Builds ROTW My Yoda

bsevans

Focus on the Journey
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
2,002
Location
Southern Arizona
The very first time I saw an FJ40 it was love at first sight. It just made a Jeep look like a toy. The axles, the width of the springs – man this was some kind of stout. I was living in Pacific Grove CA and you just did not see them for sale. I moved to southern AZ in 84 and was in Bisbee AZ when a wrist pin gave out on my restored and customized 61 544 Volvo. I needed a new ride and opened the paper and there she was. I miss dialed the phone a couple of times, I was so nervous it had already been sold. The guy answered and said it was still for sale. I borrowed my neighbor’s car and drove over to see it. I could not believe what was parked before my eyes. It was 1985 and this 1978 FJ40 was completely stock and looked like it had just come off the showroom floor. We went out for a drive and he made a point of having me push it in each gear. He wanted me to see just how strong this baby was. 50 in third gear, oil pressure just under the second field mark (3rd of 4) – where it still resides 20 years later and can still pull 50 in third. Not a scratch underneath. I had to know why he was selling this beast, this work of art. It turns out that I was talking to a bonified gold prospector. He was selling it because he could not sleep in it when he was prospecting and wanted to buy a Toyota mini-truck. I asked him what he wanted and swallowed hard when he told me he wanted $6300 for an 8 year old vehicle with 45K on it. That was what he paid for it new. At this point, I knew what a small mouth bass felt like when that hook was too firmly set to even consider trying to spit it out. We were at my credit union the next day and they came outside and inspected the vehicle. They financed the full asking price. For the next two years, every time I ran into this guy, he would beg me to sell it back. Since then, I have met more former FJ40 owners than I care to count who bemoan the fact that they sold their ride. I’ve owned Volvos, Mercedes and any number of the big three and this FJ40 has been hands down THE most reliable vehicle I’ve ever owned. In 20 years it has never broken down on or off the pavement. I have enjoyed 4 wheeling and rock crawling in the deserts and mountains of AZ and NM for over 15 years. It has had its fair share of pin striping and rock bruises. Then the vehicle was t-boned on the drivers’ side by an individual who really was not paying attention in 12/02. I was heart broken because I thought their insurance company would total the vehicle (they were held 100% responsible by their own insurance co). I drove it to the body shop (very large dealership) that had done all the custom body work and repair of the previous rock bruises. The shop manager told their insurance company to not even think of totaling the vehicle because I had a lot of money invested in it. Their insurance company ended up paying out $9,000 to restore and I do mean restore my 40. The body shop had my vehicle for seven months. The body man who had done all the previous work is an artist who just happens to do it in metal body work. You can take a paint thickness gauge and I challenge you to find more than a finish skim coat, if that. So here is a list of what I have done and intend to do.
Stout Engineering rear bumper – all 125 pounds of it. One of the last ones he made before retiring due to an accident. The receiver (15lbs) is not installed. OME 2.5” lift springs with extra HD leaf each corner and HD OME shocks and steering stabilizer with 4+Plus greaseable spring pins and 4+Plus GSK super HD greaseable anti-inversion shackles + ¾”. The front and rear axles have been rebuilt. ARB’ front and rear, ring and pinion, new bearings and seals. Rebuilt Brake Calipers and DBA long life gold cross-drilled and slotted brake rotors in the front. Disk brake conversion from BTB in the rear. New factory half shafts in the rear (from Japan). Extended stainless steel D.O.T. approved brake lines F&R from BTB. All work performed by Western Differential in Tucson, AZ. Extended vent lines to K&N canister under hood. ARB pump with custom HD steel braided air lines to each axle. Custom installation of LED third brake light with Brake Light flashing Module XP from Custom Dynamics. DUI-HEI distributor from Performance Distributors. 200 Amp one wire alternator from Mean Green with custom made spacer. PDP-1B High Tech Main Fuse Panel and AP-1 Auxiliary Power Fuse Panel from Centech Wiring. 4+Plus Extreme Duty Tie and Relay Rods from MAF. GM power steering super pump from AGR with mini-truck PS gear box and adapter plate from Classic Cruisers. Ramsey RE8000 worm drive winch with custom brackets for Setrab power steering oil cooler. All the items in the photos that are black, including the hinges F&R, windshield wiper motor cover, tire carrier, bumpers, roof rack, air cleaner housing, front bezel, instrument panel, glove box, ashtray cover, gear shifter, valve cover and fan shroud have been sandblasted and powder coated Cardinal Black Hammer (there are more items but you get the picture). Overhead storage from SOR with Infinity speakers and CB speaker installed. CB system with Cobra and two antennas. Dash Mount Compass Kit with outside temperature and compass display from American Technology mounted in custom billet aluminum housing under the dash next to the driver’s door. 4+Plus sliders with step from MAF. Custom frame mounted sliders (not currently installed). Custom bullet-proof skid plate. Dash Box from BTB. Custom radiator recovery and windshield washer reservoir tank assembly. CCOT's center console with additional cup holder bracket in the rear. Tuned Ceramic Coated Headers from MAF. Spare tire carrier rebuilt with bullet-proof bushings that will far outlast the factory setup for wear. The only engine work that has been done (due to a blown head gasket) is a valve job with all new factory intake and exhaust valves, springs and new exhaust seats. I also own another head that is completely rebuilt with factory parts. When you find a good head with no cracks it pays to hoard. All the flat glass and all glass seals were replaced after painting. Replaced the rear diff cover with powder coated cast aluminum unit. Alpine alarm system. All visible external hardware is stainless steel socket head cap screws or button head cap screws. Custom powder coated rear speaker mounts attached to roll cage. Overhead redone with plush carpet by Jamis Auto Upholstery. All seats re-upholstered in commercial grade vinyl with thicker and denser foam by Jamis Auto Upholstery. The jump seats are almost an inch thicker. All seat belts front and rear replaced. 22 gallon steel Aux tank with full skid and sending unit. Motorized 6-port Fuel Tank Selector Valve from Pollak mounted on custom ¼” aluminum plate. The valve only draws power for a fraction of a second during transfer. A switch in the valve shuts off the motor when the valve reaches the selected position. Another switch within the valve provides automatic fuel gauge readout for the selected tank. Two CM in-line fuel filters (4”Lx2.75”OD) with 8 micron replaceable filters from Canton Racing Products. Superwinch front hubs. BFG 33x10.50 All-terrain tires on 15x8 aluminum rims. Custom 2 inch diameter red shift knob that I find far more comfortable than the factory unit. New door panels, F&R carpet and sun visors. New four row radiator, coolant hoses, water pump, thermostat and fan clutch. All 5/8 heater hose has been replaced with HD blue Silicone hose. All vacuum hoses have been replaced with red Silicone hose except where gas vapors are prevalent (i.e. PVC hose). Those hoses have been replaced with brown Viton hoses. They will never need to be replaced due to heat aging. Custom modified AN tee heater hose adapter at the top of engine coolant line to facilitate flushing out the coolant system. Carburetor completely rebuilt to factory specifications by myself. I own all the tooling (and spare parts) to correctly clean, set gaps and butterfly angles to the shop manual callouts. (I also own a second carburetor that is also rebuilt to factory specs). All hose clamps throughout the vehicle are Type 316 or 430 Stainless Steel non-perforated Worm-Drive Hose Clamps. Rebuilt emergency brake. Hella horns. Rebuilt brake booster. 92 Landcruiser brake master cylinder.
Items yet to be installed:
CenterForce clutch and all the components from bearings to rubber boots and a new slave cylinder. Install rebuilt tranny and split transfer case with spacer block removed. New custom 3/8 Aluminum plate instrument cluster with five VDO gages and new harness interface with disconnect from Centech Wiring. Dash mounted VDO tach. 4+Plus U-Bolt Flip Kit Front & Rear from MAF. 4+PLUS Saginaw wide belt power steering pump pulley from MAF. Custom locking hinged front brush guard that hinges over the top of the hood for brush protection and security.
I am real big about detail. Everything I’ve done to this vehicle has a purpose and needed to marry to the vehicle in a way that made it look to me as though it could have come from the factory like that. I will post a number of photos, although, you can see photos of my vehicle on the following threads.
HD Skid Plate
Solid State Voltage Regulator
Roof Rack
Tranny to Transfer Bypass Hose
Recovery & Windshield Washer Tanks
Winch Setup
CB Antenna Mounts
Intake Manifold Heater
Speaker Locations
Toyota Pulley on GM Power Steering Pump
High Temperature Sealed Pilot Bearing
Vapor Recovery Tank, Replacement
 
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bsevans

Focus on the Journey
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
2,002
Location
Southern Arizona
Early Photos

I don't have a lot of digital photos of the early years. I'll have to scan some slides and post them
78FJ40 38.jpg
Aux Fuel Door 01.jpg
Original Sliders 01.jpg
 

bsevans

Focus on the Journey
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
2,002
Location
Southern Arizona
The Accident

It still hurts to view these
Body Damage 78FJ40 01_edited-2.jpg
Body Damage 78FJ40 04_edited-2.jpg
Body Damage 78FJ40 07_edited-3.jpg
 

bsevans

Focus on the Journey
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
2,002
Location
Southern Arizona
Rebirth

Back on the road again! After 7 months in the shop
78FJ40 13.jpg
78FJ40 17M.JPG
78FJ40 28M.JPG
 

bsevans

Focus on the Journey
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
2,002
Location
Southern Arizona
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bsevans

Focus on the Journey
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
2,002
Location
Southern Arizona
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bsevans

Focus on the Journey
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
2,002
Location
Southern Arizona
Skid Plate

More you might be interested in.
Skid Plate 15R.jpg
Skid Plate 14R.jpg
Skid Plate 13R.jpg
 

bsevans

Focus on the Journey
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
2,002
Location
Southern Arizona
Recovery & Windshield Washer Tanks

A few more.
Tanks 01.jpg
Tanks 03.jpg
Tanks 02.jpg
 

bsevans

Focus on the Journey
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
2,002
Location
Southern Arizona
Speakers

Some food for thought
Rear Speaker 01.jpg
Front Speaker 01.jpg
Front Speaker 02.jpg
 

bsevans

Focus on the Journey
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
2,002
Location
Southern Arizona
The Steering Wheel Lock

It will discourage, especially with the alarm going off. Of course, then there are the other security measures that I don't want to go into. The steering wheel lock was designed originally for English vehicles with right hand drive. It was the top rated lock in Europe. It was redesigned for the north American market with left hand drive.

disklok
Interior 02.jpg
 
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bsevans

Focus on the Journey
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
2,002
Location
Southern Arizona
Accident Damage

" Very nice cruiser. Just had one question. Was reading your thread and saw that you were t-boned by some idiot in 2003. Was wondering, how safe was the fj40? How did it hold up? Did you get hurt? Driver's side or passengers'? You have any pics? How bad was the damage to the car? Thanks"

I forgot to add this and it really is important. I was T-Boned by a Dodge Dakota truck going fast enough that it drove the 40 8' sideways. The 40 never even hinted at rolling over. It just slid. The new Dodge Dakota Ram whatever piece of S**T was totaled. I drove my 40 home from the accident and to the body shop the next day. You see where the spring is bent. The vehicle did not pull to one side; it tracked like nothing had happen. I was sore, hell, if I had been in a pocket rocket, I have no doubt I would have received serious bodily injury, if not been killed from a blow to the head sitting three feet lower watching that bumper in alignment with my head. I do regret that I was unable to get my left arm out the window in time to salute them in proper style. I was running a three spoke Grant steering wheel. Clearly for a millisecond, I was one damn strong dude judging from how I bent that wheel. I have since gone to a four spoke wheel.
 
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bsevans

Focus on the Journey
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
2,002
Location
Southern Arizona
Trollhole said:
very nice.

You have Monte Carlo brakes. Did you use a porportioning valve for the 80 series master?
No and it does not need one. I've stepped on this system as hard as I can and still have better steering than the stock rear drums ever afforded me. I do not know how many 40 owners have watched in horror as they try to do a panic stop only to question which end was going to lead. I was up in the White Mountains camping and came around this turn, maybe a little too fast, only to discover a car sideways in the road changing a tire. Those drum brakes almost cost me my life. After an elegant 720 my rear end came about 3' from going over one very big step.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Western North Carolina
bsevans said:
I do not know how many 40 owners have watched in horror as they try to do a panic stop only to question which end was going to lead. I was up in the White Mountains camping and came around this turn, maybe a little too fast, only to discover a car sideways in the road changing a tire. Those drum brakes almost cost me my life. After an elegant 720 my rear end came about 3' from going over one very big step.

Oh yeah, Ive been there. People used to ask me, "Does this thing stop?", "OH yeah!, The wheels stop but the momentum doesnt". Ive had to slam on my brakes pretty hard a couple of times.. pretty scary.

Very Nice ride youve got there. I especially like the drinks in the cupholders and the trash on the pass floor (if thats what Im seeing). Its nice to see a LC that reflects a daily driver! Hopefully mine soon will be too. I also like the blackend hinges and wiper motor cover. Im usually not a fan of chrome or colored peices but those look awsome.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Raleigh, NC (Outside the Beltline!!)
That is awesome, excellent color too!!
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Milford, Kansas
Sweet!! I got 2 questions....How much of the 9k went to fix the actual crash damage? It does not look like it suffered too much damage which is good to know. And have you thought about offering up that skid plate to the Army as bolt on Armor? That thing might be useful in combating IED's! :D I lived in Sierra Vista for a while back in the mid 90's and really enjoyed wheeling my Toyota Mini Truck in the Huachuca's, Whetstone, Mule Mountains and all the flatland in between. Great looking Rig!
 

bsevans

Focus on the Journey
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
2,002
Location
Southern Arizona
crawford67 said:
Sweet!! I got 2 questions....How much of the 9k went to fix the actual crash damage? It does not look like it suffered too much damage which is good to know. And have you thought about offering up that skid plate to the Army as bolt on Armor? That thing might be useful in combating IED's! :D I lived in Sierra Vista for a while back in the mid 90's and really enjoyed wheeling my Toyota Mini Truck in the Huachuca's, Whetstone, Mule Mountains and all the flatland in between. Great looking Rig!
All $9K went to repair the vehicle. The damage is more extensive than the three photos show. In addition to what their insurance company paid, I paid to have all the glass and rubber removed and the rest of the vehicle painted. All four doors were removed, striped of seals and panels, and completely painted. The color was matched to the original 20 year old paint on the dash. One major problem was locating a driver’s door as the shop said mine was too damaged to fix. They got a door from two very well know companies that specialize in Landcruisers. The condition of the doors that showed up was not what they guaranteed they would be. The first door you could push your finger through the sheet metal it was so rotted. I’ve since had no business dealings with that company. The second door looked like it had been sat on by an elephant. I finally called Butch Lewis and he graciously sold me the doors off of a vehicle he had. I bought the doors with my own money.
Southern AZ is a sweet place to wheel and rock crawl. It is amazing how you can be on the rocks in 30-60 minutes from your front door. Going thru the chute at the Falls and being high enough in the air for someone to easily walk under your vehicle is a rush.
 
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