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Looking For An FJ40

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by Martian, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. Martian

    Martian

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    I'm thinking about taking the plunge and restoring an FJ40! I've wanted one for about a decade, but have never had the money and space to do it. Now I have a two-car garage and a decent job. Hoping to do a full frame off restoration. My intended use is four-wheeling around the mountains here in Washington state on the weekends, getting to the trailheads for hiking and fishing, and occasionally getting me to work and back.

    I'll keep the body and interior pretty much stock, but will definitely go for four-wheel disc brakes, power steering, and a small lift. Not sure whether I'll do a motor swap; the extra HP would be nice.

    So I need something that's straight and that doesn't have a bunch of mods already done to it. I found a 1968 FJ40 for $2400. It's straight, runs (rough), and is all original. It's never had any work done on it, so there's a lot that needs to be done. Does that seem like a reasonable price to you guys? Where should I be looking to find a cruiser to restore? What's the price range for this sort of rig?
     
  2. FF LC FREAK

    FF LC FREAK

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    To get a better response, we need more info. Pics are a HUGE bonus. $2400 sounds a little high if it runs rough. Besides, what does "runs rough" really mean? There are always some on craigslist. Keep an eye out and you should be able to find something to your liking. How much work can you do, and/or want to do to fix it up?

    Where at in Washington are you? There are several cruiser clubs around.

    Good luck!
     
  3. F-junker

    F-junker

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    Important -- good frame, decent body, and remember all the little stuff will nickel and dime you to death, sometimes your better off spending a little more at the start for a nicer wagon then starting with a basketcase and replacing everything. just my opinion for what its worth, as I bought that basketcase!
     
  4. awp_cruiser

    awp_cruiser

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    Howdy Martian.

    I am in Seattle. Nice to see another Washingtonian on the board.

    Pics would be great. $2600 is in the range of a decent deal out here. Most have been chopped up to some degree or another so a stock clean runner is probably fair. If you are going to do a resto, check for rust. This often is a huge problem and create more than a lot of extra work. Check the fenders, tub, and rear sill closely for symptoms. A little bondo and paint can really sneak some stuff by.

    Running rough can be a blessing or curse. Some of these old rigs are rough because they just sit there and misc crap goes bad, the rigs run crappy and people would rather sell it of cheap than tinker. Those can often be an easy fix. But major mechanicals can be very expensive, especially in a F motor. So take a close look or listen and decide if the rough is on the inside, or the outside of the motor.

    There are a few other quirks about the '68 breed that you should know about. (these are relative to other LC years). Other will correct me if I am wrong, but here are a few...
    -The three speed tranny is "in the tree" and I think the first gear is non-syncronous which sucks driving in traffic. There are options out there to swap to a floor shifter or newer trannys are easy enough to find.
    -I think 69 still had the ball and claw birfs? Be mindful with these if you are going to much bigger than stock tires if you are going to do much wheeling.
    - 69's have coarse spline - everything. Most newer stuff is fine spline so it really limits the sources for parts as well as the general strength of the part.
    -You already know about the drum brakes. They REALLY are a pain in the ass.

    Good luck with the shopping.

    awp
     
  5. Martian

    Martian

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    Good points. I don't have any pics of this one. Rough means he could start it, but couldn't keep it running. It sounds like a fuel starvation problem to me, either a plugged filter or bad pump. It sounds good when it starts, but then dies.

    Here are some currently on craigslist that don't look too butchered:

    http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/car/199687313.html (could probably get the red one separate for under $2k)

    http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/car/199027728.html

    http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/car/198028111.html

    http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/car/198372270.html (no idea about price on this one.)

    http://portland.craigslist.org/clc/pts/196517825.html (right rig in lower right pic is a 69 that they're asking $2500 for; doesn't drive so it'll have to be trailered.)

    I'm pretty good with the mechanical side of things from years of being poor and owning junkers to keep them going. I can do engine rebuilds, wiring, etc. I'm not so experienced with welding, body work, and fabrication though I'm open to trying it out (maybe even taking some classes) and have a friend who's pretty good with that stuff. So basically I'm ok with doing as much work as I need to.

    I'm in Seattle.
     
  6. Josie'sLandCruiser

    Josie'sLandCruiser Stop calling it a "FJ."

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    Hi All:

    Andy makes some excellant points. Of course, I'm in the same TLC Club so I agree with him! :grinpimp:

    Any one of those "Craigslist" rigs you posted have merit, yet most if not all have also potential issues.

    My opinion about *any* 40/45/55 Series rig is frame and body condition. A tired engine or worn-out tranny can be replaced with a good used or re-built unit; the frames and especially the bodies are a finite source.

    You mentioned two potential uses of the rig: "restoration," and "trail running." IMHO those are two entirely different applications. :grinpimp:

    True "resto' rigs can at best only be driven on Forest Service Roads or on mild trails; harder trails have the very real potentail of messing-up your nice resto paint job and bodywork!

    My FJ40 is a home re-build with with a "rattle-can" paint job on purpose; it is a trail rig and I value easy "trail repairs" over perfect paint jobs! :D

    Let me know if you need any help deciding on a rig or on the repairs/re-build.

    Regards,

    Alan
     
  7. spdwaver1

    spdwaver1

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    My FJ40 is a home re-build with with a "rattle-can" paint job on purpose; it is a trail rig and I value easy "trail repairs" over perfect paint jobs! :D
    Could not agree more with you there.

    If you plan on running anything stock, especially the older ones (mine is a 66), keep it on the streets for show.

    As far as buying, take all their advice: otherwise, you will be buying something just to fully replace everything, and wasting the initial cost. Mine was not stock by any means when I bought it, and that is the reason I bought it. The older years, as already mentioned, are sub-par in moderate to extreme conditions.
    Rattle-can it with something common, that you can find anywhere in a pinch.

    You may find that you will enjoy doing your own repairs and fabrication; in that respect, I would make it not too pretty.
     
  8. Martian

    Martian

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    This is what I love about the Internet; nothing better than bouncing ideas off of experienced (and somewhat impartial) folks to make me REALLY think about what I'm getting into! Obviously owning a cruiser is as much an emotional decision as it is a logical decision. I need to take a good look at what I want out of this project before I dive in.

    Alan makes a great point about opposing uses. Part of me would love to do a full new-off-the-showroom-floor restoration of a stock virgin cruiser, but the other part of me knows that I wouldn't be content just putting around on the streets with it. Maybe the ideal rig for me is something that's very trail worthy, but looks mostly stock from a distance.

    You've definitely got me thinking. I'll start building my ideal rig on paper, and keep my eyes open for something suitable.

    Thanks!
     
  9. Texx

    Texx

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    Darn foreigners....so, "martian", are you the one wanting pix of green cruisers? Huh? Areya? Now I suppose you want a green diesel to cart off to your planet too, right? Where's my Slim Whitman tape@
     
  10. Martian

    Martian

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    No, I'm not that guy. But that's pretty darn funny!
     
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