Help! 1964 FJ40 Southern Cal (1 Viewer)

Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
25
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
I recently (2 years ago) inherited a 1964 FJ40 that is a Chevy 283 conversion. My knowledge on cars is very limited and am hoping this site can provide me with some feedback as to what is the most important to be maintained so that I may use it as a weekend vehicle. This vehicle has been a dream truck for me since I was very young, so even though I know squat about maintaining cars, selling it is out of the question.

The good: this truck has no rust from what I can see and is garaged kept. It has a cheap Maaco paint job but it serves its purpose for protecting the body from rust. It starts up on first key turn every time and has very minimal oil leakage. I have driven the truck for long periods of time without it overheating (add temp gauge has been installed).

The bad: the engine compartment itself doesn't smoke, but the fumes and exhaust that emanate from the tailpipes indicate that there is something wrong. The clutch seems like its going to need to be replaced, the electronic wiring is a mess and gas tubing (from the tank to the gas cap) has a small leak.

If anyone has any information on what I should have done first to get this truck into a safe, working order...I would love feedback. And if anyone needs more information on what I described above, please ask me questions! I live in the Southern California area and am currently looking for possible machine shops able to do a quality rebuild on the chevy engine (1960's also, I presume). And for one final question, how much does it usually cost to have an engine of this era completely (and correctly) rebuilt? I have included a pic of the truck below.....thanks!
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Dusty 66

Ball & Claw Club
Joined
Jan 25, 2006
Messages
1,515
Location
Nevada
Welcome Since you are in So Cal Do your self a big favor Run down this Guy and get an honest evaluation. ;)

Marks Off Road Home Page

He is a very Busy one man operation call ahead and make an appointment he will get you pointed in the right direction.

Marks OFF Road

437 N. MOSS ST.
BURBANK, CA 91502
CALL US: (818) 953-9230
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
13,861
Location
NorCal
 
 
x3 on Mark's Off Road.

Unless you're really in love with that particular 283, I'd look for a good used 350 and save yourself some money.
 

StaleAle

MUD-aholic
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Mar 16, 2009
Messages
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Location
McLean, VA
 
 
The bad: ...the electronic wiring is a mess and gas tubing (from the tank to the gas cap) has a small leak.
QUOTE]

Yikes! :eek::eek::eek: That's a bad combination.

1st priority is buy a good Class B & C fire extinguisher and keep it on or near the truck at all times. Try to avoid :smokin: in the immediate vicinity.

2nd - Find and stop the leak in the fuel system. Look beyond just the vent tube. Those fumes are going straight into the cockpit and huffing that stuff does funny things to your brain. You should also probably look very closely at the tank as well because it might have pin holes that are contributing to the situation.

3rd - Sounds like it isn't safe to drive right now, so find a way to get it to Mark's Off Road and consider paying for a full on top to bottom, side to side, front to back inspection. Check out his website for more information about service he provides. He can help you with what needs to be done and recommend priorities based on your goals for using the truck.

Welcome to MUD and have fun.
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2007
Messages
1,302
Location
Central Cal.
 
Yes, very nice looking.

For your safety concerns; get the gas leak fixed first! Then I'd look at putting disc brakes on the front and a roll cage so you can put in shoulder belts. Thats just my opinion.

What makes you think the clutch is going out? Stock tranny? It may just be out of adjustment.

Mark will be able to help you with that and with the exhaust issue/smell.

Whats that across the front of the bumper?
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
25
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
Stale- Thanks for the comments...I always keep the extinguisher in the truck but you're right, it probably isn't safe to drive regardless. I will take your advice and get the full inspection.

Splib- After driving it for about 20 minutes or so, the gears will start grinding at stop signs/lights even in neutral and without foot on the clutch. It's sporadic so I'm not sure how big of an issue it is right now. As for the bumper, I believe it was a bumper that was fabricated by the previous owner...or possibly his child's high-school metal shop class haha. For now, it fits its form and function and will be replaced after these other issues are corrected. Thanks for the concern with the fumes/exhaust!
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
25
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
Thanks for the info on the website...glad to see a club out here so close! I live in Santa Barbara so I probably won't be able to make the one on the third, but definitely will be able to come to one in the near future. Thanks for the heads up.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2007
Messages
4,251
Location
Montreal
 
Hey...welcome to mud...decent looking rig!

Before you get overwhelmed with everyone telling you what to do, you need to make clear what YOU want. Are your plans to keep this rig a stocker for some cool/light weekend trails, or are your plans leaning towards lifting it, bigger tires, and such for some more hardcore rock crawling and stuff?

If it were me, I would ask Mark if he has an old Toyota F135 engine to drop back in, so that it can be all stock again...but again...that depends on what you want to do with it :beer:
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
25
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
I made an appointment with Mark to do a full inspection on the vehicle later in April. Very reasonable price! Thanks to everyone for the info.

Dean- I plan on doing whatever work that needs to be done to make the truck safe and reliable to keep as a weekend driver. At this point, I don't have the $ to restore to stock. But its definitely only going to be used for light play...no rock crawling in the near future!
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
602
Location
Hedgesville, WV
 
Looking good! Don't let the gas tank scare you!! Once you find out where its leaking, they are quite easy to pull and epoxy with a gas tank kit, or just replace all of your aged filler neck/vent hoses....I second or third the notion to always keep your extinguisher handy, and don't do much driving until you get everything evaluated! but once you know everything you need, jump on the forums you are a short search away from all the know how you need to get any of the issues resolved at home and for low $$$$$. Nice ride, have fun.... and man I wish I was in SoCal right now, I was there back in Oct and loved it...my heater can't keep up right now!!
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2010
Messages
35
Location
Fort Worth Texas
I had a leaky gas tank in my 40. Only noticed it while I had it out for inspection. Only seeped around the seams. Only seemed to notice it when driving(fuel sloshing around). Local radiator shop reflowed all the seams with solder. Got it back and its like brand new and no more gas smells. Nice rig.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2007
Messages
4,251
Location
Montreal
 
I made an appointment with Mark to do a full inspection on the vehicle later in April. Very reasonable price! Thanks to everyone for the info.

Dean- I plan on doing whatever work that needs to be done to make the truck safe and reliable to keep as a weekend driver. At this point, I don't have the $ to restore to stock. But its definitely only going to be used for light play...no rock crawling in the near future!
Here are some more pics...one on its recent trip to Santa Barbara and one from a year ago on a mountain pass road in Fort Collins, CO!!
Sounds like a plan...Mark will know what you'll need to make it safe, and a joy to drive...just keep the pics coming :cheers:
 

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