Need advice on a FJ40 purchase!

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virafp

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Hi All, I have been looking for an FJ40, and saw one locally for sale. While it presents very well, with a few cosmetic issues I gave some questions on the mechanicals and electrical.

1. Car has a 3 speed. Going into 1st at a standstill the gears crash, same for reverse. If you go to 2nd, then into 1st or reverse, no crashing. Get to stop sign, and you have to engage 2nd then 1st, or it crashes. Sounds like a synchro problem? How much would it cost? Really what I think it needs is a 4 speed trans. How involved is that and is it expensive?

2. The front brakes are discs. It still takes a lot of pedal pressure to stop. Is this normal or a problem with the booster? Or is this normal?

3. Brake pedal sits about 3 inches higher than the clutch pedal.

4. Steering gas lots of play - any recommendation on a power steering conversion and approx cost?

5. Ride was very bouncy, but my plan would be an OME conversion with better tires.

6. Only speedo and fuel gauge work.

Thanks in advance for your help.
 
RodrigzCrzr

RodrigzCrzr

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What year 40?
on three speeds you are going to get that crash as you say in first as well as reverse because three speeds are not syncro'd.
brake may need a new brake booster or proportioning valve installed if this was a conversion.
40 series are usually bouncy being that they have a short wheel base. but you may also may need shocks or a new spring lift.
yes there are ways to convert to PS lots of threads on MUD to look up. best place to look is in FAQ page.
the slop can also be due to possible tie rod ends need to be replaced and looked at.
Post some pictures of the cruiser.
 
Dizzy

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You can actually get used to the three speed without grinding, in and out of first, not 100% of the time, it will eventually catch you off guard. Part of it is using second gear to stop the idler shaft that was spinning before you depressed the clutch, then going into first or reverse, and don't downshift into first. Use low range, unlocked hubs, if traffic is moving in waves, so you can ride in and out of 2nd and 3rd. However, the second gear on a three-speed really shines, as the engine needs not four speeds for regular paved road grades. I'd prefer the native lower low on the three speed TC, as well. The four-speed will grind into reverse like one the three speed transmissions. But, the vehicle you checked out doesn't sound abnormal or in need of service, based on your description, I could be wrong.
 
EWheeler

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Sounds like a used landcruiser. Mechanical upgrades and maintenance are much easier to overcome than significant rust/body repair in my opinion.

On my ‘69, only the speedo and the ammeter worked, because oil pressure and water temp fuel gauge wires had all been removed or had came off from their respective senders. These trucks are very simple and are fun to work on if you enjoy the process and have the means physically and financially. There are tons of parts available from Toyota for these old trucks, and there are LOTS of great vendors selling aftermarket parts to fill in the gaps where toyota has stoped producing. Post up some photos and youll get lots of input.
 
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virafp

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Thanks all, its a 1972 model year.
 
Kayaker

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You will be happy to hear that it came from the factory like that. As others have said, 1st gear on a three spreed is not syncronized. Come to a complete stop befor engaginf first gear and you should be golden. After 48 years of driving it you will be able to cheat a little because, well, you just know how. Like others have said, you cn use the second gear syncronizers by engaging second then back out and into first, but if you are still rolling you probably don't need to go back to first anyway, unless you are pulling something or on a grade. Look at it this way: You really should come to a full stop at those stop signs anyway. If you do that, no more grinding first gear.

Sounds like the clutch return spring is broken or missing. Look under the dash for the spring connected to the brake pedal. There should be one just like it on the clutch pedal. The pedals should be even.

Can’t comment on those disk brakes; still have my original drums and they don’t still don’t require much pressure to make a fast controlled stop.
 
Mark Jennings

Mark Jennings

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Learn to ‘double clutch’….then you can downshift into first on the fly. Then if the gas paddle is at the correct height, you can ‘heal/toe double clutch’….LOL

If you buy it….have fun with it!
 
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virafp

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Thanks Guys, great feedback. The issue is that even after a full stop, it grinds in First gear. Fully stopped, it still has to be put into 2nd and then into 1st……I guess its just that! Problem is that this was a around town truck for my wife as she loves the FJ look…I just think that she will get tired of it as its a lot of work! If I pulled the trigger on it, it would need PS, OME upgrade, new wheels and tires at the minimum…..going to sleep on it!
 
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1969FJ

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Thanks Guys, great feedback. The issue is that even after a full stop, it grinds in First gear. Fully stopped, it still has to be put into 2nd and then into 1st……I guess its just that! Problem is that this was a around town truck for my wife as she loves the FJ look…I just think that she will get tired of it as its a lot of work! If I pulled the trigger on it, it would need PS, OME upgrade, new wheels and tires at the minimum…..going to sleep on it!
Try pushing the clutch pedal twice , and then go into first gear.
 
Mark Jennings

Mark Jennings

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My wife drives ours every day, 68 3 on the tree. However, when you‘re in your 6th decade, a three on the tree and double clutching is….just what we did…to get to school, to get work, to serve the country…to have the freedom to get to point B from A anytime we felt like it. It’s all we had!

An FJ40 ain’t a Lexis, however, once you get a handle on the art clutch and shift coordination, you’ll get more ‘thumbs up’ then any other car on the road.

P.S. I taught my wife to double clutch a straight tooth gearbox in 1968 so she could downshift her 1959 VW…and get up her driveway….her dad was impressed…LOL
 
Mark Jennings

Mark Jennings

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Thanks Guys, great feedback. The issue is that even after a full stop, it grinds in First gear. Fully stopped, it still has to be put into 2nd and then into 1st……I guess its just that! Problem is that this was a around town truck for my wife as she loves the FJ look…I just think that she will get tired of it as its a lot of work! If I pulled the trigger on it, it would need PS, OME upgrade, new wheels and tires at the minimum…..going to sleep on it!
And the reason to go into second to get it into 1st is when you coast to a stop, there is just enough drag on the gears to keep the cluster gear set spinning. Putting it in 2nd stops the cluster gear and allows you to slip it into 1st. When you double clutch, bumping the revs, with the clutch engaged momentarily, matches the engine speed the output speed allowing you to slip it into gear.
 
WarDamnEagle

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Thanks Guys, great feedback. The issue is that even after a full stop, it grinds in First gear. Fully stopped, it still has to be put into 2nd and then into 1st……I guess its just that! Problem is that this was a around town truck for my wife as she loves the FJ look…I just think that she will get tired of it as its a lot of work! If I pulled the trigger on it, it would need PS, OME upgrade, new wheels and tires at the minimum…..going to sleep on it!
My wife drives a manual everyday (when we are in the country) but I don't think she would put up with that. I think I would look for something with a 4 speed or plan on changing to one.
 
flx

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3. Brake pedal sits about 3 inches higher than the clutch pedal.

Mhh depending of the year of your truck, being a 3-speed, it mostlikely started its life without a brake booster and it was added later.
From factory break and clutch pedal are on the same height... but pedals are higher on trucks with brake booster than one without so this addition may explain the difference.
 
lcwizard

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Thanks Guys, great feedback. The issue is that even after a full stop, it grinds in First gear. Fully stopped, it still has to be put into 2nd and then into 1st……I guess its just that! Problem is that this was a around town truck for my wife as she loves the FJ look…I just think that she will get tired of it as its a lot of work! If I pulled the trigger on it, it would need PS, OME upgrade, new wheels and tires at the minimum…..going to sleep on it!
My wife liked the look of Vin Diesel but I wasn't going to bring him home.

Cost of all that depends on whether you do it or the price of fabrication labor in your area. PS steering will probably cost 2000 if you pay to have it done.
If it has discs up front, they're not a stock item for that year. You'll have to determine if they're Toyota from a later year or a GM parts conversion. The rest you can do
yourself if you have a place to work. Worse case scenario you can buy a gauge panel that accepts Autometer or VDO type gauges if your instrument cluster is bad.
If you want a 40 you need to expect more maintenance than a new car but the maintenance on a 40 can be done with common hand tools vs a 10,000.00 scanner
and a degree in computers and electronics
 
pjohnson

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No. 1 & 3 suggest the clutch is not adjusted properly and is dragging. The fact that you have to shift from 2nd into 1st to prevent grinding at a stop sign means the trans is turning. What you are essentially doing is using the 1st to 2nd syncro to get into 1st gear.

No. 4 could be many different things in the steering system. Not uncommon if it hasn't been maintained for a long time.

As others have said, it sounds like a typical old truck.

edit: I see Mark called it before me.
 
DSRTRDR

DSRTRDR

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Mhh depending of the year of your truck, being a 3-speed, it mostlikely started its life without a brake booster and it was added later.
From factory break and clutch pedal are on the same height... but pedals are higher on trucks with brake booster than one without so this addition may explain the difference.
'72 came with a brake booster from the factory - whether it is working in that truck remains to be determined

the pedal height and travel before engaging can be adjusted (a royal PITA, but can be done) - also, the pedal return springs may be tired
 

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