What is Your Best Stranded by Your 40 Story

Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
233
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78620
The other day, I took our 40 for a little shake down cruise after some work on the engine. About 3 miles from the house she decided to quit. Not to fret, I called my wife who thought it was nothing short of hilarious that she and our bloodhound, Stanley, had to come tow me and the 40 home with our F250. It occurred to me that this is a pretty lame "stranded" story but it might be amusing to hear from this community of some real zingers. So, please share.
Thanks.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
534
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
A while ago, I had just taken my cruiser in for a little inspection at a mechanic to see if I needed to fix anything that I couldn’t see. After I got the go ahead and everything seemed fine, I drove home. 10 minutes down the road, my engine blew up. Now I’m at the end of the rebuild which had: new bottom end internals, new head, new head gasket, some tubing and some other random bits that needed to be replaced.
 

Purpleaction

GOLD Star
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
735
Location
FL
Took delivery of my first 40 at midnight. I was so excited I just had to drive it work the next day (even after my wife said “you should not do that“). True to my nature I shrugged off her comment and of course it broke down on a 3 mile long bridge during rush hour traffic shrinking 2 lanes of traffic into 1. I literally had people cussing and/or giving me the middle finger salute as they went by. Was the fuel pump.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
660
Location
Connecticut
Right after all new hoses and clamps mine had a radiator hose blow off in the parking lot of a bar by the lake. Ended up adding water with beer pitchers then hanging out for a while :beer:
 
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
2,144
Location
Sandy Eggo / Carrollton
My 40 has only left me stranded twice.
Once I blew out a freeze plug.
The other, no.6 piston exploded.
Neither were all that great. Take your pick…
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Joined
Apr 2, 2003
Messages
840
Location
Wyoming
bought mine in CO 8 hrs away from home. Drove it 7 hrs and suddenly the pedal went to the floor. Accelerator cable broke. I was on the side of a very busy freeway with small shoulder. Having had a cruiser with a broken accelerator cable before, my bro says "man if we just had a brake cable off of a bike we could rig this and get it off the freeway." I looked down the embankment and there are a couple of guys standing by an El Camino. Turns out they were smoking weed. I figured no way they'd have a spare brake cable because who would? So i just explained the issue and ask them if they had any heavy string or something i could attach to the carb and up through the window to get it off the freeway. One of them says "sorry man, no string. But I do have a bicycle brake cable if that would work." Heck yes.

We ran the cable through the firewall to the pedal and up to the carb and I drove it that way for nearly a year before I could afford to buy the OEM cable.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2013
Messages
1,411
Location
California
bought mine in CO 8 hrs away from home. Drove it 7 hrs and suddenly the pedal went to the floor. Accelerator cable broke. I was on the side of a very busy freeway with small shoulder. Having had a cruiser with a broken accelerator cable before, my bro says "man if we just had a brake cable off of a bike we could rig this and get it off the freeway." I looked down the embankment and there are a couple of guys standing by an El Camino. Turns out they were smoking weed. I figured no way they'd have a spare brake cable because who would? So i just explained the issue and ask them if they had any heavy string or something i could attach to the carb and up through the window to get it off the freeway. One of them says "sorry man, no string. But I do have a bicycle brake cable if that would work." Heck yes.

We ran the cable through the firewall to the pedal and up to the carb and I drove it that way for nearly a year before I could afford to buy the OEM cable.
This is what I’ve used for almost a decade. I Cary a spare but, every year I change it out and the pedal feels brand new again.
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2011
Messages
565
Location
Lakewood, WA
3 times in 26 years, not bad.

#1 Starter died, towed it home myself.
#2 H42 transmission crapped out, called for a tow truck.
#3 Blown engine, towed home shamefully by my brothers heep.

The best story is #1. Instead of doing the smart thing, just getting a new starter and driving the cruiser home. I decided to use my buddies 40 to tow it the 10 miles back to my house and work on it there. I was 25 and an "invincible genius " in my own mind those days so why not? Ever tried towing a 40 with another 40? Don't! Even with a tow bar and the steering tied, I nearly rolled both vehicles turning sharply, caused a minor traffic jam and the weight of my 40 pushing on the tow one pushed so hard I nearly rear ended someone. Eventually made it home with both cruisers intact but my nerves shot... That's when I heard about 60 series gear reduction starters. Swapped one in and never had another starter issue. Live and learn!
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2004
Messages
2,750
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here
Went to Fordyce, crossed river, apparently the rear tank filled with some water and sand, wasn't on rear tank at the time, months later took a ride 3hrs into mountains with club, used rear tank, carb , fuel pump quite way up the trail, got it started on front tank, ran barely, quite completely 1/4 mile from trailer. My daughter put up with the whole thing like a pro, well once she got back in the RV. Other than that my 40 has been really good to me over 20 years.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
2,556
Location
SK Canada
what. landcruisers break!

oh wait. 1977 fj40 siezed engine in the middle of an intersection on the way home from a christmas party with my wife at 12:00 at night. she was a super good sport about it. unfortunately it has been in the “rebuild” phase since then 10 years ago. 😩

1989 fj62 keeps popping random turbo tubes. crappy clamps and hoses. i’m finally almost done replacing them all! most of them i’ve been able to fix on the side of the road but have had a few that needed more time and parts
 

brian

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Feb 7, 2003
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lebanon,pa
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1 time in 25 something years....coil in the chevy hei crapped the bed.......one and only time i was left on the side of the road.
have had fuel pumps crap out, but was still able to limp home. had a few clutch cylinders pop but those will not park a cruiser.
 
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
2,144
Location
Sandy Eggo / Carrollton
Curious, what do you think caused that piston to do that ?
Never really knew. It ran great. I kept up on fluids and tuning. I had adjusted the valves about 8-10 months earlier.

I was driving on the freeway, going uphill. Heard a slight rattle that increased rapidly, then POW! Took all of 10-15 seconds.

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65swb45

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Post #40

 

Downey

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 5, 2007
Messages
5,300
Location
Brea, Calif.
1. Taking one of my FJ40's out for a photo shoot for catalog pics, front disc brakes locked up (pads melted to calipers). I wanted to complete photo shoot for catalog pics since photographers and ad agency men drove great distance to attend. Hired tow truck, moved Landcruiser into different off road positions/locals with tow truck for photos. One photo actually showed photographer laying up on tow truck boom taking photos. Finally towed Landcruiser back to shop. Yes, this is the situation when I learned about the adjustment between brake master cylinder and brake booster.

2. Doing stream crossing, got in too deep, flooded out engine, water's current washing out sand/gravel below tires, Landcruiser sinking. Was able to get my Warn elec. winch cable attached onto Ford Bronco on shore, battery finally drained as Landcruiser reach shore.
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2005
Messages
1,484
Location
Craig, CO
I was only really stranded once, luckily just on the highway about 20 miles from home but had to get a tow home. It was over 20 years ago, not long after my dad and I had done the restoration of my 40. My girlfriend, now wife and I were still in high school and headed out about 90 miles for a day out in the middle of nowhere on spring break. Was running down the highway, suddenly heard a bang and rattle sound. Pull over and find the original double pulley on the 1973 F engine waterpump had fatigue cracked and broke off near the base where it bolts to the pump flange. Those early pulleys were like two cups nestled together and spot welded in the bottom, the outer "cup" had broke off all the way around at the base. I suspect I must have overtightened alternator belt? Or just years of use. Dad came out and got us, we took pulley home and tried to weld it back together, but it turned out so wonky we decided not to use it and just tow the truck home. If it happened today I would have just tried laying the belt on the other groove and limp home.

Another time with same future wife I had adjusted the timing on the single points Mallory distributor just before a camping trip. Still can't believe our parents let us go camping alone. I distinctly remember slipping with flat head screw driver upon tightening the points. Didn't see anything amiss, but about halfway up the mountain she starts missing. I tuned it by ear several times and messed with points, filed on them some, but I had bent the arm and within 30 miles it had wore into the stationary point making a crooked pit. We limped it home but just barely. Last few miles was sputter and miss uphill and glide as far as we could on the downhill and flats. Put in a Unilite back then, fixed that crappy Mallory point problem.

One other time I had the impellor come loose inside the water pump of my FJ60. I had just put the pump on about 500 miles before, it was a NAPA rebuild, figured it would be fine. Drove that one about 50 miles back toward home, pegged out hot the whole way, but I figured she still had water in the system. Had to be towed home a ways on that one because we ran out of hills to coast down. Truck still runs today, guess it didn't hurt it.

There are others, two with the FJ60, but luckily they were basically right at the house, both instances helping kids get unstuck on the rural road we live on. In one case I was pulling a trailblazer uphill through about 3 feet of drifted snow. I was getting him up the hill and just got him free when steam starts coming out from under the hood. The Toyota block heater had broke an ear off the "T" clamp and blew. Another time I was redlined yanking a car up the road embankment on really slick spring snow, just as I get the kid up on the county road the engine stops. I had broke the AC belt and it proceeded to wrap around the crank pulley and stall the engine. That was fun to dig/cut out.
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2009
Messages
2,953
Location
Steamboat Springs, CO
Just purchased the "Greenbeast" (my first Land cruiser) and started solo trip down to Denver from Steamboat Springs where I was going to meet my father and young son and trailer her home rest of way to Tulsa.

I took Poudre Canyon drive which is tortuous, crooked remote highway between tall mountains on each side (like an idiot). Stopped in the lower 1/3 of the canyon to use the facilities and got back into the Beast and it wouldn't start. No cell signal for god knows how long.

A nice mother and daughter eventually came up ended up taking me down the road to Laporte where I called a tow truck. While sitting there waiting another 40 showed up and I got to talking and he had spare fuel filter under this seat. Tow truck took me up canyon to the cruiser which promptly started up without needing the fuel filter. I got the Motel east of Denver at Midnight that night after my 6+ hour adventure. To be honest had someone stole that cruiser that night I would not have given a shyt!

Fun thread, to counter my first experience my most enjoyable trip was when I purchased my 82 from Sandpoint, Idaho and my father and I drove it all the way back to Tulsa without a single hiccup. Wonderful trip!
 

Godwin

Resident Herpetologist
SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
5,671
Location
Alabama
Only once close to being stranded. Driving home from work and stopped at light in town and the head gasket blew. There was a cloud of steam and this being November I was running the heater, no heat. I drove about 7-8 miles watching the temp gauge and finally stopped about a mile from home. Walked to the house and used the 60 to tow the 40 home.

I had flywheel bolts back out once which rendered shifting gears with the clutch inoperative. I drove home without the clutch. Had the slave blow out once while out of town on a field trip. My wife and kids had come up separately and I drove back to the hotel shifting without the clutch. Ordered a new slave from a parts store and had the 40 up and running the next day.

Had the right rear hard brake line break once while ca. 200 miles from home. Crimped it closed, refilled the brake system with water and drove like that for a couple of more days.
 

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