Builds Treebeard (2 Viewers)

ntdb

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423
Location
Seattle, WA
After months of researching and seeing/driving 60s in the PNW I finally pulled the trigger. Treebeard is a February 1984 FJ60 that I bought for $3,000 with 292,000 miles on the clock. Before I found the truck it sat under a tree in Olympia for three years. I'm a noob wrencher so this thread should be good inspiration for anyone who, like me, fell in love with these old trucks with very little prior experience working on cars.

Story:
  1. Would you buy this FJ60? (this post and the original thread title)
  2. Bringing Treebeard home (page 2)
  3. The head is out! (page 6)
  4. Cracked cylinder wall (page 8)
  5. Getting a new heart (page 10)
  6. The new engine arrives (page 11)
  7. Out with the old (page 11)
  8. In with the new (page 12)
  9. Engine install and gas tank fun (page 13)
  10. First drive (page 13)
  11. Three months! (page 14)

Build log:
  • Cleaned up moss and dirt inside and out (2/20)
  • Replaced front side markers (2/20)
  • Replaced tail light lenses (then broke one) (2/20)
  • Replaced tailgate light bezel (2/20)
  • Replaced rear passenger window lever (2/20)
  • Removed, washed, and reinstalled seat upholstery (2/20)
  • Shampooed carpets (2/20)
  • Added Lloyd’s floor mats (3/20)
  • Swapped 292k 2F with a 166k 2F (including alternator, PS pump, AC compressor, starter, coil, carb, exhaust) (3/20)
  • Cut my fan shroud in half (3/20)
  • Drained, dropped, cleaned, and reinstalled gas tank (3/20)
  • New oil, coolant, PS fluid (ATF) (4/20)
  • Replaced choke cable and knob (4/20)
  • Replaced locking gas cap with OEM (4/20)
  • Cleaned and straightened up rear cargo panels (4/20)
  • New TREs (4/20)
  • New front brake calipers and pads (4/20)
  • Grille painted (4/20)
  • Frame hole above muffler repaired (5/20)
  • OME heavy install (springs, shocks, shackles, pins, bushings, u-bolts) (5/20)
  • Extended rear brake line (5/20)
  • 33" tires (5/20)
  • New, extended sway bar links and new D-bushings (5/20)
  • New wiper blades (5/20)
  • New(er) dome light assembly (5/20)
  • Leather steering wheel cover (5/20)
  • New battery cables (5/20)
  • Knuckles rebuilt w/new bearings (6/20)
  • Diff/trans/transfer fluid replaced (6/20)
  • Diff/trans/transfer plugs replaced w/allen heads (6/20)
  • Install 2 degree caster shims (6/20)
  • Rust-free tailgate (6/20)
  • LED interior lighting (6/20)
  • Install CB radio (7/20)
  • AC fixed (not fully converted but running R-134) (7/20)
  • Rear axle rebuild (8/20)
  • Rear brake rebuild (shoes and hardware, turned drums) (8/20)
  • Headlight washers fixed with new relay (9/20)
  • Rust-free fuel tank installed (9/20)
  • Delete rear spring isolators (9/20)
  • Upgrade markers and gauges to LEDs (9/20)
  • New quad gauge (9/20)
  • New fuel sender (9/20)
  • Fix carb fan with new relay (9/20)
  • Freshen up grille and headlight surrounds (10/20)
  • Install Firestik in stock antenna location (10/20)
  • Flush brake fluid (10/20)
  • Install new master brake cylinder (10/20)
  • Install new bell cranks (11/20)
  • Oil change, fluid top-off (12/20, ~297k mi)
Soon...
  • Replace lost quarter panel badge
  • Replace all vacuum lines
  • Upgrade headlights
  • New carpet and soundproofing
  • Wire carb fan up to thermosensor
  • Grease all the zerks
Someday...
  • Repair rust in floor at rear
  • Repair rust on rear wheel wells
  • Repair body rust on quarter panels
  • Replace weather stripping
  • New backing for rear cargo panels
  • Replace rusted PS front wheel well
  • Replace broken rear PS door light switch
  • Grind, rust convert, and paint frame
  • Send spare alternator to the spa
  • Full-sized spare
  • Install rear bumper or 2" hitch receiver
  • Front bumper and winch
  • Scheel-Mann Vario XXL seats
  • Rebuild transfer case
  • Replace clutch
  • Replace missing AC drain hoses
  • Upgrade windshield wipers
  • Replace coolant hoses
  • Flush heater core
Latest photo:

4EC7C460-C63E-4CB4-9E51-C0949E1C7BC9_1_105_c.jpeg


--------

Hey all, I've caught the bug for a 60 series and may have stumbled on a good deal but I'm curious to know what y'all think. I've been offered a beige 1985 FJ60 with 292,000 miles on the original 2F for $3,000. I would not need this to be a reliable driver at first but I would hope to be able to fix it up by summertime. Eventually an engine rebuild or replacement would be in order. I am not an experienced mechanic but I'm excited to learn and totally prepared to take advantage of having Torfab nearby.

Pros:
* Low price of $3,000
* Weber carb
* De-smogged
* Best color
* Newer radiator
* Newer exhaust manifold
* Original wheels
* Body in good condition (very minimal rust on rear wheel wells, straight original bumpers with caps)

Cons:
* High mileage
* Some rust on tailgate
* Sat under a tree for three years
* Very dirty interior but seems superficial (no cracks in dash)
* Loose valve on second cylinder (noticeable tapping in lower gears)
* Factory tach doesn't seem to work
* Factory gas gauge doesn't seem to work (waterlogged from sitting unused with fuel in the tank?)
* Rear hatch latch only works some of the time
* Needs a new exhaust pipe

Would you go for it?

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9879F982-B9CE-4C0C-B42E-CF6D7A4063DC.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Seth S

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If the frame is clean and there doesn't seem to be any giant holes through the body or obvious cheap paint job over duct tape or hasty bondo repairs I might consider it. with only a simple description and one photo its really hard to say. But it looks like it would gain some instant value with a bath
 

ntdb

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Seattle, WA
If the frame is clean and there doesn't seem to be any giant holes through the body or obvious cheap paint job over duct tape or hasty bondo repairs I might consider it. with only a simple description and one photo its really hard to say. But it looks like it would gain some instant value with a bath

It deserves a good bath. I added a few more photos, thanks for your feedback!
 

2mbb

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WC, CA
I would move to the con side: Weber carb and desmogged

by most accounts Weber is not better than Aisin, either OEMor the non-USA version you can get if desmogged

unless you know what was done for the desmog you will probably be pulling your hair out trying to figure out why it won’t run right.

It looks like you will need a new tailgate too.

since you are not an “experienced mechanic” that suggests you have some disposable income. You might think about waiting for something nicer to come along.

but if this is the one, forget about everything I said and jump in with both feet and enjoy! It’s all about the joy.
 

MoaByte

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Desmogged but still has the air rail? You should get it anyway and build it like you want it. If you needed it to commute then no.
That surface rust on all the engine parts tells me you are gonna break some bolts on disassembly. You will likely have to refresh everything and have a new truck in a few years. It's only $3K now but it's gonna cost a helluva lot more. But it will be worth it (excepting if the frame and body rust isn't too bad).
 

FishTacos

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I would probably snatch that up for $2500. I would not pay $3k. That's if no other major issues show up. You can probably find a tailgate in a part out on here pretty easily. I don't know what a good clean one goes for but I would guess $500--$600.

If there are other smog parts still hanging on it like the above mentioned air rail, you could help out a California cruiser owner with some parts and recoup a little of the purchsse price.
 

Rusto

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The rust scares me, but if I had the time and the space, I would love to have a $2,500 - $3,000 FJ60 and $7,000 to spend on it. Its amazing how quickly the money will go, but I've learned (through slow, expensive and painful lessons) that Time+This Forum + Want to = the ability to do almost anything as it relates to working on and fixing an FJ60.
 
Last edited:

Seth S

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Need to see some more of the frame.....but $2500 would probably be the number where I'd start to feel comfortable with a purchase. $3000 just feels like a stretch.
 

ntdb

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Seattle, WA
Thanks everybody. Lots of good feedback here. At $3k or lower I’d be ready to pay for a head rebuild at a minimum.

This is the only photo I have showing more of the frame. It seems surface-level to me but I trust your eyes better.

EFE77CC9-BFB6-4A18-9217-46413BFAA737.jpeg
 
Joined
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Ames, IA
I'd buy it for $2500. that would make a great Winter beater. I love FJ60's in the snow, but my current one goes into Winter storage. ;)
 
Joined
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Mine looked a lot like that when I first bought it - for about that price. I ran it as a toy for a few years until I got around to deciding to do the engine transplant and suspension upgrade and a bunch of smaller improvements. If you take that perspective it might be worth it. If it's in running order, play with it for a few years knowing you'll have to sink some more dough into it in the future to make it more than a toy. Or...save up a bit longer and get one that's already built. I think we'd all agree that you can buy a built rig for less than you can build the same rig.
 

FishTacos

At the Muskielounge
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Thanks everybody. Lots of good feedback here. At $3k or lower I’d be ready to pay for a head rebuild at a minimum.

This is the only photo I have showing more of the frame. It seems surface-level to me but I trust your eyes better.

View attachment 2189955
Looks like surface rust in that section. Look at the shock tube and the frame from the forward rear spring perch back. That's where the frame goes Swiss cheese first in my experience.
 

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