Bringing Her Back From The Dead

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Two Buck

Apr 27, 2009
Nowhere, NM
My poor neglected '85 FJ60 has been parked in the driveway for about the last three years. It was driven around the block once about two years ago when I was considering selling it, but the kid who test drove it decided he didn't know a good thing when he saw it and passed on the opportunity. Aside from that, it hasn't moved in years.

Now I have a new job, a stable income, and a desire to get her back on the road. It was my daily driver before I parked it and I'd like it to be again.

So my question to all of you is: What would you do before firing her up again? I'm most concerned about what condition the gas is in after all this time and what it has done/will do to the tank, fuel lines, and carb. Any suggestions? I'm a one banana mechanic but I'll try anything once -- twice if I screw it up the first time.
Good to hear you have decided to breath new life into an old workhorse....

I'm no expert, and certainly not on gasoline 60's, but I would change the oil while cold, drain the gas-tank and fill up with some fresh stuff... Then just charge the batteries and crank it over....
It's not gonna break... Then I would take her for a little spin to see if stuff works....
Then whip out the big can of elbow-grease and clean it inside out and do other service things...

Good luck however you proceed!:beer:
Change the oil.

Spray some carb cleaner down the throat of the carb.

There's a drain bolt on the gas tank - not too hard, just messy if there's a lot gas in the tank.

New fuel filter.

Make sure the battery is good and charged fully - or new battery.

And if it were me, I'd probably pull the plugs and give each cylinder a squirt or two of Marvel Mystery Oil just to be safe.

Then give it a shot!

btw, why was she parked ? And where in Sherman Oaks are you?
Carb cleaner -
battery tested-
drain the fuel-
change the oil-
pull plugs and small shot of mystery oil to lube-
check the brakes before you leave the driveway-
bug bomb-
pine tree air freshener-
Big smile on your face when she fires!
Answering the questions in no apparent order...

  • I'm over by Valley College.
  • Alaska60's comment about the bug bomb is funny -- I'm already planning that. This thing is a spider factory right now.
  • I honestly don't remember why I parked it. I think I was having trouble getting it to pass smog -- that's been an issue with it before -- and then we got my wife a new car and her old Volvo was just sitting there and one thing led to another ... and I neglected the Cruiser.
My long term goals are to get it back in top shape. Not necessarily a full resto, but make it run well, look cool, and look nice. I had the 5-spd done a few years back by Man-a-Fre, and TLC financed their expansion by working on my brakes, but I'd like to do the rest of it myself. I put a new radiator in her a few years back when the OEM went bad, so I'm not afraid to turn a wrench. But for the short term -- I want to start driving her again.

At some point she'll need a new paint job -- she's got an Earl Scheib job from the PO that is completely oxidized and faded. Grey over the original blue, if you can believe that. Updating it with rattlecan would actually be an improvement.

Anyway, I'll be posting questions and updates here as I go along. Any and all moral support will be appreciated!
Post away!

And as NLXTACY said, there are a bunch of us on the board here who live in and around the Valley (I'm in Encino, by Balboa Park) and we'd be glad to give you a hand.

And mine sat for a while, too, and I refered to her as a spider condo. Got bit on the neck, once, too...

Good luck.

edit: careful with the bugbomb on the inside - stuff can do bad things to plastic.
SPIKE knows AAAAALLLL about having a truck sit. ;)

I'm in Woodland Hills and Mark A is in Burbank. If you happen to be around you should come out to the Trailcrew lunch with us today and meet some of the folks and get some feedback before you commit to anything.
Great to hear another is being put back on the road! I had my 87 sit for 2 years - still a bit pissed as to why (long story - had to install new dizzy). Anyway - finally just got it done myself and it's been my DD the last couple months with my new 84 torn down in my garage in the midst of 1 billion small projects.

I had about 1/4-1/8 tank, so put in some Seafoam when i filled up with premium (figured it would dilute the old gas). Ran great. Replaced the fuel and air filters, plugs, wires, cap and rotor. Oil change and filter - good to go. Actually seems to be getting a bit better mpg than the 87! about 14 - not terrific, but not bad. (also doesn't have lift and 33's).

Anyway - good luck!

Y'know, maybe you should turn the crank by hand before applying the starter. Oh, sometimes the clutch disc welds to the flywheel after sitting, so be prepared to shock it loose if it's stuck.


Uh.... What? Me no speaky :wrench::wrench::wrench: too good. How do I turn the crank manually and shock the clutch free?

The procedure has begun, btw. It hasn't rained a lick here in SoCal in months, but as soon as I popped the hood in the driveway this evening, Mother Nature wept. Perhaps they were tears of joy that I'm resurrecting the 60...

Anyway, I drained about 2 gallons out of the fuel tank, oil is draining, the battery failed the AutoZone test so there's a new one in there now, I'll tackle the fuel filter and Marvel Mystery Oil in the cylinders in the morning. I figure I'll be ready to turn the key by noon.

Cross yer fingers... :steer:
You got rain? Dry as a bone, here, all day...

Never heard of shocking the clutch free. If you can you depress the clutch it's disengaging, probably. Besides, this is So. CA and it's hot, dry, most of the time. Things don't get sticky - Not even the women!

You need a 54mm socket to turn the motor by hand (or a 2- 1/8" from sears) but those are 3/4" drive and hard to get past the fan shroud and on the crank pulley nut.

Don't use too much MMO in the cylinders... Just a squirt from an oil can for some top-cylinder lube. Crank the engine a little with the plugs out. Then reinstall plugs. You might even want to wait a bit and let the oil kind of percolate past the rings... ( I did the MMO the day before and waited overnight)...

Then go for it.

Fingers Crossed.

Let us know how it goes. Take pix. We love pix. :D
Progress Report

It's ali-- No, wait, it's not. It's ALMOST alive.

New battery, oil, spark plugs, fuel all completed this morning. I go to fire her up and she'll crank but won't turn over. I fire some carb cleaner down the throat and she starts, but then dies.

So I've got spark, but no fuel. :hmm::confused:

Suggestions? (Pictures are otw, btw.)
Check the sight-glass on the side of the carb to verify you're getting fuel. If it's empty, you might have a stuck float, needle, etc. or line to the carb is blocked...

If no fuel in the bowl, tap the top of the carb gently with a plastic mallet to try and unstick the float, needle. If that does not work, verify you're getting fuel to the carb by unscrewing the nut that holds the line into the carb and hold it in a can/jar and have someone crank (coil lead dis-connected). If you get squirts into the jar, it's something with the carb, most likely.

If there's fuel in the bowl (should fill the sight-glass 'bout half-way), will it start and run with the choke on?
I can't tell if there's fuel in the sight glass or not. That's probably a clue that there's not, since I'd be able to see the level if there was.

Here's where the extreme ignorance starts to show: Spike sez to "unscrew the nut that holds the line into the carb." Okay... Where is it?

And Mike asked about the fuel pump's seal and pressure. How do I check that?

Fuel pump seal ? No idea - Fj60 fuel pumps are sealed units, not like FJ40's. Nothing to check except if they are pumping or not and that can be checked, as well as Pressure - indirectly - by the method I outlined above -

FRICKIN' IE 8 (p.o.s - don't download it) keeps crashing, so not sure how much info I can get on here.

In the 1st pic, look down the throat of the carb and press the plunger (Rubber accordian thing at 2 o'clock) and see if you get a squirt of gas - If you're not getting a squirt...

2nd pic: Remove the nut (red circle or arrow) and (again, coil lead disconnected) crank the engine and see if gas is coming out of the fuel feed line. Should be a strong flow.

3rd pic - what's under the nut -- look into it and see if there's crap on the screen.

If gas is coming out feed tube, probably carb.

If no gas, look at fuel pump, filter - things between carb and gas tank.

Don't mean to be schmuck, :D, but you did put gas in the tank after you drained it... :meh:
Pretty Pictures

As promised, here are da pics...







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