New to me 1970 FJ40 - light build (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
41
Location
New Jersey
Hey folks,
figured I'd start a post chronicling my new to me 1970 FJ40, but first the story behind getting it. Rewind a year and a half to my honeymoon in Australia - my wife and I swung by Dutton Garage to get some coffee and oogle the sweet classic cars. It was there and with this rig that my wife's obsession with the FJ40 began.

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Already having a 1969 mustang project, a 1968 F100, and just coming off of a 3rd gen 4runner TRD supercharged build, I took the pic and brushed off her pleas for a FJ40. Fast forward a year and a half and the 4runner is long gone and I get an offer I can't refuse on the F100. As I'm browsing facebook marketplace for another american classic - my wife starts sending me pics of FJ40s she's finding on pinterest and instagram and it dawns on me that she has not forgotten about that FJ40 and resign myself to the fact that my fate is sealed. We are getting an FJ40. Working with a moderate budget, her choices often exceeded the funds and I really didn't want to take on another major project at the moment. So we were sort of back and forth on the idea until I happened across the rig we'd eventually buy. It was not my ideal base, a 1970 FJ40 with a 350/sm465 swap and Malotte body - but she loved the color (suntan yellow) so we decided to go see it. The rig was being sold by the builder's daughter several years after he passed away and it had been sitting in a garage all that time, so we knew it was going to need some love. Thankfully, the builder knew what he was doing and did a nice job with everything that he got to finish and, most importantly, kept fastidious records of all the work. Still needs finishing - interior, top, doors - and engine maintenance due to sitting so long, but thankfully isn't a full resto.

Picking it up:
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Plans at the moment are to do the following to make it a bit more reliable and driveable:
- 4 wheel Wilwood disc brake upgrade w/ vacuum booster (purchased from MAF)
- corbeau or similar suspension seats
- efi and some light power upgrades (heads & cam) for the tired 350.
- new wheels and tires
- full soft top (bought a best top but really looking for an OEM style)
- fiberglass half doors

Here she is safe at our house after a harrowing but immensely fun 80 mile trip home. Haven't driven anything with non power assist 4 wheel drums in a while - and I quickly remembered why I've done a disc brake conversion on every single old vehicle i've owned. Despite that it still brought a huge smile to my face.

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quick P-chop of the wheels/tires I'm picking up next week for it.
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Also, desperately trying to find some fiberglass half doors. There was a set for sale about 6 hours from me but the guy sold them before I could get out there to pick them up. Blew a large portion of the budget on the disc brakes and edelbrock pro flo efi system, so a used set of fiberglass doors would be preferable. Let me know if anyone has a set or knows of some for sale. Thanks!!


Cheers,
Jason
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Messages
1,195
Location
CT
Welcome to Mud.

Check out:




Gotham City Land Cruisers is one of the local clubs.

Out annual club meeting is in Ringwood NJ in the middle of winter.

Although the Coal Mine Cruiser Classic was cancelled, we are still hoping the Fall Gathering (Yankee Toys) will be held in early Oct.

So, check out the local clubs and come join us for some fun times.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
41
Location
New Jersey
Welcome, :flipoff2:, nice find.
Why Wilwood brakes? Toyota makes very good discs that will bolt on the front, Poser sells very good disc brakes that bolt on the rear.
IMNSHO, only stock steel wheels (with hubcaps) or black rockcrushers look correct on a LandCruiser.

Chose wilwoods because I've used them in the past, am very familiar with servicing the calipers, and running them on my mustang as well. Will always have spare parts around.

I also agree about the steelies. My original plan was to run the wheel vintiques smoothies w/ skinny muds but my wife, who has attempted to take creative control (she's a designer), said absolutely no steelies I figured the older 15" american racing slot mags would be a good visual compromise - sort of a day 2 style build.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
41
Location
New Jersey
parts have started to arrive:

this:
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to this:
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still waiting on the rears and the m10 brake line fittings but the fronts are going on smoothly so far.

Also, snagged those wheels and tires. Had to toss one on to see how it looked. Finally fills up the fenderwell nicely (4" suspension lift and 1" body lift).
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And got a set of new Procar seats but still waiting on the adapters.
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also, scored an older edelbrock pro flo 3500 from a buddy so will be going efi on the ol' 350 and swapping in a new cam and lifters. Hoping to get it all done within the next 3 weeks.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Messages
227
Location
NorCal
Nice truck! It’s great that your wife is on board, makes getting new parts easier!

I too have a V8 under the hood. Post some details of the EFI swap.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
41
Location
New Jersey
Nice truck! It’s great that your wife is on board, makes getting new parts easier!

I too have a V8 under the hood. Post some details of the EFI swap.

Basically slapping together a decent mild small block - getting a set of aluminum heads built by skip white, mild summit cam & lifters, 1st gen edelbrock pro flo but utilizing the edelbrock efi external sump kit to make it easier. This thing makes an efi swap super easy - run your low pressure line in which fills the sump and there is an internal submerged efi pump pumping out high pressure fuel to the rail. The pro flo has a standard 80s gm diaphragm fuel pressure regulator and MAP sensor attached to the intake manifold. I'm just going to run standard efi rated fuel hose with oetiker clamps. The 1st gen system needs a return line which I'll run to the stock return port on the fuel tank. Lastly, gotta weld on an O2 sensor bung just past the passenger side header collector (I have block huggers - if you have long tubes, it goes in at the collector itself or even on the #2 tube).

This is how small that edelbrock efi sump is:
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Gonna run this small block roadkill style until I have a little more time for an LS swap. Really trying to get this thing done in the next few weeks so we can enjoy it all summer. Front brakes are installed, but I still need to do the master and make new hard lines - holding off on that until the heads go on since the booster/gm master take up a lot of space and would rather it be wide open when working on the engine. Also just got a set of aluminum half doors from a member here so have to go to the local auto body supply and grab some sunset yellow paint
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
41
Location
New Jersey
slowly making some progress - still waiting on the rear wilwood brake kit and the new aluminum heads for the engine so have been chipping away at other parts of the project.

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Needing to enlarge the firewall holes for mounting the new master cylinder/booster, I decided to make a reinforcement plate out of an old license plate I had laying around.
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installed a new clutch master while i was at it
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then got started on new brake lines
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also installed a new cam/lifters & double roller timing chain on the engine and painted the block black. hopefully will be a bit subtler than the old rusty/dirty chevy blue and a lot more powerful. Based on my planned setup, hoping for about 325ish hp (given the relatively mild cam)

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heads/rockers/pushrods should all hopefully be here by the end of next week. Went with Skip White aluminum heads, arp bolts for everything, edelbrock aluminum water pump & the edelbrock pro flo/aluminum intake all should lighten things up a bit. Noticed my radiator had a small leak, so rather than messing w/ getting it redone, I snagged an aluminum replacement.
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Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
41
Location
New Jersey
installed the radiator and re-installed the electric fan. It's a summit fan the previous owner installed, but might swap it out down the line for a fan/shroud combo. Was running nice and cool prior to the tear down, so might be fine... we'll see.

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heads finally arrived to did a final clean on the block surface and heads and got em on today.

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Also the rear wilwood brake kit finally shipped, so if everything goes well I'm hoping to have this thing back on the road by the weekend after next.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
41
Location
New Jersey
to do list is getting smaller

heads bolted down with felpro gaskets & arp bolts. Comp cam 1.52 rockers & new pushrods, edelbrock proflo 3500, flowtech ceramic coated headers & o2 sensor bung, and hoses all installed.
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also, fox shocks going on - have the fronts installed but still have to do the rear.
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picked up a rear seat out of a bronco. I know it'll likely piss off the purists, but this thing already has a chevy drivetrain, fiberglass body, and jeep shocks... what's a Bronco part going to change? While I have the original jump seats, we wanted a traditional bench so we could fit our nephews as well as our dog (with proper harness). Found this seat locally and with readily available replacement upholstery will match the front seats well enough.

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Still to do:
- rear brakes
- new rear brake hard lines
- fill & bleed entire hydraulic system
- install distributor
- finish fuel system plumbing
- wire EFI system & EFI sump
- install new alternator mounting bracket
- rear shocks
- engine oil & fluids
- flush & fill transmission
- fabricate seat brackets
- reupholster bronco seat
- install pintle hitch & hi lift jack rollbar mounts
- mount wheels/tires
- cross fingers & turn key
- cam break in
 

JohnnyC

Long ago TLCA# 2231
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
17,027
Location
UpState Ny, Wells Me
Nothing wrong with using a bronco seat... they are good seats

You should add supports under your front fenders .... notice your missing them ... helps line things up ... and... not move around so much

Nice ride
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
41
Location
New Jersey
Nothing wrong with using a bronco seat... they are good seats

You should add supports under your front fenders .... notice your missing them ... helps line things up ... and... not move around so much

Nice ride

have any pics of the supports? the fenders are fiberglass and pretty darn solid, however, would like to avoid any issues in the future.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
41
Location
New Jersey
making some more progress while I continue to wait for the rear brake kit.

relocated the rear shock mounts to the lower spring plate and installed the fox shocks. Truck was already equipped with aftermarket lower spring plates, so I just welded on new inboard shock mounts.
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installed a new lokar throttle cable, alternator bracket, wilwood rear brake bias adjuster, and high pressure side fuel lines and filter. Also bled the new clutch master cylinder and checked for leaks in the line. All good there. Rear brake kit should be in by monday. The to do list is getting shorter and shorter and finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

EFI high pressure fuel system & Edelbrock sump. Will see how this all performs, but for ease of installation it cannot be beat.

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(yes, i know heater is bypassed)

To do:
- Rear brake kit
- Make new brake lines for the rear and fill/bleed the system
- Engine fluids - prime oil system
- install distributor
- finish EFI system wiring
- run return fuel line
- flush & fill transmission gear oil
- fabricate mounts for the Procar seats
- reupholster bronco rear seat & mount to floor
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
41
Location
New Jersey
chipping away at the list as I deal with the rear brakes debacle (brake woes) and got the rear bench seat painted and reupholstered. Newest rear brake components should be arriving by the weekend. Hoping to finish the EFI wiring and get the distributor in tomorrow evening with the help of a buddy.

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as well as mostly done with fabricating seat brackets for the procar seats. Procar was backordered through the end of August, so figured i'd whip up a set of my own.
Passenger side is mostly done - just have to weld in a seat belt receiver mount. Still working on the driver's side but getting there.

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Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
41
Location
New Jersey
getting closer. EFI wiring complete, oil primed, distributor installed, seat brackets all done and fronts installed. Still have to drill the holes for the bronco rear.

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getting so close i can almost taste it... hoping 1 more week and she'll be back on the road.
 

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