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What do I do now?
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Discussion Starter #41 (Edited)
I finally figured out what I am doing with the fuel cell - I am NOT going to mount it behind the axle under the tub like I wanted because as I looked into it I couldn't find a fuel cell that would fit and not hang down to the ground without putting it up through the floor...which defeats the purpose. So I'll go normal behind the rear seat location.

BUT, since I am going to lose a little space to the fuel cell I am going to take advantage of the space under the tub. Inspired by the fuel cell skid I was planning on making I decided to turn it into storage space, accessable by trap door in the tub floor. I THINK it's going to be AWESOME! :D



Since I do not plan on sealing it off 100% I put a drain plug in the bottom corner so I can clean it out from time to time, and drain any water that it may take on while on the trail.


I think it'll be good for storing oil quarts, tow straps, etc.



We finished the weekend by finally getting the ol Ram out of the barn. What a task. My first two plans DID NOT work, by the time we finally got it out safety was priority three but in the end we didn't drop it, or roll it.




Tomorrow will be it's final ride.

 

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Discussion Starter #42
Oh yea, and for the first time in almost 1.5 years the FJ left the safety of the barn.



:grinpimp::D:grinpimp:
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Good or no?:confused:

Steering shaft lengthened and in





Ended up with 3 mm of clearance...THREE MILLIMETERS...I'd like to say I planned that but honestly I thought there would be more. Got lucky there.

On top of that, fired it up for the first time over the weekend. Super pumped. Took longer than expected because a bad ground kept the fuel pump from firing but finally got it around 11pm Sunday night - made for a great (non productive) Labor day. :grinpimp:
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Alright 40 friends, I need help.

Do I need to cut at yellow line in order to clear bucket seats?



The plan is this: the seats will likely be Corbeau Baja SS or similar with harness and mounted to roll cage. I've done some mock up using 4x4s and plywood and don't THINK I will have clearance issue with wheel well and seat back if left square like they are but would hate to have to come back and redo once I get to cage/seats - I already hate body work. It seems that in most 40s it is required to be cut at some angle to clear bucket seats, however this tub has been stretched - this is the area between the wheel well and where it drops down near door opening.

Here are a couple more shots of the fender wells since we're already here





It looks like less clearance than it really is, but nevertheless I was super pumped that I didn't completely screw the mounts and put the shock/reservoir line into the inner fender!

As you can tell, I have gone super highline with the inner fenders...I didn't really have an option due to the cut to fit the tires. I could have dropped them a little, but mounting would have been a pain - with the way they are now I will weld to the bottom of the tube holding the side panels.

In other news, I worked on the windshield frame. Like the rest of the body, originally I thought that it was in good shape and mostly usable. With some perspective, I was not so pumped when I dug it back out a couple week ago. After a day of researching the price of one from AZ or SoCal, I decided to give this one a shot.



Both sides were like that, the other probably worse. For reference if you're not familiar, this is the underside of the windshield frame which rests on a rubber pad. Due to its design, it is a huge water trap and therefore a spot for corrosion.

The only pic I have during the fix is on the other side.



It is not perfect, however it will get me going for now.

It is nice to see the FJ have a bulge under the tarp again :grinpimp:

 

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Subscribed. Look forward to seeing this move! I have also always had a weird desire to own an fj40, and have had to pass up a couple awesome candidates in the past due to no money. Thanks for sharing!
 

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Discussion Starter #46
It looks like I am going to get lucky and not have to cut the inner fenders at an angle.



This is within an inch of where the seat position felt most comfortable to me, so there is plenty of room.

It was pretty fun getting to sit in the seats, definitely pretended I was driving it. :grinpimp:

 

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Discussion Starter #47
Had another big milestone moment this past weekend when I bent the first piece of tube! :D



I ended up buying a JD2 model 32 bender, 2" die and the "Notchmaster" tube notcher. In addition, I also bought the Bend Tech Pro program. Overall I am delighted with all of it. The bender and notcher are certainly forever tools, very happy to add them to my collection.

I was amazed at how easy the Bend Tech program is to use once you get the hang of it. I am proficient in CAD, however I need none of that knowledge to operate the program, neat!!! I immediately went to town designing my rollcage, rear bumper and grill hoop.









The grill hoop and rear bumper are still design #1, however the roll cage is revision 4 or 5.

There was a rather steep learning curve as I bent up my first couple pieces of DOM however I mostly have it under control now. I decided to do some not-so-critical parts first to get the bugs worked out before starting the roll cage. I started with the winch hoop on the front and accidentally over bent one of the angles and therefore made it too short. Before attempt two I changed my set up point from the follower to the die and that help repeatability a TON!

The Bend Tech program is SO HELPFUL once you figure out how it works because it lays out the bends from the start of the tube, then will show you how it goes through the bender in an animated video. Plus, if you run into an issue like I did when trying to bend the grill hoop you can rotate the bends, figure out how to load it in the bender from the other direction, etc all with a couple mouse clicks and as long as you can replicate in real life it comes out perfect.



I was also SUPER IMPRESSED with the "cutting" feature on Bend Tech which allows you to print a full scale wrap for the tube that shows the profile to cut in order for a perfect notched fit. Worked great on the grill hoop!

 

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Discussion Starter #48
And a bit of a step backwards, I made my minimalist front bumper the other day. It is 1/4" thick with a fairlead opening cut in it. The angle is rouphly 73 degrees if I remember correctly - made to match the approach angle.





I of course wish that I could have had a shorter nose and better approach but my hands were tied without going full hydro steering. This gives good room for the winch at least.



On the rear I am still hard at work, but following the concept shown in post above. Currently struggling with the proper location for the rear tire carrier spindle to maximize strength and swing angle.

I am planning on the lights being the ovals between the frame rails. The idea was the two outside would be the tail/brake/turn signal and the middle be the reverse light. It looked better in my head, still deciding on it.

 

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Looks great! I wish I was as proficient at the Bend-tech software. I got it last week and I'm slowly getting the hang of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Thank you guys!!!

I have been under an huge internal struggle over the past 4-5 days but think I have come to a decision.

No, I'm not throwing in the towel - but I probably should have after cutting the first panel off. :laughing:

The struggle has been over the roll cage. The design shown up a post or two is what I WANTED to do, however I think I need to step back a tad and go with the one below:



The difference is in the B pillar area. On the preferred design (a few posts above, also below) the B pillar is just two straight vertical tubes notched to the A-to-C pillar bar and tied together with another straight tube on top. The B pillar is simple, it is that A-to-C that is the issue. You see, the FJ body widens about 8 inches as it goes from the A pillar area to the B pillar area. This makes the A-to-C bend 3 dimensional, plus it is one LONG piece with 4 total bends, 2 of which are in two directions simultaneously. My confidence in nailing it not once but twice is still pretty low and unfortunately it is basically the first piece needed to get the cage started.

Below in red is the piece I am referring to above.



My solution is to break that long A-to-C piece by making the B pillar one continuous piece, essentially an upside down "U". This takes ALL of the 3 dimensional bends out of the design and gives me room for error on the A pillar. This is important for me because I am going to run the A pillar up AS CLOSE to the dash as I can without the bend that you see in common off the shelf FJ40 cages to get around the dash and windshield latches.

I will wrap this up by saying that I don't like the new design as much from a visual standpoint, however it will give about 2 inches of extra head room and be MUCH easier to fabricate. My next build though.... :grinpimp:

Anyways, thanks again for the interest - bending more tube soon!
 

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Do the roofline bar in two pieces and sleeve it where they come together, pretty commonly done. The solid roofline bar looks much better then the continuous B-pillar IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #53 (Edited)
Do the roofline bar in two pieces and sleeve it where they come together, pretty commonly done. The solid roofline bar looks much better then the continuous B-pillar IMO.
Oh jeez I had already made up my mind what are you doing?!?!?!?! :eek: :D

I totally agree the solid roofline look rocks, but...I already changed my mind to do the continuous B pillar!!! Crap!

Do you slug/sleeve it at the B-pillar area or wherever is easiest?
 

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Either or works, I was able to do mine on the B-pillar, but as long as the sleeve is long enough (made mine ~5") it should not matter where it is.
 

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What I'm planning for on mine is to run a tube off the A-pillar through the engine bay to the front bumper hoop. It would probably be a good base for a shock tower tie-in crossmember as well.

Awesome work so far, just got my bender a few months ago too and looking forwards to a few cage builds, did a couple of rock sliders and bumpers to learn the ins- and outs.

As for you cage I think it looks good either way with the split or single front-to-rear tube, as long as you build it nicely. Can't comment on strength though and would appreciate if someone educated did.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
What I'm planning for on mine is to run a tube off the A-pillar through the engine bay to the front bumper hoop. It would probably be a good base for a shock tower tie-in crossmember as well.

Awesome work so far, just got my bender a few months ago too and looking forwards to a few cage builds, did a couple of rock sliders and bumpers to learn the ins- and outs.

As for you cage I think it looks good either way with the split or single front-to-rear tube, as long as you build it nicely. Can't comment on strength though and would appreciate if someone educated did.
I've been trying to figure out how to tie the a-pillar to the front shock hoop, while still having the cage and tub removable independently. Also snaking it around all the crap is a task in itself. Really the best solution I've got is flanging it at the firewall and again at the a-pillar, but worried that'd compromise it too much.

I'm sure it's not needed on a trail rig, but neither are coilovers.
 

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I've been trying to figure out how to tie the a-pillar to the front shock hoop, while still having the cage and tub removable independently. Also snaking it around all the crap is a task in itself. Really the best solution I've got is flanging it at the firewall and again at the a-pillar, but worried that'd compromise it too much.

I'm sure it's not needed on a trail rig, but neither are coilovers.
Id rather use these than flanges that rely on the bolts:

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/tgi-180111-kit?seid=srese1&cm_mmc=pla-google-_-shopping-_-srese1-_-trail-gear&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlej70MWi1wIVlVqGCh3EWAOzEAQYAyABEgIiJPD_BwE
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Update time!

Finished X in the roof and behind the seats, plus added the seat mounts then pulled the cage for final welding. Oh yea and did all of the cage to frame tie ins as well.





I used a Harbor Freight winch in the rafters to lift cage, then rolled the FJ out and back under - worked awesome!







For some reason (because I haven't done this before) I thought it would be best if I left the interior panels loose until the cage was done so that I could get to the frame tie ins easier by removing said panels...it helped exactly zero times. Before I did anything I welded in the wheel wells so that I could get a good basis for C-pillar. I didn't weld the others in until I pulled the cage for final welding, but I certainly didn't need to - I could have saved myself some time and done that A LONG time ago. Oh well I guess?

Last time with no floor panels



I did a plug weld hole every 3 inches on all panels

 
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