Rhinestone Cowboy - '75 Mustard FJ40

mattressking

10 digits to freedom
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
2,726
Location
Idaho
Alright, it's been a few weeks since I bought the truck. Between a move, a promotion and subsequent departure (sitting at the office on my last day typing this)....I decided while waiting on a few items, I'd start a thread. The past 4.5 years or so have been spent cleaning up my 60. Never would have thought I'd sell it, but its for sale and life is changing. Of course I found the truck I'm looking for when I need it the least, but here we are. Terrible decision or not, I took a major leap and haven't looked back. Like many of you, mustard is the color I've been chasing. Need a '75 so I can skip the smog....this combination has proven to be much harder to locate than I expected. So I found myself booking a flight to Green River, Wyoming to pick up this truck. Fella had plans to restore the truck, but a move to Alaska limited his belongings and decided best to sell for now or put in storage. A brief exchange, a couple Cowboy Donuts and coffee later, the truck and few boxes of parts were mine and I was off.

Brief rundown of the truck:
  • August 1975 construction
  • 531 Mustard Yellow
  • Original 2F (rebuilt) and 4speed
  • Holley Carb and MSD Ignition (ditching once I acquired all the parts I'm looking for)

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First stop was Wild Horse Canyon then up through Pinedale and into Jackson. Happen to have an ex in Jackson, so I spent a few days there before making my trek south to Ventura. Truck so far had no issues other than loose door seals and no cluster lights. A brief swap of bulbs and the cluster lights lit up as expected. A few drinks, some sloshies and some driving around the Tetons and it was time to rush back to Ventura/work.

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mattressking

10 digits to freedom
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
2,726
Location
Idaho
The trip was rather uneventful mechanically, managed all the grades and freeway driving without overheating. I did note at a gas stop the cardboard in front of radiator....won't be needing that anymore, then temps dropped even lower. I did notice a light weep on the top end tank of radiator...more to follow.

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While driving through Utah...I started to stare at the radio. I could tell if it had been cut up, but I had to know how much. Managed to get most of the radio apart going down the road. I was pleasantly surprised. a couple small cuts to bend the tabs back, but everything was intact. Hooray. Fast forwarding two weeks, I cleaned up the inside and slapped on a reproduction delete panel. While driving....I happened to get some Glen Campbell stuck in my head....specifically Rhinestone Cowboy and the name happened to stick. Never been one to name things or assign a gender to an inanimate object, but we'll see.

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Kept it movin, only stopping for gas and finally landed in Ventura County....happened to meet my good buddy in Simi at the Hat. If you know, it you know it's a great pastrami burger.

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Now that the whirlwind of a trip concluded....weirdly without issue, life went back to normal and started to go through the little bits that irritated me during the drive. First being LEDs for the interior lighting and some missing rubber bits. Thankfully the a majority of the room light wiring was intact and tucked behind the dash. Happened to have a boat load of bullet connectors and used some red wire I saved up from a junkyard run to make the wire between the A pillar and lamp. Small wins. Shortly after, I replaced the bulb with an LED to brighten it up inside.

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Which brings us to today. The truck is sitting while I order a new radiator (which gave up the ghost three weeks after the trip. Going to go ahead and revamp all the lines in the engine bay...I loathe draining coolant, rather get as much done so I don't have to go back and drain again for something I could've fixed prior. More to follow....
 

mattressking

10 digits to freedom
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
2,726
Location
Idaho
Well, time slipped by but I've been putting in a little time here and there with the 40. So far just replaced the radiator, cleaned up the existing hoses while in and refilled with a fresh fill of Toyota Red. While doing that I started gathering more plans alongside @Beachcomber Bernie who happened to hook me up with a beautiful fan shroud, bikini top and rear door plate for when I go topless. A bunch of miscellaneous bits like radio blockoff and fuse box cover, the correct battery tray and hardware were popped in.

The mess before;
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Then a new rad and some light cleaning. Still a mess.....but started to scrub and see what I'm working with. Engine bay paint should come back to life after testing a panel.

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Ordered a set of wheels, debated what color to spray and landed on RAL7040. Local paint guy mixed it up in a 2K can and I laid it down. While the paint was drying, had dinner at the beach. The color looks good, it's light but once the caps and lift are on, I think it will look great.

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Aside from that, the lift was ordered. Skyjacker springs, Bilsteins and CCOT shackles. @orangefj45 came in with the caster wedges. Last but not least, I can officially spend more time on the 40 now that the 60 has departed. Sad to see it go but necessary.

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Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Messages
555
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Somerset KY
Excellent thread and great pictures! What's up with the wide open road and only 25 mph limit? I like what you did with the battery tray. Question, what years came with that steel tray? My Jan of 75' has what appears to be a stock tray but its plastic and somewhat flimsy. Seeing yours makes me think mine is incorrect.
 

mattressking

10 digits to freedom
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
2,726
Location
Idaho
Excellent thread and great pictures! What's up with the wide open road and only 25 mph limit? I like what you did with the battery tray. Question, what years came with that steel tray? My Jan of 75' has what appears to be a stock tray but its plastic and somewhat flimsy. Seeing yours makes me think mine is incorrect.
I think it was a grade or park road....now I forget! Suppose I need to go back now and check for you, ha!

Battery tray is from 69-84 from what I gather, the larger tray of the two available. Fits Group 27 batteries. Stock tray is all steel, so if its plastic, not original. Mine had some SOR junk on it, no clue why someone would would want it, truly an eye sore.

Put center caps on and pending two brake lines so I can install lift....getting antsy. Upside is that I could tow some stuff for a friends...:cough: erotic dance show :cough: in Ojai. Towed like a champ and didn't flinch at the 100+ temps today, unlike me.

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Love that color in a 40 series.
Im looking into picking up a 71 at the end of the month myself.
Good luck! let me know how it goes

Looks good.

I have a Feb 75 with the same 531 Mustard Yellow
@Beachcomber Bernie and I would love to find out if its original and is Federal or California-spec.
 

mattressking

10 digits to freedom
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
2,726
Location
Idaho
Alright so my truck will be going back to an Aisan carb, factory linkage and such. Trade happens to work out where my buddy is going Sniper so I will be giving him my Holley linkage and early pedal assembly in exchange for the 75+ linkage and pedal.

Since I didn't receive a factory air cleaner and I am desmogged, I decided to go ROW. This NOS air cleaner is now on the way to me, hopefully everything works out as I have planned...I'll be sitting and waiting for everything to arrive until then.

For inquiring minds, it is 17700-61080.

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Green Bean

SILVER Star
Joined
May 9, 2021
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78620
Alright so my truck will be going back to an Aisan carb, factory linkage and such. Trade happens to work out where my buddy is going Sniper so I will be giving him my Holley linkage and early pedal assembly in exchange for the 75+ linkage and pedal.

Since I didn't receive a factory air cleaner and I am desmogged, I decided to go ROW. This NOS air cleaner is now on the way to me, hopefully everything works out as I have planned...I'll be sitting and waiting for everything to arrive until then.

For inquiring minds, it is 17700-61080.

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Very nice air cleaner assembly. Please continue to keep us posted of your progress with the great photos. I too will be removing a Holley 2 barrel from our stock 1970 1F and going back with a rebuilt OEM carb with stock air breather.
 

mattressking

10 digits to freedom
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
2,726
Location
Idaho
Alright so the lift is done, finally. If anyone ever plans to go the 4" route, I really dig the combo after piecing it together with some help from @rkymtnflyfisher and @brian

Came out to be the following:
Skyjacker 4" Lift springs front and rear
Bilstein 33-185606 (front)
Bilstein 33-185552 (rear)
Energy/Skyjacker bushings
CCOT 1.5" shackles (front, not installed yet)
CCOT 2.5" shackles (rear)
4* shims front and rear
And of course all new oem hardware

Wish I had ordered a u bolt flip kit, but whatever, that will be later. In the middle of it all, I had to go on a work trip to Kings Canyon/Yosemite.

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Post lift, hopefully I'll get some better pictures soon, this was right after I pulled it out. Still need shackles up front, this is with stock shackles for now. I also have to figure out if I had stock springs or not on the truck, they are in great shape and what appeared to be stock height.

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Ran into this guy prior to lift, killer looking series III.

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All for now...
 

mattressking

10 digits to freedom
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
2,726
Location
Idaho
Started up the carb swap and finished with some loose ends. Roommate is going to sniper so I swapped my Holley carb bits he could use with his oem linkage. After some cleaning, new studs and cursing the PO for the aftermarket exhaust, it’s all in and timed at 10 degrees.

Now that I’ve finally started getting into the motor, it’s time for a new dizzy, original pot doesn’t hold vacuum so I’m going to go ahead and swap out to the 19100-61180 dizzy. Issue is that I need to locate a 75-77 coil/igniter combo to ditch the existing MSD. Anyone have leads on a nice unit?

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