Is this the right offroad truck???

Joined
Jan 29, 2005
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I live and work at the end of an 11 mile dirt road cut through the mountains. It can be pretty smooth or really rough, dusty, muddy and be covered with snow depending on the time of year. I drive this road at least twice a week both ways. I am looking at a cruiser for it’s reputation. Question, is an FJ60 up to the task of this continued 4 wheel work. Is an FJ60 reliable under constant offroad use? Problem is, I can’t think of anything better. (An FJ40 is not going to work as I need freeway driveability also.) I have a 1990 bronco now and it is falling apart. I am looking closely at an 87 with 120K miles in really good shape. Opinions welcome!!!

Thanks

Russ
 
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Jan 29, 2005
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I would consider an early 80 except for all the electronics and auto tranny...I have never had good luck with them.

Russ Enloe
 
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May 19, 2005
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I love ny 86 60!
Its low tech, and a bumpy ride but built to last.
The 80s are much more refined, but equally more expensive as well.
You'll have to be comfortable working on it because even at their best they're 20 years old and the cost of a mechanic's labor it out of control.
Good luck,
Bryan
 
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One of Four Presidential Flying Saucers
Overall, they do hold up, but you're going to have to work on it, and expect a fairly high rate of system failure (AC, electrical, hydraulic) - even if it's an '87, it's still nearly a 20 year old truck. I don't know your budget, but I'd be looking at an FZJ80 - from '94-'97.
 

esh

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Apr 22, 2003
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I'd say the 60 is more reliable than an 80, simply because there's less "stuff" in it.

You can get a great ride from aftermarket springs/shocks such as Dakar/OldManEmu if you match them to the load you carry. My FJ62's heavy setup with the overload leafs removed rides amazingly with medium shocks and loaded down with the usual spare parts/fluids/recovery gear. YMMV

Can't really think of a better way to go than land cruiser.. but we may be biased here. Maybe a Toyota pickup or 4runner?

With proper maintenance and inspection (check fluids, greasing, keeping clean fluids, etc), any of the Toyota 4x4 line will last you years longer than any other manufacturer out there.
 
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Keep in mind the market that these vehicles were designed to be used in. Mainly 3rd world countries where roads are more of a suggestion than anything. With little maintaince an FJ60 should comfortably transport you fine for many years to come.
 

Doc

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My 1987 FJ60 was a mess when I bought it about a year and a half ago. I put some money and elbow grease into it and haven't had to touch a thing since.

Biggest thing is to get current on all maintenance quickly... and then just enjoy the truck. The 4wd is up to the task you indicate, as long as your manual hubs are working properly and you're fluid levels are good.
 
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Jul 14, 2004
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Green River, WY
If you are in a hurry to get through the road the 2f engine probably isn't the best choice. Kinda Slow, But then again my 60 with 200,000 miles on it has been great with not falling apart on dirt roads.
 

esh

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The problem with that sentiment is the engines that get you through the road in a hurry also lead to breaking and wearing more of the truck than the old reliable F/2F/3F(e) series.

Diesels excluded. hehe.. but that's a whole other ballgame.
 
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60s rock, thats what they are built for. And they are reliable and dont have a ton of system failures or anything else. Just some maintence issues because they are now all older trucks now, but it is less then most others...
 
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Rockville, MD
I'll chime in with swank on this one. It's an old rig and just cause a couple of people bought right and their rigs held up doesn't mean you won't have to work on yours. In the long run it might be cheaper to buy the 80 and not spend the time and money workin on the 60.

Figured someone outta point out the other side

Chris
 
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Aug 19, 2003
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The FJ60 is a terrific vehicle. They are reliable even when they are not running great. When I first bought my 60 (148,000 miles), I had it tuned up, put on new tires, loaded my stuff and headed off on a 3000 mile trip across the western states. I can't say enough good things about the 60. Mall cruiser it ain't, but it's dead simple, easy to work on, and reliable.

M
 
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Farmville, VA
80 series is the way to go! Going with a 60 series is like going with a non winch bumper. Even though it is cheaper you are going to have to put work into it to make it hold a winch. Do it right get an 80 if you are looking for pure drivebility on road and some offroad. Don't get me wrong though. 60 series are amazing but from what you said an 80 should do the trick. Less work more driving!
 
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on stage
What the heck, might as well chime in. Not really qualified other that to say I bought a 1982 fj60 last October. Since I'm a novice mechanic I'm having to learn to deal with it. I've only had problems related to the age of the vehicle and neglect by the previous owner. I paid $2500. for it with 160,000mi on it, knowing ahead of time this would mean some issues. Having said that, mine is in quite decent condition overall, is my main car and I recently finished a 5000 mile trip from Jackson, MS to Flagstaff, AZ and back with various 4 wheeling excursions along the way. The truck did great apart from having to replace a few worn out component parts along the way. I love this thing. I am still amazed at what it will do off-road and I've just begun to explore that. The only thing I would do differently if I bought it again is to have a mechanic thoroughly check all systems before I drove it on a long trip in order to head off some aggravation of finding parts in remote places. I have no intention of selling it ever.
If I lived in a place like you, I think this is the only vehicle I would consider. If there is one, hook up with a Landcruiser club or community in your area. The guys in here have been extremely supportive in helping me through the ackward initial phases of getting to know the mechanical aspects of the truck, they are irreplacable.

bh
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
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9
Thanks for all the input!!!

I am not considering an 80 due to all the electronics to make it run. I have rebuilt engines myself and am a pretty good mechanic...I like the KISS principal. I would rather have a little rougher ride than have come computer, sensor or electronic tank mounted fuel pump fail on the road. I know carbs, clutches, and points and while low tech, I can work on them.

Russ Enloe
 

lovetoski

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I have an 80 and a 60, both have very high miles, and both are used as DD's. I'd drive across the country tomorrow in either one if necessary.

Given that yours has low miles (for it's age) and is in good condition, it's a no brainer (to me) that it'll serve your needs well. Since you prefer simple, you've found your ideal truck. Buy it, and be happy!
 

GLTHFJ60

Rum Runnin'
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I'm with you on the low tech thing. My 1987 FJ60 is easy to work on, to say the least. Take it from me, I'm 17 with a 75 piece socket set filling my tool drawers. I am in the process of changing my manifolds, and while taking longer than expected, I am still doing it.

:beer:
 
Joined
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Queensland, Australia
Australia is a huge place with some very arid and remote areas. I have read that the biggest cause of stranded vehicles in the outback is due to computer failure. When they fail it is pretty difficult to get going again. We can have the heat, bulldust, and badly corrugated roads/tracks.

But the good thing is that the majority of 4WD's cruising around Australia are Landcruisers!

You can get the leaf spring 60's to ride fairly well. I am happy to drive my cruiser over roads that I used to hate driving 'normal' cars! My 60 has done over 495000 km's and is still going strong. A lot of that distance has been done towing a trailer, so that is a good testament to their reliability!
 
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Boise
My Suspension On My Fj60 Is Stock Except For The Shackles And It Rides Like A Caddy Through The Desert. Everyone That Rides In My Truck Is So Impressed By The Ride. I Cruise Through The Desert Going About 45-50 Mph And It Is Very Smooth Except When There Is A Big Ditch I Have About 4in Untill It Hits The Stopper.
 
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