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POTM Wayneraintree March

Discussion in 'FJ55 Iron Pig Preservation Society' started by Wayneraintree, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. Wayneraintree

    Wayneraintree

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    POTM Wayneraintree

    This is my 1973 FJ-55.

    [​IMG]

    It lives in decent health in eastern PA. It needs a round of maintenance before the weather breaks but as always, it is ready to go wherever and however far away at anytime. The build on this pig was intended to meet the need for long range expedition distance driving coupled with relatively hard core wheeling elements, obstacles, and generally demanding offroad performance while able to complete the round trip. It is meeting the needs for the most part. Though I have plans to go here and there, trips in it are rare these days as I am a new proud father. I get to wheel and go on trips on occasion however, which is fine with me because the joy of driving it loaded for fun is irreplaceable in my life as is my daughter so I have the best of both worlds.

    History: I bought this 55 in 2002. I returned from a few month long trip and decided to build the truck I always wanted. Originally from Colorado, I bought it in a wierd way in south Florida sight unseen. I was living in south Florida at the time with my wife to be. I saw the 55 listed for sale on SOR classifieds. It took about three months of hagling for me top finally reach a deal on the truck. The PO drove it from CO to Louisville, parked it in his dad's garage and moved to south Florida himself. His dad wanted it out, I had the cash, so we met somewhere near Hollywood, FL to exchange the title. I had only seen three exterior pictures of it so it was really a mystery deal but I ended up happy. So now to actually take posession of the 55.
    My cousin living in northern KY was enlisted as was a good cruiser friend in NKY to help pick up the 55 from Louisville. My cousin 'borrowed' a truck and trailer from his employer, a landscape outfit, on a Saturday and they went to get the 55. They had no issues getting it and returning with it dor storae at my cousins. The landscape company had issue with what my cousing did with their equipment:eek: without permission:eek: :eek: When he arrived at work on Monday, the boss asked him if he knew anything about one of their outfits on I-71N on Sat. AM towing a white van???? (first time anyone's say it resembles a van:lol: ) but.......................they let him slide of course:beer: and my 55 is at his place.
    My 55 has an interesting history. As the PO's story goes (I know, anything can be the truth but...) this 55 has traversed the most famous trails including the Rubicon, Moab, all over CO and the west. A reason to believe this is that it actually had rock rash under the skim of bondo on the body and it was modified with rudimentary craftmanship..... it had a MAF lift, 33 X 9.50 BFG AT, a nasty RUNK winch bumper (and evidence of a winch), and a 4 bolt main CSB from an '68 impala, mounted with crude engine mounts, crude bellhousing adapter to the trashed 3-speed on the floor, crude acrossmember, etc. The PO told me that it was wheeled and modified for those trails back in the 70's with a lift and the CSB before conversion parts were available. He said he was the 2nd owner, making me the 3rd and the PO to him did all the mods and told him the history. No advanced adapters stuff here:grinpimp: I call it a pioneer'ed conversion but it all makes me feel humble around a pig that has seen so much battle. It's scars prove to me it was a functioning, built beast. Some pioneering knight thought a V-8 would give it the heart it needed to conquer those types of trails for many, many years. Someone wiser than I saw the capability of this pig and gave it an early build up '70's style:cool: It withstood all the years of service and arrived to me in a mild state of disrepair. The driver and passenger door were heavily creased from a guard rail, axles needed maintenance, driveline itself was sitting cockeyed from years of torque, the three speed was sceaming bloody murder, and it had some cancer showing in the usual places. It was a solid Iron Pig with a need for some attention. It was exactly what I wanted and the purchase price left me with a build budget. Pic with donor doors:

    [​IMG]

    The engine was then regasketed and cleaned, new Holly 4-barrel, steering, brakes, drivelines, etc. were tested, adjusted, and safe. I drove it for a while in this state of functional (but obviously extremely worn) condition. I needed to drive it so I could get to know the iron pig. It is important to spend some quality time driving a new rig before dismantling it for repairs/mods, IMHO:) After six months of service and me relishing the smells, sounds, and sights of my 55, the engine's oil pressure went south. Uh oh:grinpimp:

    I got with Chris Fryman (formerly Hybrid Offroad in Rabbit Hash KY, AKA Frydaddy) and we worked out a plan for the piggie: SOA, front discs from a donor '77 FJ-40 I scored from a friend, rear discs from Fryman's brackets, longfields up front, Astrovan Saginaw power steering inside the framerail behind the radiator, Griffin radiator, axles rebuilt complete, rebuilt SM465, rebuilt 3-speed case, new HD drivelines, replace rear channel, fix front driver floor body mount, donor doors from a parts pig in good shape, rear traction bar (antiwrap), marlin hysteer arms, tuck driveline as high as possible, and other miscellanous items. Once all this was complete, I planned to swap in a TBI 350. It took a while and some grunt work but I learned alot. Here are a few pics:

    ALBUM

    /needsTBI.sized.jpg[/IMG]

    I then took on the task of swapping in a TBI 350. I found a used one complete with wiring harness and computer on EBAY for cheap. It was not hard for me to convince myself I needed a reman'ed motor. The compression check on my new motor told me so:grinpimp: so off to GM goes the bad 93' 4 bolt main 350 and back to me comes a clean engine in a crate. Reassemble everything, took two days to weed out the stock GM wiring harness with diagrams in hand, bolt it up, plump the fuel lines, final wire everything,rebuilt the TBI and there it was... a strong TBI 350, reliable and simple. This was a large task but well worth it. Since my 55 came to me with a 350, it was an easy decision to go TBI 350. The hardest part was the wiring harness which actually turned out to be a great learning experience, as was the whole swap. In the end, I again had what I wanted. I then rattle can spray bombed it what I call 'powdered donut white/antique blue', built a rear bumper/carrier with DIY parts from IronPig Offroad, front bumper with 8274, replaced the rockers with 4x4 1/4 sq. tube and bent tube sliders from Lance at IPOR, trimmed the quarters, 2.5 x 2.5 quarter sliders tied built into rear bumper, pintle hook, rockstomper recovery points in rear bumper which is made of 2x6 1/4 sq. tube, SOR dash pad, dash cover, camaro bucket seats, new (used) rear bench from fellow mudder in good shape, CB, noise suppresion, custom interior panels, replacement glove box from SOR, OE floormats, 36" Super swamper SX (2nd set) on 15X8 Chevy Rally steelies, etc. Let me know of any questions, comments, feelings:D , or just plain encouragment for my piggie:) , thanks for reading (I heard people like to read about rigs so I wrote more rather than less):flipoff2: I will add some more recent pics ASAP
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2009
  2. Wayneraintree

    Wayneraintree

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    after getting to that point, this happened:

    [​IMG] bradford pear trees:mad:

    I still have not fixed the roof but plan to sometime. It was heartbreaking but what the heck, I wheel it hard so the roof was/is not my priority.

    Shot of the rocker and sliders:[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2009
  3. Wayneraintree

    Wayneraintree

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    Rear bumper: I had never welded before I bought this 55. Practice really helped me along the last few years. I am no pro but am happy with my homebrew bumpers, etc. and they are holding up well to the weight of the pig crashing on large rocks:D

    [​IMG]

    Pig in it's Environ over the years:

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  4. Wayneraintree

    Wayneraintree

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    few more...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Early Jan '07
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  5. oldfj40

    oldfj40

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    Looks like a functional Pig with a good history.I like the rockers/sliders and the trimmed quarters.Nice rig!
    Every thread I read on here gives me more ideas for my project and,you're right,there can't ever be too much information.
    Congrats on your daughter.In a few years she'll be going wheeling with you.
     
  6. scouthead

    scouthead

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    Cool write-up...I'll never park under a tree again, though. I saw this piggy in the Feb of '06 issue of 4 Wheel Drive and Sport Utility Magazine didn't I?? I knew I recognized the current paint setup (really like the reverse 2 tone), and the front bumper with the Hellas (simple and clean).
    How do you like the TBI with the sm465?? I have a TBI350/700r4/np241 with all the wiring and crap, but I'm kind of worried about not having enough compression braking. I've been wondering about using an sm420 or 465 instead, but not sure if it would be worth all the trouble of rounding up different stuff, since I already have the auto. (this setup might not even go in my pig, but curious about the TBI/465 combo)
    Also any pics of the astro box? Does/did it interfere with crossmembers or the radiator??
     
  7. Wayneraintree

    Wayneraintree

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    Steve, thanks for the compliments, I hope my daughter likes the pig 1/2 as much as I do....

    Southead, my 55 was in 4WDSUM.... the front bumper is a 4x4 sq. tube, plain and simple. The 465 is the best thing that every happened to my 55. The low 1st gear allows me to crawl with control that a large wagon needs... I know your concern about the braking with a 700R4, someone with one may chime in but it is a concern with that set up. I like the TBI 350 very well, SES light tells me what the computer thinks may be a problem, I bought a cable from DIY fuel injection so I can run WinALDL on my laptop to see the specifics if the need exists.... good amount of power from the engine and no problems at angles. I carry spares sensors, fuel pump, other spares because they are all cheap. I even carry a spare throttle body just because I have one.... if you wanted to run a manual, you could sell the auto and just get a new EPROM from GM that is set up for a manual to TBI 350.... that is what I did, took a VIN from a one-ton work truck, TBI350 to 465 and ordered the EPROM, 60$ and it works like a charm...


    Just to add some more facts: I run 1.5 Marlin Wheel spacers all around, I love the stability of the wider stance. 4.10 diffs, old EZ lockerf in the front, the rear was welded but that lasted about a year and a half then broke badly so now I run an Aussie locker in the rear. I really like it.
     
  8. Wayneraintree

    Wayneraintree

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    Pic of the Astro van box

    It is a 3 to 1 box so the steering is a bit fast (or efficient, however you view it;) )

    There is no intereference, I did have to notch the driver side engine mount ever so slightly...


    [​IMG]

    This is the shot in 4WD and Sport Ute Mag... just the reader's rides...

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Wayneraintree

    Wayneraintree

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    My 55 was one of the original Pollux Orange and White models... it is inside the fuel door and surfaced on a few other places where I have already chipped the paint...... someday, I may retire the 55 as my primary wheeler and restore it using that color. I really like it and am happy it is the original color of mine...
     
  10. bkfj40

    bkfj40 SILVER Star

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    that's such a mall cruiser ;)


    looking good as usual - Jeff can wheel the piss out of that truck ....

    bk
     
  11. Wayneraintree

    Wayneraintree

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    Thanks BK, the 55 amazes me all the time, not sure what it is about the pigs, weight distribution, wheel base, combination thereof..... as TJK once said, "they wheel like the devil"....
     
  12. ridgerunner

    ridgerunner

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    Nice write up! I remember that picture of when you first got it a few years ago... was it on Pirate?

    Simple, clean, effective. :pig:
     
  13. Wayneraintree

    Wayneraintree

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    I do believe I posted on POR.. thanks for the compliments though clean is definately a stretch : )
     
  14. Pygmalion

    Pygmalion

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    Wow, nice piggie!

    I really like what you've done with it. Could you go into a bit of detail on the power steering conversion? I ask because that Sag box you have I can find all over the place, but trying to find the Scout Sag is impossible at my pick'n pull.

    What mods to the steering did you have to do to get it to fit?

    Thanks.
     
  15. Wayneraintree

    Wayneraintree

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    Astro Van Saginaw Steering

    Reinforce the frame for mounting, sleeve the holes, etc.

    [​IMG]

    No mods to the box itself really....... get a flat pitman arm (GM car type) and highsteer...

    [​IMG]

    Does that help? Steering works really well... like I said before though, it is a 3-1 box not the 4-1 box so at 65MPH the steering is a little fast but I am used to it:grinpimp: You are right, highly available parts and it fits inside the frame out of sight. The box itself is about 1 3/4" behind the radiator frame support...
     
  16. Pygmalion

    Pygmalion

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    Wow, that does help a lot. I think I actually like the way that box mounts better than the Scout sag, both since it sits inside the frame, and the mounts are welded to the outside of the frame rather than holes drilled through the middle of it.

    Is the drag link the stock one?

    Thanks again... this write-up is giving me a lot of ideas. :)
     
  17. Wayneraintree

    Wayneraintree

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    Actually, the drag link and tie rod are "Fryrods" AKA really thick tube tapped for FJ-60 TRE's. Glad this is helpful, it really looks clean from outside and in... and is a relatively inexpensive option..
     
  18. Trollhole

    Trollhole THC Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Nice writeup. Looks great.
     
  19. scouthead

    scouthead

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    I was reading in another thread about someone's TBI setup that was giving them problems with the manual tranny. When their engine started to get lugged down past the set idle speed, the copmuter would over compensate, and the engine would spike to about 1800 RPMs to prevent a stall. This sounds kind of scary. I guess I would rather accidentally stall my truck, than have it take off out from under me, trying to drive itself.
    Has this ever happened to you, or do you think your low first gear prevents your motor from lugging badly, or that maybe having the new EPROM compensates for this?
    And what exactly IS the EPROM you bought? Is it the entire plastic computer box that would normally be under the dash, behind the glove box? Or, is it just a chip or somthing?
    (plug and play, or cut/desolder/resolder/pay someone else to do something?)
     
  20. Wayneraintree

    Wayneraintree

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    Scouthead, those are good questions. The EPROM is is a flat "chip" like part that basically plugs into the processor (ECM itself). There is a small cover that unscrews on the ECM and one can gently pop out the old EPROM and replace with an appropriate one. If you have an auto tranny EPROM and run a manual, the engine idle is definately different due to the Park/Neutral switch communicating to the computer to either reduce idle or idle up if in gear to put slight take off rpm's against the torque converter of an auto. Essentially, there is a higher idle (reduced on the tach by the pressure from the tranny) setting for an auto versus a manual. I have no lugging issues because I have a "manual tranny" EPROM so iit basically idles at 650 once at operating temperature. I found a 93' one-ton work style truck (same year as my engine, no A/C, Cruiser, Manual tranny, no bells, no whistles, but TBI) and pulled the VIN. Went to my brother's GM shop and ordered a replacemement EPROM. Popped my old one out, replaced with the new and have been driving it ever since. No codes. You can also get VIN's and specs on a vehicle on autotrader... just find a truck for sale that meets the specs and pull the VIN, order it, and there you go. Now, a custom burned EPROM would maximize performance.... but I wanted simple, reliable, effective. Plus, all the equipment and expertise one would gain by learning the art of burning EPROM's would not be used enough to justify the expense in my mind. Does that help?