Am I Masochistic?

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Aug 18, 2010
the west desert

I need a new ride.

I just landed a job working at a treatment center for adolescents, and the program includes a lot of outdoor activity. Several days a week I’ll take 3 or 4 boys out rock climbing, or mtn biking, or skiing, etc… I never know what I’ll be doing day to day so I need to keep my gear with me, ready to go. My 2-seater 2nd gen single cab Tacoma 4x is impractical for obvious reasons, and I don’t want subject my 80 to the miles and the wear and tear of hauling around a bunch of dirty, sweaty, rowdy teenagers.

I’m looking for something reliable, that can haul bodies and all my gear, and can take some abuse. I’m considering a 60. Bad idea? Not worried about the crappy mileage I've read about, the company pays for fuel. And I’m not afraid of doing maintenance or some repair work. I was actually a Mitsubishi Tech for years while I got through college and graduate school, so I have some skill. I still have all my tools and I even have a lift at home. I keep thinking if I was smart I would pick up a Montero Sport since you can get them used for relatively cheap, and I know them so well. But I bought my first Cruiser a couple of years ago and now… well, I probably don’t have to explain it to you guys.

I became infatuated with the 60 twenty years ago when I went camping with a friend down in Moab. I talked him into running Poison Spider in his bone stock 84. I couldn't believe how well it performed. The exhaust had a little more character when we were done is all. I’ve thought it would be cool to own one ever since.

I’m hesitant because I can’t afford to be stranded, or constantly making repairs right now. I know it has a lot to do with the condition of the truck, but given the age of these things, and the fact that they’re carbureted (I’m child of fuel injection, carburetors cause me anxiety), I’m thinking problems are most likely inherent? I’m looking at an 87 right now with a manual 4-speed, 170k miles, a few dings and scratches, but virtually rust free, interior is in great shape, seems to run well. Got the seller down to $4500. Compared similar priced junk I’ve looked at it seems like a good buy. I think I’m going to do it. Am I making a mistake?

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks fellas.
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No problems! go for it.

It is only later that you wonder why nobody stopped you.
When the virtual rust becomes a hole and the birfs click, the axles rumble and the fueltank needs a recall but all done by yourself.

Just add a 1000 for the road worthy and safety stuff (fluids, brakes, etc, hilift etc.)

maintenance idea:
Its never a mistake to get a 60!
You will probably find you quite like it...

Hold on, if you have an 80 at the moment, why not keep the money you would spend on a 60 and use it to keep your 80 running?
Makes more sense than running two cruisers?
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So I see you already have an 80, but for whatever reason you don't want to use it and want a second "beater" cruiser for this duty. I don't know about your area, but out here in Oregon, 80s are cheaper and way more plentiful. And when you add all the positives (more powerful, coil sprung, optional factory lockers, etc.), plus safer, I'd look for an 80. Plus, most have not seen any offroad time. I love my 60, and I think they are way cooler, but I sure would be thinking 80 and not 60. But then again, I'd just use the 80 I already had.
You guys are making me laugh! So yeah, I have an 80. My wife drives it. Puts about 20 miles on it a week driving to the store, taking kids to lessons, trips to the library. Other than a few rock kisses it's nice. Really nice. Relatively low miles. I want to keep it that way. We live in a pretty unique part of the country. My poor kids have never been to Disneyland but they've been to a bunch of really cool places most will never see. We live out of it for at least a month out of the year. It's how we recreate. I want to keep that one as fresh and reliable for as long as possible... until gas prices are $20 a gallon. Then I'll use it as a lawn ornament or something.

So am I looking to get a "beater"? I wouldn't say that. A daily driver and possible future trail rig project is probably a better description. My 10-year-old already has dibs on this truck I'm looking at for when he turns 16.

Anyway, I totally get there are more practical choices, including another 80, but I've been infatuated with the 60 ever since I took that ride in Moab years ago. But you guys are saying bad idea? hj you're saying I'll regret it because of the cosmetic/mechanical problems? Cruzerman you're saying cons outweigh the pros because 60s aren't as cushy, lack power, and aren't as safe?
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Trash the 80, keep the 60 nice.
Think what he is trying to say, is that for your intended purpose (and as a company vehicle) that you may be better off with the 80 with the "creature comforts." However, you could also look at a 62 which has the 3F-E fuel injected engine. The major achilles heel of that one is the fact that the shortened the stroke on the engine to fit the EFI stuff thus you lose some low end and the Tranny is known to have overheating issues (easily cleaned up with a Rodney flush and a parasitic tranny cooler).

You can find nice 60s out there that will serve you well. Mine came from West Valley City, UT and has some rust but all in all was in great shape for the price ($1500) and drove me and the wife home without a single issue. With purchasing the 60 vs 62 you will have to deal with the carbureator and the vacuum line spaghetti mess at some point but with where you live you probably don't have emissions checks so you wont have to worry about smog stuff.

When you look at the cruiser make sure you check the major items; rust in the wheel wells, floor boards, door jams, etc., then look to the drive train and be sure that the hubs engage easily, tranny shifts well, axles/knuckles aren't leaking in major areas (knuckles are common), and then from there look at the engine, the mileage and suspension. Last thing you want is to be taking it up some fireroad and be constantly bottoming out with the kids and gear because your springs are done. Actually I would just plan that as the first major upgrade.

Conversely, you could always look for a 60 that has a SBC swap or something to that sort. If done well, it will run you around $8k-$10k if not more (all depending). This would save you some of the aforementioned power issues.

GL and welcome to MUD! <----:flipoff2:
Oh and check KSL if you haven't already, just did and there are few on there that look nice for a decent price.
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Sounds like a nice 60 you've found. Go for it, you'll love the mechanical simplicity plus more room for gear than your 80.
I bought a 62 with the thought of having more room than my 40 but not messing up my wife's GX470. Similar boat. The 62 is huge inside arguable more usable space than the wife's lexus. I got mine from a fellow club member and its been great so far. A/C works and there is room for my two girls ages 3 and 4. The 40 didn't really have enough room for them.

I would say go for it. You can't go wrong with the 62 or 60. Great rigs and bullet proof!
Thanks for the input guys. Good to hear from you Micah. Maybe I'll regret it, but I'm pulling the trigger...
Still a newb but...

Unless there's something drastically wrong with the 60 that you're unaware of, you could turn around and sell it for what you're paying for it easily.

There's a guy who posted earlier about paying 2.5 times what you're paying for a 62 with higher mileage.

I fail to see a problem with your plan, good luck.
You might regret getting a 60, cause you might end up liking it more than your 80, then you will end up having to get rid of that 80 to get another 60...
I love my 60. They are good, simple, tough rigs. While my 40 is my serious tril rig, my 60 has taken me on thousands of miles in the Oregon outback. Plus, in my opinion, they are very cool. My point was from my experience here in Oregon. Out here, you can get an 80 for less money than a 60 that is in decent shape. And since there were so many more sold, there are many more parts available. Additionally, the 60 really is under powered (even though I love mine). The 80 just has many things going for it. If you want to look at it just from a practical point of view, I think the 80 makes more sense. However, the 60 is a great rig. You'll probably end up spending a little more for a little less, but you'll just fall in love with it. Plus, I think you'll make some "Brownie points" with the kids. Hell, even they know that a 60 is way cooler than an 80. Enjoy the 60!

PS - A 60 is way cooler than a 62 too ;)
Dude, it's all in how the previous owner maintained it, if its been maintained, and isn't rusted out, it's good to go. The 60s were the last of the über capable, über simple drive-them anywhere vehicles. My BJ 60 has taken me hundreds of thousands of miles, and although I now have a new TDi Touareg as a DD, the semi retired 60, still pulls its weight when I want to go somewhere rugged, haul an amazingly large amount of stuff somewhere, or just bask in the coolness and the amazingly friendly vibe that 60s seem to exude!!
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Barring any pressing mechanical issues, I think the first thing I'll need advice on is wheel set ups... not really liking what its sporting right now
That is a great looking rig at a reasonable price. And it's even the best color! You and the kids are going to have a great time in that one. Enjoy!

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