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bgkast GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/14/20 12:19 a.m.

Nice 60, looks like a fun project.

I love my 80. Nothing stops it, except a gas station!

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand New Reader
4/14/20 7:18 a.m.

I'm trying to be honest with myself in how this thing will be used, and I realistically think I won't take it on anything the stock XJ before it couldn't do. A few trips to the off-road park (I live a couple hours from Rausch Creek and AOAA in Pennsylvania) for when I want to break something, and hopefully more and more camping trips as it becomes more and more dependable. I don't have the cajones to daily this thing, even though I'm sure I could (and in college I definitely would). The plans are similar to what you said, John. And funnily enough, I was also looking long and hard at first-gen LWB Monteros during this search. I love the boxy styling of them, and reading through Irish44J's build of his Raider wasn't helping steer me away! For the Cruiser though, I think the plans are (ever changing):

  • First and foremost maintenance. I don't care if it leaks oil, that's reust prevention. But I want it to always leak the same amount of oil from the same places.
    • Interior too, there's some torn carpet, the seats need covers that won't get disgusting if I go to the beach or a lake and then get in the truck, etc.
  • OME Lift (there are already some OME bits on there so likely a full kit that has sagged over time)
  • Front bumper with a winch (hoping to fab this myself from plate. Need to get the dimensions of the frame horns so I can throw it in Solidworks)
  • Roof rack (rust needs to be fixed before I do this, then likely using Nonack's roof rack design with Irish44J's writeup)
  • It has 31s and I like the look of them, but post-lift 33s will be considered.

After that I can't really see anything more to do, other than enjoy it and take it on as many trips as I can to camp and watch some rally and such.

docwyte UberDork
4/14/20 9:45 a.m.

In reply to MrChaos :

When I got rid of my GX470 I seriously considered picking up a 200.  End of the day I couldn't do it as I'm usually driving my DD solo and 12mpg is a gut punch.  I also don't really do any off roading at all and it seemed overkill for mall crawling.  So I bought the R, which I love but find it small when I go skiing.  I can take myself and my son, that's it, we fill the hatch between the two of us.  So I do wish I'd bought a larger vehicle sometimes...

MrChaos GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/14/20 1:29 p.m.

In reply to Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) :

IMO i always feel like one should go winch > Tires > lockers  if you are doing offroading.

MrChaos GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/14/20 1:30 p.m.
docwyte said:

In reply to MrChaos :

When I got rid of my GX470 I seriously considered picking up a 200.  End of the day I couldn't do it as I'm usually driving my DD solo and 12mpg is a gut punch.  I also don't really do any off roading at all and it seemed overkill for mall crawling.  So I bought the R, which I love but find it small when I go skiing.  I can take myself and my son, that's it, we fill the hatch between the two of us.  So I do wish I'd bought a larger vehicle sometimes...

my thing is my 100 has almost half a million miles and a 200 can tow 2300lbs more than my 100

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand New Reader
5/5/20 6:57 a.m.

Mostly been riding my bike more to try to break the cabin fever of quarantine, but a small update on a neat idea I took from a guy on youtube. I intend to camp out of the truck a good amount. I also am not a big fan of heavily tinted windows as I can't see out of them at night. So the tint is on its way out, but I still wanted something to give a level of privacy while camping, and to not turn the truck into a giant greenhouse. That's when I stole an idea from a friend and an idea from the internet all at once. For the doors I'm going to use these mesh slip-on covers that will allow the windows to be open for ventilation and also give a good amount of light blocking. The front windshield will get one of those removable sun shades. And for the rear I made Coroplast privacy windows.

I'm very curious to see how these work, as they seem to let some light through but not a lot. I don't want the truck to be so dark inside that I don't wake up in the morning, but the idea was taken from a guy on Youtube who did it on his FJ60 for camping so it must work to some extent. They're not cut perfectly, I left a lip so that it protrudes from the window slightly when installed.

This makes it significantly easier to remove than if it were a good fit, as they're held on by the weather seal on the window.


Other than this, no picture, but I set the 3 idle speeds for the truck. For some reason the PO had the idle way high (I think because there was a vacuum leak that I fixed). Idle on these is set to 650 factory, I went a bit North of that to about 800. A/C is set to 1000, and choke has detents that stop it at 2000, 1500, and 1000. With a redline of a whopping 4000 rpm this thing really does feel like a diesel without the torque, so an idle that was set to 1500 was maddening.


Next up is more little stuff because frankly the rust, while not that bad, scares me as I've only ever fixed small patches on friend's cars and not my own, so the concept has me a bit paralyzed. Regardless, I have interior clips coming to redo the warped and broken rear and door panels with new MDF or something of the sort, as well as new liner for the headlight gaskets, and screw grommets so that things can be properly held in place. It's a slow process to make this nicer, but every time I work on it I'm smiling.

MrChaos GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/5/20 9:26 a.m.

In reply to Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) :

im guessing it had a winch on it at somepoint with the idle being that high and it had no bumper when you got it.

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/18/21 10:43 a.m.

Wow it's been months since I've updated this. Not a ton has happened (thanks, life...) but I'll keep chronicling as things are starting to move again.

 Well shortly after my last update I moved! Specifically I moved in with my girlfriend and a longtime friend in the heart of Central Jersey. The Land Cruiser could finally live with me!


And with that, work could begin a little more in earnest (with all the hurry up and wait I expected...) First up was a basic tune up. I wanted to take this thing on a trip out to Lake Erie but it was... slow. I didn't expect much out of a late 80s carb'd engine that came with 120ish hp new in a boat this large, but this seemed particularly slow. So I figured I would give the old "tune up" of plugs, wires, cap, and rotor.


And what a difference...it didn't make. It was still definitely slow, but I figured that everything else looked alright, nothing was actively broken sounding, and a slight miss at idle went away off idle. So a quick carb adjustment (just setting idle after adjusting timing), I called it good enough and started convincing myself that my butt-dyno needed a recalibration.

I had a couple weeks to give this thing a full shakedown before the planned trip, so I just started driving it any time I could (not that I needed an excuse), and got used to the power level. As my girlfriend (the enabler) told me, "you just can't be in a rush." So I enjoyed some time driving,


and being visited by friends with other rusty, red, 80s Toyota crap-cans. I suppose I have a type. The last thing before the trip was to get the cherry on top, or the aluminum.

I have to admit having a canoe on top looked so "right" that I never wanted to take it off, even after the trip. Speaking of! This is a picture rich post, and I think a few more can't hurt. The trip was from New Jersey to Erie State Park in NY. We ended up leaving a day early and couldn't find a campsite so the first night was spent sleeping in a Wally World parking lot, and the remainder of nights were at the campsite. Sleeping in the back of this thing was honestly so dang comfy, especially since we bought a 4" Queen sized foam mattress topper that fit nearly perfectly.


And it even made it home relatively fault free! Granted, I had to downshift to second to get up some frankly mild hills and pull over to let people pass, and I had to pull into a Wally World again on the way home to refill engine, trans, AND transfer case due to the oil leaks (I think I oughta get sponsored), but it did in fact drive the whole way there and back. After returning home though, it took a well-deserved rest.

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/18/21 10:56 a.m.

That trip was dangerous for me. I mean...it was really dangerous for all involved, that thing is a death trap. But the fear that I had going in was that I was going to "meet my hero" so to speak. I have loved these trucks for years and years, for exactly the type of thing I was doing with it, and I KNEW that it wasn't going to be the perfect camping machine in my head. And sure enough, it wasn't. It was much worse, but also much better. The real side effect of the trip was that it truly cemented my love for the truck. It was every bit as charming as I imagined and had character in droves. I've always wrestled with the emotional attachment to vehicles, being that I tend to personify all the cars I've owned (assigning to them a personality, a name, and feeling as though they participate in the adventures alongside me, rather than as my personal tool). This was a learned trait from my brother, I think (who owns the Swedish meatballs on either side of the FJ).

My dad always told me "don't love something that can't love you back" and I've done a thoroughly AWFUL job listening to that advice. I've used cars to get over some of the hardest times in my life, as well as make some of the happiest memories. This camping trip, I'm happy to say, was thoroughly skewed towards the latter of those. My wallet, however, disagrees with my outlook, as it knows it's now going to be squeezed for every last bit it can give up in the pursuit of addressing the parts of this truck that don't meet the criteria of furthering this personality. This truck is something I really think I'll be holding on to for a very long time, and with that in mind I have to address the bigger problems. That means handing off one specific job that I have no experience in, so that the truck has the best chance to succeed. As can be clearly seen in the pictures posted thus far, this truck has rust. Nothing so severe that it can't be fixed, but extensive to say the least. I can weld, but I can't weld a new roof on to this truck. What I can do though, is find supplies and service providers.

And sure enough, around November of last year, I found a guy in Maryland parting out an FJ62, the roof of which should be the same as my FJ60. I messaged him and said I could pick up the roof if he was willing to cut it off, and sure enough 3 days later...


I was taking a drive with my friend's beautiful diesel work machine. I also found an old school guy local who was willing to take on the project of repairing the roof, and that's actually where it sits now, awaiting that work. That doesn't mean the updates are done until it gets back though. Because rust wasn't the only issue I had with the truck.

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/18/21 11:04 a.m.

Right when I got this truck, I thought about an issue I've had recently. I love the character of old stuff, but I dislike finicky issues. I love that a carb is so simple that a screwdriver and swearing fixes most issues, but I would prefer fuel injection, which has (in my experience) never actually NEEDED the complex repairs that would be required were it to fail. This truck's powertrain is that of a tractor. It has a hole in the front facsia to be hand-started. It doesn't have Overdrive. It is simple. I love that, but I hate it as well, especially with just how slow it is. Because of this, I had already thought about engine swaps. There's the obvious, and the not so obvious:

-LS engines are simple, they've been done, they're abundant, and objectively great. There are no downsides.

-Toyota diesel engines are insanely expensive and must be shipped from overseas.

-Cummins diesel engines are heavy and expensive.


There seems to be one obvious answer from my horribly biased viewpoint. Or so I thought. I was set on an LS swap in this truck, even going as far as sourcing the transmission I intended to use (a Jeep AX15 as I didn't intend to push any extra power over stock), and then I went to see a friend's project.


My friend has a beautifully well done project where he put a class C60 body on an Express 3500 frame. It is immaculate and done better than I could dream of doing my project. But when I left his house, I made a terrible realization. He made a truck that looks like a C60 but is really just a van. And if I did that with my FJ60, then I would be making a very neat looking 2004 Trailblazer. That's just not right. That doesn't fit the character of this truck. That doesn't fit my character. That's, well, that's a downside. But then, a realization. An engine family I had neglected, partially because I simply knew nothing of them.

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/18/21 11:13 a.m.

Of course! A Mercedes Benz engine that makes basically the same power as stock (much more with an injection pump and upgrade turbo if I so choose) and that has a readily adapter to the transmission I already bought thanks to the popularity with Jeep XJs! Why, that has character, that's silly enough to be fun, but good enough to be useful. And it just so happens, that the reason I went to see that friend with the C60 project was to pick up a car trailer for an unrelated project car that needed to be moved. And as if fate itself found me, a groupchat with friends found a listing for a "1983" M-B 300SD not far from me, running and driving, for $400. So, I got approval from Financial Manager SWMBO, and sure enough

The next day it was loaded onto my friend's truck and trailer and the project became a very different animal. One note, was that this was NOT a 1983, it was actually a 1980. That matters a bit, as this engine does not have EGR, and appears to have other slight changes, none of which I care about too much. Now, this engine does go quite directly against what I've stated earlier about how I hate overly simplistic engines and yadda yadda, but I am a terribly unreliable narrator and putting my foot in my mouth might as well be an opening stretch for me. Besides, technically speaking this IS fuel injected, so I count it.

This actually brings us neatly to the present, as that same friend with the truck (not the one with the C60) recently installed a lift, making the removal of this engine a breeze.



This engine certainly jumped the gun a bit, as I won't be able to install it for quite some time, what with the body work and suspension needing addressing first. But a good deal is a good deal, and I am a sucker for them.

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/18/21 11:19 a.m.

One last note to sum up this update. Why didn't I just keep the current engine? And why is it SO slow? Conveniently, that's been figured out, I just hadn't already included it.

I deicded to check and adjust my valves (something I'm not used to because I'm a young'in and am so used to self adjusting valves it frankly didn't occur to me in the past.) That's when I noticed a few things (as I also ran a compression and leak down test):

-I don't have an inline-6 engine. I have an inline 5.5 engine

-I have a burnt exhaust valve on cylinder 3

-I had completely berked lash on my Erie trip.


Now running on 5.5 cylinders "properly" this truck felt like a speed DEMON. Why I probably have a whole 90hp now! I could replace the valve and do things the "right" way, but frankly I don't have any love for the 2F, and it still will have little annoying porblems and six tons of vacuum lines that I suck at deleting. So I'm taking the...easy way? Definitely not, but a different way and running an engine that will make me like the truck more. I hope. In conclusion for now, the truck looks good with just about anything on top of it.

Plus some "rally" fog lights found in the trash because why not.


mr2s2000elise UltraDork
2/18/21 11:55 a.m.

Looks beautiful! I have 2 60 and a 62 build on this forum. All are stock motor though 

though looking to get a turbo diesel 62 JDM with illegal registration next month. To me that's the best motor on the 60/62 for my use 

love your project but the rust scares me yikes! 

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/18/21 12:19 p.m.

In reply to mr2s2000elise :

The rust scares me too! But for the Northeast this is pretty mild and manageable. So far I haven't broken any bolts from rust (although as I'm saying this I'm frantically looking for wood to knock on). The Toyota diesels are great, and I love them to pieces, but the cost just wasn't in the cards. The only reason I got this 60 was because at $3750 it was cheap enough that I could stretch my budget to get it and I figured I would never find another one at the same price with the numbers going up thanks to BaT. The nice side effect is that right now they're so valuable that any money I put in I seem to get back out in value added (mercedes engine notwithstanding).

mr2s2000elise UltraDork
2/18/21 2:25 p.m.

Yup You will see some of mine on BAT soon. Waiting on storage now, till listing go live, and hoping to cash in nice this year, with 10 60/62 sold on that site :)


Buying one more this morning, gray one. Same as the 40K that sold 1 hour ago. Paid 13K for it. 148K. Paint+ interior detail = should get me 35K


I have a very good lead on a red one in Oregon. But after seeing pics, walked away from it. Super low miles, but rust. 

yupididit GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/18/21 2:26 p.m.

You're still going to om617 swap it? 


Are 1uz swaps a thing with these? 

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/18/21 4:00 p.m.

In reply to yupididit :

The plan is still to OM617 swap. That should give me the right power and efficiency for what I want out of the truck. And 1UZ isn't unheard of, but a manual 1UZ is more effort than I think it's worth and manual is a sticking point for me.

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