First Time Buyer - Requesting Advice (1977 FJ40)

Joined
May 4, 2022
Messages
5
Location
Oklahoma
Hi All,

First time poster (and buyer), but long time lurker. I've found a 1977 FJ40 that I'm very interested in, seller is asking $23k. I would plan to have a pre-purchase inspection conducted, but before I engage with the seller further, I wanted to poll the group to see if anyone has any advice, words of caution or other input. I've attached a few photos and description below. The rust I mention below is visible in the interior photo. I greatly appreciate any input.

Thanks,
-NEOK-

***

- Right hand drive
- New tires, 4.2L inline 6, 3 speed trans
- Mileage unknown
- Restoration 3 years ago by an autobody shop
- New carburetor installed and some general mechanical parts replaced (brakes, steering components, etc.). Basic things to make it safe to put a loved one in and operate on a public road.
- Small amount of rust around the roof line; no other rust is visible.

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tlaporte

SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 17, 2003
Messages
1,030
Location
Pasadena, CA
Things I see/note:
  • 1977 with a 3-speed transmission?!?
  • No heater—often indicates Central or South American origin, however, …
  • RHD is usually Australian or Japanese; my guess is possibly sub-Saharan African origin
  • Non-stock steering wheel—does it have power steering added? If so, what is the quality of the conversion?
  • Addition of a pseudo-family style roll cage, welded to the dash?!?!?!
  • Lots of non-OEM components used, suggesting that shortcuts may have been taken in the “restoration”
Where is this truck located and where are you located? To me there is a lot that is undesirable about this truck and $23K feels quite high without any knowledge or details on the origin of the vehicle or the restoration process.

My $0.02
 
Joined
May 4, 2022
Messages
5
Location
Oklahoma
Things I see/note:
  • 1977 with a 3-speed transmission?!?
  • No heater—often indicates Central or South American origin, however, …
  • RHD is usually Australian or Japanese; my guess is possibly sub-Saharan African origin
  • Non-stock steering wheel—does it have power steering added? If so, what is the quality of the conversion?
  • Addition of a pseudo-family style roll cage, welded to the dash?!?!?!
  • Lots of non-OEM components used, suggesting that shortcuts may have been taken in the “restoration”
Where is this truck located and where are you located? To me there is a lot that is undesirable about this truck and $23K feels quite high without any knowledge or details on the origin of the vehicle or the restoration process.

My $0.02
Thomas,

Thanks for your $0.02--greatly appreciated. I've asked the seller for more detail on the non-OEM components and, in particular, a comprehensive list of the "general mechanical parts replaced." Important info and their description was not helpful. I'm also hoping to make contact with the shop that completed the restoration.

The truck is located in TX and I'm located in Oklahoma. Sounds like I may just need to continue my search..

Thanks again,
-NEOK-
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
5,134
Location
Prescott Valley, AZ
Yes I agree with @tlaporte that truck appears to be foreign market as a US ‘77 would have a 4 speed and of course L hand drive, also lots of non original items. Depends on what you are looking for I guess. I would personally steer away from non US 40’s. Now a very original US ‘77 would be quite desirable. USA ‘76-78 were considered the most desirable years by most that know 40’s. I also think price is high for a non USA spec model.
 

M1A1cruiser

SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 17, 2010
Messages
413
Location
Mitchell, OR
@NEOK,
Sounds like you've made the decision to pass on this one already, and I don't mean to pile on but FWIW I reinforce that that truck would not get *my* $23k, for sure.

The 70 series turn signals are a common S. Amer mod (ask me how I know... :confused:), and probably point to welded/bondo'd over holes in the fenders. And if there's rust under the roof cap - at the drip rail - there is rust elsewhere, you just cannot see it due to a "good" bondo job (I mean, MAYBE the restorer has replaced all the metal, but given the state of the dash, I doubt it).

The winch is worth some bucks (assuming it functions as expected), but I'd be wary of all those mods and the rest of it looking too good.

HTH,
Travis.-
 

flx

Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
640
Location
France
I would run away from this FJ40.

I'm not trying to list every single things but quickly:
- Nothing is stock
- Expect a lot of hidden issues
- Why would you want to buy a RHD version of a model widely available in LHD in the US?
- I don't know too well American pricing but for 23k$ I think you can expect something somewhat stock.
 

sterling

SILVER Star
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Messages
795
Location
the Dek GA
I would pass on this one.
Even if you do get a non USA truck , there are better examples out there for 23K.
Look at classifieds here for a more honest truck.

Heck I would pass based on the steering wheel, roll cage, and shift knob alone.
My .02

Cheers
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
5,134
Location
Prescott Valley, AZ
Thanks @tls3601, I appreciate your input. The search continues!
It takes time, in the meantime learn as much as you can here on mud, loads of knowledgeable folks ready to help! Tom
 

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