Hello everyone, and a few noob questions

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Jul 10, 2012
Greetings everyone!

I'm a lurker, been hanging around and checking out everyone's rides for a long time, but didn't have anything to say or ask until now...

I have a 1987 FJ60, silver, mostly stock except for the H55F 5-speed transmission I had imported and installed.

High gas prices and the 2008 financial crisis made me park her 3 years ago. I didn't plan on leaving her parked for so long, but I could never get enough extra cash to continue with my plans beyond the tranny swap. At first I would start her up every month or so and drive her around the neighborhood, but after a while I got too busy to even do that. Now it's been so long, I'm guessing she would need attention to her carb, and a gas tank flush at least.

So my first question would be, after an FJ60 has been sitting so long, what do I need to do to get her driving again? I know they're bulletproof, but should I just try to crank her (after charging or replacing the battery) to see if she starts? Or would that just force gunk further through the system? Should I try it, since the alternative would be to service the carb etc anyway? I've let her sit for 6 months or more in the past, and she started right up (well, after a little coaxing she started right up)...

The second and third questions are related to the answer to my first question. Looking at my financial situation, it's probably going to be at least a year or two until I will be able to do anything beyond a once-or-twice-a-month startup to keep her from falling back into disrepair again. Even though I said I would keep her forever and pass her on to my future children... I'm thinking about passing her on to a fellow FJ60 enthusiast who will be able to give her the life she deserves. Hopefully someone who I can buy her back from in a couple years.

So should I put the minimum into getting her driveable again (still struggling financially), drive her around the block once a month until I can afford to continue the build...

...or should I pass her on to someone in the community, hopefully someone who would give me a chance to buy her back in the future?

And the third question would be how much is she worth? Straight body with nicks and bits of surface blemishes, but no major dents or rust. Dash has damage, seats have blemishes, but interior is complete. Back hatch only unlocks from the inside.

the good-- relatively straight and unmolested, and of course the H55F with papers from the import (brand new) and install in a shop

the bad-- parked for a few years, hatch opens from inside, ripped dash and seats

Sorry if this was supposed to be in a different section... I understand you need to be definitely sure of selling to post in the for sale section. And they want pics and a price. Obviously I'm not there yet, still trying to decide if I can or should hang on to her!

TL;DR- my FJ60 w/ H55F been parked too long- what do, worth what?

Thanks guys!
Well lets look at this in a purely financial way. First sounds like you are struggling through a tough time. Keep fighting and it will get better. So the FJ is literally liquid cash tied up. It is serving you no purpose other than having 2k just sitting in your driveway rotting away. Sounds to me like you could use the money more than the truck right now.

Also, if you want to keep her running and she has sat all the time I would suggest a complete flush of the coolant system to get rid of any rust that might have accumulated, Change out all oil and tranny fluids, check belts and replace as needed for rot. If you let her keep sitting then she will develop flat spot tires, rotting tires, rotting belts and hoses, seals that will leak from lack of use. Its a downhill thing once you stop taking care of them. And a lot of work to get back in good shape.

So do you have an emotional investment in this truck? Sometimes that is worth way more than the money. If you don't then I say sell it and take the cash and use it towards more pressing and important aspects of your life.

Pick up Dave Ramsey's book. He spells it out pretty good as to what is and isn't important.

Good luck my friend
I am with Firephil... really it is just an asset at this point. From what is sounds like you could get around $2k -$3k for it with the H55F already swapped in, possibly more depending on the mileage, aesthetics, any other accessories.

If there is sentimental value to it then I would say keep her, start her up once a month for a quick run around the block or whatever, should be at least 15 minutes long if not longer.

If there is really no sentimental value to it other than you have always wanted one and you got this one then fell on financially hard times, I would say that the cash is much more suited for your pocket (as long as it is spent well).

Take it from one that knows. Hit this spot last year when I was laid off, then wife got VERY sick and was in the hospital for 2weeks. No insurance and her being an independent business owner makes for no work, no income. Now a little over a year later things are starting to get back to normal. I ended up having to sell my Pathfinder because the cost of maintenance, plus gas to commute the 3.5 miles to work and back ended up costing more in the long run than the vehicle was worth. So I started bike commuting and sold the old girl.
Very good advice gentlemen, you hit the nail on the head.
Looloo, IMHO, I think it would be difficult to find a buyer willing to sell her back to you when you were ready. Sure they might agree at first, but she will grow on them, guaranteed. Then what? You get told to pound sand. If no sentimental value is there, sell her, and when you're ready for another one, buy another one. Good luck.

Thanks for the replies guys...

That's pretty much how I sized up the situation, too... guess I might just have to yank the band-aid off quickly, get it over with.

I don't have a sentimental attachment if you mean like it's been in the family for X generations or I took some girl in a first date in it or anything... but I do have an emotional attachment to her, I have/had big plans for her.

In addition to that, my escape plan from the rat race is to build a business around custom bits-n-pieces for a select handful of vehicles. My FJ60 was chosen because in addition to being my personal favorite out of all the years of Landcruisers, I felt it was the epitome of Japanese 4x4s... yadda yadda basically a good showpiece vehicle to show off my goodies.

So while it wasn't my grandfather's truck or anything, I have always wanted one like Greg said, and the research I did into other 4x4s made me love 'em even more. Had big plans for this particular one...

Also when I bought the H55F tranny kit it was like $1900 if I recall correctly... I just looked and it's $2900 now! So if I lost contact with whoever I sold this one to, and had to find another rig and get another H55F... I'd be paying who knows how much to get back to where I'm at with the project now.

I think I could handle doing the coolant flush, and the oil and tranny fluid changes myself... belts and hoses maybe but I'd worry about messing it up. I'd be following the pictures in my Chilton manual, basically.

I guess I should face facts and look into finding her a good home with someone local that I can stay in touch with. Maybe be able to buy her back eventually. If I'm going to build a nice FJ60, I shouldn't be stuck where $1k or $2k is a make-or-break budget item, right?

Thanks Firephil for the specifics on the to-dos! As far as Dave Ramsey's book, I'll check it out... I'm getting my financial house back in order, or at least starting to (only reason I'm even considering selling). I read the Rich Dad/Poor Dad books, and did a lot of other reading to try to figure out just exactly how crazy our economy is... I'm going to stay outta real estate, try to build a small business. Long odds maybe, but it's what I think the economy needs. And focusing on custom bits for freshening up older vehicles... has kind of a local manufacturing, recycling vibe to it, ya know?

And thanks Greg for the advice on value and the commiseration... sorry about your wife's health problems, glad things are getting back to normal for you... Here's to you for being a small business owner, though! Like I said, I think that's where the solution is... Big risks and little or no safety net-- but maybe one of us will create not just a few new jobs, but a new industry, right?

Thanks again guys!

Ehhh... was just about to post then I refreshed and read TallCanDan's post... #@%$&*...

Man, I was just consoling myself that maybe this wouldn't be the last I saw of her! That someone else would take care of her, then I'd buy her back for whatever they charged...

You're probably exactly right though. If they just did the belts and hoses I might have a chance, but after they customize her I bet they wouldn't want to sell her back to me for any price...

Thanks TallCanDan... It makes the decision tougher, but if it's the truth I need to consider it.

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