New guy looking to buy first Pig

Joined
Jun 7, 2011
Messages
186
Location
Hendersonville North Carolina
Hey guys. I have been thinking and thinking about purchasing a FJ55 for me and my two young sons to tinker with. I have researched dozens of older trucks and have looked at several older Jeep Wagoneers but I am seemed to be fixated on the FJ55.
There is a '78 with the original motor about 10 hours from my location that I'm considering. I've spoken with the owner at lenght about his FJ55 and asked a battery of questions. There are issues, but nothing atypical for this truck. Body is in overall good condition with the expected rust in the usual places. It has the original motor that is in very good shape per owner
Transfer case works well in high and low but does make 'noise' - but not a grinding noise. Owner suggest to have transfer case rebuilt. QUESTION: Are rebuild kits available, where from and how much? I am pretty handy mechanically though I haven't rebuilt a transfer case before. On a scale of 1-10, how big a job is it?

Also, the windshield has a chip in it that is growing into a crack. What am I looking at in getting a new windshield? I'm thinking that this isn't something I can easily find or am I wrong? Cost?

Many thanks in advance for your inputs. This will be my first Pig and while I am excited, I am cautious as well - I don't want to buy into something that I have to struggle with and have little to no resources for parts. I know that I will have to work on any FJ55 and that's not a problem - in fact that is what I want to introduce to my sons. I just don't want to get in over my head....
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2009
Messages
1,392
Location
Wichita
I think that finding parts is hard...especially around here in Kansas. I have gotten a great deal of stuff from dudes on the forum here though.....
I think that is what makes these cool and unique though....if parts were easy to get...everyone would have one 'cause they are so cool.

I have enjoyed my time working on mine and at times it is very frustrating, but rewarding in the end!

Good luck and go for it. Your boys will thank you some day! It's all about building memories and making good stories to tell....

Randy
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2010
Messages
151
Location
North Idaho
There are a few FJ55 in My location some of the rigs i are in the Craigslist for the Spokane/ Coeur D Alene Search under FJ55, always ask for a phone number when dealing with Craigslist. Hate to tell you this but if you want a rig that is like the FJ55 but is easier to fix, then a FJ60 has more support in the aftermarket.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Messages
1,489
Location
Colo Spgs Colorado
Website
www.RedLineLandCruisers.com
78's are my favorite year! Pig parts( body parts ) are the most expesive parts on the rig! A w/s will run 350-550$ and the case is a standard 4 speed L/C case! You can rebuild it or have a cruiser shop do it. scale 1-10 for a novice your looking at a 7-8?
If you need parts, MUD is a great place

Not saying your a novice, of coarse. I would snag it up, depending on price!

Hope this helps!!

Justin
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
96
Location
Mid-Georgia
I got my first FJ55 earlier this year and I do have a bit of buyers remorse. That may change once I get the chance to actually start using the vehicle. My problem was that I didn't do enough "homework" on the FJ55. I saw it, loved it, and bought it. Most of the research I had done was on the FJ40 and I assumed the parts would be available for the 55 just like the 40. Not so. It is a completely different animal and can be pretty costly. The forum is a great help tracking things down and lots of advice for work arounds but that doesn't help with the cost of things like weatherstripping. Ouch!!!:eek:

The transfer case is not a big deal to break into. I took mine apart to replace all of the seals and didn't have too bad of a time with it. You just have to pay very close attention to where things are and the order they come out. There are a few grooved washers in there that like to drove me crazy getting them back in place but it can be done.

Regarding the engine, be careful and again do your research. Rebuilding an original engine can be very costly and there are not a lot of options. Sure, you can change over to a different engine but it changes everything. Different transmission, transfer case, driveshaft and all of it costs a bundle.

I'm not trying to knock your idea of owning a FJ55. It can be a great truck. Just be smarter than I was and do ALL of the math before you get started because it is a big mouthful to chew on.
 

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