New guy. 69 project and 78 parts truck. What all should I use?

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Feb 13, 2010
After several years of lusting after a FJ40, I recently picked up a 69 with a pretty good body needing only a rear sill. Its basically just a shell without glass and interior on a solid frame with a 3 speed and a F engine partially disassembled from a spun bearing.

A friend of a friend had a 78 that was their daily driver up till 4 or so years ago when it was parked due to body rust. I bought it for the 2F, 4 speed and disc brake axle.

My question is, other than the parts mentioned, what else should I "upgrade" or "update" from the parts truck to the project except of course any parts in better pysical shape?

2f and 4 speed, front and rear axle will basicly all bolt in .other stuff will work but will need some mods to make it fit.78 has that big brake booster and its hard to fit it into the truck stuff fits much better but requires a fire wall brace mod or a sure more advice is coming good luck.
Thanks for the welcome.

I got the 69 home and in the garage. I have been tearing it down a couple hours a night, a couple days a week. I havent brought the 78 home yet as I want to try to avoid having another parking space taken up in the driveway. Once the 69 body is off the frame, I think I can fit the 78 in the same bay with it.

Here is the only pic I have on this comp of 69 in the PO's storage unit when I picked it up. Officially dubbed "The Great Pumpkin". Story is that it spun a bearing in 84 (still a 1984 sticker on license plate) and was in the shop to be fixed. The shop rolled it outside that night waiting for parts when kids broke every single piece of glass on it. At that point it wasnt worth fixing $ wise so it sat until the owner passed away and the PO I bought it from purchased in 2000 at an estate sale and stored it ever since.

I'll post a few pics of the current tear down this weekend.

Here is "The Great Pumpkin"
Here's something to consider that is critical and you will need to consider this in your process. The window seals, and glass for a 1969 top are almost impossible to find. Toyota changed the glass size and seals in 1971, they will not fit a 69 and there have been guys that buy the seals for a 71 and try modifying them to fit the 69's. This ruins the integrity of the factory window seals and will cause them to leak later. If you are not going to run the hard top from the 69 then it's not an issue. If you check the suppliers, you'll find out the glass seals for the 69's are discontinued.
Thats great information and the stuff I need to learn.

I do have all the 69 seals but they are in less than stellar condition. The 78 has a good top and glass but of course the ambulance doors.

My plan at this point is to look into the difficulty of modding the 78 top to accept the swing up tailgate once I get home. The ambulance doors are pretty rusty and I would like to keep the barn doors/liftgate if possible. If it looks like too much trouble, I may just try to locate a 71+ top. Thanks.
brutus, congrats on the purchase! i recently bought my first FJ40 after years of staring out the window at my neighbor's '67 for a couple of years. My '69 model is from AZ so I have minimal rust issues and thankfully, the glass is all intact. Post more pics and mods is the restoration progresses!
Last week end was busier than expected and I didnt get any time to work on the Cruiser. Had a couple hours last night and got a little further on tear down.

Debating "my own rebuild thread" but not sure yet. Here are a couple phone pics from yesterday when I called it a night.

Its kinda hard to see in these pictures but check out the groovy Rancho shocks straight from the seventies.
Take lots of pictures. It makes putting it back together much easier. I grouped parts together into zip lock bags and wrote what they were for. Especially bolts/nuts, even broken ones so I knew what size to get for replacements. I just wish my writing was a little neater.
swap the rear top supports from the 69 to the 78 top and make a couple new holes in the front of the top where it bolts to windshield and it should fit right will have to drill holes for the latches and support rods but it no that hard.
I've been stripping the 69 down little by little when ever I get the time. Finally got it down to the frame and tub. Once I do the rear sill and patch or replace the quarters, the body will be off and I will start on the frame. Pushed it outside and gave it the once over with the pressure washer.

I also brought the 78 parts truck home last weekend. P.O. said it has been sitting for a while and was smoking when he last parked it. I was planning on a full rebuild. Friend and I hauled it home Sat. On Sun I put some gas in it, checked the oil and radiator, and jumped it right off. It ran great! No smoke, no miss, nothing. Just ran smooth. I let it idle for 30 minutes or better and reved it, held it at higher rpms, everything. Couldnt make it smoke or do anything to make me believe its not in alot better shape than I expected. Gonna do a comp test this weekend.
Depends on what you're better at (bodywork or mech. swapping) & what will take the shortest amount of time to get one on the road. You don't want to jump into something that will be totally torn down, then possibly lose interest. Get the '78 running good & do some mild body work to make it more roadworthy. Then, build up the '69 into a rock crawler when you find out the stock '78 is only good for mild trails :hillbilly:
Guess I should have mentioned in the last post I've decided to use everything (drivetrain including axles, wiring, etc) off the 78 and swap it over to the 69 frame and tub. I'm going to run the early style front doors and barn doors on the back. Thanks for all the input and watch for my rebuild thread!
Should be a good project. Let me know if you need anything
Good luck with the build, that '69 is clean!

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