What to look for?

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Aug 13, 2010
Orange County, CA
Looked at a 60 series out of the blue this eve. '83 with a couple hundred on the odometer. Body looks very clean, all original that I can see, maybe an aftermarket bumper (it has a winch). It belongs to a friend's husband and has just been sitting in a barn.

Was told that it starts and runs fine, although wouldn't pass smog as it is running rich. Can go back and look at it in daytime, but I need to know what to look for.

So, what should I look for?

Is my understanding correct that the 60 series was the last non-computerized ignition/etc? Is that right.


the smog stuff can get to be a real pain, if you dont have to do emissions regularly where you live, most people would de-smog it. the distributor has upgraded from points, but yes its the last of the analog ignition. look for lots of rust on wheel-wells and bottom of tailgate. make sure the manifold is in good shape, lots of them with that many miles are cracked, and it will run terrible. usually there are oil leaks at the pan, and worn out power steering. it sounds like its been taken care of, probably one of the better ones you'l find
The 60 series 2F engine has a carburetor, not electronic ignition. It has what is called an "emissions computer" but it is just a circuit board with resistors and such soldered onto it. Most of the control is done by vacuum actuators and control valves. The picture below shows what the emissions spaghetti should look like.

To register it in CA it will have to pass smog, which means all the original smog equipment will have to be present and it will have to pass a tail pipe emissions test. Technically the seller is supposed to provide the smog certificate, but that is really up to you. if it is missing major components, or they are not working it might be expensive and time consuming to get it passing. There are lots of threads on this subject.

The thread below has a copy of the emissions manual for download. You will need this to pass smog.

I live in Fresno so if you want a fellow Cruiser owner to look at it with you I would be willing. If it doesn't pass smog you will need to spend some time and money fixing the 28 year old broken smog components. But I think it is well worth it in the end.
Lots to think about. Too bad CA changed its rules on old vehicles.

Also thinking about an FJ40, but pre-'75 and preferably a '72...

I'm somewhat mechanically inclined, but just no experience with working on cars/motors.
I will also be dealing with restoring a Nevada 60 i just purchased to pass CA smog. I am not looking forward to that part of my project. I pray that most of it is there and working.
I think you should decide first whether you want a 40 or a 60. What are you going to use it for? How many people do plan on carrying around? How long of trips do you plan to take? Are you going to get into rock crawling or more expedition/overlanding type trips? Try to figure out what it is that you want first before you jump in and get something you may not want. I want to get a 40 at some point but I love my 60 because I usually have three other people in the vehicle with me. I also do overlanding type trips where the extra space is a necessity for carrying all my crap. You can do rock crawling in a 60. I do plan on doing the Rubicon once I get a Toybox but it is easier to rock crawl in a 40. Figure out the pros & cons and how they match up to the 40 or 60 and then look for that vehicle. Just some thoughts to consider.

:beer: Chad
Thanks Chad. The 40 has been on my wish list for a while, but trying to figure out if the 60 is a good opportunity. I'm leaning towards the 40 for a few reasons - simpler electrical, no CA smog. I have a 4Runner that's pretty much set for overlanding, and just finished an expo trailer build. Lots to think about...

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