Builds Lumpy the LandCruiser

Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
299
Location
Coeur d' Alene, ID
 
Hey fellow MUD members. This is a LONG read, so for those of you who endure it, thanks! I’ve posted here and there before, but not a ton. So this is a first attempt at documenting what I’ll call my FJ60 Revitalization. Mainly just freshening up 32 years of use, some neglect, and detailing the process for my own purposes and to share my story with like-minded Toyota addicts!

First and foremost, I love 4WD Toyotas. It’s all I’ve ever driven. My parents bought an 86 4Runner new off the lot, and at the early age of 7, I knew I wanted it… Luckily I got it when I turned 16. I drove it through high school, college and a few years after as my main vehicle until I bought a brand new 2003 Tundra, then the 4Runner became my camping/fun rig. Fast forward a few years, I got married and now have two little garage helpers. After our first kid, we got my wife an LX470, and a few years later, I came across an FJ40 that a friend was selling. My wife said I have too many toys with the 4Runner, camper and boat, and something had to go. Unfortunately, it was the 4Runner. With 390k miles on it, I sold it to my brother in law who is refreshing it and as a fabricator, has plans to turn it into a rock crawler. This story/revitalization now brings us to a year ago…

As much as I love the FJ40, I had been missing the 4Runner quite a bit. To be able to jump on the freeway with the family head into the mountains, wheel all day, and jump on the freeway to get home, was something we just couldn’t do with the FJ40. It’s a stock 71, and as you may know, doesn’t quite keep up with freeway speeds. Plus it’s loud and does not have much room. My family loves taking the top off and cruising around by the lake to get an ice cream and stuff, but as far as going any sort of distance or doing a camping trip, it’s just doesn’t suit the needs of a family of 4 with a 90lb dog… After owning the FJ40 and the LX470, I was determined to add an FJ60 to the fleet. They are roomy enough for the family, look incredible, and I think they define the ruggedness and mechanical simplicity LandCruisers are known for. To me they are the best of all worlds. In March 2018 I was searching around locally and found one about 3 hours away. My Dad and I took the drive up to check it out, and on a dark snowy 20-degree night, I drove it the 3 hours back home to North Idaho.
The previous owner said he had it for about 10 years, and prior to that, the original owner brought it from Alaska. I climbed in, around and under it for about 2 hours before I made the purchase. It didn’t have too much rust for a truck from Alaska. The paint was original, and it was a solid rig for the price. It did, however, have 300k miles on it, but like I said, the price was great, and it was completely intact, with an excellent interior.
Here are some pics… The 4Runner, the FJ40, and the FJ60:
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Also, doesn't seem like there are a ton of MUD members in the Coeur D Alene / Spokane area that I hear about, we don't have a TLCA chapter anywhere close by, so if you're out there, and want to get together and talk cruisers, or come turn a wrench and have a beer (I have a kegerator in the garage), give me a shout!
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
299
Location
Coeur d' Alene, ID
 
Now for the Revitalization!
When I bought the 60, there were a number of things that needed attention. Some I knew when I bought it, and some have been discovered in the last year…
Things on the initial list (known when I bought it) were:
Tail lights didn’t work
Fuel gauge didn’t work
Speedo / Odo didn’t work
EGR J-Pipe was broke at the exhaust manifold
Exhaust downpipe was disconnected – and holes in exhaust
Power steering pump was shot and power steering didn’t work at all
Steering wandered all over the place (tie rods, power steering, steering stabilizer)
Door locks and ignition need a “special touch” to get them to turn
Rear hatch push button doesn’t work (gate has to open from inside)
Windshield wipers won’t always shut off
Choke cable didn’t work
The entire engine and undercarriage was specially coated against rust (years of oil and power steering leaks).
Was running rich, carb probably needed to be rebuilt.
A little paint oxidization and clear coat pealing.

Here’s some pics from when I bought it and brought it home:
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Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
299
Location
Coeur d' Alene, ID
 
I started with the rear lights. I think this is why they weren’t working… Not only were all the grounds rusted, but the main plug was completely corroded. I pulled the entire harness out and made a new one. I didn’t wire in trailer lights at this point, as I just wanted to return it back to stock, plus I wasn’t sure if I wanted to install just a 4-prong trailer light or the 7-prong. I wasn’t sure the rest of the wiring could hold up the power needed for the 7 prong. I ordered the correct color-coded wires from #Coolerman so I could easily trace them if I ever needed to cut into the harness again. I did this last summer, and I can’t find a picture of the finished harness… But it all went back together smoothly and everything works as it should. I soldered, heat taped, and the works, along with water tight connectors, so it should last quite a while.
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Around the same time, I also fixed the choke cable, fuel gauge (The issue was the fuel sending unit. The wires on top of the sending unit were completely disintegrated. I bought a new one from City Racer and voila – guage works again). I also installed a new speedometer. The old speedometer was disconnected behind the dash, and the end was duct-taped into a plastic lunch bag. Apparently the oil seal at the transfer case was leaking causing fluid to go up the cable housing. The plastic bag was the fix. The only problem, the bag was full and leaking out, all over everything behind the dash, which caused a mess, and a bit of a smell in the cab. I got the cable replaced, but need to figure out how to clean it up so it doesn’t smell like gear oil.
All of that was last summer (2018). It has sat ever since because the few times I drove it around town, it would heat up so I wanted to sort that out before I drove it anymore. That, and I was helping my Dad build a house, and remodeling our kitchen… I had no time for anything!
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
299
Location
Coeur d' Alene, ID
 
Now the FUN stuff.

Two weeks ago. My wife took the kids to her parents house for a week for Spring break. I had to work, so I decided I was going to take the free time to work on the cruiser! This is where the fun begins!

My plan was to start fixing everything on the list. Exhaust issues, Power Steering issues, All of the leaks, and a full desmog. I started ordering as many OEM parts as I could think of for what I wanted to do.

I started by doing a compression test. Mind you, the valves haven’t been touched in I’m sure quite a while.
My numbers came back kind of all over the place. 135,120,130,115,115,130. Not within 10% of each other… it was a dry test. I adjusted the valves and got 140,120,130,120,120,135. I then did a wet test and nothing changed. So I started ripping things apart. This is all in the past 2 weeks.

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Remember that power steering pump being shot??? This made for a nice squeal.
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That metal ring was destroyed and came out in pieces.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
299
Location
Coeur d' Alene, ID
 
Power Steering pump and smog pump out.

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Carb off, Vacuum lines and Smog stuff labeled and removed. Look at that oily mess! This is after about 10 cans of degreaser…

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Water pump and thermostat housing removed

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Air rail removed and plugged with Jim C. plugs from his desmog kit – Luckily, because everything had been coated with power steering fluid and oil, it was all lubed up and bolts came out with ease. I plan to keep all of the smog stuff, just in case for some reason Coeur D alene starts checking emissions... With all the Californians flocking here and trying to change things, it could happen.

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Intake and Exhast removed

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Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
299
Location
Coeur d' Alene, ID
 
On Sunday, since I was this far, I figured I might as well pull the head, because my compression test didn't change when I did a wet test, so I figured the head needs to be serviced. I took the time and pulled it per the manual, as I have with everything so far. That far back head bolt with the engine hook was a real PITA! I might just put it back on with washers so I get the correct torque value, and keep the hook in a safe place if I ever need to pull the engine. Keep in mind, this thing had 300k miles on it.

Currently, I have no plans on pulling the block and rebuilding it. Just the top end. I got the head pulled and took it to a place called Cylinder Head Service in Spokane that I saw #idahodoug mention was a good shop. I dropped it off yesterday (Monday). The owner was a Toyota guy, and we chatted about Toyota's for a short while. He seemed like a real stand up guy.

I covered the block and cylinders with oil immediately after I pulled the head. The head shop told me 2 to 3 days to have it refurbished.

My wife is now back from Spring Break with the kids, and so my time is now very limited on working on my 60, but I told her I have to get the head back on there immediately after I get it back so no rust builds up on the block.

Here's some pics of the carboned up cylinders and dirty block. I'll be scrubbing with the green scotchbrite pad and WD40. I have an OEM head gasket to go on.

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Off to the head shop!

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Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
299
Location
Coeur d' Alene, ID
 
One thing I had an issue with... when I went to drain the block, I backed out the block drain completely, however nothing came out. I know there is antifreeze in there because I can see it after removing the water pump. Any suggestions on this?
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Also, is this my oil sending unit? I haven't seen one look like this... plus the wire is frayed and gone. Not sure where it's supposed to connect to. I haven't looked at an electrical diagram yet for this.

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CuCruiser

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
307
Location
Jocko Valley, MT
hey man, looks like fun...I'm just over the hill near Missoula. Interior looks amazing!

That thing on the block is a block heater...just needs a new cord, it'll pull out of the socket just like a power plug. Oil sender is on the other side, down by the filter on the oil cooler.
Have no idea about the coolant not draining. My water jacket was full of silicone blobs floating free. Really irritating, as they could have caused all the trouble I had with my head, blocking passages and whatnot. Hopefully that's not your problem.

You could maybe pull that block heater and have a look, I believe if you loosen the screw at the center it should come out easily. It's like a rubber expansion plug.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
299
Location
Coeur d' Alene, ID
 
Thanks for identifying the block heater. I've never had a block heater, so I had no idea...

I'm refreshing the cooling system, replacing all the hoses, water pump, thermostat, flushing the radiator (maybe replacing) etc... so I'll see if a flush will free up whatever is in there blocking the drain.

We head over to your neck of the woods on occasion, would be cool to meet up sometime and check out cruisers.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2013
Messages
179
Location
Thornton, CO
 
Might just be some caked up crud in the drain hole. Did you stick a screwdriver tip in the hole? I had that happen on a old Allis-Chalmers tractor.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
299
Location
Coeur d' Alene, ID
 
I've had that happen as well. I stuck a small screwdriver up in there and nothing happened. I even tried to hook a small allen wrench in it. Now that I have the manifold and head off, I have a lot more room, I think I may need to just climb in there and see if I can see anything blocking it. Draino? LOL
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2018
Messages
82
Location
Los Angeles
Nice work so far! You're getting in there pretty deep, but I'm sure it will make a huge difference once everything is freshened up.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
299
Location
Coeur d' Alene, ID
 
Thanks! I've done a head gasket before on my 4Runner (22re) when I changed a leaking timing chain cover, but we didn't mess with the head. This is by far the furthest I've been into a cruiser engine. Hoping to reach 400k miles!

If any of you see anything that doesn't look right or needs attention while I have it apart, please shout out.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
299
Location
Coeur d' Alene, ID
 
Well, things just got sour... Just got a call from the head shop. After a magnuflux, my head is cracked beyond repair... with 300k on the block and a cracked head, now what? Doubt my wife will give me the ok on an engine swap.
 

CuCruiser

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
307
Location
Jocko Valley, MT
Well that really sucks.
But it's a familiar story around here...they seem prone to it. You might look around and see if you can find a good head to rebuild?
@3_puppies?
Maybe not worth the trouble if the engine was getting tired and needing an overhaul though?
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2012
Messages
628
 
Wow...looks awesome. Truly wish I was this capable!!!

If you don't rebuild and part out...i call dibs on seats and radio and dash + center console and and and.... 😂😀🤣😆😂😆
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
299
Location
Coeur d' Alene, ID
 
Well that really sucks.
But it's a familiar story around here...they seem prone to it. You might look around and see if you can find a good head to rebuild?
@3_puppies?
Maybe not worth the trouble if the engine was getting tired and needing an overhaul though?
3_puppies told me he might have a few. Fingers crossed! Thanks for tagging him.
 
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