Thoughts on '79 FJ40 Hard Top Side Panels (1 Viewer)

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Hey all! I'm new to the world of cruisers (and vehicle restorations) since I got my (new) FJ40 a couple weeks ago that has been used as a farm truck for years. It's been to the bottom of a lake, had a tree fall on its hood, and seen the worst that cold Canadian winter has to offer for all of its 41 years :( Although despite it all, it still runs like a charm :O
After what it's been through, I figure this car deserves a proper restoration to bring back its glory!

I'm posting this thread because in ordering parts for this project, I can't find anybody that is selling the hard top side panels online. The ones on my FJ are way past their best-before date and unfortunately because both the inside and outside layer of sheet metal are completely rusted through, they can't be saved as far as my skill level would allow. I'm looking for the sides with the kick-out window configuration preferably. That type of panel seems really rare so if I can't find them, I was wondering if it's possible to make a pillar to convert a full window into a split one with the kick-out sides? I just think that it is one of the most charming aspects of the truck and I would hate to lose that cool quirk!

So my question to everyone is, what's the best way to go about this? Is there anywhere I should be looking for these spcifically? Anybody I should call or anybody on here that might have a set for sale? Any help or advice would be really appreciated! Thanks!
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- Emil :)
 

Bear

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Emil,

I'm assuming your plow truck worked on salted roads--best to not look for any replacement body parts from areas that salt their roadways. If the salt bugs ate that high up on your truck, chances are they'e been munching everywhere else. Before investing any more into it, please check the soundness of your frame/chassis. Rebuilding a truck on a weak/compromised base is not wise.

Unless you have a thick wallet and amazing metalworking skills, you may be better-off looking for a truck with a more-sound body and overall condition. Despite your truck's heroic stand, it may be time to retire. It even happens to the folks who drive them.
 
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Emil,

I'm assuming your plow truck worked on salted roads--best to not look for any replacement body parts from areas that salt their roadways. If the salt bugs ate that high up on your truck, chances are they'e been munching everywhere else. Before investing any more into it, please check the soundness of your frame/chassis. Rebuilding a truck on a weak/compromised base is not wise.

Unless you have a thick wallet and amazing metalworking skills, you may be better-off looking for a truck with a more-sound body and overall condition. Despite your truck's heroic stand, it may be time to retire. It even happens to the folks who drive them.

Yeah, it's a tough call when a vehicle gets to this point... Being a plow truck for someone's private property only, it hasn't seen road salt for years which has been a good thing to it. Even though the body looks horrible, I've inspected the frame and it only needs a couple patchs (one around the front left engine mount and another at the back left around the axle) to be in pretty decent shape. I know this project is bordering on being crazy but I think the cruiser has surprisingly got the bones to be worth restoring.
Still blows my mind too that rust got that high up though...
 

jim land

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Thank you for the link! I heard about these composite reconstruction parts but couldn't find them anywhere.
They're definitely pricey but good to keep in mind as a last resort if I definitely can't find the parts cheaper in metal.
 
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I definitely can't find the parts cheaper in metal.



How are the post for the vent windows? If it workable shape could graft those on to side that didn't have the vent windows. I installed a posts off a wrecked 78 on to a 73 top. I did this on the top I used on my 68 that I purchased as a replacement after putting my 68 on it's side.
IMG_20190822_190135850.jpg

Not sure about the Canadian market but in the US 1/75 all 40 series had ambulance doors. Earlier would not have the plates for the ambulance door hinge. Think your biggest challenge is shipping. Hard to believe prices tops bring today. Wasn't too many years almost had to give them away. Jeeps top were worth a lot more back them. Back in the late nineties I bought a 75 and 77 Hard tops for $200 apiece. Both included ambulance doors.

Friend was throwing away a pair sides around the same time I grabbed. This was the worse rust.
IMG_20190520_135244201.jpg

Other side was pretty rust free.
IMG_20190520_135934742.jpg


Before these were so popular this was a cheap hobby.
 
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How are the post for the vent windows? If it workable shape could graft those on to side that didn't have the vent windows. I installed a posts off a wrecked 78 on to a 73 top. I did this on the top I used on my 68 that I purchased as a replacement after putting my 68 on it's side.
View attachment 2530776
Not sure about the Canadian market but in the US 1/75 all 40 series had ambulance doors. Earlier would not have the plates for the ambulance door hinge. Think your biggest challenge is shipping. Hard to believe prices tops bring today. Wasn't too many years almost had to give them away. Jeeps top were worth a lot more back them. Back in the late nineties I bought a 75 and 77 Hard tops for $200 apiece. Both included ambulance doors.

Friend was throwing away a pair sides around the same time I grabbed. This was the worse rust.
View attachment 2530804
Other side was pretty rust free.
View attachment 2530812

Before these were so popular this was a cheap hobby.
That's exactly what I was thinking. The posts are in good shape and I could graft them to fit. It's really helpful to know that you've done this before with success. It really comes down to how hard it is to find any panels at all. Wish I was into this hobby when parts weren't so hard to find... These sides go for outrageous money now and they rarely ever come up for sale.
That cruiser looks great though! The combo of split window and round side lights is pretty sharp!
You don't still have those yellow side panels, do you? If you do then I would be interested. Shipping is expensive, but once covid is over I would definitely consider picking pieces up.
 
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Did you check classiccruisers.com? I bought some side panels from them a long time ago (2011) for $750 a pair and they were very nice. I had them soda blasted and I was pretty much good to go. You never know, it wouldn't harm to give them a call.
 
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Did you check classiccruisers.com? I bought some side panels from them a long time ago (2011) for $750 a pair and they were very nice. I had them soda blasted and I was pretty much good to go. You never know, it wouldn't harm to give them a call.
That's some really good advice and not a bad price at all! I was going to order some parts from them anyways so it would make shipping cheaper to throw a bunch together. I'll give them a ring and see if they have any of these kicking around. Thank you!
 

pbgbottle

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Gozzard stuff is nice. Looks like a square bezel rig with a early windshield and wiper setup on it I’ve never seen that done before.
Look up Wayne. Wayne@crushersrule.com
He is the man. Does a lot of nice work. He is in Ontario I think
Does full restoration kind of stuff he may have something,
 
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Gozzard stuff is nice. Looks like a square bezel rig with a early windshield and wiper setup on it I’ve never seen that done before.
Look up Wayne. Wayne@crushersrule.com
He is the man. Does a lot of nice work. He is in Ontario I think
Does full restoration kind of stuff he may have something,
Yeah, I talked with Mike Gozzard and he definitely makes some beautiful stuff I would love to outfit my ride with. It's just a little out of my price range for the time being.
The truck is a bit of a mash up for sure. But when something rots out, you gotta replace it with what you got I guess! I'm actually quite a fan of the top mounted wipers so I might just keep it that way to make it different (and to save my wallet a bit).
I'm definitely going to shoot Wayne an email! That's a great recommendation and thank you for suggesting that! Someone local would be ideal. Even just to get to talk with someone who does these restorations would be so helpful for me.
Cheers,
- Emil
 

pbgbottle

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His stuff is nice but the price is a killer for sure.

Yeah, I talked with Mike Gozzard and he definitely makes some beautiful stuff I would love to outfit my ride with. It's just a little out of my price range for the time being.
The truck is a bit of a mash up for sure. But when something rots out, you gotta replace it with what you got I guess! I'm actually quite a fan of the top mounted wipers so I might just keep it that way to make it different (and to save my wallet a bit).
I'm definitely going to shoot Wayne an email! That's a great recommendation and thank you for suggesting that! Someone local would be ideal. Even just to get to talk with someone who does these restorations would be so helpful for me.
Cheers,
- Emil
 
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Messages
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That's exactly what I was thinking. The posts are in good shape and I could graft them to fit. It's really helpful to know that you've done this before with success. It really comes down to how hard it is to find any panels at all. Wish I was into this hobby when parts weren't so hard to find... These sides go for outrageous money now and they rarely ever come up for sale.
That cruiser looks great though! The combo of split window and round side lights is pretty sharp!
You don't still have those yellow side panels, do you? If you do then I would be interested. Shipping is expensive, but once covid is over I would definitely consider picking pieces up.


I do actually still have the sides. Plan is to use them on my 79. I actually have a couple of damaged passenger sides to get the non rusted pieces from. Just wish I had the space to grab all the hard tops I came across over the years. As it is I do have plenty of hard top sides for my use. The Southwest US is a lot different than Canada. Just wish we would have gotten the 83/84 BJ42 with a H55F.

FYI that is a reflector not a light. That style was used 68/69.
 
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I do actually still have the sides. Plan is to use them on my 79. I actually have a couple of damaged passenger sides to get the non rusted pieces from. Just wish I had the space to grab all the hard tops I came across over the years. As it is I do have plenty of hard top sides for my use. The Southwest US is a lot different than Canada. Just wish we would have gotten the 83/84 BJ42 with a H55F.

FYI that is a reflector not a light. That style was used 68/69.
Good to know. I had no clue they were reflectors. Cheers!
 

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