6 Common Problems with the Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60 (Buyers Guide)
Updated: Sep 22, 2022
With any restoration project you’re going to have issues, and the Land Cruiser FJ60 is no different. The 2F engine is a excellent engine and will last 300,000 miles with no major issues if taken care of. It has good low end torque like any straight 6; 210 ft-lbs @ 1800 rpm to be exact and 135 hp @ 3600 RPMs. Basically you can pull just about anything out of the mud, but you'll be left in the dust with a top speed of 65 mph. Below is a list of things that are common problems you'll find on an FJ60.
1. THE CARBURETOR
You can expect to rebuild the carb when buying an FJ60, and can get a good rebuild for $300. The Webber 32/36 carburetor is a substitute most people use, but in my opinion stick with factory unit. It's hard to get the original smog equipment to sync, plus you're going to have some jetting issues with the Webber.
How do I know if my carb is bad? In order to know you have a bad carburetor the engine will stumble, hesitate, sputter, run rough, or almost die at a low RPM. However, if you have to leave the choke out in order for it to keep running it can also be a faulty EGR valve. All of this should be checked when you rebuild the carb.
2. SMOG EQUIPMENT & VACUUM HOSES
Before assuming the emissions control system is malfunctioning, check the fuel (Carburetor, filters, pump, lines) and ignition systems carefully. THE MOST FREQUENT PROBLEM is simply a loose or broken vacuum hose or wiring connection. Always check the hose and wiring connections first. With trucks over 200k miles you're definitely going to need to replace the vacuum hoses. There's dozens of feet of vacuum line running through these trucks, so remain patient when doing checks on these lines. For people living in an altitude above 3,930 feet (And own an FJ60 within 1981-1987) you will need to check your HAC System (High Altitude Compensation). The HAC system advances ignition timing to improve driving performance at high altitudes. This is where people run into issues if they installed a Webber carb. The Webber will bypass this system, significantly decreasing your engines performance. Unfortunately, anything past checking the vacuum hoses and connections I pass off to a mechanic who knows what they are doing. You need to get this right the first time, otherwise you'll be constantly frustrated at your 2F's performance.
3. FRONT AXLE SLUDGE
Check the front axle for sludge coming out of the knuckles. This sludge is caused by axle grease leaking past it's seals. It's not a deal beaker, but it would eventually need to be fixed. It can cost anywhere between $200 and $600 and requires a lot of labor. If your truck is a 1981 model check your factory recall for other steering part replacements. BEFORE
4. STEERING This mostly applied to trucks that have been lifted. Lifting a truck past factory height can cause stress on the steering. If the truck wobbles (We call it the death wobble) then something must be done to fix this issue.
Solution: I install an Old Man Emu steering damper on all of my FJ60's weather they have a lift or not. It strengthens and tightens the steering and allows the factory mechanics to operate smoothly with limited vibration. This is very inexpensive costing you $112 max for the part. You can install it yourself but the factory stabilizer is extremely hard to get off without using an air tool.
NOTE: If the truck still wobbles but the steering wheel is smooth then your drive shaft needs balancing. This is another common issue with trucks over 200k miles.
5. MILEAGE over 200k
If you're buying a truck over 200k miles then I would suggest a compression check. Expect to see 160-165 for a 2F engine in excellent shape; Anything under 120 I would proceed with caution and under 100 is a no go. Rule of thumb is there shouldn't be more than can't be 10% variation from the highest and lowest readings. Toyota builds a very strong motor, so anything under 200k miles with a good history will most likely not need a compression test. If the truck has been sitting, not kept up or abused then run a test regardless of appearance. If it has more than a two owner history, run a test. Auto Check does a good job at telling you how many people owned the car before you. What is a compression test? It reveals the condition of your engine's valves, its valve seats, and piston rings and whether these parts have worn evenly. Worn parts inside the engine will drastically reduce your engines performance and most of the time will warrant a complete rebuild.
6. RUST Yes, it's extremely hard to find an FJ60 that hasn't been affected by rust. To find out all the common places FJ60's rust, check the picture below.
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