The engine has been stripped down and disassembled, and we are working with a machine shop in the area to get it inspected and machined. Dad took it to them and they said the engine has a fair amount of wear, and will need to be bored out, oversized pistons put in, and the crankshaft needs to be machined. We were hoping it would be in better condition than that, but it's not the end of the world. Does anyone have advice about oversized pistons, i.e. 1/2mm vs 1mm, or other options? And what about bearing sizes for the crankshaft? Thanks. I'll do some searching at some point too when I have time, getting near finals here at school so I don't have much. Here's our block being loaded up to take for a tank cleaning:
I've finished my freshman year of college, and work on the 40 has commenced again. This week has consisted of a lot of sandblasting of various parts that go in the engine compartment, which are going to be powder-coated. I also put primer on the fiberglass top and have been sanding that, but we learned that the Cygnus White that we had is the wrong code, so I'm waiting on the correct paint to arrive.
We took the freshly machined crankshaft and block back to the engine shop, and they're currently working on reassembling that. They should have it finished within two weeks.
Tool update: we got a compressor! This thing is great, makes sandblasting for more than 30 seconds at a time possible. We piped air under the house to the carport so we can work out there, and also have an outlet in the basement.
We got the last of our engine compartment parts sandblasted today and taken to ACC for Brian to powdercoat. Got to see a few of the parts he's already finished, but he had already taken most of them to the engine shop.
We also moved the rear half tub which we ordered from Land Cruiser Heaven to the body shop and finally opened it up. First impressions are good. We feel like they should have given it a coat of primer before shipping it since it definitely needs to be blasted again, but the paint guys have to do that for the rest of our parts anyway so its not a big issue. I'll post a more detailed review of the product once our body guy has had a chance to work with it and give us his professional opinion.
And here's a sneak peek of all the powdercoated part pictures to come!
I've been continuing work on side projects while the shops progress with their work. I took the instrument cluster apart the other day and repainted the needles orange. Otherwise it didn't need much. I also ordered all new LEDs from superbrightleds.com to replace the bulbs in the cluster, as well as other interior lights. Haven't bothered to put them in yet since I can't really test them.
We also glued the fiberglass cap back onto the drip rail and riveted it. We're following LakeNorman_FJ40's procedure for the top, so we used Sikaflex 290-LOT marine adhesive as he suggested to glue the cap and rail together. On the rivets, we just ordered 1/8" aluminum rivets from McMaster-Carr. LakeNorman says to use a CS Osborne rivet setter, which we did buy, but I quickly concluded it wasn't going to work very well. It may be that we just didn't know how to use it correctly, but I found I could form a much more uniform head with our ball peen hammer. I picked up a piece of rebar at Lowes, ground the ends flat, and drilled a small indentation into one end. This acted as the support below the rivets. I did the same thing with a much smaller piece of rebar, essentially making my own rivet setter, which I used after flattening the head with the ball peen hammer to make the rivets as uniform as possible. Here's the pictures.
Cleco pins holding the two together while the adhesive dries.
Stopped by the body shop the other day to have a look at our recently sandblasted and primed parts. It all looks pretty good for the most part. There are a couple of spots that need some new metal, but nothing too major. On the Land Cruiser Heaven rear tub, our body guy Tony seems to think its alright, but it will definitely take some work. For example, it’s missing a lot of bolt holes/welded nuts. In particular, the holes where the hardtop sides bolt to the tub are absent, so Tony is going to improvise a way to get threads in there (since its too late to weld nuts to the underside of that channel). We have yet to see how well the dimension match up, but Tony will use the other tub to make sure everything is the same. I would say, if you’re considering getting one of these tubs, make sure you’re prepared to put a bit of work into it, or have a competent body guy ready to fix a few issues. Pics:
On the way home we stopped by ACC to drop off the bell housing and have a chat with Brian. They have stripped our frame and sent it out for sandblasting/powder coating, and should have that back in 2 weeks. All our new suspension parts from Ironman arrived (we’re going with the 2.5” lift, new shocks and steering stabilizer from Ironman, highly recommended by ACC, particularly over Old Man Emu). And the parts that came off the frame are stacked neatly on a pallet at ACC. They also opened up, checked, and re-taped our wiring harness, so its nice to know we’ll be good to go with that once we get to that point.
And at home, we put the seam sealer on the hardtop. Things are proceding smoothly!
Got one coat of paint on the hardtop, need to sand it again and do another. Looks pretty good.
Last week, I took the clutch, flywheel and pressure plate to a clutch shop in the area and had them rebuild it. Flywheel was resurfaced, and the clutch plate got new material. And a nice coat of paint so it's all shiny!
After reading a few comments in various threads about differential swaps (4.11 to 3.73), I asked Brian (at ACC) about it. He said that switching the FJ40’s 4.11 differential to a FJ60 3.73 diff helps reduce engine RPMs at high speed, and allows comfortable cruising at 60-70mph. He also said the swap wouldn’t really affect off-road driving, since you’d just put it in low range. Probably could have found this information on Mud with a bit of searching, but it sure is nice to have a resource like Brian able to answer questions like that. Dad and I decided that sounded like something we would want, since I plan on doing some road trips of considerable length in this truck (shoutout to @hecrod, check out his road trip thread (happening right now!) if you haven’t yet).
Brian has a few FJ60 parts trucks in the shop, and two of them had their front diffs still in place! He gave me a great deal and said I just had to pull them myself. So I spent today doing that! Got all the nuts off with our new impact wrench (yay more tools!) and then used a floor jack to break the seal between the diff and housing. Then, at the advice of one of the guys in the shop, I just laid under the diff and pulled it down onto my chest! The second one was a lot easier because that truck’s engine had already been pulled; just stood in the engine compartment and lifted it out. Cleaned them up in the parts cleaner, and now they’re ready for a coat of paint on the housings and installation.
Luckily both of these are front diffs, which means they will have seen a lot less use than rear diffs, since most trucks spent most of their time in 2wd. So we won’t bother rebuilding them.
FJ60 donor truck:
One of the diffs:
The frame is back from powder coating, and looks great.
The engine is finished, and will be picked up this week from our engine shop and taken back to ACC. The plan is for them to reassemble the drivetrain, and then we will work for a couple of weeks at the end of August at the shop to get it back together (hopefully the body will be done by then). This way we can ask questions as they occur to us, and if we don’t get it done before I have to go back to school and dad gets busy with work, they can finish it off so it doesn’t sit in our carport until December with no one to work on it.
I got a transfer case rebuild kit from ACC, so I’ll be working on rebuilding that over the next few days. Hopefully I’ll have another update soon! Thanks for following along.
Update! Well folks, it's been a while. I'm starting to finally learn things never happen as quickly as you hope they will with these projects: since our last update, the family went on vacation and then school started back up, so the 40 hasn't gotten much attention. But now Dad and I have gone to the shops a couple of times in the past few weeks and are making some progress getting them into gear. We are on the schedule at ACC for rolling chassis reassembly, and they've ordered everything they will need for that. The ever growing pile of parts on their shop floor will hopefully be turned into a 40 chassis in the next week or two.
Progress has been slow but looking better over at the body shop: Tony has split the old tub in half and we've gone through almost all the bolt holes on the old tub and marked which ones are original and he should redrill/weld nuts, and which ones are from the PO's farm mods. Tony is painting an FJ60 for ACC today, and he told us he's going to start work on our tub next week when he finishes the 60 (!!). Got a few pictures of that below.
Side note, we and Tony definitely aren't overly impressed with the Land Cruiser Heaven rear half tub, potential buyers take note: its definitely not perfect. I've mentioned this on a LCH discussion thread and here before, but I'll mention a couple more things we noticed today. Bolt holes for seat mounts aren't the right spacing, or thread size. Plus its completely missing the holes for the outer seat mounts. Super hard thing to describe here: the extra stamped rib that levels out the rear heater is on the wrong side. Shouldn't make a huge difference but just a note. Anyway, just be aware.
Throwback a little bit, but before we went on vacation I did start trying to rebuild the T-case. It was a fun mini-project, following along on a Mud how-to thread, but in the end I got stuck in the disassembly phase and didn't want to force it and break the housing. So I brought it to ACC for them to finish. Although I didn't get it done it was still cool to work on something like that, that 6 months ago I couldn't imagine opening up myself. Thanks to Mud for giving me enough confidence to get myself in trouble!!
Can't wait to start bringing y'all some big updates. Check back soon.
Dad stopped by the shop last week and Tony has started work on the tub. He's definitely having fitment issues with the Land Cruiser Heaven rear half tub. I think that's simply because LCH doesn't (and probably can't) have the manufacturing precision of a Japanese assembly line. Essentially the tub doesn't fit perfectly flat on his sample frame so it wobbles a bit (imagine a chair with one leg a bit too short). As always, he says he'll make it work though. I'm hoping to stop by maybe next week to see how far he has gotten. ACC should be starting our chassis reconstruction this week, so I'll stop in on them too.
Tony also said that he's leaning towards not replacing the floor pan with the one we bought, since once he cuts that he'll kind of lose his reference for how the rear is supposed to fit.
Tub on the sample frame.
Dad also finally finished the fiberglass top and brought it to Tony. He's going to use it to check the fitment of the hardtop on the tub. That's the mods he made to our trailer to drive it over.