After nearly five months I picked up my 1984 FJ60 from TLC where it got its makeover: a new International 3.0-liter turbo diesel and new Toyota 5-speed transmission with lots of other extras! Here's me with the team at TLC - thanks to everyone, especially Jonathan Ward (second from left) and Joe Villegas (far right):
The beautiful engine:
I wrote up more information on the Overland Journal blog - and the upcoming Fall 2008 Overland Journal will have a nice spread on the upgrades with more pics.
I was really lucky to drive it from LA to Prescott where I audited the first 3 days of the first Overland Training comprehensive Overland Certification course, so I got tons of off-highway trail practice, including some impressive climbs, a rock garden crawl, and a 24-degree side-slope.
In short: it is AWESOME. I am so amazed - it exceeds my expectations to a degree x 10. The power is ridiculous - we were pulling hills in 5th gear on I-10 and still gaining at 70 mph. The torque is plain silly for an FJ60 - sometimes we just grin ear-to-ear!
Mileage will need to be addressed: the gearing is too low (we had it regeared to 411 and it is wrong for this engine - it's running 3000 rpm at 65 - so we're returning to original gearing). But so far the average out of the box mileage is 21 - 22 mpg (with a 650-mile mix of intense highway, low-range, and city) with the wrong gearing. Plus I've been told diesels take a long time to break in and settle to max efficiency.
Some pics from the blog; go to the blog for a bit more info:
Now for the paint (same desert tan, no stripes) and some cargo area lids from WagonGear.
This is really an ultimate truck for me - retro enough to fill that need (I just never could get into my new Tacomas . . . ) but more capable than any available stock diesel in the U.S.
We'll provide some pricing info in an upcoming Overland Journal issue - that's still being worked out. It isn't cheap, but then again we can't get modern (new) TD Land Cruisers here right now anyway . . .