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The Rustbucket: 1988 HJ61 frame off project

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by HoJo 61, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. HoJo 61

    HoJo 61

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    Alright, let's get this thread started.

    So, it all started a little over a month ago, when my aunts husband called my dad that his boss has a red Land Cruiser sitting on his yard, waiting for wreckers to pick it up. Daddy told me about it and asked if we needed some parts for our current Cruiser. "Yup, let's check it out" was pretty much my first thought.

    At this point we didn't know anything else than it was a 60 series LC, and it has been sitting for 5 years.
    For our surprise it was an original HJ61 with factory turbo engine, lockers, rear seats, (deciding factor, these are quite rare in Finland) and of course tons of rust.
    Oh, by the way, it was only 30 Km's away from my place.

    We checked it out and picked up taillight lenses and front window wind deflectors for the green LC.
    I had a thought about buying the whole thing in my mind for few days, finally i had to ask the owner if he wanted to sell the whole thing, he was a bit unsure and said he will think about it. Fast forward 2-ish weeks and he agrees to sell it.
    Of course i didn't want to buy a pig in a sack and wanted to test drive it first before making any decisions. The Cruiser did not have batteries or suitable wheels so i had to bring my own.

    Ok, first start in 2 years. The Cruiser started like it was parked last day. It smoked a bit for couple mins but cleared once the engine warmed up. Clutch was frozen but got it free with a little footwork. Then, took it for a couple rounds around the yard to get some feeling about it, no strange noises, no binding brakes, nothing unusual other than frozen locker mechanisms and transfer shifter. Additional info i got from the seller was, he bought it from an auction five years ago with an intention to fix the rust and daily drive it.
    He found a lot more rust than there was meant to be, and left the LC sitting in a corner of his yard.
    Previous owner had it for another 5 years sitting, that makes 10 years off the road in total, which explains all the rust it has today. Tall grass underneath is far from an ideal parking spot.

    We agreed on a price and we scheduled a pick up day, 3 days later. Lucky me, my friend offered me a free transportation.

    My plan is to take the whole thing apart, and bring it back to its former glory.

    Ok, let's get to the pictures.

    This is how it was found. Tarp as a lower tailgate. Steel wheels that didn't fit...
    [​IMG]

    Delivered at the friends place. Nice to have the right equipment.
    [​IMG]

    Had to borrow the wheels from the green HJ.
    [​IMG]

    PO started to take it apart but got overwhelmed by the rust and tucked the parts in the back.
    [​IMG]

    More pics to follow --->
     
    hj 60 likes this.
  2. HoJo 61

    HoJo 61

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    Did some inventory and cleaning.
    [​IMG]

    Access hole for fuel lines, handy.
    [​IMG]

    Yup. Probably not safe to use anymore.
    [​IMG]

    WOOO! Rear seats!!
    [​IMG]

    Cassette player, original?
    [​IMG]

    Usual stuff..
    [​IMG]

    421k only!
    [​IMG]

    Ofc there's these too.
    [​IMG]

    More in next post ->
     
    CenTXFJ60 likes this.
  3. HoJo 61

    HoJo 61

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    Still intact!
    [​IMG]

    Rust holes, door is probably salvageable still.
    [​IMG]

    Completely rotten wheel arch.
    [​IMG]

    Not much left of the lower quarter panel also.
    [​IMG]

    Tailgate i pretty OK still, not bad at all.
    [​IMG]

    And moreeee -->
     
  4. HoJo 61

    HoJo 61

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    Is this the rear quarter chop now?
    [​IMG]

    Same as the other side, not good.
    [​IMG]

    Close up pic, both sills are rusted through, a lot worse on the back side.
    [​IMG]

    And the front. Luckily new replacement sills are available.
    [​IMG]

    This one needs replacing too!
    [​IMG]

    Some more to come -->
     
  5. HoJo 61

    HoJo 61

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    Checking out the parts.
    [​IMG]

    These were in the back!
    [​IMG]

    Forgot to post this, rust again.
    [​IMG]

    Now we are talking!
    [​IMG]

    Yup, other side too, of course!!
    [​IMG]

    And more -->
     
  6. HoJo 61

    HoJo 61

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    That is how it sits. Springs have plenty of arc left but are heavily rusted so i may have to change them out.
    [​IMG]

    Rear sags a little but is still decent as 33" rubber can fit under. No body lift and stock shackles.
    [​IMG]

    Not bad for 29 year old springs?
    [​IMG]

    Got rust?
    [​IMG]

    This pic leads us to this week.
    [​IMG]

    Ok one more!
     
  7. HoJo 61

    HoJo 61

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    Stripped down.
    [​IMG]

    At this point we had 5 hours in.
    [​IMG]

    Parts starting to pile up. Broke only one thing, windscreen. Bummer.
    [​IMG]

    Ready for lifting the body off. Hopefully on incoming saturday.
    [​IMG]

    And the other side just because.
    [​IMG]

    That's it for now. ;)

    :cheers:
     
  8. Freewheel

    Freewheel

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    Oh boy! big project!

    Those rear patch panels look like ones I ordered from Germany. They worked out pretty well! They are a little lighter than the stock metal but still thick enough.

    good luck!
     
  9. DevonBen60

    DevonBen60

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    Used the same rear wheelarch patch panel which was great. Well done for saving another great truck and best of luck. I make lots of lists to break down the tasks so i can tick things off to convince myself that things are changing even when it doesnt look like it!!
     
  10. Reiti

    Reiti

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    I have found its grey twin on Aland (islands, belonging to Finland, for non scandinavian readers:) ) a couple of years ago.. Little bit less rust, also twin lockers, rear bench. Now waiting in a barn for attention. Good luck with yours, i will follow your reports.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  11. cruisermatt

    cruisermatt ランドクル62! SILVER Star

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    Why not just leave it as it is and have an awesome wheeling truck?
     
  12. hj 60

    hj 60 JT1W0HJ6000960839

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    Nice find, all looks like normal rust, frame off must be a few months of work?
    If you have time can you make a picture of the rightside water drain where the snorkel bolt hole is to show that that hole is not possible to use and no need to drill
    (all drill examples have that 3 row holes while it is impossible to drill that spot)

    I made this example but that is wrong side and to small, I did drill the useless hole :bang::

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017 at 4:35 AM
  13. HoJo 61

    HoJo 61

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    Yep, quite a big project. Hood and roof are the only parts without rust, lol.
    I noticed the same thing with patch panels, they are pretty thin steel but should work. I have to buy replacement sills and rear lower quarter patch panels from Germany at some point too.

    Thanks! Making a list sounds like something i should probably have too, tons of small things to do what you don't want to forgot before reassembly starts.

    I'm definitely looking forward for build thread if you are going to start one!
    Do you have the rig in Germany? Many of "our" Cruisers has been shipped there.


    Well, that's what most folks would probably do, but i'll try to save this and rebuild close to original.
    Also, my green HJ will serve the wheeling purpose as needed. All it needs at this point is better suspension for more flex. ;)

    Will see how long it takes. I'm hoping for the frame and axles to be done before XMas.

    No worries about the pic, i can take you some tomorrow.
     
  14. Juggernaught

    Juggernaught SILVER Star

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    :popcorn:

    You've got a lot of work ahead of you. You might consider moving the 12HT and lockers into a new vehicle. I look forward to watching your updates.
     
  15. SteveH

    SteveH

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    A daunting task with a very cool truck. Cable-operated diff locks = nice
     
  16. HoJo 61

    HoJo 61

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    I would be lying if i said that i haven't considered it. I can't nothing but agree how much less work there would be if i had better cab and frame to start with. But that's what i got and sourcing better frame and cab could most likely cost some pretty stack of coins. :meh:

    It just got some more daunting today. o_O
     
  17. HoJo 61

    HoJo 61

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    Ok, so we got the body off today. Right equipment made the job easy as slicing a piece of cake.
    We used a Bobcat excavator to lift the body off, one strap thru front door openings and one thru rear side windows. It was so exciting i forgot to take any pictures, oopsie.

    Next step was to remove brake and fuel lines along with some misc. parts like spare tire carrier and t-case "skid plate".
    Hot water pressure wash did miracles and revealed some more rust holes. Nothing major but few new spots to address.

    Engine and trans combo will be lifted off the frame hopefully by yesterday.

    [​IMG]

    Fresh from the bath.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. HoJo 61

    HoJo 61

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    @hj 60 i got you some pics, hope they help. Feel free to ask for more.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    hj 60 likes this.
  19. Kmonty66

    Kmonty66 GOLD Star

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    :popcorn: man lofty project! Props to you!
     
  20. HoJo 61

    HoJo 61

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    Thank you!
    :cheers: