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In praise of Slee Offroad

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by WolfpackTLC, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. WolfpackTLC

    WolfpackTLC

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    I've been in correspondance w/ Christo Slee for a little over a month now, and on July 22nd, I flew into DEN w/ a certified check and purchased a 1995 Toyota Land Cruiser from Christo Slee. This particular vehicle is the one w/ " the works " that some of you may have seen on Christo's website. One word describes this whole experience. PHENOMENAL. Christo Slee has to be one of the nicest, most personable people I have ever had the pleasure doing business with. I am adding this 80 series to my stable w/ my SAS 96 S/C'd 4Runner and my 71' FJ40. I am new to the 80 series, but I quickly discovered that Christo Slee is THE absolute authority. Christo was busy getting prepped for his drive the next morning to Black Hills, SD, but he still took the time to get the truck prepped for my drive back to NC. He changed starter contacts, changed oil, mounted and balanced tires, and finished up the lift w/ his 5" Ultimate lift. He was busy all weekend prior to my flight, yet he still was gracious enough to let me meet him at his home, LATE Tuesday evening to complete the transaction. I picked up an ARB freezer/fridge and some Staun tire deflators while I was there. Christo has been an absolute pleasure to deal with. His wealth of knowledge concerning the 80 series is unrivaled. I'm an engineer by trade, so if I don't know something/can't figure something out, I'm not afraid to ask... he is both technical in nature, and possesses the ability to think " outside the box ". As we all know, that is essential when dealing w/ wheeling and Murphy's Law. So in closing, hat's off to Christo Slee and Slee Offroad! How does this 80 wheel you ask? So far, it's nothing short of unstoppable offroad, and it's a tank on road, but I'm sure you guys know that already. I had my concerns w/ power-to-weight and wheelbase, coming from a smaller set of vehicles, but all my concerns have been put aside. I researched for 6 months before I decided on the 80 that Christo had. I'm normally a do-it-yourself'er, and hate not modding my own vehicles. I own a racing team, and I'm working on a prototype I/C for the S/C on my 80 right now. I couldn't pass up the value of the 80 I got from Slee Offroad. Receipts totalling easily over 15k, not counting extra stuff not listed. All in all, a well built, solid investment, with excellent value. I couldn't reproduce this vehicle myself (and believe me, I considered all options before purchasing this one.. including 100 series...) for less than 30k. I will admit that I feel like I cheated buying one already built, but that leave more time to work on my 4Runner and my FJ40. On a side note, I will be replacing my left side Newfield later this week. I wish I could say it was from someting like what Christo did in Black Hills, but alas... I broke it backing up in my driveway. :-\
     
  2. Rogue

    Rogue

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    Welcome to the forum Wolfpack.

    Christo and his business are definately the best in the business when it comes to 80s.
     
  3. WolfpackTLC

    WolfpackTLC

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    Thanks for the welcome! I agree w/ you about C. Slee and his company. Tops! Now lets go wheeling! (as soon as I fix my Newfield.... this should be fun. ) Anybody in NC wanna come help?
     
  4. Rogue

    Rogue

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    If you decide to come back out west I am up for some wheeling. I am only a couple hours north of Moab. School is out in two weeks. I know where I am headed... :D
     
  5. WolfpackTLC

    WolfpackTLC

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    MOAB? I'm there! Just gotta find an excuse to do the 29 hour drive again... I need an oil change already... Don't put it past me though...I'll see what excuse I can find to go out there. Maybe I need to buy something on Ebay in SLC and then drive out to pick it up... he he he.
     
  6. uzj100

    uzj100

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    Wolfpack TLC,

    Please tell me you are in the Raleigh area.

    I would like to check that truck out.

    Later,

    Andrew
     
  7. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    I have to say I am bummed with Slee, but it is becouse they are out of town this week and part of next week. I was going to head out to denver this weekend and get a t-case skid plate and brake it in in Summit Co CO. I beter call ahead to make sure they have what I want. That would be a BIG bummer to drive 1000 mi and not spend $$$

    Maybe I will see about going the flowing week or one after that. I am glad they posted that they will be out for the week. Other than that they sre great to work with :-*
    kurt
     
  8. WolfpackTLC

    WolfpackTLC

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    That T-case skidplate doesn't play around man... the guy that builds and welds all the stuff up for the SRT and SWAT breeching vehicles here in Raleigh was damn impressed with it. That's saying a lot b/c this guy is more fanatical about driveline protection than I am. It's taken a beating on lots of rocks already, and hasn't budged.... It's a nice piece. Too bad nobody can see it...
     
  9. Big_Moose

    Big_Moose

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    Wolfpack

    Welcome to the list, and that is a nice cruiser that Christo - had, congrats on the truck.

    I'm very interested in your IC prototype incarnations - keep us posted on this.

    Joe
     
  10. Junk

    Junk

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    Wolfpack - congrats on the purchase. I don't know of anyone that's ever met Christo, anyone in his shop, or done any business with him that hasn't said the exact same thing. The only thing better than doing business with him and his shop is hanging out with them.

    Just don't tell him I said that or I'll have to deny it :flipoff2: :D
     
  11. WolfpackTLC

    WolfpackTLC

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    Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome and congratulations! I think the only people that aren't happy are my neighbors. I live in a " nice " part of town, and my neighbors aren't happy about my FJ40 on the side of the road in our cul-de-sac, much less my lifted (and muddy right now) 4Runner in the driveway. I'm sure the addition of my 80 will raise some eyebrows. Interestingly enough, one of my particularly " snobby " neighbors owns a LX450 and I caught him eyeballing my 80 this afternoon when he was walking his dog... maybe I'll convert him... he he he. Side note: Junk... you remind me of a good friend of mine from the military. Thanks for your comments!

    Newfield R&R starts tomorrow! Wish me luck!
     
  12. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    [ Newfield...I broke it backing up in my driveway.]

    Lets hear the story on that one. Everyone says you can't brake a 80 birield. I have the Newfields and you and Christo are braking them.
    I didn't know Slee sold vehicles, wish I knew but too late now.
    kurt
     
  13. Junk

    Junk

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    [quote author=landtoy80 link=board=2;threadid=4106;start=0#msg30433 date=1060094816]
    Everyone says you can't brake a 80 birield. [/quote]
    Uh, Kurt, no one says you can't break an 80 birfield. You're just hanging too much with the malldudes. :flipoff2: :D

    Wolfpack - with a 40 and a 4skinner, you should have lot's of practice swapping birfs :D We'll give 30 mins. :flipoff2: Nah - they'd never let me in the military - I get killed by friendly within 5 mins. :D
     
  14. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    Lets see. some Toyota dealers said that, the LCML... it is the people that don't have them or don't wheel them that say that. I have not heard this on this list though.
    kurt
     
  15. WolfpackTLC

    WolfpackTLC

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    Well... they're the " new " (prototype) Newfields, that are supposedly stronger than the old style, and claimed to be stronger than the OEM Birfs. Christo warned me about them when I picked up the rig, and I heeded his advice, but I was thinking more along the lines of the NC red clay or some slick rock in Tellico. I never thought my concrete in my cul-de-sac would pop a Newfield. I just finished pulling it about 20 mins ago. I completely shattered the cage. Not pretty at all. My guess is that the material is too hard, and brittle. Now I gotta clean out all the grease, and pick out the little pieces... Christo was REAL adamant about this... guess he didn't do that. Anybody got any theories as to why my vehicle won't stay in park now? I mean the lever stays in park, but the vehicle rolls backward on a incline. It's like the tranny is slipping, or the vehicle isn't engaging to park all the way. Hmph. Something else for me to play with. I'll keep ya posted. I've been eyeballing the Smurfields... at $80, they are a pretty cheap test case. Any thoughts?

    Junk-

    I've only had to swap Birfs once on either rig... they've all had Longfields in them... hmm. Maybe that's a sign? Took me 45 mins to pull the left birf on this 80. That's b/c I had a harded time finding room in my driveway where it was close to level... must be b/c this thing is so much bigger than my other rigs. You shouldla seen my neighbors this morning when I pulled it and all the diff oil and grease started to come out. Good think I have a power washer.

    he he he
     
  16. Big_Moose

    Big_Moose

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    Wpack

    Busted a Newfield in the driveway, which means it was probably stressed / cracked already - better now then on the trail [hate wrenching on the trail]. Christo is a great guy, as you noted, he explained the potential breakage of the Newfs.

    Regarding the Parking issue, sounds like the parking prawl in the tranny has been sheared off, probably from the weight of that awesome beast. Also could be the linkage from lever to tranny. It could also be the solenoids for the tranny, but those I thought affected shifting.

    Been looking at those smurf's myself & they are a good price. I would be a little bit hesitant in using them in the 80 - only because its a "Full Time 4WD", and the softer / ductile smurfs / longs wear could / should incur rapid wear, making them more susceptible to failure. I'm looking at them for my FJ40 & 55 rather then the 80.

    Joe
     
  17. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    [quote author=WolfpackTLC link=board=2;threadid=4106;start=0#msg30450 date=1060097780]
    . I've been eyeballing the Smurfields... at $80, they are a pretty cheap test case. Any thoughts?

    [/quote]

    What are Smurfields???
    Why can't we just put a u-joint there and be done with it?
    kurt
     
  18. WolfpackTLC

    WolfpackTLC

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    Kurt-

    A guy in Canada has been touting his wonder Birfields... he calls them Smurfields. They've been attested for by guys running 36" tires and welded diffs, but that's also on slick stuff in the BC and so forth. An they're running light 4k lb rigs, not 6-7k lb 80 series. That's why I'm hesistant.

    Warthog-

    You sound pretty knowledgeable yourself. I ran Moab Rim when I picked up the 80, and then started playing around in Canyonlands and picked up an OLD trail and ran from the Antcline overlook, through Lockhart Canyon, past the Needles overlook, THROUGH part of Indian Creek (thank god for Safari snorkels) and finally out on to some camp trails, into the main road, and ended up 60 miles south at the Needles Visitor center, 50 miles from Monticello. I only had a quarter tank of gas left, and I had a full tank when I started. GPS said I had run a full 68 miles of trails, most barely decernible from the landscape, but you could see faint ATV tracks, and camel droppings, so I figured someone had been there sometime. I ran through a couple of washes in some canyons that made my butt pucker nicely... got some videos too, if anyone is interesed.
     
  19. Rogue

    Rogue

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    Videos? Interest? Why ask?

    I want to see 'em...
     
  20. WolfpackTLC

    WolfpackTLC

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    So you guys won't believe this... I just started cleaning the grease off the stub axle, and I sheared it in two! It just kind of fell apart in my hands... I guess that's what gave up the ghost first... then maybe the bell on the birf? Geez! Pics to follow...

    J