Abandoned 84 FJ60 gets some love, and a 4bt!

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Sep 28, 2021
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Middle TN
^ So much for the heater core/stop leak, lol. I drove 70 miles to work, and while on the interstate, the heater core began leaking again.
Once I got to work I bypassed it, and will start pulling the dash apart either tomorrow or Monday.
My plan is to take my spare heater core to the radiator shop, and have them clean it out and pressure test it, and repair any leaks they find.
Other than that, Wheezy is driving great, and looking pretty good, too. 😎
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Joined
Feb 27, 2022
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Western WA, USA
A very big congrats on getting her this far! I only found your thread a few weeks ago, and I've been reading it whenever I get a chance. Seems like only yesterday that you were just mowing the weeds around where she'd been parked for all those years, so that she didn't look so forlorn. And now look at you! Handsome rig!
Kathryn and Kaylee, who is about par with Wheezy on the list of things yet to be done
 
Joined
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Messages
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Middle TN
A very big congrats on getting her this far! I only found your thread a few weeks ago, and I've been reading it whenever I get a chance. Seems like only yesterday that you were just mowing the weeds around where she'd been parked for all those years, so that she didn't look so forlorn. And now look at you! Handsome rig!
Kathryn and Kaylee, who is about par with Wheezy on the list of things yet to be done
Thanks! It has been a fun journey!
The time spent driving has been very rewarding after all the work!
 
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Do you have tinted windows?
 
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I do, but it's old, purple, and poorly done. I will have it redone down the road. I really like dark tint in vehicles I'll be camping in.
Lucky. Mine is bare. It’s a freakin oven. That old purple might be original.
 
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Middle TN
Looking good.

I have a '69 FJ40 with a stuck 1F that needs a new mill. How soon you want to do that engine swap?
The 2F is for sale, as I'll need the cash to help fund the diesel swap. I'm not sure what it's worth though. It does run awesome, and will come complete with the header and carb, and possibly the power steering pump if I don't end up up using it.
 
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Sep 28, 2021
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273
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Middle TN
Yesterday I picked up a camper that my uncle bought, which I'll be using on a semi-regular basis, but it looks like when I order my lift kit, I'll need to go with the heavy springs if I wanna pull this thing.
The 2F could tell it was there, but it did just fine towing this camper up to 55 mph. I didn't get greedy enough to try going faster, lol.
I imagine the 4BT won't mind as much.
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Overall though, the 20ft camper wasn't too much of a challenge for the old beast, and I was able to tow the thing about 50 miles back home without issue.
Not bad for a car that would have probably been scrapped if I hadn't come along and started pouring money and time into it. Lol.
 

2mountainfish

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When you do you heater core, mark the orientation of the inlet and outlet tubes and have the shop braze them to the core. This will eliminate the “O” rings that will eventually start to leak.
 
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Western WA, USA
Overall though, the 20ft camper wasn't too much of a challenge for the old beast, and I was able to tow the thing about 50 miles back home without issue.
Not bad for a car that would have probably been scrapped if I hadn't come along and started pouring money and time into it. Lol.
Please check your trailer hitch carefully to make sure it's installed correctly. Kaylee's hitch was not, and a lighter trailer completely torqued her rear frame enough that her next date at Torfab is set to cut out that part of the frame and replace it. Won't be cheap, but that's the only frame issue that Kaylee has and we decided it was worth it. Much, much easier to just make sure the trailer hitch is done correctly before letting it get to that point. Per Torfab, they see a lot of hitches which are mounted to one or both of the furthest aft crosspieces, and that's when the trouble starts. Any hitch needs to be tied in directly to the C channels on either side, unless the crosspieces have been beefed up A LOT. Hopefully your hitch is already set up correctly.
Kathryn and Kaylee, who now has strong opinions about hitch attachments
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2021
Messages
273
Location
Middle TN
Please check your trailer hitch carefully to make sure it's installed correctly. Kaylee's hitch was not, and a lighter trailer completely torqued her rear frame enough that her next date at Torfab is set to cut out that part of the frame and replace it. Won't be cheap, but that's the only frame issue that Kaylee has and we decided it was worth it. Much, much easier to just make sure the trailer hitch is done correctly before letting it get to that point. Per Torfab, they see a lot of hitches which are mounted to one or both of the furthest aft crosspieces, and that's when the trouble starts. Any hitch needs to be tied in directly to the C channels on either side, unless the crosspieces have been beefed up A LOT. Hopefully your hitch is already set up correctly.
Kathryn and Kaylee, who now has strong opinions about hitch attachments
Thanks for the heads up! This thing has a home made bumper welded directly to the frame, It looks pretty good, but I'll get a closer look tomorrow.
 
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Sep 28, 2021
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273
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Middle TN
Over the weekend I sold some stuff, and now have some cash to buy my Cummins stuff and my lift kit. It looks like I need a 3"-4" lift to make room for the 4bt, as well as heavy duty springs to handle the weight.
Is Old Man Emu the only good option? Is $2 grand about the going rate? Should I do SOA with some add-a-leaf action instead?
I'm hoping to drive this thing across the country to camp and wheel, and occasionally pull the 4k lb camper, but most of the time will be daily driving without much extra weight, and wheeling locally with only basic tools and recovery gear.
I don't mind putting some air lift helpers on the back for when I pull the camper...
What do you guys think? I'd also entertain kits I haven't heard of, as well as just ordering everything individually to save money or get better stuff.
 
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604
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Wilmington, North Carolina
I've run dobinsons in my troopy since I've owned it, have no complaints. Here's some quotes from my own build thread right after I put dobinsons in.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I've been sold on Dobinson for awhile. Shackles, bushings and hardware seem to be nicer all around, and the fact their springs don't pop within a few months of install is nice too."


"Dobinsons on our Troopy too. We have been a dealer for a while....all our builds are getting their stuff. I've used OME for 25 years on my trucks so it was tough to change over to Dobinsons but glad we did. Absolutely on of the best places to deal with.....great customer service. Very very helpful and quick to take care of any issues."


"OME shocks are(were?) made by Monroe to OME/ARB standards. Thats your standard nitrocharger shocks. I believe they are made IN australia in a Monroe plant from all info I have found. As for the high end ARB BP51 bypass shocks, they say designed/made in house. Tenneco owns Monroe since 1977. As for Dobinsons, I don't know if they are made in house or outsourced to like Monroe/Gabriel. Their website and history says they have always been manufacturing and building shocks/suspensions.

They say this:
As Dobinsons Spring and Suspension have been manufacturing the highest quality springs and suspension components for over 60 years, they are no strangers to state of the art manufacturing processes. Dobinsons 4×4 shock absorbers are manufactured using the latest technology and are manufactured to TS16949 International Quality Assurance Systems. This includes double re-enforced robotic welding, friction welding, CNC Machined components and drop forging of high stress mounting components. Then state specifically about In House Dyno shock testing and In House Durability testing. SO, whether that means they outsource shocks have them built to their specs then IN HOUSE test them, or it's just bad wording on the website and they do design/manufacture/test all in house."
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Soooo uhhhhhh yea there's a lot of words in favor of dobinsons, also just read earlier today (idk what thread) but 2 people were complaining about their OME heavy duty springs going flat much sooner than they would have liked. At the end of the day suspension is suspension, there's a bunch of reputable brands out there and the ride quality will probably be all around equally as bad for these old leaf sprung cruisers. One thing is I'm not sure dobinsons sells 3-4in lift kits, do some digging and I'm sure you will find out if they do or dont
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2021
Messages
273
Location
Middle TN
I've run dobinsons in my troopy since I've owned it, have no complaints. Here's some quotes from my own build thread right after I put dobinsons in.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I've been sold on Dobinson for awhile. Shackles, bushings and hardware seem to be nicer all around, and the fact their springs don't pop within a few months of install is nice too."


"Dobinsons on our Troopy too. We have been a dealer for a while....all our builds are getting their stuff. I've used OME for 25 years on my trucks so it was tough to change over to Dobinsons but glad we did. Absolutely on of the best places to deal with.....great customer service. Very very helpful and quick to take care of any issues."


"OME shocks are(were?) made by Monroe to OME/ARB standards. Thats your standard nitrocharger shocks. I believe they are made IN australia in a Monroe plant from all info I have found. As for the high end ARB BP51 bypass shocks, they say designed/made in house. Tenneco owns Monroe since 1977. As for Dobinsons, I don't know if they are made in house or outsourced to like Monroe/Gabriel. Their website and history says they have always been manufacturing and building shocks/suspensions.

They say this:
As Dobinsons Spring and Suspension have been manufacturing the highest quality springs and suspension components for over 60 years, they are no strangers to state of the art manufacturing processes. Dobinsons 4×4 shock absorbers are manufactured using the latest technology and are manufactured to TS16949 International Quality Assurance Systems. This includes double re-enforced robotic welding, friction welding, CNC Machined components and drop forging of high stress mounting components. Then state specifically about In House Dyno shock testing and In House Durability testing. SO, whether that means they outsource shocks have them built to their specs then IN HOUSE test them, or it's just bad wording on the website and they do design/manufacture/test all in house."
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Soooo uhhhhhh yea there's a lot of words in favor of dobinsons, also just read earlier today (idk what thread) but 2 people were complaining about their OME heavy duty springs going flat much sooner than they would have liked. At the end of the day suspension is suspension, there's a bunch of reputable brands out there and the ride quality will probably be all around equally as bad for these old leaf sprung cruisers. One thing is I'm not sure dobinsons sells 3-4in lift kits, do some digging and I'm sure you will find out if they do or dont
So far I haven't found anything but coil setups from Dobinson's, but if they exist, I will keep looking. I found a decent price on Old Man Emu with free shipping on Rocky-Road.com.

Edit: found a Dobinsons kit for the 60, but it's only 2", and about $500 more than the OME deal I found. Is it $500 better? Maybe. I could make up another inch with shackles for my oil pan clearance...
 
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Hojack

♠️Project Snowball❄️
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I for one was a bit reluctant going SOA. I didn’t like the idea of a taller unstable 60 but after driving mine after the conversion that proved not to be true. My 60 wheel base is 4” wider. I swapped the rear axle from and an 80s series and have 2” wheel spacers on the front. Tapped the gearbox and added hydro assist. Added air boss airbags in the rear. 63” Chevy leaf springs in the rear and moved my stock rear leaf springs to the front and added a longer OME add a leaf to the pack. The suspension conversion took as much time as the motor swap. There’s a reason my wife calls my 60, “the other women.” She’s gotten over it now… mostly🤣
In regards to the 4BT swap it’s a lot of fun. Being able to have the turbo spool gives ya goosebumps and the ability roll some coal…
 
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So far I haven't found anything but coil setups from Dobinson's, but if they exist, I will keep looking. I found a decent price on Old Man Emu with free shipping on Rocky-Road.com.

Edit: found a Dobinsons kit for the 60, but it's only 2", and about $500 more than the OME deal I found. Is it $500 better? Maybe. I could make up another inch with shackles for my oil pan clearance...
I’ve read that the dobinson leafs are not as thick as the OME but every bit as strong. Folks report a smoother ride than the OME. I don’t have experience with the dobinson but I like my OME much more than worn out factory springs! It also seems that the OME set up has a bit more of a stink bug stance where as the dobinson is more flat. If you do go for an OME don’t buy it anywhere else but cruiseroutfitters. Best deal out there and they have great service to help you build the kit exactly the way you want it. They even have an economy package where you can choose aftermarket shackles, pins, and u bolts. Saves a good bit of cash.
 

2mountainfish

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Georg at Valley Hybrids (Mud vendor) sells Terrain Tamer. I have had this lift on for over 5 years and it works well. No flattening or stink bug and I have logged a lot of off-road miles.
 
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Joined
Sep 28, 2021
Messages
273
Location
Middle TN
So after reading some reviews, looking at pricing, Shipping costs, and availability, as well as what is included in everyone's kits, I ordered the Old Man Emu 3.5-4" heavy duty deluxe lift for just over $2,000. This is the most I've ever spent on a lift kit, and more than twice the purchase price of my Cruiser, lol. I REALLY hope it doesn't suck!
The kit I ordered comes with shackles, shocks, leaf springs, leaf springs, bushings, U-bolts and some more stuff. It seems like a pretty complete kit.
Before I left for work I sprayed all my suspension bolts down with some penetrating oil, and will do so every couple of days until my lift kit gets here.
I'm hoping to zip everything apart with an impact gun, and zip it all back on without too much issue.
Luckily my 60 is not rusty, and all the suspension stuff looks pretty good and free of corrosion.
Worst case, with a kit as complete as this one, I won't be too sad if I have to break out the Blue Wrench and liquefy the stubborn bits.
I'll be glad to have the lift done and functional before I even start removing the 2F and 4 speed. It will be one less thing to stress over.
I plan to get some 33x10.5 tires, but haven't landed on which ones yet.
I know BFG are pretty good, but I'm not sure that the others I like come in that size.
I like Cooper, Yokohama, Falken, and Nitto, but haven't decided if I want mud tires or AT's yet.
I'll make that call once the lift is done, and may even wait til the engine swap is complete.
 

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