Project Advice

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Mar 5, 2015
First post on the Forum for me. Been watching for over a year in prep to make a purchase, and for the last 10 mos or so after buying an '85 FJ60 last year. I'm thoroughly impressed with the helpful and supportive resource the good folks in this group provide, and finally ready to tap the knowledge for some advice on an ongoing project.

The basics:
-1985 FJ60
-Mileage: 213,539 as of today
-3rd owner (prior 2 were solely in CA and AZ). Limited maintenance records from POs (I shoulda known better).
-Purchased last April
-Third LC for me (got the sickness growing up in HH with '87 FJ60 & '89 FJ62)
-Put $5k in so far bringing it to reliable DD status (summary below)
-Current use is DD for 2 mile commute to/from work
-Current goal is to get it to reliable status for access to hunting, fishing, and camping here in UT (appx 3,500 mi/yr). Prefer to keep it close to stock, with selective/understated upgrades for as needed for performance. Offroading would be limited to jeep trail and probably pretty weak by UT standards.
-Long-term wish is to keep it so my 2 boys (5 and 3) can fight over who gets to (or has to) drive whatever's left of it
-Total newbie to wrenching on vehicles, learning some, and eager to learn more
-Have access to a good, inexpensive mechanic who has been helping me through issues to date
-Budget is an additional $5k
-Timeframe- hey, I could get off my @$$ and walk to work this spring and summer if I had to. I just want this thing humming by the time the next hunting season rolls around.
-Bottom line = I'm in it for the long haul and looking for advice on the most strategic way to approach the next phase of the project from here
-Also need advice on who/how to insure this thing with once its intrinsic value exceeds FMV

Stuff done since purchasing:
-Rebuilt carb
-New NGK plugs
-Valve cover gasket
-Fuel pump
-Fuel filter
-Relined gas tank
-Fuel sensor
-Fuel filler cap
-Tires (Yokohama Geolandar 31 x 10.5)
-Front bearings and seals
-Flush all lines
-Replace rear brake lines
-Horn pin
-Battery cables
-Battery hold down
-Cleaned carb (accelerator pump issue)
-Choke cable
-Hood Latch
-New PSP
-Fan clutch
-Wiper blades
-Water pump, thermostat, gaskets, coolant
-Dome light bulb
-Brake stop switch
-New shoes
-L and R swaybar links
-Cargo deck mat
-Sun visors
-Valve adjust
-Replace alternator
-Replace starter
-Rebuilt clutch master and slave
-Replace rear cylinders and shoes
-Replaced clutch
-Replace windshield washer reservoir
-Replace driver seat (sweet find at pick and pull!)
-Replace headlight doors and turn signals L&R
-Replace bench seat and lap belts
-Replace L and R mirrors

Stuff I know I need to address:
-Leaking PS gearbox
-Replace A/C Compressor & bracket
-Radiator leak
-Tcase leak(s)
-Oil pan leak
-Service rear diff (replace with limited slip?)
-Replace all hoses
-New plug wires
-4 minor rust spots and repaint
-Adjust driver side window regulator
-Minor cosmetic stuff (dash cap, struts for rear hatch, marker light, antenna, straighten bumper)

So what I need to know is:
-What are the top priorities to address from here? (I know I'm missing a bunch)
-How would you recommend prioritizing budget
-Recommendations on suspension (I know, I know- do a search) for addressing sag, prepping for light offroad, and beefing it up to (hopefully one day) haul an elk
-Again- how to insure this thing once the total value of the build exceeds book value
-What can a newbie expect to DIY
-What are some basic skills/techniques (posts?) to check out re: preparing for the worst in the backcountry (example- saw a really good thread about rerouting belts if Air Pump craps out)

And oh by the way- that puddle under the rig was totally there when I pulled into that spot.
Congrats on a great looking truck. With two young kids, you'll have a lot of adventures ahead of you. Embrace the ride. Enjoy every moment. Trust me on this.

But back to your question...we each have our own values...and mine are clearly in the functional camp....therefore first in line for me is to fix the radiator leak and to replace all of the hoses (and belts). The cost of an overheated engine is pretty high, compared to the cost of prevention.

Transfer case and oil pan leaks are expensive to fix, and cheap to ignore. Just put a little more gear oil in once in awhile. Super cheap.

Suspensions wear out, and a new OME suspension will make you (and your family) happy every time you drive the truck. That's the number 2 after the cooling system fix.

So you have my number 1 and 2, get those done, then do the rest in whatever sequence makes sense to you.

My two cents.
Do all the preventative maintenance first. For me that included fixing all known leaks. After all even a stock cruiser will bring a smile to your face every time you drive it. After that tackle suspension, paint, and cosmetics. My $.02 anyway.
Exactly what MacFJ60 said. Do the PM, fix the leaks, and have some fun. Great car to take the family out "into the woods". Be sure to read the "Best Mod for under $50" thread. Lots of great, cheap, and useful ideas there. And don't forget, on this forum, search is your friend!
Nice Cruiser! I have the same long term goal as you, keep it so my little boys fight over who get it:)

You have a great start. And I echo the previous comments.

Btw, I'm in Ogden. What part of Utah are you in?
Great input. Thanks lovetoski, MACFJ60, Cruzerman, and Oaks.

Oaks, I'm located in SLC.

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