A journey into a 60-series ownership

Nick Sabrazat Mar 5, 2018

  1. Nick Sabrazat

    Nick Sabrazat Active Member I am in uk

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    Hi all,

    Having recently fulfilled a boy’s dream, I thought I’d start a thread on the “monster truck” as it has now been nicknamed.

    I was originally looking for a Defender 110, but after hunting for a decent one for the past 2 years, I decided to refocus on an old school Landcruiser instead. Having driven a few Defenders in the past, I don’t regret my decision to go for a 60-series.

    I purchased the vehicle a couple of weeks ago, from a chap in London who hardly used it over the 9-10 months he’s owned it. I believe it has been for sale on eBay for a while which would explained why I accepted my offer without any struggle. So after a long trip to London on Sunday 18th February, I became the proud owner of a HJ60 GX, manual. The drive back to Birmingham was uneventful and I was surprised how well it was keeping up with the motorway traffic.

    Those are the first pictures of the truck, taken the day after:

    40632396511_81920a5a30_k.jpg

    I kept the car on the drive for 2 weeks, unused, to give me the chance to have a better look at the vehicle before starting to use it as a daily commuter. Then on the 1st March, it started to fullfill his daily duty and replaced the Megane Scenic that I was using until then.

    Timing couldn’t have been better. The snow came down quite heavily in the West Midlands as well as other part of the country on that day. But the truck managed to take my daughter to the child-minder and then me to work without any drama. Here are some pictures after its first journey to work.

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    At first the 4WD system was slow to engage due to probably never been used in London. But after a few operation of the transfer case lever it became quicker to respond.

    I live in the middle of the Clent Hills, just outside Birmingham, and we tend to feel the effect of the snow 2-3 folds over the city, with untreated lanes and low traffic. My daily drive to work consists of twisty narrow lanes and a 16% incline just to get to the nearest “main” road. The decent of the say incline on the way back from work was a bit unnerving with snow and ice covering the entirety of the decent. But once again the Landcruiser was brilliant. In low range and 1st and 2nd gear, it felt sure-footed. Here are some pictures of the truck on its maiden decent the snowy hills!

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    Day 2 of the commuting duty made the purchase of the HJ60 even more worthwhile when I had to tacked up to a 1m snow drift on the way to work. Once again the truck performed so well, it was if the snow wasn’t even there.

    25759961507_2af38b7979_k.jpg

    Where we live, a 4WD is basically a must in the winter, and sometimes in the spring when we need to tackle flooded areas. Here is the car with one of its stable mate, the wife’s Rangey, another brilliant car that adds comfort to the exceptional off-road capability.

    39920266104_6d845e717b_k.jpg

    The Landcruiser previously belongs to a member on here before changing hands three times before I purchased it.

    It is a solid base, with extensive mechanical work receipted so I hope it will be reliable. The chassis looks very strong and virtually rust-free. The body shows some signs of bubbling and the rear arches would need some attention very soon. I will take details pictures of those at the nearest opportunity.


    The plan for the truck, is to use it as a rolling project, hoping to bring the car back to its former glory along the way. In the immediate future, a service and fixing the rust on the arches to stop it developing any further.

    I also started compiling a to do list which will undoubtedly grow larger as time goes by:
    • Address cold start issue (new batteries on order) - Fixed
    • Service including fuel and air filter and fan belts - Done
    • Replace wiper blades - Done
    • Change headlight lenses maybe upgrade
    • Fix central locking - Fixed
    • Fix electric windows - in progress
    • Address grille appearance - Done
    • Fix rear demist elements
    • Investigate low engine oil pressure.

    • Address oil leak from transfer case
    And a wish list of bits/upgrades:
    • Offside horn - Done
    • Rear tailgate carpet trim
    • Electric window module (maybe) - Done (thanks Moggy)
    • New chromed grille and headlight bezels - Done
    • 31" tyres - Done
    • Turbo kit
    • Tool kit
    Thanks for looking,


    Nick.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
    grantw, IRLGW, Scott and 1 other person like this.
  2. AndycruiserguyLomas

    AndycruiserguyLomas Well-Known Member I am in england

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    Mmmmmn looks kind of familiar, good luck with the truck Nick, I'll say, the 60 scene seems to have taken off of late.
     
  3. moggy1968

    moggy1968 Well-Known Member

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    Looking good, and not too bad a list
     
  4. moggy1968

    moggy1968 Well-Known Member

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    The balance of probability is you've had your hands on it ant some point:tearsofjoy:
     
  5. Ben Stratford

    Ben Stratford Well-Known Member Supporter I am in england

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    Another 60 wahoooo!! Good intro Nick and welcome to our group. Looking forward the reading your threads.
     
  6. Ben Stratford

    Ben Stratford Well-Known Member Supporter I am in england

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    Whats the cold start issue nick, is cranking slow? Which batteries have you gone for?
    Cheers ben
     
  7. Nick Sabrazat

    Nick Sabrazat Active Member I am in uk

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    Hi Ben and thanks for the comments.

    The car was cranking slow with the batteries it came with. I replaced the worst one with an old battery I had laying around. Now it is cranking at normal speed but still won't start after an overnight stop, unless I spray a small dose of Easy Start in the air box.
    It will start after 9 hours at work, without Easy Start but only if I get the glow plugs to cycle throught 2 or 3 times before attempting to crank the car. As soon as the cylinders have got a bit of heat (i.e running 3-4 mins) it will start on the button, with no issues.

    I have a receipt showing the glow plugs were replaced in 2016, less than 6000 miles ago. So I doubt those are to blame. On the other hand, I have tested both batteries currently fitted and they are both significantly below spec in term of CCA.

    So I have ordered two new Yuasa 830CCA 95Ah, which I expect in the next couple of days.

    Screenshot_20180305-223355.jpg
    I will report back once I have fitted those.

    Nick
     
  8. Ben Stratford

    Ben Stratford Well-Known Member Supporter I am in england

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    I have those same batteries Nick which have been ok. Be sure to get one left and one right hand so the negatives can reside next to the bodywork.
    Does the fuel pump have any sign of fuel leaking at all along the top near / around the delivery valves? Any sign of that could mean air getting in leading to fuel atomisation issues
     
  9. Dervis Garip

    Dervis Garip Well-Known Member Supporter I am in cyprus

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    Great Truck and wonderful pictures Nick.... welcome to 60 series ownership.

    Looks like a lot of fun in the snow, a sure testing ground for these types of 4x4’s.

    Look forward to seeing more 60’s like yours being used and restored.
     
  10. TALAMAN

    TALAMAN Well-Known Member I am in cyprus

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    Welcome Nick! What a great intro and a very timely purchase judging by all the snow in your excellent photographs.
     
  11. SeaJay

    SeaJay Member I am in australia

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  12. IRLGW

    IRLGW Well-Known Member

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    I'd go easy with the 'easy start' I know of a few four cylinder diesels it has wrecked through pre-detonation.

    Have you tested the voltage at the heaterplugs in case its the relay?

    Also for a small investment I would buy an injector removal kit £40 on ebay and a Diesel Pressure testing kit £30 and get a health check of the engine. You could also try cracking the injectors as you cold crank to make sure fuel is being delivered or just disconnect the fuel return into a container-Is the 60 also fitted with a fuel warmer on the filter head?

    I'd say the most likely cause is that it is huffing from having to be sat next to a RR...I know I would..
     
    moggy1968 and Ben Stratford like this.
  13. AndycruiserguyLomas

    AndycruiserguyLomas Well-Known Member I am in england

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    You don't need to get an injection removal kit, they just unscrew. As mentioned its not a good idea to use easy start with indirect injection engine with glow plugs as hot plugs can ignite the easy start prematurely and engine damage can result.
    "Fuel warmer"?? this is 1970's technology, so no .
    When I had it it was an instant starter so I don't know whats changed.
     
  14. Nick Sabrazat

    Nick Sabrazat Active Member I am in uk

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    Thanks all for the positive comments and advices on the cold start issues

    There is no sign of leakage o around the fuel pump, or anywhere else around the engine block for that matter.

    Tar. I will bare this in mind. the gutters look solid but I guess if there are rotting from the inside out, then I ought to take the headliner off anyway to have a check.

    I am aware of the risk using the Easy start, sadly I haven't had much of a choice. I use the stuff on a very small dose at the time, i.e. one small skirt at a time.

    Nick.
     
  15. Ben Stratford

    Ben Stratford Well-Known Member Supporter I am in england

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    Would try cracking the fuel lines to injectors 1 by 1 with engine running and retighten once any fuel starts to escape as previously mentioned. If air in there, coldstarting is poor but runs fine hot
     
  16. Nick Sabrazat

    Nick Sabrazat Active Member I am in uk

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    Bit of an update on my cold start issue then.

    First I ditched on of the original batteries that:
    1. was giving 95CCA instead of the rated 640CCA.
    2. had arc'd between the terminal and the broken clamp
    IMG_20180308_065855.jpg IMG_20180308_065930.jpg

    I replaced that battery with one I had kicking about, it improved the cranking but still wasn't very keen on starting. However those batteries were still below spec:

    IMG_20180308_065803.jpg

    So decided to fork out on two new batteries:
    IMG_20180307_122832.jpg

    Unfortunately the new batteries did not cure the cold start issue, although the truck now seems keener to fire up on part warm condition, i.e after 9 hours of being parked up outside.

    So next stage is now to investigate the glow plugs as suggested above, starting to a continuity test as recommended by Andy (mate, nice talking to you BTW).

    On the positive side, the two new battery are "electrically balanced" (if such term exists) in the sense that the voltage doesn't seem to fluctuate between the two as it used to be the case previously.

    Once I have gone to the bottom of starting issue, those are the bits I will be tackling:

    Questionable painting job on the front grille - I will attempt to bring it back to the original grey plastic appearance:
    IMG_20180307_122858.jpg

    Replace the headlights units - any going for sale on here?
    IMG_20180307_122849.jpg
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    Sort out the rust, mainly the rear arches:

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    SO a bit of work to come then, not mentioning the long overdue service. :grimacing:

    Nick
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  17. Nick Sabrazat

    Nick Sabrazat Active Member I am in uk

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    Thanks Ben, I could give that a bash as well. I thought there was a bleeding valve on top of the filter housing. Would that not do it?
     
  18. AndycruiserguyLomas

    AndycruiserguyLomas Well-Known Member I am in england

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    Hi Nick, my how it has deteriorated since I had it. I did have my suspicions when I bought it way back when but was in decent shape when I sold it 3-4 years ago.
    It shows what salt and water do to bodywork.
    Possibly it has the same springs on as when I sold it?? maybe.
     
  19. Nick Sabrazat

    Nick Sabrazat Active Member I am in uk

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    Overall it is not too bad for a nearly 30 year old Japanese car, and I understand those 60-series like to rust.
    I have been around the whole body work with a magnet and there doesn't appear to be any filler bodged job. I am keeping my fingers firmly crossed as I am tipping this!

    The visible rust isn't too alarming, I think, and I should get those sorted professionally over the summer.

    The springs are aftermarket Terrain Tamers, a bit bouncy but not back breaking.

    IMG_20180306_173953.jpg

    IMG_20180306_174043.jpg

    Nick.
     
  20. Ben Stratford

    Ben Stratford Well-Known Member Supporter I am in england

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    I think the terrain tamer springs are rated for +250kg front and rear @iwan_t24 had these i think?
    So may need a washing machine in the back to settle it down!
     
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