Best year 60 to buy

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Aug 23, 2004
San Jose, Ca.
Hi Guys,

The wife and I are looking for a 60, I would like to know what or if there is a better year 60 to buy. This is the first time on the 60 page and an looking to the experts for guidence.
Any year 60 is good, but I would have to say that mid '85-'87 would be the best. Newer so slightly less rust and mechanical issues, but also better suited to a H55 5-speed tranny upgrade. Bolt up conversion in the newer years and well worth the money.

Basically your looking for as little rust as possible, mechanically sound, and smog tested if your in a smog controled state like CA.
im no expert, but i love my 83
65-fj45 said:
Why is the 5 spd swap easer on 85-87 trucks? dont they both have split cases.

The 4 speed transmission on the later years has a spacer that makes them exactly as long as the H55F. Therefore the drive shafts and shifter holes are in the exact position, and it is a direct bolt in.
Best years are 1986 - 87. There are several for sale on this board. Including mine ;)

Mike S
Forget the 60 and upgrade to a 62 :D Eaiser to dd with all the convience of p/w p/l auto etc and will looks just as sexy if you swap out the square lights for the rounds.. Just a biased thought. Good luck with the hunt.
Its probably just because its what i grew up looking at but i really like the square headlights on the 62s, and as far as which ones better if you like a stick go with the 85-87 like others have said, if you want a slushbox and fuel injection go with a 62.
62's have a rear swaybar, but you can bolt one onto a 60 if you can source one. 62s rear springs have an extra leaf or two also, little more load carrying capacity.
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I have an 87 but it all boils down to whether you want auto with FI or manual with carb....
65-fj45 said:
Are there any advantages to the 62 that the 60 does not have? Sorry about all the Questions, I know 40's & 45's not the 60 series.

62 is more like an 80, and the 60 is more like a 40
I would not get an 81/82, some rare parts in steering unless upgraded. Many do not have a/c and way too hard to ad.

I had two 1983's which served me well (one is DOA the other still lives in Tucson). The headliners suck in 1981-1984 models.

1985+ use the same steering box spacing as fj62/80's so spares live on.

1986/7 brown interior is rare, very rare and finding stuff is impossible. later 1986+ have foam headliners, nicer by a strong margin. 38mm idler shaft also appear here, better ....

1988+ are fj62's with auto tranny. nicer dash and steering, later versions have rear shoulder belts.

now, buy one with no rust, period.

ideally get one with less than 150,000 miles and without a doubt below 180,000 (start with a fresh truck). I say this because deferred maintenance kicks hard above 180K and many trucks die in the 170-180 range (strange, but true). Frame cracks etc grow, and wheeled trucks can be a nightmare. Southwestern trucks can get backed inside, which if you like the oem interior say goodbye.

h55's (factory 5 speed manual) can be added to any and all years easily (in 1996 I put one in my blue 1983). h55's can be added to fj62's as easily. fuel economy ranges from single digits to 18 mpg US. Diesels can get better, but ask a BJ60 owner if they like the power. fj62's get the worst mileage.

Personally, I will never own another stock 6 60 gasser again. miles of towing, poor economy, expense to smog, etc kicked my ideas of that truck away. A top quality v8 conversion or diesel would be my choice, adding since I don't care about rhd I might even get a HJ61 JDM truck.

(so I'd do a grey interior late model 1986+ and diesel convert or expense a vortec)
Does it matter?

If you're looking for a 60, buy whatever year you can that is in great shape that you can get a fair deal on. Sure the later models are easier to upgrade the tranny easier. But how many people do it? Just watch for the rust and try to find one with a nice interior, I know that was a big selling point for my wife.
Diesel... diesel... diesel... look for a great BJ or HJ deal... you can't get better MPG,...
David*BJ70 said:
Diesel... diesel... diesel... look for a great BJ or HJ deal... you can't get better MPG,...

Diesel would be great, but I live in the land of the smog nazi's and we never had Diesels here in Cali. I think I will look fo a 86-87 since the trans swap will be easer, I did the swap on a 40 and had to cut the cross member out to make it fit.
Thanks All

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