This is a record of my efforts to complete my first stage-4 restomod my 1968 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser. The goal is to build a "double take" FJ40, keeping the core components such as the drivetrain and axle assemblies Toyota and making improvements where they make sense and improve the performance and drivability of the vehicle.
I have renamed this project The GOAT.
Well the 40 has sat in my garage since getting its new plates. The old F engine is tired and gets very hot once it has run a while. Oil pressure is VERY low too once it gets to running temp. Water pump, thermostat, and coolant are all new, so I'm pretty sure there is a problem internally. To that end, I am heading to Texas tomorrow to pick up a 78' FJ40 rolling chassis. I plan to pull the 2F, strip, clean, bore, and rebuild it with 9:1 compression, RV cam, and a few other goodies like EFI. I'll also rebuild the 4-speed and transfer case as well as the axles from the 78. It has a complete Procomp suspension that I MIGHT swap on until I get the 4-link/3-link setup done later this year.
Performance headers from Man-a-Fre, a custom exhaust from a local shop here in Reno, and a custom cold air intake from either K&N or AirRaid will ensure it is breathing well. I'll also add a champion 4-row radiator, Flex-a-lite Black Magic electric fan to keep it cool.
This project will take me well into the summer, and I hope to have it road worthy for the PMC Swap Meeton July 28, 2018 in Petaluma, California, if not the 30th
Annual Rubithon June 19 – 24, 2018, Rubicon Trail, California... But that will be pushing it I think.
The Tub & Body Panels Made it Home It has been a long time coming, but the tub and most of the panels are home! I'm still waiting on the tailgate and doors to be completed, and I might do late-style doors instead of my early-style ones. This is because the vent windows won't be usable with the cage and the window frames are pretty bad. We'll see. I had to bolt something on, so I installed the fuel filler and cap. LOTS more to come!
Build it up, test, tear it down, rinse and repeat a million times! I am in that phase of test-fitting all things I want to fit together, tearing it back down to make adjustments, and then doing it all over again. It is time-consuming but necessary. I got the interior mostly together just to find out that the transfer case linkage designed for a later model FJ40 doesn't play nice with the earlier model transmission tunnel cover. So I had to cut a hole in the freshly painted floor! The seats, column, wheel, and shifters all work well together though. I do have to bend the transmission shifter a bit toward the passenger side so I can get it into reverse without displacing my leg in the seat. The pieces of floorboard removed to clearance the shift linkage I'll be refurbishing my wheel to match the brown vinyl on the seats and have new brown clamshells for the column. I plan to use black marine carpet to cover the floorboards and transmission tunnel and the massive fuel tank will co
Some Updates On The Build Well, I am still plugging away at the 40, but life has been getting in the way since 2020. COVID slowed me down considerably when it came to supply chain issues. I started a new job (out of the blue) and have been nose to the grindstone since 2021. I have also been dealing with a cancer diagnosis (two actually), but I am happy to report that it isn't life-threatening... Just zaps the energy from me. Alright, enough excuses! I have most of the body put together and am FINALLY plumbing fuel and brake lines and prepping for the wiring harness buildout. I got the saddle tank blasted and powder coated. It is now installed! I will try to get more consistent with my updates now that I am feeling better and settling into the new normal.