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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ever since I can remember I've loved Land Cruisers.... I loved how they looked, I loved the reputation they had as unbeatable go-anywhere rigs, and I knew at some point I needed to have one.

When the FJ-Cruiser came out I was really excited and knew I would need to have one, and earlier this year when I finally had the means and opportunity to buy one I did.. I love my FJC, and IMO it's a perfect modern incarnation of the older LCs... (more so than the 200 series anyway...).

That said... It's no FJ40... and I feel bad about beating up on a rig I'm still making payments on...

So a few weeks ago when one popped up on Craigslist not too far away from me I knew I had to take a look......

These were the original pics from his ad:







So I sent the guy an email...

He actually had two of them.. One was a 1971 with a fiberglass tub waiting for a V8....:mecry: Not my style at all....but to each his own...

The other was a 1975 that he had purchased to use as a parts-rig for the 1971. As soon as I saw it I knew it was the one for me... All original, solid frame, low miles (was a farm rig in its previous life). The tub is in pretty rough shape.The rear sill is toast, but the floors are surprisingly intact, and as far as parts/ interior pieces it's complete. It also has a hard-top and soft-top (bestop).

At the time, he wanted to sell them together and wasn't interested in selling me just the '75 (plus he wanted an arm and a leg for them!). I had resigned myself to the idea that this nice FJ was going to be cannibalized for a dedicated off-roader...:mecry:

Well, a couple weeks later he calls me up and tells me he has someone interested in just the 1971, and wants to see if I'm still interested in the '75 because he just wanted them out of his garage...

So my father-in-law and I go up to look at it, and $1400 later this is mine...:clap:





These are the only pics I have for now. I realize the hard top and roll cage aren't on it... He's going to stick them back on for me in the next few days though...

This weekend or next I'll be able to haul it home and get to work on it. I'll have plenty of pictures while I go over this thing.

This is going to be a LOT of work...:boohoo: But it's a labor of love... I'm saving this cruiser from the scrap yard...

My plans for now are just to get it cleaned up, patch up some of the bigger problem areas, and get it running. Eventually it will get the attention it deserves with a frame-off resto (and a 4bt swap), but for now my wallet (and wife..lol) will only allow some basic fixes...

Stay tuned...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Starting Out

Once my father-in-law and I hauled the FJ home we needed to find a good place to work on it...

Since I have no garage, and his garage is taken up by a 1952 Dodge Power Wagon that's his baby we needed to do some thinking on the matter...

The Power Wagon:


Luckily we had some resources at our disposal... namely the family's old carpet business warehouse. With a phone call to Grandma the keys were ours and we hauled the Colonel over. We had to move a little bit of carpet (about 2 tons worth...:lol:) to get access to the garage door, but once that was out of the way we gave the Colonel access to a nice HUGE & DRY warehouse for the duration of the build...

It will be a great place to work on this with all of the shelves to keep things organized and most importantly plenty of space!

Here's what i'm starting with:







 

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Looks like a fun project and for what most spend on a decent suspension system- you can start to build a dedicated trail rig that can be towed by your FJ!

Cool

:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks! :cheers:

I don't have anything too crazy planned for this... no big lift & no huge tires.. (It'll be sticking with old school tall & skinnies...)

I want to use it as an around-town driver and occasional wheeler..I'd like to keep it looking as stock/ original on the outside as possible. When I have more cash to throw at it I'd like to swap in a 4bt diesel, and run on WVO. When i have the means to tackle a job like that I'll also think about a replacement tub as well to pretty it up a bit.

Until then it'll look rough, but shouldn't it???
 

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Im totally understanding the old school look but those white wall slicks goto go! :lol:

I think it will be great. Just read up on the weaknesses of those (thinking the Birfields) and carry spares. Otherwise- light and nimble doesnt require much to crawl.

I was actually looking at some older FJ's but that had already been built up. Crazy looking one with twin transfer cases and one with 39" Irocs! Then saw one that had been full frame off resto, that was so nice Id be afraid to get it dirty.

So when I look at the one you got its perfect for what you need, only I wouldnt place anything in the back when climbing rocks- may not be there when you get to the top :lol:

Looking forward to your build
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Im totally understanding the old school look but those white wall slicks goto go! :lol:
Haha! I hear you man.. they're a little rough..

I'll probably try to get a set of 235/75 r15 A/Ts to begin with...

If I decide to do a slight lift (no more than 2" or so) I might try to find a set of 33x9.50s... I've always liked how those look on these

:cheers:

First order of business is just to get the damn thing running.... it's been sitting for 10 years or so...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My father in law and I finally hauled the cruiser home yesterday... in the middle of the first snowstorm of the year! ugh...

It's home now and has a name.... Colonel Rustard

Hauling to our warehouse later today to start tearing it apart...





old-new and new-old





 

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Looks like a great project! Look forward to updates on your FJ40 build.
 

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My adoration for the FJ began in the early 80s with childhood buddies dad's, and a five year quest for the perfect 40 netted me an FJC. The availability of road worthy, non-350, less than 25k 40s in the central US dictated.

It's threads like these that make me reconsider my choice.....not really, just reinvigorate the desire to build one in the same fashion.

Looking forward to your build.
 

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One of daughter is 7 and she wants me to get one so we can fix it up by the time she gets a license. I told her it might take that long. We have to get another motorcycle first. Good luck

Sent from my AT100 using AutoGuide App
 

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Looks like a nice project.....say good bye to any extra funds.

Make sure to check out IH8MUD for emotional and technical support.

Doc
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Looks like a nice project.....say good bye to any extra funds.

Make sure to check out IH8MUD for emotional and technical support.

Doc
Haha... yeah... I knew that going in... :mecry:

I'm on mud a lot too.... it's definitely a valuable resource. I can see it potentially saving me from at least a few hours worth of screaming obscenities at the underside of the rig...

:cheers:
 

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Cool project! Do yourself a favor and do not have the seller put the cage and top back on. You will end up pulling them anyway. I would also get under it and spray every fastener you see with liquid wrench, pb blaster etc. Have fun with it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Cool project! Do yourself a favor and do not have the seller put the cage and top back on. You will end up pulling them anyway. I would also get under it and spray every fastener you see with liquid wrench, pb blaster etc. Have fun with it :)
Yeah after I wrote that I second guessed the decision and ended up calling him to say not to worry about the top and cage.

I'm heading over to the warehouse after work today Kroil in hand. The plan is to spray every thing I can find. I'll also be cleaning out the tub and pulling out the heaters.

I'm also planning on pulling the spark plugs and pouring a little diesel in to let the cylinders soak for a while... (if it won't hand crank).
 
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