First FJ40 Buy Advice

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Joined
Feb 18, 2023
Messages
15
Location
Omaha
Howdy, first post! I’m mostly looking for advice. I’m interested in buying my first FJ40. It’ll be in the mid $20K range. As far as I can tell, it’s a 1976 model (late 75 production) US spec model given that the VIN on the frame, door, and engine match the vin decoder I’ve seen here.

I would’ve preferred an FJ40 that had never been repainted and had not been sprayed with bed liner underneath, but after almost 50 years it’s hard to find something like that without breaking the bank. Nothing seemed concerning on the frame as far as I could tell.

The odometer has rolled over and at one point wasn’t working, but the current owner replaced it and is now functional. The engine sounded fine and the gears shifted without concern. My only concern was an oil leak but the owner messaged me after my test drive to say he took it into the shop. Apparently, there was a plug in a venting tube that caused pressure in the valve cover and thus, oil to leak. They now rectified it and now there is no leak. The owner said I’m welcome to take it to a mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection.

The current owner doesn’t have much history on the vehicle, other that he bought it in Minneapolis from a gentleman that was restoring several FJ40s.

I’m looking for an FJ40 that I can enjoy driving often. I’m not looking for a totally original museum piece, just an opportunity to enjoy the fun spirit of the early Land Cruiser. The first FJ40 I buy will probably be the only one I buy.

What do y’all think? Is there something I’m missing or not considering? Thanks for your advice!

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I just noticed that the pcv is on the rear end of the side cover … so it is there

You would need a hose from valve cover to an elbow off the weber air cleaner base

So then the system would work correctly

Do check the compression anyway … that will tell you condition of the engine
So say the compression is above 130psi? Should that be good for the price point? Or in your experience will I save on a lot of heartache if I just pass it over for another option considering the new paint and liner?
 
It depends … are you wanting to bring it back at some point to more original? Then this may not be the one

If your looking for a fun truck to drive around and is not that big of a hit to the wallet this may be the one

You’ll need to look it over a bit further

When doing compression check keep the throttle open and choke open

See quote below from engine guru:
Matt, you're doing it right. No need to start another thread on compression testing.

For the record, compression test should be done with choke open (knob pushed all the way in) and throttle open (pedal to the floor).
Crank engine until gage stops climbing, usually 7 hits.
The compression number doesn't count for much since chicomm HF gages are calibrated for sh!t. The important thing is that the numbers are fairly even across all cylinders.
 
It depends … are you wanting to bring it back at some point to more original? Then this may not be the one

If your looking for a fun truck to drive around and is not that big of a hit to the wallet this may be the one

You’ll need to look it over a bit further

When doing compression check keep the throttle open and choke open

See quote below from engine guru:
Thank you very much for taking the time to look at my post and answer my questions. It really means a lot. Seriously. I also appreciate you pointing me in the right direction for resources. There’s definitely a lot more I need to read this weekend. Thanks again! Folks here on ih8mud are awesome
 
Thank you very much for taking the time to look at my post and answer my questions. It really means a lot. Seriously. I also appreciate you pointing me in the right direction for resources. There’s definitely a lot more I need to read this weekend. Thanks again! Folks here on ih8mud are awesome
These are the areas most prone to rust and places to look out for

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IMOP
For that amount of money I would expect a more honest or original truck.
A semi original truck with some work needed in the 15 ish plus range is better in the long run to me.
The color is a deal breaker, far from original.That could affect resale value down the road if you sell.
Be patient the right one will come along.
That being said its your money do whatever you want.
 
I wouldn't be worried about the condition of the engine. That back job on the rear sill is a deal killer from the start. Runner gear are much easier to replace that a hacked up tub. I see the upper bolts for the spare tire carrier are but not the bottom. Rear the spare tire carrier isn't there because scratching the paint is BS. My guess the that corner been patched and wouldn't support the weight of a spare. That just a piece of boxed or possibly C channel in the middle. Not a complete rear sill. The OEM sill runs all the way across the back and slightly up the side. This is what support the spare as well as the hard top and wheel wells. Nice shinny new paint could be hiding anything. If you new to the FJ40 this one would be a "run Forest run" cruiser. I would find someone local who knows cruisers look it over before even thinking about buying it.
 
I try not to comment on price. I figure that's between the buyer and seller. Everybody sees value differently.
Looking at the pics of the inner rear fender wells, it appears angle iron has been added for more support. I would look at those areas more closely. I suspect there's been more repairs in the area than it shows. The rear sill repairs maybe part of that too. The lower holes for the spare tire carrier are missing. I think that's more evidence theres been a lot of repairs in the 1/4s along with probably a lot of bondo.
 
I try not to comment on price. I figure that's between the buyer and seller. Everybody sees value differently.
Looking at the pics of the inner rear fender wells, it appears angle iron has been added for more support. I would look at those areas more closely. I suspect there's been more repairs in th bee area than it shows. The rear sill repairs maybe part of that too. The lower holes for the spare tire carrier are missing. I think that's more evidence theres been a lot of repairs in the 1/4s along with probably a lot of bondo.


The shinny paint and questionable rear sill highlights why a new to the 40 series should at the least have a experienced person put eyes on it and give an opinion. Also what plays into is how long has the hunt been on. If you have looked at thirty cruisers will have a better idea on what the value is. May find out the first one may have been the best one you let go. But in most cases you avoid buying a money pit your weren't expecting.
 
I know it’s hard to pass up a truck that “looks” good, but I’d keep looking. Here’s what worries me,
1. The current owner has had it for a short time and doesn’t know much about it.
2. The repaint. Could hide a ton of problems.
3. The color. Non original for a 40, or ANY vehicle. For a reason….

It sounds like you were looking for a more original, honest 40. Keep searching. Be patient. The classifieds here are a good place to find a decent truck but you might have to travel or have it shipped.
Good luck!
 
I am nooo expert, and I am about 20 months ahead of you in the experience bucket with FJ40's and about 35 minutes from Omaha - I can be a second set of eyes and point out what I see - And I have a compression tester too if you want to borrow one (I think you can rent on from O'Rielly too) -

There are a few 40 owners in Papio too - that might be able to chime in - Anyway willing to help if I can.
 
IMOP
For that amount of money I would expect a more honest or original truck.
A semi original truck with some work needed in the 15 ish plus range is better in the long run to me.
The color is a deal breaker, far from original.That could affect resale value down the road if you sell.
Be patient the right one will come along.
That being said its your money do whatever you want.
I appreciate the encouragement. I
IMOP
For that amount of money I would expect a more honest or original truck.
A semi original truck with some work needed in the 15 ish plus range is better in the long run to me.
The color is a deal breaker, far from original.That could affect resale value down the road if you sell.
Be patient the right one will come along.
That being said its your money do whatever you want.
I appreciate the encouragement. I just need to remind myself to be patient for what I want.
 
The shinny paint and questionable rear sill highlights why a new to the 40 series should at the least have a experienced person put eyes on it and give an opinion. Also what plays into is how long has the hunt been on. If you have looked at thirty cruisers will have a better idea on what the value is. May find out the first one may have been the best one you let go. But in most cases you avoid buying a money pit your weren't expecting.
I completely agree and I never thought about that until this experience. I’ve been saving up money for the past 3 years, reading forums, and doing research, but to finally see one in person was really cool, perhaps even a bit of rose-tinted glasses haha. I’m definitely encouraged to check out some more FJ40s and find folks who can help along the way. Thanks!
 
Ab
I know it’s hard to pass up a truck that “looks” good, but I’d keep looking. Here’s what worries me,
1. The current owner has had it for a short time and doesn’t know much about it.
2. The repaint. Could hide a ton of problems.
3. The color. Non original for a 40, or ANY vehicle. For a reason….

It sounds like you were looking for a more original, honest 40. Keep searching. Be patient. The classifieds here are a good place to find a decent truck but you might have to travel or have it shipped.
Good luck!
Absolutely. The thing that attracts me the most to the FJ40 is it’s reputation of reliability and dependability. I’ll definitely keep a critical eye out on the classified section
 
I am nooo expert, and I am about 20 months ahead of you in the experience bucket with FJ40's and about 35 minutes from Omaha - I can be a second set of eyes and point out what I see - And I have a compression tester too if you want to borrow one (I think you can rent on from O'Rielly too) -

There are a few 40 owners in Papio too - that might be able to chime in - Anyway willing to help if I can.
That’s very kind of you. I appreciate it. It’s good to know I can rent one from O’Reillys. I’ll shoot you a PM. I’d love to take you out for coffee to pick your brain or simply get good recommendations for reading. Anything helps.
 

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