Full rebuild - Order of operations for reconstruction (1 Viewer)

Apr 13, 2020
Denver CO
Hey guys,

I have been working on a frame off restoration of my US 1977 FJ40 for the better part of 18 months. I have finished all the body work and just finished rebuilding the engine. So now I have to put EVERYTHING back together. For storage constraints I had to put the tub back on the frame. while i painted all the other parts. I would like to get some opinions on the order of operations for the next step.

Currently i am thinking about doing the final rebuild in the following order
- Install brake cables & wiring to rear wheels and lights
- run wiring harness into tub, install buttons, gauges, then pedals
- fuel lines and fuel tank
- install steering wheel, tie rod steering etc.
- bolt all the stuff to firewall that can be connected run hoses that go against firewall
- drop in engine and trans. then connect hoses and wires to engine.
- all the other stuff in engine bay

A couple of other options. I could take the Tub off and put it on a stand in the other side of the garage. so that i could put in engine and drive shafts and all that then put tub back on frame and do the wiring. and finishing. I am curious if there are any things i should be worried about. i am trying to avoid the "o well i guess i have to take that off now" when i get to the next step. broadly speaking what is the trade off between ease of dropping in the engine vs. wiring and installing everything first. for background i have a ~ 2+ car garage technically 3 but with work bench and tools and stuff 2 cars worth of open space. Looking for high level opinions on best way to stage the install of each system.

Thank you all for advice.

FJ40 1977. US model, 2F engine, OEM 4speed trans.


MUD Addict (Ret.)
Dec 17, 2007
Taylor, AZ
Hi. Read your note some time ago, but just now found it again.

IMO, you should do as much as possible with the tub off. I recommend even installing frame mounted brake lines, fuel lines, and electrical harness where you can with the tub off. That way you have nearly complete access to the various connectors and pieces, which can make reinstallation much easier. I found it far more convenient and much quicker when doing the initial resto of the Blue Mule while posted to Malawi (Blue Mule resto in Malawi - https://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/blue-mule-resto-in-malawi.196705/). The order you install each system is also much more flexible if you can work without the tub mounted, IMO.

Good luck. I'll be following your thread.


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