FJ40's restoration companies experience

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My son is currently exploring the option of buying a FJ40 from one of the various complete restoration companies operating in the USA.
It's not my business to get too far into his personal business but as any father I am concerned about him getting in way to far over his head.
My extremely limited knowledge of such companies is not very deep. My only knowledge is from one guy who used a company from Texas.... was promised a completely rebuilt landcrusier in 6 months after he signed the contract ... turns out he waited over three years for the finished product, spent extra money to finance the thing and said it was the worst experience of his life... the truck was nice but not worth the price or the hassle he endured for over 3 years. I guess the contract was no worth the paper it was printed on. ( i don't want to name the company in public because I don't want to slander or say something which I have no direct knowledge of the truth)
I checked out the webpage as well as a few others... boy they all are slick and flawless .. the promise the best and most advanced techniques utilized in record time.
I don't want to see my son get involved in a mess and regret it.
Does anyone have any knowledge of or experience with really professional and skillful restoration companies. If he wants to do this, I guess I would like him to do his research and although nobody is perfect, at least he knows what to look for with a good restoration company.
They all look great.... but do any have time honored just good reputations for cruiser restorations? Any things to be wary of when looking at a specific shop?
thank you and any opinions will be appreciated.
 
i had a company in canada do an engine swap for me. it was a very reputable landcruiser shop and overall i was pleased with the result but it took way longer and way more money than anticipated and the job was still only “mostly” done. i still had to sort out a few issues and i still haven’t fix some. out of the three vehicles i’ve taken in for work ALL take longer than expected and ALL are more expensive than expected. i can’t speak to specific landcruiser companies but i’ve learned that to be a universal truth to any restoration project. as long as you go in with your eyes open there will be bumps along the way but you’ll likely end up with a product you love. make sure if you are willing to pay a premium dollar you take it to a place that does preumium landcruiser work. these are kind of unique vehicles and it’s nice to have some one who understands their idiosyncrasies
 
i had a company in canada do an engine swap for me. it was a very reputable landcruiser shop and overall i was pleased with the result but it took way longer and way more money than anticipated and the job was still only “mostly” done. i still had to sort out a few issues and i still haven’t fix some. out of the three vehicles i’ve taken in for work ALL take longer than expected and ALL are more expensive than expected. i can’t speak to specific landcruiser companies but i’ve learned that to be a universal truth to any restoration project. as long as you go in with your eyes open there will be bumps along the way but you’ll likely end up with a product you love. make sure if you are willing to pay a premium dollar you take it to a place that does preumium landcruiser work. these are kind of unique vehicles and it’s nice to have some one who understands their idiosyncrasies
franklin40,
Excellent advice... I agree 100%> i am going to copy your post and send it to my son. It just makes great sense!
 
I can't answer your question directly, but If I had the money to spend with one of these companies, I would be looking for a completed vehicle instead. Then I can be absolutely sure of what I'm getting.
 
I can't answer your question directly, but If I had the money to spend with one of these companies, I would be looking for a completed vehicle instead. Then I can be absolutely sure of what I'm getting.
That is an excellent point. There must be a HUGE market out there for these vehicles...THere are so many companies doing this sort of work!
 
That is an excellent point. There must be a HUGE market out there for these vehicles...THere are so many companies doing this sort of work!

I am in the middle of a pretty extensive build on a ‘72. New paint is great but the original survivors are the definition of awesome. If I were in the market, I’d have @overton source a clean, original paint late model 40, or buy a completed build that has been done correctly by a mudder like @MScruiser .
 
Because the word restoration has been so abused in the last decade I’ll be the one to ask: does your son want a concors restoration even if it means 3on the tree, bench seats, drum brakes, unbalanced F engine, P-metric radials winding out 3k at 60mph, yada yada? Or perhaps he wants something newer, some clean upgrades that fall under the resto-mod category?

There are a lot of shades of grey’, and grey can sometimes take more time and money to produce, which doubles the irony of the lower resale value, but adds greatly to the satisfaction of the OP.
 
Buy one already built that is what he wants. Spend 30-40k if you have to. A restoration will cost you upwards of twice that and will take years if done properly by most shops. I have re-done and just finished a 77 period correct FJ40. It always takes longer and cost more than you expect. Best bet is find one already done, have someone that knows them look at it to see if it was done right, if so, buy it and enjoy it. Lots of "put together rigs out there"
 
Having been through several experiences with Land Cruisers I would offer the following advice. Decide what your budget is. Figure out what you want to do with it. Do you want a capable trail rig you can go anywhere and not worry about a few bangs, do you want a driver you can take to cars and coffee, ice cream and the local pub and enjoy others enjoying its' presence, do you want a concours level exact restoration that would win a show for period correctness and be kept as original as possible, or a resto-mod which has all the best upgrades that make it a really sweet experience to drive. Once you decide what you are going to do with it your search will be refined to looking for that particular type of vehicle. This forum is a great resource if you can tell us what you want and what you are looking to spend. I recommend buying what you are looking for rather than trying to pay someone to create it. Most projects I have encountered that are built to spec cost twice the money and three times the time predicted.
 
I am NOT anywhere near any restomod build , I am a purist, museum type person. I will say this link will take you to a professional outfit with very little gripe. The cost is there as well.


 
I am NOT anywhere near any restomod build , I am a purist, museum type person. I will say this link will take you to a professional outfit with very little gripe. The cost is there as well.


Really? I thought they only sourced South American models and only did restomods? I’m not saying they don’t do nice work; just depends on your definition of a restoration.
 
I see you are from Massachusetts. I'm on Cape Cod. One company in the Northeast that you might come across is Cruiser Solutions in New Hampshire. I have not had any dealings with them directly but there are a few negative reviews here on MUD.
 
I see you are from Massachusetts. I'm on Cape Cod. One company in the Northeast that you might come across is Cruiser Solutions in New Hampshire. I have not had any dealings with them directly but there are a few negative reviews here on MUD.
Im am here in NH and not far from these guys. While I dont know much about their history or why they may have negative reviews, I can say that I have been in there several times to look for parts. I have always been treated well by them even though I wasnt there to have them work on my truck. The quality and attention to detail on the trucks they did have going in the shop was very high. What I saw being done there was quite impressive and Im sure it came with a suitable price tag to match. I wouldnt let a few negative reviews on parts sales sway me from doing some investigation into doing business with them if they can provide what you are looking for.
 
Im am here in NH and not far from these guys. While I dont know much about their history or why they may have negative reviews, I can say that I have been in there several times to look for parts. I have always been treated well by them even though I wasnt there to have them work on my truck. The quality and attention to detail on the trucks they did have going in the shop was very high. What I saw being done there was quite impressive and Im sure it came with a suitable price tag to match. I wouldnt let a few negative reviews on parts sales sway me from doing some investigation into doing business with them if they can provide what you are looking for.

Thanks for that feedback. As you know, trying to find shops that work on FJ40's here in the Northeast is a challenge. I do all my own basic work but would definitely have to go to a shop for major upgrades like power steering and disc brakes. I'll put them on my list for consideration when that times comes.
 
I second all the advice to buy one already complete... my experience was the worst between 3 different experts that all were trying to screw me. Finally got it done right and done local.
 
I Also agree about buying a completed vehicle providing one can be found in his desired condition. Speaking from someone who is mid resto, we are $$$$$ deep and would have been ahead of the game to just get something already built. Not to mention no one ever gets back what they put into a vechicle build/restoration project , so you can come out on ahead often. How many trucks do you see advertised for sale for 2/3 or less of the cost of their documented build? Happens all the time.
 
Really? I thought they only sourced South American models and only did restomods? I’m not saying they don’t do nice work; just depends on your definition of a restoration.

It is true they mainly use imports, but, on their FAQ they will use your own if so desired. What they do is really modernize vs. museum restoration.
 
I don't want to badmouth anyone, but if I had the money to buy an FJco truck I would buy an Icon or look at least a half dozen other places first. Everyone has their own thing.
My philosophy is that if it's not 100% concourse original, then it's a resto-mod. Not all resto-mods are created equally. A close inspection of some of the photos of trucks with $150k+ price tags has me scratching my head.
Resto mod?! More like RUSTO-mod (Dad jokes for life).

I wonder instead what Jeremiah Proffitt could do with $150k or what trucks from Elite Land Cruisers (which seem more concourse oriented) cost. Also the whole buy one that is done thing so you know what you are getting is a little counter to my thinking. How many cruiser heads will tell you to NEVER buy a South American truck based on surprises people found months after buying one when the painted-over rust popped back up.

The things I've done to my truck, right or wrong, I know how they are done. As far as avoiding potential hassles of dealing with a frustrating resto company, the previous responses have a point. I carefully budgeted for the final push to redo my truck (the spreadsheet was insane). 6 months later, I am at around $5k over budget with a few hundred misc outstanding and might be done this weekend (Memorial day for the win).

If it is done right, it will be worth waiting for. I've spent 2 days on things I expected to take a couple of hours. If your son can't be very patient, he should buy a truck that is done. OR... I would suggest he buy one that needs some love and roll up his sleeves. I had very little mechanical/automotive influences in my life, so this has been my school. I know every inch of my truck now. I know exactly where her blemishes are and I love her even more because I know about them. You will never love a car you buy, like one you build.

That is my 2¢ for free.
 
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