Builds Red Wagon 60 - 1 Tons, LS/SM465/NP205 Build (1 Viewer)

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I started a build thread on my new to me '87 FJ60 in the 60 series section. Since there aren't too many 60 series folks in our club, I thought I would cross post it in our Clubhouse and keep it updated so you guys can follow along.

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I've been a Cruiser head for a while, but I bought my first in 2013. It was a grey '88 FJ62 that was neglected and a little beat up. I was moving to AR for my first job out of college and spotted it on my way into town, looking for an apartment to move into. I went back 2 weeks later and haggled with the guy and ended up driving it home.
62.JPG

During all my Cruiser history I've never created a build thread here, so this will be my first. I'll incorporate some of my past Cruisers into the thread and have included some pics below, so it can be sort of like a catch all.

Back to the 62 - it was somehow sitting on 38.5" TSL's with just a 3" OME and homebrew shackles. The A440 + 3fe hated life and would barely get out of it's own way (let alone stop). I found ih8mud a week before I bought that truck and have been hooked ever since.

Since that 62, I've had a green 40, a blue 60, a gold 62, and 3 80s (white, blue, green), plus a 100 and 200, but those don't count b/c they were/are for my wife.
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Like many guys on here, I get bored easily and buy cheap Cruisers. Then that turns into lots of wrenching, lots of ih8mud reading, and then the natural progression is to take them camping, trail riding, or to a TLCA event around the Southeast. Wash, rinse, repeat, then sell them when I get bored and move on to a new project.

The last Cruiser I sold was my '82 60, which I actually ended up trading for my current FZJ80. I ended up buying back my 60 and promised myself I would never sell it again. There's just something about a 60 wagon to me that's so Classic, easy on the eyes, and has just enough comfort to be the ultimate Land Cruiser (IMO). Also, my 60 has killer patina and a rare(ish) blue ext/brown int color combo (one of my favorite things about it).
60.JPG


Enough rambling....

The newest project. A red '87 FJ60 with just the right amount of patina, trail scars, and history. Oh yea, did I mention it has NO drivetrain? :hillbilly:
 
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This 60 has been sitting in the same spot in downtown Birmingham for the last 15 or more years. I remember seeing it in HS and then when I moved back here 2.5 years ago, it was still there. Back in April, I drove past it and noticed the owner had painted on the windshield:

FOR SALE
No Motor
205-xxx-xxxx
View attachment 2424576
This had me intrigued, so I swung back around and gave the guy a call. Come to find out, he's a big Cruiser head as well (go figure!). He owns a furniture store downtown and has 2 massive warehouses behind where this 60 was parked. He has 2 FJ40's that are parked inside as well (been sitting for a while too).

He told me some brief history on the 60 - it came from out West and has done a bunch of trails in Moab and California. He bought it from a guy (with no drivetrain) and had big plans for it. Well, life got in the way and he never got around to messing with it.

When I initially talked to him, he was asking a pretty far-fetched price for what it was. So I told him I'd pass, but to check out our local club, DixieLand Cruisers, come to a meeting and keep in touch. I would text him every month or so and check in to see if he sold it (which I knew he hadn't), but more importantly to see if he would come down on his price. Well I texted him last week and he mentioned he had a lot of tire kickers, but nobody brought cash. We were able to strike a deal, and that brings me to today.

I've got a buddy with a truck & trailer who is going to help me load it up and get it back home later this week. Once I get it in my driveway, I will take inventory and let you guys know more details on the truck, how it sits, and my future plans for it. Everything is up in the air now, so I'm open to suggestions as to take this....



View attachment 2418644
 
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I finally was able to go pick up the 60 with a help of my buddy Drew @RusticMtn. We had to get a little tricky with a snatch block, winch and recovery strap to get it up on the trailer. Also, it was way to wide to fit on the Uhaul so we had to ride the passenger side up on the fenders (shockingly they didn't collapse).
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We had to reposition the snatch block a couple of times, but we finally got it up on the trailer and tied down.

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Now that I've got it back home, I'm going to give it a much needed wash and cleaning on the inside and outside and spray the frame and axles down with Fluid Film. The guy I bought it from had a trash can of parts to send me home with (front grill, headlight corners, AC condenser and assorted hoses, driveshafts, center console, full set of spare leaf springs, etc.)
 
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A little update. I haven't really discussed what all is done to the truck yet...so here it goes.

The previous owner had swapped a chevy 350 in it and apparently ran the H42 and stock split case behind it. Already having 350 frame engine mounts welded in is a big reason why I’m going LS.
View attachment 2432493

They also swapped Dana 60's front and rear with a SOA (on what looks like stock 60 springs). The spring hangers have been outboarded as well.
View attachment 2432494

I've been doing some research to help identify the axles I have and came up with:

Front: '84-'88 GM Dana60HD, 35 spline axles, 30 spline stub, King Pin, 4.56 factory (has been upgraded to 4.88), Detroit Locker

Rear: Ford D60. Harder to identify. Still had the ID Tag on the rear cover and after searching it looks like it's an early 70's model. You can see it came with 3.73's stock, but has 4.88's, 30 spline axles and a Detroit Locker. Also has been converted to disc brakes (and after researching) uses '73-'87 GM 3/4 ton front calipers and rotors.
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I spent the afternoon yesterday pulling apart the rear axle to rebuild the brakes and verify axle spline count. Removed the calipers, axle shafts, and hub assembly to get the rotors off.
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I've got new calipers (Napa N4597 driver, N4596 passenger) and rotors (Napa 4885677) ordered and picking up today.
 
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Since the fuel lines haven’t been hooked up to anything in years, I figured the tank was probably suspect to rust. So I popped the fuel sending unit cover and took a peek inside...
View attachment 2435690
Yep, it’s rusty so I went ahead and dropped it. Luckily there wasn’t any old fuel in it. I dropped it off Friday at a local shop to have them boil it and coat it with Red Kote.
I also need to pull the fuel lines and see if they’re suspect. I know @orion had ongoing problems with his stock fuel lines on his LS swap, so I’m thinking new lines will be in order.
View attachment 2435691
 
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I've been to several local junkyards over the past few weeks looking for engines/donor trucks. At most places, the engines are already pulled and it's just the block with no accessories or harness/ECU. I ended up going to the local Pull-a-part where they had a lot of different GM trucks to chose from, but most had been picked over. Found out they have a "new inventory" notification on their website, so I waited until they had some fresh trucks on the lot before I went down there next.

Got an email yesterday saying they had a '00 Tahoe and '02 Suburban on the lot, so me and @rickyears went down and ended up pulling the 5.3 out of the Suburban. My plan was to just buy the whole engine, but decided I might as well buy the 4l60e that came with it. Mainly because we were running out of time and I didn't want to separate the 2 at the yard. I will sell the trans if I don't end up using it. I just picked up an SM465 this week as well, which is what I originally planned to run for a transmission.
5.3-2.jpg


5.3.jpg


Next up, I need to go pickup my fuel tank and order up new fuel lines, fittings, pump and regulator.
 
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Got the tank boiled and coated at Southern Armature downtown, turned out pretty good.

I also got in my motor mount brackets (after being sent the wrong ones from Ebay) along with motor mounts and hardware. Now I can actually test fit the engine to see how everything lines up.


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Slowly been working on getting the engine somewhat “torn down” over the past week. Removed the stock wiring harness, exhaust manifolds and AC compressor (not running AC) and disconnected the 4l60e and stock flexplate.

Also bolted up the new motor mounts so I can mock up the motor to see how it fits.
View attachment 2496465
I’ve decided I’m going to run a SM465 to take advantage of the 6.55:1 1st gear. The auto would be “easy” and have overdrive, but there’s something about a manual 5.3 that intrigues me.

Next steps:
-Bolt up GM “musclecar” oil pan
-Bolt up LS3 camaro exhaust manifolds
-Start on harness rework via lt1swap.com directions
-Order fuel lines, fittings, pump, regulator, etc
-Order flywheel, clutch, etc for sm465
 
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I got the stock wiring harness stripped and de-pinned the AC, emissions and auto trans stuff via lt1swap.com. I'm sending in my ECU tomorrow to Brendan for him to tune it. This was a DBW truck and I'm converting to DBC, so I need to add the Idle Air Control and Throttle Sensor Position sensors to the computer. LT1swaps.com has all this info and is a huge help in all of this.

Slowly collecting parts for Red. I'm waiting on some M10x1.5 long bolts from McMaster Carr so I can bolt up the engine to my stand. Then I'll swap out the oil pan and some other PM stuff (rear main, water pump gasket, etc).

Ordered over the past 3 weeks:
-GM Musclecar oil pan
-LS3 Camaro exhaust manifolds & ARP bolts
- EVAP solenoid block-off
-NFW1050 Flywheel, LS2 pilot bearing, ARP flywheel & pressure plate bolts (need to order a clutch kit)
-Russell 6AN fuel line, fittings, pump, etc for fuel setup

I found out my engine is in fact an L59 (flex fuel version of an LM7). Seems a lot of the early Suburban's came with these. Almost all flex-fuel trucks came with a Return fuel system, but mine is a returnless (has a vacuum referenced FPR at the rail). This creates some issues with me wanting to run the common Corvette regulator most people run. This allows you to only have to run one fuel line from the fuel rail to the regulator.

My options are:

-Ditch the corvette regulator completely and just run 2 lines to the tank (most likely)
-Switch fuel rails to a return rail setup
-Plug return at fuel rail (seen some people do this and say its fine, others say not advised)

I also found out I have flex-fuel injectors that flow 36.6lbs/hr. These injectors usually came on 2004-2006 flex fuel trucks, but I guess I got lucky. This is a good upgrade compared to the ~25lb/hr stock LM7 injectors. This is good if I want to do any power adders down the road...

I've also tracked down a 4x4 SM465 here on Mud. Just waiting to figure out shipping and price, so that is one less part to worry about. The only thing I'm missing now is the snout/adapter that bolts the SM465 to the NP205.
 
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I've also going back and forth on adding a cam and new valve springs while I've got the engine on the stand. There's not much point for low end torque, other than I like the chop and it would sound better. May hold off for now and add later down the road. I just want to continue getting the major necessary parts so this doesn't turn into a super long project...

The ultimate goal would be to get it running in time for our club's CCWS 3.0 run @ Windrock in January. That's coming up rather quickly, but you got to have goals! We'll see how it goes...

Big parts I still need to order:

-Radiator (probably going to order a Champion for an FJ60, but get them to swap inlet/outlet location and size)
-Heater hoses, radiator hoses, fan shroud, Heater Valve
-Power Steering hoses
-Clutch Kit
-Air intake setup
-Temp Sensor and Oil pressure sensor adapters

To-Do:
-Driveshafts shortened/lengthened (need to mock up engine/trans/tcase and measure)
-Trans crossmember
-Install fuel tank, plumb lines, install pump, figure out regulator/return, etc.
-Once I finish wiring, re-loom and tape up, install on motor
-Bolt up flywheel, pilot bearing, clutch kit
-Figure out slave setup
 
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Very nice sir. She'll be ready to roll by new years at this pace
My goal is to get it done by MLK for our Windrock trip, but that’s highly doubtful with a 4 month old and Christmas coming up. I’m going to try though!
Drive it to TN?

you can borrow my tundra and trailer if you want to tow it. My trailer may be too skinny for the tons and big meats:hmm:
If there’s a way I can get it done by then, my plan is to rent a uhaul and tow it with Caylee’s 200. This is a wide unit, we had to flex it out over the uhaul fenders when we first picked it up.
BD3680D1-4FA0-4997-8B1A-61BBE251D69F.jpeg

I need to get on my 60 and get it ready to go.
Put that lift on! Is it running ok, or still issues with the tank? Southern Armature dipped mine for $200 and did a great job.
 

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