Brake Breaker

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Last weekend, I had to replace my rear brake shoes. Halfway through driving down Deerfoot Trail in what I can only describe as a monsoon, I noticed a significant absence of any stopping power from the rear of the truck.

I pulled over, and put on the parking brake, only to have the truck roll backwards on the 1° incline that I’d parked on. Using my front tires more as rudders than anything else, I made it home. Turns out, I had used up ALL of the rear brakes.

Upon taking off the rear right tire & brake drum, I saw a very shiny, metallic, thin brake shoe. Turns out I’d completely used up that side. Whoops. $60 later and I have a new set of rear brake drum shoes, though the parking brake lever thingy on the rear right is still acting quite sticky. Sigh. At least Thumper is back up and running once again.

BJ60 Clutch Saga Pt.3: Return Of The (many) Parts

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Fuck, this is becoming a trilogy of trilogies at this point. Hence, I’ve renamed the past couple posts to fit with this unintended theme.

Okay, where to start?

Well, I have literally the most inconvenient year of BJ60 that was produced. “sure, yeah right,” you may be thinking – Allow me to elaborate.

Remember how I had an issue with my master cylinder not fitting due to the time it was made? Yeah no, that’s nothing compared to this. The reason my slave cylinder wouldn’t fit on soon became a source of confusion for me.

“surely they wouldn’t have had multiple bell-housings made for one model year, right?”

Guess what.

Yep. One year of BJ60 – 1985 – Toyota used a different mounting point on the bell-housing; not even slightly compatible with other years. I came to this discovery upon finding no record anywhere of a part like mine existing. The only source that even listed it was PartSouq and even then it was out of stock. Nothing else showed any sign of it; the only part anyone had anywhere that could fix my problem, is a genuine rebuild kit.

Out of curiosity, I called Stampede Toyota to see if they at least had a slave cylinder. My conversation with the Toyota Parts Guy ($TPG) went somewhat like this:

$TPG: okay, yours is… ’85 you said?

$Me: Yes, the 4 cylinder diesel.

$TPG: hmmm…

He does that about 6 more times. Over the 4 minute span of searching his catalogue.

$TPG: So as it turns out, your truck is the only year that Toyota used this part. Ever.

$Me: okay….?

$TPG: And that part is now completely discontinued.

$Me: …huh. What about cylinder rebuild kits? Any chance there are any sitting around anywhere still?

$TPG: Well, the catalogue shows one left in all our inventory. All the way in California, for $88. Once it’s gone, that will be discontinued.

$Me: welp. Thanks for searching around, I appreciate the effort

So that was that. There’s one rebuild kit left in Toyota Motor Corp.’s stock, and it costs twice as much as PartSouq’s rebuild kit. Fun. I’ve ordered the part, FedEx claims it’ll arrive at my house by this Friday the 22nd. I can’t goddamned wait.

Lesson learned, I suppose. If you have an old import vehicle, check before you order parts that they’ll be the right ones. I’ll update this when if the parts are installed this weekend. Sigh.

BJ60 Clutch Saga Pt.2: The Clutch Strikes Back

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Jeez this is endless. I’ll give a timeline of my past few days:

  1. Last week, no truck because no master cylinder.
  2. Thursday night, I ordered a proper master cylinder from RockAuto.
  3. Friday, drove to Chestermere for a temporary master cylinder from a fellow RMLCA member’s parts truck. (Thanks Peter and Kevin!)
  4. Saturday morning, installed the master cylinder. Went for a test drive. Truck drove, but required the clutch to be pushed many times before anything happened.
  5. Saturday afternoon, looked at the slave cylinder on the bell housing. Drenched in brake fluid. Thank goodness I have a new slave cylinder already, I’ll install that tomorrow.

“Thank goodness I can drive it after I install this new slave cylinder, it’s been two weeks”

… I thought foolishly.


Turns out, the stupid fucking bullshit catalogue, that my Unnamed Local Auto Parts Store™ uses, doesn’t understand a single fucking thing about BJ60 land cruisers.

Once I got over the fact that the slave cylinder was completely the wrong one, I tried to fix the current one temporarily. Nope to that as well. After I thought I’d at least slightly fixed it, I went for another drive; as I pulled off to check the clutch fluid level, I promptly got stuck in a snowbank. Up to the top of my RF&RR tires. In a parking lot. A flat parking lot. Where 5ft away there was visible ground.


After standing in a snowbank for half an hour freezing my feet off hoping for help, I eventually got out with the help of a nice man in his new GMC. Sadly as a result of my earlier attempts to free myself, what was left of the clutch was even worse. It still kinda, barely, slightly worked, but not very well. I got home, and it completely lost all functionality as I got to my house. Upon stepping out, something smelled like burning. I still don’t know if that was my clutch. I don’t think I want to know if that was my clutch.

Come on, world. Gimme a fucking break, will ya?

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