1985 FJ60 Advice (1 Viewer)

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Hello everyone,

Getting ready to buy a 1985 Royal Blue FJ60 and need some advice. It's a 4 speed with about 80K on it and I am looking to make it a long distance machine. I realize these things are terrible on gas, but I will be using it as a daily (highway) driver and be using it for long road trips.

How much will it cost to upgrade this bad boy to a 5 speed transmission? How much will that improve the fuel economy?

What tips do you have to get the best gas mileage? What changes can I make to the engine, what parts should I change or upgrade?

Eventually, I would like to upgrade to a Chevy Vortec V8. How much will this cost? Should I go with the 5.3 or 5.7L? How do I make sure it will pass CA smog?

Thanks a lot! Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)
 
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Honestly, if MPG is a big concern, which sounds like it is, I would not move forward.

Mpg is relative. If you can get 12 mpg, and you can upgrade to a 5 SPD and get 15 mpg (iffy) you save 5.3 cents per mile at 3.50 gas cost per gallon. If you can get a 5 speed in for $2500, you have to drive 47,169 miles before you break even. You haven’t saved anything.

Ballpark $10-$15,000 for a V8 conversion

So MPG can’t be your determining factor. A 60 series will never be an economical daily driver. Sorry. Get a Camry for daily driving, and a 60 for fun!
 
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erse

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Like @Haggis states most if not all of that info is here somewhere already. Dig in and do some reading. I would not do a five speed for fuel economy alone. For drivability and enjoyment, yes. Slightly better fuel economy is just a nice bonus
 
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Depending on how you setup the 350 you can do it cheaper than 10k. Heck if I wanted to spend over 10k, I’ll be putting in a crate Cummins. Which would be were you’d want to look for better MPG over a small block Chevy. The small diesels are where it’s at.

You can pick up a SBC crate motor for Jeg’s for $1700, then add intake ($200), fuel injection ($1200), pick and pull a serpentine bracket system from a early 90’s Vin K motor, put all new alternator, power steering pump, AC compressor, etc and have a complete engine for $4,000. Pick up a rebuilt NV4500 for $1000-1800 and an Advanced Adapters bell housing and T-case crossover kit for $1200. After that it just depends on how handy you are. I don’t have to deal with Smog regs in Texas though.

I’m currently running a rebuilt/carbureted 350 to OEM 4-speed and split transfer case. I would love to put an H55F in, but the cheapest I have found one so far is $3500. Going with an NV4500 and the AA kit could save me $1000 to spend on other mods to get it installed...

The good thing about once that is my setup, it’s all stuff I can walk into any parts store and 99% of the time they’ll have it.
 

mtbrown619

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Thousands. Literally thousands. And headaches and probably a few more thousand dollars. Be realistic. Does it need a new tranny at 80k? Probably not. And a V8 swap? I dunno, it's certainly for some people but not for me. You're talking about a 34 year old vehicle here. There's plenty of accounts about battling CA smog here, especially with an engine swap, but it never sounds worth it to me.

I'd think about it long and hard. You may be going down a wormhole you'll end up regretting or you may end up with the truck of your dreams. Hell, you might as well buy one with 250k miles if you want to swap the guts.

Also, I might be interested in your 4 speed:flipoff2:.
 
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Just drive what you have. Swaps suck. They suck money, they suck time, they suck resale value. Seen lots of swaps fail and end up sold or parted out. Value for dollar. Go for more compression and fuel injection that you can tune. Pretty sure tuning and tweaking will get you 15 mpg out of the stock engine with the right mods and the right tires/ gearing. Smog tests are getting stricter, not looser. Swaps may render vehicle unregisterable.
 

MANUCHAO

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1985 Royal Blue FJ60 a 4 speed with about 80K
If it is complete, and with low miles i say buy it, and learn to enjoy it in its stock form for as long as you can....... I'm sure you will throw enough $$ into it (just to keep it running), and that should give you an idea if this is the rig for you... if it isn't then sell it, and you might be able to recoup your $$...
Some folks are having a hard time getting these rigs smogged... and even harder getting them CA legally engine swapped.....
Not impossible... but helluva hard......
As stated above read the FAQ section... and peruse this here forum...... lots of great folk, and info to get your "know-how-to" going on....
Word is that best way to getting your swap approved in CA is to get an EROD engine approved by CARB.... that alone will set you some $9k... but even that is not a guarantee you get approved....

@orangefj45 would be my pic for an engine swap here in CA

With all that said, 60 series rock...!!
 
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You guys are awesome. Thanks a lot for all of the advice, I really appreciate it. I will obviously have to just get the hell over the crappy gas mileage. But I agree, just drive what I have, skip the engine swap, and make the necessary adjustments to the engine as is. If I could get 15 mpg out of this rig, I would be super happy. I might upgrade to the 5 speed just so my highway driving is a little more enjoyable.

Thanks again for everyone's input. You guys have a lot of great knowledge about these FJs. If I ever buy the damn thing, I'll post a picture :)
 

Mike Tyrrel

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Just do a 12HT upgrade. Super easy to work on. Not hard to find either. you should get 17-20/21 mpg. Absolutely go with the H55f, 38mm spline on Tcase! I have a 34mm on mine for now (the tranny and Tcase are going away.... being sold end of march) sty with stock ratios for your long drives. I agree with someone above (somewhat) on swaps/upgrades whatever, takes time and $$. It’s worth it if you can do it. Check out LC restoration in Kansas, they do amazing work and may have your answer ready for purchase. Honestly an American FJ60 is a amazing looking paperweight, unless you do a swap.
MT
 
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[QUOTE="mtbrown619, post: 12243622, member: 64494

Also, I might be interested in your 4 speed:flipoff2:.
[/QUOTE]


I have a couple 4speeds if you need them
 

erse

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Just to help get you you off to a good start here. Even though these are fj60's it's generally considered a poor show to refer to them as fj's. It tends to ruffle a few elderly cruiser guy feathers. 60,62, cruiser, landcruiser many names but not FJ. Don't ask me how I know :)
 

4Cruisers

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What's the production date? 4/85 and later make an H55f installation much easier if you decide to go that route.
 

erse

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Most here would jump at the chance to drive a 60 with 80k. As @MANUCHAO says above drive it, work on it, learn from it. He has a v8 converted 60, I am on my second possibly poised to pick up my third. V8 conversions open up a world of possibilities for sure. However these rigs in stock form are awesome. Especially when you are starting out. Almost everything that could possibly go wrong with it is already documented here. The trove of info and knowledge here is invaluable. My recommendation is start small, buy a silver star, get reading and if the 80kmile 60 series is priced well and rust free buy it and enjoy it. After a month you won't care about the gas mileage. Well unless you're commuting 70 miles. If thats the case listen @Shes Mad and buy a camry as well for the commute. Good luck
 

lcwizard

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If you're getting 11mpgs, a tbi swap alone will get you 14 highway. If you're getting 13 highway you'll probably pick up just a couple.
It depends a lot on the condition of the carb. Be aware that there no great "complete" kits down to throttle cable , cable bracket
and air cleaner adapters. I used to build complete kits but I stopped in the mid 2000s.
The last 2F 60 I had was getting old, 250,000 K, but I took it on a ten day Death Valley expo. I'm a state over in AZ. My gas bill was
just shy of 1000.00 . Average mpgs including off road was about 8, 11 highway, 6 off road. When I got back I swapped in a gm tbi
based setup, from parts let over from old kits. Just after I finished we did a 7 day Canyonlands area trip. I averaged 14 highway and 9 off road roughly 10.5 average.
Had I done the swap before Death Valley I could have saved 250~300 in fuel on one trip. That's 25 bags of "NUBZ" dog treats for my dog at Costco. My dog never lets me forget that. 3 mpg gain doesn't sound like much but if your base is 10mpg, 3 equals 30%

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Gretsch

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Mpg....not something to factor in the fj60 decision.
H55F....very nice upgrade especially for long hwy drives.

I'll second this. If putting a 60 series together with fuel economy as a deciding factor on a purchasing decision, you may want to move on to something else. Sounds like you have come to grips somewhat on the MPG thing though. I would simply not factor MPG into any 60 series purchase.

While a lot of folks say an FJ60 as a daily driver is a horrible idea, I use my '84 as just that. Commute some 65 miles each day and have no regrets, other than the fuel economy. These vehicles take a lot of maintenance, so sometimes scheduling is tough when waiting on parts and whatnot. But I make it work. Despite what folks tell you, it can be done. Have to accept it for what it is.

While I generally understand the want to improve drivability on one of these rigs, I also think anyone that feels like they need to immediately change the truck in an attempt to make it something its not should prolly move on to something else. I am just too much of a purist for all that. You'll find plenty of ways to spend money on it without all the swapping around of stuff. Accept them for what they are, and realize they are amazing vehicles just as Mr. T designed them. That said I would love a fuel injected 2F and an H55F just for reliability and drivability gains, especially if taking it long distances. The drone of a wound up 2F on a long highway trip can take its toll on a body. Maybe an 80 or 100 series would be better.
 

lcwizard

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Long ago, at 19 y/o in 1978, I bought my very first truck. It was a 1978 FJ40, off the dealer floor, brand new. In a very short time I decided a Land Cruiser would be the only 4 wheeled vehicle I wanted to drive. I've literally never owned a 2 wheel drive.
That said, I take each and every Land Cruiser I own, which is a lot, and build them to enjoy. A stock 40 you endure, a built 40
you can enjoy. The 40 I bought in 78 was my primary transportation for 20 years. If I'd left it stock I would have needed another truck
to drive 80 % of the time.
 

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