bare, I took it to my Sandblaster who turned it around very quickly. Picked it up today and brought it home. Gonna do a shackle reversal on it. Waiting on it to be delivered so I can weld it onto the frame and then proceed with painting the frame. I also used the time to strip both axles and clean them thoroughly as they will both be painted.
 
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Painted both axles with Rustoleum oil based primer and satin paint. All axle components were also taken apart, cleaned and painted. I ran a tap/die over every hole/stud to make sure all threads were good to go. Everything looks good. Ordered a new front axle seal kit with Marlin's Eco inner axle seals.

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Just today I received new tub quarter panels and outside exterior rocker panels. As you can see in the pics, the tub needs some rusted panel "intervention." I am waiting on the rear sill and driver's floor panel also.
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