New FJ40 owner. Steering issue Question / Puzzle.

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate
links, including eBay, Amazon, Skimlinks, and others.

Jan 20, 2022
Hi everyone! I'm New here. I just bought a 1974 FJ40 and also own a 1991 Toyota Pickup thats SAS (and for sale).

If you're good at puzzles please keep reading.

I'm trying to sort out the steering in this FJ40 and would appreciate if anyone has input. It appears to have all new ball joints (tie rod, center link, drag link.

Hypothesis: The center link was maybe installed backwards. Can someone check their rig? My manual is no help.

Help request: On the center link, should right side of vehicle be left hand threads LHT, or right hand threads RHT. Note: Center Link (not tie rod)

I also think all my link ends are all in the wrong places.. this is a bit of a puzzle.

Note: Right means when sitting in the car it's on the right, ( passanger side).

A.The center link RIGHT side ball joint stud was way to short. Impossible to get a cotter pin through the castle nut, stud too short. Right hand threads. RHT.

B. The center link LEFT side ball joint seemed OK length. Left hand threads. LHT

C. The drag link stud is too long and the cotter pin sits past the castle nut slots. Left hand threads. LHT

I think what happened...
1.Center link was installed backwards.
2. The long stud LHT center link joint that belongs on the center link right (passes through tie rod joint), ended up on the drag link (so its way too long).
3. The short RHT center link joint that belongs on the center link Left was on center link Right side (since link flipped). So short couldn't get castle on enough.
4. The LHT drag link joint ended up on left side center link. Seemed fine there.

So I think to fix all this I need to play merry-go-round round with the link ends and flip the center link so the LHT are on the right side center link of vehicle and on drag link end.
I think your theory is right, the ends are all very similar. Look at this description and parts, I think it will straighten you out. Tie Rod End Kit for '63 to '84 Land Cruiser FJ40 FJ45, LHD -
I think it's right also. I'm swapping everything around and flipped the center link and it's working.

The very last threads on (what should have been the left center link joint) are a bit damaged from the castle nut stripping when it was installed on the right side (was too short to work there) so I'm replacing that one joint. It's fine for now.

Everything else is lining up now and can get a cotter pins in. Searching now for torque values of the jam nuts and joints.

Everything is the 555 brand. I don't like their castle nuts, they seem cheap and flimsy.

I can take pictures but it's not super helpful. I'll post some of the initial issues I found
Perhaps pictures ?
this is how I found the drag link. Stud too long. Cotter pin is past the castle nut.
I think it's all fixed up :) looking forward to driving it. It's a super nice driver and seems well built.
I think most likely, the 2 pictured ends positions need to be swapped. Im pretty sure the drivers side relay rod end should have right hand threads.
I think most likely, the 2 pictured ends positions need to be swapped. Im pretty sure the drivers side relay rod end should have right hand threads.
Yes, well sort of. I got it to all line up. The passanger side center link end was on the drag link. It was a 3 part end switch-a-roo. And flipping the center link.
Any ideas of this stud is replaceable? It's stripped. Front bottom shock absorber mount.


You can cut off the old one and weld on a new one. Or, drill it out and use a long metric bolt/nut to hold the bolt to the flange, and a 2nd nut to hold the shock in place.

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom