FJ60 and Smog in California (1 Viewer)

Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
16
Location
Pasadena, CA
Ok, I've read a ton of posts on this topic. I'm wanting to pull the trigger on an FJ60. My one and only hesitation is the smog. I've seen smog history on vehicles where they have passed every year and never failed. I've seen where they have failed before passing, gross polluter tag and then passed....etc, but basically they have all passed (whether that is by actually passing or with the help of a "friend" who knows) - and usually within a day or so of the failure.

If an engine is tired and needs to be replaced fine, have no issue with having it rebuilt. If I had to buy a new cat converter every year, no problem. Minor adjustments and fixes, mechanics bills (within reason), fine. Not to say I am made of money, it's the nature of owning any car that gets older (my daily drivers have maintenance costs to the tune of "I might as well lease"). Short of it is, I get it that there will be maintenance costs involved.

My only concern is the possibility of not passing period (not sure that is even an option but that's my fear) and being stuck with scrap metal a year or two down the road.

So my questions. Should I let the fear of the smog check and having a truck that won't pass, be a show stopper? Is that something that is very unlikely to happen. My gut feeling is that if I maintain the truck, make sure the systems are working, I shouldn't have any insurmountable problems (even if it did mean getting an engine rebuilt at some point) - at least from what i've read here. Thoughts, help, insight?

Oh yeah, first post, new member and ever so close to having my own rig (once i get passed this whole smog mental block).

Thanks in advance,

-Frank
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2002
Messages
15,205
Location
OC, CA
It is the seller's responsibility for it passing smog upon sale, so the first one is on them. It takes a little risk out of buying.
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
16
Location
Pasadena, CA
Yeah, was thinking more in terms of after that first one. Maybe it's just a matter of winging it.
 

Haggis

SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
1,414
Location
Wyoming
Welcome to Mud! My 60 used to reside in Ca. It never failed smog, having passed the last time in 07. I always had the exact same concerns. My Dad had the carb done by Jim C before he gave it to me. Maybe that was the secret. Now that she is in Wyoming, obviously I have no more nights waking up in a sweat after a Ca. Smog nightmare. My problem with Ca. is what do the A-hole politicians in Sacramento have up their sleeve next for us vintage car owners.
 

Spike Strip

Midnight Rider
SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
14,975
Location
City of Angels
It really boils down to the truck you get and if you live near a recommended cruiser mechanic or your skill level dealing with such things.

The emissions manual is pretty thorough going through the entire system, and if you're able to do that on your own, and get or verify everything is working, then you have a good chance of passing.

What I'd do is pay for a test (yes, it's the seller's responsibility in CA, but very few do it), before you buy the truck, making passing a condition of the deal.

I personally wouldn't let the smog scare me away. Any car/truck you get of this vintage is going to have the same issues... DON'T LET THE BASTARDS SCARE YOU OFF!
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2002
Messages
15,205
Location
OC, CA
If it passes the first time, it has an excellent chance of passing again as long as everything is there and working the same.

My son in law bought a 60 that didn't pass and instead of taking it back and getting his money back, he took it to a highly "recommended" cruiser mechanic who charged him $900 to "fix" it. Two years later, it didn't pass again and I took a look at it and I found that there were 4 major problems that had never been fixed, including disconnected VSVs, VSVs plugged in to the wrong socket and improper vacuum tube connections. Any one of these would cause it to fail. The moral of this story is beware recommended cruiser mechanics and make sure you watch the sniffer test and make sure it is your tail pipe that passes.
 

surfpig

The Anti-Tech
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
4,873
Location
Tagged for removal
For what it's worth, my '77 Fj55 passed emissions when I bought it, and it was a total mess under the hood. I have no idea how it could have passed. I had returned everything to stock by the time it was my turn to have it smogged and it passed fine, despite the near total lack of piston rings...

After I had the engine rebuilt I barely gave the emissions test a second thought.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2010
Messages
1,467
Location
Colorado Springs
In the 20+ years I've had my FJ60, it failed CA smog once. I replaced the cat (around 220,000 miles on it) and it's been fine since then. Passed CO smog a few days ago with flying colors.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2014
Messages
4,468
Location
Gone
Ok, I've read a ton of posts on this topic. I'm wanting to pull the trigger on an FJ60. My one and only hesitation is the smog. I've seen smog history on vehicles where they have passed every year and never failed. I've seen where they have failed .....

\
It's a gamble.




The implications of a dying smog part will always be on your mind every time you start the car and every night you fall asleep. Although that is a bit of an exaggeration, it is really not that far from the truth. Is that a way to go through life? Many Land Cruiser owners say yes.

You will be biting your nails every two years during the smog test, even though the last test passed with flying colors. You will sigh with relief when you get another two year stay of execution. Owning a FJ60 in CA is like living on death row and getting a pardon extended out two years at the day of execution. Some have said that passing a CA smog test feels similar to driving through Tijuana and making it to the border without getting gunned down.

A FJ60 in CA is a ticking smog-test time bomb. As to when or if the disaster will occur on your watch is unknown. The race to destruction of the vehicle will be between rust, smog parts, car parts, lack of funds, enthusiasm, an accident, or time. Since destruction is inevitable, it will be your job to unload the vehicle before it happens on your watch.. Think of it like musical chairs…

Toyota has discontinued all of the smog related equipment for the Fj60 (and a ton of other non-smog related parts). There are no new smog parts. Occasionally some used parts from scrapped cars (from a LC scrapper) can be found, but their availability as time goes by (and functionality) is always questionable. Other parts can not be found anywhere. Gone forever.

After the tsunami in Japan, and the ticking of the clock, so many FJ60 parts became NLA (No Longer Available). Even used parts have become very scarce. Not that many FJ60's were sold in the USA during their production run, so there are not that many used parts available.

A used smog part, if it is needed in the future, if it can be found, may have a limited lifespan. There are certain key NLA Toyota smog parts that do wear out, that are absolutely required to pass a CA smog test and there are no aftermarket or rebuilt sources. Other parts, namely the CAT converter and smog pump are easy to find aftermarket or rebuilt. If just one key smog component fails and another properly functioning used part can not be found…. the implications are clear, " U no be drivin yo cruza no mo"…. And then there is the issue of how long that 25 year old part you just installed is going to last.

To allow me the digression of a mind dump: The problem with the FJ60 and smog equipment/smog tests is not really a Toyota discontinuation issue or FJ60 issue, it is a smog test issue in CA. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the car that fails the test, what is wrong is the air quality in CA and the laws instated to deal with that problem. Only densely populated states and cities require smog tests to obtain registration.

So…the only legal option left for FJ60 owners who are bent on keeping their car, who can not pass a smog test and can not find a replacement part…… is to move. I predict smog-legal FJ60's will be exceedingly rare in CA 10-20 yrs from now.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2004
Messages
2,469
Location
Texas
"I predict smog-legal FJ60's will be exceedingly rare in CA 10-20 yrs from now."

Which is why, if you choose to live there (or "have to" live there), you should buy an FJ60 now and enjoy it as long as you can.

"The implications of a dying smog part will always be on your mind every time you start the car and every night you fall asleep. Although that is a bit of an exaggeration, it is really not that far from the truth. Is that a way to go through life? Many Land Cruiser owners say yes."

The same could be said for relying on any 25+ year old vehicle for transportation. I think it's worth it (although I don't have to worry about smog tests where I live...for now).
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
16
Location
Pasadena, CA
I suppose I could say just driving period is more of a gamble in so cal. So just find one and buy it....damn what happens a year or two down the road.

Thanks for the responses. Feel free to add more.
 

Spike Strip

Midnight Rider
SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
14,975
Location
City of Angels
Buy one.

You've got Mark Algazy of Marksoffroad.net in Burbank.

And

K&H Land Cruiser specialists in Canoga Park.

Cruiser gurus.

Mark is a West-coast Cruiser carb guru, btw.

Haiku.

You're welcome.
 

FJ60Seth

SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 15, 2010
Messages
1,996
Location
Altadena CA
Take a Prozac and buy a 60. It will give you something benign to focus your anxiety on. Seriously, only buy it if comes with a recent smog cert, collect smog parts others are selling, make friends with an old school mechanic who will work on you truck, be prepared to spend more money on repairs then you thought you would, enjoy it while you can, and when the time comes, swap in a modern drive train.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
16
Location
Pasadena, CA
Take a Prozac and buy a 60. It will give you something benign to focus your anxiety on. Seriously, only buy it if comes with a recent smog cert, collect smog parts others are selling, make friends with an old school mechanic who will work on you truck, be prepared to spend more money on repairs then you thought you would, enjoy it while you can, and when the time comes, swap in a modern drive train.

Thanks for that btw, the route I will take...now the search for the 60 continues.
 

Spike Strip

Midnight Rider
SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
14,975
Location
City of Angels
The sad truth is, in Kaifornia, it's easier to get Prozac (or loco weed), than it is to pass smog with an old vehicle...

You're local, so there's lots of help around. I'm in the SFV.
 

Dynosoar

Slightly Disturbed
SILVER Star
Joined
Feb 4, 2006
Messages
4,031
Location
SoCal
You are either a Cruiser head or your not. Don't sweat the SMOG police. Just fix it till it passes. A gallon of denatured alcohol
works wonders, if all else fails.
Dyno
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom