60 rookie brake scare...do I buy?

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by Gouldsby, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. Gouldsby

    Gouldsby

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    Just looked at a 1987 fj 60, red, 139K, great interior, well taken care of, 3rd owner, clean engine bay, fluids full, dry as a bone underneath, no frame rust, recently replaced exhaust, rebuilt carb, air blows colddd, but plenty of rust. Passenger side rusted through front wheel well, along the side and through one door, some more topical stuff on the driver side.
    I took off down the road excited as hell because I like the feel of this one and a stop sign popped out of nowhere leaving me in a minor skid, but enough to get my heart going. The brakes aren't mushy, just different, and I've never driven a 5300 lb vehicle before.
    Do the brakes on 60's tend to be on the weak side? or should I be looking into fixing these? They don't seem squishy like master cylinder is going, and there's no gunk on the brakes themselves, but they don't seem enough to stop me quick enough if some little kid chases a ball into the street, but I'm new to big vehicles. Biggest I've driven is my 240 volvo wagon. Am I driving too fast?

    Anyway, he's looking for $1300 for this cruiser and I'm hard pressed to find a reason not to dive in with my first 60, even though it's rusted badly.(though not frame)
    Am I making a bad decision?
    And just one more question...why do toyotas rust so badly. My 1987 volvo wagon doesn't have a spot on it and it's been outside of a garage driven every winter since we bought her in 1988.
    Anyway, thanks for all of the great info on this forum, I'm feeling ready to get greasy, though nowhere near mechanically experienced.

    Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Goulds
     
  2. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew On the way there SILVER Star

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    Generally, brake fixes are pretty easy-that would not scare me at all. However, rust sucks. It will only get worse, and I'll bet the frame is worse than you think. Look hard by the rear spring mount, and by the shock mounts. I would offer on the low side for this truck. Remember that an older truck will need lots of repairs and upgrades-you may as well do those on a truck that does not have rust. If you can get that 60 for a screaming price, it might be worth it, if the frame is truely in good shape. A lot depends on your plans for it. Trail beater-OK, long term member of the family-keep looking.
     
  3. roscoFJ73

    roscoFJ73

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    Hi Goulds
    Sadly cruisers like this exist in all parts of the world, a strong mechanical heart with a worn out body.

    This is the kind of landcruiser you buy when you already have a rust free body.
    The rust will be difficult to repair and will return with a vengeance one day.

    For a 1st cruiser spend a little more for one with a good body and go through the mechanicals until its perfect.
    Of course if you just want it to bash around the nearest trail then its probably ok.

    Youve probably nailed the brake problem by guessing the master cyl,but it maybe the slave cyl or air in the system.
    The brakes never really have enough stopping power so they need to be perfect.

    Many cruisers dont rust out if they have been taken care of.
    Dampness gets into the metal seams at the bottom and stays there unless its ventilated.
    I do twice yearly checks on the drain holes and pour a diesel/oil mixture in there.
    After heavy rain I park my cruiser in the sun with the doors open to dry the condensation out
     
  4. lovetoski

    lovetoski SILVER Star

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    The brake thing wouldn't scare me at all...might be as simple as bleeing the brakes of air bubbles. Worst case is new master cyclinder + bleeding. (Assuming the pads/rotors/drums are OK - if not, good to negotiate price down.)

    The rust does scare me though. I'm no welder. Are you? If not, fixing it will be costly. If you live in a rust prone environment (salt in winter) then it's got to be a huge consideration. Do check carefully for frame rust.

    Old japanese cars rust because their steel wasn't appropriate for high oxidative environments. Volvo's were used in environments where salt/water/etc was likely, and they figured out what kind of steel to use to minimise problems. Later model cruisers (80 series) are way less likely to have this problem.

    If you live in a salt state, buying an old cruiser is an act of faith, and requires cash and attention. If you live in a non-salt state, buying a low rust cruiser will probably cost you less long-term.

    Of course, if you love it all bets are off...many of us bought our first cruiser based on lust not on logic....
     
  5. cruzerfetish

    cruzerfetish

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    only you know what you are going to do, but 1300 is cheap enough for me for a rusty cruiser. You can definitely get that back out of it by driving it all over and you don't have a lot to cry over when you bash a quarter panel in. For about 300 bucks you could buy the (new) parts for a caliper upgrade and have much more braking ability.

    I think the advice here is right on, if you can pass on it and wait for a better (less rusty) cruiser then you should. If you are jonesing for the whine of the 2f now, then who knows. Definitely check the frame. Mine has alot of rust. Take a screwdriver and hit it with a hammer on the frame and see what type of sounds you get. If there is that much rust on the body I can't see how the frame got away with being clean.

    Good luck!
     
  6. soggy60

    soggy60

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    I somewhat agree with the others on the rust issue,,,,offer lower $ and have fun while it lasts...

    As for the brakes, like you said - your going from a light volvo to a heavy truck.
    My 60's brakes are fine, but with 35 inch tires, "stopping" is more like "rapid slowing down" . . .

    pete
     
  7. Jan-78FJ40

    Jan-78FJ40

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    Just say no.
    with gas prices as they are, cruiser prices are constantly coming down, especially 60s prices, since thy are plenty. I just would not waste money on a rusted out truck, it is too hard and expensive to repair. save 4 or 5 grand, keep a look out on this board, and you will score a rust free truck.
     
  8. archie

    archie

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    Don't forget to post your location here if you don't eventually buy, because somebody else here might be able to use the cruiser for parts if the body/frame is a goner.
     
  9. Gouldsby

    Gouldsby

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    I'm in Connecticut, where everything is rusty. I'm moving to DC and would like a rig to throw all of my belongings into for the move down, and then to commute and explore.

    I'm thinking that since I'm going to be living on the east coast for the foreseeable future, I'm better off waiting for my dream cherry cruiser until I move west...and in the meantime learning to wrench and driving a rusty but dependable cruiser that makes me smile.

    The ad is in the New England bargain news. I think I'm sold on it because I liked the drive and the cold air and it's good timing for my move.

    What would youz guyz pay for a rusty cruiser with 139k and sweet clean interior and engine?

    Thanks for all input!
    Goulds
     
  10. archie

    archie

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    Sounds like a good price for the age and miles, don't wait too long , it might be sold soon. I would offer to go with you to check it out,but I'm here in Chicago. Maybe somebody else might want to volunteer to inspect the vehicle with you.
     
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