Builds 1987 FJ60 Expedition build thread

upperblack

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I've been on this site for too long to not attempt at least one build thread, so here we go. This will not be the most technical or educational thread but I would like to document what we are doing to this rig and hopefully share the adventures we have in store.
I've been traditionally a 40 series guy and have owned a few over the years that I've been into cruisers but this is my first 60 series.

Some background info on my family - for the past 4 years my family and I have been traveling the country in a motorhome for most of the year (usually 8 months or so on and off). I have a corporate job that requires a lot of travel. I've traveled extensively for work most of my career but as we started having kids I was spending more time away from home than at home and it had taken it's toll on me but I still really enjoy my job and the people I work with. After a year or so of trying to figure out how to make it all work we got a crazy idea to buy an rv and bring the family along for the adventure. I have to admit the first few months were a little rough but after 4 years now we absolutely love it and have no plans to stop and possibly expand the amount of time on the road. You can follow along on my wife's Instagram account @crazyrvfamily.

So why the family history? We travel in a motorhome and tow a vehicle behind us, currently that vehicle is a van. We love the travel but I really miss my cruisers while on the road plus we go to some really cool places where a cruiser would be very beneficial and we want to expand our travel, backwoods camping etc. We decided a 60 series was the direction to go. I wanted something more family friendly than a 40 but not so far away from a 40 that it didn't fill the cruiser void while on the road.

So the search began. I was pretty specific about what I wanted. A silver 1987 FJ60 that had been kept pretty original, rust free, good mechanicals, and original paint. It took a year or more of searching but finally found one from a fellow mud member.

These pictures are from the for sale ad:

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upperblack

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The dirt/rust looking stuff underneath is just old dirt, more to come on that later.

The plan is to build a very capable rig, set it up to be towed around the country and capable of going just about anywhere with the ability to take it anywhere for a few days of camping trips and most importantly make it as reliable as possible.

After purchasing the truck I had it shipped from Houston to Ga.
Here are a couple of pics the first time I saw the truck.

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upperblack

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The truck was very stock with low miles (148k).
The funny thing is I had never driven a 60 until it came off that transporter, heck I had never been in a 60. The closest I had ever come is just driving by them and lurking in the 60 section of mud.
After driving a 40 series as a daily driver for years, this truck felt like I was driving a Cadillac. The long wheel base really smooths out the ride and the stock suspension was in really good shape.
 

upperblack

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The truck's history:
The truck has been an all southern truck originally purchased in Arkansas, where it spent most of it's life and eventually moved down to Houston.
The low mileage is due to the truck sitting for 10 years.
The story is an old man and his son were working on the truck and the old man died during the process and it just sat after that - for 10 years. When the old man was working on it he had the engine rebuilt - again that's the story and I have no paper work to support it but the block does have a Jasper engine sticker on it so at some point it was rebuilt. I called Jasper to see if there was any history they could provide but they only keep records back to 2009.
Also the Aisin carb is new - meaning it was replaced with a new unit with in the last 12 years back when you could still purchase them new.
This truck sat from 2005 to 2016 according to the Carfax I pulled before the purchase. The tire date codes were also 2004 time frame, so although I have no proof the story seems to add up.
Here is the oil change sticker from 2005 - 144k miles, truck has 148k today.

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Fantastic! Congrats on the purchase and looking forward to the build.
 
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Wow, what a great story! I am jealous. I would love to see how this goes. What part of Ga are you in? I am in John's Creek Ga. There are some really good cruiser mechanics here. Let me know if I can be of help. The cruiser looks really good.
 

upperblack

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Wow, what a great story! I am jealous. I would love to see how this goes. What part of Ga are you in? I am in John's Creek Ga. There are some really good cruiser mechanics here. Let me know if I can be of help. The cruiser looks really good.
I'm in Roswell. I do a lot of work myself but when something is out of my expertise I use Peter Merriman not too far from you. He is the man.
 
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bwesty

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What a good find and story, glad to see it went to a fellow mud member. Looks to be a well kept 60, enjoy the truck. They sure do work well and ride nice for an old rig.
 

upperblack

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For a few weeks we just enjoyed driving it around on very short trips - just a couple of miles around the neighborhood and such.
It was good to have a more family friendly rig and the kids were really diggin it.
I say only short trips because it had bouts of running ok, then bouts of dying on me.
This pic is from one of first outings

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upperblack

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I needed to solve the stumbling issue so started checking the normal sources and it was pretty clear when I pulled the fuel filter, it was clogged with rust.
I opened the tank at the sending unit and found a pretty rusty tank.
Remember the whole sitting for 10 years thing - not kind on a gas tank.

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upperblack

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I pulled the tank and spent a week treating with an acid solution and the results turned out pretty good.
I decided not to coat the tank based on mixed reviews.

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bwesty

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Looks like the tank cleaned out well. I would cycle some full tanks through and then change the filter again after a few tanks.
 

upperblack

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I ended up running 2 fuel filters (the clear glass type) and monitored the situation. Eventually some rust returned and on slightly longer trips the fuel filters would clog again with rust - very frustrating.

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upperblack

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Keeping in mind that the main goal with rig is reliability I went ahead and purchased a new tank since they are still available and will probably last another 30 years. Also purchased all new associated hoses, clamps and sucker tube that were still available. My sending unit was still in good shape so I reused it.
I did check to make sure the tank recall had already been done and it had been.

So I pulled the old tank back out again. If anyone wants the old tank I'm giving it away.

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Joined
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I'm in Roswell. I do a lot of work myself but when something is out of my expertise I use Peter Merriman not too far from you. He is the man.
Wow, we are really close. Peter Merriam is a great mechanic. I do a lot myself too but have used Peter on many things.
New tank and hoses delivered:

View attachment 1691466
Where did you find a tank? I was looking for one. My sons 84 FJ60 sat for a good while before he bought it and it had a good bit of rust . Had it boiled out by Sims Radiator but they wont coat it because of the number of baffles which make it almost impossible to coat completely enough not to peel off and cause future issues. That was disappointing.
 

upperblack

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Wow, we are really close. Peter Merriam is a great mechanic. I do a lot myself too but have used Peter on many things.

Where did you find a tank? I was looking for one. My sons 84 FJ60 sat for a good while before he bought it and it had a good bit of rust . Had it boiled out by Sims Radiator but they wont coat it because of the number of baffles which make it almost impossible to coat completely enough not to peel off and cause future issues. That was disappointing.

Here is the link to where I purchased the tank, hoses and clamps. All but 2 fuel lines are still available.
It's not cheap, I spent around $900 for everything but it should last 30 years or more so I felt like it was worth it.
Fuel Tank & Tube for 1987 Toyota Land Cruiser U.S. Destination-Wagon
 
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