Intro & 1964 FJ40 4.3TBI/SM420 RestoMod Build (1 Viewer)

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May 20, 2016
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Bothell, WA
at some point are you going to upgrade the brake system?

looking good !!

Yes for sure! I will start getting parts to go to the dual circuit master cylinder. I want to get some time in behind the wheel before I decide whether or not I want to go to front discs or power brakes. Obviously those are nice things to have but this also is not a wheeling truck or a daily driver. With a lighter motor and no hard top, I have a bit less weight to stop also. And I say this as someone who drives a WRX as a daily driver with really good brakes, so I understand the difference hah!
 
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Couple firewall pics. I have to go through and paint the pedals and other black things at somepoint. They weren't done yet.

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May 20, 2016
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Bothell, WA
Figured I should add pics of my seat upgrade to update the build thread. First welding project in over 10 years! Seat is a PRP GT SE RZR rear seat, 52" wide, just right for a front bench seat. The mounting holes are offset which made mounting a little trickier, but I got it worked out. Bough a Bestop seat slider for a Jeep and extended the pull to be full width. WOrks perfect, love it! :)

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I have been driving it around for about the last week and a half. The radiator upgrade is working perfect, sits right at 195 almost constant. Seat is working out great.

I am seeing the short falls of the sm420: loud, noisy, LOUD, gear ratios not ideal...

Also it has become apparent I need to upgrade my o2 sensor to a heated unit, the 1 wire stock one takes way too long to warm up (headers) and idle is erratic and low until it does. Also want to get a vss and hook that up for good measure and look into having a chip burned for my ecm as mine came out of an AT s-10 blazer. I notice if I get the revs up to around 3k it sounds pretty wound out and I am not sure if thats the t-case and tranny whines or not having a proper tune. A 4.3l should rev a bit higher than that without an issue.

All in all it has been a blast to finally drive. Not breaking any speed records on the freeway thats for sure haha.
 
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Jun 5, 2007
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Michael, FWIW, when we were developing the TBI conversion for the stock 6 cylinder Landcruiser engine, the Engineers at the Federal Testing Lab at AAA discovered that an automatic transmission chip worked better in the Landcruiser than a stick shift chip, don't ask me why because I didn't ask them why. Tney may have told me at the time, but my mind was 20 years younger then.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Michael, FWIW, when we were developing the TBI conversion for the stock 6 cylinder Landcruiser engine, the Engineers at the Federal Testing Lab at AAA discovered that an automatic transmission chip worked better in the Landcruiser than a stick shift chip, don't ask me why because I didn't ask them why. Tney may have told me at the time, but my mind was 20 years younger then.
That's good to know! I guess I'll wait until I've changed the o2 sensor (parts come tomorrow) and add vss and see how she does. I'd rather spend the money elsewhere, like upgrading the single circuit brake master.
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2006
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Kingman, AZ
I am seeing the short falls of the sm420: loud, noisy, LOUD, gear ratios not ideal...
Before I put in the NV4500, I had an aluminum case Muncie 4-speed w/Hurst shifter. Talk about smooooth! Not great for off road but it was the next best thing to an auto on the street.
 
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Received my heated 3 wire o2 sensor and wiring harness today as well as the o-rings to fix my leak at the speedo output. Also ordered a new speedo cable for future use. Interesting that the AC Delco o2 sensor is made in Japan!

Installed the heated o2 sensor, didn't seem to make the difference I thought it would. It is a better option for this setup so Im ok with the upgrade. Did check the gas spray pattern at the fuel injectors and they are not spraying a fine mist like they should, some drops of gas from the center of the injector. So need to look into cleaning, rebuilding or replacing those. I am sure they are quite old so replacement is not out of the question for good measure. Will check fuel pressure tomorrow.

Replacing the o-rings in the speedo gear was super simple, I bought two sets so I'll have a spare set on hand. Spector sells the parts individually, so pretty inexpensive.

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Very easy to change the injector bulbs, many listed on ebay, "rebuilts" the best price. Wouldn't hurt to grab a throttle body rebuild kit, they are dirt simple to rebuild.
 
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Very easy to change the injector bulbs, many listed on ebay, "rebuilts" the best price. Wouldn't hurt to grab a throttle body rebuild kit, they are dirt simple to rebuild.
This is the route I'm going, except via Amazon. It doesn't run terrible now but I'm interested to see what improvement, if any, I get with new injectors and a rebuild :)

On another note I ordered the VSS from JTR and just need to source a cable extension for the install - those extension cables are a small fortune! After that I need to go through and figure out why my ALDL port is not working.

Its funny how the seller thought he was giving this truck away and that it was basically done except needing some nuts and bolts LOL I've been around the block and knew better! I am also glad there is plenty for me to work out so I can feel like I had a part in this project :)
 
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May 20, 2016
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Bothell, WA
Over the past weeks I put in new fuel injectors as well as cleaning and regasketing the throttle body. That was about $150 and in reality it looked like the only issue with the old injectors was the o-rings - however, it looked all orginal so for the money and a couple hours I am happy to have gone though and freshened things up.

She ran fine for the next week and then started running really rough at start-up, reminded me of a carb motor with manual choke on a cold start day. Checked for vacuum leaks, could not find anything. Started looking at the rest of the ignition components - cap and rotor had a lot of corrossion and the pick-up and reluctor assembly was rusted fairly well. Also noticed a lot of up and down play on the distributor shaft which I read is common over time. So I put in an entirely new complete distributor which is fairly inexpensive for a 4.3l Chev motor. Reset timing, still didn't help. Aso changed the ignition coil and spark plugs. Plug wires look very new and are in good shape with no cracks or burns, but I will order a set of new wires for good measure. Plugs showed that it is running rich. Plugs were consistent across all cylinders with no one cylinder looking worse than another or fouled. I only just replaced the o2 sensor with a heated one and am waiting on JTR for a vss. Hopefully those will help. I am unable to scan the computer for codes, the aldl is not working currently, so have to look into that more. I discovered the problem goes away after 30 seconds or so and it only happens maybe 1 in 10 times when starting. Does not recur while driving or anything like that. Everything I replaced needed replacing or was original with who knows how many miles on them. Everything runs better overall so I am happy with the 300-350 investment and a days worth of time I've spent on it.

Only other issue that seems odd to me is that it just doesn't seem like she wants to rev above 3000rpms. Its not that she runs out or loses power, but just sounds like this is as much as you want to rev it or something is going to explode into a lot of little pieces lol. I don't have a lot to compare to, maybe this is more typical with older all gear trannys and transfer cases.

I've been pretty happy driving around and enjoying the summer weather with her. Still no really hot weather here, but the radiator upgrade keeps things at 190-200 constant without any issues :)
 
Joined
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Well at this point why don't you just drop in a tbi 5.7 motor? It would be a easy upgrade. As far as your running issues, you need to be able to read live data from the aldl, get that fixed first. Once thats done check your map sensor, they go bad. Also make sure your tps is reading zero percent when at idle. If you have a android device look into aldl droid for live data.
 

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