What would you do? (1 Viewer)

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Feb 15, 2020
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Fort Collins, CO
I suppose I might be risking missing out on this one, but in the end I think it’s an “okay price” for a “mostly solid survivor”, so I’m sharing what I know about a 1974 FJ40 that I’m thinking about buying. If someone jumps ahead of me, I can live without buying this one. But I’m mulling it over for now. I’ll let you guys chime in.

About me: I’ve loved 4x4 Toyotas for my adult life, currently own a 100 and a 200, and have previously had about 15 or so different Tundras, Tacomas, 4Runners, etc. I don’t have much experience with restoration, so I’d have to hire someone to help with the body work. I can wrench a little, but I generally come out better if I just do my main job and pay someone else to their main job.

I had never even driven an FJ40 before, so it was fun just to try it out. The owner was an interesting guy, and I really enjoyed talking to him.

I’m going to post the pictures of the body and frame trouble spots. I’d love to hear comments from you all regarding how worthy this one is of a full restoration, or if it seems like a better choice to lean into “survivor” status and just keep it going mostly as is.

It drives fine. The brakes are “spooky” according to the owner, but it sounds like they just need someone familiar with the setup to adjust them correctly. The owner is admittedly “not a Toyota guy”, but knows 30’s Fords inside and out. Apparently they are too advanced/backwards for what he is used to. I thought it stopped okay, but maybe I just caught it on a good day.

It stalled a few times while idling. He topped off the gas tank while I was test driving it, which I didn’t think should have made a difference. But it didn’t stall after that. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Someone put an aftermarket carb on it. It’s not terribly modified otherwise, but I don’t know these things. It’s genuinely the first time I’ve looked at one up close.

Guy is asking $14,200. I’ve got room in my garage, but not a ton of free time. I don’t feel like it’s special, but I don’t think it would be a waste of money either.

I’m hoping to learn from this experience if I don’t end up buying it. What are your thoughts when you look at the pictures?

I tried to hit up everything that I could think of, and I’ve got a few other pics. If anyone wants to see something else, let me know and I’ll see if I got a picture.
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I can only post 5 at a time, so I’ll add more in another post.
 
Joined
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Fort Collins, CO
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Thank you all in advance for your comments. And for your patience with me as a total FJ40 noob.
 
Joined
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Fort Collins, CO
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firefighterjed

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The seller has a green one for sale too right? I value the improvements that were made in ‘75, so I’d think hard about getting the ‘76.
 
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Pics of the engine please
I posted a couple above, they came in late. The only real issue I noticed, besides a general untidy vibe, was that there was some oil seepage on the passenger side of the motor. No stains on the ground though.

I thought I had gotten a picture of it, but I didn’t. 🤦🏻‍♂️ Seller was talkative, I had trouble staying focused myself. But here’s a couple more shots of the engine bay.
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Joined
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The seller has a green one for sale too right? I value the improvements that were made in ‘75, so I’d think hard about getting the ‘76.
I don’t think so! He just had the 1974 and suggested that he was curious to learn about them but lost interest. He had a bunch of 30’s era Fords that were impressively restored.
 
Joined
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Very restorable, buy it. If you decide to drive it, do something to protect the frame. Just a simple coat of paint will do.

Some people think 74 is the best year because it got the 4 spd and still had the good sheet metal. And fewer emissions issues.
 
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Thems good engines, how many miles?
Odo says 69,693. Seller says TMU. I’ve gotten to where I don’t even really look at miles in Toyotas anymore, ha. It was pretty smooth. The clutch engagement was all at the beginning of the pedal travel, so that took a little calibrating in the ‘ol brain as I was driving. Not sure if that is a sign of trouble really, it shifted fine, as long as I wasn’t reaching for 5th.
 
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Fort Collins, CO
A bit over priced for the rust issues I feel. New shocks, soft brake lines, muffler. I would bet he's flipping it.
I could absolutely see this being true. It was nice that it was local so it felt like a nice chance to get my feet wet with very little time spent. He was straightforward about only owning it for about 7 months, and he never registered it. That’s one of my red flags for sure. That said, he claims that none of his collector cars are registered. Shady? Maybe. Not absolutely I guess.

I feel like I’d offer less than his asking price, but I’m still trying to figure out if I even want it for $12k or whatever.
 

firefighterjed

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I don’t think so! He just had the 1974 and suggested that he was curious to learn about them but lost interest. He had a bunch of 30’s era Fords that were impressively restored.
Yeah, my error. I mixed it up with a different light blue one.

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brooklyn

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All depends on what you want to do with the truck. The rust would be a big issue as that can get expensive to repair. And guessing, if you farm out the repairs, getting it drivable could cost you a few grand. These trucks can get expensive fast. Good luck deciding.
 
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FJ40 values have been going up and there is probably more room to grow. If you think the 1974 is "fair" condition, the seller is right on. From Hagerty.

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EWheeler

4 Cruisers, No Garage !
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Should be a sub $10k truck from what is being presented which gives you some money to make it the $14k truck he thinks it is. You can find better for less than $14k IMO. You never really state your intended use of the truck. You state limited time which to me means you want a driver and not a project. You state something about restoration, but not clear if you want a base for a restoration, or if you are just thinking this truck needs restored because it has rust? That truck does not look wasted, very well could address mechanicals, and treat the the rust that is present and it would live on for many many more years to come.

Im a fan of the survivor look and would take a rusty 40 with character over a restored truck any day of the week. If youre looking for a gargae queen that looks pretty to impress people, i’d keep looking. If youre looking for a good base for restoration, i’d start looking in AZ, NV or CA for something with very minimal steel replacement required. If you want somethink to tinker on and take to the store or drive to work occasionally and explore some roads/trails on the weekend, i would offer him what youre comfortable with and start the journey.
 
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EWheeler

4 Cruisers, No Garage !
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Spector offroard sells the parts to fix this for about $300 with tax and freight. I think $100 for door limiter mounting plate / patch panels for the door side, and $150 for the pair of door limiters. I just bought them a couple weeks back.

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NoCo, above FoCo... mofo!
I saw this one on CL today as well. I like it but think it is closer to $10K than $14k. The rust will only cost you time and/or money. I'm just up the road in Wellington.
We just made the last payment on our house so I'm broke for a bit (paid off 10 years early). If I had an extra $9k, I'd offer it. Nothing on it looks terrible and in todays market it's not a horrible deal nor is it a steal.
 
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Your looking at 20k in body work. Then you still have to do the mechanical. You could go buy a nice one mostly done for 25 to 35k and save yourself money and time. Fj40s right now are in a bad state of value. The unrestored neglected ones are so expensive, yet the decently restored taken care of fj40s are fairly priced. Then the immaculate ones are extremely expensive. Why spend 10 to 15k initial cost, spend 30k and lots of time doing a decent restoration, to have it wind up being worth 35k? If you do a immaculate restoration it might be worth over 50k, but your cost to do a immaculate restoration is also more expensive
 

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