Me and My 40 (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Kilgore, Tx
Howdy dudes, I'm Collin and I've got a Sky Blue 1980 FJ40 with Factory Power Steering.

Before I get into the story of my 40, I'll give you a little background on myself. I'm a married father of one, Texan, and I'm a Toyota Master Diagnostic Technician (been with Toyota right at 10 years now).

Ok, enough about me. You came here to hear about my Land Cruiser.

My 40 started its journey when it was purchased new from our local dealer by my grandparents (on my dad's side) in August of 1980. They bought it to pull behind their motor home when they took the yearly family trips to southern Colorado. Otherwise, my grandmother drove mostly. (She considered it her Land Cruiser.)
The family used it , and at some point I've been told that my Uncle somehow overheated it and burnt a valve. My Grandpa (on my mom's side) was a machinist and very good engine repair man, and they had him repair it. I believe he used a chevy valve and made it work. As far as I know, that's all that was needed. Sometime early on, my dad painted mountains on the ashtray.
They kept it for a few years and made quite a few trips to Colorado with it, but eventually the motor home died and my Grandad decided it had to go.
At this point, my dad bought it from them, mid 80's sometime.
He began modifying it, because that's what you do. I believe his first act was to de-smog it, because this is Texas and smog pumps are terrible. He also installed a weber 38/38 and long tube true dual headers, though he had the exhaust ran by a doofus. It went under the the skid plates, and did some strange criss cross action at the back. It sounded good! But the execution (in my mind) left a lot to be desired.
Then came the lifting. Here he did some smart things, and some less smart things. He did a shackle reversal with lift springs to get around a 4 inch lift on it. He was planning on just running 33 inch tires, but 35 inch tires were on sale, so that made the decision. He then had 4.56 gears installed, and I have to say that they are perfect. Now, during all of this, he definitely took some creative liberty on making things work instead of purchasing the items that would work or changing the plan. The front shackles had pins the are way larger than the factory pins, and the shackle reversal kit was designed to have the factory sized shackles. So the bushings didn't fit. Instead of getting correct shackles or correctly sized bushings, they decided to make some sort of bushing out of an aluminum pipe. They also very crudely cut out some angle iron and made a bell crank drop bracket. It works, but it sure is ugly. On top of that, to make the rear height correct, he bought universal adjustable lift shackles and crudely welded them together. Again, works but ugly.
At some point, he installed a Vintage Air kit (because again, we're in Texas). More of the creative liberty happened here, mainly pertaining to the power steering pump mounting. I'm not even going to attempt to describe it, but I'll say it worked.
Somewhere in here, the ignition cylinder took a poop. Instead of repairing or replacing it, he decided to get a parts house universal one and relocated it to the dash.
Other smaller things he did: Grant steering wheel, removed the jump seats and installed a Jeep seat (I was a baby/toddler at this time, so it made sense for the child seat), put some ammo boxes in for storage and a center console, pulled the rubber flooring out, installed a radio (luckily not by cutting the dash!), removed the front shoulder belts and put in lap belts, installed a winch, added some off-road lights, built some wooden half doors and a diamond plate tailgate for going topless, installed a passenger grab handle, added a small second battery, I may have forgotten something/who knows.
At some point in here, my dad had stored all of the original parts in my grandad's shop. Well, long story short, my grandad did some cleaning up and all the parts got hauled off to the dump.

This is the earliest I remember it. Me and my dad did everything in this thing. It was his main vehicle most of my childhood. I learned how to drive in it. We had a pond a little ways behind his house, so he would put the fishing rods on the hood and let me drive down there, and just around in the field behind the house. I distinctly remember the first time he let me drive it on the road. I was somewhere around 11, and we drove down to the car wash. When I started it, I didn't realize the ignition stuck in start, so the starter just kept going the whole time. I remember my dad commenting on the strange sound, and him being a little mad when he figured out what it was.
I loved it. Everything about it. It was the epitome of a cool car for me.
Then gas prices started getting ridiculous (mid 2000's). We quit driving it and my pops decided to put it on the market. He was looking at buying a house and wanted more cash for a down payment.
Someone on eBay "purchased" it but never paid him for it. So that burned him on selling it. Or so I thought.

When I turned 15, I had a little job and he gave me the choice of getting a hardship and driving the 40, or getting my motorcycle license. I made the obvious choice and we got our motorcycle licenses, because I was only a year away from a normal license, and figured I would be able to drive it in a year anyways.

Well, another long story shortened, he traded it to a close friend for a motorcycle in 2007. It had about 84k on it then.

Over the next 10 years, every time I saw said friend I would ask him how MY land cruiser was, and he would always laugh at me. But I'd tell him it was mine, he was just hanging on to it for me.

He didn't drive it much, and it lived outside. He would brag to us that he never washed it, that's just the way he liked it.

In 2017, I finally had enough cash I figured I could convince him to sell it to me. So, I went to his business to talk him out of it, and he laughed at me. It took multiple trips and nearly 2 months to seal the deal and I got her back in the family!

While he had it, they didn't do too much to it. The original driver's seat frame broke and someone told him that dodge neon seats would pretty much bolt in, so he got a set and threw them in. He pulled a trailer that was way too heavy for it and pretty much tore the receiver off the back of it. Something happened with the secondary battery wiring, so that all got ripped out (poorly). Probably the most comical thing they did (and I'm still not sure how this happened) was put stock length shocks on it. When I drove it home, it rode like a tank. When I put it on a lift, the axles didn't drop, at all. Otherwise, nothing really happened with it, other than sitting. He only put around 2000 miles on it, it had about 86k when I purchased it.

Immediately I started fixing things. The radiator was leaking, so I replaced it. They had removed the bumper because the winch motor had failed, and they had bent the left fender a little. So, I bought a new bumper and winch and had my dad fix the fender (he was in auto body school at the time). Did a lot of wiring cleanup, recharged the a/c and got it working again. Lots of small things.

Then we decided to move to Colorado.
So we quit our jobs and take the cruiser on a 2 week vacation/road trip across Texas, to Roswell, then up to Durango, then up to Fort Collins to find a house. It was an AWESOME trip.

Anyways, We move to Colorado, and they require emissions testing where we lived. Being a 1980, it had to pass. Well, if you've read this far, you already know that the smog equipment has been removed and it ended up at the dump. Also, I'm going to assume you know cruisers, so you know that stuff ain't cheap. Luckily, having Texas plates, law enforcement never checked the expiration and I drove it for a while with expired tags, but I knew I couldn't do that forever. Ive got to do something and I really don't like the idea of just reverting it back to stock. So I end up getting a 3FE swap kit because I want fuel injection, and I'm a stickler for Toyota parts. The transaction was not the best, and the engine and parts I received left a lot to be desired. I had originally planned on just swapping in the entire 3fe, but once I got everything I decided that just wasn't going to work. I was never able to get mileage info or anything on the engine so it just didn't sit right in my mind to pull my 95k engine and put the who-knows-how-many-miles engine in. Then started the idea of the head-swap. A 2FE as people call them. So I start by pulling the 3fe head and repairing it. I don't call it a rebuild, because I only replaced things that were bad and needed replacement. Then I pulled the 2f and installed late model 2f flat top pistons. Had to go aftermarket, Toyota only has 5 left. Cant bring myself to put 5 Toyota and 1 aftermarket. Side note, cylinders still had cross hatch visible when I tore it apart. all bearings were replaced and no block or head machine work was needed.

Then my wonderful daughter decided to make her grand entrance and it got put on the back burner due to that and an impending move back to Texas.

Now the move is done, and 2020 happened, but now we are getting back to it, hopefully to have her back on the road in the relatively near future.

The Current undertaking is pulling the engine down for paint, resealing the transmission/transfer case, installing an electronic fuel pump, a new Vintage air kit, wiring everything up, and running the exhaust.

She's already the bee's knees, but she's gonna be a dream when this is done. I'll also write up more of the small modifications I'm doing to make everything fit and work as I move along over the next few months.

Wish me luck!


This is a pic from likely 1981, my grandparents with it out somewhere. Likely Colorado.
7341B912-3F08-46CC-A6D1-9014079D2781.jpeg


This is a pic of it from around the time it was sold, likely a few years earlier
D3294F63-BA38-4B3D-9A56-F4BEA2E7F378_1_105_c.jpeg


This is probably a month or so after I got her back
85E4EB45-A904-4F2D-9125-32F3D31DF3FE.jpeg

Pic of me with my Grandma, taking one of the first rides in it when I got it back (she was so happy I got her cruiser back)
IMG_0572.JPG


EDF6DE7F-6D27-4A48-BC1E-18A8A9CF1816.jpeg
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Kilgore, Tx
Here's a pic of the original 2F, before I pulled it out. If you look, you will notice the rusty voltage regulator. At some point fire ants decided to invade it and it was started with them inside. I pulled the cover off and found a huge melted mass of fire ant bodies and a burnt regulator. Fire ants are the worst.
24FDDF27-7F46-4BB9-BCEF-05D48DF4C082.jpeg

Heres the 3FE that I purchased. It came as a kit with ECU, partial harness, lots of other small goodies, all used, supposed to be a direct swap. Again, the transaction left a lot to be desired and without knowing the exact year and mileage of the engine, and the rather decrepit condition of a lot of the parts that came with it, I decided just to go ahead and do the head swap. Side note: if anyone needs some 3f-e parts from a 62, let me know. I have quite a few left over that I'm not going to use, including all of the emissions equipment.
F56205CA-3B8F-4494-B2B5-122CBBB383B7.jpeg

Heres the 2F with the 3f-e head on it. Excuse the poorly painted lifter cover and the fact that it still looks dirty, I was toying with color ideas and have since decided to go a different route. Doing all test fitting before it gets painted, to minimize the scratches.
E98CFC11-985F-445F-8485-6B2BD21F82A2.jpeg

Here's a pic from test fitting everything. The brake booster clearance was a large concern, and with the EGR installed, I had to shim it over a small amount so that the master cylinder would clear. Now that the plan has changed to de-smog it (cause we're back in Texas baby!), the shims may or may not still be needed.
ED9977A7-5D78-4A7C-ACCF-E38B5C525643.jpeg
B1A718DD-F5DD-4836-8137-3207D65B098B.jpeg


The 3FE deck is considerably shorter than the 2F, so the 3fe doesn't have clearance issues just dropped in a 40.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Kilgore, Tx
Heres the most recent picture of it. The engine will be coming back out now that I know it fits, and will be stripped and painted. I plan on running all of the original 2F accessories just for simplicities sake. The 3FE power steering pump is mounted on the passenger side of the head, whereas the 2F was on the driver's side block. Alternator also swapped sides, so I decided I don't want to play that game. The Vintage Air kit comes with brackets for the compressor and factory alternator, to go in the factory position, so its just easier and cleaner to use the 2F stuff.

Should be resealing the transmission and transfer case in the next week or so, just waiting for the gaskets to arrive.

I also plan on using a Holley in tank fuel pump retrofit kit. I can't bring myself just to mount a fuel pump on the frame rail. Holley makes a return system kit that should be pretty sweet when all said and done.

Then, all that should be left is installing all of the new a/c stuff, building the exhaust, and wiring everything up. Can't wait to be driving again!

263C561E-3139-492E-8AA1-481BD0AE2B62.jpeg
 

1911

chupacabra
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
6,364
Location
Parker County, Texas
The brake booster clearance was a large concern, and with the EGR installed, I had to shim it over a small amount so that the master cylinder would clear. Now that the plan has changed to de-smog it (cause we're back in Texas baby!), the shims may or may not still be needed.

The stock late-40 booster is Y'UGE. You would pick up a lot of extra clearance by replacing it with a modern replacement. I used this one and have been super happy with it:

Dual Diaphragm Disc Brake Booster for Land Cruiser FJ40 FJ55 FJ60 - https://www.cityracerllc.com/products/new-dual-diaphragm-disc-brake-booster-for-land-cruiser-fj40-fj55-fj60
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Kilgore, Tx
The stock late-40 booster is Y'UGE. You would pick up a lot of extra clearance by replacing it with a modern replacement. I used this one and have been super happy with it:

Dual Diaphragm Disc Brake Booster for Land Cruiser FJ40 FJ55 FJ60 - https://www.cityracerllc.com/products/new-dual-diaphragm-disc-brake-booster-for-land-cruiser-fj40-fj55-fj60
I like the idea, is there any way you could get me a picture of it looking straight down from the top (similar to the picture I have)? Or would you mind measuring it from the firewall out? If it's small enough it won't get close to the intake, I may have to spring for one. Do you know if the diameter is different from the original?

Any help is greatly appreciated!
 

1911

chupacabra
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
6,364
Location
Parker County, Texas
... is there any way you could get me a picture of it looking straight down from the top (similar to the picture I have)? Or would you mind measuring it from the firewall out? If it's small enough it won't get close to the intake, I may have to spring for one. Do you know if the diameter is different from the original?

Here are some photos from above; hope they may be useful. Don't mind my dirty engine compartment. My wife has my tape measure, so I put an engineer's scale in to show the distance. The front mounting flange for the master cylinder is less than 5" from the firewall. The diameter of the CityRacer booster is similar to the stock one as I remember; it's been 1.5 years since I installed it.

IMG_1629[1].JPG


IMG_1630[1].JPG


IMG_1631[1].JPG
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Kilgore, Tx
Here are some photos from above; hope they may be useful. Don't mind my dirty engine compartment. My wife has my tape measure, so I put an engineer's scale in to show the distance. The front mounting flange for the master cylinder is less than 5" from the firewall. The diameter of the CityRacer booster is similar to the stock one as I remember; it's been 1.5 years since I installed it.

View attachment 2543961

View attachment 2543963

View attachment 2543965
looks like I've got some measuring to do, but I agree, It looks like it could solve the whole problem.

Thanks for the pics guys!
 

1911

chupacabra
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
6,364
Location
Parker County, Texas
One final note: Both @A10Driver and I are running FZJ80 non_ABS master cylinders, which are shorter than stock, if that helps also. I'm running that one because of my 4-wheel disc brake conversion; the shorter length was a non-issue for me.
 

Curtice

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
961
Location
Issaquah, WA
I used a booster from a ‘79 mini truck on my last 3FE swap. It gave plenty of clearance. Here is a side by side showing the size difference and an installed photo:
963278C3-449C-442C-BB0F-E41397E76AF6.jpeg
2AB11BBC-0142-473B-ACA2-1D88919E8191.jpeg


For my current project, also a 3FE into a 40, I purchased the city racer booster as well. It’s size appears to be in between those two.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom