FJ55 Newbie trying to understand the spectrum of rust available for purchase. (1 Viewer)

Joined
Dec 4, 2016
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Port Orchard, Washington
Hi Everyone,

I've got a wanted ad in the classifieds looking for an FJ55. Been at it for a month or two now. I've seen many types of rust in various places, but would like your feedback on what awaits me. These photos are from a single example. Your responses will help me understand what's ahead as I find and begin a full restoration. Please throw out any comments that strike your fancy. I appreciate whatever info or gotchas you want to throw my way.

1. Passenger side underbody facing out toward the rocker. Is the blacker peeling stuff some sort of underbody coating they put on these at the factory? I've seen that on several different vehicles.
F31rrtP.jpg


2. Passenger side looking back toward the rear of the rocker.
MYYuglw.jpg


3. From driver's side looking back. Notice anything worth noting?
IHbHe37.jpg


4. Drivers side.
CwjHF7f.jpg


5. Right rear top.
fhcEpYa.jpg


6. This one seems to worry me.
sSIDCB5.jpg
 
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SKULLYOTA

Always needs a nap
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That's actually not bad....i'm working with as bad or worse on mine. BobM has retired from the patch panel business, the only commercially available option is Rare Spares in Australia. They only sell the lower front fender panels and the lower rear quarters though.

If that's the cruiser i'm thinking of, it had a lot of good mechanical parts on board.
 

John Smith

In the garage
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That truck has a LOT of rust that will need to be dealt with. If you don't have the time or the will, don't even consider the purchase. The rockers on that truck are toast. Not only the lower, but the uppers also. I'm sure the lower front fenders are bad, along with the rear wheel wells, and the front body mounts and floor panels. The roof may not be terrible based on the pictures. There was a guy making FJ55 patch panels, but he retired, and no one has taken up the cause. So, if you decide to take on this project, you will either need to know, or learn how to make all your own patch panels. And unlike FJ40 panels, FJ55s have lots of curves. There was no factory coating, they started rusting on the boat over. The peeling is either PO installed or dealer installed coating.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
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5,556
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Southern Colorado
What you're showing isn't too bad - but how about the front fenders, lower rear quarters, A pillars, and outsides of the rockers?

All that crappy tar-based sound-deadener junk should be peeled off to see how much more rust is underneath. For an FJ55, what you show looks pretty good, but there's a lot more to bee seen. Always be sure the frame has no hidden surprises, as that adds to the agony.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Messages
230
Location
So Cal
Not too far gone. Typical rusted areas. Don't let the project overwhelm you. I like to take one small area at a time and concentrate on it then move on, unless you're doing a complete restoration. The gutter, for example, isn't bad. I power wire brushed mine down to bare metal, and then used 3M seam sealer to seal the seams in the gutter where the metal overlaps followed by primer paint. As a quick "fix" to slow the rusting on other areas I use Rustoleum Rust Reformer right over the rusted parts. That buys me some time until it can be fixed properly.
 

SKULLYOTA

Always needs a nap
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Mar 13, 2009
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Middle of Oregon
#6 you're going to have to cut the section out, fabricate a new piece, and weld it in. Probably have to invest in some sheetmetal tools (english wheel, roller, shrinker, etc.) It's not impossible, and it will be easy if you have some way to take the body off and have it on a rotisserie:

img_1191-jpg.725560



Or,

Fiberglass cloth, bondo, spraypaint, go wheelin. :hillbilly:
 
Joined
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Messages
253
Location
Port Orchard, Washington
#6 you're going to have to cut the section out, fabricate a new piece, and weld it in. Probably have to invest in some sheetmetal tools (english wheel, roller, shrinker, etc.) It's not impossible, and it will be easy if you have some way to take the body off and have it on a rotisserie:

Or,

Fiberglass cloth, bondo, spraypaint, go wheelin. :hillbilly:

The FJ55 I finally settle on will definitely receive a full frame off. You hit on exactly what I'm trying to figure out - how far down the sheet metal rabbit hole do I really want to go? I've already started taking welding classes. And I've looked into a DIY rotisserie setup. I'm an analyst and project manager by trade so I'm trying to prep myself and my shop.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
402
Location
Maple ridge bc
I would rather start with one that hasn't been already patched bondoed up painted etc
You can see what you have without exploratory surgery
That really dosnt look bad
Don't get carried away buying a bunch of expensive
Metal working equipment
Most patch pieces can be made with a sand bag and hammers ,longer pieces it's easier and cheaper to make a pattern and get someone to bend the pieces on a brake
Research hammer forming a simple way of making complex shapes like those inner door jamb pieces
You can even do the ribs in floor panels with this method
Don't take the truck entirely apart I like to have the body on the frame and the doors still on it while fixing floors rockers door jambs it helps to be able to constantly check your fit while repairing or replacing panels good luck
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
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Fj55s have tons of inner channeling that get rust inside. So don't be afraid to cut a whole panel off, repair hidden rust, and weld panel back on or install replacement panel or repaired panel.
 

scrapdaddy

Standing on the corner
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Amigo,

Welcome to the club, you've bitten off a lot to chew, restoring a 55. Keeping one running and fix as you go along is one thing, but total restoration with the body off will take years to finish. Let's not even talk about the money ( I get the shakes ). I tell everybody to get their florist on speed dial, because your wife/girlfriend will be neglected while you stumble around mumbling about nonexistent parts. :)

Come on down to the 55 forum, it has a lot of good reading.....FJ55 Iron Pig Preservation Society
 

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