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Builds Taro, the FJ60 build and adventure. (2 Viewers)

Rockymtnreaper

Colorado.Cruiser
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
683
Location
Southwest Colorado / Southern California
Hello fellow mud members:flipoff2:(thats how we say hello), I think its time I started a build thread, between college and work I have been hesitant to start a thread. Its time,

My name is Tucker, and this is the story about my 1987 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60 named Taro.

The story: This FJ60 is one of two that I have spent my childhood in, my parents bought this from the original owner when we lived in Big Bear Lake, California back in 2003. The original owner was a local retired high school teacher, and this was his daily driver. He was actually my mothers teacher in High School! Anyways... back to the story. My dad bought this as a weekend adventure and project, he was missing the one we owned previously.

First thing we did was tore out the old worn interior, got an SOR carpet kit, and sent the seats off to be refoamed and reupholsted with a new fabric kit from SOR. We put a replacement dash in (old one was ate by the sun and cracked.) After doing some wiring and engine work we got all the bells and whistles working. We lifted the cruiser 2-1/2" with a BDS lift kit and put some tall and skinny 33" BF Goodrich T/A Mud-Terrains. She was ready for short trips!

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Shortly after we decided to pack our things and move to Colorado.

The cruiser got some love, but not much with a new house being built and trying to make connections and start a new life. In the next couple of years I would take the cruiser out with my dad and learn how to drive stick, at a young age on dirt roads in rural Colorado. I was hooked!!

After my parents got divorced the cruiser soon became an asset that ended up being my mothers, as part of a divorce settlement. It sat for years, only driven a handful of times. When I was a senior in High School my mother called me one day and decided that she was interested in selling the 60. Being a good son I agreed to sell the cruiser for her, I cleaned it up and drove it for the next few weeks with for sale signs in the back seat that I never wanted to hang up; I fell in love with the cruiser again. Old memories of weekends spent traveling in her flooded my mind. I wanted to buy it. I had a conversation with my dad about buying the cruiser, but I was heading to college soon and decided I needed a "reliable vehicle" something that wouldnt need work and I could focus on school...

I ended up selling the 60 to a family friend who had an eye for it when I was driving it around.
This is the state it was in when I sold it.
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After the cruiser was gone and I was in College, I couldnt stop thinking about what it would have been like if I bought the cruiser.. I wasnt happy with my reliable fuel efficent car. I never was going to be.

Two years later after having life-changing spine surgery (two 22" rods and 28 screws.) I had this idea in my head that life is too short to live by someone else's idea of what your life should be. I called up the family friend and asked if he would sell me back our families 1986 FJ60 and will some time to think he decided that he would sell it back to me, with only one condition "IF I sold the 60 I could only sell it back to him." We both knew I had no intentions of selling the Land Cruiser EVER. It's going to die with me.
 
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Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
5,736
Location
Southern Colorado
As usual, the story is what turns another old truck into something cool. Well, admittedly, 60s are just cool as they sit, but the story helps. Nice that your family friend didn't hack it up, and saw value in you having it back.
 

Rockymtnreaper

Colorado.Cruiser
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
683
Location
Southwest Colorado / Southern California
Let's assess the damage...
Looks like the hood hasn't been lifted in years, Smog spaghetti everywhere.. The power plant looks like a rats nest..
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Moved into my house, and Taro is already marking its territory.. Checked the compression, and the rocker arms, everything is running good.
 

Rockymtnreaper

Colorado.Cruiser
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
683
Location
Southwest Colorado / Southern California
As usual, the story is what turns another old truck into something cool. Well, admittedly, 60s are just cool as they sit, but the story helps. Nice that your family friend didn't hack it up, and saw value in you having it back.

I agree, the only thing that he did was add oil and drive it... which concerned me, but he had replaced the power steering pump, it was basically just his beater for him so winter wasn't hard on the nicer cars..
 

gregnash

Anal Retentive Analyst
SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 3, 2011
Messages
12,412
Location
Carson City, NV
Good to see that you finally started a build thread dude! Keep up the good work in restoring the ole girl.
Gotta give us some background on the name TARO.
 

Rockymtnreaper

Colorado.Cruiser
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
683
Location
Southwest Colorado / Southern California
Good to see that you finally started a build thread dude! Keep up the good work in restoring the ole girl.
Gotta give us some background on the name TARO.

Since you asked, Taro was a common Japenese name giving to the first born son, the word literally means, "Eldest Son" (please correct me if I'm wrong.)
I have been wanting to name the 60 for the last couple months but nothing was really coming to mind that really fit. Recently I was listening to a song called, Taro by Alt-J.. and it was a song that my aunt and I often refer to as, "That song that we played while we were driving down a beautiful dirt road in Pagosa Springs, CO on a beautiful summer day!" Anyways the song fits driving the cruiser in beautiful country.. So i looked up the meaning of the name. And quickly made some similarities since the 60 was from Japan, and I am the oldest son in my family and this is my first Land Cruiser its fitting. Plus it has a nice ring to it!! :hmm:
 

Rockymtnreaper

Colorado.Cruiser
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
683
Location
Southwest Colorado / Southern California
Decided to take care of some leaks I had coming from the Transfer Case. And while it was out, I want to replace the rear main seal.
Transfer Case Rebuild w/ Koyo bearings from Cool Cruisers of Texas
Rear main seal from Justin @ Redline Cruisers, Toyota could not get me one for a month... It's my daily driver so that is not an option.

Taking the T-Case out..
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Getting the years of "gunk" off..
 

Rockymtnreaper

Colorado.Cruiser
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
683
Location
Southwest Colorado / Southern California
My old radiator was leaking pretty bad... It was time to upgrade! oooo shiny! :hillbilly: (EDIT June 2019/ That was such a bad decision do not get rid of your old radiator. Get it rebuilt.)
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The weather was awful.. So I decided I would paint the grill and wait for the weather clear up to put in the Trans/T-case in..
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The weather never cleared up.. So I said :censor: it and put it in anyways... Nothing like getting hailed on and trying to line up everything on a slanted gravel driveway..
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Finally the cruiser was back on the road!! This is me going and getting some new plates.:beer:
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