Builds 91 FJ80 resurrection- aka Berner Bus build -

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Dec 2, 2017
Eugene OR
We needed something big enough to haul around the furry kids / paddle boards, camping / hunting / remodel stuff.

Had to survive PNW winters, parking lot trauma, scrapes, dogs, outdoor use. Have lots of experience working on Toyota’s, so what better than an older FJ80 or Sequoia.

After looking a lot of junk - we landed on a well enjoyed 91 with 390k - but no rust, wrecks, and clean title. I had is issues - but a solid platform to build.

After removing the standard trash can full of crap, terrible wiring, prehistoric french fries it was build time. It needed a lot of little stuff - dash screws, bulbs, door switches, etc - got bucket full of stuff from the local yard including some nice seats (once the moss was pressure washed off) and sorted it out. Careful removal and cleaning of the contacts got all the windows working again.


And it had LOTs of leaks and was a greezy mess. After a gallon of purple clean and hours with the pressure washer it was tolerable. Installed a new water pump, belts, idlers and retourqed all the loose oil pan bolts.
The front axle was soaked - and like everyone we looked at needed a front axle reseal. Ordered a kit from Marlin and embarked on the nastiest job on earth over Thanksgiving.
Then chased down the exhaust leaks - a job that’s never complete with out at least 1 broken bolt. And yes - reassembled with studs and lots of anti sieze.



It always had a slight clatter at start up - but was not concerned. Wife takes it for the maiden trip to work - and well not a good one. It was bogging down to 20 mph on the hills (kick down cable) and clattering and higher rpm- uh oh. And had no heat either- which I think is a tight fan clutch ( read on how to change the fluid).
But the clatter - yah - sounds like a rod. So after fighting the oil pan off, time to pull bearings for a look-see. 1-4 & 6 showed some wear and trash scars but not bad. But #5 - bearing was 95% flaked off. Crank journal shows transfer but looked okay. Do not yet have a FSM but per the Browne & Sharpe micrometer it’s still round at 2.0865 ish.
Rest of the inside looked amazingly good - no broken piston skirts, only a few metal flakes on the screen.
So... made the decision to roll in some new rod bearings, plasti - gauge them and if close run it.

Update time - got a dusty box of ACL rod bearings (made in Australia printed on the box even). Cleaned the journals up a bit with 500 grit paper. Put the new bearings in and Plasti-gauged them.
The worse was .0018 or so - with most around .0015. I do not have a FSM yet but based on my past 22re that number seemed very good.
Wrestled a new oil pan gasket on, added new oil and a Toyota oil filter. Fired it up .... and damn - those valves are noisy... but no rod clatter, oil PSI is up. Took it for a few drives and all seems good.
Next - adjusting the valves.
Despite all the hard work the the furry kids are not impressed


Lots of good work. Gotta keep the 3FE’s on the road. They are the cornerstone of the 80 series!
Nice work. Congrats on the MIGHTY 3FE!

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