Builds Welcome home Matilda - faded like your favorite pair of jeans

CruiserTrash

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Yesterday I brought a new cruiser into my life, one that will likely be my new daily driver. If you’ve read the build thread on my tomato truck daily driver 60 (Trash Truck … a diary and build thread), you know that above all else I’ve battled rust. Well … I haven’t really battled it. More like I've avoided frame and body rot on my daily driver and just lived in sheer terror. I’ve learned a ton from that vehicle - all sorts of technical procedures, the idiosyncratisities of 60 Series Land Cruisers, how to embrace the 2F and drive up mountain highway passes at 30mph. But I will not learn rust repair.

Enter Matilda.

05A2497F-DF39-4A8D-8445-0936B43DD395.jpeg


Clean frame, very minimal body rust. Her paint may be faded like an old pair of jeans, but like those jeans she’s comfortable. 124000 miles on the clock and the wear and tear feels like it - broken in but in good shape. That’s evident in not only the slightly faded but generally rust-free body, but also in the upholstery and plastic on the inside. The seat foam still feels great and even the dash only has one or two small cracks.

Hell, she’s got both snake blinders. Wonders never cease!

The bad news is that “cracked block” was a diagnoses given to me from the PO. I have a lot of testing in front of me to determine if that’s true. And if it IS true, then I’ll be swapping the motor from my tomato truck into this one.

It sucks to lose all of the modifications I’ve done on the tomato - temp, vac, voltage, and A/F gauges, the dual swing arm rear bumper, the front winch, the sliders, the crazy home brew tape cassette + Bluetooth stereo, the Tuffy console …. But those things can be ported over to the new truck in time if I want. I may keep the tomato around as a winter beater or smash-up trail rig. Not sure yet. My future, like the future for most people in the world, is very uncertain.

DD0E04D1-CE16-4F72-A8EC-D6BDDB435398.jpeg


Initial diagnosis and show & tell to follow. For now I need to do a compression test.
 
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HemiAlex

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NeverGiveUpYota

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Yesterday I brought a new cruiser into my life, one that will likely be my new daily driver. If you’ve read the build thread on my tomato truck daily driver 60 (Trash Truck … a diary and build thread), you know that above all else I’ve battled rust. Well … I haven’t really battled it. More like I've avoided frame and body rot on my daily driver and just lived in sheer terror. I’ve learned a ton from that vehicle - all sorts of technical procedures, the idiosyncratisities of 60 Series Land Cruisers, how to embrace the 2F and drive up mountain highway passes at 30mph. But I will not learn rust repair.

Enter Matilda.

View attachment 2937452

Clean frame, very minimal body rust. Her paint may be faded like an old pair of jeans, but like those jeans she’s comfortable. 124000 miles on the clock and the wear and tear feels like it - broken in but in good shape. That’s evident in not only the slightly faded but generally rust-free body, but also in the upholstery and plastic on the inside. The seat foam still feels great and even the dash only has one or two small cracks.

Hell, she’s got both snake blinders. Wonders never cease!

The bad news is that “cracked block” was a diagnoses given to me from the PO. I have a lot of testing in front of me to determine if that’s true. And if it IS true, then I’ll be swapping the motor from my tomato truck into this one.

It sucks to lose all of the modifications I’ve done on the tomato - temp, vac, voltage, and A/F gauges, the dual swing arm rear bumper, the front winch, the sliders, the crazy home brew tape cassette + Bluetooth stereo, the Tuffy console …. But those things can be ported over to the new truck in time if I want. I may keep the tomato around as a winter beater or smash-up trail rig. Not sure yet. My future, like the future for most people in the world, is very uncertain.

View attachment 2937454

Initial diagnosis and show & tell to follow. For now I need to do a compression test.
And leak down or maybe a compression test will be enough.
 

CruiserTrash

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Well, I the motor turns over with jumpers from my tomato truck, but it’s not happy about it. Coolant was full and oil was topped off (only 2qts of oil in it to start!), I cleaned the battery terminals, etc. Nothing strange in the coolant at the filler neck.

2A09ED7E-2CDB-476C-BCA5-B77AE16BD05F.jpeg


A couple things about that:
First wasn’t turning over enough to do a proper compression test so that didn’t happen. Second, the float bowl isn’t filling. There’s fuel in the fuel filter - which has a TEQ stamp and says Kyosan on it. Possibly original to the vehicle?? I have a spare fuel pump at home that I’ll take to the shop.

Not that I need it for a compression test, but I did not check spark. Frankly, every time in the past that I’ve tried, I get zapped pretty good. How does one avoid that?

I decided to do some more in-depth poking around. Removed valve cover and the rockers and such look pretty clean. Both valve cover and exhaust manifold are slathered in sealant pretty good.
7CEFFBD3-A1EB-466C-8A96-010AEB6FC849.jpeg

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Looked at the oddball wiring harness some more. It seems to feed the lights. I’ll probably rip it out since a Koito harness and light housings are about $60.
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Other things I noticed… oil galley plug is good. Air rail to cylinder 6 - yes the same cylinder near which the block is supposedly cracked - has been clipped and the hole in the head plugged. All the other parts of the air rail are intact.
762FFF68-9A1A-4617-87D2-34FCAD71EDD3.jpeg


The area behind the grill looks like it was coated with cosmoline. Hey, no rust! It’s dry and waxy and scrapes off with a fingernail if you really dig at it.
B217806D-0FE6-4FE0-83EA-EBBFE2BAD230.jpeg
 
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CruiserTrash

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Onward to rust assessment… but first here’s what tomato looks like:
8C032964-80C7-4536-8706-9EBEBE03534B.jpeg



Rear quarters have a little more going on than I thought. It’s still almost nothing compared to the tomato.
911462BB-089C-4DD7-B0B4-9F078803C492.jpeg

DABC2114-0093-408F-A325-5C13D2C86CD1.jpeg


Surface rust in front of the forward hanger for the rear spring. Other side, behind the fuel lines, is about the same. There’s a surprising amount of the original frame coating.
F3380CE7-A368-4615-A98F-CA602CD2EEE2.jpeg


C-channels are beginning their descent, but really this isn’t too bad.
9730BFE1-B3DF-45BF-9C66-8FA8300E851A.jpeg


There’s some rust starting on the rockers.
46EDAC1B-076A-4B0A-A13A-16221362F267.jpeg


Back window frame has a thing going on. Front window doesn’t have any of this that I can spot.
2E2EB2B4-0541-4372-9299-0BF5208F2ECC.jpeg


There’s one chunk of seam sealer missing on the drip rail, but otherwise it’s clean.
B4534847-B3A1-4E18-9C93-48F0224FF797.jpeg


The driver’s door paint is doing a thing. Checking, crackling, whatever you want to call it. Not sure how this happens, but it will definitely need addressed.
64D650CF-4D72-4407-BEBE-E0E03AD0BBC7.jpeg


BAE436B8-4686-41FF-862E-AB8F5C55D1BC.jpeg
 
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CruiserTrash

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On to paint. It’s faded all over and each part looks like it’s half-faded differently. I kind of like the look.

And then we have the passenger side paint. The front fender and both doors look like they were resprayed. The color is a DEAD on match to #861. Like perfect. But there’s a little orange peel in the clear coat and it doesn’t match the rest of the truck at all because it really looks new. A magnet found no bondo, so no evidence of dent repair. The original seam sealer is intact on the front fender so it wasn’t ever replaced. I can’t find a line where new paint ends and old paint starts, not on the bottom of the doors or around the door jambs. I don’t get why this area looks so good and everything else is faded. Any theories?
4A0989CA-8CBA-49AE-8AC3-A9462F10176D.jpeg

7D2F2271-0E58-4AC3-8873-5A9E388DCCFC.jpeg


The adjacent areas aren’t gray and they aren’t primer, they are just really faded blue. The fresh looking areas provide such a contrast though.

I found this in the glove box too. Anybody know where I could get a couple gallons of it? 😂
AC29FF12-2724-42E0-A605-65895717D394.jpeg
 

CruiserTrash

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Anybody notice the front window weatherstripping? Looks like this had a replacement at some point. PO (2004-2022) gave me zero records. It pains me to see chrome-free weatherstripping. I hate it.
 

gbogh

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good find! that truck seems a lot better of a canvas than the tomato truck.
something like this:
(search for "spark tester") should help you test for spark & not get zapped.
going through & baselining trucks is always fun
 

77CruiserDog

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Nice work, this is goign to be fun to watch. I feel bad that Tomato truck has to watch his own successor get all the attention.

Regarding the paint fade differences.... Perhaps Matilda had some light body damage to those areas that were resprayed and the body shop replaced the body panels with new and painted them off the truck?

Also, when you were doing your compression test, were you bypassing the battery that is in Matilda? If not, the old Napa battery that appears to be in Matilda might be sucking up some of the amps you're trying to send to the starter. You can ground the Matilda side negative battery cable on the block and still attach the positive to the old battery and it might crank over fast enough to get a good compression test.

Stoked to see this one brought back to life.
 
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CruiserTrash

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Nice work, this is goign to be fun to watch. I feel bad that Tomato truck has to watch his own successor get all the attention.

Regarding the paint fade differences.... Perhaps the Matilda had some light body damage to those areas that were resprayed and the body shop replaced the body panels with new and painted them off the truck?

Also, when you were doing your compression test, were you bypassing the battery that is in Matilda? If not, the old Napa battery that appears to be in Matilda might be sucking up some of the amps you're trying to send to the starter. You can ground the Matilda side negative battery cable on the block and still attach the positive to the old battery and it might crank over fast enough to get a good compression test.

Stoked to see this one brought back to life.
I hadn’t thought of that. I was figuring it was definitely the old battery trying to charge itself - acting as a reservoir to soak up all the current from the tomato battery.

Not sure what to do with the tomato. I suspect that if I tried to sell it, most buyers would view it as a $1000 parts truck. I guess that’s a testament to how bats*** crazy it is to daily drive it. On the other hand I have an immense emotional bond with this truck and think it ought to be saved. With all that in mind, I’ll probably end up keeping it as a winter truck or trail beater.

@gbogh Ill grab one of those. Thanks for the heads up.
 

NeverGiveUpYota

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I hadn’t thought of that. I was figuring it was definitely the old battery trying to charge itself - acting as a reservoir to soak up all the current from the tomato battery.

Not sure what to do with the tomato. I suspect that if I tried to sell it, most buyers would view it as a $1000 parts truck. I guess that’s a testament to how bats*** crazy it is to daily drive it. On the other hand I have an immense emotional bond with this truck and think it ought to be saved. With all that in mind, I’ll probably end up keeping it as a winter truck or trail beater.

@gbogh Ill grab one of those. Thanks for the heads up.
Definitely keep Tomato… you’ll kick yourself later if you ditch it. I wish I’d kept the second 60 I’d bought… it was a way rusty hunk (yeah, haha, like Badass isn’t) but I kick myself all the time for not hanging onto it.
 
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It'll be fun to watch this old girl brought back to life, mostly because we just bought Matilda's sister. Named her Kaylee, for the mechanic from the sci-fi show Firefly. For those who know the show, 'nuff said. For those who don't know the show, go watch it. Great sci-fi that died before its time.

Anyway, I'll be very interested to see how you address the paint fade. I'll see your faded paint scheme, and raise you a severely pale hood and roof. Not as much damage along the underside, only because someone else sanded and primed some trouble spots a number of years ago, and then never got around to painting. Kaylee won't be winning any beauty contests anytime soon.

Also, thanks for the pix on the C channels. We have some of that flake too, and we thought it was the metal itself. Didn't know there was a factory coating that eventually starts to chip off. Ours isn't as far along but it's underway. Our mechanic just about had heart failure when he checked the underside, and told us it was a deathtrap. We're going to take it to TorFab here in WA state to get a more educated opinion about what to do with the underside.

PS - maybe Matilda and Kaylee were side by side on the car lot, way back when. Kaylee is also an '83, originally from Burt Toyota in Englewood. And I hope you hang onto the Tomato.
 

77CruiserDog

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It'll be fun to watch this old girl brought back to life, mostly because we just bought Matilda's sister. Named her Kaylee, for the mechanic from the sci-fi show Firefly. For those who know the show, 'nuff said. For those who don't know the show, go watch it. Great sci-fi that died before its time.

Anyway, I'll be very interested to see how you address the paint fade. I'll see your faded paint scheme, and raise you a severely pale hood and roof. Not as much damage along the underside, only because someone else sanded and primed some trouble spots a number of years ago, and then never got around to painting. Kaylee won't be winning any beauty contests anytime soon.

Also, thanks for the pix on the C channels. We have some of that flake too, and we thought it was the metal itself. Didn't know there was a factory coating that eventually starts to chip off. Ours isn't as far along but it's underway. Our mechanic just about had heart failure when he checked the underside, and told us it was a deathtrap. We're going to take it to TorFab here in WA state to get a more educated opinion about what to do with the underside.

PS - maybe Matilda and Kaylee were side by side on the car lot, way back when. Kaylee is also an '83, originally from Burt Toyota in Englewood. And I hope you hang onto the Tomato.

Curious what your c-channels look like, I'm about to embark on that journey albiet in a less commonly approached manner. Not to sidetrack this soon to be awesome build thread...
 

CruiserTrash

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It'll be fun to watch this old girl brought back to life, mostly because we just bought Matilda's sister. Named her Kaylee, for the mechanic from the sci-fi show Firefly. For those who know the show, 'nuff said. For those who don't know the show, go watch it. Great sci-fi that died before its time.

Anyway, I'll be very interested to see how you address the paint fade. I'll see your faded paint scheme, and raise you a severely pale hood and roof. Not as much damage along the underside, only because someone else sanded and primed some trouble spots a number of years ago, and then never got around to painting. Kaylee won't be winning any beauty contests anytime soon.
I probably won’t address the paint fade - I think I’ve already embraced it! If I win the lottery I’ll get the number of your paint person though.

Also, thanks for the pix on the C channels. We have some of that flake too, and we thought it was the metal itself. Didn't know there was a factory coating that eventually starts to chip off. Ours isn't as far along but it's underway. Our mechanic just about had heart failure when he checked the underside, and told us it was a deathtrap. We're going to take it to TorFab here in WA state to get a more educated opinion about what to do with the underside.
These inner C-channels look darn good compared to a lot of them I see. @TRAIL TAILOR makes replacements, but the job is supposed to be traumatizing. You have cut and grind the old inner c-channels out which is roughly 742 rivets and some tack welds. Then clean everything up with a grinder and a wire wheel, coat the area with nasty solvent-based rust protectant of your choice, and finally install the new inner c-channels with new bolts & nuts.

PS - maybe Matilda and Kaylee were side by side on the car lot, way back when. Kaylee is also an '83, originally from Burt Toyota in Englewood. And I hope you hang onto the Tomato.
Matilda is from 1982 and has an old dealer emblem from a place in Overland Park, which I’m assuming is in Kansas. The tomato truck, however, is from 1983 and came from Stevenson West in Golden. Are you from Colorado? Burt is now Groove Toyota by the way - they did the gas tank replacement recall on the tomato. Kent in the service department is a great guy (but needs some reminder phone calls).
 

CruiserTrash

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Oh …. Forgot to mention this….

Matilda has never had the gas tank recall done 😉

A new gas tank will be in my future.
 
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I probably won’t address the paint fade - I think I’ve already embraced it! If I win the lottery I’ll get the number of your paint person though.


These inner C-channels look darn good compared to a lot of them I see. @TRAIL TAILOR makes replacements, but the job is supposed to be traumatizing. You have cut and grind the old inner c-channels out which is roughly 742 rivets and some tack welds. Then clean everything up with a grinder and a wire wheel, coat the area with nasty solvent-based rust protectant of your choice, and finally install the new inner c-channels with new bolts & nuts.


Matilda is from 1982 and has an old dealer emblem from a place in Overland Park, which I’m assuming is in Kansas. The tomato truck, however, is from 1983 and came from Stevenson West in Golden. Are you from Colorado? Burt is now Groove Toyota by the way - they did the gas tank replacement recall on the tomato. Kent in the service department is a great guy (but needs some reminder phone calls).
From Colorado, Douglas County to be specific, but I've been in western WA state for the last 20 years. Still miss Colo but my old stomping grounds have changed dramatically. It's true what they say about you really can't go home again. Not to the way things used to be. Not sure how I'd feel about buying a new car from a dealer called Groove. That's just a little too much.

Someone on this thread asked for some pix of my rig's C channels, presumably to see what made my mechanic almost go into heart failure. I should preface here that my mechanic already has a thing against old rigs; he flat out quit working on my '83 Ranger for no good reason (and it's immaculate compared to the TLC we just brought home). So I really wasn't surprised that he didn't want to work on the TLC either. Fie on him. So we're shopping for a new mechanic, but honestly one of the reasons I bought the TLC is because I enjoy working on my own vehicles, always like learning new stuff, and the TLC family seems to be very suited to that sort of activity. So for the moment we're expecting to do most of the work ourselves. I expect I'll be learning some new cusswords too. Hey, a colorful vocabulary is a good thing, right?

But seriously, I got to thinking that it might be helpful to start doing baseline photos of what we have, so that we can compare before/after. Then I got to thinking (always a dangerous thing) that gosh, photos would be nice but videos would be better! So I'm working out a way to do a total walk-around, peer inside and crawl underneath video for Kaylee. It might take me awhile (and the driveway has to dry out some), but I'll get that put together and posted to Youtube. Then all you more experienced folks can look at that video, have a good laugh in private ("oh my gawd those poor people have NO idea what they just got themselves into") and then calmly come back here to tell us we're doomed. Maybe newbies can get into the habit of doing those videos and posting them as we join the forum, so that everyone can participate in the "you're doomed" conversation.

Yea, I have a bizarre sense of masochistic humor. Part of why I am so excited to work on a 40 year old truck. Anyway, I'll start a new thread for those videos.
 

CruiserTrash

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From Colorado, Douglas County to be specific, but I've been in western WA state for the last 20 years. Still miss Colo but my old stomping grounds have changed dramatically. It's true what they say about you really can't go home again. Not to the way things used to be. Not sure how I'd feel about buying a new car from a dealer called Groove. That's just a little too much.

Someone on this thread asked for some pix of my rig's C channels, presumably to see what made my mechanic almost go into heart failure. I should preface here that my mechanic already has a thing against old rigs; he flat out quit working on my '83 Ranger for no good reason (and it's immaculate compared to the TLC we just brought home). So I really wasn't surprised that he didn't want to work on the TLC either. Fie on him. So we're shopping for a new mechanic, but honestly one of the reasons I bought the TLC is because I enjoy working on my own vehicles, always like learning new stuff, and the TLC family seems to be very suited to that sort of activity. So for the moment we're expecting to do most of the work ourselves. I expect I'll be learning some new cusswords too. Hey, a colorful vocabulary is a good thing, right?

But seriously, I got to thinking that it might be helpful to start doing baseline photos of what we have, so that we can compare before/after. Then I got to thinking (always a dangerous thing) that gosh, photos would be nice but videos would be better! So I'm working out a way to do a total walk-around, peer inside and crawl underneath video for Kaylee. It might take me awhile (and the driveway has to dry out some), but I'll get that put together and posted to Youtube. Then all you more experienced folks can look at that video, have a good laugh in private ("oh my gawd those poor people have NO idea what they just got themselves into") and then calmly come back here to tell us we're doomed. Maybe newbies can get into the habit of doing those videos and posting them as we join the forum, so that everyone can participate in the "you're doomed" conversation.

Yea, I have a bizarre sense of masochistic humor. Part of why I am so excited to work on a 40 year old truck. Anyway, I'll start a new thread for those videos.
Oh man, it’s the same here. Read the first few posts on my Trash Truck thread. I was utterly brainless walking into a rotting 1983 truck and thinking “yeah, I’ll daily drive that”. I did it though, and I’m not as dumb as I used to be. So I got that goin’ for me!
 
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Oh man, it’s the same here. Read the first few posts on my Trash Truck thread. I was utterly brainless walking into a rotting 1983 truck and thinking “yeah, I’ll daily drive that”. I did it though, and I’m not as dumb as I used to be. So I got that goin’ for me!
Hey, another question. Your photos of Matilda's frame mentioned something in passing about "surprising amount of the original frame coating". Speaking about getting less dumb, can you (or anyone) educate me on this original frame coating? I went back outside and looked again at our rig and I think (tentatively) that our original frame coating is in pretty good shape. We thought that thickening was just road crud which needed to be scraped off. Um, maybe not the best idea if it's a factory coating! And in the areas where it is flaking off, what can we do to deal with that? Some days I feel dumber than others, but hey better to ask and learn, than to stay dumb. Thanks all.

PS - loved the write up about the Tomato. Your relationship with that rig is about the same love/hate relationship that I have with my '83 Ford Ranger. Oh, the stories I could tell about that truck and the stuff I've learned (the hard way). But that's getting way off track.
 

NeverGiveUpYota

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"oh my gawd those poor people have NO idea what they just got themselves into"
Sorry man but I already got the award for this…. My c-channels are absurd. I bought the kit in a moment of late night realization that I’m going to be single for-f%%king-ever because I’m just not cohabitatable. Haha. What I really needed to realize are my c-channels are beyond repair and I’m simply certified nuts.
I had a photo that I took recently but I can’t find it… I musta decided it doesn’t matter. Kits already in hand as is an air hammer now just gotta wait for the weather to warm up a bit and just give it a shot. What do I have to lose if I’m already nuts?
 

NeverGiveUpYota

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Oh right, I was already nuts when I bought a cruiser that is 30+ years old and spent the last 14-16 years of its life in New England.
 

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