40 build, nakman style

nakman

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I appreciate all of you who have been hounding me to post up. I've had this 40 for 6 months now, to the day.. so this seems like the right time to start the official build thread. Will start at the beginning..

I bought this truck from Rob in Longmont, who wheels with Frontrange4x4. Turns out he's a friend of a guy my wife works with, who overheard her saying how we've been looking to get a 40 again. Well long story short he knows a guy who was thinking of maybe selling his, a week later we were shaking hands. :D

To keep this chronological, here's the "before" pic when Rob got it about 7 years ago:
 

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nakman

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He then added a 4" lift and 31's, kept the rest of the truck stock. And through a few adventures around Colorado, continued to add to the creative body work- a mixture of at least two green colors, two different browns, dented and ripped rocker panels, but the oddest of all being the hood. And yes the diamond plate doing exactly what it's meant to do, replacing some really rusted quarter panels. Here are his pics he sent me:
 

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nakman

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This is what the truck looked like the day I test drove it.
 

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nakman

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And here it is at its new home
 

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nakman

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So once I got it home, I started where most guys do with taking of stickers, cleaning things that had never been cleaned, and changing some basic fluids. One of the things that really drew me to this truck was how well it runs, and its history of never failing emissions. So before I even opened the hood in my garage, I took it in for a quick passing grade, to be proceeded by 5-year collector plates.
 

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nakman

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I don't care much for 4" lifts on a 40, have had it before. I think they're too stiff, ride too jerky, too tall to get inside, and I've never really needed the added break-over angle. Yeah I do wheel easy trails, or maybe I just pick easy lines. Anyway so I proceeded to take care of each-

I ordered my lift kit from Cruiser Outfitters- arguably some of the most knowledgeable FJ40 guys there are, and a good group of guys also so an easy choice to toss some business. They delivered my lift to me at Cruise Moab, and the kit was complete down to every last bushing and washer. The only thing I didn't use was the U-Bolts, Rob had done the u-bolt flip kit when he did the 4", and I wanted to keep that, so those require all the U-bolts to have the tight radius, not the axle-shaped radius of the OME bolts.

I took a picture of the kit on the garage floor. Then Bruce L, Matt R, and Marco came over one Sunday and a few hours later we were driving around on a new OME 2.5" suspension.. went by so fast I forgot to take pictures. But I do have an "after" pic, driving to work the next day. I had also picked up a Bikini top and a set of Bestop half doors off CL, just something to run while I sorted out my soft top options.
 

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nakman

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I have no idea why that last picture is upside down...

Anyway speaking of Cruise Moab, Abe was there showing one of his new tops that his business Teq Tops offers. They are like the Pakistani style, using OEM hoops. I think I officially placed my order about this time for a tan top, the OEM hoops, soft top doors, and rear barn doors.. it's a long process, and I was in no hurry, but I was convinced it's the right soft top to go with for a classic looking 40.

As for the 40, it was time to get the rear tub taken care of, so I ordered a new rear sill, rear quarters, and running board from CCOT. More discussion about that decision can be found in this thread: http://risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=22808
 

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nakman

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I also ordered new rims and hub caps. I really like the look of the OEM steels with hub caps, and was elated to learn that our own sponsor Stevenson West can get all of these for us, even have them waiting for you before the next club meeting. More discussion about the wheel purchase can be found here: http://risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=22687

I chose to paint these "Detail Gray," after a solid recommendation from friend Locke. Seems to work well on the bumpers, bumperettes, matches the dash and glove box, etc. I ended up doing 2 coats of paint, and 2 coats of clear coat.
 

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nakman

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So what about those quarter panels. Actually, that was another easy decision- good friend Terry (Arthog) is a fantastic welder, and he agreed to weld these up for me. It took a while- a few weeks longer than estimated, but the result was well worth the wait. I am sure he can chime in with just how much of a pain it was to weld these things.. there's no way I could do it, an I was happy to support his business and have him do it.
 

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nakman

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Now it's getting real. I've got a truck that's half taken apart, and one I can't let get wet. And a pile of parts taking up my 100's garage space. So it's time to roll up my sleeves and learn body work. Man did I underestimate how long this was going to take... :rolleyes:
 

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nakman

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While the welding was being done, I was in heavy negotiations with 4WP on tires- click back to that tire/rim thread if you want to see more, but the short version is I ultimately landed on a set of 31x10.50 Toyo AT2's. Once they were mounted, I took a break from the sanding to see how a couple of them looked on the 40.
 

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nakman

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Oh man those rims look awesome. Gotta keep sanding....
 

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nakman

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The date is about September now, and my soft top is ready for pickup. So I loaded the kids for a trip up to Abe's vintage Cruiser wonderland, where I was greeted with a bright red set of bows and doors, and a brand new tan top. I took a few pictures just to make sure I remember how it all bolts up.
 

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nakman

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And back to bodywork.
 

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nakman

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I have two more projects before we can paint. The first, and most obvious, is getting the paint. Short version of that story is the original recipe is no longer available, but Chip at Sherwin Williams Automotive in Boulder was able to nail it, after about 3 weeks of trial and error, and who knows how many test batches. Check out these samples- the first is my "real" color on top of a sample that was matched by PPG. Look how brown it looks? Then see the same splotches, applied on top of the underside of my jack carrier- this Olive Green has been upside down in the dark for its entire existence.

If you need more info on the paint match process, refer yourself to the "what's my paint code" thread: http://risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=23219
 

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nakman

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The second project is the rear half doors. These came off an older body, and that body is about 1" narrower. So an extension was required to one of the doors. I will skip some of the nonsense behind this process, and instead refer you to the "new tubs are wider" thread: http://risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=23280

I will also skip the part about drilling one set of hinge holes in the wrong place, and having to fill 4 holes in my new quarter panel. :doh: We can just skip to the solution, and the gap it will fill.
 

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nakman

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Now back to the bodywork...

And yes, every one of those holes is for a hinge. Two sets of 4 are the lower half doors, and one set of 4 is the hard top ambulance door. My plan is to just run bolts in the holes I'm not using at the time. Will actually only be able to see 2 of them when the half doors are on.
 

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nakman

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so I have paint, figured out the rear half door, and I'm tired of bodywork. I've got the little guys on my shoulder arguing (yes, just like in Bachelor Party) one of them says "c'mon, keep sanding, you can get it a little better" while the other one says "dude it's an old 40! slap it together and wheel the thing!" Well we met somewhere in the middle, I'd like to say about 80-90% on the scale from hack to pro. Stare at anything long enough and you'll find a flaw, but I'm happy with it, let's paint.
 

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nakman

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And that gets us caught up.. tonight the 40 sleeps in Locke's garage/paint booth. We did a heavy coat yesterday, inside and out, then today knocked the outside down with red scotchbrite, sanded out all of my drips, then hit it again with a little lighter second coat. Here is how she looked after the first coat.

edit: and I have no idea why they're upside down, but you get the idea.
 

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