Where to go from here...

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Sep 12, 2005
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I've been reading and posting on here for a few months now, I bought my first cruiser this past July and have been working on the body ever since (attempting to repair rust and repaint in my spare time).

A friend and I just finished spraying the doors, quorter pannels, fenders, hood, and other various accessories. This weekend we hope to complete the body work on the tub, re mount the tub on the chasis and spray the final coat of paint. It should look really sweet when finished, I chose a deep metalic blue for the tub, fenders, doors, and hood - the upper half will be a nice white - I'm really excited, and will post pictures when it's done (that is if I ever figure out how to post them).

However, there are still a few major concerns...I have not done anything mechanically to this rig. I was hoping to use this as a DD as soon as it was reasembled, but am now realizing that this may not be a possibility. Are there any suggestions for things to do of major importance (matenaince or otherwise) - i have changed the oil, spark plugs, and will replace all the fluids with synthetic. I will also change the breaks - any key trouble areas I should focus on?

Thanks for reading the novel,
Andrew.
 
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Sep 10, 2004
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coastal empire
66fj40x2 said:
What year & type (40, 55, etc.) is the Cruiser? Any modifications?
Ditto! If you took the time to pull it all apart, by now you are pretty familiar with it. Daily driver? Hmmmmm..... What SPECIFIC concerns do you have?

Do you have a Haynes Manual? Engine Manual? The first chapters talk about the major systems and how they should work. Once you understand the basic concepts, identify specific areas that may need attention.

Not knowing your cruiser, your level of machenical compentance and your resources (cash, facilities, time) it is hard for readers to comment specifically. @&@&@&@& a whole book can (and has been) written about your question.

The things you mention are a good start!
 
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Sep 12, 2005
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Damn! I really am a newbie, forgot to list the specs...

It's a 1970 FJ40, original F Engine, 3 spd tranny (on the tree), and no mods. I want to do a floor conversion, but i am going to wait - need to spend the money on tires and other necessities...
thanks.
 
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Daily driver....if your not obsessive about keep it original I'd suggest a 4 speed swap in the future. It doesn't give you more highway gearing but better splits tween the gears for a DD. If your '70 is like my '66 when stock I'd dang sure be looking for a softer springs and shocks.

Main thing is keep up on the route maintenance stuff. If it leaks fix it, don't let it go. Read and reseach everything before you jump into (lessons learned).

I'm restoring my second '66 to a "near stock" daily driver. I miss the stock look which my trail rig no longer has.

Good Luck, and for Gawd's sake post up some pics already :D
 

nuclearlemon

not an addict
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i'll second the four speed setup. three speeds fine for local roads, but sucks at high speed. also, look into a front disc brake swap. easy to do with later cruiser or mini truck stuff...plenty of links in the tech section. the f motor is fine if you plan on keeping fairly low tire sizes, but if you are going 36 or larger, just do a v8 or 4.3 swap now and be done with it.
 
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Apr 1, 2005
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Northern California
Where you at? I personally dont see the cash value in a old 3spd on the floor and I would part with one for a beer. Thats a free swap until you can do the 4spd etc. Keep an eye open for a Mini front thats cheap. Disk brakes will make all the difference in the world in driving on or off road.
 
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Synthetic fluids?

Am I correct in assuming that petroleum based fluids are better for older vehicles? I once heard the synthetics will leak easier in these older rigs.......
or am I just hallucinating?
 
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lunap said:
Synthetic fluids?

Am I correct in assuming that petroleum based fluids are better for older vehicles? I once heard the synthetics will leak easier in these older rigs.......
or am I just hallucinating?
Thats my experience, and I switched back.
 

REZARF

 
 
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If you are looking into getting your rig into DD shape, I would suggest not looking past three major areas:

1. A major tune up. Plugs, wires, filters (air,pcv,and fuel), fluids change (diff's, tranny, x-case, radiator...) clean adjust the carb, set the timing, all the stuff that goes into getting it up and running healthy.

2. Brakes. Adjusted and tuned in, will make your driving much more pleasent. Also, if you adjust them properly there will be no need to upgrade to disks and stuff right away.

3. Steering. Tight, predictable steering, Power steering is a huge bonus.

Other than that you can make a lot of things happen WHILE you are already using it as a DD.

And as for the synthetic stuff, it can eat the gaskets and make everything leak, I would stay within the factory stuff specs and you will be fine.

Just my .02

Rezarf <><
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
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lunap said:
Synthetic fluids?

Am I correct in assuming that petroleum based fluids are better for older vehicles? I once heard the synthetics will leak easier in these older rigs.......
or am I just hallucinating?

I am ashamed to say it but I had a Heep for for a few years. When I first bought it the pinion seals on the diffs were sweating. I thought I'd have to change the seals for sure. I put synthetic oil in the diffs and the pinions dried up. Some of my friends advised me that synthetic oils will only make the leaks worse. I drove it for another 90,000 kms before I sold it with no indications of pinion seal leaks.
 
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I've always been taught to keep petroleum based fluids in the engine if that's what the engine is used to. Especially for old engines that can be ornery. I have a Chevy 327 in my '68 C10 and a '76 2F in my cruiser, both run regular petroleum oil and I've never had a single problem with it.
 

65swb45

Elder Statesman
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REZARF said:
If you are looking into getting your rig into DD shape, I would suggest not looking past three major areas:

1. A major tune up. Plugs, wires, filters (air,pcv,and fuel), fluids change (diff's, tranny, x-case, radiator...) clean adjust the carb, set the timing, all the stuff that goes into getting it up and running healthy.

2. Brakes. Adjusted and tuned in, will make your driving much more pleasent. Also, if you adjust them properly there will be no need to upgrade to disks and stuff right away.

3. Steering. Tight, predictable steering, Power steering is a huge bonus.

Other than that you can make a lot of things happen WHILE you are already using it as a DD.

And as for the synthetic stuff, it can eat the gaskets and make everything leak, I would stay within the factory stuff specs and you will be fine.

Just my .02

Rezarf <><
I second EVERYTHING Rezarf said, just that I would bump steering and brakes to the top of the list because if they are not 100%, you are a danger to others.
You are already on the right track just by having taken the time to ask the questions.;)
 
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concernong the tranny-3rd in a three speed and 4th in a four speed are 1:1 ratios. I have a 71 FJ40 with the stock F engine and 3sp. the PO switched the 3 on the tree to a top shift, good move on his part, no more worn out shift linkage to lock up. If you plan on doing very much freeway/high speed (60 and up) driving my experience would highly reccomend the tune up, steering, and brakes previously suggested. I would also reccommend some kind of an overdrive, either an OD tranny or tall tires, and a granny gear.
 
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nuclearlemon said:
4spds still don't whine like three speeds do tho.
Yep and it's syncro'ed ... no more gear grinding :D If you don't plan to wheel it you could get a set of 3.73 gears from an FJ60 and swap in. That would be much like an overdrive and if you get the diff it's a bolt in swap. Find a mid-70's driveshaft for the axle end and keep your upper ends on the T-case and your good to go. My daily driver project will have 3.73's.
 

MOfj40

 
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You've opened a can of worms with that one. Motor oil choice is right up there with religion for many auto (and cruiser) nuts. Prepare for love/hate stories for every manufacturer.

That being said, I've never had any problems with Valvoline or Castrol. My dad has run Quaker State for 30 years and still swears by it. My father in law uses nothing but Havoline.

Pick a name brand, buy the proper weight, and change it regularly. You shouldn't have any problems.
 
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