Builds At last ... My '85 FJ60 build thread

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May 27, 2014
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Hello everyone,

Over the past 5 years this site has been an invaluable source of information, solutions, and general hilarity. Here's my build thread for the benefit of anyone foolish enough to read it :)

We originally bought our FJ as a project to teach our twin boys about how cars work, and then ultimately for them to drive to high school on a daily basis. We cleaned it up and it served them well for 4 years. Now that they are out of the house it's my turn to satisfy every repressed resto-mod urge I've ever felt by thoroughly tackling this project.

Here's the way it looked when I started:

FJ60_1.JPG


Not bad, fully functional, but with a hasty re-paint job that is peeling, ornery suspension, stinky cabin and a 2F that desperately needs some TLC. It was the property of a south Texas rancher for the better part of 30 years. That probably explains a good bit of the smell.
 

Jaric00n

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Looks fairly clean outside~~~
Stick a few trees inside and make it smell fresh =3

Enjoy the ride~~
 
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May 27, 2014
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Thanks, jaric00n it's been fun so far. Next year I'm using it to bring home the Christmas tree!

I should mention that this is my first ever restoration project, so if folks see things that seem odd or out of order, that is why. The truck has the typical rain gutter issues in the driver footwell. The floorboard had rusted through so I figured that was as good a place as any to get started. I fabricated and riveted in an 18 ga metal patch. Then I used brushable seam sealer on the edges and rust encapsulator on the visible rust that remained. Before and after:

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gregnash

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Nice truck... Looks like we must have had the same painter because I have the exact same hasty paint job from the PO in the EXACT SAME COLOR!!
 
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Too funny . . . you'll see that masterful paint work highlighted in this next set of pics. Once I got the floor patched up and sealed, for the moment, I turned my attention to the source of the problem, the rain gutters. The seam sealer was dried out and cracking, so I first went through and pried out the bigger chunks of sealer, then went back through with a wire wheel to grind out the rest, down to the bare metal. Don't advise using an angle grinder as that is a good way to inadvertently punch holes in your roof!

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After a little elbow grease, here's what it looked like:

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The next step was to put down an epoxy primer in the gutter. Epoxy base is important, because a urethane based seam sealer will be applied on top of it to stop water from leaking between the ceiling panel and the body side and window frame sheet metal. I used Eastwood's gray epoxy primer. It mixed up easily and went on smoothly. A few pics below:

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Once it was dry it was time for the urethane-based seam sealer. Real important point here: urethane-based is pricey, but absolutely the right product for the job. I used 3M's product. It's definitely a challenge to neatly apply it, especially down the narrow A-pillar gutters, but with a hand-shaped screed stick and some patience I was able to do it.

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Thanks for the kind words about the 60. I'm learning how hard it is to go down a restoration path and not be pulled ever deeper into the project. If I had a dime for every time I've said, ". . . as long as I've got this apart, I might as well . . ." I'd be a rich man. The next job to tackle was dropping the ride height back to the near original level. I broke the bank and bought an SOR Grocery Getter I kit. The goal was to bring it back down, soften the ride, and still have the ability to embrace my inner knucklehead and animal-spirit (as @gregnash puts it) by leaving the pavement on occasion. But in the end, my intent was to have a daily driver, so I committed to the move.

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Joined
May 27, 2014
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Subscribed. I'm interested in the GG kit from SOR as well. Keen to see how it all looks when finished.
I thought about the GG for a while and then just pulled the trigger, since the kit was pretty comprehensive. Kinda weird, though. When it arrived, the leaf springs were very beat up. chipped paint, grease points missing, center bolts crudely cut off, plastic leaf guides cracked or missing. They were shipped without any packaging, and just a shipping label stuck on each one. I called them to complain and they agreed that for that price the equipment should be in proper shape. So they sent out a new set, with the leaf spring guides wrapped in tape this time, and everything looked much better. They claimed someone must've grabbed a return and shipped it to me by mistake :/

In any case I will be installing the last leaf spring this weekend, and I'll post a pic of the new, lower stance. In general it has been very straightforward and I'm pleased with how it's come out. Will be moving on to cleaning up a set of original 15" rims and mounting some 31" tires on 'em next.

LS–5.jpg
 

georgebj60

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Strange, but at least they made things right. I look forward to the completed pics. I'm a ways off of getting to the suspension, but it would be good to know which way to go when I get there.
 
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Well, a couple weeks ago I finally completed the leaf spring replacement, refurbed a set of original 15" chrome wheels and mounted BFG 31" ATs on them. At present the Cruiser sits right about at the original ride height, as far as I can tell, and I could not be more pleased with how it turned out. Here's an initial pic, but I will add some more this week over the holiday. It was definitely a project doing it all without a lift, but with all the experience on this forum, I never really felt unsupported!

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Compared to the original:

FJ60_1.JPG
 
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May 27, 2014
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Getting excited because it is coming home from the paint shop this week or next. I opted for Toyota's 861 metallic sky blue. Purists will note that it was discontinued as a Land Cruiser color after 1984, so my '85 technically shouldn't be wearing it. But, it happened to be the color of my first car . . . a 1977 Toyota Corona. So I feel entitled to appropriate it here :)

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