Builds My 78' Barn find FJ45

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Michael B

Aug 1, 2012
Huntsville Al
About two weeks ago I finally ended my search for an FJ45 when I discovered this 1978 Austrailan 5 miles from my house. It was sitting under the pole barn of a local Toyota dealership owner. We briefly entered into negotiations and I secured the 78'. My plans are to get it running to see what it needs and then rebuild it. I will probably convert it to LHD and I may end up installing a diesel and 5 speed in it. Plenty of time for those decisions later. Part of the deal included a 69' rolling chassis with a bed on it and an extra top w/upper cab half. Plus another complete bed. After the first work day I had the bed sitting on the truck frame and the extra bed had donated it's headache rack and tailgate to the cause. I'm looking forward to getting it running and taking my first drive in it. The 78' is in very good condition. The cab has virtually no rust in it and the frame is in great shape as well. The hood is toast due to rust as well as the aprons. The front fenders are fiberglass as is the bib and cab roof. No worries on the sheet metal. I already have a complete front clip almost ready to go on it. So lots of work to be done!

My 78' 1.jpg 69' FJ45.jpg green bed 1.jpg day one 2.jpg day one 1.jpg
Nice find mate looks great
Thanks mate. It had a bumper on it a lot like yours does in the picture. It also came with a spare bumper of the same type that had a Southern Australia license plate still fastened to it and a "Melbourne Bitter" bottle top laying in the bed as well. That was an awesome find!
Congrats ! Looks pretty solid and with a lot of parts too !

Oh yes now the planning starts - nice - cant wait to see the progress.
I'm ready to start as well but I have a couple of things in cue before the 45 gets the attention it needs. Oh well such is life! I hope to have it running by the end of the month. Then the real work begins!
Lucky for you your cue before the 45 start up is only a month :confused:

Tried to start the motor today. It turns over nicely. The fuel pump is pumping and the carb bowl is filling with gas but the accelerator pump does not appear to be working. The oil pressure comes up as the motor spins. It also hit a couple of times after pouring some gas down the carb. The gas tank has varnish in it. Will probably take it down and have flushed. It shouldn't take much to get it running. :)
Nice find, can't wait to see it progress and get back on the road. :cheers:
Thanks Hogan. None are more anxious than I to see it back on the road.
Well I have made some progress since my last post. I have sold my FJ40 :crybaby: I was sad to see her go. She did go to a local guy and I signed him up to join our local club. So she's not completely gone. I purchased a 2H complete with 5 speed and split case. It should be here at the end of the week. I have the brakes and clutch working now. I'm going to rebuild the carb (the kit will be here tomorrow) and drive the 2F for awhile. This will accomplish a few things. First and foremost I can start driving my 45!!!! While I'm driving it I can find out what condition the drive train is in for future sale, I can decide if I'm going to swap it over to LHD and I can gather the rest of the parts for the diesel swap. Anyone know a good source for the 2H controls I will need? The motor appears to be complete for everything I will need in the engine bay. I know I will need the fuel shut off knob in the dash, glow plug controls and indicators to start with. I'm also not sure what I will need for throttle control yet? After I round up what I need for the 2H I will swap in the diesel and drive it for awhile checking out the new drive train for what it might need when I rebuild the entire truck. Oh and I dropped off my rims at the powder coating shop today! BTW my new avatar is both the 40 and 45 sitting under the flag on Memorial Day in my driveway.
Is that bezel stock for the '78 Aussi (RHD) truck? My Canadian '78 fj45 has the old style rounded bezel.
Last weekend I patched up the brakes and clutch so they are now functional. This weekend I finished rebuilding the carb and bought a battery. So now I have been able to crank it up for the first time!! (and all the villagers rejoiced) The ol' girl cranked right up with little to no fuss. After about 2 mins of keeping it running with my foot she went right to idle. The motor idles smoothly but it has a miss in it. So it looks like it needs a tune up. I picked up the wheels from powder coating Friday afternoon. Tomorrow the 2H is suppose to arrive and hopefully I can get the tires and wheels mounted this week. So to get it back on the road I need to get the fuel cell out for a good flushing and make it legal (insurance and tags). Hopefully I will have it on the road for our next club meeting which is July 12.
The 2H has finally arrived. It's in pretty good condition. I look forward to getting it installed.

2H-5.jpg 2H-1.jpg 2H-2.jpg 2H-3.jpg 2H-4.jpg
I have been able to get my rims powder coated and tires mounted on them.........What a bummer I thought I could upload the video of my first ride in the 45. Oh well. It rides great!! Everything is tight with no rattles. The motor had a miss in it, but new spark plugs took care of that. Now if only my tail lights will show up next week I'll be ready for the open road. :clap:

new wheels.jpg
I Made a little more progress this week. I installed the new tail lights, the ARB w/8274 and made the ol' girl street legal again. I'm extremely pleased with how well the 2F runs. The truck is so tight I am most don't want to take it apart for fear I can't put it back together as snug as it is now. As soon as I can find the frame mounts I need I'll be ready to start the 2H install.

new tail lights.jpg bumper 1.jpg
Well I have made a little progress. It took quite awhile to find the brake parts I needed. But I finally found some. I used an 84' FJ60 donor axle.
Next is the 2H transplant.

60 axle.jpg Brake parts 1.jpg Disk brakes.jpg New hubs.jpg Old hubs.jpg

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