Category: FJ DIY (Do It Yourself)

Angle Grinder With Wire Cup Brush FJ40

FJ40 OEM Wheel / Rim Restoration – Using a Wire Cup Brush

I’m working on restoring a 1975 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40. It’s an early 75, so it has drum brakes all around (and thus drum-style wheels). There are a couple different ways to go about restoring these rims. I could have them sandblasted (aka media blasted), which would cost around $100-150. Since I’m on a budget, I decided to go the wire cup brush route. I found a Milwaukee 3″ wire cup brush that screws on to my angle grinder at Home Depot for around $19. It was more than I wanted to spend, but cheaper than having them sand blasted. (NOTE: In the end, I did have them sand blasted. Check out this post about that process.)

STEP 1: Prep

There are some projects where you can cheat and go without protection. This project isn’t one of them (as you’ll see in an image further down the page). Eye protection is critical, so DO NOT run that angle grinder with the wire cup brush without proper eye protection. I also wore a dust mask, as the rust that gets kicked into the air was pretty thick and nasty. To keep myself from going deaf, I also threw on some ear protection (which was a good idea because this process can take several hours).

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Step 2: Prepare Working Area

Find a good place with plenty of space to work. It was freezing here in Colorado when I was working on these rims, so I did it in my garage on my work bench. If the weather is decent, I’d recommend doing this project outside where the dust and debris can go wherever it pleases and you’ll have less to clean up.

Here are a few pics of my wheels before I started the restoration process.


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Step 3: Attach Wire Cup Brush to Angle Grinder

Screw on your wire cup brush and make sure it’s nice and tight. I used a crescent wrench (while pressing in the spindle lock on my angle grinder) to make sure it was nice and snug. You don’t want this thing coming off at 11,000 RPM.

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Step 4: Go To Town

You can see in this pic I’m only wearing one glove. That was only because I was managing the camera to take the pics. Be sure to wear two gloves. As you begin the process of stripping down the rims with the wire brush, little pieces of metal fly all over the place. I had several go through my gloves and poke me pretty good. When I went to shower off, I took off my shirt and found two pieces sticking into my flesh. Those little suckers go flying like crazy, so make sure you’re hands are protected.

Hold the angle grinder tight with both hands, especially when you get around to working near the clips. Don’t hit the clips with the brush. Instead, use sandpaper and hit those by hand. I learned my lesson the hard way when one of my clips broke off because the wire brush is just too powerful and snapped it right off.
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Start with the edges.

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After tearing down the front, backs and edges of two and half rims, my Milwaukee 3″ wire cup brush pretty much gave it up as there were hardly any wires left. Towards the end of the life of this wire brush, more and more wires were flying off faster and faster because there weren’t as many wires compacted together to hold them in.

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As $20 was steep enough for one wire cup brush, I worked a bit harder to find one a bit cheaper. I found another flavor of the 3″ wire cup brush at my local O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store for $13.

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I continued on with the new wire brush, but unfortunately (and is usually the case) the cheaper wire brush was…well…cheap. It didn’t last nearly as long as the Milwaukee wire cup brush. It was enough to finish the job, but next time I’ll spring for the better quality wire brush.

Below you can see some of the wires that came off the cheaper brush en-masse piled up on the inside of the rim.
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This wire brush wire hit a little too close to home…

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Step 5: Finished

As you can see, the wire cup brush did an okay job cleaning up the rims. I couldn’t get in very close where the clips were and in a couple other areas.

FJ40 Wheel

FJ40 Rims

FJ40 Rims

At the end of the day I decided to go ahead and media blast these. Below is a video documenting that process.

FJ40 Bottle Jack - Yellow

OEM Paint for FJ40 Bottle Jack, Rods, and Crank

That FJ40 bottle jack. It’s a thing of beauty. If you’re lucky enough to have the original one in your Toyota Land Cruiser, then it’s probably been scratched up pretty good under the driver’s seat and could use a bit of a refresh on the paint. That orangish yellowish color can be pretty tricky to nail down. It’s not quite yellow and not quite orange, but somewhere in between.

About a year ago we were restoring a 1977 FJ40 and were lucky enough to come across a bottle jack, both jack handles, and the crank for the handle on Craigslist. The color was pretty faded, so we began the search for the right paint. Sure, we could go down and have a quart of the good stuff mixed up at Dale’s Automotive Paint Supply in Colorado Springs, but then we’re talking $60 and our budget was more like $10 (scope creep on this 77′ LC had definitely set in!).

We hit the spray paint isle in a couple big box stores, namely Home Depot and Wal-Mart, but came up with a big goose-egg. Next stop was Pep Boys, who had a massive selection. We honed in on two different paints and found one that hit the jackpot: Dupli-Color  Model # DA1663 “School Bus Yellow” General Purpose Acrylic Enamel (12 oz.).

Back at the shop, we sanded and primed the bottle jack, hand crank, and jack rods. After the y dried, we hung the parts up by a wire and went to town with the School Bus Yellow spray paint. It laid on nice and thick and smooth. After three coats, our old, crappy looking bottle jack was now a thing of beauty!

Have you used a different paint or different method? If so, share it in the comments section below.

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Bench Seat

Con Ferr Rear FJ40 Bench Seat

We recently picked up a 1975 FJ40 out of Alamosa, Colorado. It hadn’t been run in nearly 15 years. We called to inquire about the LC and the owner gave us the run down on the nearly 40-year-old Dune Beige Cruiser. As he described it, he told us there was a rear bench in the back and we went up anticipating a fairly rusted and rotted out bench seat. To our surprise, the rear seat was an original Con-Ferr bench seat in near perfect condition. It even had the underseat storage and rear storage area. The vinyl was in mint condition.

We took it out of the Cruiser and hit it with some Armorall and it looked as good as new. Aside from some surface rust on the bottom of the seat, due to moisture being trapped underneath, this bench seat was practically brand new.

If you’ve got kids or someone that won’t ride in the back of your FJ because the factory jump seats are just way too uncomfortable, this seat is a great alternative to the jump seats.

There is storage under the seat itself and storage in the rear, which is perfect for keeping gloves, tow straps, chains, tools, or other gear. You could also cut holes into that smaller rear storage area and easily drop in some speakers.

Fits perfectly in the back of any FJ40.

Measurements:
39 7/8″ wide (40 1/8″ if you include the bolt heads)
23 3/4″ deep
21 3/4″ high

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Dynamat Extreme – Land Cruiser Noise and Heat Protection

Red Line is currently working on 2 Resto Mod Landcruisers. As we all know, Landcruisers aren’t competing for quietest rig on the road, especially if you’re running on oversized mud terrain tires. And in the summertime if you’ve got your hard top on, the cabin can heat up quickly turning your FJ into a full-blown sauna.

There are several options out there for trying to quiet your FJ cabin or keep the heat down. There are products that can slip under your OEM front or rear Toyota mats. These are fairly inexpensive but they don’t do a very good job of quieting things down or keeping the heat out.

Over the years, our favorite product that we’ve come to rely on is  Dynamat Extreme.

Here’s what Dynamat has to say about their product:

When it comes to making your hot rod ride like a luxury car, Dynamat does the job. Dynamat is used by the world’s top hot rod and custom builders because they know it makes their cars ride cool and quiet. Dynamat makes cars feel solid – doors and trunks slam snug, rain and wind virtually disappear and your interior becomes a quiet, comfortable cruising environment. Use Dynamat on the interior sheet metal of your vehicle to stop vibration and reduce road noise. Add a Dynamat brand thermo acoustic liners- such as Dynaliner, Extremeliner, Tac Mat or DynaPad to fight heat and low frequency hums from big engines and exhaust systems – and you’ve got the ultimate ride. Dynamat is the ultimate automotive accessory.  

We typically buy the Dynamat Extreme Bulk Pak, which covers 36 square feet. It includes nine sheets of Dynamat Extreme. Each sheet mesaures 18″x 32″ (457mm x 812mm). If you’re careful, you can do the floors on an FJ40. It takes about XXX boxes to cover the floors on a FJ55, FJ60, or FJ80. But why stop at the floor? This stuff does such a good job of stopping road noise, that we install it behind the door panels and on top of the roof. If you’re wondering about the headliner, there’s no need to worry…your OEM FJ headliner can be easily adhered to the dynamat without and drooping.

Dynamat is about as thick as a nickel and, in our minds, does the best job of keeping you cooler in the summer and affording you a decent conversation in your Cruiser (as opposed to shouting your conversation in the cab).

A box of Dynamat Extreme Bulk Pak runs $169.95 + shipping.  Order online through Red Line today or have us install it for you at our Colorado Springs location. Give us a call at (719) 210.0101 or email us for a quote.