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 a good low end torque; 210 ft-lbs @ 1800 rpm to be exact and 135 @ 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. It's hard to get the original smog equipment to sink, plus you're going to have some jet issues with the Webber.
What does a bad carburetor sound like?
In order to know you have a bad carburetor the engine will stumble, hesitate, sputter, run rough, or almost die at a low RPM range. 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 which will be checked when you rebuild the carb.
2. SMOG EQUIPMENT & VACUUM HOSES
For those of you who live in high altitude, you're going to need this. However, before assuming the emissions control system is malfunctioning, check the fuel (Carburetor) 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.
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, more often than not, pass this system, thus 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 performance.
3. FRONT AXLE SLUDGE
Check the front axle for sludge coming out of the knuckles. 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. And if it's a 1981 model check your factory recall HERE for other steering part replacements.
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 this could haunt you.
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 allow the factory mechanics to operate smoothly with limited vibration. This is very inexpensive costing you $112 max for the part. You can instal 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. 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. There can't be any variation between 10% from the highest and lowest readings.
Toyota build a very strong motor so anything under 200k with a good history will most likely not need a compression test. Obviously use your common sense here. If the truck has been sitting, not kept up and abused then run a test. 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 are wearing evenly. Worn parts inside the engine will drastically effect your engines performance and most of the time would need a complete rebuild.
And 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, click the picture below.
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