Hey, Matt! Thanks for your interest in the LandCruiser. I’m glad to hear that you’re a TLC person yourself, and I’m happy to think of my FJ-60 going to a good Toyota-loving home! I think it’d look great parked next to your FJ-80!!
In answer to your questions . . . let’s see . . . I’m only selling it because I’m moving out of the country indefinitely and I don’t want to store it. Otherwise I’d keep it. The Cruiser has a three-inch lift on custom springs from Cool Cruisers of Texas. The steel bumpers and rock sliders were made custom by a guy in South Weber. It’s been repainted and the upholstery was redone just before I bought it in 2007, so it looks great cosmetically. (Sorry you couldn’t tell too well from the pics.) There is some rust (aka cancer) inside the doors, but that’s inevitable. I don’t think you’ll find any ‘84s without cancer in the doors. There were a few holes in the rear quarter panels, too, but they were fixed before I bought it. Overall, it’s in great shape for a Utah Cruiser.
And, yes, I did pay to have the motor swapped in the summer of 2009. I have all the paperwork, in case you want to see it. As a potential buyer, I’m sure you’re experiencing a little bit of trepidation, and you’re probably wondering why I swapped the motor in the first place!! I’ll be honest with you, because I know the anxiety that surrounds buying a used vehicle, especially a vehicle of this nature. Also, it sounds like you know your TLCs already, so there’s probably no use in trying to pull a fast one on you!!
Sure, it’s true that the 2F straight six motor Toyota put in the FJ-60s will run forever. But, there is one crucial detail that you have to remember: you HAVE to stay on top of the oil ALWAYS. One unique feature of this particular motor is that it was designed with a dry sump oil circulation system. This means that the oil tends to settle down into the reservoir when the car is sitting or when it’s running at low RPMs for too long. If you don’t keep the oil up at the recommended level, that whole TOYOTAS RUN FOREVER idea goes out the window, so to speak.
So, when you drive your 1984 FJ-60 TLC all summer long, including tri-weekly swimming trips with your friends to Hyrum Dam, frequent trips up Logan Canyon to take the dog swimming in the river, and a backpacking trip to the Wind River Range of Wyoming, AND you don’t check the oil regularly, you’re going to end up burning a lot more oil than you think. Later that season when you get upset with your girlfriend and take off up Millville Canyon with a couple of your buddies late at night, you’re going to burn even more oil than you would ever think. I’m telling you, Cruisers burn oil. When you get up to the point where the road splits and one branch heads toward Logan Peak, when you’re in 4-LOW and creeping over large rocks at steep angles, the motor is going to struggle to circulate the insufficient amount of oil it’s working with.
At the point where you have to crawl up and over a particularly large rock, and the tires are spinning and you’re grinding over the rock on your sliders, the motor is going to straight up cut out. All the lights will still be on and the fuel gauge will be up, so you’ll know it’s not an electric problem or a fuel problem. You’ll assume that, at least. If you try to start it again, it’s going to sound like the starter is picking up before it emits a solid CLICK. It’ll sound like this: grrr-ree-ree-ree-ree-GRRRCK. grrr-ree-ree-ree-ree-GRRRCK. ETC.
For the record, this is what you do when the DAMNED thing won’t start again: you joke with your friends a little bit about driving a beater car, then ask your friends to get out and spot you for the descent; you ease off the rock you’re perched on; you cuss a little bit, casually; you coast backward, downhill, to a point where the road opens up enough to allow the performance of what we’ll call THE REVERSE SPIN MOVE OF DEATH; you have to get up enough speed to allow you to whip the vehicle around in such a way that you’ll start rolling forward once you’ve executed SAID MOVE (imagine something like a buttonhook play in football); DON’T run over the friend who’s spotting you and DON’T coast off the road into the trees.
Once you’re turned around and heading downhill, you can try to jump-start the Cruiser, but you’ll just grind along in the gravel. You’ll say something to the extent of WHAT THE HELL?! You’ll attribute the sliding to a lack of traction. Keep coasting, bombing through the flats even if it sounds like you’re going to rattle to pieces, until you get to the paved road into Millville. You’ll think about how much a new starter costs, cuz that’s what you’ll blame this whole mishap on. When you hit the pavement and try to jump the Cruiser again, and the wheels keep locking up, this is when the MOTHER . . . F***ERS are going to start issuing forth from the pit of your stomach: this is when it will dawn on you that the motor has seized because the oil was too low. Too hot, not enough oil, too much strain on the motor. No more DAMNEDs, HELLs, or even BASTARD-SON-OF-A-BITCHs. It’s time to pull all the stops, if you will. This is when your dad’s voice will drift into your mind: THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS. This is when you’ll start cursing yourself for being so careless. There will be a slight tinge of apprehension of what’s to come and how much it’s going to cost, but you’ll mostly just be angry at this point. Angry at yourself, primarily.
When you’re almost to the Maverick station on the highway, the road is going to flatten out. At this point, you will wait till the car is down around 15 MPH, so you and your two friends will have to slide out and push it to the parking lot. Then you can call someone to come tow you back to your apartment. You will joke about your prowess in coasting down an entire mountain in neutral as you run in to buy a Gatorade or whatever sounds good.
Note: when you get reception and realize that your girlfriend has called and texted several times, already concerned about you and thinking that you’re avoiding her cuz you were upset earlier, don’t tell her PAM DIED. She will not remember that your license plate reads 096 PAM, nor that you dubbed the Cruiser PAM. A text reading PAM DIED will only confuse and bother her. And, when you try to clarify by texting THERE WAS A HORRIBLE ACCIDENT UP MILLVILLE AND PAM IS DEAD. BE HOME SOON, the communication breakdown will only get worse.
Note: actually, don’t sweat too much over what you’re going to say to your girlfriend because there’s a good chance that she’ll end up dumping you for someone who drives a cool European car. Some sweet-bro like that or some shit. Yeah, some kid who drives a Volkswagen GTi and says stuff like YEAH, BRO, FOR SURE, BRO. You’ll probably never know the exact truth about that whole thing, and you probably won’t care because she made you feel like such a chump and you’ll be totally over her anyway.
Don’t worry, though!! The fact that the motor seized at such a low speed means that nothing was wrecked outside of the engine. No damage to the transmission or anything. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.
Note: plan to spend about $2500 on a used 2F motor and labor. And, when a friend of a friend tells you that he’ll do the work for free, don’t listen to him because he’s LYING. He’ll later be dumped by his business partners because he’s SHADY and DISHONEST. You will end up paying them to do the work anyway. Just go straight to them. They’ll be really nice and you’ll all joke about how the aforementioned business partner was SKETCHY.
A $2500 mistake. Worse things have happened. Worse things will happen. Right?! Right.
Oh, I forgot to mention that the tires are only about ten months old. I go with the Big O All Terrains because they’re good tires with an EXCEPTIONAL warranty. A lot of people go with the BFG ATs, but those are significantly more expensive and they don’t have a warranty.
I’m also throwing in a tailgate and hatch, both in perfect condition, and a roof rack. You could probably get some good money out of the tailgate/hatch, but I’ve been too lazy to post them.
Let me know if you have any more questions! Thanks, Matt, and talk to you soon!!
Lee Olsen, Fellow TLC Enthusiast