My 1970 FJ40 restoration/ suspension questions

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Joined
Jul 2, 2012
Threads
6
Messages
24
Location
Aspen CO
Hi All,

New to this forum. Great resource.

I have just purchased a 1970 FJ40 to restore to original condition. It is almost completely rust free except for one spot below the rear tail gate which I guess is pretty standard. Otherwise it has been sitting in a barn for 25 years until a gentleman in WY found it and then I purchased it from him. Plan on restoring over a long period and am in the process of removing all the rusted bolts and sourcing whatever is missing before stripping it down and painting her. Also in the process of going over it mechanically before I get it registered.

My question is I want to overhaul the suspension and so am wondering what is the best option and source to replace the leaf springs and shocks including polyurethane bushings. I think I want to retain the factory stance unless you tell me otherwise. I am finding it really difficult to find factory style leaf springs and am quite unsure of what shocks I should purchase to again obtain the factory look. AT present and you will see by the photo, it has some sag in the rear as well as the dreaded driver side lean.

By the way I am also looking for the factory spare tire carrier, one OEM steel rim, a few hub caps, a front heater unit and defrost hoses.

Thanks for your help.
IMG_2792.jpg
 
I have a front heater that may work for you. PM your email address for pics.

Good luck with your project. It looks and sounds like you have a great starting point.

As far as the lift goes, what tires do you plan to run?
 
Not sure one source of factory springs. I'm sure Alcan can make them for you but they will cost you. Otherwise I think a 2.5" lift looks good and will clear 33x10.5's if you are looking for a mild lift. OME or Hells Creek are good sources for 2.5 inch lifts. Nice rig and welcome to mud
 
Thanks for welcoming me and for great advice. I really have not thought much about tire size which is a great point. Can you quote me a tire size that is close or the same to stock for this year or period. I am thinking tall and thin on OEM rims.
 
for those prices, you can almost get new springs - either 2.5 or 4 inches will look good - if you have sag in the rear after you get new springs, you can install slightly longer than stock shackles to even it out

I would call Kurt at cruiseroutfitters.com - he has everything you need for the suspension and is a great vendor
 
hi deanoe,

im new to the site aswell and i must say the info is amazing.

have you managed to get a hold of a spare tyre carrier yet?

if not i have one for sale if your interested.


Hi All,

New to this forum. Great resource.

I have just purchased a 1970 FJ40 to restore to original condition. It is almost completely rust free except for one spot below the rear tail gate which I guess is pretty standard. Otherwise it has been sitting in a barn for 25 years until a gentleman in WY found it and then I purchased it from him. Plan on restoring over a long period and am in the process of removing all the rusted bolts and sourcing whatever is missing before stripping it down and painting her. Also in the process of going over it mechanically before I get it registered.

My question is I want to overhaul the suspension and so am wondering what is the best option and source to replace the leaf springs and shocks including polyurethane bushings. I think I want to retain the factory stance unless you tell me otherwise. I am finding it really difficult to find factory style leaf springs and am quite unsure of what shocks I should purchase to again obtain the factory look. AT present and you will see by the photo, it has some sag in the rear as well as the dreaded driver side lean.

By the way I am also looking for the factory spare tire carrier, one OEM steel rim, a few hub caps, a front heater unit and defrost hoses.

Thanks for your help.
 
Alcan is the source for you springs. They custom made any springs based on customer preferences.
I got mine built by Alcan to my spec and they are very nice quality.
 
My 1970 fj40 Restoration

Hi All,

Has been a while since I posted. A few people chimed in with my first post and thanks for great advice with my suspension questions.

Have been really busy since I bought this Fj40. Turned out most of the screws and bolts snapped off when I was removing the rear tail gates even with my tender touch and trying all sorts of tested remedies such as heat and P.B blaster. Finally after an hour every other day over a couple of months I got them all out and tapped all the threads. Have since replaced them with stainless screws from SOR. I have also sanded back the whole body and have it in primer purely to stop any rot from progressing. This body truly is in amazing condition and only found some very minor rust in the rear panel under the tailgate. I have also primered all the inside of the cabin floor again just to stop any rust from progressing. Restored the gas tank only to find that in the process some pin holes had become larger and it started to leak. Had a second tank which had a blockage in the pick up tube. The guy's at classic cruisers gave me the idea of using a speedo cable and some carburettor cleaner and over the course of a week got it to open up and now have it installed. Have also upgraded the clutch master cylinder to a later model dual cylinder with a braided line. Just found a hinge for the rear tire carrier so should have that back on also. I also purchased a complete bolt kit from JIS Hardware which is 854 pieces and so am in the process of replacing most of the bolts throughout. I guess I am really just going through the truck slowly and getting everything functional again before eventually and when space is available strip it down and do a body off. This is many years away as you can see I am presently restoring her in my driveway.

Love working on this FJ, everything is so simple and with a little time and to an amateur mechanic, it is possible to work it out and DIY. I am about to get her registered this week and store it for the winter before overhauling the heating system next summer so I can possibly drive her next winter here in Colorado.

Thanks for looking and if you have any advice would love to hear it.
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Its looking awesome, as to your leaf spring question, if its still open, I lifted my 1970 FJ40 2.5" with a CCOT kit with shackles and all. It was a waste of money and time. Driving it became a grueling experience. Terrible handling. Absolutely something I would only do if I lived in an offroad environment driving speeds of less than 30 mph. I re installed the OEM springs, but stock size shackles and bushings from SOR. I had my springs repainted not powder coated as those leafs are designed to move within each other and I'm not sure that the powder coating work against that. Maybe get the springs rearched if they are very flat. I didn't and my car now drives perfectly as it was designed for. The car is still tall enough, and now anyone in my house can drive it. My 2 cents.
 
Hey thanks that is great advice. I was always pursuing the idea of and OEM stance with tall and thin tyres and you really confirmed this. The only concern I have with the springs is it has drivers side sag and am not sure how I should go about fixing that so it sits square on the road. I like the current ride height. How about shocks, any recommendatinos there. It still has the original ones in it and I don't theink they are working too well.
 
I have a front heater that may work for you. PM your email address for pics.

Good luck with your project. It looks and sounds like you have a great starting point.

As far as the lift goes, what tires do you plan to run?

Welcome to MUD! Nice rig I look forward to your future posts and pics.:beer:
 
lift

Its looking awesome, as to your leaf spring question, if its still open, I lifted my 1970 FJ40 2.5" with a CCOT kit with shackles and all. It was a waste of money and time. Driving it became a grueling experience. Terrible handling.

I also used the hfs kit but stock shackles at first---had to remove 2 leaves and drive it and once the rear shackles sagged a little put them back in---put bilsteins on it--now the ride is firm but good
before it was backbreaking stiff in the rear. while I was at it i coated all the leaves with anti sieze

I then installed the HFS shackles which are 1.5 longer than stock and noticed a slight increase in stiffness, not handling but maybe steering had a slightly different feel and also slightly slow to return to center (saginaw steering). maybe now i need the shims to fix the camber

As far as appearance tall skinnies are popular, 33 x 10.5 is a very common size , it seems 35 plus usually involves cuting sm and installing flares


OME is often mentioned as having a good ride but I have read bad reviews


I think that ALCAN probably has the best reputation as far as tailoring to what you want and ride quality. I dont think I have come across anyone complaining about the ALCANS,:cheers:
 
tall skinny tires

Looks like you're doing a great job. Working on the 40 is my post work stress relief.
I also wanted OEM height and approximate stock tire size when we rebuilt Cadet. I replaced bushings and shackles with stock sizes and used Super Swamper TSL radials in LT215/85R15. They are approximately 30" tall and 6.5" wide. (The original 7.00 15 tires were 29 1/2" tall and 6.5" wide.) The TSLs fit perfectly on the stock rims. These tires allow for easy steering without power too.
Good luck on your project.
Greg
cadet final soft top 2.jpg
 
Great advice on both the suspension and the super swampers. Love the look of them. I agree that working on this baby is a great way to wind down and get your hands dirty. I like the idea of the bilsteins and that name keeps popping up for a shock choice. I believe the 5150 looks like the model top choose am i correct? Do these come in just one length? Otherwise how would i know what to choose.

Attached a couple more photos of recent work.
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Lookin good. Primer is porus, and tends to allow rust to come back... I'd put some paint on to seal it, and repaint down the road. But that's just me, living on the wet coast.
 
1970 FJ40 Restoration

Yes I realise that primer is porous but think it is a good intermediate step given the state of the original paint work. I am an auto painter by profession and will be maing sure that she stays out of the weether and well covered for the winter. I really don't know when I am going to be able to get to the paint given my limited space for doing any work. Worst case I will tend to any spots where the primer is failing. Now to find an adequate place to store here for the winter.
 

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