Help me get a idea of value on this '81. A widow in the family is wanting to sell it. (1 Viewer)

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Mar 21, 2015
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Parker, CO
So this is in possession of my Wife's aunt. Her husband died recently, he was the original owner. I was thinking about floating her an offer and taking this on as a project.
Located in Rural central Idaho
I am an 80 series guy so I don't really know the in's and outs of 40's, I have been reading the FAQ and some threads here, as always MUD is a great resource. I got it started without much drama and drove it around the block, it wasn't running great but I understand it's been sitting for a couple years so the carb is probably gummed up. steering and brakes felt fine, transmission felt good too. The body is pretty much shot. This might as well have been in the north east, they salted the roads in the area and it really ate this thing alive. The tub, fenders, running boards are completely shot. The firewall/cowl looks pretty good but would need a repair at the bottom right behind the wheel wells. The grill, hood, top and doors all seem to be in fine shape. The frame looks good except for the very rear where the braces are that attach the shackles to the frame. Its very complete and original, with some very period mods and lots of character.

I'll be staying up here for a couple days so I can get more photo's and pics if needed.

I was thinking $5k?
specs:
1981
2F 4 speed
144K miles
One Owner
Runs, drives, leaks
No P/S
No AC

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Joined
Jan 17, 2005
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Southern Colorado
I wouldn't swap the engine in that year truck - too valuable as it sits if the 2F is sound.

To me, $5K is fair, given the substantial work needed to bring that truck around. There are folks that might pay $10K for it, but after you consider the tub, fenders, frame work and complete paint, plus interior work, etc., you wouldn't get rich restoring this. In the photo, the rear end is sagging even with extend-o-shackles, so add $2K for an OME suspension kit while you're at it.

I restored a 1980 FJ40 in about that condition (paid about that price, too) and made $5K on the sale, counting my time as free - so I likely broke even, at minimum wage.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Parker, CO
I wouldn't swap the engine in that year truck - too valuable as it sits if the 2F is sound.

To me, $5K is fair, given the substantial work needed to bring that truck around. There are folks that might pay $10K for it, but after you consider the tub, fenders, frame work and complete paint, plus interior work, etc., you wouldn't get rich restoring this. In the photo, the rear end is sagging even with extend-o-shackles, so add $2K for an OME suspension kit while you're at it.

I restored a 1980 FJ40 in about that condition (paid about that price, too) and made $5K on the sale, counting my time as free - so I likely broke even, at minimum wage.
Thanks for the info. If I bought it and put in all that work I would likely keep it, That's why I was thinking swap. I'd rather it be fuel injected and a bit more peppy.
 
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The hard top and doors go for over 3K now days if in decent shape. The body is toast, the frame is toast. Keep the motor and put a EFI kit on it. I’d say 5k is very fair for what I see.
 

Mtntopper

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In my opinion, if you got that for $5k, I would say you did well.
The hard top and doors go for over 3K now days if in decent shape. The body is toast, the frame is toast. Keep the motor and put a EFI kit on it. I’d say 5k is very fair for what I see.
 
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Thanks for all the info guys. I'm still not sure if I want to tackle a project this big right now, but at least I can give the family a estimated value.
 
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You can always 'buy now, restore later'. If you think you EVER wanted an FJ40, this might be the one, given what's out there. I didn't really want my neighbor's FJ62 until I considered how many times you see trucks like this with some history at the right price. I bought the FJ62 and have enjoyed it ever since.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Parker, CO
You can always 'buy now, restore later'. If you think you EVER wanted an FJ40, this might be the one, given what's out there. I didn't really want my neighbor's FJ62 until I considered how many times you see trucks like this with some history at the right price. I bought the FJ62 and have enjoyed it ever since.
If I did go this route, I'd have to do some sort of triage to stop the panels I'd plan on re-using from getting worse. Any ideas on what the best way to do that might be? Wire wheel and primer? I imagine I'd need to do something inside of the doors as well. Maybe pop out the windshield and treat that area too?
 

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