Lb Cake - My 62 build

Apr 18, 2009
After wheeling with a bunch of the Gotham City Land Cruisers I got the itch to build up a wagon. The fact that I wanted fuel injection and an auto tranny made the choice really simple. I started looking for a 62 that was relatively cheap that I could tear down and restore/rebuild. On 4/6/2010 I found this on Craigslist:


A 1988 FJ 62 with 180k on the clock. The engine and tranny ran nicely but the body needed some work. It was being sold by a guy who specialized in Land Rovers and wanted to get rid of the LandCruiser quickly. He had the truck on Ebay as well as Craigslist for $3k. I went to see it with Singha ( fellow FJNE member) and while it had a good interior and everything worked on it I didn’t like the price tag and was about to walk away from it when the seller told me to make an offer on it. Long story short, I was the new owner of a $1600 Land Cruiser. Once it was at our shop we started looking into the price of body panels and calculating time and materials to get the body in tip top shape. I posted up on Gotham’s mailing list the fact that I was looking for some body panels when I got a call from another wheeling buddy (Ordoman) mentioning that a friend of his had seen a 62 in really good shape but with engine problems for sale not too far from me. $1200 later I now had two Land Cruisers. The latest one was in great shape with almost no rust at all. It had spent most of its life in Texas and the owner had really pampered this truck.


My goal was to have a wagon running on 33’s for daily use with the ability to run 35’s off road. It would be locked front and rear and with the ability to go on a long trip wheeling out west and be capable on the rocky tree laden trails of the NE as well. I wanted to have a truck that would not give me headaches and would be low maintenance for at least a couple of years. I decided to build up the Texas rig and to drop the other engine and transmission into it as well as regearing and installing the lockers. All of this would be easier if the frame was off the body so off it went.


I was able to pull the body off thanks to the info on this board and our ghetto engineering at the Bronx FJNE Annex . A highlift , a couple of bottle jacks, some cinderblocks and some pallet racking crossbeams later and the frame had rolled out from under the body.
Once all the drivetrain was out I started looking at the frame and decided that it wouldn’t be that much more work to strip it down to bare metal by pressure blasting it.


While the frame was getting cleaned up the third members went out to East Coast Gear Supply for some Arb lockers and some 4.56’s. Chase at ECGS was a ton of help with my gearing questions and got the thirds back to my hands in less than one week. While they were gone we cleaned up the axle housings and got them ready for a complete rebuild, knuckles, seals and bearings.


Once the axles were built up the new tires – 33x12.5.15 firestone destination MT’s went on the OEM wheels. A new OME suspension also went on as well.


Here is a picture of the frame with the suspension and axles. The frame was primed with Eastwood’s self etching primer on the outside and their zinc oxide internal frame paint. Once this had dried I coated everything visible with a phenolic resin paint. This is a thick coating that suffocates rust and protects the metal from scratches and trail rash. Finally a couple of coats of Eastwood Chassis black was sprayed on to finish the frame up.


Now we had a platform to put the engine on and start working on it. A new main seal, new fuel pump, oil pan gasket, side cover gasket, valve cover gasket, Idler pulley bearings, and a new paint job went on the engine. As well as a galley plug mod and a full desmog thanks to the mud members who have done this before.

Here is my twist on the desmog ( I hope it works as the engine has not been fired up yet) - I decided to plug up the exhaust manifold with a Canadian quarter and the nut that held the corrugated metal hose (egr hose) to the exhaust manifold. I sealed it up with some exhaust gasket putty. It looks like it will hold but only time will tell.



While the motor and frame were off the body we stripped down and degreased the engine bay and then had a friend come by afterwork and spray it using the color code off the engine plaque.

Here is how it looks after some stuff went back on it. The master cylinder was rebuilt with new seals from and the pressure booster was repainted while it was out. All the hoses were inspected and most were changed out. All the harnesses were cleaned up with simple green and the heat shields were sprayed with rustoleum high heat spray.



While I was waiting for engine belts to come in I drilled the holes for the snorkel. I wanted to get the holes in before it went to the spraybooth so all the raw edges would get a good coat of paint on them.

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Apr 18, 2009
Excuse the crappy pics as my Droid acts up sometimes when taking pics. I haven't put the time to figure the camera out on it.

Here is a running list of items that have been changed or repaired:

motor swapped from a running 62
full desmog
galley plug fix
new exhaust manifold gasket
new valve cover gasket
valve train de-sludged
new lifters
new oil pump
new side cover gasket
new bearings in all the pulleys
new belts
full tune up on motor - synthetic 10w30
intake manifold cleaned
throttle body cleaned out
new fuel pulsation dampener
new rear main seal
oil pan swapped
new oil pan gasket
new hoses
radiator swapped
coolant flush
rodney flush
additional tranny cooler installed
new tie rod ends
new body mount bushings
1" body lift
regeared to 4:56
complete front axle rebuild with new bearings
marlin seals
front ARB air locker
front diff rebuild and ARB locker installed
new allen key recessed diff's,transfer,tranny, fill plugs
new rebuild kits on entire braking system - front/rear/ master cylinder
new brake pads throughout
stainless extended brake lines throughout
new U joints (4)
driveshafts rebalanced
new OME suspension heavy/heavy
complete rear axle rebuild with new bearings
rear ARB air lockers
ARB compressor - lines sleeved in 1/4' fuel hose and ran inside frame rails
2.5 gallon tank under the vehicle
new wheels Mickey Thompson Classic III's
new Firestone Destination MT's 15x12x33
Superwinch ep 9000
viking synthetic line
harbor freight winch mount
Aussie bull bar front aluminum bumper
Smittybuilt center console
Glowshift gauges - water temp, oil pressure, tranny temp, air pressure ( for On board air setup )
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Oct 7, 2003
Kansas City, MO
Very Nicely done. Those shackles appear to be upside down. Without the body on, it may be hard to get them in without the inversion bolt touching the frame.

Apr 18, 2009
Yep, front driver was upside down. I confirmed with ARB earlier today.

This how they should be.

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Apr 23, 2002
Bountiful, Utah
Looks nice but I doubt you will like the way the tires wear mounted on a 6 inch rim, you can see how rounded they are by the photos.

Otherwise, looks awesome. If you like the Auto, you should have Rodney work one over for you.
Apr 18, 2009
I dropped the body on the frame today and the tires flattened out with some weight on it but it is too early to tell how it will ride.

One thing that was worrying me was how would I extend the transfer case breather without taking the transfer case off. I tried to pull out the pressed in breather but it wouldn't give. I was afraid of breaking it and having it crumble into the transfer case. I started looking around my shelves and found a 1/8" NPT brass street elbow like this one;


I pulled the cap of the factory breather and hand threaded the brass elbow over the short little nub that stuck out from the factory breather. I then used some JB weld to capture the elbow into place. I used the JB weld because there is only one or two threads of the elbow catching on the breather fitting.


It held up pretty well so I ran a 1/8" NPT coupling into my elbow and 1/8 x 1" nipple into the coupling. I then slipped a 1/4" silicone hose over the nipple and ran the hose to the top of the firewall with a hose clamp holding the hose to the nipple. In the photo above there is a compression nut on the street elbow. I did not use it but it is the better picture of the breather. Here is a picture that is not as clear but it shows the nipple and coupling.

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Mar 21, 2010
NE Oregon
Love the quarter...
Oct 31, 2009
Damn. Where do you guys work out of ? I'd love to come watch and share some beers. Trying to learn the nature of working on this beast. I'm a gear head but mostly VW's. Never wrenched on a truck.
Apr 18, 2009
Thanks for the kind words :beer: If it wasn't for this site I would have never undertaken this process. The amount of information available here is unbelievable.

Damn. Where do you guys work out of ? I'd love to come watch and share some beers. Trying to learn the nature of working on this beast. I'm a gear head but mostly VW's. Never wrenched on a truck.

We are working out of my hardware store in the Bronx. There is usually a couple of FJ's (Cruisers, 80, 40) hanging around. All the serious mod planning takes place at the Bronx Ale House - - drop by for a planning session.
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TLCA #27404
Jul 23, 2006
Chicagoland, IL
The shot of the frame with axles and tires on just made me drool.

Nice work on the 62, should be a head turner when all things are done!
Feb 8, 2005
the valley, yeah that one
I have paint envy, wish my paint storage shelves looked like yours...

... the build is looking sweet too.

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