Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Returning from a Long Break

 Getting Back Into Resto Mode

Life events forced a detour from building for several months, so I put on my working sandals, rolled up my sleeves, and braved the 100+ degree summer temps on Saturday to try and kickstart the project back into full swing. In my naïve early estimates I thought I'd be driving and enjoying my 40 by now... I probably have another year or more to go before that happens.

We got the rear springs flipped the "right" way and the auxiliary fuel tank mounted between the frame rails.

Doing this put the axle/tires right where I want them in the wheel openings... except that really doesn't matter since the springs are all wrong anyway.

We also got the transmission tunnel cut and the shifters installed for mockup purposes.

Next Up...

Finish steering mock up, finish dash, tidy up a couple lose ends on the tub, probably some other things I am not remembering right now.

Sunday, January 24, 2021


 Cage and Rust Repair on the Tub, Complete!

We got a lot done this weekend! The main cage is built and fully welded. We have a few additional tubes to weld up for utility purposes, and we are waiting until the tub is weighted down and bolted into place to do the frame tie-ins.

It was a great weekend of hanging out, cutting, welding, fitting, and planning. Next visit we plan to fit the two gas tanks, flip the rear springs around to see if we can center them in the openings, and get started on laying out the dash.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Cut, Weld, Grind, Repeat!

Major Progress on the Tub Today

We got a solid amount of work done on the tub today. The rear seal is in and it looks great! There's still some work to be done to massage the rear quarters into place, but there's only a handful of smaller things to be done on the tub before we bolt everything together and get the chassis under it for fitting the cage, seat cradles and seats, sliders, bumpers, etc. January will hopefully be a big month for all of that and we will finally start running wires and plumbing fuel and brake lines... then blow it apart again for paint!

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Groundhog Day!

 Don't Build Angry

So I got the springs back from the round 2 work... and they're still wrong. But I am sticking with them for now and will make them right once the 40 can move under it's own power.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Body Work Round 3!

 Progress Continues

Both bedsides are replaced and the rear sill is next.

I also picked up a small batch of powder coated parts and got to visit with "Vulcan" the Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff). He looks and barks like a fierce beast, but he is a total sweetheart.

Next up for the 40? Refitting the springs on the chassis, the rear sill and sill cover, LOTS of unneeded hole patching in the floor pans, and patching the passenger side outer sill.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Body Work Round 2


    Made some good progress on the tub today! Got the passenger bedside in but it still needs some more tacks, then I need to sand them down and even the panel out with a hammer and dolly. Ryan and Tai are amazing and did most of the hard work but I got to do lots of prep work, some hammer and dolly work, I patch some unneeded holes on the floor boards. So much more to do... one of those Aquila tubs might have been a better option, but $$$$...$

Once the panel is in place we have to... cut it up. I have to add the second filler neck opening for the auxiliary tank and we will likely be moving both wheel wells back at least two inches. I have a set of spare arches for that purpose. Other things that need to get done is the driver's bed side, rear sill and cover, finish patching unwanted holes, mount the tub to the rolling chassis to measure the wheel opening and get the cage welded up. Then I have to take the tub and the cage for media blasting and powder (on the cage). Then it is filler, primer, liner, seam sealer, and paint time!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Tanks x2!

 Such a Gas!

A buddy and I took the drive from Reno to Stockton to pay a visit to Valley Hybrids. My Aussie built Long Range Tanks finally arrived!

I also received word that my "corrected" springs should ship this week which means there is a chance that I will be able to get the rolling chassis down to my friend's shop to mate to the tub (hopefully finished with sheet metal replacement/repair this weekend) so we can fit these tanks and get the cage welded up.

Things are coming together!

Friday, September 18, 2020

Break It Down!

The Dreaded Day Has Arrived... Body work!

I loaded up the 40 tub the cage, and all the patch panels and hauled it down to my buddies shop so we could start cutting and welding. Talk about nerve wracking! Up to this point there is nothing that has been done in this project I couldn't undo myself in a pinch.

My buddy repairing the passenger side upper cowl. Notice the massive creases below the heater vent?

My other friend doing magic with straightening the same cowl. 

All that remains of the creases are the hammer marks! Amazing


The laundry list is pretty big for this phase.
  1. Replace both rear quarters.
  2. Add a second fuel filler in the back of the panel.
  3. Move the wheel openings back about 2.5-inches.
  4. Replace the rear sill and sill cover.
  5. Patch the outer rocker corner piece on the passenger side.
  6. Plug about 100 holes in the fire wall and floor pans.
  7. Set a custom switch panel in the dash and add holes for 3.5-inch speakers.
  8. Test fit the fuel tanks.
  9. Weld the cage and setup the frame tie-ins.
  10. Fine tuning the body work, filler to even out the panels, and prep for paint.


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Beheaded... Reheaded and Unsprung!

 Back on Track? Maybe!

My good friend Ryan was kind enough to let me bring my 40 to his shop and "help me" with replacing the head gasket (long story) on an engine that's never been run and to pull the springs (another long story) so I can return them to the mfg for some fine tuning/correction. I did the helping since he's the master Toyota mechanic.

Here's hoping this work gives me the much needed wind back in my sails to get this thing moving forward again.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Hard as Steel

Sheet Metal is FINALLY in!

It took a few months (thanks COVID!) but the panels are in and we are gearing up for my least favorite part of any project. Paint and body. Hoping to get it wrapped up before the cold sets in here in Reno.

First I have to take a couple steps back... Welcome to restorations 101! I have to replace the head gasket on my brand new build because the builder goofed and put it on backwards (glad I caught it!) and my springs are too short, so they'll come off and get shipped back to the shop that made them. I have settled into turtle mode with this build... It'll get there when it gets there.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Tub Off... Tub On... Tub Soon To Be Off Again

I got the tub back on temporarily so I can get the cage welded up and the frame tie-in mount points figured out. At first glance everything looks pretty good...

But the problems become evident up further investigation. These pics confirm that the springs are WAY off the mark! There's no way that is only 4-inches higher than stock...

The distance from the tire to the fender is enormous and while it appears the 2-inch axle push is in place up front, that would change if the springs were "dearched" to push the shackle angle to where they belong.

The rear is supposed to have a 2-inch axle push to the rear, but clearly that isn't what's happening here. This isn't even stock axle location, but rather about 2-inches pushed forward.

For reference, the shackle angle should be about 30 degrees from vertical...

Luckily the shop that made my springs said they'll correct it for free, I just need to get them off the 40 and shipped down to them (on their dime). For now, we will get the cage welded up and send out for powder. Then we will finally get the body work done and hopefully get some paint laid down before the summer is over.

Saturday, April 11, 2020


I Finally Got My Butt "In Gear!"

I got the transmission all mounted up today. I was alone, so I rigged up a couple of ratchet straps to finish the job. I got it in place using the transmission wiggle technique to get it to the studs, then cranked the straps a couple of times to pull the transmission flush with the mounting flange. 20 mins flat!

Next Up... Brake lines!

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Doors

Stripped and Disassembled

I got the doors and hatch broken down in preparation for media blasting and eventually paint. They're all in good shape with virtually no structural rust.

 I managed to get all the glass out without breaking anything.

 I found a donor upper rear sill

I need to tackle the side panel glass next.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Crawling Along the Resto Trail

Got My Butt In "Gear"

I finally got the flywheel and clutch assembly installed!

I was gonna install the transmission and transfer case but realized that while I do have a throw-out bearing, I do not have the hub... DELAYED!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Up and Attem!

She's Standing on Her Own!

I got the 40 up on all fours this week. She looks glorious!

Up Next...

Clutch assembly, transmission and transfer case install... then brake lines.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Rollin Along...

At a Snail's Pace

Well I made a small amount of progress today... Things are slow going at the moment and I'm a bit discouraged by my spring situation (custom... too short, over arched). Luckily Atlas said they'll fix it for free if I'll bring it to them to work on directly. So I'm continuing the build with plans to tow down to them.

It won't be this high (those are 35" M/Ts) once it is all sorted. Right now the bottom of the rear cross member comes up to my waist and I'm 6-feet tall. On to the Front...

Friday, January 3, 2020

More Progress Working Up to the Build Party

U-bolt Brackets and Shackle Plates In the House!

I picked up my u-bolt flip kits and shackle plates from my powder guy today. I had them done in a semi gloss to match the chassis black Valley Hybrids used on the axle housings.



I also attempted a repair on the cracked parking brake handle.



I used a clear resin so you can still see where I filled in the larger crack. I need to do some touchup on the smaller crack, but overall I am quite happy. I plan to give this Rust-Oleum Rubberized Coating a shot on the handle.

The handle is a good practice run for the OE steering wheel as I am thinking about reusing it rather than my aftermarket idea. But it needs a lot of work and I don't really need a 16" wheel now that I have power steering. We'll see. And NO I will not dip the steering wheel into Rust-Oleum! :)