Stevo's Unofficial Build Thread, FJ60 + FJ62 + FJ80 Axle = FJ68? (1 Viewer)

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I don't know if I will have the time/opportunity to do an official build thread, but I have had a bunch of people ask me about my planned springover conversion with 63" Chevy springs in the rear. So I decided to start this thread to document the progress of my 1987 FJ60 build. I know how everyone likes pictures, so there will be plenty of those. But now for some background on my project.

In October I purchased a 1987 FJ60 for $800 It was mechanically sound, just needed a battery. It did have some rust though. Here she is.
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Body Work

So with my newly acquired cruiser, I decided the first step was to tackle some of rust that plagued the body.

I wanted to do it right so I spent the time cutting out all of the cancer, and replacing it with fresh new metal.

Also I will apologize in advance for the crappy photos, I have been documenting this with the camera on my cell phone.
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Quarterchop

The next thing to go were those rear quarterpanels. They were rusted to death, and were just waiting to get slammed against things off road. Passenger Side:
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Frame, not so much

So I got to looking at the frame a bit. I examined it when I was looking at the truck it looked rusty, but I figured it was almost 25 years old that's how I expected it. But as I went around knocking mud and other debris off of it I noticed that pieces of the frame started breaking off and falling to the ground. Not too good.

When I realized I could look through both rails and see the wall on the other side I decided to do a little strengthening.
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Frame

So I looked around the shop and found some very stout C-channel, I looked around under the frame for the worst spots, and also spots that would see the most stress being driven hard off road. These were the spots I decided to beef up:
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Parts Truck

Pretty much as soon as I finish doing my ghetto strengthening of the frame, I find a local mud member who has a parts fj62. At first I am just interested in the axles but when I ask about the frame, he says its in great shape. So for $400 I buy the rest of the truck.

As you can tell the beast has been gutted, I salvaged whatever that was good, and stripped the rest off to be scrapped.
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Strip down

So I get my new donor rig into the shop and tear anything of use off of it. Not too much left when I got it. But I was left with an almost perfect frame and rolling chassis.
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Joined
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63" Chevy Springs

So I had a bunch of things in the mix for this truck. I wanted it to be a monster off road, but still drivable on the street. So to help with its off-roading prowess I decided I wanted to spring it over. The springs on the FJ60 were totally shot, but the FJ62 Springs still had a bunch of life in them.

I wanted to have some beefier springs up front so I decided that would be the perfect home for the current rear 62 springs, after a little clean up.

I had read a couple of threads on people putting Chevy 63" springs in the rear, with great results. So I decided that was the path I would take. They are more flexy, yet able to carry a large load which would be good for a heavy wagon. So off to the local U-pull I went, and it just so happened that they had a new Chevy Silverado 2500 that had just come in that day. About $100 later I had a practically new set of springs. I brought them back to the shop and cleaned them up. Decided blue was my color. Don't hate on them.
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I ordered a Chevy 63" Swap kit from Ruffstuff,63" Chevy Spring Swap [63swp] - $120.00, very straightforward install too.

First weld up the hangers in the kit.
I decided to do one side at a time.
I took a plumb bob and used that to mark on the frame the location of the rear axle. I decided to keep it in the stock location.
So I unbolted the old U-bolts and freed the old springs from the rear axle. I cut the old spring hangers off the frame since I wouldn't be using them anymore.
Set the new spring under the axle, bolted it up. and then proceeded to tack the new hangers in place. I know the shackle angle is not the best looking but I figured since there was no weight on the frame it would look better once the FJ60 body and drivetrain was in. If not, I just tacked the hangers in place so I could easily cut and relocate them in the future.

Also, the only rusted portion of the FJ62 frame was the rear C-channel insert so I removed it and replaced it with some quarter inch angle iron in increase the strength of the rear frame. It was welded in, but I also plan on using some grade 8 bolts to ensure its strength.
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63 inch Chevy springs

Same goes for the other side. Once one side was hung, I tested the difference between the stock springs and the Chevys. The new 63" Chevy springs are noticeably more flexible. I can't wait to hit the trail with these. Also If there are any questions about this process let me know, I sorta zoomed through it. BTW the shackles included in the kit were designed for a 1/2" and a 9/16th bolt to be used. I increased the size of the holes and decided to use 5/8ths bolts that I converted to greaseable bolts. By doing this I needed to find new inserts for the bushings which I made from some galvanized conduit that was around.
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Yeah, Unfortunately the shop I am working in is not mine, and I have to keep the truck running and driving. They are some really great people and I'm so thankful that they are letting me use it. Its their busy season so I am currently in the process of collecting parts for the SOA conversion. Should be starting June 1st when their busy season is officially over.

I also helped a fellow MUD member drop the rear axle on his FZJ80 so this baby is going to get prepped in the meantime.

It sure will be nice having a full floater in the back.
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Other odds and ends

I had some downtime before repairing the frame and getting the parts truck so I decided to do some other things to the truck. The list includes some new rear storage panels, and an on-board air system. The new panels were pretty easy to make, all it took was some sheet metal, I traced the old cardboard panels onto them and marked out a few of the holes. I also pulled out all of the ratty looking carpet and rolled some bedliner on it.
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OBA

So upon inspection of the AC system I found that the condenser coil was totally dryrotted and worthless. The system would not be usable unless I wanted to pony up the dough for the new coil and braze it in. All possible to do, but I got to thinking about using the AC compressor as a compressed air system. I started reading up on this on this forum and researched all of the things I would need to do in order to do the conversion. I know a york would have been better, but the stock compressor still worked and was already installed. So I bought all the components needed, and set it up. I have it plumbed into a pressure switch which activates when PSI <90 and shuts off automatically when PSI = 125.
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Sorry to let you down, but its gonna go right from the frame swap to the SOA. I will probably take her out for a spin once the frames have been swapped and after I have fully welded the spring hangers, just to test everything out. But no long term tests. I'll let you know how she handles.

Right now I would be willing to bet the handling would be much improved over stock. Those springs are just so nice and flexy but still strong.
 

GLTHFJ60

Rum Runnin'
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I was going to tell you in the other thread to start a build thread. I'm looking forward to this, you have the same goal / problems that I do. Good luck man.
 

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