Shakedown lessons learned on my Terra Cruisers FJ-43

Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
133
Location
The Woodlands, Texas
It has been three months and 1500 miles since I received my FJ43 from Terra Cruisers (FJ-43 Build) and I have been spending a lot of time going through, learning and checking everything during my quarantine downtime. You got to just love the beautiful simplicity of these trucks. This thread is meant to report on how things are going, lessons learned, and solutions to things I faced so far. As things come up, I will add them to the list.

Issue 1: Oil leaking from ARB Air Compressor - Locker Solenoid. Axel air breathers were blocked with some grease and when the axels diff heated up, it built up pressure and push diff oil up the air line to the compressor.

Solution 1 Cleaned the axel air breathers, disconnected air line at axel and blew out the oil, and reconnected air line. It seems like it is a pretty common problem with an air locker system which is how I found the fix quick. It takes numerous heat-up cool down cycles to get the oil all the way up the line so the shop never saw it during their 300 miles of testing. I did not see any oil at the solenoid until I had 1400 miles on it and that was only after a 1 hour long 75 mph highway trip. Anyway, no damage done and all’s good now. I am planning to install a remote ARB axel breather setup before I start any real off-roading which should prevent any future blockages.

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Issue 2: Firewall behind air conditioning unit got hot once the engine reached temp and forced the AC to work harder.

Solution 2: Wrapped header and exhaust lines inside of engine bay with Design Engineering Titanium Wrap which reduced the heat significantly.

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Issue 3: The OEM running boards were not supporting my 220lbs-ish weight well when getting in and out of the truck.

Solution 3: I fabricated some reinforcement support brackets that also allowed me to install some simple aftermarket hoop steps with a 5in drop which makes getting in and out very easy especially for my 5'2" wife. I did a separate thread on the fabrication and installation.Hoop Step Installation The hoop steps can also be quickly taken off for off-roading.

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Issue 4: I starting having intermittent idle issues when the AC was running where the idle would not drop below 2000 rpm. It would drop immediately when I turned the AC off.

Solution 4: On the 1FZFE engine, a small vacuum actuator near the throttle body is controlled by a solenoid which turns on and off with the AC compressor. The actuator pushes the throttle bottom stop position up to increase the idle a couple of hundred rpm when the ac is running. The problem was cause by a small vacuum tube that was getting caught between the throttle arm and the actuator which increased rpm offset when the ac was running. I simply adjusted the routing of the vacuum tube so that it stayed clear of the actuator.

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Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
133
Location
The Woodlands, Texas
Issue 5: Rust forming where the hood and windshield hold down hooks clamp to the body which chips the paint over time

Solution 5: I added a little pieces of door edge trim with a little shoe glue on the metal bracket to protect the paint.

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Issue 6: Rust forming over time in threaded bolt and screw holes at the hinges and other locations on the body. While not a real issue yet in mine, I know it will be over time if not addressed now. With all stainless hardware, I was also worried about it galling when I have to remove it later.

Solution 6: I removed all the bolts one at a time, cleaned out any visible rust in the hole with a small bottle brush, and coated the bolt or screw with Bostik nickel never-seez. When reinstalling the bolt I also made sure to have a vinyl washer between the stainless washer and the associated hinge or part to protect the paint.

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Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
133
Location
The Woodlands, Texas
Issue 7: Seatbelt brackets on the roll bar rattled a-lot and would spin around causing the seat belt to knot up when trying to put them on.

Solution 7: I added large rubber fender washers I got from Ace Hardware to cushion and hold the brackets in place. This eliminated the biggest noise maker in the cab (by far bit) and the seat belts never knot up when putting them on.

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Issue 8: The door latch pulls had a lot of play and would not return all the way after being pulled to open the door.

Solution 8: I popped off the door panels and stretched the springs a little to take up the slack. I also added some pieces of stick on felt to pad the rods to prevent rattling. They work fine now.

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Issue 9: AC condensate lines inside the cab were kinked and leaking. The main problem in my opinion was the line that came with the unit was very thin walled. The line routing out the firewall also lead to the water dripping directly on the exhaust line which created little puffs of steam out of the hood louvers every time the truck stopped.

Solution 9: I replaced the lines using ace hardware sprinkler pipe (funny pipe) and fittings with clamps on the condenser unit. I also routed the line outside of the firewall down just below the frame rail.

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Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
133
Location
The Woodlands, Texas
Issue 10: My wing vent window latch handles were very loose and they leaked a little when closed. The lock buttons also did not work.

Solution 10: I cleaned them up and add some new washers and springs and pins. My local Ace Hardware had everything needed. I added some stainless and neoprene washers (one stainless and one neoprene outside and one neoprene) between the frame and glass to pull the handle closer to the frame. This made it latch a lot tighter which stopped any leaking around the vent window.

I replace the flat washer and nut with a new m12-1.25 nut and washer

I used my Dremel tool to polish the main bolt and inside the handles.

I replace the lock button spring and the handle retainer pins.

When reinstalling, I made sure to flip the bolts so that the handle retainer pin did not run in the worn side of the bolt slot.

Note that the parts picture below shows one metal and three neoprene washers which was not what was installed. I used two metal and two neoprenes

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Issue 11: Rear vent windows leaked a little when closed and were hard to open because the hinge brackets were getting caught on the weatherstripping.

Solution 11: This took just a little adjusting of the hinge brackets by carefully bending them with a little trial and error. They close and open well now.

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Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
133
Location
The Woodlands, Texas
Issue 12: Droopy and loose sun visors. Everyone already knows the Toyota OEM visors leave a lot to be desired.

Solution 12: I simply took the visors off and apart, carefully bent the metal arms in a vice to counter the droop, and tighten the nut on the bracket spring until it was tight as possible. It's much more tolerable now and there are very few alternate aftermarket options out there. I love the TLC lear jet sun visors but evidently the $420 price indicates they like them more than me. It anyone knows of other options, please drop a reply.
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
133
Location
The Woodlands, Texas
Issue 13: I have a rear mounted 22 gallon Tojo tank however; once the tank was filled with more than 17 gallons, it would leak around the sending unit. After doing some research I found out there have been issues with the cork gaskets on these tanks and that most people replaced it with rubber.

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Solution 13: Updated: Once the tank was dropped it became evident that at some point the fuel sender was swapped out with a different unit that had a different bolt pattern. Not a problem except that the original bolt holes were left open. It only took new gaskets and some Permatex fuel tolerant sealant to seal all the leak paths. The vent line was also loose and leaking so some Teflon tape fixed it up. We did an inversion test and the tank held great. I can now get a full 22 gallons in without any problems. We also added some rubber pads between the tank and the contact points with the frame just for extra protection.
 
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Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
133
Location
The Woodlands, Texas
Issue 14: I started getting a lot of squeaking from one of the rear disk brakes. The squeaking was the result of axel oil slowly leaking through the rear axel bearing seal which was getting on the brakes.

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Solution 14: I had the axel seal replaced. I also had to replace the brake pads which were contaminated with the oil.
 
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Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
133
Location
The Woodlands, Texas
Issue 15: Rubber pull on the passenger door pulled off. The screw and washer that held the handle on just pulled through the hole in soft handle material.

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Solution 15: I added slightly larger metal washers and glued to washers in place to the handles with a little bead of Locktite Shoe Glue. The handles have not come off again.
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
133
Location
The Woodlands, Texas
Issue 16: Wing vent windows were loose and would not stay in place when open.

Solution 16: I pulled off the door panels and tighten the bottom pivot nut/spring (94110-40600 in attached drawing) which added enough tension to hold the window in place.

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Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
133
Location
The Woodlands, Texas
Issue 17: Oil leaking from filler cap.

Solution 17: Cap was not an OEM unit and was missing a gasket. Replaced with a new OEM Toyota cap and gasket.
 
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