ROTW Rotw: Sputnik40

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Sep 20, 2005
Aka Lost Betty's Lucky 13 - My home computer is down - so it's gonna take some searcing to get most of the build pics posted here.

The story with this 40 started shortly after I sold my mustard yellow 79 FJ40 (got married with this one) due to various frame rust and mechanical problems. The following week, my now exwife, son and I spent a week up touring the Carolina's and I was looking everywhere for a good project vehicle - but nothing popped up - mind you this was around 98, so I wasn't fully up on website sales and what not. Needless to say - 14 days after selling the 79, I picked up this 76 within one mile of my house on Singer Island, Florida. Paid too much for it, towed it home, parked it in the garage and fully dissassembled everthing except the engine, tranny, t-case and diffs. and did a full frame off restoration.

The entire frame, tub and all sheetmetal was sandblasted, and then I sprayed with a PPG marine epoxy primer. Used a nice glossy two part epoxy PPG paint on the frame, and PPG Acrylic Enamel on the body. Did a small amount of rust repair to the tub, and added new fenders. Tons of new Toyota parts, tires, glass and it was looking pretty good. The rebuild included swapping in my friend Jim's 81 2F.

In the following years I ran a set of 33" M/T's on classic slots, or 33" x 9.5 M/Ts on OEM wheels with hubcaps. Added lockers, mini truck power steering, and a Ramsey 8,000 winch. Blew the engine and did a complete rebuild and generally enjoyed some mild wheeling trips and lots of daily driving.

Here's a pic of where it kinda ended up in teh first few years:
FJ40 OEM.jpg
sweet cruiser!

looking forward to more pics of the build....great job!
As I started wheeling more and more, I finally moved up to 35" x 16" Boggers, won a gift certificate at GSMTR for an ARB, so installed a front ARB and air compressor. Scored a rebuilt SM420 with AA adaptors and most the hardware needed for the swap - added in a high angle driveline long travel front shaft. Flipped the rear springs and added 4+ u-bolt flip kits. Saved up for a brand spanking new 8274 with the big motor, swapped out the bench seat the wife originally wanted and went back to buckets. Bent up a 6 point family cage. Added a new header, had Jim C. rebuilt the carb, and installed a non-USA dizzy. Flipped the rear springs, added a track bar, enlarged the wheel openings and added rock sliders to the tub. Wheeled it like this for a few more years, moved up to 37" MTR's and continued to enjoy as a daily driver but with the pains of the SM420 2nd gear not working well with the fuel injection. Nonetheless, it wheeled well and did 80 mph on the interstate with ease - except for a bit of wandering.

In the last 3 years, I picked up a Downey GM fuel injection conversion, DUI dizzy, completed a springover with low profile shackle reversal, cut/turned and powder coated axle, added 30 spline longs, mini truck rear shaft fabbed up by Jesse, AGR power steering conversion with a flaming river shaft and JTO pump bracket, installed 4x4 labs highsteer with one ton TREs, picked up a set of brand new Aisin hubs, and moved up to Stazworks double beadlocks and a used set of 38.5 TSL/SX's. At this point the tub was starting to rust from the inside out (I had a house on the beach that the ex got - so I guess the salt air didn't help). Started hitting more rocks with it, and generally caring less about how it looked.

Currently: I've just added Polyperformance chromoly rear shafts - I'm in the process of fabbing up a beefy skidplate that I fabbed up with 1.25 x .125 square tubing and 5/16 plate, have fabbed up tract bar brackets to use a FJ80 front trailing arm as the traction bar with a shackle/heim to attach to the skidplate. Just got a set of 17" WE beadlocks and skored a set of 39" Red Label Krawlers. Tons more going on, just can't remember it all but I'll see if I can't find more pics, and wheeling pics to boot. So here's where I'm at this past week - with a serious need to put the cut off fenders back up front:
One of the nicer things I like about this is the fiberglass repro grill I got - I had a steel one I brought back in my surfboard bag years ago one a trip to CR or Panama, but I ended up trading that to someone for the glass version and $100 - which was a good deal to me at the time - and someone got a OEM grille that is in better hands than mine :D.

Also - has a 360 degree military pintle hook bolted into the rear cross member - kool touch if I only had the trailer to go with it.

Right line on Slick Rock back when sprung under. Broke the right front frame horn forcing it into the rock trying to get a tyre up over - made it where a buddy with 40" MTR's and sprung over couldn't get traction :flipoff2:.
Various build pics:




Finishing the spring over and trying to get it looooooweerrr...
Wheeling in Florida...



Cool rig man! More pics please?
Great pics and build, Sputnik !! You've got a nice wheeler there. One question, in your pic of wheelin at Slickrock you mentioned making it up that spot sprung under where your buddy SOA didn't get enough traction. What differences have you noticed in both configurations? Thanks for the input, am enjoying your ROTW.:cheers:
Looking good man, ready to put a beating on it next month? ...see ya next weekend. Ill burn an old surfboard for the wave gods this week so there will be waves when ya make it up here.

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