Frame Off Restoration Steps (1 Viewer)

Joined
Nov 15, 2019
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15
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Arlington, TX
This is a newb question. We purchased a 73 FJ40 for a restoration project with my 13-year-old son, my dad and myself. This is going to be my son's first vehicle and we have a couple of years to work on it.

We are planning a frame-off restoration. This is going to be a great learning experience for us all as well as something we can do together.

Does anyone have a frame-off restoration steps procedure for an FJ40 or ideas as to how to proceed? I don't want to recreate the wheel. I have searched for a step procedure for a frame-off and found some resources but they are all for hot-rods.

Sorry for the newb nature of this question.

Colby
 

JohnnyC

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Restoration is a very subjective term... therefore every "restoration" is different

It is best If you tell us what you are planning to do (of think your going to do) and maybe we can point you in the right direction to a 'build' thread that will help you in your restoration
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2006
Messages
773
Location
Fort Worth, TX
Not sure if this is what your looking for-super condensed version:
  1. Take it apart-label and take thousands of pictureS
  2. Remove paint and assess rust (Surprise!!)
  3. Coat panels in epoxy to prevent additional rust
  4. Replace rusted panels
  5. Paint and body work
  6. Assess condition of remaining parts, restore as needed
  7. Restore hardware or source from overland metric
  8. Repair wiring or replace
  9. Reassemble
  10. go
This process has taken me way more than a few years, but there are lots of folks that do it better than me. It’s fun, enjoy.
 

JohnnyC

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this will help you:
 
Joined
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Seattle
I think the best you can do is to spend some time reading through a few of the full build threads on this forum. There are tons of them, which start from a rust bucket and end with a beautiful 40. It will take some time to read through the threads, but I can't think of a better way to educate yourself.

Good luck. Go into it eyes wide open. It takes years to do if you're doing it all yourself and you can only work on it on the weekends and an occasional week night. It will also cost a lot more than you think it will.

Just keep reasonable expectations and remember it's a marathon. Break it down into small steps, and try not to think about how much more work you have in front of you, or it can get demoralizing. Focus on getting each sub task done, and allow yourself to feel a sense of achievement and progress each time you complete a sub-task. It's all progress, even when you might think it feels like you're going backwards.

Good luck!!!!!
 
Joined
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Richmond, VA
Go to the bank and put 40k into a seperate fund that you can use for the 40. Replenish as needed!

Like others have said, figure out what you want to do, make a budget, double it and get started. Figure out how much work you are going to do yourself and what are you going to pay someone $100 per hour to do...
 

Jdc1

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If I were to do another frame off(big emphasis on if), I’d get it mechanically baselined, running, driving, stopping and then restore the chassis and drivetrain while the body is at the paint shop. Budget double the money and triple the time. I am going to have to detail some of the things on mine like brake rotors because our build has taken so long.
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2012
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North of Tulsa
I would consider myself a novice compared to many on this board but I would add a few thoughts:
-You might think about checking the frame geometry, prior to commitment, to confirm it's not badly tweaked.
-Develop a comprehensive plan but don't be afraid to revise it.
-Soak every threaded body fastener in penetrating fluid...over and over before ever thinking about removal. (I like ZEP products myself).

PS - I'm jealous! I lost my dad when I was 6. Now I'm 60. I would have loved a three generation project like yours!
 

RWBeringer4x4

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Step 0.1 - post pictures so we know what you’re dealing with. Everyone is going to have a very different approach to a frame-off restoration, and a very different interpretation of what restoration means.

In general, what @brian says is a good point - unless you bought it disassembled and in boxes, start out by making sure it runs, drives, and stops (then double check that it stops). Then, spend some time with the family driving it - run errands, short trips, etc.

The reasoning here is twofold:

1. The weakest links will begin to break, and you’ll know where to focus your efforts.

2. You’ll be familiar with how they feel, what you like, don’t like, etc. and it will help you develop an idea of what modifications or changes you might want to make throughout the course of the rebuild.

Of course, if you do this you may wind up in the boat I did - I had so much fun driving it I stopped fixing it!

I personally don’t have the patience to do a true, nut-and-bolt, frame off restoration. I pick bite-size projects I can tackle over a few weekends and have it back on the road so I can keep enjoying it. I’ve seen way too many trucks torn completely down and put in boxes only to have people get overwhelmed by what they’ve done and leave it to sit for a few years before selling it.

As I said - many different ways to attack a “restoration” - whatever you decide that means!

As a word of encouragement - before I got my 40, all I’d ever done on a vehicle was change the oil. Now I can weld, I’ve swapped an engine, rebuilt a transfer case, built and tuned a carburetor, etc. it’s a great learning experience made even more fun if you’ve got folks just as passionate and willing to help out.
 
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thecrazygreek

Lost Shaker of salt...
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After building 8 40's over the past 14 years I agree with the above points regarding testing / repairing / driving before anything else.

A few details to consider as you move into the great unknown... :)

Be sure to change / add fluids to appropriate levels.
  • Radiator
  • Engine
  • If you’re planning on moving the vehicle
    • Front and rear differentials
    • Transmission
    • Transfer case
Inspect:
  • Battery
  • Starter
  • Carb
  • Dizzy
  • Check for turnover / compression
  • Temp fuel system
  • Check fuel flow / leaks
  • Check for spark
  • FIRE IT UP!!!
  • Listen for disturbing noises
If it runs, and you can get it idling okay, you can then move onto other systems.

If you want to move it, you need “go and slow”.

Inspect running gear
  • Brake and clutch fluids
    • Leaks?
  • Brake and clutch test
  • Drive-line
  • Transmission
    • Leaks / noise?
  • Transfer Case
    • Leaks / noise?
Drive it only if confident in braking system, and only for a very short distance in a safe place away from any traffic. (drive way works for me)

Based on all of the items listed above, and the quality of their condition, you will build a list of requirements and options.

Fix each mechanical system until you have a running and driving vehicle you are confident in driving 100 miles.

THEN BEGIN the break down / beatification process.
 

middlecalf

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Not sure if I saw it posted yet but make sure you have a realistic budget for this. And include consumables for the restoration, that can amount to many hundreds of dollars itself.
 

FixedIt

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Worth emphasizing again. Label everything. Sandwich baggies, clear bins with lids (stackable is nice) of various sizes. Those suitcase type containers are super for little nuts, bolts, washers that are meant to stick together.
 

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