1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Rebuild or Search for another?

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by mmhailey, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. mmhailey

    mmhailey

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Location:
    SE Alaska
    I am the owner of a 1985 FJ60, that I've driven here in SE Alaska for the last 10 years. I had purchased her from a friend in Oklahoma back in 06. I had some work done on the interior, a few things painted, and lots of accessories added. Have you ever been emotionally attached to a vehicle? It sucks..... Let me say straight up...I am absolutely worthless when it comes to turning wrenches. I am retired now, and crawling around under a car is no longer possible.

    My dream would be to pay someone of impeccable character, and amazing mechanical ability to rebuild my Siketi ( I know weird name, but there is a story), back to showroom quality with a vortec stuck under the hood. So finally here are my questions>

    How do I go about deciding if my cruiser is a candidate for a frame off restoration?

    Where or how do I go about finding that reputable magician I mentioned earlier that might be willing to take on the project?

    1-IMG_20170912_175422.jpg
     
  2. mochosla

    mochosla

    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    47
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I'm sure you can find a good honest mechanic that can this for you. The question is, how much are you willing to spend on it? It will cost you a lot of $$$ to have someone do all this.
     
  3. CaptClose

    CaptClose SILVER Star

    Messages:
    886
    Media:
    18
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1,422
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Is the body and frame rust free?

    Yes - it's a candidate for restoration

    No - probably not a candidate. If there is a lot of frame rot especially, then no.
     
  4. 87CRUSR

    87CRUSR SILVER Star

    Messages:
    1,835
    Media:
    10
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    410
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    So Cal
    Current rust assessment and available $$$ will be the 2 decision making variables. Plan on at least $35k on the low side.
     
  5. 60 toy ota

    60 toy ota

    Messages:
    622
    Media:
    3
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    100
    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Location:
    Davis County, UT
    That's not gravina Island I see behind the cruiser, is it?
     
  6. Juggernaught

    Juggernaught SILVER Star

    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes Received:
    297
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    NH
    She looks pretty good as she sets!

    Maybe just tune her up and take her to the car wash? TOR Fab, in Seattle has a good reputation, has done many transplants, and is 'close' to you. I don't think he does restorations but surely knows a quality apholstery nearby who could install carpet and refoam the seats while the mechanical work is being done.

    Depending on your usage, her mileage and engine condition, you might consider keeping the stock 2F. Even the best transplants have problems down the road and if you aren't close to a familiar mechanic, they can be difficult to fix.

    Wish you were my neighbor, and we'd fix her up one evening at a time.

    Good luck.
     
    lel, NeverGiveUpYota and UGA2018 like this.
  7. Willard

    Willard SILVER Star

    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    185
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Leesburg, VA
    I agree with others, if the frame is rotted either find a new frame or look for one you can transplant to.
    either way the frame is a deal breaker.

    if the body is rotted, that is much easier to fix and reweld new metal in it. The main issue here is cost.

    a full on frame off resto from a solid reputable place with cost over 30K, that is without paint or major engine work. Remember this is not a cookie cutter american car where parts are every were. After doing a frame on on my resto of my 1970 Chevelle using many off the shelf parts for the metal work I realized the cost quickly. I was 10K into it and I did all of the labor.
    As it stands on my FJ60 I am only in for 4K right now and without labor (again I am doing the work) I am currently about 280 hours of my labor in this and still have a ton of work.

    if the body and frame look good. just do what is needed. Fix any rust yourself if you can. trust me on this, i am a s***ty welder. My welds looks like total crap, they hold and are leak proof, just not pretty. If i could not cover them up, I would have a pro do the welding. a small ammout of filler (to smooth it out) and a skim coat and you cannot tell.
    Pick up a 1/2 decent mig (Eastwoods 135a is what is have) some gas, do some practice welds or take a course locally and go nuts.

    The key for good panels is low heat (think stitch welding at first) and then how well you can smooth them out after. Sand, paint and away you go.

    For the mechanical, if you are not willing to tackle the engine, trans or transfer, I can relate. so get someone reputable to rebuild them.
    the Axles are easy you just need a slide hammer and a bearing puller for the rear and there is a slew of writeups for the front.

    The interior is also easy, it just takes time. Have a look on Mud here, lots of people have restored their interior, including me. I did the carpet, seats and I will be refinishing my dash myself (we will see how that turns out) using special dye and materials. my headliner was good so I do not have to tackle that, but I did do the one in my Chevelle and it looked factory when complete. The door panels I have look great, but I will get a shop to refinish them in the same fabric as the seats as I bought extra.


    The thing is, if you have the space and the time then do as much as you can yourself, then have someone do the parts you are not willing to tackle.
    If you want to have a show vehicle and take the entire truck apart frame off etc, have deep pockets and get ready for the unknown to creep up fast. A budget of 20K will be at 30K before you know it.

    Doing 80% yourself your budget is 99% less.

    As a note. I have a daily job (leave at 6am get home at 7pm), two very active kids in sports and I still manage to find time.
    I will say my 8mo project has turned into close to two years by the time I will be done.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017 at 8:55 AM
    CenTXFJ60 and UGA2018 like this.
  8. White Stripe

    White Stripe

    Messages:
    4,468
    Likes Received:
    2,621
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    In Alaska you have one of the best cruiser shops in the country up there. They are called "Cruisers Only", give them a call. They have a face book page.
     
  9. Prairie Swamp

    Prairie Swamp

    Messages:
    241
    Media:
    25
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    Location:
    Ohio
    Generally speaking - overall it's lower cost and obviously much faster to buy a really nice one. And you can significantly offset the cost of that by selling yours.

    Regardless of the vehicle - it is almost impossible to come out ahead (in terms of value when talking about selling) on a full resto. Let someone else take that loss. Just my opinion.
     
    Shes Mad likes this.
  10. mmhailey

    mmhailey

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Location:
    SE Alaska
    No not Gravina. I'm over on POW. I drive up and down a gravel road to get to town. Siketi has been all over the island, and travels over pot holes, that I call tank traps. I honestly don't think you could design a better vehicle for the environment I live in.

    OK great info, and lots of things to think about. Here's one: If you could walk over to your personal time machine, and walk into a Toyota showroom, and bring back a new one off the floor, knowing it would still be running in 2050 (33 years later..) How much would you be willing to pay? I should think $40k would be a bargain.

    I did stretch the truth a little on crawling under. So when I crawl under to inspect what do I look for? I mean the frame is rusty. Heck you see the background in the pic. That's not a lake :)

    Question? I know there is a difference between surface rust, and rot. Do you just take a screwdriver and start poking? Is there a typical place where the frame rots first? If someone will give me where to start, I'll start poking today.

    The body is actually good. I see where one rear wheel well needs new metal welded in, where probably a rock knocked a hole through a weak place. The clearcoat is failing, but no surface rust anywhere. The interior was completely done in 08, and is still fine. Rubber floor, new upholstery, etc; The 2F has 220K, but still runs and drinks gas. I had a gentleman on the forum rebuild the carb, and I put the manual choke back in operation.
     
  11. Prairie Swamp

    Prairie Swamp

    Messages:
    241
    Media:
    25
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    Location:
    Ohio
    Sounds like a keeper to me. Frame rust - typically from the rear axle backward. And the proper tool is a ball peen hammer or body hammer. Don't be shy. Don't pound on it but giver her a good tap. If a tap from a hammer puts a hole in it it needs fixed anyway.

    And in 1989 I had just graduated from college went to work for Ford as an import hater. Hind sight is 20-20 but I can't imagine walking into a Toyota dealer and plunking down $20-$22K for a brand new 62. I have a absolutely mint 1990 Mustang with 23K on it that I bought new. How I wish that were a mint 62 sitting in the garage....
     
  12. David Mountain

    David Mountain

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2017
    Location:
    Texas
    I should think $40k would be a bargain.

    Ah, justification for what we want. Gotta love it.
     
  13. David Mountain

    David Mountain

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2017
    Location:
    Texas
    Let someone know before you crawl under ...
     
  14. dogfishlake

    dogfishlake Karoshi SILVER Star

    Messages:
    2,406
    Likes Received:
    3,167
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    greenville mi
    It definitely looks like it is worth having work done on it. If it was falling apart, maybe not but by the picture it is not. The value of what THAT 60 means to you is a big deal too. A brand new pickup costs a pile of money and reaches half it's purchase price in a few years. If you spent a sizeable pile of money on your 60 and got quality work, I guarantee it won't lose value like that. They print money every day but nobody is making new 60's. Have fun!
     
    guerasfj60 and fnpierce like this.
  15. fnpierce

    fnpierce

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    61
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    I'm going to use this line on my wife tonight. Genius.
     
  16. mmhailey

    mmhailey

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Location:
    SE Alaska
    OK OK.... I know how much we all like pictures... I crawled under, and banged away with my ball pein hammer. Mainly banging behind the rear wheels. Luckily I had those glasses on, as the dam mud/rust crap went everywhere. I didn't get it in my eyes, but hearing that was already compromised from loud noises. How do you get those rust/mud globules out of your ears?

    I really didn't find any soft spots. I would call them Rust Acne!

    IMG_20170914_092923.jpg

    IMG_20170914_093145.jpg

    IMG_20170914_093151.jpg
     
    CenTXFJ60 likes this.
  17. Prairie Swamp

    Prairie Swamp

    Messages:
    241
    Media:
    25
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    Location:
    Ohio
    That's good news. You definitely want to take care of what you have there. I know you said you're not into heavy wrenching (or drilling) but personally I would replace the inner C-channels shown in the last pic.

    C-Channel Kit 60 Series

    Not because they're failing but because I would want to get in there to clean things up and rust proof. Absolutely not necessary in your case. But you're going to want to take care of that frame.

    Did you look forward anywhere? Hurry up the equinox is coming it will be dark soon.

    Eric
     
    gregnash likes this.
  18. CenTXFJ60

    CenTXFJ60 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    1,163
    Likes Received:
    1,009
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Location:
    Spring Branch TX (Hill Country)
    Well said. I've done a frame off on a 60's Corvette as well as my current Cruiser. After doing the cruisers these last few years I decided I would never restore the Vette projects I had been hoarding these last few decades. So I sold a few of them last year and primarily focused on these gems :)
     
    NeverGiveUpYota and dogfishlake like this.
  19. Juggernaught

    Juggernaught SILVER Star

    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes Received:
    297
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    NH
  20. landcruiserjunky

    landcruiserjunky

    Messages:
    3,839
    Likes Received:
    203
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Location:
    In Between Worlds
    This! look them up Cruisers Only, Wasilla AK. 10/10 would recommend.
     
    NeverGiveUpYota likes this.