A Snowball❄️ rolls through it.

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♠️Project Snowball❄️
Aug 9, 2016
Cascade Foothills above Eagle Creek, Oregon 🇺🇸
Greetings Cacade Cruisers.

“A Snowball❄️ rolls through it” is a title I gave because of the movie “A river runs through it.”

Project Snowball❄️ is my 85 FJ60 Landcruiser named during my SOA build with local and member @boots4. I’ve been a Toyota guy. I grew up in High School with an 85 Toyota 4Runner which was great. I remember summers with the top off... couldn’t get much better than that. After selling it, I felt regret. I still had an 02 Tundra but wasn’t the same. My good friend Ben has a 87 silver Landcruiser in High School his dad let him use. I decided a landcruiser was more roomy than the 4Runner so I started looking. Found a stock one in great condition with just under 218K. No rust and ran great. I bought it for $7600 and a grown man in tears as his wife hated it. I loved driving it but as time went on the slow 2F became a downer. I started looking for motor swaps. I’d always loved diesels. I loved our Kubota starting up as a kid. Still the exhaust brings back memories.
My dad always drove one and our work trucks at our family business were diesel. The power and turbo spool was so nice to hear and feel. I began looking at the Toyota diesel motors for a conversion but didn’t like the fact that parts may be difficult to find and impossible in some areas. I looked at Cummins. I have a 04 Dodge 3500 dually which is a work horse. I started looking a 6BT and found it had a smaller brother the 4BT. Plenty of info about this little motor. It seemed like it had been swapped in just about anything. The 60 seemed like a perfect fit. Came across IH8MUD and that’s when the dream became reality. I started looking for a donar motor. I wanted something still drivable and not a motor sitting around from who knows what. I found a Freight liner stepvan for sale in Vancouver, Washington with a 4BT in January 2018. My buddy Jeremy was working for us at the time. Both of us went up and looked. Took it for a drive and bought it for $4200.
I drove the stepvan to our shop while Jeremy drove my 60. The stepvan drove with power and effortless weighing 12,000 pounds, 60 was easily half the weight. We started on the removal of the 4BT and Eaton 5 speed tranny. Now it was time to sell my 2F and 4 speed in the 60. I actually got buyers for both really quickly. I sold the motor and transmission separately to two different people and the carb to @JHE4601 here on MuD. More fund money, just over a grand... not too bad. The 60 then had the 4BT mated to a NV4500 5 speed with Advanced Adapter mating the stock transfer case. Made motor mounts and set the motor in place. It looked really good. Fixed the killer down pin while the timing cover was off. Painted the block red and black. It really looked new. Champion radiator and X2 battery... yada yada yada. The problem was the oil pan and the front axle. It fit but after getting the 60 running it dribbled the front pan on the diff and dented a corner of the pan. It was fun to drive but I am the type who would rather go all in then postpone the inevitable. SOA looked like the next move. I wheeled in High School with my 85 4Runner and had fun with my friends. My buddy Ben swamped his dads 87 60 in a new development up on Mt. Scott where the mud was coming in through the doors. The SOA route would totally change things on and off road. My buddy Jeremy wasn’t too keen on helping me on the SOA... now what. My buddy Ben has a Toyota Rock Crawler but no time. Found @boots4 here on MuD. Started discussing the SOA route. Figured since I’m in it a 80s series rear axle with disc brakes would be a nice upgrade. Marlin Crawler High Steer, Ruffstuff SOA Kit... yada yada yada. The SOA was more involved than guys make it out to be. Suspension is everything for safety. This is a daily driver and expedition 60. It needed safety so I bought the best stuff. Mike taught me so much, he was the teacher and I was the student. I was thankful my dad let me have a bay in his shop. The 60 was closing in on a year now. The SOA was finished just passed the year of its start. Time to drive and see how it handles. I still didn’t have shocks so it was a did loosy goosy on the corners. Bought Bilstein 7100s with reservoirs and it was a game changer. The 60 handled like a dream. Felt stable in the corners with not scary body roll. I live in the Cascade Foothills east of Sandy and Estacada so corners and hills are a part of everyday driving. Below is the SUA/SOA comparison.
After a trip to Yellowstone it was to get the rear tire carrier bumper.

@JHE4601 had his built by Nick at Adventure Fab. Took the 60 to him and he built it. My front 4plus I picked up from @Rustic76 in Vancouver.
I bought some parts Nick didn’t like. The Ruffstuff latches are no good. Ordered the ones he recommended and finished the rear carrier. The 60 is so fun. It idles like a small diesel tractor which brings me back to when I was a kid.

The whole project has been over a year an half so far. There are so many small things to button up it’s time consuming. I knew the basics about automotive stuff when I started. It really feels like I have gone through an apprenticeship class, still a lot to learn but more knowledgeable and so excited about this build. Would I have done it what I know now... boy that depends. My wife calls Snowball❄ “The other women.” I spent time away from the wife and family, time I’ll never get back. But now that it’s done and life has gotten back to normal I’d say I would. It was rough for 6 months last winter and working a double header weekend 12 hrs on the SOA... and I thought the motor swap was tough. I really learned suspension is key to everything. Power is one thing but safety and handling is another. Another awesome upgrade was Speedhut gauges. They upgraded the look of the instrument panel while still looking stock.
Hougak 85 FJ60 4BT Cummins
Project Snowball ❄ could not have been built without the help of some great friends and my dad. Also thanks to our family business with the space and tools needed to complete a build project.

Steve Hougak- thanks Dad
Jeremy Tower
Glen Beers
Mike @boots4
Matt Curtis
Brian Larsen
Josh & Roger Boeck
Steve’s Pump Service
My wife and kids who missed a lot of time with dad while building Snowball❄.
Those who provided parts:
@cruiseroutfit - OME add a leaf
@wardharris - Harrop E-locker
@FJ60Cam - Speedhut Gauges and mounting hardware
@Rustic76 - 4plus bumper
@TRAIL TAILOR - pop pins, rear tire holder

Steve’s Pump Service
Superior Offroad- Gresham, OR.
Many thanks to Houston
Nick @ Adventure Fab - Vancouver, Washington
Advanced Adapters
Marlin Crawler
Ruffstuff Specialties
Trail Tailor
Mosley Motors
Trail Gear
Cruiser Outfitters
Champion Radiators
Cooper Tires
Speedhut Gauges
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In other news I acquired an acre lot near Crater Lake with a well. I think it’s time to meet some of you. I was hoping to start an annual get together down there. Plan some wheeling and family camp time.

Here’s the lot I bought. All lots are an acre and buildable. Power is at the road. Mine actually had a 60’ well drilled in 2012 that was not listed on the lot description. I found the well on my walk about and got the info of the well iD tag. My realtor got tax ID off the well log and it matches the lot tax ID, done deal $6500.00 🤣

Snowball❄️ has been a lot of fun lately. Enjoyed Labor Day fishing up the Columbia below Bonneville Dam. The weather was perfect.

Beacon Rock from our friends place in Dodson

The Hojack family

My brothers girl Nicole lands a 30 pounder

And in the middle of it all, a Snowball❄️ rolls through it.
Moving from one project to the next. My 60 build was fun but grew old. I’m so much more excited about building and construction. I have called the county about getting plans to build. In order to build, a septic site evaluation must be done. Headed down to the Crater Lake property in October with trackhoe to dig test pits. Also plan to get the well pump in the well and a manual handpump. Septic permits and evaluation isn’t cheap, possibly $2400. I can install the septic system myself which will hopefully be less than that.
Spent 3 days and went to my Crater Lake Property to clear land and burn slash, fill in the septic test holes and have some fun on the mini excavator.


My buddy Travis at his lot


The neighbor put up a new fence along our property line.


Filling in the septic test holes we dug back in October


These mini excavators are too much fun


Work great limbing trees.


Camped in our tents on the tilt deck trailer.


Enjoyed a nice sunset


Home sweet home


It got cold so dug a path for the trailer to get our tents closer to the fire.


Was pretty cold getting into bed. Temps in the morning were in the teens.


Cold start to the day but time to get some work done.


Time for breakfast


Time to clean up and build slash piles


Excavate site for a pumphouse


Lunch break then





What a great time to getaway. In the planning phases for a structure. Not sure if we’ll do a foundation or build on pier blocks. Next up will be the septic system installation.
I’ve been patiently waiting to hear back on my offer to buy lot to the north with well. They emailed back this evening and agreed to sell the one acre with well for $11,000.
Thought I’d let the club and others know that I closed on the lot with the well yesterday and also bought 2 lots to the east of mine so I now have just over 4 lots at just over an acre each. They are in a rectangle and all connected so I’ll be installing a well pump and a manual hand pump soon. Then septic on lot 5 with a cabin. Lot 4 with well will probably be the camping lot. I haven’t walked the 2 lots of Cloudcap but have seen them from the road and on the backside from my property.
@Hojack we're down to come work on the property when you're ready to have us. I can scare up a couple others if you're open to 4Runners also :)
Headed to the property Friday thru the weekend. Getting the well going. I think after that camping will be ready except really want to get my septic system installed.
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Made it to the Crater Lake properties yesterday.

My buddy Travis at his lot.

Just about 800-1000’ down the road are my lots

Travis came down on his dirtbike

Got a fire going and camp setup
Main goal of trip is get my well going. My well 6” steel casing that’s 60’ deep. It has a 4” PVC liner inside with a fine 10 slot screen at the bottom to keep debris like gravel/ pumice out of the pump. It’s also set too high and need to cut it off so it’s deeper in the well.

Set up on the well.

Used our PVC liner removal tool to extract the PVC liner.

Here’s the fine 10 slot screen.

There larger 30 slot screen for better flow rates.

Now the 4” PVC liner goes from 10’ below surface to 60’. Originally it was set at surface level making it not possible to install a pitless adapter.
Shock chlorinated the well before I left the property Friday night to allow the chlorine to sanitize the well til Saturday morning. Returned and pumped the chlorine out and also did a flow test.

Chlorine was still present.

Flow meter on wellhead with pressure gauge.
15 gpm at 70 psi.

Opened the valve wide open and it maxed my flow meter out. Probably 30 gpm.

Static was 20.5’ drewdown and stabilized at 40’ pumping 30 gpm.

Now the work begins.
After testing well, pulled the submersible pump. Dug home with trackhoe and cut in pitless adapter holes for submersible and hand pump.

My dog Reload hard at work

Looking down the well with both pitless adapters installed.

Reinstalling the submersible pump with my daughter Harlee at the controls.

My son Ryder tailing in the hand pump pipe and rod.

A proud dad watching his kids work.
The 7/16” galvanized rod passing through the pitless adapter

Stainless steel tee with 1” rubber bleedback to drain water from hand pump stand to prevent it from freezing. When the hand pumps stops pumping the water drains back down the well.

Getting measurements for how much pipe to cut between bleedback tee and top of hand pump stand on top of well.

Installed hand pump stand.

Starting to run the water lines.
Today while making breaking decided a pine tree in the middle of the lot needed to be limbed up. Being a (little) OCD I grab the Stihl chainsaw and start climbing.



Distance between my lot to my buddy Travis’s lot.
The well was all done. Next will be building a pumphouse with all the pvc lines and valves. Get power pulled from power pole at street and install a meter and breaker panel at the pumphouse. Tree I limbed is behind the well to the right.



Cleaning upmy buddy Travis’s lot with the mini excavator.

More and more slash piles...
Travis enjoying some time in the saddle

Mt. Scott in Crater Lake National Park

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