Alabama bound FJ62

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Sep 13, 2014
Huntsville, AL
Last week I picked up a 1989 FJ62 from a local club member. The story I received is it was sold on mud and came out of Virginia. If anyone has any details on it or recognizes it I love to learn more about it. In the last year, It’s changed hands a few times here in NC in the ONSC club and now to me.

Its future home will be in north Alabama with Fort Hampton Outfitters, a small boat rental, guided fishing company. It will be the new river Cruiser used for exploring steams and promotional purposes. The plan is over the next few months I’ll be bringing it back and going through it making it a reliable driver the owner and his family can use. This won’t be a restoration but more of a baseline to preserve it so it’s around in another 30 years.


Even the smog is all there. I’ll be removing it but it’s amazing when you come across one that is as complete/untouched as this one.


A few months ago I tried to purchase it for me personally. A few things that stood out to me as a good candidate to save truck is it was 99% complete, minimal rust, and only 177k.

All the trim is there, the bottom of the doors/tailgate are all perfect, and it’s never been modified.


I got it home and did a initial walk around. First impression it’s not to bad but there is a few rusty spots that will need to be addressed.


The the frame is solid but the rear quarter has some rot, and the tailgate has a hole where the emblem was/is. It’s the first time I’ve seen the bottom of the tailgate to be ok but the have a hole rotted out in the panel. My thought is maybe salt was trapped by the emblem. Welding in patch panels shouldn’t be to difficult of an issue. The few other spots seem to be surface and shouldn’t need to be cut out.

This is the worst of it. The other spots should be able to be treated with a little sanding and a nice coating of something to preserve the patina but stop and progress of rust in the future. The good news is the truck will be in Alabama where it hardly snows and when it does it they used sand.

If anyone has any thoughts on how to preserve it properly, I’m all open to suggestions.


Battery tray has seen better days. Instead of speanding $100+ I decided to fab my own. Welded together some angle with some simple tabs for mounting. Grinded out any surface rust and Cleaned everything. Coated it with an rustoleum oil base. Should last longer than the previous.

I found the original tailgate emblem inside the truck.

Since I’m gonna need a place to put it I patched the hole in the tailgate. The bottom of the doors and tailgate are completely solid except for this hole. Seems like the emblem may of trapped salt against the gate and rusted it through.

I had a silver that was close that I went ahead and painted it with. I’m hoping after I dull it out a little bit it won’t be noticeable.
Started desmogging the truck. Looking through Trollholes write up it let me know what is involved. I went to Lowe’s to pick up some of the needed items. I realized when I got there it was old part numbers for the 1/4 head plugs and the manifold plug. Not being patient I modified what was already on the engine. A few plug welds and some grinding did the trick.

It’s amazing how much taking all that off cleans up the engine. I’ve acquired a nice pile of parts.

Lots of good work here. That emblem rust area is something else - never seen anything like that before. Looks like that truck is in good hands!
Lots of good work here. That emblem rust area is something else - never seen anything like that before. Looks like that truck is in good hands!
I've been referring to the 62 as "Dino." The missing emblem reminded me of the 1974 Ferrari Dino that was burried. It had the same hole were the emblem was when it was dug up.

I realized last week after the rear brakes I forgot to order the front kit. Today the kit showed up from Marlin. I thought I’d knock out the front this evening and get a test drive in. Man I never been so wrong. Took about 4 hours just to get the hub to separate from the rotor. A combination of heat, kroll oil and BF hammer Finally knocked it loose. I did manage to wrap up the driver side. New bearings, races, seals, brake lines, and reman calipers.
Nice write up. Loving the welding on the emblem. Turned out really nice.
Wrapped up the front axle last Thursday, bled the brakes And worked late into the night trying to figure out why it’s running so rich. Did all the obvious stuff like change the plugs, wires, cap, fuel filter but nothing seemed it help.

The plan was to drive it to the Carolina Relic run in Uwharrie National Forrest. About 4 am Friday morning I finally realized it wasn’t going to happen and decided to drive my 80.

The weekend wasn’t a total loss, I ended up camping next to a guy in a white 60 that originally found and purchased the 62 from the original owner. I was able to get the entire back story and show him the progress that has been made. He was able to answer many questions and excited to know the truck is being cared for the way he had planned.

Sunday evening I returned with a fresh set of eyes and ideas to check and was able to put about 15 miles on the 62 for the first time since W was in office. I stopped by its natural habitat for a fill up.

It’s still running rich at idle but the motor feels good running down the highway. Plans are to check the Air fuel screw.

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