"Frank" 1989 hj61

Joined
Feb 9, 2012
Messages
299
Location
Vancouver, BC
I think it starts 7 years ago.

Pre marriage I was running a business and decided to forego the much needed pickup truck for the construction business that I was running to buy the apple of my eye.

I’m 25 and with little what I had I decided that a cruiser was going to be the best plan, to fulfill my adventure needs and continue to haul around the tools needed for the business.

In 2012, it seems there was more cruisers on the local market, then current (2019). The 80 series was just out of my price range and the 60 series was just about right. I diligently pursued a few 60 series offerings. However, one, caught my eye. A great blue stripped cruiser owned by a diesel mechanic.

There was a white fj62 conversion, that as I remember the owner of my current hj61 purchased the day I decided to seal with him. All three parties went into the insurance agency that day to do our deals. But there was a memory that popped up at an earlier date in life that influenced this decision.

A friend of mine owned a Manual hj61 before I ever thought about owning a cruiser. We were in new Westminster the day day he was transferring the title to a new owner from Vancouver island. He had inspired me to own one of these trucks long before i realized. Funny thing here was that a fellow I would meet later in life again showed up randomly and showed us his mods. I believe his handle on here is Neetu. The most rememberable mod was the Wilson switch and the inter cooler. His hj61 was mint. Mike and I looked over his cruiser with amazement. Neetu travelled off and mike made his sale.

Both of us with out a cruiser, not knowing we both would be in the market soon went about our lives. I still remember being truly sad that day. Mikes cruiser was a pillar in my memory.

The day mike got married he asked me to drive his wedding presents home...in the cruiser. Right hand drive and manual. What a sloppy shift! Higher than it needed to be and a rookie at then cruiser wheel, I took my soon to be wife and his wedding presents to their final destination. I remember driving down from SFU with apprehension but most of all with an excitement thinking about my life with Cynthia.


That night driving this beautiful lady and mikes wedding presents i envisioned a future with a cruiser.

Raw, tractor like handling, bumper to bumper steel with a lift and great big tires rolling into our future. I was hooked. Nothing else mad sense.

I run a construction business in the food industry. We build cold storage for restaurants to food processing plants. I knew we needed a pick up, but again wanted that sense of adventure that a cruiser could fulfill.

Then I met a great guy willing to sell the cruiser that I graciously own now.

The story continues....
 
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
7,263
Location
Ladysmith
Tripping down memory lane, nice. So you still have the flares and I still have to put mine on. LOL!
I will soon, plan is for a respray within 2 yrs, then on they go.
Curious as to how that 2006 Sierra is working out, does it have the diesel? I’m looking for a truck reg cab diesel just for routine hauling and winter use. The 60 is getting a whole whack of refits this winter and I won’t run it except for trips any more.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2012
Messages
299
Location
Vancouver, BC
Here’s the thing, that moment you walk up to the cruiser, unlock it manually, take a step into that (shoulda been cleened last weekend smell) and you sit. Keys in the ignition knowing you will hear that wonderful thrum of the engine. Magic happens. You don’t get that with a domestic, or gasser. The Silverado is a gasser. That has been a beast, pulls hard, the engine is steady edi. Maintenance wise I would recommend getting a vortex for a pulling vehicle. It’s a dark horse that does it duty without much complaint. We run a small construction business and that lady purz. Not on good fuel economy by the way. It’s shown it’s stride above and beyond the 5.7 tundra we also run for similar duty. To date we also have a 2019 Tacoma in the mix. By all accounts the real favourite is still the hj61.

It’s crazy to think that I thought a good company vehicle would be this one. Selflessly I wanted one. I made it happen, tool boxes, ladders, anything that needed to be onsite, I made that cruiser loook like the best truck a business could have.

To date that’s the most unrealistic option in our fleet and i still manage to take it to work 2-3 times per week.

There’s that beautiful sound when it starts up. Really gets to your deep down appreciation of what an engine should sound like.

This object, which it is, has become a defining piece in my life. Weird to say, but it has. I can’t say it won’t be in my life forever, however, an influential part this far.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
7,263
Location
Ladysmith
There’s that beautiful sound when it starts up. Really gets to your deep down appreciation of what an engine should sound like.

This object, which it is, has become a defining piece in my life. Weird to say, but it has. I can’t say it won’t be in my life forever, however, an influential part this far.
Sounds like you’re reading my mail. Couldn’t have said it better. Next week, back to the North - for a bit.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2012
Messages
299
Location
Vancouver, BC
It’s been a year now. A year since the cruiser got hit by a cement pump truck. The front bumper saved the truck. It had snowed that day, a company was pouring a foundation up the hill from where my wife and I live. They had decided to leave after the snow had laid a nice layer of slippery goodness. As they came down the hill, lost control, and side swiped the cruiser.

That massive machine impacted the front bumper first and skidded along the side of the cruiser.

Shortly after, booked into an auto body shop. A shop experienced in cruiser repair and familiar with the vehicle. There was some comfort there that they would be able to do a decent job and hold the cruiser in high regard. Well it left that shop painted nicely, but with some mechanical issues. Through out the year I have discovered that the batteries would die repeatedly, they would jump it, move it and then repeat the process. This has been discovered by the process of elimination and chats with the business. Unable to prove it, the batteries have been rendered useless and the voltage to the starter inadequate. Now the batteries replaced, the truck has a problem. Batteries don’t last and the starter isn’t getting proper voltage to turn it over like it had in the past. For those that own a 12ht, they know the quick flick of the ignition, it doesn’t take much of a turn to get this engine going.

I am approaching 400k. The injectors are probably due for a rebuild. However, I am currently trying to figure out why the starter is not getting what it needs. The wiring on the truck was not done correctly after I picked it up for the body shop. checking with mud and the FSM.

It’s an old rig. I’ll start with checking the grounds and coming up with ways to tidy up all the wiring done over the years. I admit this is not an area where I can feel confident in what I’m doing. Much research is needed.

I’ll then test the starter (2 starters in the last 5 years). Can’t blame the auto body shop for their charger methods. Just does not start the same since I got it back.

Knowing what is going on will help me have confidence in taking it out again. Another pursuit.
 
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
7,263
Location
Ladysmith
Since I have a Frankenstein of wiring compared to you I feel how you do. My 12V wiring is essentially from
‘83? I tried repeatedly to have the 24V converted to 12V starter rebuilt, what a waste of money!
Just want to confirm you are still 24V? Since the Aussies are 12 V I have recently, 2017, purchased both
starter and alternator from Australia, both Bosch units. I did have a relay installed on my starter system to bypass
going through the whole wiring system on start up. This made a huge difference. How is your alternator?
Could the regulator be an issue? Another train of thought is continuity check of the main wiring for the charging system.
Old wires, might just be suffering from something broken inside.
I had mine in a shop for several weeks getting head work done, they repeatedly would start and move it but never
let it charge, nor did they just park it and disconnect the batteries. So I was on the hook for a pair of brand new
batteries after that. Now, if I’m leaving it for over a week the connections come off.
Best of luck,
 
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