50,000 miles of owning my 60 series (2 Viewers)

HemiAlex

TLCA #24987
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I purchased this really worn out 60 series in October 2015. Purchased with 277,000 miles on it. It was beaten. Sticking brakes, a dead cylinder, no suspension bushings left in it and two broken rear leaf springs. It had history in Missouri (So long, and thanks for all the rust). I bought it from the original owners nephew. He told me a story of it being used for a national geographic film vehicle and it travelling all over the country. I didn't really believe it. The price was right for me at the time, so I was the second in line to purchase it. I knew nothing of the 60 series aside from remembering that a family member had one with square headlights in the early 90's and I liked the truck but not those lights. I had wanted an 80 series but they just seemed too new to me. I had my 2004 Tacoma and I wanted another old car since my 68 Roadrunner was and still is an even rustier pile than any of us can imagine. I missed the old car smells and feelings.



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Did I mention that the truck was tired? It had a burnt exhaust valve that was causing a huge misfire. Also, the intake manifold was broken and fixed with JB weld. I had a temperature sensitive vacuum leak from that. Huge amounts of fun.

First thing I did was pull the head, but I drove it for another 5,000 miles misfiring and putting around. It wasn't fast or proper, but it drove. No telling how long it had been like that. The truck came with a huge bunch of receipts and oil change records back to new. They just wrote it all in the back of the owners manual. Very cool to see how long this thing was completely stock and loved to a point. This was the exhaust valve that was burnt.


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Once I started to get the tune lined out after the head swap, I started getting into the fun stuff. I was on dry rotted Michelin tires in stock size. The truck still had the H78 spare under it that had never seen the ground, so it was a pavement princess its whole life. I bought a set of 33x10.5-15 KO tires used from a coworker with a Jeep. That was a huge step up for me to be able to actually drive on the highway, but I instantly felt it slow down off idle. The clutch was original and unhappy that I added bigger tires, but it never slipped.

I drove it through feet of water with those tires and no issue. It was such a blast since it floods annually here in Houston.

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While it was still on busted leaf springs and wonky suspension, I added an early ARB bullbar that I found locally.

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I added the bullbar and tires, and it was running pretty good. But then it needed the lift purely because it rode like junk. And the shock crossmember was broken. I didnt notice that til right before I was going to take its first real trip. I could have driven with no rear shocks but I really didn't want to. I aborted that effort and just parked it for a while. I didn't want to lift it til it was all proper. I welded in a piece of 2x2" tubing for that and it was better than new.


When I did the steering damper, it was still factory and way loose. I did the OME steering update and it drove a ton better.

I want to show how I got through 50,000 miles of driving this truck daily with not one failure or issue. This truck was the worst case for a lot of common scenarios for these trucks.


More to come tomorrow.

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rhah

Admit it, your cruisers jealous
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ottawa, kansas
Congratulations sir, the first 50k miles is the most expensive.

now you can finally “enjoy” it. Ha
 

HemiAlex

TLCA #24987
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I had a few small issues along the way. My alternator pulley was wrong, and the belt was fraying. It was also clocked at 2 instead of 10 and that also changed my adjustment procedure. It made doing anything with it really difficult. Most of the alternators you'll get from a parts house are likely wrong, but they'll work in a pinch.

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After this, I installed my Trollhole carb (huge mistake) and went on my first real road trip with the truck for work. It did great.

My rear wheel cylinders would pop when releasing the handbrake. It was likely the pistons overextending due to the brake shoes being very worn down. This was scary to hear, but not an issue. I also developed coolant leaks from the OEM style hose clamps. It takes several heat cycles to make them seal. You have to be religious about checking their tightness.

I also learned about the relation between the fuel gauge and the temperature sending unit. The ground would cause the temperature gauge to spike while driving and it would like like the truck was overheating every 15 mins like clockwork. It may seem fake now, but it scared me badly when driving at night on the highway with a truck that I didn't completely trust yet.

I learned that you cant just trust any mom and pop shop to balance your tires. If they ask you "DO YOU WANT THEM BALANCED?" That isnt the place that you want touching your truck. I rebalanced the wheels and tires and that was the first time I felt that the truck wouldn't blow up above 70. Baby steps.


This was somewhere around Baton Rouge LA in 2016.


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This trip of being out of the house for over a month on the road in my truck put some money in my pocket. I then did a trip for work to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

I started buying parts for the lift kit. Things were getting fun now.

While in both countries, I had a good starting conversation starter with people. I was from Texas and I had an old land cruiser. They liked me. This was on the eastern shore of the UAE in Fujirah.

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HemiAlex

TLCA #24987
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I came back from almost two months out of the house and I went big. I started gathering parts for an OME lift with bilstein shocks. The truck needed it. It rode horribly and was sagging.

My buddies came through and made this install work for me. @klinetime574 @houstonfj40 @FARMAN33 @samc2447 fought all day with me to get the old crusty stuff off and get the new suspension on.
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The celebration was short lived. My BFG KO tires were date coded out and I was too dumb to look. I loaded the old suspension up into the truck and left brians house. I promptly bubbled one of the ancient tires. So after having spent money on the lift, I had to get new KO2's.
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This was a good safety issue to touch on. The tires were dry rotted.


I got the new tires in and it was uneventful. I polished the chrome wheels and polished up the rust a little.
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The universe wasn't done messing with me. I had put almost 10,000 miles on the truck so far and things were falling apart in secret.
 

HemiAlex

TLCA #24987
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Soon after lifting it, I proceeded to kill my rear u joints multiple times. I ordered oem Stuff from geroge and would get maybe 1000 miles out of them. Something was desperately wrong. While driving on its second major trip, 9 hours west from Houston to Big Bend national park....I had my driveshaft bolts loosen twice. I almost pitched the driveshaft out the bottom of the truck.

I made it home, but barely. The vibration would shake the truck on deceleration. You felt it in your teeth.


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I got under the truck and started poking around. After that trip, there was gear oil pouring out from under the truck. from the output shaft seals.

I could disconnect the driveshaft and move the output shaft flange .75 in any direction. Sure, some of that was gear lash play....but the t case was done. It was moving so much now that I had changed driveshaft angles that I couldn't keep u joints in it any longer. I was going to have to go big or go home and stop driving it. I contemplated selling it. The truck just crossed 300,000 miles. When I talked to @orangefj45 he told me I was lucky to go this long. 200,000 miles was a push, this was a deathwish.

The downhill portion started with a small purchase from CityRacer.

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HemiAlex

TLCA #24987
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New H55F & Rebuilt split case from Georg @orangefj45
City Racer 5 speed shift knob
OEM Oil Pan and gaskets
OEM Rear Main Seal
OEM Transmission Mount
Aisin Clutch kit

We knocked it out. @FARMAN33 did a shift that would make a pit crew proud. We had it in and out in the longest day ever.

The 2F was spotless inside, and the truck had received the transmission it should have had from the factory. It ran great.

I have to note, this one string of changes cost me more than I paid for it. Not for the faint of heart. I was in a good place financially at the time.

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HemiAlex

TLCA #24987
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So, I got into my old truck and started driving. I went with my buddies and ended up in Colorado. I did 4 days of trails, drove 1000 miles each way and made it back home in one piece.

On the first obstacle of the first day, I broke my motor mount. I never even thought to look at it. The PS Pump was leaking badly, and it soaked the mount. The first time I applied torque in 4Lo, it snapped and sent the fan into the shroud and dented my hood.

We ratchet strapped the mount down and I kept going. It never left me. I went over 14k feet with a desmogged truck and it never shut off. Amazing. I just advanced the timing and went with it.

I had never been off road and the truck made it look easy. I suddenly got what the truck was meant to do. It was a hero in my eyes.

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HemiAlex

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At some point things get boring. It was a lot of oil changes, upkeep and details. I'm at 310,000 miles around here. I swapped off that junk Trollhole carb, put on an Aisin loaner that ran great and then purchased a Fuji City racer.

This is probably the most frustrating portion of owning the truck. It would run great and then disappoint me. I couldn't for the life of me figure it out. I had a bog from hell off idle that wouldn't let up til 1700rpm. I tried everything. Replaced all the ignition components, it felt like a rev limiter. I replaced carbs, and intake gaskets and I couldn't fix it.

I wrote a for sale ad for the truck. I was done. I was either going to swap in an LS or sell it.

And that's when in passing I talked to @cwwfj60 . This guy is the man.....he remembered seeing a customers truck that had the ac controller hastily bypassed and that reminded him of something.

He told me to unplug the two green plugs from the ignitor on the coil. One will make the truck not run and the other will disable the ac and tach. I trouble shot it and when I unplugged the correct one, the misfire stopped. He couldn't tell me why that fixed it, but I was happy to have the truck run right. When I looked at the wiring diagram from the FSM, I back tracked it to the grounding wire for the fuel cut solenoid. There aren't many smart things on this truck, but the one attempt at a computer is the emissions computer in the kick panel of the drivers foot well.

There's a small box in there to control all the switching valves and solenoids, and it falls apart. I'm likely the extreme for all of the things to break on a truck or go wrong. The cold soldered joints come apart on that box, and it was causing an intermittent ground which was cycling the fuel cut solenoid like a rev limiter. It blew my mind.

If you're reading this, take a mental note about that. That the only thing that has almost broken my spirits with my truck. I wanted to blame a maintenance item or a hard engine fault for it. But it was as simple as the "green wire mod" I grounded the green wire off the fuel cut solenoid and this made the fuel cut solenoid be switched on and off with ignition.

This is how the earlier non smogged 2F 40 series was wired, and this is how mine is set up now. It's been without fault since.
 

HemiAlex

TLCA #24987
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Did something happen to your build thread?
No, I wanted to hit the highlights without making people read 38 pages.

I want to show all the small things that both helped and hurt me since this truck is usually the worst case scenario.

Its also covering the things that I get asked about a lot.
 
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NeverGiveUpYota

Dare me.
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How’s that flange repair go on your j pipe? When I had mine in my hand a bit ago I swear the welds were total crap. It seems ok and not leaking but buying a new flange would be worthwhile to have. Where had you bought it?
 

HemiAlex

TLCA #24987
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John Staton

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I enjoyed getting to see part of that H55 day and it really gave me the guts to jump in and do the conversion....thanks for all the info and guidance at the time. Was the best upgrade yet for me and I have spent as much on mine as I paid for it too. If my wife only knew. I started a notebook that chronicles every project receipt. Thought that would be a good idea at the time, and now I hid the s*** out of that notebook. Wife would kill me if she found it.
 

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