FJ40 - Back in the Shop

After a minor FJ40 disaster last spring, it’s finally back in the shop getting sorted out. Fortunately, this time the guy doing the work actually knows what’s he’s doing.

The short version of the whole story is that the cruiser was purchased in Dec of 2007. I’ll admit to not knowing enough as I should have before taking the plunge. That said, the seller went to great efforts to dress up what was a very poor ‘restoration’ of the cruiser – which is to say it wasn’t really restored at all – aside from some paint. Almost immediatley it ended up in the shop – the wrong shop – getting basic drivability issues resolved – brakes, clutch, etc. Following that it spent some time getting the electrical sorted out. Then summer hit and the rig went into the garage, since it too hot to be wheeling without air conditioning. Fall of 2008 I got involved with one of the local cruiser clubs and actually got the cruiser out and had some fun with it. Then spring of 2009 it became apparent that the problems with the rig were much more serious than I thought. After a wheel came off while off road I knew it was time to make some serious changes.

Fortunately, the club hooked me up with someone who really knows cruisers. On the to-do list is: an axle swap – front & back to get disc brakes, ARB air locker installation front & back, power brake installation & new brake lines, Saginaw power steering install, H41 4-speed transmission installation, auxilliary gas tank install, new shackles and dual batteries.

Just got back from a quick trip to the shop to finalize the work to be completed – great to see it coming along. Equally depressing to see just how many shortcuts were taken during the ‘restoration’ that was supposedly done on it.

When all is said and done, the shop that worked on it for me after I bought it, I’m particularly disappointed in. While the guy I bought it from sucks, the shop definitely didn’t do me any favors either. The coin I spent with them repairing the old drum brakes system & clutch is almost what going to later model axles with disc brakes *and* ARB lockers is costing me now. Live and learn I guess.

Sadly missing a good hunk of the cool weather this year – but looking forward to getting back out there with it once it’s done.

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