Builds The Little Red Lobster

navydivedoc

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Aug 20, 2015
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Maine and New Hampshire
I thought I would bring a build thread over into the FJ40 section, as this truck has previously been in the FJ25 section as the Rattle Can Rebuild. About a week ago, I found myself deep into some uncharted territory over there with the hardcore purists and parts scroungers when I came across this thread. @JackA had taken what I would have only thought was a parts truck and somehow got her back on the road after a year of well documented work. It went from this





to this

61 FJ40.jpg


Full details are well documented over on that thread. Genuine rattle can (Rustoleum) repaint, but with a lot of OEM parts, some new, some very hard to find on this first year FJ40. I've seen various numbers, but under 300 imported for the year. Not a purists dream as it's a mixed bag, but for my summer time sunny day drives, relic runs and a few mild trails, this was a great build.

I was shocked to see that the truck had been for sale for around a month, at a very reasonable price. The 19 page build thread was so well documented, there weren't any surprises. I figured it couldn't still be there, but I picked up the phone and called Jack. I was the first to actually pick up the phone, and besides the Craigslist scammers and low ballers, the first with any real interest. We had a great talk, were in line with what this truck was and how it should be, and we struck a deal at his full asking price.
 
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navydivedoc

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Maine and New Hampshire
I'm in Virginia, he and the truck were in Phoenix. A quick hit on the @Riverrunner website and I had a truck picking it up 2 days later.

61FJ40 pickup.jpg


Estimate was a week, but she arrived a day early today, with a nice 60 having shared the ride




She fired right up on the truck and we got her off. I immediately set to work pulling the functional but stump ugly Best Top




A quick spin around the neighborhood revealed no surprises. Drums need some adjustment. I've already talked to @Rainman about a complete new set of brakelines and @65swb45 already has a firewall adapter and a dual circuit Master cylinder inbound to me. I'll play with it over the next few days but for now I am happy to have her here and very thankful for the excellent transaction with @JackA and for his resurrection of this old 61.

Tucked away dry and warm

 

cruiserkreutz

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Dec 1, 2012
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La Grande Oregon
 
I'm in Virginia, he and the truck were in Phoenix. A quick hit on the @Riverrunner website and I had a truck picking it up 2 days later.

View attachment 2230331

Estimate was a week, but she arrived a day early today, with a nice 60 having shared the ride




She fired right up on the truck and we got her off. I immediately set to work pulling the functional but stump ugly Best Top




A quick spin around the neighborhood revealed no surprises. Drums need some adjustment. I've already talked to @Rainman about a complete new set of brakelines and @65swb45 already has a firewall adapter and a dual circuit Master cylinder inbound to me. I'll play with it over the next few days but for now I am happy to have her here and very thankful for the excellent transaction with @JackA and for his resurrection of this old 61.

Tucked away dry and warm

Beautiful rig! Even more beautiful with that top off!
 

navydivedoc

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Update on part 2. Engine is number F383882, which per SOR is a 2/72 F.

I did a valve adjustment and compression test yesterday. Valves pretty much within spec. Unfortunately, cylinders 2 and 3 are at zero. Others good, so probably a head gasket from what I can tell? I'm going to social distance myself in the garage and pull the head, so we'll see.

While the carb is off anyway, I'm thinking of having it rebuilt. @65swb45, here are some pictures so you know what I have when I give you a call. Not the greatest I now realize. I'll also need a head gasket, etc.

Wrenching is fun, right?






 
Joined
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468
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Oregon
 
 
Great to see it went to a good home. There are a lot of old 40s that are worth saving, but probably aren’t the best candidates for a full blown, frame off resto with non-existing OEM parts. Have fun with it and keep us posted.
 

navydivedoc

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Great to see it went to a good home. There are a lot of old 40s that are worth saving, but probably aren’t the best candidates for a full blown, frame off resto with non-existing OEM parts. Have fun with it and keep us posted.
This is exactly how I look at this one. Panels are wrinkled, but it looks great from 10 feet. Pinstripes on a trail, a little ding? Who cares! No cancer. Actually runs surprisingly well on just 4 cylinders. Any trip takes twice as long as it should, not because of the truck's mechanicals, but because everyone wants to come and talk at all the stops. Yesterday I was cornered at NAPA for 15 minutes by an older gentleman reminiscing about his 71 FJ40 that he bought from a "Navy guy headed to Guam" in 1972. He was all smiles, which is something given the current state of the world.
 

whitey45

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I remember almost buying this( before Jack) It was such a solid rust free rig. There couldn’t be an easier engine to do a headgasket, only challenge is lifting the heavy head on and off and avoiding hitting the oil supply line!
 

navydivedoc

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Maine and New Hampshire
Following along. This is good stuff. Let’s see the sticker!
Sticker made it to me, thanks! Not truly period correct for a 61, but what is on this rig. I'll get it on there shortly and post up a pic.

I remember almost buying this( before Jack) It was such a solid rust free rig. There couldn’t be an easier engine to do a headgasket, only challenge is lifting the heavy head on and off and avoiding hitting the oil supply line!
Being from the east, We don't take rust free for granted. Anything beyond that is gravy. I hope the job is pretty easy. Last head I pulled was from a 1957 willys pickup when I was 17. About the same level of complexity I think, maybe even less.
 

navydivedoc

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So, I am trying to walk the line between this being a driver, use it and not restore it, and my usual "do everything while it's apart and the labor is done". Assuming this is just a head gasket problem and the rest looks OK, what should I definitely do to the head while it's out? Drop it back on and run it? Resurface the head? Valve seals? Oil galley plug a problem in these old F's? Do a full valve job and rebuild because it's out and not that expensive? I've toured a lot of threads, but it's hard to figure out what is a must have, what is the sweet spot, and what is overkill. Thanks.
 

63cruiser

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Dec 9, 2016
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I had my head checked and surfaced. My machine shop said not to do the rest as new valves may make it too “tight” and would only put more pressure on the bottom half of a 50 year old motor. Don’t know if that is accurate but it did seem to make sense to this rookie
 

navydivedoc

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Aug 20, 2015
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Maine and New Hampshire
I had my head checked and surfaced. My machine shop said not to do the rest as new valves may make it too “tight” and would only put more pressure on the bottom half of a 50 year old motor. Don’t know if that is accurate but it did seem to make sense to this rookie
Thanks. I don't know anything about the machine shops local to me, and as a rookie myself could easily be sold the whole package. @OTRAMM is reasonably close, so I've sent him a message and conveniently tagged him here.
 

65swb45

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Update on part 2. Engine is number F383882, which per SOR is a 2/72 F.

I did a valve adjustment and compression test yesterday. Valves pretty much within spec. Unfortunately, cylinders 2 and 3 are at zero. Others good, so probably a head gasket from what I can tell? I'm going to social distance myself in the garage and pull the head, so we'll see.

While the carb is off anyway, I'm thinking of having it rebuilt. @65swb45, here are some pictures so you know what I have when I give you a call. Not the greatest I now realize. I'll also need a head gasket, etc.

Wrenching is fun, right?






Looks like a good candidate to me. I’d make the call on the cylinder head once you can SEE the head and the cylinders. I’d pop all the valves and change seals at the very least, and at htat point you can see what the seats look like.

Personally, I would borrow/rent a valve spring compressor and do this myself, for the learning experience. Just do it in a well-defined, uncluttered space, in case you launch a valve keeper when you’re reloading everything.
 

navydivedoc

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Thanks Mark @65swb45. A couple of phone calls with him and I have a head gasket and all of the other needed gaskets, a new water pump, and a plastic fan/spacer upgrade to replace the old steel fan inbound. Head will hopefully come off tomorrow and go to the machine shop on Monday. Carb will be on its way to Mark for a rebuild. Barring some disaster that appears when I see pistons, she should be good to go in a few weeks for spring driving.
 
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