Category Archives: 1978 FJ Cruiser
We were just about to wrap up the FJ with a spray in bedliner on the floors in the front seat and rear seating area when we came across a previous repair on the passenger side floor. Someone had used “Great Stuff” an expanding foam insulation to fill in a rather large hole in the passenger side floor board. Not an ideal repair but Im pretty sure it was an inexpensive one. Anyway, we couldnt leave the not so great stuff in there so we dug it all out and replaced it with metal. Once it was all welded in Jordan and Cole got to work prepping the rest of the floor for the bed liner. We use a urethane product for things like this called Raptor liner. Its perfect for this application. It looks good, durable and water proof. We started with a coat of epoxy over the entire floor. Once dry, we applied 2 coats of the Raptor liner over the epoxy. This will dry over night and we will spend the rest of the week putting the finishing touches on this project.
This past Friday was another good progress day on the FJ, we were able to get the doors painted. We started off by masking off the freshly trimmed out backside then flipped them over and prepped the front. Paul started with coat of urethane sealer followed by 3 coats of the white. Once all that was dry, we carefully masked off the line for the red and papered up the white. Three coats of red was then sprayed on the lower parts of the doors. We then unmasked the white and applied the clear coat. While Paul was spraying the doors, Jordan and Cole built the rear bumper and installed it with all new hardware. This week we will get the doors back on the vehicle and continue the assembly process.
The FJ has been moving along just fine. The bumpers have been stripped, repaired and primed. Today we were able to sand the bumpers for paint tomorrow and got the doors trimmed out. We also stopped and painted the grill and the side vents and cover. They really turned out nice. The grill should look great when it’s back in its rightful place. We have a couple of finishing touches to put on the grill before that happens though. The doors really look nice. Hopefully by Friday we hope to have the outside painted so that they can go back on the vehicle next week. This will only leave the tops of the front fenders left to repair and paint. This rare FJ is looking better and better.
Its been a long time coming, but the FJ is really starting to take shape. The left rear door has given us a little bit of trouble so we decided to just remove that part from the equation. The lower part of the door had been patched a couple of times and they were not really getting along so we cut out the whole section and replaced it. The body work portion of that repair is almost complete and should be in primer tomorrow. The paint work on the body is now complete as well. We shot some color on this on Tuesday and it really looks nice. A coat of sealer was applied to create a uniform ground coat for the color. We started with the white masking it off for the Freeborn red once it was dry enough to tape on. We then unmasked the white and applied the PPG urethane clear coat. This thing really stands tall now. Today we installed the head lights, left rear side marker and tail lights, new body to door gaskets, stripped the grill and bumpers. The bumpers have served their purpose. Lots of dents and body work were hiding under several layers of paint. All that was removed today and bodywork will start on them tomorrow. We will paint the doors, grill, head light doors, side vents and bumpers next week if all goes well.
The FJ project is still moving along. Here you can see a little more color was sprayed this week. We are still prepping some places on the body and hope to have it painted on Tuesday. Things are looking pretty nice even though we cant fully disassemble the body because of the rarity of parts. Anytime we have a roof to paint, and especially if its one this big, we like to paint them by themselves. It just makes it nicer to be able to just concentrate on making the roof nice, then be able to focus later on painting the body. One of the doors is at Kellys, (our metal fabricator) to get some rust repaired that was in the bottom of the door. We should have that back the first of the week so we can get the body work fixed on it and have it ready to paint with the other door. Next week will be exciting to finally get color on here.
As progress continues on the FJ, today was paint day for a few body parts. Since we had few pieces ready for paint and an empty booth, we decided this morning we would put a few parts in there from the FJ and get them sprayed. We prepped them, sealed them, followed that with he correct Freeborn red and white paint colors then cleared them. Its been a long time coming but it sure is nice to finally see some color going on this cool vehicle. Next week we should be able to get the hood painted and a couple of other parts if things go smoothly. We are still fine tuning the body, its not too far from getting color either.
We have been steadily plugging along on the FJ over the past couple of weeks and here is where we stand on it. The rain gutters have been stripped and cleaned out. A nice coat of epoxy was applied to the gutters followed by a flowable seam sealer. They really look nice and smooth now. Jordan also worked pretty diligently on sanding the nooks and crannies. It seemed like every time it was ready for primer another spot was found that needed attention. Cole prepped the under side and the top side of the hood today and with a little luck, we may start spraying some parts next week. We do have the body ready for primer now and It will go into the booth first thing Monday morning.
This week we started blocking out the doors on the FJ. While working on one of the doors we found a previous rust repair that was in need of attention so we are in the process of getting that fixed up. In the mean time, Paul and Cole dedicated some time to getting the body a little closer to priming. We pulled the old seam sealer out of the drip rails where it had gotten bad over the years and was letting water seep down to the metal. We will treat all those areas and apply new seam sealer before priming. Its doesnt really improve the looks of the job, but it will hopefully extend the life of the drip rails. Thats what Cole is doing in the picture with drill. A wire brush on a drill works really well at that when good old fashioned elbow grease is used. So, finding these things did set us back from priming today but hopefully next week will go smoother.
Last week the guys put the finishing touches on the doors to the FJ. The bodywork is all wrapped up on them and Paul has sprayed the last few coats on primer on them before the final blocking for paint. We hope to be getting the body in its final primer this week which should wrap up the body work on the FJ. It will then be turned over the paint shop for its prep for paint.