Just getting started, Need advice

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate
links, including eBay, Amazon, Skimlinks, and others.

Sep 15, 2003
Just bought a 1969 TLC fj40 and my first goal was to take everything off. I am down to just raising the tub and Cowl. I cant get the steering wheel shaft off. Is there a way to go about this?

After that I plan to clean up the frame, (no rust) and start my rebuild from there. Isuses to continue on will be brakes, suspension, steering etc. but for now I just need to get this thing off the frame.

I also got a 4" leaf spring lift I believe they are Rancho's and need some advice on purchasing shocks, shackles and bushings.

Stock floor shift models you have to remove the bolt completely under the rag joint. Then it should slide off the splines.
Column shift I haven't taken apart, but I do have a couple I could experiment with if I had to. It looks like they were unbolted with the box attached. Then the steering wheel was removed, then the column was removed with the box attached.
Sags are usually like the floor shift with a rag joint and a bolt that sits in a groove.
I unbolted the 4 bolts that hold the box and tried to remove the arm that connects to the box for the steering rod, but it will not pull off, and I broke my puller trying. I took the bolt off the shaft bottom and it still wont move. Maybe I will just take some pictures and show what I am talking about considering I am not up to all the proper names of the components.

[quote author=MTNMANMATT link=board=1;threadid=5295;start=msg41493#msg41493 date=1063661931]
I unbolted the 4 bolts that hold the box and tried to remove the arm that connects to the box for the steering rod, but it will not pull off, and I broke my puller trying. I took the bolt off the shaft bottom and it still wont move. Maybe I will just take some pictures and show what I am talking about considering I am not up to all the proper names of the components.


The pittman arm sticks out of the steering gear box. It is on there very tight. You will need a pittman arm puller to get it off.
What type of shifter do you have?
No shifter! I bought the LC with now engine. It does have a bell housing for a Chevy 350 and adapter plate, as well as the original transfer case. I plan to put in a Chevy 350 engine, and so I am not sure if I answered your question. Your right about the pittman arm, I broke my universal puller. Is this the thing I need to pull off to get the body off the frame? I plan also to put in a power steering system, and Disc brakes. All part of the first phase. Then after the frame and engine is done I plan to buy an alluminum tub and Cowl or what ever it is called and build from that direction. My body doesn't have that much rust on it, but more than I want to deal with. Do you know which company out there sells the best alluminum tubs/cowls?

Lets stay focused here matt.... :D
Get us some pictures of the steering column/box as the method of removal varies depending on which one you have.
Does it still have the turn switch hooked up, you need to remove the switch mechanism under the dash to move the column. There is a slide column that goes over the steering shaft. the steering shaft is connected dirrectly into the steering box. If you are considering replacing/exchanging to power steering cut the shaft as close to the box and pull out. To me, if I know I'm not going to reuse, I'll hack and cut just to get stuff out of my way.
It has the hole in the floor for floor shifter. I did take off the bolts holding the column to the dash but not the ring holding the turn signal mech. Based on what your saying I should remove that and it should allow me to take off the tube over the shaft. Will the shaft slide out after that or do I still need to remove the pitman arm? I always believe it is a good idea not to destroy pieces when taking them off, I could always sell the parts or use them later so cutting is not my first option. I still need to get some pics but I have now some direction to get this thing off, I think.

what is a rag joint? I took a bolt out at the base of the shaft that had a spacer washer that fit in the crack of the shafter tube. This thing that has the bolt in it slides around the tube and I have no idea what it is for. I am going to try to remove the turn signal piece tonight and see if I can pull the shaft out of the steering box.

The models that had floor shift stock had a rag joint int he steering shaft between the box and the firewall, and there is a bolt right beneath the rag joint that when loosed, allows you to seperate the column from the box, then you just undo the 3 bolts holding the plate to the firewall and the two bolts right under the dash and the whole column comes right on out easy as pie. Sounds like your cruiser may be a conglomeration of parts, lets see a pic so we can get specific.
:D To get the steering box off (in a 1969, no rag joint) I took apart the drag ling to the pitman arm, and that worked just fine. Now all the body parts are in a storage unit and I am ready for the next stage.

My first thought is to gunk clean the frame and analyze my direction:

Considering all I have sitting in my garage is a frame, the frame questions are first.
I plan to put in 3 new bars on the back, (no rust but I like the idea of clean new metal where I can. I cant think of anything else I would need to do to the frame so I guess I need to make some decisions about brakes and axles.

I have been reading about the disc brake conversion and feel that this is probably a good place to start. Should I replace my axles with a mini-truck axle or stay with what I have?

(note: I plan to use my 69' fj40 for work (90% and 10% playing in the mountains of Colorado, I am not into serious 4wheeling but just trails and what not. I plan to replace the tub and cowl with alluminum. Engine is still unknown, since I bought the fj without an engine in it)

I am thinking of installing a crate chevy 350 turnkey and I am not sure where to find a good one and what build out to install, ie. HP.

Lots of work ahead, but that is why I am doing this. For the fun of it.

I hear that doing the front disc conversion is not a big deal, especally if you hunt around and find all the parts. i know that spector has a kit for it, but it is like 700 dollars. Cruiser solutions makes a good aluminum tub i am told, http://www.cruisersolutions.com/index.htm and they seem to know about all the concerns with electrolysis and such.
I just read a few things about brakes, and plan to order the brake conversion system for the rear to start. Do I need to consider changing the rear Diff for any reason? As for kits there seems to be a couple companies making conversion kits, so does anyone know which one is the best system?

Considering I don't have an engine, I am supposing that staying with a Chevy 350 engine is the right way to go, but what impacts does that have to the rest of the drive train? I did recieve a bell housing and plate for the conversion to 350 when I bought the FJ. I don't plan to put an engine in till I have the drive train done. Lockers are a open question, and based on some reading It might be a good Idea to just change out the front axle with a mini truck axle with everything I could posible want in a front drive train.

Things I figure I will do next is: Rear brakes, Steering rod bushings, shocks, etc.

Since you are dealing with a '69 I thought that you might find some pixs that I threw together of my '67 usefull.
Good luck,

Disc brake kits are a waste of money (for the front). Read the minitruck conversions on the tech page. Get yourself a Minitruck axle and swap all the goodies over. Or you do the same from a '76+ cruiser, or just thow the whole axle under there. Someone mentioned that they have rear disk brake kits for sale for what IIRC was a good price. It would be nice if they would throw their offering and contact info back up, cause I'm interested too. Read the end of this thread and check out the Front Range FF rear end conversion.;action=display;threadid=5348;start=msg42276#msg42276
Are you sticking with stock springs? If not, wait to buy shocks until you know what your doin, and many lifts come with new shocks anyway.
By 90% work, I will assume that this means road driving. If thats the case ARB's are probably the locker you want. Pricey but well worth in IMHO. If you're not running anything serious then a front locker might not be necessary at first. If I were in your shoes, I would be spending my time and money getting the engine and transmission I wanted first.
bailey is right. Look at where you are now. You need a drivetrain. I would get a good 2f and 4 spd, mate it to a 3 spd TC and go. Not worth the money for a 350 and all the assorted crap unless you are building a major trail truck. 90% of the TLCs out there are just fine with a F series. Disk in front are great, almost essential unless you want to mess with them (drums), disk in back is a luxury that can easily be added on later. Spend your money on things to get it on the road. Get it on the road nice but there is no need to do everything possible to it. I have tried that and it is still a frame!
If it's already setup for a 350 then it would be a lot of work to go back. I have a 350 in mine and love it. I could never go back to the I-6. I may disagree with Dave about which engine to run but he's right about working towards getting it on the road. Power steering and disc brakes are the best improvements you can make to a landcruiser. You'll get more "bang for the buck". A friend of mine is building the "ultimate four-by". He's been a passenger for three years now and hasn't even got the body on it yet. We tease him and call it the "ultimate joke". If he would just put it together he could be wheeling it every weekend instead of hitching a ride with one of us.

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom