My ‘79 FJ40 Build—a long time coming & a long way to go.... (1 Viewer)

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x2 on the tub. Maybe you can weld in a ton of patches but I can’t guarantee the rigidity. Better to get a new tub. Aluminum tubs are cool because they are lighter and don’t rust. It’s expensive and it’s a lot of work but it’s worth it I think. It will be a long project but it is a good learning experience while you are at it. Just don’t give into the “while I’m in there” way of thinking. No, that part doesn’t have to be upgraded. No, that part is okay. Don’t replace everything “while I’m in there” or it’s gonna be a forever project
 
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Awesome and inspiring story of how you kept the truck and have a good mindset going in. I built my first as a kid as well and had to sell during college, bummed I didn't make it work out somehow. I've got a '79 now too, despite being a mostly SW truck the sheet metal has seen better days...the earlier tubs fare way better. Good luck, don't get discouraged, and prepare to sink lot of $$$ to get it where you want to be.
 

HefJ40

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Looks like you are in need of a new tub. That one is shot and probably not worth restoring.
Yeah I looked into that last spring but there were major delays getting tubs, at least where I checked. I figured this was my opportunity to fully wrap my head around each panel of the cruiser and how everything laps and connects, so I dug in and got replacement panels.
I always like learning a new skill, so why not get into welding and metal work.
 

HefJ40

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Looks like you are in need of a new tub. That one is shot and probably not worth restoring.
Yeah I looked into that last spring but there were major delays getting tubs, at least where I checked. I figured this was my opportunity to fully wrap my head around each panel of the cruiser and how everything laps and connects, so I dug in and got replacement panels.
I always like learning a new skill, so why not get into welding and metal work
x2 on the tub. Maybe you can weld in a ton of patches but I can’t guarantee the rigidity. Better to get a new tub. Aluminum tubs are cool because they are lighter and don’t rust. It’s expensive and it’s a lot of work but it’s worth it I think. It will be a long project but it is a good learning experience while you are at it. Just don’t give into the “while I’m in there” way of thinking. No, that part doesn’t have to be upgraded. No, that part is okay. Don’t replace everything “while I’m in there” or it’s gonna be a forever project
hahaha I thought about patchwork too, but damn that would be a ton of patching. Tub was a no-go due to COVID, but I was able to get replacement panels. Some came on time, others were still really late.
It’s funny you mention ‘while I’m in there’. Yes, it’s a curse, but I really can’t make myself look the other way when I know I should take care of it (rust). Yes, it’ll lead to a longer project, and it’ll be a work in progress with trial and error and re-do’s, but I’m down for it. Gotta learn somehow.
 

HefJ40

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Awesome and inspiring story of how you kept the truck and have a good mindset going in. I built my first as a kid as well and had to sell during college, bummed I didn't make it work out somehow. I've got a '79 now too, despite being a mostly SW truck the sheet metal has seen better days...the earlier tubs fare way better. Good luck, don't get discouraged, and prepare to sink lot of $$$ to get it where you want to be.
I’m sure there are tons of stories like ours. Sorry it didn’t work out...life happens, but cool to hear you’ve got a ‘79 now.
If I hadn’t had the great experiences with the cruiser earlier in life, I likely wouldn’t jump into this....especially with the expense. But, knowing how awesome it was back then, there’s no way I’m giving up. I’ve learned to become patient and it sucks 😂
 
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Yeah I looked into that last spring but there were major delays getting tubs, at least where I checked. I figured this was my opportunity to fully wrap my head around each panel of the cruiser and how everything laps and connects, so I dug in and got replacement panels.
I always like learning a new skill, so why not get into welding and metal work

hahaha I thought about patchwork too, but damn that would be a ton of patching. Tub was a no-go due to COVID, but I was able to get replacement panels. Some came on time, others were still really late.
It’s funny you mention ‘while I’m in there’. Yes, it’s a curse, but I really can’t make myself look the other way when I know I should take care of it (rust). Yes, it’ll lead to a longer project, and it’ll be a work in progress with trial and error and re-do’s, but I’m down for it. Gotta learn somehow.
Ye just don’t get stuck, and if you plan to fix everything, plan to give the cruiser your wallet, and a few loans
 

HefJ40

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Thought I’d practice some cutting, fitting and stitching on a wheel well that was getting scrapped anyway. I’ll get better....

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I’m sure there are tons of stories like ours. Sorry it didn’t work out...life happens, but cool to hear you’ve got a ‘79 now.
If I hadn’t had the great experiences with the cruiser earlier in life, I likely wouldn’t jump into this....especially with the expense. But, knowing how awesome it was back then, there’s no way I’m giving up. I’ve learned to become patient and it sucks 😂
I've got "a story like ours" as well and am about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way "done" with my second rebuild.

If you have the space, and can put in the money and time when you can, and keep it safe when you can and do other stuff to make the money and time it takes to eventually finish, then I think it's worth it!

Patiently is one way to do it for sure.
 

HefJ40

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I've got "a story like ours" as well and am about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way "done" with my second rebuild.

If you have the space, and can put in the money and time when you can, and keep it safe when you can and do other stuff to make the money and time it takes to eventually finish, then I think it's worth it!

Patiently is one way to do it for sure.
Nice!! Has the second rebuild been easier or more enjoyable for you? After my 40 is done, I want to get into a 60. Been searching for a while now. I take it you’ve done a 40 and a 60?

Space to work: well, my “3” car garage is actually a 1 car garage because whoever built my house built the dining/mud room into the garage leaving only about 16’ to the garage doors. Dude didn’t think that one through...wtf man. No compact cars in this household. So, the cruiser sits perpendicular across 2 bays so I can maneuver around it. Making the best with what I’ve got.

Money: I didn’t budget a line item for beer, so I’m already screwed. Especially if anyone wants to come help. I’ll sacrifice elsewhere to make it work 🍻

Time: LMAO
 

HefJ40

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Guess what else is toast....both ends of the Front Crossmember Support that land on the frame. This is right under the front seats at the forward edge of the rear floor.

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HefJ40

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That last pic is looking down through the floor in front of drivers side wheel well, right where that crossmember support should run through. This will take a minute...
 

HefJ40

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No way to reconstruct those ends of the front crossmember support. I found ZERO info on mud regarding anything having to do with repair/replace of that crossmember. I must be the only one?! Man, I hope not.
I found some images of the underside of new 79+ tubs to see what it’s even supposed to look like. I think it’s pretty impossible, especially with trying to reconstruct everything around it too...and without having your tub flipped upside down.
I was able to find a new, supposedly to OEM spec crossmember support from one single vendor. We’ll see how that goes.

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HefJ40

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I’m taking a ton of pictures...and measurements. Nice to be able to document these things on the phone or iPad. Sure beats that fisher-price camera from back in the day.
Jotted down some measurements, welded up some bracing and started cutting. Note the weird lapping at front corners of rear floor. Passenger side was in tact (YES!). Driver side—no bueno.
I thought I’d remove the floor first so I could have more access everywhere and be able to get to that crossmember support.

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Nice!! Has the second rebuild been easier or more enjoyable for you? After my 40 is done, I want to get into a 60. Been searching for a while now. I take it you’ve done a 40 and a 60?

Space to work: well, my “3” car garage is actually a 1 car garage because whoever built my house built the dining/mud room into the garage leaving only about 16’ to the garage doors. Dude didn’t think that one through...wtf man. No compact cars in this household. So, the cruiser sits perpendicular across 2 bays so I can maneuver around it. Making the best with what I’ve got.

Money: I didn’t budget a line item for beer, so I’m already screwed. Especially if anyone wants to come help. I’ll sacrifice elsewhere to make it work 🍻

Time: LMAO
Second rebuild is equally as hard because I am trying to do something much more complicated. I'm rebuilding the same 40 again after thirty years. Bought a 60 but due to rust decided to transplant the axels, power steering, motor, transmission and driveshafts over to the 40 and scraped the body.

Beer is a decent portion of my budget as well.

Cheers and good luck with your project!
 

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