But I've only owned it a month!

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by gillti, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. gillti

    gillti

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    I've been a 60 owner for about a month now. Sold the 40 because of the 2 kids (gotta love em) and took it in to have checked out. The good thing about this rig is that the engine was rebuilt a little over a year ago. New carb in the last few months, new radiator as well. Good stuff. . . I thought.

    Well, the abbreviated version is that the 60 has been in the shop more than on the street (I am not a wrencher in my own right). Main seal has been reset, rear seal, (stopped the leaks, for a while at least), took it in for the gas tank recall and to deal with an overheat. Got it back from the recall and alternator didn't work, and still running too hot (not overheating, but close). Then, the damn thing started bucking and lurching like crazy. Took it back into the dealer and they found out it was a wiring loom from or to the alternator that was worn and malfunctioning. They fixed that for free (good for them!) and then I got the call


    Crack in the head. Apparently, they kept the vehicle overnight to check the fluid level on the radiator and it was losing fluid, but not leaking. Checked the pressure and it was okay, but a little condensation on the oil cap. They don't think it is the block, but do think it is the head.

    SOOO, now I have to call the place where the previous owner got it rebuilt (gauranteed for a year or 12,000 miles --obviously we are past a year now, and try to get them to fix. If not, I'll go live in the car, wave at my 2 kids as they live in the house that I can no longer pay for because of this car.

    Sorry for the b-session. I don't even know what to ask about at this point. I know these are things we deal with with these vehicles, but I really wasn't expecting to this fast. Maybe I am too naive.

    Anyway, thanks for listening and any wisdom is always appreciated. I learn a great deal from you guys everyday.

    grace
    tjg
     
  2. Fearnofish!

    Fearnofish!

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    Maybe you'll get through all this and it will run perfectly for 10years!

    Perhaps this will inspire you to try some wrenchingon your own? I am sure 90% of us wrench becasue we go one or two mechanics bills and said &#@% that. I take more pride in my rig becasue I feel like I built him. Additionally, My 3 year old son and I spend lots of time together riding in it, working on it, or camping in it. That's pure guy time that we couldn't spend playing video games and crap like that. (that's not to say a daughter couldn't enjoy it too).

    Take home message. I am pretty sure you will get through this a little lighter in the pocket but with an excellent addition to the family. And if things seem to look grim sell the damn thing and sleep IN the house not in the truck!
    Good Luck
    Fish
     
  3. gillti

    gillti

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  4. lowtideride

    lowtideride

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    check the write up in the new TT they do a swap and make 2f-e which is parts from both 3fe and 2f engines which makes more power and torgue than i believe both a normal 2f and 3fe
     
  5. swank60

    swank60

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    I'd say the biggest thing you need to do is take it easy on the truck and get to know it. All of this crap will hit you all at once, especially in the begining. I know it did for me. A whole lot of it came from not knowing the vehicle - all of it's quirks, what it likes, what it doesn't like.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again - a 60 is more like a pet than a mode of transportation some times. You've got a whole lot going on with it, that's for sure. God knows how many times I've thrown up my hands and said "fine, f-you! guess who's for sale now?" --talking to the truck, of course. 60 ownership is a total love/hate thing.

    As stated above, you'll probably want to start turning wrenches on it yourself. That's part of the process. One good/bad thing about these trucks is that most of the problems can be diagnosed and worked on without having to buy a bunch of new parts and crap...but sometimes it sure would be nice just to throw parts at it and have the problem go away...

    Good luck.
     
  6. brownbear

    brownbear Mod in Hibernation Moderator

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    I do almost all my own work on my 60. its pretty simple with the great help you get off of here no sweat.

    most of the costs going to the stealership are labour related. Gotta remember these mechs never see these things to often. Lnadcruisers are rare, more and more. esp old ones.

    but that in mind, these units are money pits..... but driven out of passion. I have spent the kids college money on mine. It never ends for mods and fix ups.

    today alone I got over zealous and brought some items from SOR across the border, ouch. Duty on Jap parts and freight. Not good. but that web site is addictive.

    I redid my front axle this spring, did brakes/knuckles inner axle seals and all. my parts were total 900 cad, my thinking(justification) is that if I took that to the dealer, or any shop. I would have paid 2k or more. So I bought a couple tools to do the work and still saved. But I look at it also as a hobby. although at minus 10 working in non heated buiding, does lose some fun. especailly when the birf grease is super thick. yuck. but very rewarding.

    so my tip, if you gotta change the head, talk to many people here, and tackle the job. Use machine shop services to seat the valves if need be, but it is possible you can buy theses built up??

    giver a try. do you have 2 cars?
     
  7. gillti

    gillti

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    Thank you for your wisdom. Here is the latest. just got it back from the dealership. Said it is losing coolant but they can't find any in the oil, and they checked the block and said it is not that. They weren't sure howmuch they put it, but thought it took alot the next day. The guy showed me a bit of condensation on the oil cap, but not very much. He told me they put like a quart of fluid back in. Now, I'm no expert, but that seems like a great deal of fluid to lose in a night and not know where it goes. I asked if they burped the radiator, and he looked at me funny. As I left, he looked at the radiator and said "wow, that hose does seem to be above the filler neck, that'd be great if it just was an air bubble!" False hope? I man can dream can't he?

    Anyway, the biggest problem with wrenching for me is lack of tools. I don't even know where to start investing in them. I'm not adverse to learning, for goodness sakes, my wife and I bought a 100 year old house and rebuilt it from the inside out. I'm game for it all, but any advice on which tools to start with? I'd rather buy those and do the work than continually pay.
     
  8. Slow N Steady

    Slow N Steady

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    Tim,

    After reading of your ordeal I couldn't help but reply! I think we've all been there to some degree or another. Though it's especially painfull when you've just purchased it and your told a new head is in the works! Realistically, from what you've described there may just have been air in the system. As they did replace the radiator, the engine probably had some air bubles. For piece of mind, pick up a vacuum guage and a mechanical temperature guage. Put 'em both on the motor and with that new radiator I'm sure you'll see all is well on the 2f. The stock guages are notoriosly off at times.

    If it's any consolation - I bought my cruiser some 2 or so years ago and have put less than 1000 miles on it. Let me see............... brought it home, found intake manifold leaks, took it all apart (warped BIG TIME), discoverd about 12 bolts more and I could have the head off the motor, took head off motor, dropped the pan - wound up rebulding everything short of the main bearing and rings, put new accossories on it (alt, starter, smog pump, etc.), sent the carb off to Jim C (well worth the effort!!!!) put it all back together again - amazingly enough it works! Even converted the AC to R134a. Then did the brakes all around (incl. new calipers, master, drums and rotors), rebuilt the rear axle (seals, bearings) and started to put some miles on it. Then I discovered the PO never bothered to fill the birfields. Took the whole Front axle apart - new stearing bearings, seals, Tie Rod ends, the works! It now drives straight, no leaks, vacuum is ROCK steady at 20 to 21 inches, AC is Frosty, and stops on a dime. I have all the confidence it is good for another 200k. What's next, well the clutch needs looking at (chatter) and if I'm into that might as well put the 5sp (H55) in, then order up a Matkins Frame, new springs, lift, bumpers, winch, roll cage, blah, blah, blah!

    I think by this point you get the idea. If it's an older truck (mines an 87 with 188k on her), you need to first set all the things the PO's did wrong right. With a good, solid base and moderate care these things WILL last forever. As others have said, turning a wrench will save BIG $$$$$'s! As an example - I called Cruiser Solutions and they wanted $1500 for the rebuild of the Front Axle. It's about $100 in parts! Nasty job, but not $1400 worth. Buy the FSM's for the truck and start reading. It's not Rocket science - just be safe in everything you do, especially if you are just starting to turn the bolts.

    Enjoy your Rig, don't despair and remeber - you will have many years of fun ahead of you with it and lots of good company!
     
  9. swank60

    swank60

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    As for tools, the list can be long and varried, but I'd start out with a decent set of Craftsman (poorman's snap-on) 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2" metric sockets (6 point, not 12) and rachets, a decent set of combo wrenches (boxed on one end, open on the other with no angle to them) a big friggin' hammer, Vise grips, a good jack, crecent wrenches, a multi-meter (harbor freight has them for like $3) and a good set of screw drivers. If you want to get real fancy, get some good basic pliers and needle nose pliers. - a cheap grease gun doesn't hurt to have, either.

    As time goes on, a compressor and some air tools are nice to have around as well. Speeds things up a little and helps you get less PO'd when you can get a wrench or socket into an area...I also really like my set of racheting wrenches (boxed end is racheting). Low profile, extra long and very handy.
     
  10. swank60

    swank60

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    Almost forgot - on the water issue. I don't think a quart is really all that much. A quart every day that you drive it, yeah...there's a good chance taht when it got hot, it boiled over into the overflow tank and drained out into the street. Also, if the system hasn't been burped right, a) it could cause some of your overheating and b) could show up as part of that 1 qt of coolant replaced at the dealer, as the near over heating could have pushed the air out into other areas of the system...
     
  11. zcruiser

    zcruiser Needs monitoring

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    Floor jack (4-1/2T) with good lift height, tall jack stands to match.
    2nd on the ratcheting box end wrenches -- great in tight places.
    Feeler guages.
    Torque wrench (tirerack.com has a decent one for not much $$, Harbor Freight prolly has one too)
    Get both std and deep well sockets, 6-point sockets is good advice
    Nitrile gloves (good for those really messy jobs)
     
  12. stinkyfj60

    stinkyfj60

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    Dont over look small tools like a good brass drift, the correct hubsocket and some good snap ring pliers. Also the Factory Service Manuals are wonderful to own. Oh yeah, and a 4 or 5in angle grinder :D

    Dont worry about wrenching on your own, you will know when over your head. I paid somebody to set up my gears, but I completely tore down the axles and am now putting it all together myself with no special tools really, or skills for that matter. Better to work on it on your own anyway, if it breaks in the field you will know whats in there.
     
  13. flowman

    flowman

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    Adding to swank's list, torque wrench, timing light, compression guage, vac guage, good jack and a heavy duty set of jack stands and you can do almost anything you'll need to do, but the first thing to get is books! The factory service manual is usually recommended, and they're great, but Haynes is better than nothing. And you can download some of the manuals in pdf format from birfield.com. I'm just starting out, but you'll be amazed at how much you can do yourself. And once you start, you learn more and more, and all the little rattles and knocks make more sense. You CAN figure these things out! :popcorn: :beer:

    And remember, once you take care of the initial wrinkles, these things are really well built, and will run steadily will much less fussing. Only problem is, that about when most of us starting modifying them, so the wrenching really doesn't end ;)

    Hang in there, take care of her, and she'll take care of you.
     
  14. dd113

    dd113

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    SOunds about right for a 60. Buy a FSM. Tow or drive your truck away from the dealer. Find a good shop that specializes in cruisers. Tow or drive your truck to them. Throw yourself on their mercy.

    If you dont want to do the work yourself it is essential that you find a good shop and no dealership anywhere, no matter how good will fit that bill. Get the FSM so you can read and understand what work is being done to your truck and then you can post here and get the peanut gallery view of your problem.

    Start with smaller projects and advance as your skills advance to larger projects.
     
  15. SAS

    SAS Seeking higher vistas

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    Gillti,

    Get your Cruiser buddies over for a wrench-fest!

    I understand your reluctance to get into it yourself...stuff like this can be intimidating, but the truth is that you can do it, especially with some help from friends.

    I just bought my 60 a couple of months ago, so I'm not extremely familiar with it yet, but I've wrenched on my other trucks for years...though had not done any top-end work until earlier this year when I replaced the head on my '88 Isuzu Trooper (should I even say that on this board?!! :flipoff2: ). For me, like you, that was a "major" undertaking, but I had online help from 4xWire and a local mechanic who agreed to help if I got fu-fu'd.

    It took me a while (I was super meticulous about labeling the vacuum hoses and electrical connections), and I got lost a couple of times, but the bottom line is that I did it, with a little help and online encouragement. Now the 'Zu is good to go for another 180k miles.
     
  16. gillti

    gillti

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    Well, I have to say that I certianly feel your support. You guys rock! I'm beginning to think that this might be possible, with the help that is here. Here is a question: While I'm not sold that it is the head, can I drive it a bit (I work 2 miles from my house) without worrying I'm destroying the engine?
     
  17. lovetoski

    lovetoski SILVER Star

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    Word.

    Read the FAQ. Use search to learn from the collective wisdom on the board.

    On your last post (can I drive 2 miles...) don't know what others would say, but I would do that in your situation. In the meantime, read up, learn a lot, find an independant mech who knows cruisers...try local cruiser clubs - they'll point you in the right direction.

    Life is an adventure - embrace all the possibilities!
     
  18. gillti

    gillti

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    getting her cleaned up right now. I think the panic is over. Talked with the PO, Interesting guy, former olympian, and he gave me more history, was missing a few receipts, but calmed some fears. You guys just may have saved another life. At least lengthened the life of another cruiser and it's owner.

    thanks and keep the advice coming.
    tjg
     
  19. MiniPigg

    MiniPigg

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    Wish I were closer. I'd come over and help you get it back on the road.
     
  20. SAS

    SAS Seeking higher vistas

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    Gillti,

    re: driving it as is without destroying the engine; wait to see what others say, but if there is no water/contamination in the motor oil, then I'd say drive it.

    I drove the Trooper (second time :ban: ) for months with its head/gasket problem. The coolant was going out the exhaust upon start-up (white smoke) and would stop at temperature. I checked the dipstick and valve cover cap twice/three times daily...never any contamination.
     
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