What would you swap or change on a 1965 40?

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In my search for the perfect FZJ80 I've spend less time looking into the 40s and playing with mine. The other day I saw the one in Tucson so I went and bought it. I didn't need the top so he let me have it for $2,700 even! Today I replace the fuel filter and pump as well as swapping in a nice HEI dist. I had laying around. With that said it runs good and already has the 350 in it. Here are the issues:

1) Drum brakes, need adjusting.

2) Springs are in bad shape and sagging.

3) Manifold is outside of the frame.

4) Steering has plenty of play.

Now I have a saginaw box sitting on my old parts Caprice so I can swap that in but what else would you do? The hubs have goofy things to lock them so I see that upfront but what else sucks on the 65 that you would change?

Also I assume there's an AA for the factory 3 speed (on the floor) can I bolt in the 4 speed? How many upgrades will just bolt in?

Thanks a lot guys! I'm thinking I may just wheel in until things break and upgrade as I go....
 

CruisinGA

 
 
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swap ball and claw front axle for later drum brake axle with disc knuckles, or whole disc axle if you can find one. 79+ cruiser is best, then minitruck

Keep rear drums, replace/rebuild all of it, turn drums. Will work very well.

Get a boosted dual circuit master cylinder. Gonna have to cut firewall or build adapter.

Get something other than that 3 speed in there. But you know that. My personal preference would be a SM420 or 465.

Get a Q-jet for the 350, lookup Brian's writeups concerning it.

FJ60 or saginaw powersteering. Better to get the box away from the heat of the headers, so no minitruck or stock 40 PS.
 
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Okay cool, that's a good start... I need a new axel though up front for sure, that's what I figured so I guess I'll run it till I break something then swap in a new one. Does the newer 40s axel just bolt in?

Also, if I swap the trans what's a bolt in? I ask because I don't want a new AA to mate it to the 350. I'll swap that out when i blow it up as well so I guess I'll see how tough this stuff really is.
 

CruisinGA

 
 
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3sp and 4sp bellhousings are different, so I do not think your AA adapter would work with anything else. (Do not know for a fact)

An SM420/465 would bolt to your engine with a standard 350 bellhousing, but would require an adapter for the cruiser tcase. (avail. for a very fair price from Woody).

You aren't going to be able to get anything in there without losing the AA and you may need to buy more adapters.

All 40 axles are a bolt up. (aside from brake lines- but not hard to modify)
 

LC_Hamma

The Anti-Leafer
 
 
 
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And the domino effect begins for another Cruiserhead.....
What are your plans for the rig?

I'm thinking I may just wheel in until things break and upgrade as I go....

That's the learning process most of us have been through. Depending on your budget & plans for the rig, you may want to bypass all the headaches of birfs & go straight for D60's.
 

65swb45

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Depending on how old your conversion is, you might have an AA floorshift conversion coupled with an old school V-8 adapter on a cast iron bellhousing [vs the new ones that use an aluminum one. If you have the cast iron bellhousing, then your bellhousing would be compatible with an SM420 tranny, which is a popular swap in the crawler circle.

That said, I revert to my standard bi-line: steering and brakes MUST COME first. They are fundamental safety issues for you and everyone else on the road who is counting on you to be able to control your truck.

On the steering end, if you think you're gonna end up doing hardcore wheelin, or get tires over 33", don't waste your time with the stock steering box. Go power. IMO no need to go with a fj60 box if you're running a GM motor; use that Caprice box.

On the brakes, same rules apply. Serious wheelin or big tires, power brakes are a must. If you don't like having to fuss with brakes on a regular basis, then drums are not for you.

Keep me in mind when you ditch the stock stuff. I have two 65s. ;)
 
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Yeah that's cool, I don't mind shooting some of that stuff your way 65swb45, just pay shipping on any of it. With the 350 in there the saginaw would be easy. I would also rather get that one peice steering out of there just to be safe and get a new wheel. I'd planned on doing this to my 74 but that's in very good shape all around so I'll address the 65 first as it needs the most attention. I have a mini front end I can swap out but can I still do the conversion on a 65 or do I need a newer axel for that?

I'll work on steering and braking first and go from there... Oh, how do I know what adaptor I have? I can post some pictures but I would assume it's 5 years old or more. It didn't have the HEI on the motor so that would put it at pre 75 right there but I don't k now about the conversion.
 

65swb45

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sonoranfun said:
I'll work on steering and braking first and go from there... Oh, how do I know what adaptor I have? .
Get under the truck and look at the bellhousing. If it' steel with a half-inch spacer plate between the bellhousing and tranny, it's the old school, Muncie adaptable. If it's an aluminum bellhousing without a spacer plate, it's not gonna be adaptable.

On the mini disc fax, nuclearlemon found a pn for a seal that's supposed to hold the birfs in the ball joint axle. You'll still need cruiser inners and fine spline spider gears.

On power brakes, there are several routes. If you decide to bolt a Toy MC and booster in, I offer an adapter that bolts right onto your firewall.

Hth
 
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Get under the truck and look at the bellhousing. If it' steel with a half-inch spacer plate between the bellhousing and tranny, it's the old school, Muncie adaptable. If it's an aluminum bellhousing without a spacer plate, it's not gonna be adaptable.

Okay, I took a look and it's got the 1/2 inch spacer plate in there. What does this mean for me? I would like to swap out the 3 speed to a 4 speed when it gives out so does this mean a 4 speed will just bolt right in? What are my options here?
 

wngrog

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When you score a 4 speed you will need to score the 350 to 4 speed adapter too, unless you go with an SM420. It will bolt right up. Essentially, the SM420 is a 3 speed on the road, but I favor it since 2nd is syncronized. That said, there is no better shifting tranny than the Toy H42 4 speed. Get one and be happy.
 

honk

 
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Isn't the 350 to Toyota 4 speed a whole bellhousing special made by Advanced Adapters?

If you don't get to the Saginaw soon the old type center swivel probably is causing much of your steering looseness. You can try to adjust it, there are kits to 'rebuild' it, but better would be to get rid of it in favor of the Saginaw box or at least a conversion to the newer type. New tierod ends won't be a bad thing either.
 
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