Restoration How To? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Mar 28, 2005
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26
Location
Broomfield, Colorado
 
 
 
I have my '78 for sale here, but every time someone asks me about it or when I go look at it parked on the street I remember hearing "I don't know anyone who sold their '40 that didn't regret it."

So, other than liberal consultation of the FSM and threads like this 75' FJ40 Parked for 20+ years. (or many others that I could find here) do you have a good recommendation on a restoration How To? If I actually decided to keep it, I don't want to make any stupid mistakes that I wouldn't have made if I had read more.

For example, I read one time "always put a wheel under the frame when you're working under the right." One day, when my spring pack exploded while I was taking out the pin and sent my jack stand across the garage, that nugget saved my life.

For what it is worth, I've rebulit the front end, installed a lift, replaced the fuel pump and radiator. So I'm more than a one banana mechanic, but definitely not a pro.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
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5,261
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Southern Colorado
 
 
 
Is it driveable now? Do you enjoy it as it is? The term restoration means different things. Some want a perfect garage queen, some just want all the panels to be the same color.

I would read the many restoration threads here (hundreds) and see what path appeals to you. I always start on safety and reliability issues, and do any body-related stuff last. A 'pretty' FJxx that is not reliable is of no use to me.
 

KLF

Frame waxer
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Apr 5, 2003
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Southern NH
 
 
 
You will make stupid mistakes, no matter how much you read. I sure did. It's often the best way to learn.

It will take 3X as long as you think, and 3X as much money. And you will enjoy it many more times than that when you get it back on the road, especially when you get all the thumbs up from driving it around.

Good luck!
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
260
Location
Bozeman, MT
I would look at rkymtnflyfisher's accidental frame-off thread. He has ended up with a reliable and good looking 40 and he seems to have gotten there with a bit of trial and error, a bit of changing his mind with experience, and a fair bit of opening his wallet. I would imagine that reading that thread would give you a pretty good idea of what the process might look like.

Unless you're in a position to drop it off at a shop and leave them with a blank check, I would assume this process will take years and, either way, it will cost many times the market value of the vehicle.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2020
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72
Location
Stanwood, WA
I would agree with everything said and rkymtnflyfisher's thread is a great one, he’s not a pro builder and still got great results.
To me, restoration means as it left the factory or real close to it. Then there’s refurbish, refresh, resto-mod, etc. Pics would help determine what the best suggestion is for yours. My 71 was already sandblasted and stripped by the PO so I am going the full resto/refurbish route. But if it were still all original paint, I’d have left it, neutralized any rust, made it safe and reliable and drove the hell out of it.
Also for cost, it really depends what you do and how much you can do yourself. If you’re not willing to tackle rust repair and paint, the cost goes way up.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Messages
72
Location
Stanwood, WA
I just went to your sale ad. If that were mine I’d drive it as is for awhile. You could repair the quarter without really taking anything apart and color match it pretty decently. Gather parts for a full resto as they come up or on sale and then one winter a few years from now when you’ve got everything you THINK you need, do a full frame off if that’s the route you wanted. In the meantime you’d be enjoying it. I’ve known lots of people who have started down a full blown build only to find out a few years later they’ll never finish and their parts piles are worth a fraction of what it would’ve been had they left a perfectly functioning car together.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
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2,335
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SK Canada
 
 
HA. 2 years!! i’m 8 years in and it seems only 1/2 done!! but everything said above it true. to keep it simple keep it stock. once you start modifying things my goodness who knows where you’ll end up!! and honestly a stock rig is pretty sweet. there are days i wonder if i should have modified mi e as much as i have. but now i have a second one that’s going to stay more stock
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2005
Messages
26
Location
Broomfield, Colorado
 
 
 
Thanks for the thoughts, everyone. Keep them coming if you like.

I did jump over to rkymtnflyfisher's thread, and that's one you've got to take your laptop to bed with. 99 pages!! There's a lot to digest. And then I stumbled upon the Cruiser Corps website. OMG. You could almost buy a whole new rig piece by piece!!

My 40 runs well, so that's a plus. If I keep it, I think I'm starting by removing the lift and going back to smaller whee's and more fun driving around town. Finding and removing rust and rattles, I think, is my main priority.
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
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4,686
Location
Prescott Valley, AZ
 
My frame on refreshtoration took me 4 solid years of doing something no matter how small almost daily. That was with working 50 hours a week and frequently Saturday mornings. That does not leave a lot of free time to work on a rig. So almost every free moment I was doing something. It is an AZ rig and body was very good as is frame and underbelly. So it is essentially a frame on resto. Decide what you want it to be like and what you intend to use it for. Mechanicals are now 100 percent And it drives and runs fantastic. There are still some little things I want to do. But functionally and body it is pretty much done. Time, money and energy even when doing most things yourself. Would I do it again? Currently working on number 2, a ‘3/76. These things are addictive as there really is nothing quite like a 40.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2016
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Fayetteville, North Carolina
Thanks for the thoughts, everyone. Keep them coming if you like.

I did jump over to rkymtnflyfisher's thread, and that's one you've got to take your laptop to bed with. 99 pages!! There's a lot to digest. And then I stumbled upon the Cruiser Corps website. OMG. You could almost buy a whole new rig piece by piece!!

My 40 runs well, so that's a plus. If I keep it, I think I'm starting by removing the lift and going back to smaller whee's and more fun driving around town. Finding and removing rust and rattles, I think, is my main priority.
want some reading .....https://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/top-ten-fj40-mud-buildouts-your-opinion-counts.884900/
 

rkymtnflyfisher

Big Government Sucks
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Aug 29, 2011
Messages
6,149
Location
Montana
 
Dang, I'm actually quite flattered that people have found my thread useful and inspiring. I thought it was a trainwreck that turned into a fishing adventure full of tomfoolery and drunken shenanigans.

I learned the vast majority of the stuff I needed right here in the 40 section. Too many people to list without looking like an idiot.

The usual suspects always turn up with sage advice when the time comes, just ask, give the correct info to the return questions, and don't be afraid to experiment with different parts.



And a big thanks to all the people that enjoy my thread and chime in, my rig is still a rolling project.
 

rkymtnflyfisher

Big Government Sucks
SILVER Star
Joined
Aug 29, 2011
Messages
6,149
Location
Montana
 
Thanks for the thoughts, everyone. Keep them coming if you like.

I did jump over to rkymtnflyfisher's thread, and that's one you've got to take your laptop to bed with. 99 pages!! There's a lot to digest. And then I stumbled upon the Cruiser Corps website. OMG. You could almost buy a whole new rig piece by piece!!

My 40 runs well, so that's a plus. If I keep it, I think I'm starting by removing the lift and going back to smaller whee's and more fun driving around town. Finding and removing rust and rattles, I think, is my main priority.



It is possible, no kidding, it is, to have a rattle free FJ40. It takes persistence, patience, and a bad attitude to track down and fix each and every one.

Just last week when I was wondering aimlessly across a wide open corner of Montana I FINALLY tracked down an annoying rattle. Fron the passenger seat of all places, the hinge area where it folds forward, somewhere in there it rattles occasionally.
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
4,686
Location
Prescott Valley, AZ
 
It is possible, no kidding, it is, to have a rattle free FJ40. It takes persistence, patience, and a bad attitude to track down and fix each and every one.

Just last week when I was wondering aimlessly across a wide open corner of Montana I FINALLY tracked down an annoying rattle. Fron the passenger seat of all places, the hinge area where it folds forward, somewhere in there it rattles occasionally.
“The beauty is in the details, it’s ALL in the details!” Ryan your build and passion for the 40 along with the eye candy photo’s of it in gorgeous places make this forum a better place👍 Cheers 🍻
 

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