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What Should I Expect Outta My FJ62?

Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
26
I've got a bone stock '88 FJ62 with around 210K on the engine, unknown mileage on the tranny (replaced that a year a half ago after it failed). I've recently started camping with an old fiberglass travel trailer weighing around 1600 lbs, and the truck seems to not like towing it at all. First, the temp climbs waaaay up soon after starting out and then sits just below the red mark, until it flys all the way up to vertical, where it sits for a second before dropping back to just beyond the red. I've read that some of the temp gauge weirdness may be due to bad contacts on the back of the gauge - sound possible? Also, the shift lever gets scorching hot, as do all the screw heads that hold the selector shroud on - like I have to hold my leg away cause of all the heat coming off. Engine power up the modest hills of Minnesota has never been very good, but with the camper it's down to 45 mph on some.

Sooo, am I expecting too much outta the old girl? Is it time for a rad. replacement? Chevy 350 transplant?

Thoughts?
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2008
Messages
2,439
Location
In the valley of the Great Salt Lake.
Yeah, you are expecting way to much out of your 3FE. If you want to tow a trailer, you are going to need more horsepower than you will ever get out of the 3FE, or you are going to have to stay in 2nd gear the whole trip. The transmission torque converter doesn't lock up unless you are in over drive, which you should never be in while pulling a trailer. The torque converter not being locked will cause the transmission to run hotter, and it sounds like you may not have a transmission cooler. So, you will dramatically shorten the life of both your engine and transmission pulling that trailer, then you can put in a V8.:D
 

zapatius

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
912
Location
Indiana
Is your gas needle going up at the same time as the temp needle? That means dirty contacts.

Also - buy a trans cooler - TODAY. Heat kills our transmission - that is really the only weak point in the transmission. You keep it cool and it will keep you running. I ordered a B&M stacked plate cooler with hoses and mounting hardware and a B&M remote temp gauge for right at $100 shipped.

You might want to take off your fan clutch and change the oil in it. Flush and fill the radiator...check to make sure your thermostat gasket hasn't folded down around your thermostat. Burp it really good and see what it does. You may want to replace the water pump too while you're at it. All of these things are cheap fixes.
 

zapatius

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
912
Location
Indiana
You could do a 5-spd manual swap if you wanted to go that way - not going to give you much more power, but you will lose less through drive train loss and heat won't be a factor. You're pulling 1/2 the max tow capacity...but I know if I put 3500 on mine, I would be lucky to make it up the driveway.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
255
Location
In the Forest
I guess I'm a dummy. I've towed a 6x10 Wells Cargo trailer with my 62 (stock) for a few thousand of miles over various terrain with the shifter in D most of the time. I maxed the gross weight of the trailer out at almost 3K pounds on several of those trips. No problems. No overheating. About 11mpg at 60-70 mph when it was flat or downhill. Only 160K miles on it now and it's getting a cosmetic makeover. The drive line is still fine. Slow, but steady. I'll probably never tow that kind of weight again, but short tows are likely. Trailer brakes are nice.
Do what the others have said, though. Get a V-8 and a tranny cooler. And, trailer brakes.
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
192
Location
So Cal.
Definitely need a tranny cooler. Short of a new engine and/or transmission, you could put in an extreme valve body from Rodney at Wholesale Automatics. That will give you lock-up in thrid, which makes a huge difference in how much heat you're dumping into the cooling system. Torque converter too.

Steve
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2005
Messages
2,817
Location
Colorado
Posted this before, seemed to help people realize the importance of a tranny cooler.
done.jpg
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
26
So what about a 350 v8 swap - how much trouble & $$$.

So if I did go all the way and make my 62 into a real tow vehicle, where is the best place to start looking at chevy v8s? Crate or used? Also, what to consider when mating to stock trans?
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2007
Messages
203
Location
N.Las Vegas
Start in the Project Build up Directory and start cruisin E-bay and Craigslist and Classifieds here on Mud. Swapping in a new powerplant is not a hard task just take your time and do it right the first time and if you are planning on towing quite a bit consider getting the automatic upgraded if you use one.
 

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