Builds Project Beach Cruiser | The 1971 FJ40 Patina RestoMod

GRM

Finding new adventures in old jalopies.
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Project Beach Cruiser | The 1971 FJ40 Patina RestoMod

I have always enjoyed driving from my house in Irvine down to Newport Beach for Saturday morning coffee. I usually drive my old '86 Toyota, but it doesn't seem to fit. I want a convertible classic. Since I'm a huge Toyota guy, the only logical choice was a Land Cruiser.

I had to look at a few to find the right one. Lucky, this one found me. One Saturday morning my friend and I were mountain biking in the Laguna Hills. On a decent he spotted this Cruiser. We ride around and looked at it. It was apparent it had been parked for some time, but the body was straight. We left a note and moved on.

Fast forward 6 weeks and he got a call on a Friday about this cruiser. The owner was in his 80's and had cancer. He wanted to clear out his shop, with plans to donate this cruiser. I made an offer and he accepted. My friend and I were there first thing Saturday morning with a car trailer to pick it up.

I'm looking to make this truck be a stock-ish restomod, that will be a lot of fun to drive around with the top and doors of. I don't want another built truck (I already have a super well built mini-truck). In fact, I doubt I will even wheel this truck very much (ok... maybe it will see a trail or two... I don't own a vehicle that doesn't see 4wd trails).

Its almost all original except for a rochester carb, wider wheels/tires, and a new distributor. It has 68000 orig miles on it. I'm pretty good at being patient, so I won't touch it until I have enough materials to do it right.

Here goes my first stab at building a 40.

Here are a few related threads:

Engine/trans/tc
Questions about swapping a 3fe/H42/split case/ newer axles into '71 Cruiser
What is the difference between 58-72 and 72-92 Water Temperature Sending Units?
Looking For Pictures of H42 or H55 & Split Case Transfer Case Shift Boots
2fe Bogs Just Off Idle
Holly In-Tank Fuel Module For 3fe
What Accessory Combination to Run On A 2FE?
Help me find a Fuel Filler Neck for my Auxiliary Fuel Tank

Wheels:
How to mount drum brake wheels on a disk brake axle

Wiring Harness:
Can I take some pictures of your FJ62 wiring harness?
Where to get a Water Temperature Switch Connector/Terminal

Paint (lack there-of) and Body
Keeping the Original Patina with CLR
Replacement Pin For Back Door
‘71 Carpet or Aussie Mat Options
Seized Tire Carrier- Ideas on how to get it free
What Color Is My 1971 FJ40?

Steering & Suspension
FJ60 Steering Box Frame Mount

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GRM

Finding new adventures in old jalopies.
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I found it kind of fitting to drag the old 40 out of Laguna Woods with an retired Trail Teams FJ Cruiser (I spent 3 years on the Toyota Trail Teams marketing program).

Here is my build plan:

Get it running as-is, then slowly swap in:
  • 2FE
  • H42
  • Split Case
  • 3.70 Diffs
  • Disc Brakes
  • ~2" lift
  • 31's
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GRM

Finding new adventures in old jalopies.
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So far, I have a few known issues:

Its been sitting since 1978
Everything rubber is destroyed. It needs new brake lines, fuel lines, master cyl caps, radiator hoses, etc.
The truck sat about 8 miles from the beach for 22 years. Plus, I have a feeling that it was driven on the beach before it was parked.
There are rust holes behind the rear wheels, along the side steps, and all over on the top.
Its been sitting since 1978
The window seals are destroyed, enough that the windows don't roll up and down.
Every knob on the dash is seized.
The Battery is Missing
Its been sitting since 1978
The Drivers seat is torn up
The fuel in the tank is bad
The tires are dry rotted
the tire carrier is seized
The metal frame under the fiberglass top is completely rusted away
Its been sitting since 1978
The brakes are seized
the winch looks like its going to short out.


Oh and yes, I'll find alot more issues because its been sitting since 1978
 

GRM

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Today Rob (landcrusher909) gave me a tour of his fleet. While I can give you details on every new mini truck, and 4runner from '85 to present, I can't tell the difference between an f engine and a 3f. Luckly, Rob not only has every classic land cruiser engine ever made, but he can tell you the difference between them. It was a crash course and a half. Plus, he tossed me a bunch of parts to help make the old girl run again.

Thanks again Rob! I owe you one.

He even showed me one of the coolest parts of a 45lv:
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Have you checked the oil?:D
Geeez, what a handful. Hope your young enough to finish this.
On the bright side it has low miles. I would pop all the covers, anytime a rig sits this long the gears can be rusted. Any tranny or rearend gears that weren't in oil could be all brown. If you don't catch this early it will chew everything up. Engine seized?
I always like to start with brakes. Master cylinder rebuild. :cheers:
 

GRM

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I had a chance to get working on it. I replaced broken fuel lines, disconnected the rear tank, and changed the oil. I got the motor spinning, but I haven't tried to start it yet.

The big issue I ran into was the heavy corrosion around the cooling system. The thermostat housing was worn so thin, it broke upon disassembly.

Pictures should tell part of the story.
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GRM

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Cheap Oil Pump Tool
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GRM

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I also found some burnt wires. It may be the reason why the previous owner parked the truck.

Any ideas as to why the oil+fuel gauge may cause some wires to burn?
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GRM

Finding new adventures in old jalopies.
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The fuel confirmed it has been sitting since 1978

I also found there was some sort of metallic-type particles in the sludge under. Any ideas? I'm going to try and run the motor before I jump to conclusions.

This is it until next week.
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GRM

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Have you checked the oil?:D
Geeez, what a handful. Hope your young enough to finish this.
On the bright side it has low miles. I would pop all the covers, anytime a rig sits this long the gears can be rusted. Any tranny or rearend gears that weren't in oil could be all brown. If you don't catch this early it will chew everything up. Engine seized?
I always like to start with brakes. Master cylinder rebuild. :cheers:
I'm dumb enough to finish this one. This is the 9th vehicle I've built to this level since '09.
 
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GRM

Finding new adventures in old jalopies.
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Well... things don't always go according to plan. If you look at that picture of the oil draining, you will see some shiny metallic looking shavings. I seem to have BAD rod-knock somewhere in the F.

Solution: Do the drivetrain swap now.

So far I have bought (and parted out) an '84 fj60. I have a 3fe lined up, and have purchased most of the front axle parts.

Now the build plan is:

3fe (or 3fe stroker depending on what good parts I have... I now have a f, 2f, and 3fe)
short h42
Split case
CV FJ60 driveshafts front and rear
FJ60 rear axle
Stock front axle w/mini truck knuckles+cv's, fj60 diff, vented rotors, and 1.5" wheel spacers
Stock wheels+hubcaps
31's

Lets see if this plan works out.... Its hard trying to build a truck in prime wheeling season :-D
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GRM

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My buddy Craig and I were trying to see if maybe the fj60 parts truck was a runner. He tried to drive it, but the ol girl just wouldn't start.
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Coolerman

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Worst aluminum corrosion on a Cruiser I have ever seen!

No good answer to the burned wires question. It could have been any number of things. Since you are going to be doing a lot of swapping of parts you will want to pull that harness out and go through it throughly.

Should you decide to pitch the harness let me know. I sort of 'collect' old harnesses to use as templates to build new ones. ;)
 

GRM

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A little teaser. Been collecting more and more parts in the last 3 months.
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Good luck with the restore. My 73 FJ had been sitting in a field for about 20 years before I picked it up. Luckily mine was inland and not subject to the ocean, but similar to you, everything rubber was shot, brakes frozen, seals leaking, etc.

Brian
 
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