So I want an FJ 40 but...

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Madison, MS
***Disclaimer***

If you're a FJ 40 purest DON'T READ BELOW!!

***END DISCLAIMER***

So I have really fallen in love with these FJ 40's and I have grown to love the shape, well almost. I've always been a Jeep guy more so than a Toyota guy. The more I look at pictures the more I wanted one. The problem was they were either in really bad shape and wanted top dollar or they were in really great shape and wanted top dollar, a kidney, left testicle, a lung and while they were at it the other kidney. Honestly for what I wanted to do with it neither of these options worked for me. Well, they could have worked but what fun would that have been. So I happen to have a friend that bought an FJ 40 that I could pull some measurements from. After spending a little time measuring and researching, boy that thing was JACKED UP. It was a real struggle trying to pull anything constant from this FJ. However for what I was doing, it will work.


The goal for this rig is to make it a 4 seater so me and the guys in the shop can go camping and relax on the weekend. I want it to me a tube chassis, 60/14 bolt, LS with Atlas (if any venders want to donate an atlas I will not say no
)

I have gathered most of my parts other than the hydro steering, atlas and King Shocks. I bought some a while back but they were damaged in shipping but I got the springs.

So the first step was to order some cold rolled sheet metal. I ordered some 16 and 18 ga sheet metal, about 10 sheets each. Then I went to the computer and try to draw the basic shapes. With my rough measurements I can cut some blanks to get started with.
 
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So now I needed to make a die for my Pullmax so I can make the same shape as the FJ40 upper body edge. I think it turned out pretty good.

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There is always a two step process on making a panel. The next part of this equation is to make a guide so I can run that die over edge of the panel. But first I have to make a wooden guide so I can follow without making mistakes in the panel. Here are some of the guides I've made for this project.

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So I'll make another small piece, the front cowl section I cut. As you see I have the slot for the louvers. Well, crap I don't have a louver punch... Let's make one.

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Basically I wanted a louver tool that I could cut any length louver. I'll just post the pictures. I take a chuck of steel and face the pieces and then put on the index table and machine the shape into the edge with a ball end mill.

Please understand though, I am no machinist. I know enough to get myself in trouble.

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Here is basically the "rear" comp cut sections. So I made another hammer form so I can fold the lip on the fender down and it served another purpose to be a guide for the edge die. In one of these pictures you can see the MDF under the sheet metal. I was in the process of removing it.

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If you notice the rear part of the fender doesn't have that formed upper edge. The body I was using basically didn't have an edge to work with so I had to do some research and find what it actually looked like. I'll finish that part by hand.

Which brings me to the next part of this. The support that's on the inside of the body for the top to rest on. Again, it was so rusted I had to search. This is what I came up with. The bends are so tight I just made it from two pieces. It was easier and caused me less stress. I'm getting old and my heart can't take it.



As you can see if fits the fender nicely.

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Now for the exciting part. This was the hardest part to figure out. Actually, not really, it just took time to figure out. In my sketch of the 4 door you may have noticed that the door posts go higher than they should. That is because when I'm getting to the end of the material it has a tendicy to curl. So I run it long and cut to size. Let's see how this works.

Step one: make wood guide
Step two: realize the door bead is different from the bed bead
Step three: make door die

You can see me and Brady working that door magic. This is the front door opening

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