Builds Bean! The Adventure Continues (1987 FJ60) (6 Viewers)

Bullzi

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
261
Location
Seattle
Feb. 1987 FJ60
Freeborn Red
As of February 2021: ~155K miles on engine (about 260K on body)


I’ve been putting this off for a while now, but I think the time has finally come to start documenting the continuation of the Bean’s journey.

My wife and I were lucky enough to buy the Bean back in March of 2019 from Theron of ‘This Wild Idea’. It had been a long-time dream of mine to own a 60 series and I was fortunate to be working on a project for Torfab when Theron decided to sell. It was actually my wife that convinced me that we NEEDED to buy the Bean… she was immediately drawn to it!

As many of you know, this truck already had a lot going for it when we got it. It had also been well loved with almost 140K miles put on it in the prior 5 years (many of those on off-road adventures). It was in great shape but needed some refreshing. We have put a ton of work into it over the last two years and I’m going to try to catch you all up with everything that’s been happening!

Here is a picture of what the Bean looked like when we brought it home:

IMG_3921.JPG


The Bean’s story starts with Theron’s build thread HERE. It’s a good read and has a ton of beautiful pictures of #Beanthefj60 and his pup Maddie. He did a ton to build this truck up to what it is today. Here are the major highlights of what he had done by Torfab for the build:
  • 5.3L Vortec e-rod (full emissions) engine swap. This engine was a brand new crate engine when he had it installed
  • 4L60E auto transmission w/ cruise control & Lokar shifter
  • FZJ80 rear full floating axle with disc brakes and functioning e-brake
  • ARB front and rear lockers (with dedicated compressor)
  • Tundra front brake rotor & caliper upgrade
  • 4 Plus front bumper with Warn 9.5cti-s winch
  • 4x4 labs dual swing-out rear bumper
  • White Knuckle Off-road sliders
  • OME lift kit
  • 40 gallon fuel tank
  • Onboard air compressor with 1.5 gallon tank and remote hook up point on rear bumper
  • Tuffy center console
  • LED Digitails rear lights
  • Speedhut gauges
  • BMW E90 front seats

Here is a list of the more notable things I have addressed since we bought the truck. I have personally done most of the work, but there are a few items on here that Torfab took care of for me. I’ll go a little more in-depth on each of these items in future posts!

A little about my wife and I:

My wife and I live on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State (about 2hrs outside of Seattle). We were living in Seattle when we purchased the truck and have been lucky enough to get to know many of the cruiser enthusiasts in the area!

We try to get out exploring and camping as many weekends as possible. We have been on a bunch of trips throughout the Pacific Northwest with the Bean and absolutely love it! Our favorite trips have been in British Columbia, central WA, and Bend, OR. The first year we owned it, we put about 15K miles on the odometer. Sadly, last year was a lot less due to COVID and some transmission/transfer case issues we were having. It’s technically my daily driver as well, but I don’t do a ton of daily driving right now.

Here are some pictures from some places we have been:


IMG_4500.jpeg

Up high in the Cascades near Steven's Pass.

IMG_6462.jpeg

We took my parents for a short weekend camping trip into the Olympics.

View recent photos.jpg

My wife and I getting friendly with the vegetation in the Western Olympics.

IMG_4427.jpeg

Taking in the views on the Cascade Loop Highway.
 
Last edited:

Bullzi

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
261
Location
Seattle
A few more from past adventures:

IMG_4761.jpg

The annual Seattle Cruiserheads Christmas tree outing - 2019 (thanks @NookShneer for the pictures)

IMG_4750.jpg

Another one from @NookShneer. This trip was a blast in 2019 and I was sorry to miss it this past year!

IMG_4545.jpg

Scouting for early archery elk season near Mt. St. Helens.

IMG_4441.jpg

Another scouting trip in the St. Helens area. Found a beautiful spot to pop the tent!

IMG_6407.jpeg

Exploring the Olympic National Forest in the summertime.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
1,677
Location
Las Vegas
I came with in a hairs breath of buying this awesome truck. It didn't work out due to a less than warm set of interactions between the me and the PO. I am glad it went to someone who is clearly looking out for it and keeping it going on mud.

You mention chassis paint. Curious as to whether that was to address the rust pitting at rear around the fuel tank? If i remember it was pebble dashed to hell back there from what I assume we could charitably describe spirited off road/gravel driving.

Subscribed and looking forward to seeing your adventures and refresh info

Glad to see you're not caring for it like a millennial :worms::deadhorse:
 

Bullzi

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
261
Location
Seattle
You mention chassis paint. Curious as to whether that was to address the rust pitting at rear around the fuel tank? If i remember it was pebble dashed to hell back there from what I assume we could charitably describe spirited off road/gravel driving.

Yea there was some surface rust on the frame and fuel tank that I wanted to take care of. Nothing too bad though. I cleaned it up and used Chassis Saver. I’ll go into more depth on that process in a future post in the next few days or so.

Really glad you decided to pass on the truck 🤣
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
1,677
Location
Las Vegas
Really glad you decided to pass on the truck
I am both glad I did and regret I did if that makes sense? I love the truck but there was no way to take the bad taste out of my mouth from trying to make the deal work.
It seems like it was for the best though, you've been much more industrious with it than I would have been at this point plus you fixed the transmission which will be awesome when you sell it to me...:flipoff2:
 

Bullzi

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
261
Location
Seattle
New Carpet and Sound Deadening - (May 2019)

Pretty much the first thing I did when we bought the truck was order a carpet kit from @dnp. The original carpet was pretty thrashed (over 30yrs old!). While I waited for the kit to arrive, I got to work removing the old carpet. I took the rear cargo panels out to 'get to know' the truck a little better and see what wiring was hiding under there...I got carried away and ended up dismantling the whole rear of the cruiser. I found a few issues, but nothing major.
- Trailer harness was installed with wire taps and I despise those things!​
- Door switch wire for rear passenger door was corroded inside the main harness connector (the one in the drivers side quarter panel) and was no longer working. The same wire was corroded in half inside the passenger quarter panel from sitting in wet dirt for a while (that panel was full of wet dirt when I purchased the truck).​
- Rear window washer hose was brittle and cracked. Washer fluid was pumped into the hatch if the button was pressed.​

IMG_4181.jpeg


The front of the truck and the doors already had Dynamat Extreme from the previous build, so I wanted to add some deadening to the rear floor pan and cargo areas. I ended up using Noico 80mil which is a good product and helped a lot. It's not as nice as the actual Dynamat, but at a third of the price you can't complain. I ended up applying it to the rest of the floor-pan, the rear hatch and the upper portions of the rear quarters. One thing that I kind of regret is not removing the factory asphalt deadening before applying the Noico. The floor-pan is super clean in this rig, but I would have liked to remove the factory stuff just to make sure there was nothing lurking beneath.

IMG_4182.JPG


IMG_6938.jpg


IMG_6937.jpg

Above - My little brother and I applying the Noico 80mil to the rear cargo area.

IMG_4184.JPG

Above is a picture of the final install of the DNP carpet kit. It's a good kit and looks/feels very similar to the original carpet. I wish I would have taken more pictures of the process and end product. I also added some Lloyd floor-mats to keep everything looking good for a long time!


To come in a future post - My death struggle with removing portions of the sound deadening (both the Noico and Dynamat).
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
1,677
Location
Las Vegas
A few people have written for and against the sound deadening process having an actual effect on the in cabin noise. Do you feel like you had a noticeable result from your effort?

Agree @dnp Carpet is good stuff, I bought some for my old 60 and concur it looks very close to original
 

Bullzi

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
261
Location
Seattle
A few people have written for and against the sound deadening process having an actual effect on the in cabin noise. Do you feel like you had a noticeable result from your effort?
The Dynamat in the front floor-pan area was in the truck from before, so I can’t make a comparison for that section. But, before the Noico I could hear the in-tank fuel pump pretty loudly. With the Noice in the cargo area, I don’t really hear it at all. If you are in the back seat you can still just barely hear the humming.
So yes, I think it helps but I wish I could quantify it better. I am going to be adding some MLV to the floor-pan at some point, and I have heard that the MLV makes a huge difference.
 

Bullzi

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
261
Location
Seattle
Chassis and Quarter Panel Paint - (April 2019)

When we bought the Bean, we knew there was some surface rust on the frame. It was particularly noticeable towards the rear and on the long range fuel tank. This was only surface rust, zero cancer. Someday, I may have to do the C-channels as they are starting to bulge out in some spots, but I have been told that I have a little while before I need to tackle that project. I ended up treating the frame from the front axle's rear leaf hanger bracket all the way back. The front of the frame on the driver's side has zero rust because of the constant power steering leak (leak....it's more like a flood!). The front of the frame on the passenger side has a little surface rust, but it's not anywhere near as bad as the rear was.

Here is a few before shots of the kind of rust I was dealing with:
IMG_3997.JPG

IMG_4022.JPG



I decided to take the fuel tank, suspension and rear axle out of the truck to gain better access to the area. Tearing the truck down this far was a little intimidating, seeing as I had only owned it for a few weeks at this point! Also, that rear bumper is such a beast to remove/install! I did this work at my parents because I lived in Seattle at the time and only had access to street parking...Plus the tractor was super helpful in removing the rear bumper and the almost full tank of gas :rofl:
ORFD0521.JPG

EXUH7751.JPG



After doing my research, I decided to sand and treat the frame with Chassis Saver. This is a product much like POR-15, but it has fewer steps for the application. There a a bunch of different products out there for chassis paint these days and it is really hard to know which one to go with. Chassis saver is easy to apply and had really good reviews, so I decided to give it a try. I figured most paint products are going to be better than leaving it rusty.
Technically with Chassis Saver you can paint directly over the rust, but I decided to wire wheel the area to clean(ish) metal and then sand with a course sand paper (I think I used 80grit) to give the Chassis Saver something to bite onto.

IMG_4029.JPG

The above shot was mid-sanding with the 80grit and before cleaning the metal really well with a solvent. Notice the plastic around the car. I had a small heater going and this was to trap the heat in so I could be at the minimum painting temperature - maybe 60F? Sanding/preping and painting on your back really sucks!! This process took me about 2 weeks.
 
Last edited:

Bullzi

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
261
Location
Seattle
I decided to spray the Chassis Saver with a cheap(ish) gravity feed spray gun. I had read reviews that it sprayed on well and I can confirm that it does. I used a foam paintbrush to paint the top of the frame and a few nooks that I couldn’t get a good angle on with the sprayer and then I used a small LVLP (low volume, low pressure) sprayer to coat the frame. I used the Magnet Paint branded ‘S8 Reducer’ to thin the paint. I think this reducer is the same as xylol, but I figured I would use the branded product to avoid any issues. After cleaning the frame with Acetone, I actually used xylol for the final wipe down.

The frame received 3-4 coats of Chassis Saver depending on the area. It came out really good. No drips and only one or two runs that are barely noticeable. I also decided to paint the fuel tank, sway bar/links, rear axle housing, 4-plus u-bolt flip kit, compressor air tank and my small t-case skid plate. All the parts came out really good and are still holding up really well 2-years later. There is one small section on the frame where the paint didn’t adhere well…it’s a spot the size of a quarter. I’m not sure why, maybe it had a bit of grime on it or something?

IMG_4247.jpeg
IMG_4018.JPG
IMG_4019.JPG
IMG_4257.jpeg

Above: My wife giving me moral support as I start to put things back together! 😆

Below: This is pretty much the only picture I have of what the frame looks like now. Its a little duller than originally, but when it is washed, it still looks new. It's holding up really really well.
IMG_4883.JPG



POR-15 in Rocker Panels – When we brought the Bean home we discovered that the rocker panels (the passenger-side in particular) were full of wet dirt. I swear I pulled a 5-gallon bucket full off dirt out of the passenger side quarter panel (can’t find the picture). The seal between the quarter panel and the fuel fill tube was missing. Anyways, they were surface rusty (no bad cancer), so I sanded them down best as I could and treated them with the POR-15 system (de-greaser, metal prep and paint). The results were fine, but someday the areas are going to need to be taken care of properly. In one spot the POR-15 started to peel up. I had better results with the Chassis Saver, but wanted to give the POR system a try. I think it’s a little more finicky. (Sorry – no pictures of the quarter panels.)
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2011
Messages
107
Location
Arkansas
Looks good! Remember that products like Chassis Saver actually prefer a little surface rust to a completely bare metal sanded surface.

*Edit: Looks like this happened a while ago. I'm right in the middle of this project on my rig. Looks like you addressed a lot of the areas I'm trying to get addressed.
 

Bullzi

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
261
Location
Seattle
Looks good! Remember that products like Chassis Saver actually prefer a little surface rust to a completely bare metal sanded surface.

*Edit: Looks like this happened a while ago. I'm right in the middle of this project on my rig. Looks like you addressed a lot of the areas I'm trying to get addressed.
Yes, agreed - the Chassis Saver needs something to 'bite' into. I spent a lot of time on the phone with Magnet Paints and they said the best surface prep (like for most paints) is a good sand blasting. I ended up Sand blasting most of the fuel tank and the axle with a crappy sand-blaster we have had for years. Took FOREVER and I didn't want to spend that time/mess on the frame. Magnet Paints advised me to rough it up really well with course sandpaper before painting if I didn't want to leave the surface rust. Its been doing great so far.
 

Bullzi

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
261
Location
Seattle
Rear View Mirror & Backup Camera - (May 2019)

The visibility out of the back of the bean is not great with the spare tire and Maxtrax sitting back there. Throw in a load of gear, and it can be really hard to see while backing up (or even just driving in general). I really liked the idea of getting a backup camera, but the 60 series doesn't support a double din stereo. I've see people do the FJ60 dash swap or add pods on top of their dash, but I don't like the look of the added pod and the FJ62 dash swap seems like a lot of work/money...plus I kind of like the more 80's feel of the 60 dash.
Anyways, I was searching online for a solution and came across this little gem. This is the Auto-Vox X1Pro rear view mirror/backup camera/dash cam. [This was purchased in May 2019 and it looks like they are no longer available on Amazon...which means when it breaks, I'm screwed 🙄.]

Screen Shot 2021-03-03 at 9.00.00 AM.png


Besides the knowledge that this is a cheaply made piece of Chinese electronics (and now the knowledge that they are no longer supported), this is actually a really cool unit. It works as a backup camera when you put the truck into reverse (triggered by the reverse light wire), but also allows you to turn the screen on while driving (maybe illegal?). This gives me an unobstructed rear view while driving. The camera is pretty good even in low light. It can also record both the rear and dash cam view. It's a little over the top, but I really like it.
I came to find out after my installation that this setup is also in the Torfab FJ62. If I remember the story correctly, Theron (PO of the Bean), recommended it to Tor after he got one for his pickup truck...funny how things go around like that!

IMG_5144.JPG


The install was a little tricky (the wiring was easy, but routing was not)...I ended up drilling a hole up where the mirror arm bolts to the cab and running the wires inside the A-pillar and down to the dash area. Fishing the wires took some serious time! The mirror doesn't come with an arm to bolt to the cab, so I purchased the generic mirror arm from Absolute Wits End HERE.
@NLXTACY makes some seriously awesome stuff. The fit and finish is superb.

IMG_5149.JPG


Below is a terrible image, but its the only one I have of the hole that I drilled into my ceiling. It came out looking really clean, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't scary to drill a 1/2" hole into your ceiling. After I drilled the hole, I sanded it really well with a Dremel and then by hand to get rid of any sharp edges. Then I painted the bare steel to help keep it from rusting.
IMG_6917.jpg


IMG_6411.jpg
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom