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Mike's 78FJ40 Build Thread

17158 Views 73 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  Bang Bang
This thread is more of a way for me to keep track of what I have done to the 40 and what I want to do to the 40.

So, without further adieu.......

How she sits today 4/18/13:

Her name is Hachi. This is how she looked the day I got her from Brian, a fellow BSLCA member.

First ride I took her on was at The Devil's Backbone in Crossroads, Ms. Damn, those springs are tight!! That was a rough ride.

Brian and the PO's had already done many of the upgrades I would have wanted to do.

From one of Brian's For Sale threads on what was previously done:

The PO was a TLCA member and a friend of some BSLCA members, who also helped build it around 99 - 2000. They did a frame off resto and added the crate 350 from Summit at that time.

- 350SBC conversion using the AA bellhousing
- AA Twin stick kit
- custom covered yellow/black 40 seats
- stock front disc brakes and rear disc conversion from a Monte Carlo (I think)
- saginaw power steering
- 33" BFG MTs (5) with 80% tread
- custom rear swingout bumper w/ tire carrier
- h**p bench seat in back w/ shoulder belts from a Montero
- 2 1/2" lift springs
- 1 1/2" body lift
- stock 4 speed tranny w/ 3 spd transfer case
- Tuffy center console
- STOUT pipe bumper and rock sliders (more like rock crushers)
- custom aluminum dash cluster
- Inside of tub is completely rhino lined
- Aussie locker installed in the rear
- Installed rebuilt Quadrajet carb, new plugs and wires
- Installed new shocks front / Rancho and rear / Edlebrock

But, as I had told Brian when I bought her, I planned to take her to the next level. So, since this is really going to be a trail-only rig and ride-around-town-on-sunny-days rig, there was no need for the hard doors. I was able to find a set of RedLine tube doors from another MUD member who had them sitting around in his garage. I sanded, primed and painted them satin black. Now I am getting to more of the look I want.

No pictures but then I added a Uniden CB with a Firestick antenna for on the trails. Around the same time I also added an Alpine CD / MP3 stereo with a USB jack in the face so I can just load MP3's on a jump drive and play them through the Alpine. This way I don't have to bring my iPod on the trails. Works GREAT! The Alpine is mounted in the Tuffy center console and the CB is mounted in the dash where the OEM stereo went. I mounted some old surround sound speakers I had laying around to the roll bar. I plan to add a switch so that I can use the stereo speakers as external speakers for the CB.

Next, the springs were too stiff for my liking. So, when Larry offered up his 4" Skyjacker springs, I bought them. The BSLCA guys on the eastern side of the state got together one night to help me swap the springs.

Old springs:

New springs:

Not much of a difference in height but what a difference in the ride. Here's all the cruisers we had in the shop at Deryl's that night.

Had to test them out on the trails. This was at Paradise for the Hero Hustle ride.

I was having some overheating issues so I bought and installed a 3 core aluminum radiator from Champion Radiators. I also changed out the thermostat at that time. Good thing as someone had installed the wrong one for a Chevy 350. No more heat problems.

Next up, I had to test things out again and what better place to do that than Superlift for the SCC '10.

Had lots of fun there but just to be sure, I had to test things out again at Sicily Island.....



Flexing the other side......
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Well, the FJC won't do much good out there as it is 2WD....but it does have the rear diff lock and BFG MT's so I'm sure I could make a go of it. :lol:

Nah, the FJC is the wife's ride.....the 40 is what gets wheeled. :bigthumb:
So, I finally got around to getting the new-to-me driveline installed this weekend. It is not complete but the really hard $hit is out of the way. With lots of help from lots of friends, we got it installed. I still need to fix the clutch slave, get the drive shafts re-worked (or get new ones), fill the cases with gear oil and install the revere switch. She is getting there......

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In the mean time, while trying to get her all buttoned up from the transplant last weekend, I made another little modification......

I can tell you that the pictures don't do it justice. The decal looks pretty good on the hood if I do say so myself. :bigthumb:
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Wow, the 40 is looking great.
Thanks. I just can't wait to get her on the road....errrrr.....trails again.
I got to say that testing out the new driveline at Superlift was a ton of fun. The RockBox is AMAZINGLY S L O W. I was going downhill and it was so slow that the tires were pushing the smaller rocks out of the way instead of going over them!

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Latest the front axle rebuilt with the kit from Marlin. Also had Nitro chromo shafts and a Spartan locker installed while I had the axle apart (well, not buddy Chris did the work for me). I had also scored a set of Aisin hubs which are now installed and got a set of 6* shims installed under the springs to rotate the axle to a better position. During the work, found out that the motor mount on the driver's side is broken. Bringing it to JD this morning for some welding work. Gonna have him fix the broken one and re-tack the passenger side for security. I can't wait to get her on the trail to see how she performs now. The front end felt a little tighter in the very short drive I have taken her on so far. :bigthumb:
Front axle rebuilds are a rite of passage, one well earned and not easily forgotten.

I think it took two weeks for the stench of birf soup to escape the nostrils (yet I can think about and still smell) and the only way I'll be doing mine (did a locals 80) is in a full body suit on visqueen.

See at Superlift in October?

That's my target to be completed with the PP80.
Hell yeah I'll be at Superlift. Hodges is trying to put together a trip to Marble Falls Aug 9 - 12 and I am shooting for that as my maiden voyage for both Clifford, the Big Red Hauler and Hachi. I am trying to get them both finished up but this damn rain just won't quit. :flame:
Boohoo with the rain.

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Seems to be a bit warm in OK......... :D
So, since the last update, I have taken her to Superlift where she performed flawlessly. We hit several 4's and she pulled though with minimal effort. I apparently did pick one line that was not so good. On the last day and last trail we were doing, Ultimate Adventure, I drug the rear diff across one too many rocks. It started to leak. So, when I got home I removed the rear diff cover, cleaned it up, removed all the sealant, painted the cover and then re-installed with perma-seal gasket maker. I'm gonna paint the shocks to match.

So, last month we went to Choccolocco Mountain ORV Park to scout it out. We hit several of the harder trails which were fun but apparently I drug the front diff over too many rocks this time. It's leaking and is not going to be as easy a fix. Hope to get that taken care of in the next couple of weeks. I also scored a Metal Tech nose guard which is going to go nicely with the Rock Tastics bumper that I am having built as we speak.

Nose guard:


Side view:

It will eventually look something like this:

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Nice score. I did not know MT built that. I thought they just did the roll cage, fenders and gauge cluster for the 40.
Check out their site. Metal Tech 4x4 Toyota Off Road Specialists Mark is really got things dialed in over there. And they were just named the TLCA's Business Member of the Year. Plus Mark and MT are big supporters of many of the events that take place all over the country. I have started quite a collection of the MT pint glasses. :clap:

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I know Mark and LT very well and they probably know my credit card number by heart.
Ha ha ha....... :lol:
New bumper has arrived and very well packed. Took a while to get the wrap off of it......

It will look better when the double tube bumper is removed but this gives you an idea. Time to get it welded up! :bigthumb:

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Started working on getting the bumper installed and the armor fabbed / installed. Here's a sneak peek at the work......

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Discovered a potential issue with the bumper. Where the shackle mounts are located, it leaves the potential for damaging a synthetic line during a side pull. I spoke with Cody at Rock Tactics yesterday and after some discussion on how to fix it, he is shipping me another bumper. I did not ask him to do this. I wanted to remove the hoop and tow points but he wants genuine feedback on products he is making for the LC crowd so he decided to send me a new one. This one will not have the hoop or the tow points mounted. We will bend up a new hoop here and mount everything once it gets here. Nice thing about this new bumper coming is that it is ~6.5" longer and ~1" taller. This will take care another issue discovered: the current bumper does not cover the end of the saginaw PS box. Plus, I wouldn't mind it being a little longer so ~3.25" on each end should be about right. It will also give us a little more play to weld the tow points on the outside of the hoop. If that doesn't look right or they wind up outside the frame, we will go back to mounting standard tow points on the face. Hope to have this by early next week.

JD from Deep South Fab in Lacombe is doing the work for me, BTW. He also cut the sheet metal for the rear flares. I couldn't bring myself to do it. It was too clean. JD on the other hand had no issue taking the cutting wheel to both rear fenders........

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Getting closer to bringing her home. The new bumper is all welded up and waiting for paint. She should be home this afternoon.

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