It was a great day of wrenching on our vehicles. We had a good assortment of vehicles being worked on – an FJ40, an FJ62, an HJ61, an FZJ80, an FJ55, and a Tacoma. Also present was another FJ62 and an FJ Cruiser.
The event kicked off at 9AM and we started the day by addressing club business. After about 45 minutes, we were ready to wrench. Lunch consisted of delicious bratwursts (burned by Jeremy and rescued by Michael), kale cole slaw by Kyle, and assorted chips and beverages. Most of the man hours were spent working on Mark’s HJ61. He had an exceptionally tall lift and was looking to lower the vehicle’s stance to a more manageable height. The truck is in impeccable condition and truly unique! Unfortunately, the hardware did not want to let go and some bolts needed to be cut off… We started with the front suspension and was complete by lunchtime. The nuts had rusted on to the U-Bolts, so David used the influence of his cutting torch to convince them to come off. The old bushings didn’t want to depart without a fight, but eventually they succumbed to Jeremy and Mark’s fierce hammer blows. The rear suspension was a bit more of a challenge as the spare tire could not be removed due to the lowering mechanism being rusted shut. We had difficulty getting leverage, but David’s mighty sawzall inflicted inevitable death on the rear shackles and we were able to quickly and properly install the new suspension. It looked great!
Kyle brought his mint condition FJ62 to get a second opinion on some strange equipment that the prior owner had installed on his vehicle. A strange black box was determined to be a non-functional battery charger wired to the battery. There were also some unnecessary wires, so we removed anything strange and useless from his spotless engine compartment and proceeded to wire up some after market Hella lights. After a bit of troubleshooting, they were functioning properly.
Tim brought his FZJ80 to have the steering pump replaced. This task was more difficult than it sounds because the pump is difficult to access and Tim possesses the enlarged hands of a battle axe wielding ancient viking (or Air Force veteran, take your pick). The assembly of the steering pump had us a bit confused because the banjo bolt would not let go of the retention bolt. After consulting with the manual, we figured out the issue and proceeded with removal. Reinstallation of the pump was quick, but aligning the banjo bolt took some patience. After the pump was replaced, Tim declared that it feels like he is driving a brand new truck.
No stranger to Land Cruisers, Michael recently purchased his FJ55 Iron Pig and brought it out for some consulting. He replaced the master cylinder and discussed some upgrade options. While we expected to wrench on it a bit, Michael performed all of the work the night prior and denied us the excitement of working on it. We’ll get our chance, though, because he is looking to install an upgraded suspension and do a bit of restoration work.
Jeremy was looking to replace his differential, Transfer Case, and Gear box fluids. After getting the vehicle on the lift, we discovered that the fluid was in perfect condition, so we decided not to drain it. Unfortunately, it appears that his Transfer Case will need eventual attention because it was practically empty and there were signs of leakage. He also purchased a Trollhole distributor, Toyota spark plugs, and Denso wires for installation. Upon inspection, he already had a practically brand new Electronic distributor (possibly a Trollhole), brand new Toyota plugs, and brand new Denso wires. We replaced his steering stabilizer, figured out that the new one wouldn’t work, and put the old one back on. Very little work was actually performed on the FJ40 so we are encouraging Jeremy to become more familiar with it and drive it more than twice a year.
A good time was had by all and we are looking forward to the next meeting. Some pictures from this event are below.
Low Country Land Cruisers