Sandy the Tan FJ60

Joined
Sep 15, 2016
Messages
1,217
Location
Durham, NC
Hi all,

Let me set the stage for you all. It all started way way back in January 2021 when my brother, @Hokierig , asked if I wanted to go to SAS#5 with him in Ouray, CO. I'm always up for a Cruiser trip but we had to take his FJ62 since I only had my 100 series at the time. After an amazing week wrenching, wheeling, sightseeing, and meeting new friends (most of whom had 60's), I left that week with a burning desire for a 60 series and told the new guys I'd met there that I would buy one soon enough. The search began for a 60 that was relatively rust free, able to be wheeled without feeling bad about dinging a panel, yet mechanically sound enough to hit the road at a moment's notice. Given my current work from home job, I also wanted something that needed some love so that I had something to tinker with over the winter.

Well, I made good on my promise. I found a great truck here on MUD of all places and PM'd the owner. He gave me what turned out to be a very honest representation of the truck which is always appreciated.

Now the tough part, I was in NC, the truck was in TX. After thinking about it overnight, we agreed on a price and I started working on how to get the truck home. It had been a deer lease truck for the past 10 years and had less than 5000 miles put on it during that time so it's driveability over the 1500 mile journey was anyone's guess. My brother and I had just done a similar trip with his newly purchased 80 series (Hokierig's hokie 1993 FZJ80 - https://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/hokierigs-hokie-1993-fzj80.1264190/) where we took a truck that had sat, wrenched on it a bit, and then set out on a 1300 mile trip back where we had a blast but also felt like stars in a Roadkill episode. Given the recent trip in his 80, I had some favors saved up and we decided to book some tickets after the Thanksgiving holiday and flew to TX with the plan of driving back the new-to-me 60 series.

We landed in TX, checked out the truck and completed the deal. The frame was amazingly clean and c-channels were intact and damn near perfect. The body on the other hand had some roof rot and interior needed a few good rounds of cleaning mud and dirt out of it. However, I was confident it would clean up nicely. Having detailed for many years in a past life, I was willing and able to take on the challenge.

From there, we set our sights on Houston, TX to go visit some friends from SAS (@HemiAlex and @js0k). Truck drove great all the way to Houston with no hiccups or issues. We spent the night and the next day, got our first look at the truck in daylight. We did some minor baselining and attempted to improve the questionable clutch pedal then hit the road headed towards NC.

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Truck ran great that first day as we logged 600 miles to Meridian, MS. Along the way we babied the inconsistent clutch pedal, an alternator that didn't like to charge at idle/low rpm's, and worked on our case for a sponsorship from Love's (or any gas station for that matter). Truck was happy the entire day cruising 65-70mph getting ~12mpg.
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We hit the road the next morning with plans to make it back to NC that day. Truck ran great all day with no new issues and happily cruising at highway speeds making sure to check out the local gas stations every ~200 miles. Around 8pm, roughly 60 miles from home, we started talking about the trip and how surprised we were that the truck had driven so well on the long trip. Well, seems we counted our blessings a little too early...

Overall, we made it ~1450 miles out of the ~1500 miles required to get back home on our trip. WE WERE SO CLOSE!

I was filling up the tank, having nursed a dying alternator/battery for a few hours now, and the slave cylinder finally lost all hydraulic pressure. Seal was toast and fluid was gone. I bumped the poor truck away from the gas pump and headed for a parking spot out of the way to diagnose and work on a plan to patch her up. Went to back it into the spot and there wasn't enough juice left to bump it. At which point, with parts stores closed, no uhaul with a car trailer handy, and not wanting to spend another night on the road, I got to put my AAA coverage to the test that I had acquired only 48 hours earlier once I had officially taken possession of the truck. We got picked up and, thanks to our AAA driver attempting to break the set the land speed record for a flatbed carrying a FJ60, we were home in record time.

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Now she's home and parts are stockpiling to get her baselined. New clutch slave and master were already on order as well as a new alternator before we even got home.
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Plans for the truck are to handle the rust and make it mechanically sound and reliable enough to grab the keys and hit the road anywhere at a moment's notice. It will get used for some wheeling, some trips, and some daily duty as well just for fun. First step in that plan is to go through all the core systems.
 
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John Staton

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Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Messages
963
Location
The Woodlands, TX
Nice....I had mine on a 400 mile trip this past weekend from The Woodlands to Lometa TX and back to spend the weekend at an exotic ranch. Ran great and the owners wife kept asking me to sell it to her. Not a chance.
 

ntdb

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Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
715
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Seattle, WA
I love these stories about retrieving rigs from >1000 miles away. My drive home was only 70 miles and the old, abused 2F didn't make it. 😆 Good luck and hopefully I'll see you at SAS next year. :)
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2019
Messages
754
Location
Georgia
Great story, good looking cruiser. Enjoy the experience.

I picked up my last 60 in Coere d'lane, ID after buying it sight unseen on ebay for $2500(year was 2008). Flew into Spokane, WA, met the buyer and finalized purchase. I then drove for two days through Montana and Idaho, back to Colorado getting 17 mpg's the whole way. When I got back, I took it up a corrugated dirt road and it rode really rough. I let some air out of the tires and it didn't make a difference. When I got to a gas station to air them back up, I was shocked to find out they still had 90 psi in the tires. I had driven for two days with what must have been 100 psi. I always checked tire pressures from then on. I just wish I still had the fj60 now.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2016
Messages
1,217
Location
Durham, NC
I love these stories about retrieving rigs from >1000 miles away. My drive home was only 70 miles and the old, abused 2F didn't make it. 😆 Good luck and hopefully I'll see you at SAS next year. :)

We seem to have gotten in the habit of doing these long trips that aren't guaranteed with our trucks. This was our 3rd just this year. Maybe I've been watching too much Roadkill but we continue to have a blast on each trip. The truck is going to get prepped as if it's going to SAS next year so hopefully it'll be ready!
 

ntdb

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
715
Location
Seattle, WA
Great story, good looking cruiser. Enjoy the experience.

I picked up my last 60 in Coere d'lane, ID after buying it sight unseen on ebay for $2500(year was 2008). Flew into Spokane, WA, met the buyer and finalized purchase. I then drove for two days through Montana and Idaho, back to Colorado getting 17 mpg's the whole way. When I got back, I took it up a corrugated dirt road and it rode really rough. I let some air out of the tires and it didn't make a difference. When I got to a gas station to air them back up, I was shocked to find out they still had 90 psi in the tires. I had driven for two days with what must have been 100 psi. I always checked tire pressures from then on. I just wish I still had the fj60 now.

Hot take: fill tires to 100PSI to get 17mpg out of an FJ60. :D
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2016
Messages
1,217
Location
Durham, NC
Some updates from the past few days. Gave it a bath and the first of probably 2 or 3 rounds of interior cleanings.

Interior as purchased (minus seat covers). Being a deer lease truck, it had years of mud and dirt ground into the carpets.
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Here are the pics after the first round of cleaning. Carpet has some APC and brushing done prior to a date with a pressure washer. The carpet will get another round of cleaning and washing once my sound deadening arrives this weekend. Seat covers reinstalled.

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
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New 65amp alternator installed along with the first of 3 new belts. I also went through the first major system, ignition. New cap, rotor, wires and plugs. You can see that the engine bay will be getting some cleaning love as well in the future.
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Next up was correcting the reason for our breakdown on the trip home. New clutch master cylinder an slave cylinder installed. Clutch is working great once again! New slave cylinder came with a rod that was about 1/2 the length of the OEM one so I reused the stock one as the other was too short. Rock auto guaranteed fitment FTW! Will keep an eye on it and see how it goes. I have another on hand in case this one is wonky. (yes, the locknut on the slave cylinder rod was snugged up after this pic was taken)
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Joined
Oct 5, 2019
Messages
754
Location
Georgia
Love those safari stripes on the upholstery. Yours is pretty nice compared to most, minus the driver's seat rip that is always common. You could go really period correct and get some sheepskin covers.
Some updates from the past few days. Gave it a bath and the first of probably 2 or 3 rounds of interior cleanings.

Interior as purchased (minus seat covers). Being a deer lease truck, it had years of mud and dirt ground into the carpets.
View attachment 2858193
View attachment 2858195

Here are the pics after the first round of cleaning. Carpet has some APC and brushing done prior to a date with a pressure washer. The carpet will get another round of cleaning and washing once my sound deadening arrives this weekend. Seat covers reinstalled.

View attachment 2858199
View attachment 2858200
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2016
Messages
1,217
Location
Durham, NC
Love those safari stripes on the upholstery. Yours is pretty nice compared to most, minus the driver's seat rip that is always common. You could go really period correct and get some sheepskin covers.

They are definitely cool. I'm waiting for some more supplies to show up before I tackle really cleaning up the stock fabric seats as they're a bit dingy. Going to see if I can source a driver seat that isn't destroyed.
 

dnp

Supporting Vendor
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May 2, 2004
Messages
5,758
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Jackson, MS
Great write up! Some of the absolute best trips / stories I've had are from flying in / driving back a new acquisition! I think, partly, the unknown adds to it (in fact, I once flew into Raleigh to buy a 100 and drove it back to MS, so I did a little of your recent trip in reverse.)

On a more current note, thanks for the carpet order! You're going to be blown away by how much difference that's going to make to your truck's interior....the transformation is truly remarkable!
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2016
Messages
1,217
Location
Durham, NC
Great write up! Some of the absolute best trips / stories I've had are from flying in / driving back a new acquisition! I think, partly, the unknown adds to it (in fact, I once flew into Raleigh to buy a 100 and drove it back to MS, so I did a little of your recent trip in reverse.)

On a more current note, thanks for the carpet order! You're going to be blown away by how much difference that's going to make to your truck's interior....the transformation is truly remarkable!
Thank you for your help in getting the carpet order placed. Should be a good addition to getting the truck cleaned up!

The fly and drive purchases are always fun and memorable!
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2016
Messages
1,217
Location
Durham, NC
While I'm waiting for the rest of the parts to arrive to overhaul my cooling system, I decided to tackle some smaller tasks today since an order from my local dealer showed up. BTW, with Toyota's new dealer parts websites, I love the fact I can order stuff from my local dealer and pick up with no shipping fees instead of having to order from McGeorge or the like.

New liftgate struts (to replace the 2x4), shift knob, and pedal pads. Some items that make the day to day driving experience better.
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Then thew in my new Koito Toyota headlights for $40.14. (PN: 81110-60P70)
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New on the left, old on the right.
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Then while putting in the new harness, I decided to get rid of some of the old accessory wiring in the truck that I didn't need and/or will replace with other accessories and newer wiring. Still more to come out.
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Joined
Sep 15, 2016
Messages
1,217
Location
Durham, NC
The new headlights are the ones on the right? Best swap out those bulbs for LEDs. Super cheap and a ton of light.

:popcorn:

New ones on the left. They are already way brighter than the stock ones! Once I get the cooling system sorted, I'll get the truck out and aim them.
 

GLTHFJ60

Rum Runnin'
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Joined
Apr 18, 2005
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28,108
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Durham, NC
New ones on the left. They are already way brighter than the stock ones! Once I get the cooling system sorted, I'll get the truck out and aim them.

Save the old ones for me, they look similar to my roundeyes :D

The ones on the left are h4 housings right? You can put led bulbs in those too, costs like $30.
 
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