In the world of automotive restoration, a frame-off restoration is the ultimate expression of the art. But what does it mean? Lots of things to lots of different people. However, when you purchase a vehicle from The FJ Company, this is what you should expect. Not only is it our commitment to you as our customer, it is also our commitment to the industry as a whole.
Our rigorous process begins with the selection of the best-kept Toyota FJ Land Cruisers (Series 20, 40, and 60). Only those with limited rust and integrity in the chassis qualify. Additionally, we limit our selection to Land Cruisers with original engines and gearboxes, guaranteeing that our vehicles will be valuable and faithful restorations.
In this stage, we completely disassemble the car down to its chassis to ensure optimal quality in our refinishing process. Parts are sorted and stored in restoration cubbies designated solely for each car.
Any parts that cannot be restored will be replaced with factory-ordered parts or their equivalent. This part of the process also includes the disassembly of the window frames, corner windows, trim and other parts.
The power train, including the engine, transmission and clutch assemblies are thoroughly overhauled to guarantee correct operation.
Specifically, each engine receives a new carburetor (or is upgraded to fuel injection), a new starter engine, new pumps (oil, water, fuel), electronic ignition, and new or restored wiring. Major components such as the crank, pistons, rods, and cam shafts are inspected and measured to make sure they are within original spec. If not, new parts are used or restored if possible. The head is also inspected, machined, and fully rebuilt. No part of the engine is left untouched. Even new FJ Land Cruiser factory foil decals are installed
We also fully disassemble, overhaul, and reseal the transmission, including front and rear-end differentials. By default all bearings, seals and gaskets are replaced with new ones, and gears showing any signs of wear are replaced. Because each vehicle is custom built, we take into account optimal tire size and update the vehicle with the appropriate gear ratios for your driving needs. Finally, every engine and transmission component receives a complete cosmetic restoration so that it looks like it did when it was first built.
First, we completely overhaul the front and rear suspension. Unless specifically agreed to with our customer, we install a new Old Man Emu suspension and powder-coat all hard components in correct colors, replacing all mountings, bearings, bushings and shocks.
The restoration of the brake system includes the replacement of pads, rotors, seals, gaskets and wheel bearings, as well the total refurbishment of the calipers. Finally, we remove, strip and refit the fuel tank and fuel neck using original finishes.
We strip the chassis and all body panels down to bare metal so every inch of the car can be repaired to factory-new, or sometimes even better, condition. The belly pan is also stripped, undercoated and refinished in its proper color. All gaps are reset to allow for optimal factory gaps and tolerances. The windshield is refitted with new, period-correct glass.
Before the exterior is refinished, we mask and reseal the car, which is then covered with two wet coats of polyester primer and allowed to cure naturally for several days. Then we color sand and buff the vehicle to ensure the best possible high-gloss paint finish before the car is assembled.
We only use the highest quality paints on the body and panels and add two anticorrosive coats for snow protection. A guide coat is applied and blocked for paint in three stages. The undercarriage and floors receive a urethane coating or covered with Rhino Liner when request by our customers.
We fully disassemble and refinish the engine compartment. The electrical connectors, wiring, battery ground straps and batteries are replaced.
The windshield wiper reservoir and washer pump are refurbished or replaced. All new vapor collection hoses and fuel lines are added. The mounting hardware is reconditioned or replaced with correct-plated parts. We replace the relay boards, fuse blocks and fuse covers.
This process involves the removal, repair and anodizing of trim pieces, including chrome trims and moldings, until they attain original, factory standards. At this time we also replace the front and rear windshield moldings with new parts. Screws and botls are painted over per factory specs, but we have found that some customers prefer them exposed giving the vehicle a more rugged look. We'll take into account your restoration requirement along the way.
Our interiors remain faithful to Toyota factory-correct colors. We install complete carpet kits in the original grey material. We replace all side and door panels and restore the A and B pillars. All gauges receive a complete makeover, as do the stock seats.
The window crank handles are replaced with mint condition shift levers. The hardtop is overhauled and restored so it looks absolutely brand new.
All five wheels, hubcaps and tires are installed according to each client’s preference.
The FJ Company’s policy is to employ only the highest quality parts and labor in each restoration. To this end, we use factory-original parts whenever possible.
But, since some of these cars are over forty years old, not all parts are readily available from Toyota. In these cases, we will use the highest quality reproduction parts available.
When no reliable source is available, we restore the part ourselves or locate a used, original part in the best possible condition.
This stage includes the reassembly of the complete body, glasswork and interior of the car. It also includes the reassembly of the window frames and corner windows. All channel felts, seals and scrapers are replaced with factory-new parts.
We refinish and rework all panels and gaps in lead to allow for the best possible gaps and tolerances. We also replace all body seals with original Toyota seals.
The front and rear turn signal light assemblies are wholly reconditioned. Every emblem is replaced with a Toyota factory-new part. We use fresh doorsill plates and inner carpet trim.
The body hardware is restored and zinc plated, or replaced with factory-new parts.
Throughout the entire process all cars and parts are maintained in a climate-controlled warehouse. Once each car is finished, it is stored in a separate warehouse with optimal temperature and humidity levels. Our in-house mechanic monitors all vehicles to ensure they remain in show condition.