Noobie FJ60 Owner Encounters First Big Repair

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Aug 27, 2013
Winfield, PA
Hey all,

I'm a noobie FJ60 owner and just had my truck to the Toyota dealer for it's first look-see. This is the only mechanic I've been able to find with a decent amount of Land Cruiser experience in my area. The mechanic addressed a few of my major concerns; just wanting your feedback on cost and importance of fixing immediately or not.

Overall the mechanic was drooling over the Cruiser. The exterior has been restored by the previous owner, interior is very good, and his test drive went well. Overall, he feels the truck was well kept and is in very nice condition. However... it needs some work!

1st - There was a lot of play in the steering wheel. They found a tie rod that was about to fall apart. This is $350 to repair which includes an alignment.

2nd - The temperature gauge was not working. They say it needs a new sensor, thermostat and gasket. This is $460.

3rd (ouch!!!) - There is minor engine oil leaking coming from several areas. They're proposing to replace all seals except for the valve cover gasket. They're suggesting to replace the oil pan gasket, 2 timing cover gaskets, front crank seal, and rear main seal. They estimate 25 hours labor to the tune of $2585.

The total for all 3 jobs is $3690. I asked for any discount if I do all work at once. They're willing to knock $300 off the price.

I want to be able to drive the truck without doing more harm to it. There will also be times when my wife will be driving it with the kids. Thoughts!?
Most of these items are an easy fix. And if you have tools and basic mechanic skills you can do all this yourself for much less then what they are asking. just takes time and patience and you can do it.
The tie rods you can replace and then take it to get aligned. If oil is spewing out then you would want to address that. if you have just minor leaks and is not consuming lots of oil you will be fine.
Tackle the steering first1, then the thermo sensor which most likely is located on the T housing.
Thanks! I like how you prioritize what needs done first. I was thinking of the same. I really don't have the tools, time, or patience to do this myself. So, what are your thoughts on the amount of time quoted to do the job and the cost?
This is my first shot at posting a picture. Let me know if you can't see it...

Exterior, Main.jpg
Agree with the above; deal with the steering, as that is a legitimate safety issue.

Do you have the factory service manual(s)? Do a search and you can find where to download the PDF's, and from that you should be able to address the temp sensor.

For the seals, I'd start with the most severe leak and work down the list. Give some time to research what else should be/needs to be done when the various parts are apart, and stagger the work so you can afford to do it right (i.e. does the water pump need to be replaced? If so, do it when you address the front main; seals on the transfer case, or on the transmission? Do it when you drop the tranny to tackle the rear main, etc.)

When I bought my 60, the body and interior were immaculate, the motor had been completely rebuilt, but many of the various seals had given up the ghost and were leaking. Had to prioritize and have spent the past several years slowly addressing as necessary. Transfer case, transmission, oil pan, side cover, valve cover - the only one remaining is the front crank seal. During the process of troubleshooting, I've had a chance to do some other preventative maintenance that I might have had to otherwise go back in and do later.

Take your time, and don't drop $3700

My $0.02!
Its not so much the hours it is the rate per hour is what is going to suck you dry.
what you could do is look for a local repair guy in the Mechanics by state in the Threads, it could lead you to a reliable and qualified mechanic in your area. Look into your local Land cruiser club as well there may be someone who can help you. where are you from?
It is always a good thing to try to do repairs on your own to get to know your vehicle. You learn to listen to sounds and be able to diagnose a problem getting your hands dirty. Just my opinion.
WOW!!! Nice Rig!
SROGERS is right buy the Factory Service Manual. these books are available on EBAY or you can find them electronically here on this forum. they are life savers and time savers.
Take your time and be patient. these truck need patience and love. and they will last you a long time.
That engine work price is simply painful...that's about what I paid for my whole truck. I don't begrudge your mechanic trying to earn a living, but for your own sake, get comfortable wrenching in your own stuff. Safety stuff first, so get the steering sorted out. There's not many issues with these trucks that haven't already been covered right here on 'Mud, research tie rod end replacement and "driveway alignment" since toe-in its the only adjustment made in an alignment.
FSM is in my sig line.
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Thanks all! I have the owners manuals... Ok, I'm going to call the dealer now and give him the go-ahead on the tie rod and wait for everything else. I like the idea about tackling the seal/gasket work in pieces and performing other work while the other areas are apart.
Very typical dealer repair quote on an old LC. Do it yourself and enjoy the wrenching and cost savings. After they do the tie rods, you may find that the drag link ends and steering box need adjustment, but those are an easy DIY job.
Overall the mechanic was drooling over the Cruiser.

He was drooling because he was getting ready to give you a $3800 estimate and book his next vacation!

Seriously, though- all good advice offered here. Replace the tie rod ends, get the alignment.

When the clutch needs replacing, do the rear main seal.

When the water pump needs replacing, do the timing cover seals and crankshaft seal.

Replace the temp sensor yourself. Do the thermostat when you do the water pump, or if you're having cooling issues.

You could spend $20,000 at a mechanic getting everything done on your cruiser if they did it all. Join a local club and work through it with them.

Nice looking rig, BTW. Enjoy!
If that is your oil leak on the ground in your pic, I would get that fixed. If not, keep putting oil in it.
Land Cruisers leak oil, which steering link had play? You could also buy the 555 kit which includes all the links and do that yourself. Just go for an alignment after.

Beautiful truck!
Land Cruisers leak oil, which steering link had play? You could also buy the 555 kit which includes all the links and do that yourself. Just go for an alignment after.

Beautiful truck!

at the risk of sounding dumb, what's the 555 kit?
Nope, that's not the oil leak, just the water left over from 'er first bath!

Thanks for all the support everyone! I've never owned a piece like this. Sure am enjoying driving it...turnin' a lot of heads. You don't see these in the northeast part of the country much. Salt got 'em!

I've been posting on the PA forum as well. I have one lead there for a mechanic...
Where are you located?

Chances are good that the TREs and general front end stuff needs work. By now, most of these with original equipment do. You'd be well served to replace all the steering links in the system before worrying about the oil leaks. $2900 will buy a lot of oil, and as long as you keep things topped off, it won't be a problem. Check the trans, t'case and diff oil if you know how, and check for grease in the birfs. There's a little square-head bolt on the steering knuckle to fill.

Stay away from the dealer, if you can. I wouldn't touch any of the front end seals / gaskets until you need a water pump or radiator.

Good luck!
If you were in the Seattle area, and bought the parts for the tie-rod end repair, I'd show you/help you do it in my drive-way using the tools I've used the 3 or 4 times I've done this already on multiple trucks.

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