Builds My First Time: FJ40 build

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Jan 4, 2018
Naches, WA
I have been a long time pirate and marlin member but since i decided last night to move from the minitruck world to the land cruiser world i figured i would start a build thread here for the cruiser knowledge.

here is what i am starting with:

73 fj40 with hard top, bikini and soft doors included.
freshly rebuilt TBI 350 already wired
freshly rebuilt SM465
Dana 44 front, shortened with chromoly shafts
dana 60 semifloat rear, shorteded with Dutchman shafts
uninstalled 4.88's front and rear and rear detroit
brand new( but old) 35" KM1's
pile of associated parts from years of the PO collecting.
all in all i have about 3500 in it with trades and cash.
I was previously building this:
T100 Family Wheeler. AKA the Mutant Turtle

so the wife wont let me, and i don't have time to build both so i am going to be using some of the parts from my last build for this build and selling off the rest.

at this point i know the 40 is getting this

14" 2.0 FOA's

Barnes4WD 3 link kit with endure joints

rear u bolt elimination kit

37x12.5-17 yokohama geolander M/T's on steelies
as for the axles i am pretty sure at this point i will be ditching the dana axles that are under the 40 right now and going with a long term set of axles i have been building for going on 6 years now. if you want a lot of detail it is in my previous thread but they are basically full width fj60 front and full float fj80 rear:

basically used LCwizard's extension sleeves on both sides of the fj60 front and added minitruck IFS outers hubs for +1.5" on both sides. I even have custom inner shafts from Bobby from back in the day with brand new never used 30 splines.

for the rear i added a custom machined spacer to the short side to make it be right at 67.5" WMS-WMS and used a nitro cut to length shaft for that one side. I actually ended up with a spare spacer if anyone else wants to do a similar full width rear FF FJ80.
hopefully this build will go faster than my t100 build was going.
Subscribed! Looks like a great build.

Really wish I had of gone wider on my front 60 housing, I only used one of Dave’s extension.

Also love the idea of a widened rear. I left my fzj80 housing stock.

What rear springs are you planning to use?
Subscribed! Looks like a great build.

Really wish I had of gone wider on my front 60 housing, I only used one of Dave’s extension.

Also love the idea of a widened rear. I left my fzj80 housing stock.

What rear springs are you planning to use?
Thanks. These axles have been a dream of mine for a long time now and have been slated to be under about three rigs I have gone through since starting planning. It will be good to finally get them under a rig. Only problem I have now is gear ratio. I had bought 5.29’s for them but with the sm465 and no OD I doubt that is a good idea.

Not sure yet on rear springs. When I was on the last build I was going to use some f150’s backward but I have not researched what works well in 40 land yet. Any suggestions? The rear springs in there now are way too tall
There are some options, what sort of wheel base are you planning?
i don't really have a firm number in mind yet but i would like to optimize the approach and departure angles, and i am not afraid to cut up the tub and make tube fenders to help keep it low. I still want this to be somewhat street legal though so not too crazy.

my overall goal with this rig is to make it a capable rock crawler but still streetable enough to take my girls on day trips to explore all the back trails and dirt roads around us here in the sierras.

i am going to try and get her in the garage tonight and then get some initial measurements as she sits now as i know the springs in it now are not stock.
Thanks. I know there is a super long road ahead and it will probably take me years to drive it but it still has the new project smell so I am pretty excited to work on it. I bet I won’t be here in about a year. Lol

I did get her in the garage last night and took some measurements. It is sitting at about a 92” wheel base and 24” to frame on 35” tires. There is 12” from top of tire to fender well so I am assuming I will be lowering it 4-6”. The rear springs had a 20/24” eye to centerbolt to eye Doug I flip them around I should get 4” of wheel base added. If I push the front forward another 4 that should put me right about 100” on 37’s with about 18-20” under frame.
Also the Dana 44/60 under there now were cut down to about 64.5” and my toy axles are a bout 67.5” so I will only really be gaining about 1.5” on both sides.
I’m at 105” with flipped xj springs in the rear and using the furthest hole in the spring perches. They are a little soft and worn, but a few companies make an hd pack so I may go that way. Here’s a good side shot.

If your trying to keep it low, you could also use SOA YJ leaf packs, they are pretty flat and have a reverse eyelet on the spring dropping it another 1-1.5”.

I really like that stance yours has. Are those 40’s or 37’s?

I have thought about using leaf sliders instead of shackles. That will help lower it down some too.
Thanks, they are 37s. Should have bought 40s but didn’t have the supporting mods at that time.

Leaf sliders are a good idea. But not sure if it’s totally necessary. Not sure how low you want to go but there are some good ideas in this thread. The first pics don’t work but scroll down there are some good ones.

Fugly's Yota
He did some sweet work on that front end keeping it low. I really like the 100-104” wheel base look. All the rigs I have wheeled in the past have been 107” plus so it will be interesting to see how the shorter wheelbase goes.
Starting to wonder if I should build this rig to fit 40’s. The 37’s seemed big until I bolted one to how it sits now and now it looks small. I will have to post pics tomorrow when I get back to my computer.
here are the pictures from Friday night i promised.

roughly 24" to frame on 35's aired up.

roughly 92" wheel base right now trying to measure by my self.

in the garage

pile of parts

35 BFG KM1 vs 37" yokohama

Saginaw PS conversion was done pretty well. looks to have a GM steering column as well.

high steer on the dana 44. nice custom tie rod hahaha

really trick rear shock mounts.

anyone want a really big rear winch bumper?

rear dana 60 around 64.5" once i slip the rotors on

37 bolted up with rotor. looks small on there with about 12" to top of wheel well.

found this tag on my rear springs. anyone have any idea what they are?
quick search leads me to think they are these:
Toyota Land Cruiser Replacement Leaf Spring (6 Leaves, Rear)
A and B measurements are pretty close.

so the 205 has a round mounting pattern and 32 spline female input and the sm465 has the figure 8 and 10 spline so i am assuming the PO was getting ready for a doubler? anyone have a 10 spline 203 laying around?

good windshield and frame but no windshield wipers. will need to figure something out there.
don't have a super strong path forward but my first goal is to het the motor and trans bolted together and in place and see if i can get the wiring back together and get her to fire. I also want to throw my rear end in to see how wide it will be with the 37's. might swap the springs around too to see how that wheel base looks. obviously i will be lowering it but i can accomplish that with the mounting locations and use the same springs as they seem to be in good shape if the wheel base looks good.
got a couple hours last night to tinker some. pulled the rear axle and flipped the springs to see what the wheel base add would look like and then put in my FJ80 rear for mock up.

definitely gained about 4" in wheel base, still needs to be a lot lower though.

did find there was an add a leaf spring in this pack as well i will probably take out.

width went up from 75 to about 84" outside of tire to outside of tire. looks kinda funny right now sitting so high but i think with some small tube fender flares in the back and some fender trimming they will look a lot more at home. also shameless beer poser pic!

just clamped together for now until i can get the pinion angle set. only down side to the u bolt eliminator kit is mockup is a little more difficult.

rear diff is still offset about an inch to the passenger. i could have went full centered but it would have cost me another 225 dollar shaft so i figured 1" was not worth 225 dollars to me.

i also air hammered the old rear winch bumper off because i kept hitting my head on it getting the axle in. came off surprisingly easy. glad i never actually hooked anything to the trailer hitch.

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