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Thread: Potential 60 series exp. rig

  1. #1
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    Default Potential 60 series exp. rig

    Hi all,
    I'm hoping to acquire a diesel 60 series rig (BJ60) in a month or two, that I can start setting up as an expedition vehicle. It's currently undergoing a body restoration by a guy I know. It has relatively low mileage (120,000 miles), and is apparently quite sound (other than surface body rust which is being repaired, along with some other upgrades - springs, tires, etc.). It's an early BJ60, which means it has a 4 speed manual transmission, and non-power-assisted clutch and steering. Very simple and rugged. Hopefully it won't prove too much of a bear to drive, but since most of my trekking will be on open roads (paved or not), the clutch and steering shouldn't be too much of a factor).

    I hope to equip it (eventually!) with rear bumper, swingaway tire carrier, ladder and roof rack like the one in this picture, which was recently sold on Ebay. Plus internal storage drawers, sleeping platform, engel fridge, etc. Should be fun!

    Anyway, I'm learning a lot of tips and ideas from reading posts on this forum, which is very helpful.

    Cheers,
    --Robert
    Previously owned:
    68 LR IIA; 83 TLC BJ60 diesel; 73 VW Bus; 73 MB 406D Camper; 87 LR 110 diesel; 82 TLC BJ60 diesel; 92 TLC HZJ80 diesel
    Now own: 96 Dodge Cummins 4x4 3/4 ton extended cab truck; 70's Alaskan 10ft NCO camper

  2. #2
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    My feeling is whether your on open roads or not, you're going to miss power steering.
    Adam Tolman
    '93 FZJ80
    03 DC Tacoma
    '08 Off-road Trailer
    TEPUI TENTS. PM for PRICING

  3. #3
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    I think you'll hate power steering depending upon the size of the tire you run. It you only run a 31-33" tall tire you should be fine unless you like playing in the rocks, then you'll hate it no matter what.

    Keep up posted if/when you get it and your progress!
    Dave & Yoshi
    The Adventure Duo
    2003 Sportsmobile EB 7.3 PSD
    1997 Landcruiser 80 Series Collectors Edition
    2005 Suzuki DRZ400s
    Tread Lightly! Trainer | Manufacturer of the Trasharoo

  4. #4
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    Default 60 Series

    Robert

    Sounds like a fun project..... congrats. I am not far from you in Toronto. Maybe I'll see you on the road sometime.

    Henry
    www.4x4freedom.com

  5. #5
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    If it's been in Ontario (the Canadian RUST belt) all it's life I'd be checking the rear frame REAL HARD! ALL '60's rust on the INSIDE face of the rear frame rails first. The rear shock crossmember is suspect as are the spring hangers that are close by there too. I replaced the frame on my B.C. truck two years ago due to frame rust concerns (I had already lost the shock crossmember and the old frame had several patches). Now I have a totally rust free Central American frame under my truck!

    As for power steering, I don't see it as a big deal. My '82 doesn't have power steering either and I'm currently running 33x12.5x15 tires. My wife drove it out to a small village about 45 minutes out of Guatemala City today and had no issues.

    I'll see in a week or two if the 33x12.5" wide tires are harder off road w/o power steering than the 31x10.5" ones were.

    I'd be glad to answer expedition type questions on the BJ60, but as for where to spend money, I'd be turboing it long before I'd get power steering. The turbo wakes the truck right up!

    btw. 33" is about as big as you can go on the '60 even with a 2 1/2" lift like I have.
    Trans-continental traveller. '82 Toyota LandCruiser BJ60 turbo diesel, A/C, Warn winch, Aussie rear, LSD front etc. etc.
    www.wirrell.com

  6. #6
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    Hi all,
    Thanks for the thoughts and good wishes.

    The deal is still in the potential category, as there is a chance that the guy who's doing the restoration on it may decide to keep it for himself, we'll see...

    Before I do end up buying it, I will certainly give it a good lookover, and the frame will be the first place I look at, Cruiser Guy, fear not! The restorer intends on putting 31/10.5" tires on it, which should be fine.

    I've owned four trucks without power steering (VW camper, 73 MB 406D camper-van, LR 110, and my old 83 BJ60), and don't recall having too much of an issue with it. Of course, parallel parking or maneuvering in tight spaces can be a good workout on the arms and shoulders!

    Adding a turbo will certainly be one of my earlier projects. I'll see if I can live with the 4 speed transmission, or need to convert to a 5 speed. As long as I can drive at 55-60mph in reasonable comfort (noise level), I'd be content. I generally chose to drive on secondary roads anyway. I've heard the 4-speeds are tough tranny's on these trucks.

    Yes, Henry, maybe we'll see each other on the road sometimes. Went on your web site and liked it (the vehicles, the trips, etc.).

    Anyway, hope to exchange more with you if/once the vehicle is in my possession and I start the process of outfitting it for my envisioned trips.

    Cheers, all,
    --Robert

    (p.s. I include a picture of that 73 MB camper-van, it was a neat vehicle, very well finished inside, but too big for my use, and underpowered - only the 2.4L 4 cyl MB diesel engine!)
    Previously owned:
    68 LR IIA; 83 TLC BJ60 diesel; 73 VW Bus; 73 MB 406D Camper; 87 LR 110 diesel; 82 TLC BJ60 diesel; 92 TLC HZJ80 diesel
    Now own: 96 Dodge Cummins 4x4 3/4 ton extended cab truck; 70's Alaskan 10ft NCO camper

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Box Rocket
    My feeling is whether your on open roads or not, you're going to miss power steering.
    First - VERY nice 60. Mine is the same desert tan, and will be getting a diesel engine as soon as I settle on the model and config (see the Summer issue of Overland Journal for the intro and explanation of the project).

    As for power steering - I didn't have power steering in my 78 FJ55, and didn't find it to be too difficult on moderate trails (never did "rock crawling") if I chose my lines carefully. Parking lots - well, a different story but you just plan ahead :-). I found the lack of power steering to be an excellent form of toning for upper body strength - toning by Toyota. All my friends did jazzercize - I went four-wheeling.
    Overland Expo www.OverlandExpo.com
    Get outfitted, get trained, get inspired ~ get going! May 16-18, 2014, Flagstaff, AZ, USA
    www.ConserVentures.org, KE7PDY, FRGS(09)Explorers Club (FN12)
    Current vehicles - 2012 Tacoma w/Four Wheel Camper, BMW R80 G/S, Honda NX250
    Past vehicles - 1984 FJ60 3.0L Intl. turbo-diesel, 1978 FJ55, 1992 4WD 22RE w/FourWheelCamper, 2000 Tacoma XCab 4x4 TRD, 74 BMW 2002

  8. #8
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    Hi RoseAnn,
    And by the way, Happy Birthday (saw a post in the general discussion forum referring to that event).

    I _wish_ the tan 60 in the picture is the one I have a chance to buy! I just borrowed the picture from an FJ60 in immaculate shape that was for sale in CA (I'm up in Ottawa, Canada), to show the aftermarket bumper, tire carrier, ladder and roof rack I would like to put on mine (when I do get one).

    I really liked your thread of a while ago where you were analysing the various options for a good expedition vehicle platform for yourself, and after considering many alternatives, settled on the 60 series (with diesel engine). It sort of confirmed my own feeling that a diesel 60 series Cruiser was best for me (I owned a BJ60 some years ago; then I owned a Land Rover 110 diesel for a couple of years - sold to help pay down the mortgage, sometimes the left brain takes charge!; more recently I was lusting after a diesel G-wagen; but came back to the BJ/HJ60 which I think make a great platform, and a lot of bang for the buck - compared to 110 or G).

    The challenge (up here in Canada especially) is finding one that isn't terminally ill with body and frame rust. The one I have my eye on has potential, so I'm hopeful it will be the one to carry me down the roads in the future.

    Thanks for the feedback on driving a rig without power steering. Sounds like you and Land Cruisers go back a long way. I personally don't presently envision heading out on trails with mine, but who knows, if my travels take me close to Moab or some other famous SW trail, I may be tempted to have a go (at the gentler paths)! Yeah indeed driving a vehicle like that requires planning ahead, and provides good upper body workout in some situations! I suppose we need to remember that the classic 4x4's of old (including ones used in extreme situations) all had standard steering. We sort of get spoiled with things like power steering, AC, GPS, etc., don't we?

    Anyway, best of luck equipping your rig and finding a good suitable diesel engine for it. Up here the diesel LC's were equipped with 4 cyl 3B engine (industrial grade, tough as nails) or 6 cyl 2H engine (not quite as tough, but a bit more power). Now of course there are all kinds of alternatives diesel engines from Toyota, turbo-charged etc.

    Cheers!
    --Robert

    p.s. great community here, I love it!
    Previously owned:
    68 LR IIA; 83 TLC BJ60 diesel; 73 VW Bus; 73 MB 406D Camper; 87 LR 110 diesel; 82 TLC BJ60 diesel; 92 TLC HZJ80 diesel
    Now own: 96 Dodge Cummins 4x4 3/4 ton extended cab truck; 70's Alaskan 10ft NCO camper

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by rstl99
    Hi RoseAnn,
    And by the way, Happy Birthday (saw a post in the general discussion forum referring to that event).
    Thank you ! I was so busy up in CO at a 4x4 event (EarthRoamer rally - got to play in the new XV-JP model -- nice!) I forgot it was my birthday until I saw the ExPo thread on Monday.

    Quote Originally Posted by rstl99
    I really liked your thread of a while ago where you were analysing the various options for a good expedition vehicle platform for yourself, and after considering many alternatives, settled on the 60 series (with diesel engine). It sort of confirmed my own feeling that a diesel 60 series Cruiser was best for me (I owned a BJ60 some years ago; then I owned a Land Rover 110 diesel for a couple of years - sold to help pay down the mortgage, sometimes the left brain takes charge!; more recently I was lusting after a diesel G-wagen; but came back to the BJ/HJ60 which I think make a great platform, and a lot of bang for the buck - compared to 110 or G).
    Glad you followed that thread - it sort of overtook me. I thought it would be simple, but of course it's not! But yes, it really came down to "bang for the buck" as well as truly the best overland / expedition platform that could also potentially be economical and ecological. I do plan to take this Cruiser to South America and Africa (via Europe - must start civilized after all), so I am really thinking Toyota diesel is the way to go - I'm tempted by the Cummins (a new engine) but there is a lot of wisdom in keeping all-Toyota and a very common engine at that (such as the 1HZ, which I recently drove in Tanzania - non-turbo - in a 70-series, a heavy safari transport rig).

    If you're an Overland Journal subscriber, you will see that they kindly adopted my JF60 as a project vehicle (introduced in the Summer issue). So this means I can slow down a bit and do more research on the best possible engine, tire/wheel combo, and accessories.

    Quote Originally Posted by rstl99
    The challenge (up here in Canada especially) is finding one that isn't terminally ill with body and frame rust. The one I have my eye on has potential, so I'm hopeful it will be the one to carry me down the roads in the future.
    There are gas 60s and 62s all over AZ for sale . . . and relatively cheap, no rust. Buy then you have the conversion challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by rstl99
    Thanks for the feedback on driving a rig without power steering. Sounds like you and Land Cruisers go back a long way. I personally don't presently envision heading out on trails with mine, but who knows, if my travels take me close to Moab or some other famous SW trail, I may be tempted to have a go (at the gentler paths)! Yeah indeed driving a vehicle like that requires planning ahead, and provides good upper body workout in some situations! I suppose we need to remember that the classic 4x4's of old (including ones used in extreme situations) all had standard steering. We sort of get spoiled with things like power steering, AC, GPS, etc., don't we?
    Definitely! I can't even remember if the LC I drove in TZ had power steering - so that shows how unimportant it is in the end. It's nice, to be sure, I love driving my Tacoma, but it's not a deal breaker.

    As for 60s capability, just heard from another ExPo and MUD member who converted his 60 to an HZ1 and then drove across and around the country this summer on a maiden voyage. And though he didn't intend to do tough trails or crawling, said he ended up in CO doing a trail that crawlers normally do, just to get to a hiking trailhead - he said the 60 did great, and the looks on the crawlers' faces were priceless. Good axiom: you can take a well-outfitted overlander crawling but you can't take a crawler overlanding :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by rstl99
    Anyway, best of luck equipping your rig and finding a good suitable diesel engine for it. Up here the diesel LC's were equipped with 4 cyl 3B engine (industrial grade, tough as nails) or 6 cyl 2H engine (not quite as tough, but a bit more power). Now of course there are all kinds of alternatives diesel engines from Toyota, turbo-charged etc.

    Cheers!
    --Robert

    p.s. great community here, I love it!
    Thanks, and I agree! Welcome!

    Here's a thread you may have seen on MUD - Kevin's 60 conversion - he's on this forum, too:

    http://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=159678
    http://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=159678
    Overland Expo www.OverlandExpo.com
    Get outfitted, get trained, get inspired ~ get going! May 16-18, 2014, Flagstaff, AZ, USA
    www.ConserVentures.org, KE7PDY, FRGS(09)Explorers Club (FN12)
    Current vehicles - 2012 Tacoma w/Four Wheel Camper, BMW R80 G/S, Honda NX250
    Past vehicles - 1984 FJ60 3.0L Intl. turbo-diesel, 1978 FJ55, 1992 4WD 22RE w/FourWheelCamper, 2000 Tacoma XCab 4x4 TRD, 74 BMW 2002

  10. #10
    Redline's Avatar
    Redline is offline Overland Training Alumni
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    Great axiom! :-)

    James

    Quote Originally Posted by DesertRose
    Good axiom: you can take a well-outfitted overlander crawling but you can't take a crawler overlanding :-)

    http://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=159678
    http://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=159678

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