My first '40 and the venture (8 Viewers)

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Dec 28, 2021
Elmwood, NE
I decided it would be best to start my own thread vs blasting “What have you done…” with everything I do. I’m more comfortable to elaborate here.

This is my first LC (1980 – January 1980 build) and my first experience working on a car like this (Engineer who works behind a desk). I’ve owned this rig for about 18 months or so and some stuff has been done by me before I started this thread. Some point I will backfill the historical events. Right now, the thread will start where things sit now. Which is… parts on the ground, drying paint, reading the FSM and Forum, asking questions with others, and saying what I am seeing/thinking.

This is where I left off from the “What have you done thread…” (What have you done to your Land Cruiser this week? - – I have the roof off – looking at some restoration (get rid of the rust on the channel) there (and all new rubber), I am working on the steering, and the engine and possibly the carburetor are giving me issues too to address.

My intention is one day to have this as a daily driver. I’m not planning to do a frame-off – but that is just a plan, right?

Intro and bla bla aside, Last week, I extracted an oil sample and sent it today to Blackstone Labs for analysis – I expect it to confirm what I see and basically think/know is wrong. I got engine woes (more on that later). And yes, preferred method is to extract the oil after the engine has been running for a while. Not in the hand dealt this time and the report will reflect it I am sure.

I am in “replace/check/rebuild the entire steering” mode in the meantime while I figure out the engine/carb. There are some previous posts I made, but basically, it darts and I can move the steering wheel a lot before it “grabs”. The steering wheel has more play than specified in the FSM. Now caught up more or less… I painted the center link, and the pitmans for both drag link and the center link. I hope to rebuild the center link in a few weeks when I return from work trip. I sent the steering box out to be rebuilt as well.



I was putting the aftermarket (555) ends on the relay, tie rod, and drag link before I left on my work trip. Here are a few of my observations at the time, and what I learned since then.

I measured of the relay rod setup that was on Ol Yellr – to compare against the FSM spec before I put the new metal together. The FSM say 827 mm = 32.56 inches – about 32 inches and 8.96/16 converting to a tape. The 2nd picture is the relay rod removed from the rig and it was sitting around 33 3/8 which is about 847 mm – almost 20 MM over FSM spec. Would explain some of the steering issues posted to a different thread.

I installed the new ends with the new aftermarket relay rod. I screwed the ends in all the way, and measured it out, the best I can get is 32 12/16 = about 832 mm. I physically can’t get it closer – 5 mm off more or less as I lay it out. (3rd Picture)

Last 4th picture is the new tie rod with the new ends on. FSM is 1205mm = 47.44 inches = 47 inches and 7.04/16 on a tape. Pretty close.

I sent an email to Cruiser Outfitters where I got the components (wondering if the aftermarket rod is slightly longer than the OEM). They responded quickly.

The Cruiser Outfitters parts engineer said…

“Regarding the relay rod length:
The original tube (45451-60020) was superseded by 45451-60040. It is possible that the length changed by 5mm when that supersession occurred. I have verified that both the OEM (TRET60040) and our Japanese aftermarket (TRET60040JP) are both the exact same length (775mm).

Our parts engineers verified the length and confirmed that slight differences will have no impact on the steering or alignment… Hopefully that clears things up”

I love how prompt they are with their customer service!

Basically, with the 827 mm relay rod spec – take off 775 mm for the rod – and you are left with 52 mm or 26 mm on each rod end to the Center Line of the TRE bolt. Now I am wondering if the 555 ends are a smidge bigger than OEM – again this is all over 5 mm. Does 5 mm matter? I would think so, why else have a spec? A question non-the-less.

I will know more after I get the Center Link rebuilt & back on Yellr. Which will be a few weeks at a minimum before I am back.





Now with the engine…

A quick summary of a few previous posts – rebuilt engine fall 2022 – driving – get to 55 mph but I think it should have more power and performance base on capabilities others express with their rig – do the paper clip test on carb with secondary as suggested by Mark (Mark’s Off Road - was on the phone with him about my steering box rebuild and mentioned it) – didn’t budge – bad diaphragm, right? – take off the secondary diaphragm components – nope – diaphragm is fine as it holds over 20 seconds when I manually create a vacuum – not getting vacuum.

Also – a place I took the car for an alignment messed with the carb – it ran like it was on RedBull and could smell gas after I left. I was not going to go back and say “fix it” ‘cuz clearly a) they don’t know carb and b) I asked them to do an alignment – was running fine to get there. Dialed it back – but wanted to get a tach so I can set the idle properly. Saw a post from Mark (Mark’s Off Road) about cylinder wash.

In the process of doing a compression test, engine dies, won’t run without choke. Decide to take YELLR into storage/garage out of the way for longer term diagnostics (and remove all of the steering and redo). As I drive the 3 blocks – neighbor says saw white smoke out of exhaust. That is the summary of a few posts about the engine & Carb.

Now for the ghost of the present, right…. I removed the carb to see what is up with it. (Found a good video of the secondary on a different thread by Pinhead). And in taking the carb off, some gas spilled/dribbled out – to be expected – so it was wet down below in the intake manifold. I thought it will evaporate. Come back 3 days later still wet. Not what I expected. Put a shop paper towel in – comes out green. Not good. Antifreeze. Didn’t taste it – but based on color, what I determined. And the white smoke would suggest water or antifreeze. Time for a vital check (oil check).

With the carb, and the vacuum secondary, one might think it could be fine because of the leaks are preventing enough vacuum for the secondary – which is a great point/idea, however, connecting a vacuum tester to various carb ports – I would get up to 15-17 Hg when on the accelerator. That should be enough to move the secondary diaphragm some in my mind – And that is why I believe something is still off with the secondary of the carb.

When I return from my TDY and personal trip, I am going to do a pressure test on the radiator to see if the head has a crack the machine shop didn’t catch. That is perhaps the best case so I can begin that work of replacing the head. If it does hold, well then that will be a different path and more taking apart to troubleshoot.

The thinking/hypothesis is that head may have a crack inside between a water port and the intake runner. And that maybe filling up the intake with fluid. If it is/was coming past the head gasket end of the combustion chamber, I’d have water in the oil (hence the oil test) – results not back yet. And will see what that says to diagnose all this.

Going to go back over and double check the to vacuum lines from the primary and secondary openings in the barrel are open that join to feed the secondary vacuum. Might be Carb dip again and blow some air around. (found Pinhead's videos after the first rebuild).

May I’ll also shine a flashlight on the pistons is see if they have been “steam cleaned” when I get back, and it is not freezing.



I decided to go on a road trip to Burbank CA to pick up my steering box Mark (@65swb45) rebuilt - along with a very early birthday gift to myself that Mark secured for me. Thank you!

Results are back from the oil test - I just go back to NE from being in CA for several days and will post after I redact my phone number etc in the next day or so.


Attached is the report of my oil sample - for context, Yellr sat for a week or more before I extracted the sample. Preferred is right after you turn it off or while oil is draining.

Basically - they detected gas in the oil. Not good. When I was talking to Mark (Mark's Off-road) on Monday, he said get the carb resolved before anything else - use a friends if I have too.

My thought is to change the oil immediately - give that gasoline has a lower specific density than motor oil, they will separate - like a Black & Tan (shout out to St. Patty's Day coming up) - so I question the real ratio of this result. Not to their doing, but mine.

A couple nice days coming up - so I think I will put the steering back, then turn to the engine - too many things going on at once.

If I haven't said it, I have 210 miles on the engine.

(Still going to do the pressure test on the radiator - still some more diagnostics that I can think of to rule something in/out).


  • 01 YELLR-2302200-Blackstone_Redacted.pdf
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He is what I learned this weekend, outside I can't pick a bracket.

Smoke can be a great debugger - friend put a cigar plume into the secondary vacuum port (where the diaphragm connects) - and could see it come out by the egr insulator plate vs by the primary and secondary venturi. (Smoke circled in yellow in first picture).

Looked at the carb rebuild kit that arrived on Friday - no gasket (actually need 2). What I learned from Pin Heads YouTube videos after all that a) the egr insulator gasket is "bonded" so typically there should be no need for a gasket. b) the first kit in the summer didn't have it, not knowing what I know now, I reordered the same kit as before:doh:.

Scraping the remaining gasket residue off (Picture 3) and order a 3rd kit where they show the two gaskets (picture 3) in red.

That would also explain the low vacuum reading I was having too and perhaps why the PO had a Weber on and this carb was in the passenger floor when I got this rig.

The pressure test didn't show anything except a few hoses that needed tightening. I ordered a borescope that connect to a phone via wifi- will see how that looks and take a peak at the cylinders etc when I get that and play around with.

Going to do an Oil Change toward the end of this week. New kit arrives late next week.

Question - the last picture - the PO painted everything together. I want to install the door pins I ordered from @SMG - what is the best way to break the hinge painted to the door without totally richarding the paint? I got the bolts cleaned off and I was able to unscrew on both doors. I started to use a razor/utility blade to score around the seems of the hinge. I would like the doors off so I can re-apply the weather stripping and some surgery inside the door - ie. channel runs.

IMG_9539 2.PNG



I got a borescope that connects to my iPhone and started to play with it yesterday. Here are the initial efforts looking into the cylinders - I'm concerned that the outer half of piston #4 is clean compared to the others pistons.

taking a look.
I got a borescope that connects to my iPhone and started to play with it yesterday. Here are the initial efforts looking into the cylinders - I'm concerned that the outer half of piston #4 is clean compared to the others pistons.

taking a look.

I am attaching something I once read on clean spots on piston. It is a BMW forum , but it still is a gas engine. May help.

Update - so I used my phone-a-friend today and showed the video to him too - The thinking is the head is cracked and the machine shop missed it. It explains the clean(ish) piston, the white smoke, and that I dropped 3 psi in 20 minutes with the radiator pressure test with no leaks to be seen.

My friend has a head that just came from the machine shop - He is going to bring it up from KC with gaskets etc. He knows a mechanic who works at the Toyota dealership - so getting the carb fix - put in on - drive my car to the mechanics house/garage and then we will take it apart and put the new head on etc.
Today I discovered that a .40 cal gun cleaning brush on the end of a drill is pretty good at cleaning bolt holes in the frame! (Center link and fender cleaned out)

Shout out to Nolan (@wngrog) for sharing his methods to align a front end. Did my first one ever! Set to about 3 mm toe in (was starting to think my car is related to Jack Elam with the toe out until today)

Oh for the extra 5 mm in the relay rod from an earlier post in this thread… turns out I had the long TRE end on the wrong rod thanks to a different post that explained where that one long 555 TRE goes. And now I got the extra 5 mm removed so it is in spec.

Tomorrow get the carb back on to check the secondary. And get it running to take over to get the head replaced in the near future. And if the carb doesn’t work, seriously thinking of the Sniper.





It been a while... I decided to do some other stuff to feel like I’m getting something completed. The dash pad has a cover over the old cracked pad (will post for sale when ready to part with it) – and I bought OEM pad on Black Friday from Toyota online. Push window down, found rust, bullets, and other shizzle.

I didn’t know how it comes off, found a thread – still didn’t fully understand the removal after reading. Started at passenger side, lifted up and out along all six brackets toward the driver’s side. Rite of passage, I guess.

Used some of the techniques from preserving patina to clean up the rust under the pad/windshield aka CLR. The back metal plate on the dash pad… plan is to take that off and powder it with the next batch of black – until then, no pad (and deal with rust).


Carb troubleshooting – went over carb again (see above with cigar smoke troubleshooting)– installed – drove – no secondary – installed different carb that was rebuilt and verified – still no secondary with different carb either –:poop:

I couldn’t find any minimum vacuum specs for the secondary to operate on the forum. Absent that, two things I can think of… 1) vacuum and/or 2) the primary is not mechanically cracking open the secondary enough for the vacuum to take over.

put a vacuum gage on – (had one on before all went downhill fast) – reading 14 Hg at idle – well that sucks – just not enough.

Ended up squirting starter fluid by the manifold – engine revs. What a bag of richards to chew on.:censor::bang:

Been reading various debates of brands of manifold gaskets on the forum. Plug nose and ordered.

Sniper is looking better weekly. But first need to solve my leaks first before I call my wallet up to the major league.

While driving/testing the other carb, rig was having difficult time starting. Check battery - fully juiced. Decided now is the time to put on the gear reduction starter I got on (rman from Toyota Black Friday sale). Sounds way different and works like a champ.

Put the @Fourrunner battery cables on too! Love them - stout MoFos, and proper length for GR starter. Thx!

- speaking of Toyota - I would buy OEM parts with their online (free shipping if over 75) and look up part # for my rig/diagrams- They changed the parts site Monday (from to and now can't lookup vehicles pre 1991 - and if you have the part # - you can't get past the verification pre-1991. Rant.



While driving/testing the other carb, rig was having difficult time starting. Check battery - fully juiced. Decided now is the time to put on the gear reduction starter I got on (rman from Toyota Black Friday sale). Sounds way different and works like a champ.

Put the @Fourrunner battery cables on too! Love them - stout MoFos, and proper length for GR starter. Thx!

- speaking of Toyota - I would buy OEM parts with their online (free shipping if over 75) and look up part # for my rig/diagrams- They changed the parts site Monday (from to and now can't lookup vehicles pre 1991 - and if you have the part # - you can't get past the verification pre-1991. Rant.

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I saw something changed for Toyota Parts website. Had a few carts going after much research and they all disappeared.
I have a friend whom works for Toyota Corp, and I asked him to send my message (🖕) upstream to the brains behind that decision. He too is a FJ40 owner and gets it.
Yeah, I’ve been trying to rebuild my missing shopping carts today but to no avail…
hope they aren’t freezing us out…
There is a rather tedious way that I have found for looking up and ordering OEM parts from Toyota. I use this site: Toyota parts catalog - It has detailed parts diagrams to look up part numbers. With the part number in hand, I then go to a domestic Toyota dealer with an online parts website. (I like this one Lithia Toyota Parts | OEM Toyota Parts & Accessories | Manufacturer Warranty - It has worked okay thus far, but shipping costs are ridiculous.
Up until now, I had been ordering available oem parts on the previous website but chose pickup at whatever local dealership was listed. It usually became cheaper than list with no shipping. Sometimes it would take longer but not always.

I recently got an OEM front bumper for my 40 for around a $150 all in this way.

Now I need to do a brake job on a 62 and even though I can get some parts from Toyota, I’ll likely pay a bit more and get everything from the gang at cruiser outfitters.

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