1968 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 FJ-40 Frame off Restoration must look safety first
- Location: Shawnee, Kansas, United States
- Make: Toyota
- Model: Land Cruiser
- Type: SUV
- Trim: FJ40
- Year: 1968
- Mileage: 125,000
- Color: Brown
- Engine size: F , 6 CYLINDER
- Number of cylinders: 6
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Transmission: Manual
- Drive type: 4WD
- Interior color: Tan
- Vehicle Title: Clear
- Options: 4-Wheel Drive
1968 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 description
First things first. . . this will be a very long and detailed description. If you're a Land Cruiser nut like me, it will be a great read and make total sense. If you're not, then I'll cut to the chase. This is a remarkable 1968 Toyota FJ40 Landcruiser that lived most of its life in Arizona. Full restoration frame off and ridiculously built, ready for the road or your next off-road adventure. There have been some major mechanical changes to make this a family safe vehicle such as power disc brakes and forward facing rear seats with three point seat belts for everyone.
Now the details... I have owned many land cruisers and worked at a shop that restored vintage Corvettes, so when I decided to tackle the restoration of this beautiful FJ40, it was going to be done right! I am very detailed oriented, and will do things until they are done right. Like I said, I am a nut about Toyota Land Cruisers, very active in both our local club and was a delegate for the TLCA, the international Toyota Land Cruiser Association. I am keenly aware of all the subtle nuances both good and bad. I found this FJ40 when visiting a local club member that for economic reasons needed to part ways with it. With the very limited amount of rust on it and the fact it was inexcellent condition (a complete survivor), it was quickly loaded up on a trailer and brought to my shop. My son, who was knee high quickly named it Ol' Blue, which is confusing as it is now a legendary color that was on Toyota Landcruisers called Sicilian brown, paint code 653. More about that later.
If you are a Toyota purest, you are not going to like all that I did on this Rig. Sorry, but that is the truth. I had two kids that were under 10 years old, and I wanted them to be able to ride in this rig, and feel like I was not putting them in harm's way. There are some technology changes since 1968 that I believed needed to be added for safety of those riding in it. You either get it or you don't. More about the changes later. Most parts used for this restoration were OEM Toyota. It is amazing that you can purchase OEM parts directly from Toyota for this vehicle that was made a few years before I was born. I am a huge Toyota fan because of this. I feel that the OEM parts are superior to any parts you can purchase.
My family is looking more at doing long road offroading adventures, so we have moved to build a mid 90's 80 series Land Cruiser, and we are just not enjoying this vehicle like we should, so it is time to go to another Toyota fan.
After sitting patiently inside my shop for the other FJ40 that we were working on, it was Ol' Blue's turn. We then proceeded to make this rig the most beautiful FJ40 -- well in our opinion.
Everyone's idea of a frame off is different. Here is my interpretation. Everything is taken apart and removed. The frame is totally separated from body, engine, tranny, drivetrain. The frame is fully sandblasted inside and out as much as possible. The frame is then POR-15 treatment starting with marine clean, prep and then painted with multiple coats of POR 15. The front and rear tail of the FJ40 are exposed to the sun, so they get covered with a coat of POR15 product top coat that is more UV stable. The drivetrain pieces are all taken apart sandblasted and painted with similar process. Brakes are fully rebuilt. All bolts are replaced with stainless hardware. The wiring harness was fully remade and is new, with new blade style fuses with new circuits for radio (that this car did not come stock with), accessory power outlets (hidden) and other additional circuits prewired and ready for lights, compressors, etc.
Changes from the original - FJ40 "purist beware"--
â€¢The front axle stock, was what the call a course spline "ball and claw" style axle with Drum Brakes. The ball and claw was replaced with the current arrangement of using a birfield joint, (or "Birf" for short) byToyota in 1968. This vehicle was made in November of 1967, so it was the older style. The ball and claw are not as strong as the Birfs. I wanted the fine spline birfields and wanted the safer disc brakes, so i swapped the original axle for an axle out of a 1975 Landcruiser, and did a mini-truck birf swap, so all the components of the axle from the ball out are from an early 1980's Toyota mini-truck. This gives you much stronger fine spline shafts, the stronger birfs, and the big disc brakes.
â€¢ Now if you know about the brakes of these old vehicles, you understand that they were built with a single circuit master cylinder for braking. This means that if you have any single failure in your entire braking circuit, you lose all braking ability, (with the exception of your ebrake). This was changed by law to a dual circuit system where the front and rear brakes areseparate systems and if one fails, the other will not fail. I added a dual circuit master. Additionally, with the front disc brakes, power brakes were needed, so a small booster was added with an adapter plate custom made to avoid changing the firewall. End of the day, you now have a much safer land cruiser that will stop quickly!
â€¢ The rear seats on a stock FJ40 are jumpseats, that fold down and the passengers sit sideways in the back. They fold down from the left and right side of the vehicle and were not in my opinion safe enough for my kids to travel in. I found a set of rear seats from a Geo Tracker, that we had recovered in the same material that the front seats were done in, which was the factory OEM color/material. These Tracker seats are "fold and go" seats, so they fold up and out of your way to be able to haul anything!
â€¢Three point seatbelts were added for the front and rear passengers.
Here is a list of items done to the drivetrain:
â€¢ The engine had good compression and ran well, so we replaced all gaskets and seals, painted the oil pan, timing cover, valve cover, etc.
â€¢ Transmission shifted great, so we put in new seals and gaskets, sandblasted and painted
â€¢ Transfer case got cleaned and all new gaskets and seals.
â€¢ Steering gearbox got a new seal and refresh.
â€¢ New lift installed 4" with all new bushings added.
â€¢ Diffs and Transfer Case Fluids Changed, with both axles sandblasted and painted.
â€¢ Carb was sent off and professionally cleaned and rebuilt. These carbs are known to be hard to deal with and they can bleed off after running, so you have to wait a few minutes to start. Lots of people switch out to Weber carb; however, it runs great as it is.
â€¢ Tires are 34 Interco inch TSL tires that have under 500 miles on them. Tall and skinny makes this rig look awesome. No rubbing or issues with these big ol' tires!
â€¢ Driveshafts were cleaned, stripped and painted. U joints were replaced if needed.
â€¢ The interior floor was painted with a bedliner type material called Raptor that has an option to color tint to your vehicle. It really is beautiful, and is the same color throughout, so if you have a scratch in the material, you hardly notice. It is a very fine texture, and cleans really well. I just use a garden hose and a light brush.
â€¢ Back when I was working on classic Corvette cars, we had an awesome primer made by BASF. A two part epoxy that sealed the parts, sanded well, and bonded excellently with the final paintwork. Unfortunately, they decided to change the formula to save the world, and it was never the same. A few years back, I found a primer made by Southern Polyurethane that is very similar to the old BASF product. After the parts were sandblasted, they received coats of this epoxy primer. This includes all the major steel body parts (some smaller parts were powdercoated). This does not include the frame, or bumper as that was POR15 treated.
â€¢The underside of the tub and front fenders were first primed with the 2 part epoxy, then coated in black Raptor bedliner paint, similar to the interior floor of the tub. This too is a two part product that is well known to be a superior durable product.
â€¢ The seats were fully disassembled, sandblasted, then powdercoated with a match to the original painted color. The seats were recovered with material that is an exact color match to the original "salmon" seat color; however, is a superior product. Rear seat covers were custom made with this material for the fold and go seats.
â€¢ The heater was fully disassembled and I purchased a "rebuild kit" was purchased and installed with all new gaskets. The metal parts were all blasted with nutshells, and then powdercoated the original color.
Other random thoughts:
â€¢Original front bumper with POR15 primer and top coated UV painted.
â€¢ New Brake Pads on front and rear pads
â€¢ New Rotors on the Front (Toyota Mini-truck style)
â€¢ Rear tail lights are OEM Toyota 1968 land cruiser 3" red lights. The reverse lights were obnoxious ugly lights, so I replaced with Eagle eye LED reverse white light that is hidden in OEM hole in the rear bumper.
â€¢ The side marker lights were shaved off to make a more clean look.
â€¢ New custom made exhaust from front to back with stock exhaust mounts and stock exhaust point under rear driver tire.
â€¢ Alignment done
â€¢ Oil Service done and replaced after all gasket/seal changes. This came originally with a paper filter that is replaced in a container, this does not have a spin on type oil filter. This sale comes with additional OEM paper filter. You can get additional from Toyota.
â€¢ New oil in all transmission, transfer case, and front and rear differential.
â€¢The turn lights on the front fender are brand new OEM from Toyota lights. Absolutely beautiful pieces of artwork.
â€¢ All new Brake Fluid after installing new master cylinder, and most brake lines were replaced with new lines because we changed this from a single circuit to dual circuit fan.
â€¢ Coolant is all new.
â€¢ The factory four wheel drive is changed by a vacuum operated switch. The OEM parts were cleaned and refurbished and the housing was powercoated. Works great. The high/low shifter also works perfectly.
â€¢ New Fan Belt from Toyota
â€¢ New water pump
â€¢ New windshield washer pump and reservoir
â€¢ New blades for windshield wiper arms.
â€¢ Replaced Front Engine Seal on timing cover and on replaced the Rear Main Seal (OEM Toyota).
â€¢These are not the original 1968 rims as those had rivets that would not clear the new disc brake calipers, so these are later, mid 70's rims that look identical to the 1968 rims on the outside. Hubcaps are original to the car. They do show some wear and use on them, but add so much to the look. The wheel rims are Toyota OEM, and the spare rim was just purchased from Toyota.
â€¢ Replaced Front Axle Seals and new bearings, both wheel bearings and knuckle bearings. I am a huge KOYO bearing fan, which was the OEM provider.
â€¢ Marlin heavy duty inner axle seals were installed during the rebuild of the front axle.
â€¢ New Air Filter
â€¢ New Spark Plug Wires
â€¢ New Spark Plugs
â€¢ New Electronic Distributor, with new cap.
â€¢ New Coil
â€¢ Blower Motor cleaned and refurbished with new seals.
â€¢ E-brake was cleaned and refurbished.
â€¢Dash is OEM that has been covered with a dash cover sold by CCOT. The purpose is that these dash covers will long outlast the OEM product.
â€¢ Hood latches were all cleaned, powdercoated, and greased.
â€¢ Hidden Stereo added with motorcycle waterproof speakers that are hidden tight under the dash in the front and in the back rear corners. The stereo is under the front seats in the center of the vehicle. OEM there was no stereo for a 1968 land cruiser. Not sure how anyone can drive without some tunes, so change was needed, but I did not want to disturb the dash.
â€¢ With the new wiring harness, I installed a viper alarm system. Truth is that it is a 3 on the tree, not a lot of folks that understand how to drive this, so I have not been worried about theft. I have never actually used the alarm since I originally installed it. I will test to make sure it works before shipping this rig.
â€¢ I added a power outlet in the glove box so you have ability to charge your cell phone without breaking up the original dash look.
â€¢ The odometer/speedometer cluster was completely restored; however, with the new larger tires, it does not display the correct MPH. If you think this is some speed demon, you need to look elsewhere for your FJ40.
â€¢ The doors and the top that were original to this vehicle will come with the vehicle; however, they have not been restored. They are in good condition and perfect for restoration. I am willing to do the restoration of these items for a negotiated price.
â€¢ The heater blows great, and we added new defrost hoses (these are known to disintegrate over time)
â€¢ The spare tire is a brand new full tire.
Well, if you read thru this you've probably figured out that nothing was overlooked as this is likely the most family safe early FJ40 in existence. I doubt it could be replicated regardless of the depth of your pockets as you just can't find such a clean, complete specimen to start with. Truly ready for many more years of enjoyment but be forewarned, you can't get out of Costco or the grocery store without having a few conversations about it. . .you better like attention if you're going to drive this rig.
shoot me a message and I can send you to a link to tons of pics of every nook and cranny on my photobucket site:
Don't worry about shipping, we can get it to anywhere in the nation.
Please don't hesitate to give me a call if you have further questions. 913-4 eighty eight 77 fourty six. I don't answer emails or texts due to spam so pick up the phone and give me a ring.
Thanks for your interest,