FJ40 project

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eternal noobie
Staff member
Oct 12, 2010
Toquerville UT
My present FJ40 (affectionately nicknamed 'the Raisin') has been well worked since I originally put it together in 1997. It started with stock rearched springs, a tired 305, a Toyota 4-speed, 33" tires and lots of other 'junk' parts...presently, it's a 350TBI, 700R, D300/4:1, SOA front, 1/4-ellip 4-link rear and running 39" Pitbull Maddogs. Combine 15 years of my poor driving with over 50 flops and rolls, and you can only imagine why it earned the nickname 'the Raisin'.

Odds are, this build will take most of 2012...I'm on the road far too much to dedicate constant time on it, but hopefully it doesn't progress too slowly...the 'plan' is function and design, with looks taking a distant back seat :)

So, time to start fresh...'new' FJ40 frame, 'new' tub, new designs and ideas...better, faster stronger :)

so, the plans...

Lots of RuffStuff Specialties stuff, including housings, tabs and heims...5.3 motor to my current built 700R to a used 3.8 Atlas...FJ40 axle centers, RS full float Toyota rear, FZJ80 knuckles and front...3-link front and 4-link rear, 'considering' ORI struts (tho I have a set of 14" SAW air's to start with)...39"(for now) or 42" (planned) Pitbulls...

as you can see from the last pic in the previous post, the PO had done some 'interesting' things to the rear crossmember...I'm planning to dove the frame parallel for clearance, and may do the same with the tub...have to see on motivation :)
Looking forward to seeing the progress on the new 40, hope to see you on the trail some time. My, new to me, 40 had a lot of booger welded brackets and plates stuck to it too. I just dropped it off to Don, of FC Fabrication, he is sleeving the frame and relocating the the drive train and steering box, as well as fabbing a new cross member/skid plate.
Don does great work...I'm making OVERLY slow progress on it...hoping to make my RuffStuff order next week tho
Sounds like a good build, curious why you chose a 700r4 over a th350 or th400 though. I am a 700r4 enthusiast myself just curious why you are choosing one.
I initially went with the 700 for the 3:1 first gear...the truck was also streetable and the overdrive actually got 'er up to 60 comfortably.

Now, it's fully built...internals are all top of the line, and the tail section is finned for reason not to re-use a perfectly good piece :)
Yeah definitely, I was the same way, my truck came with it stock though but I used to drive to the trail, wheel and drive home so it was perfect for that. And that low gear is so nice, I rebuild transmissions for a living so when it did finally go out after 7 years of daily driving/wheeling (I bought my truck with a bad tranny and my brother rebuilt it originally) I did all the goodies inside.
I noticed you're running 1/4 elliptical, I am thinking about doing that in the back of my truck. How do you figure out ride height with that setup? Like say I have 6" springs in the front, how do you figure out what spring to use to make it level?
1/4 ellip ride height is partly the angle of the mount at the frame, partly the arc of the springs, and partly the length of the shackle used to mount to the axle. Changing the number of springs changes the rate and how it handles, but doesn't do much for height.

When mocking up, start with a REALLY short shackle and tack in the frame side you can see, mine angled the overload spring up just slightly. For mine, that ended up perfect...but it would have been easy to adjust that mount 1/4" and raise the rear an inch or more.

For springs, 3/4 or 1-ton Ford rear packs...3" wide....mine were out of a custom 3/4 ton Chevy van and only 2-1/2 or 2-3/4 wide...

and there were lots of other mistakes...haha

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