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ROTW - desertdude's 1997 40th aniversary

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by desertdude, Aug 20, 2006.

  1. desertdude

    desertdude SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,221
    Location:
    AZ/CA
    A big thank you to Johnny for warming up the crowd with his stellar 80 series. Many thanks also go out to Christo Slee and Ben Swain for their endless patients in answering my questions and having the best stock of 80 series "stuff". It also goes without saying ( but I will mention it anyway), the many people here who have offered there advice, tips and instructions. Without this forum ( Woody) it would have taken years to learn about the incredible legend 80 series landcruiser. OK on to the show :)

    My History with Landcruisers goes way back to 1979 I was living back east at the time and was looking for a cool one of a kind vehicle - I bought a 1979 FJ40 right off the dealer lot for 13.5K. Since that time I have owner three more FJ40's. Somewhere in that time I had a conversation with my girlfriend Kristina AKA desertgirl, that on a certain important birthday passage, I would take her up to Alaska in the FJ40 and have an adventure.
    Fast forward to 2004 I am driving a modified for off-road Tacoma - I show up at a Norcal Death Valley run, and I am now surrounded by 80 series Landcruisers. Seeing how these guys wheeled, and in total comfort, I new what I had to do, find myself a low milage 80 series and build it to go to Alaska...

    BTW- you can read all about that trip HERE

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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2006
  2. desertdude

    desertdude SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,221
    Location:
    AZ/CA
    I have always been impressed with the look of the 80 series and how well they are built. I think I spent the next year reading every thread on this forum and all the FAQ's Having mostly spent my time on the FJ40 section. the 80 was new territory for me.
    We found our 40th anniversary model in Cupertino Ca. The town made famous by Apple computer. The 80 came to us with 40K miles. The previous owner was meticulous with his care for this vehicle. He drove it on occasion on the pavement only and when he was finished driving it he gave it a complete detail and put it back in the garage. The 80 series was in new condition. And dripping with gold bling. ( first thing to go was all that extra gold bling badging... )

    Once we took ownership desertgirl and I made or mod list and prepared to dig into the axles and brakes to make sure the landcruiser was ready for a 2.5 month Alaskan adventure. Once we had all the axles cleaned and re-greased bearings replaced and greased with new seals -slotted rotors and new '97 brake pads , which included Slee's stainless steel brake lines, we started the process of installing Slee's 4" lift kit. Using Christo's detailed PDF it was a breeze for us to do in the garage, while the 80 was up on 12 ton jack stands. I also used Slee's front control arms and the stock drive-shaft for the install.
    We installed and ARB front bumper along with an XD9000 Warn winch fitted with Amsteel blue rope. Ken Hanna was kind enough to make us a rear bumper with tire and can carrier, along with a set of solid sliders. We installed Since this 80 came without lockers, we sent the diff's up to Slee off-road for ARB locker install and to have the diff's re-geared to 4:88's. We went with 315/75/16 BFG MTR Km's all the way around. I used the OEM locker switch to make a clean install ( and will soon replace the ARB compressor switch with something OEM for a nicer panel look.
    For the many 12v outlets I added - I set up a blue sea 12 space fuse block in the rear under the panel on the passenger side. I ran a #4 wire from the main battery to the fuse block, from there I was able to distribute the power as needed. I used a Hell roaring battery combiner/isolator and installed a second Aux. battery in the engine compartment. Using Slee's washer bottle re-locater kit and a second battery tray I was able to fit in a second optima yellow top group 31 battery.

    Check out a bunch of photos of the build process HERE

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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2006
  3. desertdude

    desertdude SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,221
    Location:
    AZ/CA
    A few scans of the brochure saved for us by the prevoius owner:

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  4. desertdude

    desertdude SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,221
    Location:
    AZ/CA
    We took the time to custom build a deck/drawer system which holds the Engel 45 fridge freezer a 48" drawer, a 15 gallon poly tank , an Isotemp Marine water heater which runs on 110 and or hot water from your engine, as well as a 12v shurflo water pump, 12v pump and a 12v extreme outback compressor. All of this fits neatly under the deck we covered the unit with heavy duty speaker carpet in prarie tan a perfect color match for the oak interior. I installed a couple of ties downs for the pelican cases and his and hers extra large North Face duffel bags -


    See the complete set of deck/drawersystem photos HERE

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  5. desertdude

    desertdude SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,221
    Location:
    AZ/CA
    I did install a pair of 240 light-force aux lights on the ARB front bumper, but they came to an early demise on the Norcal Wagons Moab Prerun ( I should pay more attention in the forward direction) I replaced those with something I bought for my Tacoma. A nice pair of OEM Toyota aux lights purchased from Mot in Japan. Besides the 240's a quite big and could be blocking some cooling air in front of the radiator. I Switch those lights from an OEM light switch I bought from Slee.
    In the ashtray position is a Uniden PRO510XL Compact CB Radio and behind the armrest console we installed a Yeasu 2800 2M radio. The CB antenna is a firestik Venice - and the 2m is a Comet 2m/70m - both on Comet hood lip mounts -I decided to use a hood mount on both the CB and 2M for a quick install ( I am thinking of moving the 2M antenna up on the back hatch like Cruiserdrew has , after talking with Andrew and Ron ( paradisecruiser) they both seem to have the best signals. and getting the anttena up higher should yield optimum results. The CB and 2m radios are powered directly to the main starting battery as are all the extra 12v power. I have a 60 gig iPod running into an FM converter module that the previous owner used for a DVD system. I use a monster cable from the ipod to the module. The 80 series sound system leaves a lot to be desired and this will be replaced at some-point with a new system once we finishe the more important modifications.
    The last thing electrical we did was to install a Xantrex 1800 watt inverter to run the Isotemp hot water heater and to run/charge our Apple powerbooks and anything else we need 100 volts for. I ran extra heavy 3/0 wire from the Second Aux battery to the inverter. Trying not to make too long a run acrosst the Radiator to the main battery. This works out OK as I usually have the invertor on and heating water while I am driving, which keeps a fresh charge in the Second Aux battery. It takes about 30 minutes to bring the watwer temp to hot in the Isotemp stainless steel marine heater.
    I installed a cold water dispenser in the back on the passenger side of the Engel fridge for easy access to cold drinking water, I included a marine aft deck shower controls on the rear drivers side of the deck for outside showering. The water tank is filled from the water inlet we drilled into the raer panel near the gas door. We use an inline water filter and a coil hose to fill the water tank. If we are out in the wild and can find a good water source I have a 110v water pump and can pump filtered water from a stream with ease.

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    Last edited: Aug 22, 2006
  6. desertdude

    desertdude SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,221
    Location:
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    a few close ups

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  7. desertdude

    desertdude SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,221
    Location:
    AZ/CA
    Thanks to Kevin (Boston Mangler) I was able to join in on a group but for a 44 gal long ranger Aux. fuel tank. After seeing Robb's ( BluePaddler) 44 gal aux. tank while on a Baja trip, I was sold on the mileage range. I have the OEM sub-tank switch installed, and will make the time to install the tank, duel filler neck and the fuel gauge ( maybe use the switch and OEM gauge) I will also use George's pump module on the transfer pump. Kevin has a great install write up on this. Thanks Kev!

    We had a chance to test out the 80 series on the Death Valley Daze 06 trip with the Norcal Wagons as well as their Moab Pre-run. The 80 performs beyond all our expectations. Having just spent the last 2.5 months on the road up to greet Mark Whatley and the Alaskan Cruiser Crew for the ACT06 trip - We had a real chance to get this vehicle out in the outback for river crossings and mud bogs. Even though we were traveling quite heavy the 80 wheeled well and got us up and back with no real mechanical issues. I changed out a cap and rotor and had two flats which I plugged. We we getting between 12.5 and 14.5 MPG depending on how hard I pushed. The leather interior seats make it very easy to drive for 12-16 hours with little fatigue. We are stoked to be driving this incredible legend, being a part of this community, and look forward to wheeling this 80 down through Mexico and on to South America...

    in the last photo -see Jay DeShetler (AKA snook) hanging on for dear life (bless his heart) to get a video of the water crossing at Kane creek at CM06 for his up and coming Norcal prerun DVD

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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2006
  8. desertdude

    desertdude SILVER Star

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    3,221
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    more photos

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  9. desertdude

    desertdude SILVER Star

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    A few photos of behind the rocks run at CM06 - thanks to Chad Zierenberg AKA cougarfreak for the last photo of me catching air ;)

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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2006
  10. desertdude

    desertdude SILVER Star

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    a few photos of the Maggiolina roof top tent and our tarp set-up. More to come...

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  11. FirstToy

    FirstToy

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    Socal
    The Dude Abides :cool:

  12. NorCalDoug

    NorCalDoug problems solved daily... SILVER Star

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    uhhhh...duh...Northern CA
  13. reffug

    reffug

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    'in dat der briar patch'
    :eek: can anybody give me directions to the gas station in pic #1???????

    Dude nicely done.:cool:

    Especially the links to mod write ups you have done so people can easily access the info.

    As always thanks for contributing.:cheers:

    As previously mentioned dat is one kick azz 80.:bounce:
  14. desertdude

    desertdude SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,221
    Location:
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    a few more very clean photos...

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  15. desertdude

    desertdude SILVER Star

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    doesn't anyone sleep around here? :flipoff2:

    I gotta ge driving to CA - it will be hot across the Mojave desert if I don't leave now - catch everyone later tonight

    Thanks a bunch for letting me in here :cheers:
  16. rgsiii

    rgsiii SILVER Star

    Messages:
    771
    Location:
    Lake Charles, LA
    Very nicely done with some great ideas!:cheers:
  17. Wow! Just an amazing combination of mods.

    I didn't catch it if you mentioned...any idea what she weighs fully loaded for a trip?

    Did you give the Slee 4" any help in the back (packers)?

    Great job all the way around.


    ps - I could see making your 80 my retirement home :grinpimp:
  18. loquito

    loquito

    Messages:
    808
    I was curious if you would tell me of any short comings your 80 had driving around up here. I am short real tires and lockers, oh and time of from work or I would have joined Mark and the crew.

    I am one of the few 80's in the Alaska Cruiser Crew and so far have only been on the Kiddie trails. Can you offer me any 80 related advise?What tires did you run and how did they do in our mud?How did you do compared to the 40's and mini truck?Stuck more becouse 80's are so heavy? Did the size or the weight of your rig hinder you in comparison to the others in the group?

    Way cool ride, I wish I had seen it in person but you guys left while I was working a 16 hour shift. Dam work gets in the way:mad:
    Steven
  19. Another excellent expedition rig and superb write-up.

    In the past 2 weeks we have had Black-n-Tan and now Desertdude's fine truck. I really feel sorry for Big_Moose and the others that have to follow these last 2 ROTW threads. :D

    -B-
  20. Riley

    Riley

    Messages:
    1,580
    Location:
    Fort Langley, BC
    Very nice truck. My wife and I are very impressed. The tent is super interesting. I need to go research that and might have some follow-up questions.

    edit:

    1st question: What width of tent did you get? Seem roomy enough for 2 adults?
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2006

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