New Member From Colorado (1 Viewer)

Joined
May 13, 2017
Messages
321
Location
Buena Vista, Colorado
Welcome to the madness. Yep, you got plenty of rust in ALL the right places. Under hood looks really intact. At least the bezel police can't bust your chops since you don't have one!
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
83
Location
Sedalia, Colorado
OK so I posted a bunch of pictures. I want to reiterate that I have no plans to do anything with this for at least six months. I will continue to read and educate myself about these FJ’s. In addition to that, I plan on buying parts that I know I’ll need. Here is where I could really use some help.

After viewing the pictures and relying on your knowledge of the FJ, would any of you please comment on parts that commonly need to be replaced? Things like seals on xmsn, xfer cases, diffs, axles and possibly the best place to source them?

The body- I know it’s bad and will require work. Based on the pics provided, would anyone recommend new body panels vs. new tub? 1/2 tub or 3/4? If it be panels, which ones do I need and again, best source.

I don’t have the means to drop 15-20k all at once into it so I want to work smartly and not repeat any of the work if at all possible- such as having to pull the engine for one thing, then later pulling it for something else.

The frame- Recommendations? It has surface rust and I’ve tapped and poked with a screwdriver and didn’t find and bad spots. Should I remove the body and address it? I’m fearful that this thing will consume me as I have read resto threads from others. You start on a simple thing and next thing you know, it’s completely disassembled.

Last thing for now- which parts are the most difficult to source? Which parts should I be looking for right now?

I would appreciate any and all constructive comments and feedback. Thanks in advance for sharing your experience and knowledge.

Scott
 

middlecalf

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 20, 2004
Messages
3,088
Location
Sweet, Idaho
First, welcome. Second, I hope there was a fly rod nearby in that pic on the south fork 😆. Lastly, yeah there’s some work needed on that rig, get mechanicals fixed first then do body stuff as needed (floors for sure). Not sure what’s up with this body frame mount, there should be two rivets holding it in place.
1E9D8408-1BE8-4127-A89E-D054FB7E036D.jpeg


GL!
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
1,020
Location
Tucson, AZ
Wow! That is a pretty classic rig you have. 2 colors, rust and “cancer” in all the regular spots. Lol. But wow if it doesn’t look just about complete!! I echo the above statement. Get it running and enjoy it! Breaks, and a tune up. Change the fluids! All of them! Then enjoy it and tinker when you can. A citrus stripper will take off the red paint. That will save you a ton on repainting, but will cost time and elbow grease. The rust spots can be fixed by using patches welded in. That will save you having to buy whole quarter panels and a sill (unless you want to..) I would eventually get a replacement drivers floor though.. but that’s about it it looks like. Oh and use fluid film or something to stop the surface rust underneath. There are some good treads on here for rust prevention. Have fun! Welcome!!!!!
 

FJ404345

Drive your 40 series daily !
GOLD Star
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
1,614
Location
South Caribbean (Dutch Antilles)
Welcome Scott !!

i see nobody hasn't told you yet

Good luck with the first 40 !!, more 40's will follow soon specially if you are going to look for the parts you need with this one
 
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DangerNoodle

Essentially a fire wielding monkey.
SILVER Star
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
1,153
Location
Divide, Colorado
Welcome! I'm a little more than an hour away from you. It looks like you have a pretty good project cut out for you, let me know if you need some help at some point.

-DJ.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
83
Location
Sedalia, Colorado
First, welcome. Second, I hope there was a fly rod nearby in that pic on the south fork 😆. Lastly, yeah there’s some work needed on that rig, get mechanicals fixed first then do body stuff as needed (floors for sure). Not sure what’s up with this body frame mount, there should be two rivets holding it in place.
View attachment 2378672

GL!
Thanks, Middlecalf- great advice and a keen eye. I have added that item to the list. Thank you!
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
8,577
To me it sounds like your budget is very limited which is fine. It also sounds like you don't want to spend a lot of time on it. Unfortunately those two restrictions won't work together. If you don't want to spend a lot of money, it will take a ton of time. I would get it running decent and get it stopping. Then I would sell it and get something that is closer in condition that you want a rig to be. Personally I think that needs a new complete tub. You could patch it a little and do the bare minimum but even that will take a lot of time and the cruiser won't look that great. If you get that running and stopping you could probably sell it for around 6k or so and then buy a nicer rig for 15 to 20k.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
3,849
Location
Denver CO
I :love: this rig! Excellent find!

So much good here, mostly complete, but yes some rust, but nothing that wouldn't stop you from driving it!

First off, we like to call them 40s around here, not FJs. FJ is what FJ Cruiser people call the FJ Cruiser, which is not a 40 :)

Looks like oil leaks abound. Easy ones to tackle are to snug up the oil pan bolts and side cover bolts by the distributor (just snug, it is a cork gasket holding that together). Also check the valve cover for snugness. If that doesn't slow or stop the leaks then further diving in will be required. Front main seal, rear main seal, depending on where the leak is coming from. The back of the transfer case where the parking brake is is also a common spot for leaking, and will soak the parking brake pads so they won't work. Requires a few parts including a parking brake rebuild kit and removing the rear driveshaft. Steering box looks leaky, can pump some grease into it and run it with that until you feel like tackling a reseal on the steering box.

Front steering knuckles don't look too leaky, but while you're changing the fluids you will want to remove the square plug on top of the steering knuckle and stick a zip tie in there to make sure it has grease in it about 2/3-3/4 full. If it starts leaking or is already leaking then a front axle rebuild is in your future.

Join Rising Sun and get a parts discount at your closest local dealer, Groove Toyota on Broadway. It's amazing how much is still available OEM from Toyota, so don't be afraid to check. Things like the cooling system hoses and clamps are available, also fan belts, suggest also an OEM oil filter and air filter, maybe even brake hoses and stuff are available.

Just start with the basic tuneup stuff to get acquainted - oil and filter change, spark plugs, cap, rotor, air filter, coolant, points (can't remember if '78 has points still), and gear oil for front diff, transmission, transfer case, and rear diff.

Buy a Haynes manual, they are not that expensive and are pretty good. You can worry about a factory service manual (FSM) later if you feel the need to have the additional info.

Make sure it runs, check the timing and adjust the valves. Then make sure it stops so pull off the wheels and check the brakes front and rear, flush the brake fluid and clutch fluid and probably replace the hoses.

Grease the driveshafts and steering shafts and drive it around a bit.

Make sure the safety bits work like electrical, mirrors, windshield washer, etc.

Then you can decide what to do with it. Buy new tires if you're going to drive it around much. You don't have to jump into full restoration right away. It won't rust out from under you as long as you keep it out of the salted roads until you've had a chance to address some things.

Cruiser Outfitters @cruiseroutfit has rebuild kits for a lot of the stuff you will want/need, and is a great vendor. For more obscure things Specter Off-Road usually can dig up whatever you need, but a little more pricey and shipping gets expensive. Closer to home you have Classic Cruisers in Salida, you can give them a call for used parts. Redline Land Cruisers east of Colorado Springs can do a lot of the heavy lifting related to body work etc. - might take a door to them or something first and see how they do and how much they cost, and they may be able to piecemeal some other body patches as needed.

I'd probably consider an OEM battery hold down personally.

Douglas County is an emissions county so you will have to get that sorted. Looks like everything is there so hopefully it all just works.

Have fun!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
83
Location
Sedalia, Colorado
Wow! That is a pretty classic rig you have. 2 colors, rust and “cancer” in all the regular spots. Lol. But wow if it doesn’t look just about complete!! I echo the above statement. Get it running and enjoy it! Breaks, and a tune up. Change the fluids! All of them! Then enjoy it and tinker when you can. A citrus stripper will take off the red paint. That will save you a ton on repainting, but will cost time and elbow grease. The rust spots can be fixed by using patches welded in. That will save you having to buy whole quarter panels and a sill (unless you want to..) I would eventually get a replacement drivers floor though.. but that’s about it it looks like. Oh and use fluid film or something to stop the surface rust underneath. There are some good treads on here for rust prevention. Have fun! Welcome!!!!!
2 colors- rust and cancer... LOL! Thanks Cruiser. More great advice- this is what I’m looking for. I think there are a couple of leaks I need to take care of in addition to the items you addressed. I had it parked on the concrete driveway for one day and then noticed the drips underneath it. This is why in the pictures it’s parked out in the field. Hoping to get it into my neighbors shop soon for the bigger items. Thanks again!
To me it sounds like your budget is very limited which is fine. It also sounds like you don't want to spend a lot of time on it. Unfortunately those two restrictions won't work together. If you don't want to spend a lot of money, it will take a ton of time. I would get it running decent and get it stopping. Then I would sell it and get something that is closer in condition that you want a rig to be. Personally I think that needs a new complete tub. You could patch it a little and do the bare minimum but even that will take a lot of time and the cruiser won't look that great. If you get that running and stopping you could probably sell it for around 6k or so and then buy a nicer rig for 15 to 20k.
Thanks, Stripe. Maybe I didn’t articulate my position regarding my intentions with this 40. When I said I didn’t have $15k or whatever the amount I used in my example, I meant like write a $15k check today. I know that eventually I will probably need to sink at least that much into it. I was mentally referencing some of the builds I have read about on this site. They buy it on day and two weeks later, it’s almost complete. 🙂

As for not getting started right away, I want to learn more about the rebuild process that I see others doing before I go tearing into it. You have some good points that are worthy of considering. Sorry if my post was misleading on the funds and time commitment. Thanks!

Scott
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
83
Location
Sedalia, Colorado
I :love: this rig! Excellent find!

So much good here, mostly complete, but yes some rust, but nothing that wouldn't stop you from driving it!

First off, we like to call them 40s around here, not FJs. FJ is what FJ Cruiser people call the FJ Cruiser, which is not a 40 :)

Looks like oil leaks abound. Easy ones to tackle are to snug up the oil pan bolts and side cover bolts by the distributor (just snug, it is a cork gasket holding that together). Also check the valve cover for snugness. If that doesn't slow or stop the leaks then further diving in will be required. Front main seal, rear main seal, depending on where the leak is coming from. The back of the transfer case where the parking brake is is also a common spot for leaking, and will soak the parking brake pads so they won't work. Requires a few parts including a parking brake rebuild kit and removing the rear driveshaft. Steering box looks leaky, can pump some grease into it and run it with that until you feel like tackling a reseal on the steering box.

Front steering knuckles don't look too leaky, but while you're changing the fluids you will want to remove the square plug on top of the steering knuckle and stick a zip tie in there to make sure it has grease in it about 2/3-3/4 full. If it starts leaking or is already leaking then a front axle rebuild is in your future.

Join Rising Sun and get a parts discount at your closest local dealer, Groove Toyota on Broadway. It's amazing how much is still available OEM from Toyota, so don't be afraid to check. Things like the cooling system hoses and clamps are available, also fan belts, suggest also an OEM oil filter and air filter, maybe even brake hoses and stuff are available.

Just start with the basic tuneup stuff to get acquainted - oil and filter change, spark plugs, cap, rotor, air filter, coolant, points (can't remember if '78 has points still), and gear oil for front diff, transmission, transfer case, and rear diff.

Buy a Haynes manual, they are not that expensive and are pretty good. You can worry about a factory service manual (FSM) later if you feel the need to have the additional info.

Make sure it runs, check the timing and adjust the valves. Then make sure it stops so pull off the wheels and check the brakes front and rear, flush the brake fluid and clutch fluid and probably replace the hoses.

Grease the driveshafts and steering shafts and drive it around a bit.

Make sure the safety bits work like electrical, mirrors, windshield washer, etc.

Then you can decide what to do with it. Buy new tires if you're going to drive it around much. You don't have to jump into full restoration right away. It won't rust out from under you as long as you keep it out of the salted roads until you've had a chance to address some things.

Cruiser Outfitters @cruiseroutfit has rebuild kits for a lot of the stuff you will want/need, and is a great vendor. For more obscure things Specter Off-Road usually can dig up whatever you need, but a little more pricey and shipping gets expensive. Closer to home you have Classic Cruisers in Salida, you can give them a call for used parts. Redline Land Cruisers east of Colorado Springs can do a lot of the heavy lifting related to body work etc. - might take a door to them or something first and see how they do and how much they cost, and they may be able to piecemeal some other body patches as needed.

I'd probably consider an OEM battery hold down personally.

Douglas County is an emissions county so you will have to get that sorted. Looks like everything is there so hopefully it all just works.

Have fun!
Great information here, Matt. Thank you!!! Exactly what I was looking for. It’s gonna take time and money and I know I’ll get it there with the help of everyone here. I was on the Rising Sun web site last night but didn’t get to the message board part. I’m going to check it out again tonight.

As you pointed out, get it running and safely at first. Lubes and tunes and brakes. I will check out the Stevensons web site for parts availability. I plan on buying parts in priority order and difficulty involved in specific hard to find ones. This is part of the enjoyment for me.

Thanks again and I’ll be in touch!

Scott
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
83
Location
Sedalia, Colorado
Welcome Scott !!

i see nobody hasn't told you yet

Good luck with the first 40 !!, more 40's will follow soon specially if you are going to look for the parts you need with this one
Thank you! I’m checking out CL and online forums such as Mud. Lots of parts available from many $ource$. 🙂 My wife would kill me if I dragged another one home... 😄
 

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