Two 62s Become One - Build Thread

diesellibrarian

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A couple of years ago, I bought a rusty, pooched-out 1988 FJ62. I had no idea what I was doing, but was stoked to finally own a 60-series Cruiser and keen to bring it back from the dead. Over the first year of ownership, I did the brakes, rebuilt the front axle, installed new seats, did a full tune-up, set timing, fixed the exhaust, etc. I then started working on the rust, documenting the work in this thread. I taught myself to weld and to shape sheet metal. Loved every minute of it.

Fast forward to last month, when a 1989 FJ62 popped up a couple of hours away for a good price. After making a couple of calls, I found a guy to haul it for me. So now I have two kinda junky 62s sitting in my driveway. My original plan was to cannibalize the "parts" rig for some of the hard-to find items, and then sell the rest to hopefully recoup my costs. What I didn't expect is that this new "parts" rig would be in better shape overall than the one I've been working on. It is still quite rusty, and has clearly been neglected, but most importantly - the frame is rust-free.

SO now I need to decide the best course of action: do I fix up both of the 62s, and sell one of them? Do I stick with my plan of stealing parts off the 89, and continue the rust repair on the 88? Or do I move all of the best parts over to the 89, and sell any of the parts I don't need (axles, glass, interior stuff, etc.).

I'm mostly putting it out there to help me organize my thoughts, but would welcome any input you have.

1988 FJ62
GOOD: axle rebuilt, strong engine, good glass, new TREs etc.
BAD: rust repair needed (rockers, passenger rear quarter panel, a few other places), rusty inner frame rails on both sides of frame.

1989 FJ62
GOOD: rust-free frame, lower mileage, cleaner interior
BAD: engine condition unknown, A440f condition unknown, no brakes, cracked windshield, signs of neglect, sketchy wiring, shoddy rust repair on front clip, everything covered in greasy dirt.

I am leaning toward abandoning my other project, and putting all of my effort in to the 89. I know that frames are repairable, but the prospect of starting with a clean frame is very appealing.

Anyway, here are a few pics, just for fun:

The 89 loaded up and headed to its new home (mine)
new621.jpg


Dropping it in my driveway (quite literally - story below)
new622.jpg


So, when the guy went to unload the truck in my driveway, he had me climb in to steer it as it came off the trailer. What I didn't realize is that he'd decided just to let the truck roll off, without attaching the winch. Needless to say, as the truck rolled back, the trailer tilted, and I was hurtling toward my house at at pretty decent speed. I hit the brakes - nothing! Yanked parking brake -NOTHING. Finally in a panic I threw it into Park, and the pin just chattered, and finally caught when the truck was about 18" inches from the wall. It was pretty hectic. Dude asked me to give him a good review on Google, and I'm like :flipoff2:.
 
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diesellibrarian

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Here are some more pics of the 89. It has clearly seen some neglect. Everything is covered with this weird greasy dirt that does not want to come off without a ton of detergent and scrubbing.

new623.jpg


The truck features an old Warn 5687 winch, which seems to work! Originally thought I might sell it but now leaning towards keeping it, even if I only end up using it for dragging deadfall out of the bush for firewood.

new624.jpg


Interior is a little dusty, but appears to be complete and in decent shape. No slop in the shifter etc.
new625.jpg


Taking everything apart for a good cleaning. My plan was to remove the rad support and fix a rust hole on the bottom, but I discovered that a some point, someone welded the rad support to the fenders, so that complicates things a lot. If I end up parting out the 88, I could swap over the rust-free fenders and rad support from that truck, and not have to bother with any welding.
new627.jpg
 

diesellibrarian

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The engine bay is dirty and rusty. I've been working on removing various pieces to clean and paint them. Took the valve cover off last night so that I can check to make sure that the valves are close to spec before I try to fire it up. Removed a rusty old Fram oil filter and the empty A/C lines and condenser. Found a broken A/C line at the evaporator. I think I'll just delete the whole system.
new628.jpg


The rear quarters were both full of mud to a depth of about 3". Stuck a screwdriver through the sheet metal and it just dissolved. This pile is what was inside the driver's side quarter panel.
new629.jpg


So anyway, that's where things sit. I'm slowly draining the bad gas from the 89, and burning it in my 88. Will reinstall air cleaner, throttle body, some fresh oil, etc. and see if I can get this thing to fire up. Then will do a compression test on both trucks to see how the numbers compare, and take it from there. Thanks for following along - well see how this particular cookie crumbles.
 

diesellibrarian

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both of those can easily be saved. There are PLENTY of people that would call that rust free and buy them or one of them.

I know they *can* be saved, though not without a ton of work. The 88 will require extensive frame repair. I've already got a ton of hours into it, and there is so much more to do. The idea of starting with something that's less far gone is very appealing.
 
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Take the best parts from both of them (even if you have to swap the frame) and make one good one. Can always sell the one with the less desirable parts on it, and if you can get it running, you might even make some money in it. Just a suggestion.
 

diesellibrarian

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Here are a few more pics. With some elbow grease, things are slowly coming clean:

new6221.jpg


Amazing what a good scrub and some fresh paint will do.

new6223.jpg


The valve train looks a little dry, but then again this truck's been sitting for an unknown period. I'll leave the valve cover off when I fire it up, to see if the oilers are working.

new6222.jpg


Here's another example of a place where it would be much easier to swap over the door from my 88, which, while not perfect, is much better than this nightmare:

new6224.jpg
 
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diesellibrarian

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Take the best parts from both of them (even if you have to swap the frame) and make one good one. Can always sell the one with the less desirable parts on it, and if you can get it running, you might even make some money in it. Just a suggestion.
I wish i had the facilities to do that kind of heavy-duty work (frame swap), but I don't even have a garage to work in. I have to do everything on my front driveway, much to my neighbours delight, I'm sure.
 

cruisermatt

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You left out some important information, what is your goal?
you are asking for directions but didn’t mention a destination
 

diesellibrarian

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You left out some important information, what is your goal?
you are asking for directions but didn’t mention a destination
You are quite right.

My goal is to have a 60-series that runs well and looks decent. No interest in accumulating Land Cruisers. As mentioned, I have limited space and time, so taking on two projects isn't workable. At the end of the day, one of them will have to go, either as a (more or less complete) parts rig, or piece by piece.

Heading out now to see if I can get the 89 to fire up.
 
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I'd say cannibalize the good parts from the 88 and swap over to the 89 and sell the 88. Not sure if a lot of the work you've put into the 88 can be transferred to the 89. You think you could swap the axles and drivetrain?
 
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Hey, I've been looking for a decent tailgate if you have two decent ones (mine was in an accident with a somewhat botchy repair job -- it works but it's like the clip on your 89, someone messed it up). Trading them across the Rockies might be not worth it though.
 

diesellibrarian

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I'd say cannibalize the good parts from the 88 and swap over to the 89 and sell the 88. Not sure if a lot of the work you've put into the 88 can be transferred to the 89. You think you could swap the axles and drivetrain?
Yeah, I'd swap the axles at least. I don't really want to do an engine swap. If I was going that direction I'd probably look at a diesel/H55f. Will keep the suspension, though, as it appears to have OME springs that are in good shape.

Hey, I've been looking for a decent tailgate if you have two decent ones (mine was in an accident with a somewhat botchy repair job -- it works but it's like the clip on your 89, someone messed it up). Trading them across the Rockies might be not worth it though.

If I go the route you suggest, I will have an extra tailgate. I have a friend going to the Island in October. Could probably give it to him if that made things easier.
 
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Yeah, I'd swap the axles at least. I don't really want to do an engine swap. If I was going that direction I'd probably look at a diesel/H55f. Will keep the suspension, though, as it appears to have OME springs that are in good shape.



If I go the route you suggest, I will have an extra tailgate. I have a friend going to the Island in October. Could probably give it to him if that made things easier.
Hmm that might work. Actually both the lift gate and the tailgate are a bit bondoed up. They look fine and aren't too rusty (a few areas). But they aren't "pure" anymore and the work for me to make them right again isn't worth the time to just swap out with some proper ones, even if there's a bit of rust to fix on the new ones. I'm actually on the island now most of the time. Not sure how to ship mine to you (plus some $$). Here's a photo of mine:

20210723_194352.jpg
 

diesellibrarian

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Decision made! I've determined that between these two 62s, there's enough good bits to put together one pretty decent truck. I'm going to build up the 89, which has a solid frame, and steal parts from the 88, which has a rusted-out frame and plenty of rust everywhere else. Things that will move over from the 88 to the 89:

- Front clip, including rad support
- Front and rear axles (backing plates on the '89 rear axles are rusted out)
- Crack-free dash pad
- At least two of the doors
- Lower tailgate
- Steering linkage
- Windshield
- Will swap my 31s over to the OE rims.

This will give me a good supply of spares, too: things like radiator, fan clutch, fuel pump, etc. Will likely have some parts for sale at some point: watch the classifieds section.

Will also refresh every system: brakes, cooling, fuel, etc.

Yesterday I started dismantling the front end of the 89. As I think I mentioned above, someone must have done some bodywork on this thing, and in the process, decided it would be cool to weld the inner and outer fenders together, and then weld the fenders to the rad support. As a result, these fenders are basically junk (though if anyone wants me to cut out some pieces for you, send me a message!) Anyway, because of this, I had to remove the fender and rad support as one piece. :rolleyes:

new6210.jpg


Some pretty bad rust on the bottom of the rad support:

new6211.jpg


So here's how it sits! While the fenders are off, I'll continue cleaning things up, replacing hoses, etc. It's so much easier working on the engine with the fenders off! Will also start pulling the fenders off the 88 and painting them while they're off the truck. Also need to re-seal some of the joins behind the fenders.

new6213.jpg
 

diesellibrarian

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Operation Backyard Paintjob is underway!

Inner/outer fenders are off the '88 and are being prepped for paint. So far, that's meant a lot of wet sanding with 320 grit, some high-build primer in the areas with rock chips, and more sanding with 600 grit. I'm not going for show car, but it's already looking better. Picked up a little HVLP paint gun that should work with my 5-gallon compressor. Fenders will get a seal coat and then a few coats of single stage Beige 4E9 before going back on the truck. Spots with surface rust all got some POR-15.

new6215.jpg


So smooth!

new6216.jpg


Still haven't been able to get the 89 to fire. I'm not getting any spark from the coil, despite swapping in a known good coil/igniter and main relay. I'm wondering if my jury-rigged ground for the igniter was not sufficient (I understand that the igniter needs to be properly grounded). I'll dig into it some more once the fenders are back on. I also ran a compression test. Numbers are all between 130 and 140, with the exception of #2, which was reading 120. I put a little oil in the cylinder, and it came up to 130. This engine hasn't run for a long time, so I'm hoping it's just a stuck ring or something. Maybe it'll loosen up after driving for a while. Something to keep an eye on, anyway.
 

diesellibrarian

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I guess this is going to be my new build thread.

Got a fair bit of work done over the weekend, including stripping everything I could from Japhy, the '88. Japhy was my first 60-series Land Cruiser. Kind of sad to see him all stripped down, but he was in pretty rough shape and his spirit will live on in this new truck.

new6218.jpg


Started some of the paint work by laying down a sealer. I used a urethane for these panels, but after doing a bit more research, I am abandoning that strategy. The stuff is just too toxic, and I don't trust my half-face respirator to keep me safe, even though I'm spraying outside. Moving forward, I'll be using an alkyd enamel with a hardener. It's looking good though! Before:

new6220.jpg


After:

new6221.jpg


Shot a few other parts as well, including fenders and the rad support. All looking pretty sweet IMHO.

new6222.jpg

new6223.jpg
 

diesellibrarian

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Went through the 7 doors I have at my disposal (the 89's driver's door was a write-off, though I was able to salvage the door card and internals. Let me know if you need a motor or regulator etc). Found three basically rust-free doors, but as it turns out, both front passenger doors were pretty rusty, so I chose the best one and got to work:

new6226.jpg


new6227.jpg


Cutting the rusty bit away:

new6228.jpg


Of course the inner lip was completely gone, so I tacked in a new lip and coated everything with POR-15:

new6229.jpg


I've made the patch panel but haven't welded it in yet. That'll be tonight's job.
 
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diesellibrarian

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A little more progress to document.

Finished up the driver's side door bottom. Came out pretty good:

new6232.jpg


Fabbed up a little panel and tacked it in.

new6233.jpg


Little bit of filler and some high-build and it's almost not quite as good as new!

new6234.jpg

new6235.jpg


With that done, I was able to get all of the panels in primer. Not having a garage, I've had to turn my yard into a de facto body shop. It's not great, but you gotta work with what you have.

new6236.jpg


Next up: PAINT!
 

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