LOOKING FOR ADVICE (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Messages
4
Location
Aspen, CO
Good evening!



I’d really appreciate your opinion, thanks in advance…

I’ve got an ‘86 FJ60 we named Buttercup, always wanted a cruiser, we love this thing…

It’s got 310k miles, couldn’t resist buying the truck about two years ago with the intention to take on a project and do everything within my ability to revive the truck, it’s actually been going really well so far.

I’m an amateur mechanic, relying on manuals and this forum, enjoying the process but unsure how to proceed at the moment, please let me know what you would do in my situation.

I’ve had my neighbors complain and working at home hasn’t been an option, been fortunate to have a friend who lets me use their garage, been trying to avoid occupying their space for more than a week, out of respect, although they haven’t placed any limits it can seem obtrusive sometimes.

I’ll have my own place to work someday, hopefully buy a house and have my own garage in the next few years, the only thing preventing me from making more progress is limited access to an adequate workspace.

I’d like to keep the truck on the road for as long as possible.

I’ve planned on making the most of the current situation, tinkering at my own pace and ultimately swap the motor for a v8 or rebuild the entire thing myself, ideally, in my own hypothetical garage.

(My girlfriends parents have a lake house in Texas with a workshop that has everything necessary, including a hoist, and her father has experience swapping motors and doing machine work, shipping the truck there to restore and going for an extended trip in the future would be an option.)

My concern.

The truck has always made a ticking/clacking sound, most notable at operating temperature while idling, it’s louder in comparison to another FJ60 we drive on occasion but not alarming…

I’ll use professional audio equipment and post a recording if there’s any interest…

I’ve essentially done all the tasks listed under ‘minor tune up procedures’ in the fsm, replaced the suspension, steering and cooling system, desmogged, installed a gm power steering pump, adjusted the valves/timing, checked compression, tried heavier oil, etc.

I’m an amateur mechanic, my effort has definitely made a difference because the truck feels stronger and more reliable than ever, there have been some dramatic improvements since the day we brought it home, it’s much quieter in comparison to then but my attempts to diagnose and fix the noise thus far haven’t been successful…

*Adjusted the valves, rocker arms #5 & #8 seemed to move laterally along the shaft, somewhat, regardless what position the crankshaft was in…

I’ve got the impression it’s coming from the valve train and a mechanic seemed to agree, most likely lifters, could be related to damaged cam lobe or a bent pushrod.

It’s definitely got an exhaust leak, the muffler is practically separated from the pipe…

I’d like to take the motor apart, remove the cylinder head and intake/exhaust manifold, have the parts resurfaced, rebuild the top end using new parts, replace the exhaust system (possibly run headers) among a few other things…

It’s logical to do this all at once but seems excessive in someone else’s garage, is there anything you can think of that might streamline or compartmentalize the process for me?

I’ll probably just chip away at problems and fix the exhaust next, don’t think it’s related but perhaps that would help?

I’d love to keep the land cruiser on the road, it’s an amazing vehicle, would be great to have a reliable 4wd vehicle this winter, its been so much fun to own, would like to wait until next year to take on a major project, would you recommend taking care of anything specific before winter?

I’m curious as to whether you would be hesitant to drive the truck around while it’s ticking, some people seem to believe that the truck simply would benefit from being driven and maintained?

We typically drive it around town and go for relatively short off road excursions, went on a pretty steep trail yesterday and when we got home the truck sounded better than ever, remarkably quiet, however today the ticking was more notable again, it’s been driving me crazy.

We’ve driven about 150miles to Moab and put around 3000 miles on the truck in the past two years.

I’d prefer to do the work on my own terms and would ideally want to avoid a situation in which it becomes a necessary, starting to think the best option could be disregarding the noise and simply continue to drive the truck, work at my own pace, not sure what risks that would pose?

I’m trying to prolong Buttercups life until the day comes when my budget and schedule allows for me to really do my best to overhaul everything but that will likely be a few years from now.

How would you go about doing this?

Thank you so much for your time, appreciate the correspondence.

J
 

2mbb

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Joined
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Messages
5,659
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WC, CA
The ticking noise could be many things really. You can use a mechanics stethoscope or even a long screwdriver or long tube with one end up to your ear to help isolate where the sound is coming from.

But what is the deal with your neighbors? Are you in an apartment trying to work in the parking lot or car port? Are there some rules against this type of activity?

Have you looked around to see if there is local space to rent where you can do the work?

But really it is quite different if the ticking is and exhaust leak vs being something that requires an engine tear down. You should try to figure this out first
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Messages
4
Location
Aspen, CO
Yeah, certainly, do you think a noise as described would be more of a reason to be curious or concerned?

I’d like to take care of everything but will most likely drive the truck, as is, throughout the winter and plan on continuing this project next spring, does that sound reasonable?

I’ve got no reason to believe it’s about to fall apart, the truck feels solid, just wouldn’t want to risk doing unnecessary damage…

I’ll eventually get around to doing everything, would like to get a sense of what to prioritize and break it down into more manageable tasks.

I’m probably going to use the garage before winter and would probably have a few days to perform any work you might recommend in that time, doing the exhaust/gaskets seems like a lot right now, just replaced the cooling system and was hoping that would fix the noise.

I’ll probably do a little tune up and cross my fingers but wouldn’t want to regret it, the truck has good oil pressure and compression, runs great, what do you think about the notion that simply driving the truck and doing regular maintenance would keep this thing running for several more years?

It’d be great to just keep doing projects at my own pace.

*We live in aspen colorado, housing rules are strict in general, besides, there’s a lot of activity and distractions at my place, there’s plenty of options but nowhere nearly convenient as my friends garage
 

CruiserTrash

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@MisterShadyNasty I've had exhaust leaks in my two 60s that sound VERY concerning. Try going just a hair tighter on the EGR outlet (bottom of the exhaust manifold towards the firewall - you'll have to get underneath the truck) and the manifold-to-downpipe flange (three nuts). Even if you've deleted the EGR the block off plates can leak. You can even take the carb off and tighten the manifold bolts (somewhere around 34 lb-ft if I remember correctly). Those were all the major exhaust leak areas on mine. Leaks further back tend to sound more like "exhaust leaks" and leaks around the manifolds always sound like "is this rod knock?" to me.

Could be a lot of things but exhaust leaks are common on these trucks and easy to fix, if a bit temporary. Try it out.

Also
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Messages
4
Location
Aspen, CO
@MisterShadyNasty I've had exhaust leaks in my two 60s that sound VERY concerning. Try going just a hair tighter on the EGR outlet (bottom of the exhaust manifold towards the firewall - you'll have to get underneath the truck) and the manifold-to-downpipe flange (three nuts). Even if you've deleted the EGR the block off plates can leak. You can even take the carb off and tighten the manifold bolts (somewhere around 34 lb-ft if I remember correctly). Those were all the major exhaust leak areas on mine. Leaks further back tend to sound more like "exhaust leaks" and leaks around the manifolds always sound like "is this rod knock?" to me.

Could be a lot of things but exhaust leaks are common on these trucks and easy to fix, if a bit temporary. Try it out.

Also
Thanks for the advice, tightening some stuff that’s relatively easy to reach would be a good place to start…

How difficult would you consider removing the carb to be?

It’d be great to just take the manifold off, replace the gasket and fix the exhaust but that seems like a major project to take on right now, do you think it’s urgent to fix and would the outcome would be worth the effort?
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Messages
4
Location
Aspen, CO
The ticking noise could be many things really. You can use a mechanics stethoscope or even a long screwdriver or long tube with one end up to your ear to help isolate where the sound is coming from.

But what is the deal with your neighbors? Are you in an apartment trying to work in the parking lot or car port? Are there some rules against this type of activity?

Have you looked around to see if there is local space to rent where you can do the work?

But really it is quite different if the ticking is and exhaust leak vs being something that requires an engine tear down. You should try to figure this out first
Yeah, certainly, do you think a noise as described would be more of a reason to be curious or concerned?

I’d like to take care of everything but will most likely drive the truck, as is, throughout the winter and plan on continuing this project next spring, does that sound reasonable?

I’ve got no reason to believe it’s about to fall apart, the truck feels solid, just wouldn’t want to risk doing unnecessary damage…

I’ll eventually get around to doing everything, would like to get a sense of what to prioritize and break it down into more manageable tasks.

I’m probably going to use the garage before winter and would probably have a few days to perform any work you might recommend in that time, doing the exhaust/gaskets seems like a lot right now, just replaced the cooling system and was hoping that would fix the noise.

I’ll probably do a little tune up and cross my fingers but wouldn’t want to regret it, the truck has good oil pressure and compression, runs great, what do you think about the notion that simply driving the truck and doing regular maintenance would keep this thing running for several more years?

It’d be great to just keep doing projects at my own pace.

*We live in aspen colorado, housing rules are strict in general, besides, there’s a lot of activity and distractions at my place, there’s plenty of options but nowhere nearly convenient as my friends garage
 
Joined
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Messages
417
Location
Galveston, Texas
Try the stethescope method mentioned earlier. You can use a wooden dowel rod and put one side up to your ear. Move it around and look for exhaust leaks in the air rail, manifold gasket and EGR valve areas.

I had a similar issue that drove me crazy years ago, and it turned out to be a crack in the air injection rail. I have since removed it and desmogged.

Anyway, as others have advised rule out the simple stuff first. Good luck and don't give up! I am real familiar with Aspen/Snowmass. I used to ski there every winter and can only imagine what you are going through with the neighbors.
 

2mbb

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Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,659
Location
WC, CA
Yeah, certainly, do you think a noise as described would be more of a reason to be curious or concerned?

I’d like to take care of everything but will most likely drive the truck, as is, throughout the winter and plan on continuing this project next spring, does that sound reasonable?

I’ve got no reason to believe it’s about to fall apart, the truck feels solid, just wouldn’t want to risk doing unnecessary damage…

I’ll eventually get around to doing everything, would like to get a sense of what to prioritize and break it down into more manageable tasks.

I’m probably going to use the garage before winter and would probably have a few days to perform any work you might recommend in that time, doing the exhaust/gaskets seems like a lot right now, just replaced the cooling system and was hoping that would fix the noise.

I’ll probably do a little tune up and cross my fingers but wouldn’t want to regret it, the truck has good oil pressure and compression, runs great, what do you think about the notion that simply driving the truck and doing regular maintenance would keep this thing running for several more years?

It’d be great to just keep doing projects at my own pace.

*We live in aspen colorado, housing rules are strict in general, besides, there’s a lot of activity and distractions at my place, there’s plenty of options but nowhere nearly convenient as my friends garage
We can't really diagnose your concern without more investigation. The sound apparently concerns you so get some more detail and we may be able to help. Try and locate the problem using the stethoscope or other means. report back.
 

2mbb

SILVER Star
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,659
Location
WC, CA
Thanks for the advice, tightening some stuff that’s relatively easy to reach would be a good place to start…

How difficult would you consider removing the carb to be?

It’d be great to just take the manifold off, replace the gasket and fix the exhaust but that seems like a major project to take on right now, do you think it’s urgent to fix and would the outcome would be worth the effort?
I can take the carb off in 15 minutes. But I have had mine off several times. It is not a difficult job in itself. to R&R the manifold is more involved because of the size and weight of the manifold and the somewhat tight space.

If the noise is valve related, removing the valve cover is also easy and running the engine with the cover removed might reveal more information. It could only need a valve adjustment, or maybe a push rod is bent or a lifter is sticking.

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CruiserTrash

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Denver
As @2mbb says, getting the carb off is fairly straightforward. Add an extra 30 minutes if you still have the smog equipment intact though. Label all the vacuum lines unless you've memorized their locations by heart. Pro tip: cut a 12mm wrench in half and then buzz down the back side of the flats on the open end to make them skinnier. This will make getting at the 4 nuts that hold the carb down MUCH easier.

Save your manifold gasket job for this winter. Again, same as 2mbb says: not difficult, just time consuming because there are lots of doodads to remove to get access, and then removing the manifolds is kind of a pain due to their weight and the tight space they are in. Manipulating a 60lb (maybe it's 80lb?) piece of metal that keeps catching on other stuff while you're leaned over the engine bay isn't my idea of fun. But it's not a "hard" job".
 

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