Rusty under body

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@steveola ,

As you are asking for advise,
If you had to chalk it up at live and learn the purchase you have just made I would like to prevent for you the following step you are about to take.

If you think or have the stubborn illusion that by piecing together a FJ40 with Alu tub etc in order to save money that would be a second boo boo that you would be about to commit.
Or you really have to like to do the resto etc that would be another thing, consider then if you really have all the skills to bring it to the finish, because stopping half way and trying to abandon the ship by selling it of half finished and getting your money back that way would be the third boo boo, but with buying a new tub and going to do a frame off it would be better to stop here !!

Looking for a 40 that's ready and sound, yes check it out (not unseen like you bought the first one) or see if experienced local mud members can help you with finding a good one.
That will save you a lot of money, time and aggravation. Again if you like to build it and spend a sxxt load of money more then buying a good sound and drivable 40 go ahead.

Don't be blinded by the high prices the 40's go for right now, you will be there soon and much more !
I appreciate the sage advice. I agree with you on several points. That said, I’m not without skills. I have built several motorcycles and restored an MGB, but this is by far the most ambitious project to date.I do enjoy a build and think I could bring it completion. In retrospect, agreed I probably would have been money ahead just spending the extra and trying to find a more solid vehicle.
 
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I went with Aqualu for my rebuild. Best decision I ever made. While there is the clique of mudders who are hardcore purists, if you're not looking for top $$$ for resale, aluminum is the only way to go. Why fight rust for the rest of your or your Cruiser's life. I kept my original cowl only because there was a very small amount of rust to repair. If you do decide to go with Aqualu, learn from my original mistake and don't use the tranny cover Aqualu provides, instead take the time and extra effort to fabricate the original transmission tunnel to fit.
I think the trans tunnel on the later models are part of the tub. I’m not really crazy about how Aqualu fabricated that.
 
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Aqualu will make changes to the tub if you ask. I imagine they could make the tunnel bolt on.
I did not know that. That’s very interesting. If that tub had a more rounded trans tunnel that would be fantastic. That and the louvers on the side of the cowl. 7 instead of 5.
 
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I did not know that. That’s very interesting. If that tub had a more rounded trans tunnel that would be fantastic. That and the louvers on the side of the cowl. 7 instead of 5.
Yeah I don't know how much extra mods will cost you. But they will change stuff a fair bit. Once you put bedliner, carpet, and mats down the floor becomes far less noticeable.
 
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Yeah I don't know how much extra mods will cost you. But they will change stuff a fair bit. Once you put bedliner, carpet, and mats down the floor becomes far less noticeable.
i was in this exact position 4 months ago. I bought a bondo queen and mistakenly thought I could patch her back and be on the road in a few months. Once I started tearing in to the rust, it was pervasive and I quickly realized I needed a new tub.
I purchased an Aqualu and will be installing it this month.

As for the mounts, I had to replace one as well as a rear sill brace and it was not too hard (other than cutting the button rivets- that was not fun).

it boils down to what you want out of the vehicle. I want a solid driver and dirt road toy. I removed the tub, fixed all bad parts, POR frame and replaced all brake parts. That’s as far as I’m going right now. If you are doing a true frame off, you may want to keep it as original as possible for resale. You’ll likely be over $30k when it’s all done. I’m going to be over $20k and not touching the motor and I’m able to do the painting myself. Good luck!
I’m pretty much right there too. I plan on doing my own painting as well. My plan is get the chassis and drive train lined out and then start on the body. Thankfully, the hardtop is not too bad so that’s something. What I hope to is end up with a dependable tough ride for camping, fishing and dirt roads and fire trails.
 
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I’m pretty much right there too. I plan on doing my own painting as well. My plan is get the chassis and drive train lined out and then start on the body. Thankfully, the hardtop is not too bad so that’s something. What I hope to is end up with a dependable tough ride for camping, fishing and dirt roads and fire trails.
If you retain the factory steel cowl and do a 3/4 aqualu tub with steel fenders it will look fairly close to a stock fj40 body with few people being able to tell the difference. Then you would just have to remove rust on the cowl. When I ordered my aqualu I did email correspondence mainly with aqualu. This kept the whole process in writing and we both knew what I wanted in writing. Also if you want a stretched tub and make it a fj43 or a troopy, now would be the time to do it. Aqualu makes frames too fyi. I wish I had stretched mine to a fj43. Oh well. I'm still happy with it. I had them move the wheel opening back for a bit more wheelbase for my uses.
IMG_20200919_121000026.jpg
 
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If you retain the factory steel cowl and do a 3/4 aqualu tub with steel fenders it will look fairly close to a stock fj40 body with few people being able to tell the difference. Then you would just have to remove rust on the cowl. When I ordered my aqualu I did email correspondence mainly with aqualu. This kept the whole process in writing and we both knew what I wanted in writing. Also if you want a stretched tub and make it a fj43 or a troopy, now would be the time to do it. Aqualu makes frames too fyi. I wish I had stretched mine to a fj43. Oh well. I'm still happy with it. I had them move the wheel opening back for a bit more wheelbase for my uses.View attachment 2693113
Did you use the included pieces that bolt to the sides and complete the door opening? I wonder if they could extend the tub to meet the cowl without that piece?
 
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Did you use the included pieces that bolt to the sides and complete the door opening? I wonder if they could extend the tub to meet the cowl without that piece?
Im not sure what piece your talking about specifically without a pic. My tub is different since its a pre 79 version. It mates to the cowl a lot easier.
 
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If you retain the factory steel cowl and do a 3/4 aqualu tub with steel fenders it will look fairly close to a stock fj40 body with few people being able to tell the difference. Then you would just have to remove rust on the cowl. When I ordered my aqualu I did email correspondence mainly with aqualu. This kept the whole process in writing and we both knew what I wanted in writing. Also if you want a stretched tub and make it a fj43 or a troopy, now would be the time to do it. Aqualu makes frames too fyi. I wish I had stretched mine to a fj43. Oh well. I'm still happy with it. I had them move the wheel opening back for a bit more wheelbase for my uses.View attachment 2693113
That’s a good looking setup
Im not sure what piece your talking about specifically without a pic. My tub is different since its a pre 79 version. It mates to the cowl a lot easier.
On my 79, the cowl stops at the door opening so Aqualu makes a piece that bolts to the outside of the cowl that extends the cowl to meet with the tub. The piece starts the curved transition of the front of the door opening. On their website they show a picture of the additional pieces.
 
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That’s a good looking setup

On my 79, the cowl stops at the door opening so Aqualu makes a piece that bolts to the outside of the cowl that extends the cowl to meet with the tub. The piece starts the curved transition of the front of the door opening. On their website they show a picture of the additional pieces.
I vaguely remember that from the dvd instructions. If you do a full tub it will still look good, will just be a little more noticeable that the tub is aftermarket, which isn't really that big of a deal in my opinion. Icons use full aqualu tubs and retain a very high resale value.
 
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I vaguely remember that from the dvd instructions. If you do a full tub it will still look good, will just be a little more noticeable that the tub is aftermarket, which isn't really that big of a deal in my opinion. Icons use full aqualu tubs and retain a very high resale value.
I’ve noticed that about Icons. They are definitely high end vehicles.
I went with Aqualu for my rebuild. Best decision I ever made. While there is the clique of mudders who are hardcore purists, if you're not looking for top $$$ for resale, aluminum is the only way to go. Why fight rust for the rest of your or your Cruiser's life. I kept my original cowl only because there was a very small amount of rust to repair. If you do decide to go with Aqualu, learn from my original mistake and don't use the tranny cover Aqualu provides, instead take the time and extra effort to fabricate the original transmission tunnel to fit.
after crawling around under mine, just from what I can see,it looks like I’m going with Aqualu tub and cowl.
 
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Thanks to everyone for the great help and advice. After crawling around under my40 and looking at everything I can see, it’s going to Aqualu tub and cowl for me. If I don’t I will forever fighting rust.I think I can sell the new steel parts to pay a big chunk on the aluminum body. As soon as tear down starts I will post photos for anybody interested. Thanks again everyone.
 

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