Project Supahcheap - A fully functional 40 for $1000 - Can it be done? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
206
Location
Milan IL USA
So the truck:
Its a '71 thats been very red-necked together. The surprising part is mechanically its almost all original. Original F motor, original 3speed with a column shift. Rochester 2 bbl carb. The wiring is all hacked to s***. Its got junk yard (maybe honda) seats in it that will go as soon as I can get rid of them. The ridiculously long shackles will also go back to factory. Other than that the whole fuel system needs recreated, and an oil pan needs put back on. So maybe running soon.

The budget:
It wouldn't be a $1000 budget without at least a little cheating.
I'm not counting the fuel it cost to drag it back home or the costs of any parts that are already sitting around. With that in mind my budget looks like this right now.

Truck $800
Oil pan gasket $31.36
Still to spend $169.64

The plan for it right now is for it to be a bash around wheeling rig in the summer and a plow truck in the winter.


*no more swampers, but saved me some good money buying the truck


This is gonna be a real slow thing. Right now I live at school about an hour and half away from where the truck is housed. So progress will come in spurts.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
206
Location
Milan IL USA
I was told it may have rod bearing issues but all the rods felt nice and tight in a couple different crank orientations so I went ahead with it.

The oil pan put up a valiant fight but with the combined forces of me, some really long bolts, a floor jack, and some gasket maker, it was finally installed. I didn't want to waste 8 quarts of perfectly good oil if the truck wound up having some big problem so I put some old oil from my last oil change. I put a rag in the funnel so the bigger pieces of grit from the old oil wouldn't go through. As it turns out the other thing that won't go through a rag is oil. It probably took a half an hour to get it filled with oil.

I found a 40 fuel tank that fit, kinda. Its from a different year (which I'm not sure). It sits in well but no factory hold down straps fit both the tank and the tub. I got it plumbed with an electric fuel pump I found in the back of the truck (the back of the truck is a cross between a pandora's box and a trash heap).

It had a non original ignition switch which had the key broken off in it. Well. I'm not an electrical engineer by any means but I finally fathomed the wiring and got another switch behaving correctly.

And it starts, and runs! As soon as you touch the throttle it dies. I tried a mexican carb overhaul and it kinda helped for few minutes. I guess its time to watch a youtube video and become a carb expert.
The clutch feels like its on its way out. Other than that it works just fine.



 

78fj40mg

TLCA #23510
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
4,072
Location
PNW, WA.
I was told it may have rod bearing issues but all the rods felt nice and tight in a couple different crank orientations so I went ahead with it.

The oil pan put up a valiant fight but with the combined forces of me, some really long bolts, a floor jack, and some gasket maker, it was finally installed. I didn't want to waste 8 quarts of perfectly good oil if the truck wound up having some big problem so I put some old oil from my last oil change. I put a rag in the funnel so the bigger pieces of grit from the old oil wouldn't go through. As it turns out the other thing that won't go through a rag is oil. It probably took a half an hour to get it filled with oil.

I found a 40 fuel tank that fit, kinda. Its from a different year (which I'm not sure). It sits in well but no factory hold down straps fit both the tank and the tub. I got it plumbed with an electric fuel pump I found in the back of the truck (the back of the truck is a cross between a pandora's box and a trash heap).

It had a non original ignition switch which had the key broken off in it. Well. I'm not an electrical engineer by any means but I finally fathomed the wiring and got another switch behaving correctly.

And it starts, and runs! As soon as you touch the throttle it dies. I tried a mexican carb overhaul and it kinda helped for few minutes. I guess its time to watch a youtube video and become a carb expert.
The clutch feels like its on its way out. Other than that it works just fine.


Make sure the fuel tank is properly vented, it doesn't look right as it is.

 
Joined
Jun 4, 2009
Messages
3,407
Location
New Smyrna Beach FL
A lot will depend on what is wrong and what you have with it. My fj40 is the link below, I have everything I need to complete it except new tires. Once I get the new tires and finish it I should only be into it for about $1,800, but I hope to get that down to $1,000. It came with a lot of extra parts, I mean a lot that I have sold to fund this, and I have a lot left to sell still. I had some surprises like axle leaking oil so found some 1977 axles, while putting them on realized needed new springs and all new brake lines. But still it can be done if you are lucky with what you start with.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
206
Location
Milan IL USA
Make sure the fuel tank is properly vented, it doesn't look right as it is.

Oh its definitely not right. I dropped it in as a stop gap, I'm hoping to find the correct tank for it. As it is the passenger bench seat doesn't fit over that one.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
206
Location
Milan IL USA
I disassembled the carb and cleaned it out. It now runs much better. I was able to use it to push another truck around the yard. Its noisy as all hell, there's no exhaust beyond the header pipe.

The brakes need some adjustment as well. All in all I'm pleasantly surprised at how well it works, I was expecting worse.

Here are some better overall pictures.



 
Joined
Jul 24, 2007
Messages
3,384
Location
Sudbury Ontario Canada
Man I sometimes wish I would have stuck to my original plan when I got mine. I was always planning to dig into it at some point just not 2 weeks after I broke down and bought it. In the end I managed to do all of the things I ended up doing for under 17 grand.... lol. It took way more time than money but im kind of glad its basically "done" now. Almost..

I guess what I wanted to say was that youre a better man than I if you can actually stick to the budget youve set. These bastards have a way of growing on you and taking over your life. Be careful dude but at the same time enjoy your new van whatever it ends up being.

D
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
2,942
Location
Alva, Fl.
I think sometimes all of us get so wrapped up in making our trucks 'the perfect Cruiser" we forget to have fun with them.(when we get them running, of course)-me included. This post sounds like that to me--get it running take care of the basics, and drive it!
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
206
Location
Milan IL USA
Oh sticking to the budget won't be hard. College does very negative things to money supplies.

I like a truck that has some "patina" to it. Just so long as there isn't so much patina it doesn't work.
 

RAYJON

Get a bigger hammer..
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
1,846
Location
Reno NV
1000 $ ??? But 1500 may be doable, half price days at the local pick and pull and cruiserhead buddies help alot, find someone doing a restoration or rock buggy they will have left overs and give away stuff...


when you get to paint sheet metal is cheep and cruisers are nice and flat. So easy to cut out and weld in new... 100$ a gallon stuff from summit isn't bad,

Good luck, make a list of all the little stuff you need and wrecking yard crawl for it, what kills the budget most is little stuff. If you dont know how to weld--- learn, you can then modify and use cheep/free parts.

On the wiring harness, I just put a fj60 harness and collum in that I got for free.. just had to adapt the fj60 shaft and weld some brackets on the fj60 collum.. another option is mini truck harness brand doesnt matter they have only a few circuits and are easy to adapt...

Use your brain-ih8mud and you can do alot with little $$$$
 

78fj40mg

TLCA #23510
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
4,072
Location
PNW, WA.
1000 $ ??? But 1500 may be doable, half price days at the local pick and pull and cruiserhead buddies help alot, find someone doing a restoration or rock buggy they will have left overs and give away stuff...


when you get to paint sheet metal is cheep and cruisers are nice and flat. So easy to cut out and weld in new... 100$ a gallon stuff from summit isn't bad,

Good luck, make a list of all the little stuff you need and wrecking yard crawl for it, what kills the budget most is little stuff. If you dont know how to weld--- learn, you can then modify and use cheep/free parts.

On the wiring harness, I just put a fj60 harness and collum in that I got for free.. just had to adapt the fj60 shaft and weld some brackets on the fj60 collum.. another option is mini truck harness brand doesnt matter they have only a few circuits and are easy to adapt...

Use your brain-ih8mud and you can do alot with little $$$$

Well said Ray! When there's will there's always a way.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
206
Location
Milan IL USA
Those shackles are so wrong! On so many levels!:bang:


So I went to replace those goofy shackles this weekend. It didn't necessarily go that well.
As you can kind of see in this picture the rear spring eyes aren't directly below the perches on the frame. I wasn't too worried about it, I just chalked it up to those crappy shackles. Well its not that. I took off both old shackles and loosened the axle u bolts. I installed one good (maybe old sor) shackle. Well the other one still wouldn't line up. I tried coaxing it with a come along between the springs, still no luck in making it line up. None of the spring perches or mounts look like they've been modified, everything is where it should be.

Next I measured center to center on both front and rear spring mounts, and on the axles. Both the front and rear spring mounts measured ~37 1/2". Now on the axle center to center measured 38 1/4". Which should it be? Whats wrong here? As I sad nothing looks screwed with at all.
 

78fj40mg

TLCA #23510
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
4,072
Location
PNW, WA.
What about the frame and the shackle mounts are they within specs, you may have bent frame rails.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom