prospective purchase..questioning this pic..

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I upped my wrenchin skills, now up yours!
Jun 2, 2012
Coastal NC
This 1976 FJ40 lives a couple hours away...first time prospective buyer..guy was nice enough to send dozens of pics of the undercarriage, interior, motor, tranny..but this pic is the one that we concerned about - if you look at theres a strangely placed bolt - and theres cracks in the frame that you can make out in the pic..

Also - why would the exhaust system be painted some kind of textured white paint?

Other noted was, the tub has been pics of the tub condition underneath.

Theres a subwoofer mounted on the back door area - but Im suspicious of how that would be powered?

Around the thermostat housing, the seals are indistinguishable as there's some kind goopy black stuff covering the joint space while it was in the motor (the hose has splatter marks on it)

I feel like when I look at, someone had good intentions,..but then something went horribly wrong..

Are my suspicions around the pic I posted accurate in saying 'bad choice' ?

What say you FJ'ers?
Exhaust looks normal. Flash of camera coupled with the natural color of the metal, wear, surface rust, etc
wire twist nuts :mad:
I would be very concerned about the rust on the frame. It does not look good to me. Check it with an ice pick and see if you can punch a hole through it or flake off any section of the frame. The wire nut would give me reason to check the wiring even closer. You are on the right track, trust your instincts.
The pic makes it hard to tell. Is the frame rusted or is that just built up grimme? Can.t see the bolt you discussed
The pic makes it hard to tell. Is the frame rusted or is that just built up grimme? Can.t see the bolt you discussed

full screen on my computer - youll see one bright shiny piece of metal..looks like its out of place - then, about an inch over to the right youll see what I think is a crack starting near the corner (I dont know how to ID some of the pieces..)
Ive written this one off..a lot of cheap fixes = no telling what else Id discover - - after purchase of course!
here are some more pics from the same FJ - tell me what you see -so I can be a learned woman
I believe that 'part' is actually from a dyer vent kit...
Looks like all the rear lights have been replaced with generic non-stock units. That explains the wire nut. The cover on the rocker is probably a rust hole unless the PO likes shiny rockers. The engine has been desmogged, not sure how well. Don't know if you need smog equipment in your area to pass inspection. Something is leaking onto the rear engine mount. Possible leak at the front transfer case flange. For what you are willing to pay I would pass and keep looking. My .02
I took a look, its a wee bit out of my price range once I factor in going to get it - but I emailed 'em for more detailed pics..if pics are promising Ill see if there are any local mudders to Marietta who can give it the true 'eyeball'..

Thanks for the tip...Ive found it impossible to look at anything else on the internet..craigslist, google, classifieds...Im apparently obsessed with finding 'the one'...
Do you know the easy way to stay on top of CL? I use Craigslist Alerts at you set in the parameters of your search and it does the rest and sends you an email of any new listing. You can have multiple cities/states also. I hope you find "The one" :D
take a magnet to all the common trouble spots and see if its metal

Or buy one of these:

Coating Thickness Gauge - Positector 6000

I first heard of using a coating thickness gauge when I read a thread about classic car appraisers using them to verify body work. I found an older model used for $200 on Ebay and it's worth it's weight in gold.

As I posted in another thread, there's nothing like showing up to look at someone's "rust free" cruiser with one and having the owner ask you, "what's that for?" as you read the thickness of the bondo under the paint to them in thousands of an inch!

As you spend more time looking at Cruisers you soon learn to identify the common rot areas and the common attempts at hiding it. Checker plate usually equals rot as do panels that are too smooth and lacking in original spot welds and panel joints etc.

If you want to get a nice Cruiser that's not a bondo bucket basket case then be prepared to have to travel to a dry climate to look for one. A Cruiser that has spent too much time as a daily driver in a place that is cold, wet and uses salt on the roads in winter is going to need body/frame work. Unless you're prepared to take it on then find one from a better climate.

The extra time it takes and the little bit of inconvenience to get one from somewhere else makes it worth it when you consider the cost and amount of time it takes to bring a rotten Cruiser back to health. Not that it can't be done, but it can't be done cheaply and to do it right you're into pulling the body off the frame and starting from ground zero.
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Thanks for the tip...Ive found it impossible to look at anything else on the internet..craigslist, google, classifieds...Im apparently obsessed with finding 'the one'...

Actually that's the best way to approach it, take your time. You will also find that the earlier 40's used better quality sheet metal, but you have to go back in time to the mid~early 1970's. Of course they don't have all the amenities that the later 40's have but the bodies hold up better. You can always add things like power steering, roll bar etc. later. Most Cruiser parts suppliers (TPI, SOR, CCOT and so on) have the know how and parts laid out, often in available kits, to make upgrade work easier.

Mine's an early '72 from Idaho and it was in far better shape body and frame wise than anything near me on the northwest coast. I drove 18 hours round trip to get it and it took me a long time to find something that was worth owning in the first place. I paid close to $3000 for it and it wasn't even running, I had to trailer it home.

Patience is a virtue when it comes to satisfied Cruiser ownership!

:cheers: and good luck.

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