BJ40 advice

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 08:39
ThreadID: 104570 Views:3662 Replies:8 FollowUps:1
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Hey there,
Just wondering if I can get some info on a 1979 BJ40. The one I am looking at buying is real tidy. Besides some small easily fixed issues the guy has welded a plate onto the inside centre pillar on drivers side. I asked him if it was because of rust damage and he said its just there to hold the top on..
After talking to another bloke he reckons that model doesn't have a removal top. I have no intention of taking the top off. Just to get a road worthy ill need to secure it done in a way it will pass.

It's the 3l 4 cyl desiel, 1979. Does anyone know if this model has removal top. Also any other advice or things to look out for would be greatly appreciated. Never owned a 40 before.

Cheers. Will.
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Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 13:30

Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 13:30
Will - I think you'll find all the 40 series have tops that can be unbolted. They are not classed as a "removeable top" because I think you'll find it's illegal to drive the vehicle with the top removed, as the roof is essentially a structural support member.

Driving around without the roof on will cause excessive movement and flexing in other adjoining panels, and will cause cracks to appear in those panels.

I know a lot of "bush" or "station" operators work the 40 series without tops, and often without sides as well. However, these people are operating off-road and don't need to comply with road regulations and laws.

A plate welded to the centre pillar to hold the top on sounds pretty suss to me - and I doubt whether it would pass inspection.
I'd suspect rust issues behind the plate - as is common with many older 40 series Toyotas.

This doesn't mean that the vehicle is dangerous or can't be repaired. It just means that the pillar may need to be properly repaired with a rusty section to be cut out and a piece of steel welded back into it.

The 40 series are bulletproof, like all old Toyotas. The SWB versions give a choppy ride at speed over bumps in the road, as compared to the LWB models. The advantage of the SWB models is that they are lighter and more nimble off-road.

Cheers - Ron.
AnswerID: 519100

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 13:59

Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 13:59

If there is a join running around both sides and rear of the cabin, and roughly in line with the door handles, then you should be able to remove the top. Don't know how many bolts there are to remove, but wouldn't take too long.

Those old FJ40's were used as bull catchers, in the Top End, so the 'screen, top and all unwanted "stuff" was soon removed.

This look like the one, Will?


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Reply By: pop2jocem - Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 14:45

Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 14:45
The old 40 and 45 Landcruiser bodies had the roof, side panels, windscreen panel and most of the other panels bolted together like the old Landrovers. If someone has added an extra bit of metal to hold the roof or upper panels on I would suspect a bodge up because of rust issues. I would have a real good look at the body in general.
As others have said the mechanicals are pretty bullet proof.

AnswerID: 519105

Reply By: Life Member TourBoy, Bundaberg - Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 19:22

Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 19:22
Hi Will,
As others have said, all FJ /BJ 40,42,43,45,47 series cruisers (after 1963 in the case of the 45) had top sides and roof sections that have 10mm bolts holding them down. They are a fiberglass roof with steel gutters which are more often than not rusted especially on the inside. All body panels and the lower body tub are available in full fibreglass, steel or alloy if you want to spend the money. Steel patch panels are also available. I have thinned out my collection atm as I only have a '68 FJ40, a '77 FJ45 and a '58 FJ28. I have owned 66 cruisers and other than getting a compression test done on it before buying, check from the underside, the front chassis cross member as they can appear solid from the front but are nearly rotten from the rear or underneath. Check underneath with a torch the condition of the chassis floors and up inside the rear quarters where 3 panels are spot welded together for rust or bog.
Also sign up (free) to (U.S) for anything 40 related as Lcool refuse to have 40's on their site.
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Reply By: billy_tree - Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 20:18

Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 20:18
Hey Guys,
Firstly must say thank you all very much for your posts. Although I absolutely love Cruisers and in particular these models I am not made of money, have never brought a car like this before I am aware it is risky which is why your input is so appreciated.
BobY - Ill upload some photos.
Ive had a diesel mechanic look over it and thought it was tidy. (small oil leak/needs new hose)

Body as you can see is fine, besides some surface rust. Have checked the chasis and it looks ok too. Main concern is the pillar I mentioned.

Had another look today and its not as bad as first thought. My house mate is a welder and thinks he can cut it out, place a peice in that fits and weld/sand/spray it back to good. Sorry if I sent wrong message but I have dont want to take the top off, just make it good to pass road worthy.

It has 245,000 on the clock, which the guy says is genuine.. was worried it may have gone around the clock.

Does anyone know how it goes with the 4 speed. Ive driven it and it was okay, but not up to 100kms. Im not after a speed demon and happy to putt around. Just dont want something that isnt going to crap itself after a couple of hours on the highway (not that often).

A couple of my friends have brought confusion into the ranks by asking me why I dont just buy one with some V8 in it. As it will be powerful etc.. less issues they reckon.

I like the fact it has original motor. I also like it because it is plain, no bull bar I have to tear off. I can put everything like UHF etc in myself, how I want too. I work as an Arborist and it would be the perfect vehicle to work out of.

In your guys opinion (as much as you can give from seeing a couple of pics) am I walking into a world of pain? I am happy to spend a bit of money on it.

Guy wants $5000. No Rego. No Road worthy.

What do you guys think?
Dang it cant upload as not a financial member - will sign up then post.
AnswerID: 519131

Reply By: Member - billy_tree - Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 20:27

Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 20:27
AnswerID: 519133

Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, Oct 04, 2013 at 12:48

Friday, Oct 04, 2013 at 12:48
Will - That's a really nice tidy old BJ40, and there's a lot of kms left in her yet.
Whether it's worth $5000, is up to how desperately you want it, and how keen and negotiable the seller is.

IMO, I'd consider that $5000 is a little high, seeing as it needs some work and it isn't registered. Getting her up to rego requirements will always require another $1000 you didn't see, or count on.

The Redbook Private Sale Price Guide gives the private sale value of this vehicle as between $2200 and $4900. $2200 would be for a rough example - $4900 is for a top-condition, ready-to-drive-away rig.
Accordingly, I'd say about $3750-4000 is around the proper value for this vehicle. You may be happy to pay a little more, if it's close to home and the indicated repairs are not as much as first appears.

The 4 speed Cruisers pedal along O.K. at 100kmh. The 5 speed transmission allows the engine RPM and noise levels to drop, and improves the fuel economy by probably 5-10%.
Anything over 100kmh, and the 4 speeds start to rev out, make a lot more noise, and use more fuel.

Remember the old 'Cruisers are pretty agricultural - they're rough riding, noisy, heavy on the steering, and aren't a comfortable long-distance vehicle.

However, from what you've described, this vehicle will fit your requirements to a T - and it has the advantages of being simple to fix, it has proven go-anywhere ability, and parts are cheap.

Everything you ever wanted to know about the early 'Cruisers, is contained in the vast repository of info, on the following website - from the first 'Cruiser designs - through every model change, every body style, S/N and ID info - tips and tricks - and even the various engine swaps, if you like doing that kind of thing.
Despite the website being American, it does cover the Australian models as well - which is rare to find. Good luck.

FollowupID: 799195

Reply By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 22:08

Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 22:08
Will, as far as I can remember, and it has been a long time since I have had a few different 40 series, the fibreglass roof was riveted to a steel channel.
That channel was in turn bolted to the sides and the screen if I remember right.
The sealer between the fibreglass and the channel cracked and then water accumulated in that channel. It then eventually rusted out.
One of the main causes of this was if there was a gutter grip pack rack or roof bars fitted at any stage, and the stresses caused the sealer to crack and break up.
So effectively there was not much holding the roof on when that channel rusted out.
Quite often they rusted out around the bottom of the windscreen frame and the cowl.
Take a strong magnet with you when you check it out and run around those areas.
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AnswerID: 519136

Reply By: Member - billy_tree - Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 21:06

Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 21:06
Thank you everyone for your help. All the best
AnswerID: 519294

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