Introduction and Grumpy FJ40 Adventures

MotorSWATCop

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As with all forums, an intro is necessary. I'm Mike from Chelsea, AL and I'm often called Grumpy. I just retired after 30 years in law enforcement and it's time to start enjoying some free time. I'm an adventure motorcycle rider and have traveled near and far for good riding locations. Since I was a kid, I've wanted a Toyota FJ40. I remember reading 4x4 mags and seeing them on their side and being flipped upright and continuing the day. I'm in a position now to acquire one so the search is beginning. I'm not looking for restoration build and I'm not looking for a show truck. I just want a FJ to learn on and to do moderate work on. I'm not the most mechanically gifted person but I can keep things running with a good shop manual. I'm open to suggestions and criticism and I hope this forum is better than some I've been a part of. Getting attacked for asking questions is no fun and helping others is fun. I hope to get to know some of you and wish you all well.
 

pb4ugo

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Welcome. There's an faq's at the top on this section. I think there's a buying guide in there. There's also a good classified section too. There are some good sellers in there. You wont get too flamed around here. If you find something post some pics and we'll pick it apart. Good luck with your search.
 

Michael B

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Welcome Mike! I'm in Huntsville and one of our club members has a decent 1980 FJ40 for sale. You can PM me for his contact info if you are interested.
 
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65swb45

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Welcome. There's an faq's at the top on this section. I think there's a buying guide in there. There's also a good classified section too. There are some good sellers in there. You wont get too flamed around here. If you find something post some pics and we'll pick it apart. Good luck with your search.
/this\
 
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There is a short guy in Mississippi ( Tilda Bogue ) that usually knows where the good ones are and has access to some things the general public may not, worth a call or pm.
PM - Wngrog on this board.
 
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Hi Mike, I hope you find a nice 40. There’s a FJ40 for sale Facebook group but I see a lot of South American ones there so you have to look closely at them. I feel you on the getting attacked for asking questions. Not here, but I was on a air cooled Volkswagen forum, and the gatekeepers there are kinda rude if you aren’t one of their ‘regulars’.
welcome
 

MotorSWATCop

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Thank you for the replies and the likes. I've been feeling out the market and trying to learn the things to look for when I find a suitable prospect. Most seem to be long distance and I have to develop trust which is hard after seeing all the scammers out there. I've already handled one but I'm trying to only deal with trusted sellers and larger dealer/brokers.
 

pb4ugo

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If your going to be spending a significant amount it might be a good idea to visit the 40 after you do a bunch of research on the vehicle. Some folks will close the deal face to face and make memories by driving the vehicle home. You can also see if a member can take a look at the vehicle to confirm its condition. You can ask here or you can use the clubhouse section to find someone local to an area. There's also a bad sellers section in the classified section.
 

MotorSWATCop

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If your going to be spending a significant amount it might be a good idea to visit the 40 after you do a bunch of research on the vehicle. Some folks will close the deal face to face and make memories by driving the vehicle home. You can also see if a member can take a look at the vehicle to confirm its condition. You can ask here or you can use the clubhouse section to find someone local to an area. There's also a bad sellers section in the classified section.
Thanks for the info. I'm looking at one in Bellingham, MA for $27.5 on ebay. Seller has a good history and I've sent him a message for more info and pictures. I'm comfortable at the $30K pricepoint. It's my feeling I can get a decent rig that I can do some minor work to in order to learn. Like I said, I have no skills or experience doing body work or painting.
 

MotorSWATCop

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I'm also VERY interested in things to look out for regarding the FJ's. Common areas to check to rule a vehicle out as a candidate. I know you're generally taking a bit of a risk regarding engines etc... I'm more worried about hidden significant rust. From what I've been reading; it's often covered by Line-X or diamond plate. I also don't want to end up putting my foot through a floorboard...
 

pb4ugo

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You should be able to find a nice 40 with that budget. Don't get blinded by bling. I would try find USA Spec. South American 40s, usually have been beat and their repairs are questionable. They were used hard as trucks and parts are scarce down their. USA spec are generally more refined. If it has fresh paint they should have b4 and after pics. Body and paint is expensive, so a solid tub and less rust is better. Mechanicals are generally a little easier and straight forward to repair. If you buy a 40, you will learn to turn a wrench. Rear sills and 1/4 panels are areas prone to rust. Pull back floor mats. Learn where the body seams are suppose to be. Diamond plate can be an issue. The more complete the better, such as heaters, jump seats, dash knobs and switches etc and external hardware. Continue looking at build and repair threads, mechanical and body in this section. You'll learn a lot and see how folks approach repairs.
 

MotorSWATCop

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You should be able to find a nice 40 with that budget. Don't get blinded by bling. I would try find USA Spec. South American 40s, usually have been beat and their repairs are questionable. They were used hard as trucks and parts are scarce down their. USA spec are generally more refined. If it has fresh paint they should have b4 and after pics. Body and paint is expensive, so a solid tub and less rust is better. Mechanicals are generally a little easier and straight forward to repair. If you buy a 40, you will learn to turn a wrench. Rear sills and 1/4 panels are areas prone to rust. Pull back floor mats. Learn where the body seams are suppose to be. Diamond plate can be an issue. The more complete the better, such as heaters, jump seats, dash knobs and switches etc and external hardware. Continue looking at build and repair threads, mechanical and body in this section. You'll learn a lot and see how folks approach repairs.
How can you tell USA spec vs. South American?
 

EWheeler

4 Cruisers, No Garage !
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NO! No dashpad or heater are dead giveaways this is a South American rig. Forget this one and move on unless you hate your hard earned money. Shiny paint likely covering covering inches of bondo.

Here are two trucks worth pursuing:


 

EWheeler

4 Cruisers, No Garage !
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Thanks for the info. I'm looking at one in Bellingham, MA for $27.5 on ebay. Seller has a good history and I've sent him a message for more info and pictures. I'm comfortable at the $30K pricepoint. It's my feeling I can get a decent rig that I can do some minor work to in order to learn. Like I said, I have no skills or experience doing body work or painting.
Buy a truck with original paint or at least one that that shows all the flaws, not one that has had all the flaws masked by new paint and new bedliner on the interior. One variable you can control pretty easily as far as after purchase costs goes is cost of body work. Buy a truck you're happy with that needs none in order for you to enjoy for many years! There is nothing wrong with a little rust on an original old cruiser. It can be treated and controlled, or small patch panels can be installed without significant costs. Dont buy a truck that someone else has spent money on making look “good” and masked over the rust issues, again, unless you hate your hard earned money. Your’re paying for value that doesn't exist, buying yourself future heartache and costs.
 
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Skreddy

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I agree with everything that’s been said. If you’re already retired, you likely have the time to fly out and see whatever you may purchase so don’t limit yourself to o e area of the country. A $30k budget should get you a great shape cruiser. I would think $25k will get you a great shape cruiser with enough left over to fly out and see it, then have it shipped home or spend a week or 2 on a cross country adventure driving (or trailering) it home.
I agree with staying away from the South American trucks.
What do you want to do with one? Drive strictly pavement? Attach a hitch hauler and take it to trailheads with the adventure bike? Serious off-roading? How important are disc brakes, bucket seats, 4 speed, etc? That will help narrow down the year range. I personally like the early 70’s because they feel more “utility” with no door panels and a bench seat, but the newer ones are a little more comfortable.
That got long, sorry. If you find one in NW WA, I’ll put eyes on it if you need. Good luck.
 

Skreddy

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Also: NO ON THE EBAY ONE!!!!! Says 1974 but has a floor e brake and newer square bezel. Among what else EWheeler pointed out.

Either of the 2 he posted in reply would be good candidates.
 
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As with all forums, an intro is necessary. I'm Mike from Chelsea, AL and I'm often called Grumpy. I just retired after 30 years in law enforcement and it's time to start enjoying some free time. I'm an adventure motorcycle rider and have traveled near and far for good riding locations. Since I was a kid, I've wanted a Toyota FJ40. I remember reading 4x4 mags and seeing them on their side and being flipped upright and continuing the day. I'm in a position now to acquire one so the search is beginning. I'm not looking for restoration build and I'm not looking for a show truck. I just want a FJ to learn on and to do moderate work on. I'm not the most mechanically gifted person but I can keep things running with a good shop manual. I'm open to suggestions and criticism and I hope this forum is better than some I've been a part of. Getting attacked for asking questions is no fun and helping others is fun. I hope to get to know some of you and wish you all well.
What do you want to do with a fj40 besides tinker on it? Just get a burger in town here n their? Use it on trails and going offroad with big tires? Classifieds on here has a few really decent cruisers at very reasonable prices.
 

Shark56

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If I were you I would check out the classifieds on here.
Even post a wanted ad.
There are some good ones on there.
What ever you do. If you buy outside of this forum, post up some pics here before committing to anything.
The market is getting flooded with junk.
These folks will point out any flaws instantly as you have seen above.
 

MotorSWATCop

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Chelsea, AL
What do you want to do with a fj40 besides tinker on it? Just get a burger in town here n their? Use it on trails and going offroad with big tires? Classifieds on here has a few really decent cruisers at very reasonable prices.
I will be using it to keep miles down on my F-250 and putter around in the Talladega NF on forest service roads. I don't plan to test it in Moab or anything like that. It's just for fun and to check off a bucket list item. I really appreciate the responses and have learned a lot already. Grassy ass...
 

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