To Buy or Not To Buy...

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Dec 23, 2014
Austin, TX
Hi Guys, so I've been following and reading the forum for a while now and I am glad to be a part of a great bunch of people with a common interest. I ended up joining because I was loaned my friends 100% original, unmolested but tired and un-restored (134k miles!!!) 1982 FJ40 to fix up and take care of so they could think about selling it...long story short, I may end up buying it, but they needed it back for their son to drive again so I can't buy it anytime soon.
Anyway, point of the story is, I am now in love with FJ40s and another friend in Denver has one up for's very molested and very tired and I wanted to ask the collective knowledge here if it was worth buying or worth steering clear of. He says its a 1979, can someone confirm that from the pics?
I am a very proficient auto mechanic/engineer/electrician, so I am not afraid of fixing things up and taking care of getting it into a decent condition. I don't want to restore it to 100% original, it's a bit beyond that, just make everything as it stands on the truck as-new and something I'm proud to drive around in.
Now, the pictures speak 1000 words but I do know it's not the original engine (duh), but I have no idea what sort of V6 it is (any ideas?) and I do know the front prop shaft is tied up because last time it was out 4x4ing with the PO, something broke on the front axle (I believe it was the locking hub, but awaiting confirmation). It has been in a garage sitting for 5 months and is buried in junk (reasons for poor photos, sorry), and it does have all of the doors and hard roof. They are into it for $5500 and that's the initial offer on the table from him. What do you think guys?
Well, beauty is in the eye of the beer holder. I get that you got the bug for a cruiser, and hope you find what you are looking for. Trick is, what are you looking for?

Figure out what it is you want in the end. There are still a good number of fj40's floating around, especially gassers. I know spending more money up front isn't always an option, but in the long run, buying a nice fj40 in good condition (original or not, you decide) is cheaper. I'm a purist, I enjoy driving mine with all it's limitations because that's what give it character and makes it what it is.

What I see here is a basher. Rust is bad, hacked wiring and you mentioned things are breaking. The fact that they are in it for 5500$ means nothing. Really nice restorations can cost 60k+ and the truck is only worth 40k in the end. I see this as a money hole: you will be putting in a lot of $$ just to keep it going, and not necessarily adding value. I just wouldn't buy it.

I would wait and get the nicest one I could afford. Original, of course!;)
It's not a 79, its much older than that. Frt is a drum brake toyota frt end. The rear end appears to be maybe a j**p model 50, The engine, trans & t/case are not toyota. I see alot of rust & bondo. You need to ID the driveline & rust. Personally, I'd runaway.
Thanks Ambrew and pb4ugo, that is good advice. I have been blessed with driving around and working on a very good example of a 40, and that made me somewhat skeptical of this one, with the state it is in.
Personally, I like the 100% original truck route, as you say, with all it's features (not faults!) that make it fun to drive and own...not a Frankenstein truck headache. The one I have been driving is a beautiful example, but I believe the owners somewhat overpaid for the truck when they bought it, and as a result, are asking for too much now.
Thanks man, I totally agree. I'll start a thread on the 40 I've been driving around in, it's a nice truck you would like as a purist.
I wouldn't buy it for half of that price but YMMV.
Keep looking. Yup, that's the best advice you'll get for this one.;)
Agree with 1911, half that price and a ton of work ahead of'd be a long time before you enjoyed it

Keep looking......patience is a GREAT thing in quite a few areas of life and buying a 40 is one of them
Thanks chaps, fabulous advice. I'm actually an English guy in the Austin TX area, so I'll keep my eye open around here. Hopefully I can work something out with my good friends here regarding their nicer '82 FJ40, the one I've created another thread on.
Thanks again for all of your advice. It has certainly helped me identify this particular FJ40 as one I should personally avoid, and I couldn't have done it with the educated input from everyone else here. G

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