Builds CLARK - FJ62 docu-series thread (2 Viewers)

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Mar 15, 2007

(Clark is the truck's name... not mine :steer:)

This thread may be a bit late on the start, as the subject FJ62 has already been a part of the family fleet for 3.5 years at this point! The 5th Toyota I’ve owned, Clark was a Craigslist find in Tucson, pretty much completely stock, and has been an AZ truck its entire life. 240k when I picked it up, and after some idle adjustment, passed emissions here in Phoenix with no issues. It was basically just a second vehicle / daily driver for the last few years, as my main camping truck was a 1997 4runner I got in 2002.

But the camping rig of 20 years (!) was picked up by its new owner this morning and has already been spotted in Amarillo Texas as of this evening...

So Clark is now front and center for some attention. Based on 30 years of working on Toyotas and almost 20 years of figuring out what works best for me in an offroad 4x4, I have a list of parts & plans in mind with our sights set on another 20 years of camping & exploring.

The thread intention is twofold, partly to share info and progress for anyone that may find interest, and part for me to document & remember things I've done. I never did a build thread for my old truck, and after 20 years I've forgot a lot of details that I didn't document.

A few pics from our first adventures together in stock form... but capable nonetheless...


Near the Verde River in AZ 2018

Quick overnight campout somewhere near Red Creek. 2019. @bwesty hanging out too!


At KOFA on the 2018 Relic Ride (thats not a real thing, just some rad camping buddies with cool older rides)

Done list:

To-do list

  • Deep Cycle battery
  • Install Smittybilt Console
  • Headlight upgrade of some sort
  • Front axle rebuild
  • Replace stereo & speakers
  • Front winch bumper
  • Install HAM radio (Yeasu FTM-400XDR purchased)
  • H55 swap (purchased from @orangefj45 along w rebuilt xfer case)
  • Replace carpet & install Dynamat
  • Rebuild 3FE (have a spare)
  • Repair radiator leak (again)
  • 16" rims & 235/85/16 tires (have FJCO rims waiting for tires)
  • Rear locker (ARB in the box ready to go)
  • Interior camping setup
  • BMW leather front seats
  • Air compressor (ARB compressor purchased)
  • Build rear bumper
  • Ron Davis Radiator
  • 4Plus U-bolt flip kit
  • LRA 40 gallon tank
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Ughh... kinda hate looking at that to-do list... seems so long!

Well... got the Dobinson's lift installed. I like the parts... but had a few frustrations...

First... Dobinson's doesn't mention or offer a front axle pinion angle shim when you order the kit. This was a problem, and I didn't realize it until after the kit was installed. Shame on me for not doing additional research, but shame on them for listing the kit as "complete", when it isn't. At the very least they should mention that you *may* require a shim and probably should have them (and center pins) on hand at the time of install.

Second... the rear driveshaft was too long after the lift was installed. By about 3/4". Took it to Phoenix Rack and Axle on the way to the airport for a flight out, and picked it up on the way home. That was convenient. Until I started driving the truck and the driveline vibration was horrendous. D*mmit. So another 20 mile round trip downtown to PR&A... this time they threw it on the balancer while I waited. They added quite a few weights to the driveshaft... so I'm pretty darn sure they either forgot or just flat didn't balance it the first time... lesson learned... if there are no weights on your shaft when you pick it up... have them check it to be sure. After the second attempt, the truck is now drivable. I still think the driveshaft could be balanced a bit better... but it'll need lengthened when I install the H55 so I can live with it until then.

After that, one of my front calipers decided to blow a piston seal and puked all over the wheel. Probably because I was pushing the pedal so hard to stop after the lift was installed for some reason... well later I realized it was probably because the LPSV was outta whack from the lift... there'a another thing Dobinson's doesn't mention. I fabricated a 2" lift bracket for the LPSV arm, and added another inch with the adjuster... getting close to where it should be. So while I was ordering up calipers, I got a set of SOR extended steel braided brake lines. Got that out of the way. Still need to dial in the brake bleeding a bit better, but it's drivable.

Have a camping trip coming up this weekend and all the work has been to try to get the truck dialed in for that.
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Built a roof rack yesterday and today. Got some pics below. All installed, and got the iKamper up there just before dinner. The rack will need to come back down for some mods and paint (or powder coat). I used 1x1.5" .125 wall steel. The rack weighs bout 68 lbs, but I'm pretty sure 2-3 people could stand on it with no flex. I used FrontRunner feet, can't say I love them but they'll do. When I was planning for the feet, I looked at Frontrunner's site and their 60 kit comes with 2 different size feet. the front 2 are about 30mm taller. So thats what I bought. But in reality, I didn't like the front taller, and there's plenty of roof clearance using the 4 shorter feet. So I'm going to just get 2 more of the shorter feet for a total of 6.


I'm simultaneously building a 24' RV gate... it turned out to be useful as a welding table for the roof rack =)


Test fit


Here's my helper... coming to help.


iKamper mount clamps are pretty sweet, but I neglected to check if they'd fit 1x1.5" tube before I planned the build... turns out... they don't! Thankfully only about 1/16" of material needed clearanced on the 1/8" wall tube. I'll plan to tub that area after this trip. I should have installed those 2 tent mounting bars so the 1.5" section was horizontal rather than vertical. Oh well... next time.


So here we are with the lift, roof rack and iKamper installed. There's a 26" x 48" area behind the tent that I'm planning to use for additional gear... either a gear box, jerry cans, expanded metal base, or some combination of that. No swing out bumper planned, so I'm pretty sure my spare fuel will be up top there behind the tent.
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Looking good so far! I'll be watching for your transmission swap.
I used to live in Phoenix. I sure do miss the vast amount of public land out there! Not a whole lot on the east coast.
Clark…excellent “minimalist“ rack to support your individual needs…nice design and engineering approach.
Thanks! Yes that was exactly my approach. I like working with steel as it's easy to re-configure later if needed. Here's a lousy pic of it just before I ground the welds smooth then mounted it up...



Had a chance to get out with some friends this weekend and put the suspension to the test for the first time... I'm impressed! I think I finally realized something that a lot of folks (maybe everyone?? haha) understood previously... which is... the LandCruiser really excels at traveling in difficult environments even when severely loaded down. My previous truck (1997 4Runner) always got me where I wanted to go and back, but when it was really loaded (fuel, water, full fridge, tools, gear, 2 adults, dog, and later with the rooftop tent), it struggled with the weight. This weekend I had 90% of what I have previously carried to Baja for 10 days loaded up, and I don't think the 62 sagged an inch or bottomed out once on the severe washouts we encountered. Not to mention it was a very smooth ride, which I was a little concerned about, coming from an IFS truck with Icon coilovers up front and coil sprung rear.

The negative - my mod list is getting longer :bang:
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Started a separate 3FE rebuild thread for a spare engine that will eventually get installed into Clark.

The 60 is looking great! After my first extended off-grid trip in my 3FE 80 I came away with the same astonishment in regards to the smooth and easy ride a Land Cruiser wagon can provide. Truly amazing how they handle long, rough roads with tons of gear and people loaded on.
I failed the emissions test for high NOX in Phoenix (Maricopa county). Limit is 4.50, first test blew 4.95

I don't have a vacuum gauge to check much on the EGR system per the FSM, but a quick blow by test of the EGR VSV indicated it was failed (when 12v is applied, should be a closed valve - mine remained open regardless of 12v or no voltage). Interestingly, checking the ECU for codes revealed none.

Lucky for me I have a spare 3FE engine and all the emissions stuff with it... the spare VSV tested good... so I installed it.

Today the truck passed emissions and NOX registered at 3.84

All readings:
HC 0.62 (limit: 3.00)
CO 20.89 (limit: 25.00)
NOX 3.84 (limit: 4.50)

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Heading up Seven Springs road

No major updates as my shop still hasn't been built, so don't have a great place to work on anything. Thats my excuse anyway.

Sprayed some light gray RaptorLiner on the iKamper top since the black fiberglass was ridiculously hot in the AZ summer. Also the gelcoat was pretty much burnt off, even though it was only a year old. I was skeptical on how this would turn out but a good friend of mine had done it a few years ago and convinced me it was worth the money (about $175 in materials). I have to say, the Raptor liner was easy to apply and turned out better than I had imagined - and has already proved it can stand up to some serious tree branches without scraping off. Highly recommend.

Very happy with how the roof rack turned out. 48" wide by 72" long. Can't really see in the pics but I added some heavy gauge hog wire (square mesh) that I found in the scrap bin at a steel yard - it was perfect for the rear "trunk" portion. It's strong enough I can stand up there. Plan is to tie down this massive Hardigg case I got from @bwesty - he always has the coolest stuff. Anyway, the case is lightweight, water/dust-proof and it'll carry all the bedding and cold weather gear (or whatever).


New Years in KOFA wilderness preserve - Arizona


Added a 40A Blue Sea breaker under the hood (not shown) and a Blue Sea aux fuse box in the passenger footwell, for various "always on" items like USB ports, fridge outlet, etc. Pretty happy with how that turned out.


Last summer I ended up installing my "Fridge rack" (that I built for the old 4runner) as a temporary storage/ tie-down solution until I have time to build a proper interior setup for this truck. It worked great for many years in the 4R to secure the fridge, camp stove, 2 kitchen totes, 7 gallons of water and CO2 bottle. It's dimensions aren't ideal for the LC but it'll do for now. It's bolted down in the front and rear.


Started working on a temporary interior storage plan for the rear seat area... removed the seat today and taking some measurements for the available space. Plan to keep 2 scepter cans on the floor as well as high lift and all the heavier recovery gear down in the foot well area.

Also purchased some of the add-on stuff that hopefully I'll get to sooner than later: HAM radio and ARB compressor.
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Somewhat haphazardly finished up my liquid/tool storage solution prior to a planned week in Death Valley. The water storage worked excellent - I can carry 15 gallons low and between the axles. I have another 5 gallons up in the back of the truck for current use - when that can is empty I can just swap it with a full can. I used the fancy airline cargo strap quick release rings - I've been carrying a bucket of those around for 20 years waiting for a good place to use them. Under the 3 sections of the "platform" I have storage for a hi-lift, all my tools, fluids, recovery gear. And the dog already loves the platform. Everything is rock solid and bolts into the existing seat bolt holes... so it's completely removable and can be returned to stock if needed. System worked pretty good for a weeklong trip... not sure if I'll keep this long term or reconfigure sometime in the future?
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Mengel Pass

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Goler Wash

Heading up to Chicken Point

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South Park Canyon


South Park Canyon

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Indian Ranch Road (North of Ballarat)

Death Valley always impresses and (for me) usually leaves a mark. I've blown tires, shocks and even blew out a rear pinion there over the past 15 years... and this latest trip will definitely be one we talk about for a long time. You may notice the front tire in the last pic doesn't match...
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Well we got caught in some flash flooding from those crazy California storms... after slamming through a particularly deep and fast moving wash, the 3FE started acting odd... it wouldn't rev over 1500rpm and so I couldn't get any power/speed to continue. Meanwhile the water was rising all around us and we had about 5 more miles to get to pavement. So I hooked a tow strap up to my buddy's Power Wagon and he hauled me through a few washes... then the tow strap slacked and wrapped around my drivers front tire just before the Dodge pulled it tight again... BAMM! just like that the front tire exploded and later I found the brake line damaged. I managed to get the engine running normally again, we swapped the spare tire on and drove to our campsite for the night. Since I was almost 500 miles from home I didn't sleep that great - thinking about a damaged brake line. The next day I limped it home. Knock on wood - my Toyota's have never left me stranded!
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Added some off-road doodads on the front end over the past week, got a fresh alignment, and then stopped by another CSC'ers place for this sweet poser pic the day after my birthday.

This'll prob be the last pic with this set of rims/tires. I have some new stuff almost ready to mount up.
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Added some off-road doodads on the front end over the past week, got a fresh alignment, and then stopped by another CSC'ers place for this sweet poser pic the day after my birthday.

This'll prob be the last pic with this set of rims/tires. I have some new stuff almost ready to mount up.
So …. Whatcha doing with those current rims??

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