Builds Hygge's Sawdust FJ62 (1 Viewer)

Joined
Oct 12, 2017
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587
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Bozeman, MT
I've seen plenty of these build threads and felt that it was about time that I tried my hand at crafting my FJ62 story.

If I had to say what the initial impetus would have been for my purchase of the rig, I would say that its because I have a family of three and needed to find a vehicle that fit the following criteria.

1. It had to be an automatic, because my 1991 Toyota pickup is a manual and my wife cannot drive it.
2. Vehicle had to be reliable. We have a 2016 Prius and a Toyota Pickup, so why not get a third Toyota?
3. It had to be rugged, strong and capable of GOING places. As an outdoorsman/Eagle Scout, I love camping, being outside and roughing it. I wanted a vehicle that could take me and my family to this nirvana.
4. It had to be iconic.
5. I have a budget

When I initially started my vehicle search, I had at one moment thought about getting a 4 door Tacoma. But these were actually way too expensive and not really that interesting ( to me). $12-16k for a 15 year old Tacoma was not my idea of good deal. I wanted something that I could replace my pickup with, but still be able to take my family and do woodworking with. Of course, it also had to be a vehicle that my wife could drive too, since she was not very happy when I bought the pickup and found out it was a manual.

For many months I scoured Craigslist. Here is a tip - Use IFTT (if this then that) and you can create a search query with Craigslist and Gmail. Whenever a new search item that you have a query for shows up, IFTT will send you an email with a link to the item. My search item was "Landcruiser" and "FJ62".

I had debated for some time on whether it made more sense to go with an 80 series, since there is all this hype around the e-lockers. Although I will eventually get lockers installed, the iconic silhouette of the 60 series blows away the 80s, 100s, and 200s series.

Back to the rig.

So I had been looking for a solid 10 months and finally was able to find one on Craigslist that hit all my checkboxes. In Northern California, I am in Marin, there are not too many old LCs that you find on CL. Most were really rusted out and were basically parts cars or the opposite would happen and all I would find were other people's project trucks that were running in the $12-20k range.

The gentleman that I purchased my LC from had it originally listed for $10k, after it sat on CL for a month, he lowered it to $9k. I called to see if he would sell for $7500. It was an affirmative. However, he was not going to be able to show it for another week. During that week some financial changes hit the family and the $7500 was no longer available for the truck. My LC was on hold due to LIFE.

Fast-forward two months and I saw the LC was still listed and was not at $9k, but listed at $8k. I called back the owner. Would he take $7k for the truck? Yes!

My wife, 7 month old son and myself loaded into the Prius and drove to Oakland, CA. I went for a test drive with then owner and fell in love with the soon to be mine Landcruiser. The dude I bought it from had no idea how to put it into 4WD. He used it as a daily commuter and had been gifted it by the heiress of the Hill Coffee company. It has 247,500 miles and some maintenance had been done.

The guy liked me and the fact that I wanted to use the LC for my family. He knocked off $1,000 without me even asking. Sold for $6,000. I was a happy camper.

This is what I bought and what it looked like on day #1.

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Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
587
Location
Bozeman, MT
After I got through the initial rush of buying the truck, the first thing I had to do was buy some gas. That's when I realized that the driver's side window does not roll down.

I had bought the truck and done a visual inspection, I knew things were going to get funky and had an inkling that there would be some issues. I was okay with some issues. As a mechanically minded person, I like to take things apart, figure out how they work and make things better.

The truck ran strong, but as I started to look it over, I started to see all the patina and life it had led since 1989. I bought the truck on February 25th, 2018.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
587
Location
Bozeman, MT
It became clear that I needed to look over and clean everything to the best of my ability. I had already bought a Haynes book and had been poking around in the forum.

It was really after buying the FJ62 that I started to dive into learning about Toyota's. Even though I had owned Toyotas previously ( my first car was a 1980 Corolla) and I own a 91' pickup right now, the amount of mechanical work I had done was paltry. But from what little work I had done, like changing out the alternator, the radiator, oil changes, and radio installations, etc... it had engendered an appreciation for Toyota's craftsmanship. Knowing that there was a community of like-minded people, amazing blogs and youtube videos and this awesome forum it left me with the will-power and tenacity to take on more than I would have normally felt comfortable undertaking.

Having driven the truck for only an hour, I knew that I need to get a few things done on the truck. I also knew that I couldn't do it all by myself.

So I scheduled a day with Gary / Jeff up at Mudrak in Sonoma. I wanted a professional to tell me what was up with the truck before I got in too deep. I was aware from the test drive that the knuckles would have to be rebuilt, but aside from that I was not too sure what else was required to get the truck back into roaring, off-road condition. What I hope to detail through this thread is what I have done since buying the truck, the late nights, headaches, the joys, the triumphs and the fun that I have had and will continue to have with my truck.

I named it Savsmud, which in danish means sawdust. I love woodworking and I happen to be of danish heritage. My woodworking business is called Hygge Culture ( pronounced Hoo-gaa). So I thought it would be a fitting name for the truck.

By the way, my name is Kristian. And me and Savsmud live in Marin County, which is just North of San Francisco. If you have ever crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, then you have been to Marin.

Attached are a few more of the initial shots that I downloaded from the original craigslist post.

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Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
587
Location
Bozeman, MT
The initial issues that I faced with the truck were as follows:

  1. Oil Pan Gasket
  2. Side Cover (pushrod) Gasket
  3. Exhaust Manifold Gasket
  4. Bushings all over the place cracked
  5. Antenna did not retract
  6. Front passenger window regulator
  7. Front door handle bezels
  8. Wiper arms rusted
  9. Missing center air vent
  10. Side Marker lights not working
  11. Oil Pressure Gauge not working
  12. Water Temperature Gauge not working
  13. No center seat belt
  14. Missing spare tire cross-member and chain hitch
  15. Missing heat shield over muffler
  16. Missing hangers for exhaust system
  17. Most lights in the truck not working (dome, dashboard, glovebox)
  18. Missing knobs here and there
  19. Hard to engage/disengage the locking mechanism on Aisin Hubs
  20. Air Breather to throttle body held together by tape
  21. Missing rear passenger trim over wheel well
  22. Air-Conditioning not working
  23. Rust : Around windshield, on back passenger cargo window, on rear doors at bottom, on tailgate, some around gutter, some around C-Channel on chassis
  24. Knuckle Rebuild Project
  25. Updated rotors and brake pads
  26. Probably missing some stuff - but this is what I found and learned in the first week of ownership
 
Joined
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Messages
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After arriving home safely and taking inventory of the various tasks awaiting me, I decided that I had to legitimize this purchase with a visit to AAA. I could not complete vehicle registration until the rig had passed California's strict emissions test.

A little Yelp searching and I found a spot that would test the truck.

Sawdust was passing the emissions test just fine, when the vehicle tester was like "Hey you know, that tape around the air breather is an automatic failure."

Damn. Come on man. The truck already passed the test where the emissions are checked, but it did not pass the vehicle inspection.

The test guy was nice though and he said it would only be another $20 to get the truck re-tested. Only $20 is one thing, but then finding another air breather hose is a different story.

This is when I jumped into the world of spare parts, new parts, OEM, aftermarket and the price of the truck started to escalate quickly.

But I had to do this to pass SMOG, so it really was not a choice.

After sourcing a new breather hose from City Racer LLC ( which I though was in California, because their website says Palo Alto - but really the part was shipped from the midwest), I also replaced the upper radiator hose. In the purchase I bought new hose clamps, because why the hell not.

After what seemed like forever, the new OEM breather hose came with shiny new clamps and I went (and PASSED) the smog after paying $20 more dollars.

Although this first pass at SMOG came through triumphantly, I am not sure what will happen in years to come. Maybe I will have an engine swap by then...

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Joined
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Messages
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In March, I decided that an easy upgrade would be to install a new Steering Dampener.

One thing I did not anticipate was how hard the old dampener was wrenched onto the tie rods.

I decided to go with the OME. A side by side comparison gives a good indication of the difference in bulk between the stock and aftermarket OME.

This was one of the first "dirty" projects that I got involved with, but was really a teaser for things to come.

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Joined
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Messages
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Prior to the OME Dampener install, I had taken the truck to Mudrak so that it could have a look-over. Jeff at Mudrak told me there were a number of things for me to work on and this gave me my initial list of priorities.

  1. Get the leaking Side-Cover Gasket replaced
  2. Replace the Exhaust Manifold gasket
  3. Replace Oil Pan Gasket
  4. Knuckle Rebuild

When I saw how expensive it was going to be to have this done professionally, I decided that it was about time for me to roll up my sleeves and get to work. It is not that I do not feel the prices quoted were justifiable or that the expertise and professionalism were not there, but it was more that I looked at this as an opportunity for me to learn how to really wrench.

It was not until I started to tear into these various parts of the truck that I started to really learn how it was put together.

Here's a picture of the deteriorated exhaust manifold gasket.

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Joined
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Messages
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After ordering a number of replacement gaskets, oil pressure sending unit and other misc., I decided to start documenting the breakdown procedure with a number of pictures. I wanted to be able to rebuild the truck with minimal lost parts, bolts, etc.

I think the point of no-return was when I took out the distributor. I needed to do this to fix the side cover gasket. Damn its dirty! I took this picture of the distributor, since every post in MUD said you need to re-align the rotor perfectly and to mark its position so that you can put it back in at the right position.

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Joined
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Messages
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Cleaning the side cover and all the old gasket was a good feeling. It also started to make my mind think about all the different things that needed to be cleaned up while I had the truck out of commission. I saw rust and I did not like it. This gave me a renewed sense of purpose to tackle things that were not sexy, but necessary if I wanted this truck to keep lasting another 20-30 years.

When I installed the side cover gasket and started to use my new torque wrench, I did not know how to use it yet. So very stupidly I broke off a bolt that was very close to the firewall. I never was able to extract the bolt. But oh well, can't win everything.

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Joined
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The more rust I found the more that cleaning it up and rattlecan spraying it with Rustoleum became that much more important.

The first items to get the treatment were the Battery Holder and the AC Compressor bracket.

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I knew that changing the Exhaust Manifold Gasket would require lots of disassembly. So again, I took lots of pictures.

It also became apparent that since the vacuum hoses were going to be coming off, there was no reason to put old gnarly hoses back on.

I decided to do some MUD research and decided to buy new vacuum hoses. You can call this preventative maintenance.

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Joined
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The hoses I choose to use were from Boost Controller I bought two spools as seen in these two lengths and sizes.

40 feet - 3.5 MM
12 feet - 6 MM

These lengths were perfect for me to replace all the hoses. I am glad I went with this length, since it left me with extra. I am still occassionally finding vacuum hoses that were not swapped out during this part of my restoration effort.

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When I started to rip apart the passenger side of the engine, i realized that I would be replacing even more parts and gaskets. Like the Intake Manifold gasket ( which was torn in half). I also decided that I wanted to clean up the heat shields and paint the exhaust manifolds.

While I was in there, it seemed like a good time to have the Fuel Injectors cleaned and rebuilt. Cause why not?

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Joined
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I started to get to the task of cleaning up all the old grime that had accumulated or gotten stuck to the various parts of the Exhaust.

The Exhaust Intake was pretty gross.

It was fun getting a wire wheel and a paint scraper onto the engine block to clean up the old exhaust manifold gasket. I felt like Mary Poppins.

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