My Mexican 1965 FJ40V Build Thread (4 Viewers)

MexicanNewby

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This is a thread more than two years late but it has to start somewhere.

Quick background:
I have VERY little knowledge about cars and had never even considered a restoration project, let alone an FJ40.
The first time I ever saw an FJ40 was in Phoenix while looking to buy an FJ80 for road trips with my kids. Never got the FJ80 but kept the 40 on the back of my mind.
In December 2017 I accidentally stumbled online upon a 1963 FJ40 in Guadalajara that had been sitting for 25 years. In February I looked and the advert was still up so I offered half the asking price, which was still steep, but the seller accepted. He asked for a $1,000 USD advance to reserve the car for me and I figured it would either be a VERY expensive story to tell or a simple transaction to start a much more expensive process. So, come February 14th 2018 and there I was on a plane from Mexico City to Guadalajara to then take an Uber to either acquire an old FJ40, find an empty lot or lose a kidney.

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I got there and the car was there, the guy, in his early 50's, was there and the story was fascinating:

Turns out seller's father, Mr. Hermosillo, worked for Mr. Roberto Orendain, owner of one of the best known Tequila distilleries in Mexico. Mr. Hermosillo was in charge for going up the Jalisco Mountains and find blue agave plantations to purchase. When Mr. Orendain saw the off-road needs the task entailed, he decided to lend his 1963 FJ40 to help out.
In 1965 Mr. Hermosillo was promoted to foreman of the distillery and with it, he was give a company car, a 1965 FJ-40. He used that FJ40 until he retired in 1980 and Mr. Orendain gave it to him as a farewell gift. Mr. Orendain died in 1988 and Mr. Hermosillo died in 1998 and his eldest son kept the Land Cruiser running till 2004 by making incredibly poor, if not terrible, repairs, he wasn't able to start it after that and moved the vehicle with every house move they had till their present residence where it sat outdoors for 6 years, before that it was kept under... something.

This is the photo of the online advertisement:
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These I took when I got there.

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There was also a mix-up. Before dying Mr. Orendain gave Mr. Hermosillo the invoice BUT gave him the one for his '63, no one had ever noticed the difference in registration numbers till I checked them. Bear in mind the Hermosillo's paid tax on the '63 every year unwittingly. Whatever happened to the actual '63 is a mystery and since the '65 invoice didn't appear on records in the digital age, there is no record to trace it. Most likely both the '63 FJ40 and the '65 invoice are long gone. I also tried to contact Mr. Orendain's grandchildren to no avail, it was a long shot.
 
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MexicanNewby

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More importantly, there is a general perception that FJ40's were never sold in Mexico but the side plate and invoice, even if its not for my unit, prove otherwise. I later found out Toyota came to Mexico for five years, 1960-1965, and then left. FJ25's and FJ40's were sold in Mexico City and Guadalajara to the best of my knowledge.

Back then there was a policy that all imported cars had to be assembled in Mexico. Jaguar, for example, was assembled by Willy's Mexico. Toyota didn't return till the 90's.

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JohnnyC

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Cool truck!!!

Could very well be one of the last sold in Mexico before toyota pulled out

The toyota’s were CKD’s from toyota to REO-Mexico

REO Mexico was the importer of the Toyota Land Cruisers as CKD's (Knock-down kit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) the same way toyota brazil has started out... getting CKD kits from Toyota

They contracted with Toyota 08/28/1960 and kits were being sent in december of that year. Sales started in september of 1961.

They stopped the import of kits 3/64’ afaik from toyota global information

It was very short lived... Toyota had a
relatively not happy withdrawal from Mexico because of tax, nationalization laws and political nonsense

Toyota was so put out off by the demands they would not deal with Mexico as a market again till 2002 or there abouts

In total only about 3500 trucks and cars ckd’s were imported in the short 4+ years

I’d be interested to know the vin number

Love the side dealer plate!
 

MexicanNewby

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I told you guys I know nothing about cars, so I was first very slow trying to find a trusty mechanic that could work on my rig. During that process I began reading some threads here and other places regarding restoration projects. It wasn't going to be an off chasis job but, well one thing led to another, typical story here.
By sheer luck I ran into Manuel, a 60 something car enthusiast that was, and still is, working on his FJ25 since 2013, he restores cars as his retirement activity. He gave me a book he had mistakenly bought for his 25. He knows exactly what he gave me and I am forever thankful. Cheers Manuel!
Manual.JPG

This is Manuel next to his FJ25, his was sold in Mexico City. He also helps keep one of Latin America's largest Porsche Collection. Really learnt loads from him and am grateful for his friendship, something I never thought my project would bring.
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MexicanNewby

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Cool truck!!!

Could very well be one of the last sold in Mexico before toyota pulled out

The toyota’s were CKD’s from toyota to REO-Mexico

REO Mexico was the importer of the Toyota Land Cruisers as CKD's (Knock-down kit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) the same way toyota brazil has started out... getting CKD kits from Toyota

They contracted with Toyota 08/28/1960 and kits were being sent in december of that year. Sales started in september of 1961.

They stopped the import of kits 3/64’ afaik from toyota global information

It was very short lived... Toyota had a
relatively not happy withdrawal from Mexico because of tax, nationalization laws and political nonsense

Toyota was so put out off by the demands they would not deal with Mexico as a market again till 2002 or there abouts

In total only about 3500 trucks and cars ckd’s were imported in the short 4+ years

I’d be interested to know the vin number

Love the side dealer plate!

This is far more accurate than what I though I knew, thank you!
My vin number, 33926, chasis number more like. Is this what you were looking for?
 

MexicanNewby

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I degres:

I finally found Señor Ríos, a 73 year old mechanic who is schooled on the old Chevy engines.

So the project began and on one hand Señor Ríos began taking the car apart and I began placing orders online for everything, I managed to pull in favors from everywhere to practically smuggle parts into the country and managed to source and transport a TON of stuff down to Mexico City, from rear axles picked up by my cousin in LA from Mark @65swb45, front wheel hubs from Craigslist in Phoenix and flown down here by a friend and rims and drums, etc trucked in from Laredo.

The chasis was in pretty decent shape, the body too considering the climate it was exposed to and the time, some rust formed at the back, the truck was covered by a tarp and tied under to prevent it to fly off, it created a pocket of water under which the rear was submerged for some time and which ended up corroding it to hell.


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A ver familiar view around here:
ChasisAntes.JPG
 

JohnnyC

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Yes definitely a 65’ ... Toyota could be off on their years... early Toyota data .... ahhhh sucks lol

Their definition of end could very well be the termination date of agreement ... but... legal this and that bought them a few years .... however your still could very well be one of the last to be sold that year
 

MexicanNewby

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Now the engine...Man...the engine...

It was opened up and decades of neglect surfaced in a very noticeable manner:

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Spark plugs were separated with an extra nut to prevent them from getting too wet with fuel.

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Engine had to be bored at .20, crankshaft connection to harmonic balancer was off BUT engine was not stuck and it had not been run with low oil. It did have a ton of shavings though and...bits of sausage of something of the sort?

MotorAntes.JPG

CigüeñalReparado.JPG
 

MexicanNewby

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The chassis all cleaned up and then painted, you can see on the floor all the dirt that came off. The scraping was a near perfect job as some parts inside were missed.
Chasis Pelado.jpeg

MuellesAntes.JPG

Kept the original shackles, changed the bolts and got new polymer bushings and the leaf springs were restored at a local specialty shop that works heavy duty trucks.
MuellesColumpiosDespues.JPG

ChasisDespues.JPG

MuellesRInesAbrazaderas.jpeg

Meanwhile the diffs were rebuilt with OEM parts from Denny at fjparts.com
 
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MexicanNewby

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At some point the original tires were lost so they god new rims that used thicker bolts, and they had the brilliant idea of drilling thicker holes in order to put the thicker bolts, it wasn't even done straight. Idiots.

Check out the original bolt in the wider hole:
MasaAntes.JPG


I have a friend that makes precision electrical engines, aka generators for wind turbines and hydraulic plants. His engineers came up with a pretty solid solution rated at 3+ tonnes. Still managed to get unaltered front hubs in case these don't work like they should.

MasaDespues.JPG


For the rear axles, like I had previously stated, I managed to get them flown from L.A. by a cousin who visited Mark @65swb45. She also picked up a few other goodies from him, like his AMAZING carburetor base.
 

MexicanNewby

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So with the differentials fixed and installed, I also got to the brakes. I was going to rebuild the cylinders with the rebuild kit but decided to get new ones. The brake shoes were re pasted (do you say it that way?), all brake lines and hoses were replaced except the brass "T" connectors.

DiferencialNuevo.jpeg
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New drums.
TamboresDespues.JPG


Steering box was also given a thorough revamping.

LicuadoraReparada.jpeg
 

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