Would you rather have an early model FJ40 or a late model FJ40?

Would you rather have an early model FJ40 or a late model FJ40?

  • Early Model FJ40 (1974 and earlier)

    Votes: 25 38.5%
  • Late Model FJ40 (1975 and later)

    Votes: 40 61.5%

  • Total voters
    65
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
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I'd like to know what you guys think about the different model years. I'm thinking I want a '75+ so I'll have the larger engine, 4spd, disc brakes, ect. but I want to make sure I'm making the right decision. I see alot of pre-75's for around $3k-$4k and it seems like the '75+'s are from $5k-$6k generally.
 

nuclearlemon

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early model...better steel, i like the look of the rear half doors better(better for topless also), really like the look of the early-mid 60's with corrugated dash and diagonal heater vent, like the doors with the vent windows.

i do like the 77 up tops with rear kickout window, but those are easy enough to swap out and not cooler than my old corrugated top.

now for running gear, later is better, but 4 of 5 of my cruisers are modified anyway, so oem gear doesn't really apply.
 

Romer

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I like the the 76+. Front disks, 4spd, 2F, bucket seats. I like the look of the interior better as well.

I had a 74 and now I have a 77.
 

nuclearlemon

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Pighead said:
Whatever is pre-smog in your area
oh, yeah, forgot about that...of course four of five of mine are over 25 and eligible for collector plates and the 60's only a couple years away
 

fj40charles

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Early model for better sheet metal and better rust resistance.
Disk brakes, engine, and trany are too easy to swap out IMHO to justify a later model over the better sheet metal of the early model. Everybody makes a big deal out of front disk brakes. In reality, disk brake conversion (4 wheels) is very easy and pretty cheap.
 

Archengine

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Frankfort Ky
I prefer the later years, as swapping things around, both oem and not, seem more difficult the earlier the truck. Such as swapping power brakes and disks to a friends 69 fj40. The front axle went on, but the booster and master for whatever and however many reasons, are still not on the truck. Not that it can't be done, but it involves a fair amount more work. I personally prefer the later 79 and up models, but then again, that is what I'm most familiar with. Later models come with better axles (fine spline), disk brakes, power booster, good oiling, 4 spd, electronic ignition, power steering, arguably better carb, 3 point seat belts, rollbar, possibly a split case, not to mention a lack of the ejection seat. All this is swappable, but then you really have a later model cruiser, with an early body don't you?
Things I like about the earlier models however, are: The hard top style, the corrugated dash, wipers from the top of the windshield, and the gear ratios in the axles and the t-case. I also love the bench seats. For my DD, I prefer the later models, but would LOVE a stock FJ25 any day.
 
Joined
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I have 2 77s and an 82. 80 and up have more leg room, wider springs and shackles, a stronger and lower split T case that just about makes up for the "highway gears" (3.70 instead of 4.11) , sometimes factory PS and AC, more rust prone steel, a higher compression head with slightly more power (like the FJ60), rear drum E brake (far superior to T case mounted E brake when on the side of a mountain). Do not underestimate the comfort 2 or 3 inches of more leg room will provide. Also has square bezel and coolish factory white spoke rims slightly wider I think than hub capped rims on earlier models. Drive lots of cruisers early, middle and late and buy the one that makes you feel good inside. Kind of like picking a wife. Look a the options and buy the one that feels right. Also try driving them at night so you don't judge on cosmetics, but on feel. Kind of like picking a wife.
 

FineWynsFJ40

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Older models: Who can resist the 3 piece tailgate and wipers on the top of the windshield, the better sheet metal, and the charm of the origional F engine?

74: Best of both worlds!! :flipoff2:
 
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DocB said:
Also try driving them at night so you don't judge on cosmetics, but on feel. Kind of like picking a wife.
Perfect analogy!! And very true in BOTH cases. :D :D

With the exception of my 25s, all of my FJs have been 76-78 with the exception of one '79 I had about 10 years ago. Although the '79 offered a few more creature comforts, I think the 76-78 packages are kinda the best 'off the rack' models: Front discs, 4-spd, 4.11 diffs (as opposed to the later 3.73's) and less emissions crap than their '79+ successors. But, I miss the classic look of the 1960's models.

As mentioned in the above previous posts, you can always swap brakes, diffs, trannys, body panels, seat extenders or anything else to make the perfect 'Cruiser.
 
Last edited:
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IMHO :rolleyes: (opinions are like ass holes everyone has one and they all stink) '78 is one of the best years. 4.11 fine spline gears, 4 on the floor, round bezel :flipoff2:, amby doors.

To bad I am getting rid of most of all that for "beefier" parts (read dana60, sm465, NP205,203 ect.)
 

dieseldog

She idles just fine . . .
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Well, I love my 1984, and I do wish it had the thicker sheet metal of the earlier models; however, I'll never trade away all the advantages that the ultra-late model 40's provide. Power steering, 4.11 diffs, five speed, split case, hardtop vents, better mirrors (IMHO), the 3B diesel (sorry gas fans), disks, Aisin hubs, larger fuel tank, better fuel tank location, more legroom, better looking bib, wisely mounted wipers (LOW), & no fly on door windows (sorry Ige), etc.
 
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