Original year top or 2 years newer. Need Help with Decision! (1 Viewer)

macdaddy59

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Ok so the back story is I have a 1976 FJ40 I am doing a frame off on. I bought the truck disassembled and am slowly going through all of the parts replacing with new or refurbishing them. I am not a purist but mostly want to keep the truck stockish. I am replacing the 350SBC with a 2F out of a 1987 FJ60. I have had Gerog at Valley Hybrids rebuild the original transmission and t-case. Here is my dilemma. The truck came with the original top and sides (condition 8.5 out of 10) and ambulance doors (condition 8 out of 10). However, I have a top and sides from a 1979 FJ40 with the pop out side windows and sides (condition 9 out of 10) and ambulance doors for another project (condition 9.5 out of 10). For the sake of expense and amount of work to make the 79 parts would be a lot easier to use. Although, the 76 is original to the truck and the proper year but would require more work and expense to make perfect. My question is does it really matter 10 -20 years down the road if the top and sides are from a different year or is there some overall magical experience to keeping all parts from the original truck?
 

3_puppies

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the 79 ambulance doors will need a piece in the corner of the tub on both sides to look decent from the inside
 
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MOTOV8R

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I'd go with the later top. What is more important to you, your use and enjoyment or potential resale value. That should guide your decision. To the right buyer it won't matter but to some it will.
 
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If you are going to keep it and drive it, I would use the later top sections that have the pop-out windows - those are worth their weight in gold for ventilation. You could perhaps use the earlier ambulance doors if you didn't want to mess with adding the corner to the '79 doors. So, mix and match and get what you want.
 

pb4ugo

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I may be wrong, but I recall reading somewhere on this site that Toyota changed the roll bar or moved the window to accommodate for the flip out window catch mechanism. I think early roll bars interfere with mechanism on later version tops and make it harder to open the window. Personally I would like to have the flip out windows for flow thru ventilation, if I were to ever run a top.
 
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I have both an original 74 and a 79. I would sell my firstborn to have pop-out windows on my 74. They are a big upgrade to comfort, especially when hauling my kids and dog in the back. I would consider the 79 top as an upgrade that would increase value, not decrease it. If you're really stuck on keeping the older top, consider putting slider windows in it.
 
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Unless you have a 75 production date that only had lap belts 76 should have the bracket for three point seat belts. 79 will not have the main bracket at the base of the hard top sides. Early in 78 the bracket moved from the hard top side to the roll bar.

What Paul @3_puppies about the bottom rear corners of the 1/79+ not correct for the earlier tubs made for ambulance doors. I have a 77 top on my 79. Doors would have to be trimmed to fit correctly. Found some damaged (not rusted) 84 doors off a troopy repairing to.use on my 79. Those fit without issue.
 

4Cruisers

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I may be wrong, but I recall reading somewhere on this site that Toyota changed the roll bar or moved the window to accommodate for the flip out window catch mechanism. I think early roll bars interfere with mechanism on later version tops and make it harder to open the window.
Entirely correct. I was lucky to find a fellow MUD member willing to swap me his '77 roll bar for my '76 roll bar. My '71 FJ40 build will have hard top sides from a '77. The radius at the back of the '76 roll bar is larger, so the roll bar interferes with the pop-out window latches. And with the '77 hard top sides, I have the provision for the 3-point shoulder harness seat belt attachments. A good set of used seat belts was purchased from Mark's Off Road.
 

cbmontgo

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Entirely correct. I was lucky to find a fellow MUD member willing to swap me his '77 roll bar for my '76 roll bar. My '71 FJ40 build will have hard top sides from a '77. The radius at the back of the '76 roll bar is larger, so the roll bar interferes with the pop-out window latches. And with the '77 hard top sides, I have the provision for the 3-point shoulder harness seat belt attachments. A good set of used seat belts was purchased from Mark's Off Road.
Interesting. I did not know this.
 

3_puppies

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what Paul @3_puppies about the bottom rear corners of the 1/79+ not correct for the earlier tubs made for ambulance doors. I have a 77 top on my 79. Doors would have to be trimmed to fit correctly. Found some damaged (not rusted) 84 doors off a troopy repairing to.use on my 79. Those fit without issue.

what I was referring to is the notch/shape of the 79 door in an earlier tub, doesn't look right without the radius in the lower corner of the tub. a different weatherstrip could be used to seal it up.
the 79 doors will fit an earlier tub with no problems
 

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