Rotw - Fjfar80

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by fjfar80, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. fjfar80

    fjfar80

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,246
    Location:
    NOVA
    I have been a member of ih8mud.com for almost two years now. I became a member prior to purchasing my 80 and of course quickly became addicted. Here is my story and why I love my Land Cruiser.

    I first drove an 80 series Land Cruiser in Iraq and fell in love with the vehicle. I drove both armored (“hard”) and unarmored (“soft”) versions of both the 80 and 100 series and loved them both. I particularly loved my “soft” 1995 80 series and I vowed to purchase one on my return to CONUS. My soft 80 was super reliable and even though it was not armored it took a lot of abuse (bullets and some IED shrapnel) over the course of a year and it always kept on ticking. It never skipped a beat and I never worried about climbing in it, loading it up with guys and guns and driving around the country…it took me from the North to the South and never let me down. I loved the armored versions even more and the armored (B6) 100 series are indeed God’s gift to the combatant. I returned to the states in 2004 and got back to my professional life at FedEx and began my search for the “perfect” 80 series. I finally found it in July of 2006 and my future wife bought it for me as an early wedding present. The 80 was a born grocery-getter as a 1997 Collector’s Edition and with just 90,000 on the clock and no-lockers it was a “third” car for a doctor and his wife. The vehicle was in primo shape and there was little I really needed to do. However, I immediately began an extensive preventive maintenance program undertaking the following:
    • Replaced all belts and hoses (all of them);
    • Re-built the starter;
    • Drained, flushed, and re-filled all fluids;
    • Front and rear axle service;
    • Replaced the rotors (front and rear);
    • Re-built the calipers;
    • Upgraded to 100 series pads for the front;
    • Upgraded to stainless brake lines;
    • Cleaned the fuel injectors;
    • Replaced the spark plugs;
    • Replaced the battery; and
    • New tires (285/75/16 BFG AT).
    My plans for building the truck were long and exhaustive; however, shortly after we were married in October of 2006 I had an opportunity to move to Hong Kong for FedEx. Things moved quickly and in March of 2007 we were on the other side of the world, from Memphis at least. We sold all of our cars except for the Land Cruiser (I convinced the wife that there was no way the Land Cruiser was leaving our new family) but, I of course had to put my “build” plans on temporary hold.

    In October of 2007 I headed back to Memphis for some meetings and I took a few days off prior to the meetings for a little rest and relaxation with the boys back in Memphis…at least that is what I told my wife. I actually planned on starting the “build” and I knew that she would not be too excited about me investing money in a truck that I was only going to get to drive one week a year for the next few years. I had originally planned on installing a lift, snorkel, and bumpers during my time off; but, I quickly realized that was going to be a bit aggressive. I ended up deciding to hold off on the lift, snorkel, and bumpers and instead focusing my attention on removing the running boards, de-flaring the truck, and applying some bed-liner.

    It took me approximately two days to finish the project and it was a fun two days. I am a bit of a perfectionist and I figured if I was going to do things; I would do them right.

    Removing the running boards is a piece of cake and I never figured just a few bolts would make such a difference in the looks of a vehicle…but, they in fact do. Removing the flares is a bit more challenging and I have attached some pictures of said process. The key really is to take your time and remove all the bolts, rivets, and screws properly and completely. I removed the rivets by almost completely drilling them out and then using a pair of extremely small needle nose pliers to twist, bend, and pull out the rest…being careful to not let them fall into the door. Removing the front flares is basically an exercise in flexibility and being small helps in this regard…as I was able to get my arms pretty much completely inside of the front fenders.

    Once the flares were removed it was time to start prepping the vehicle for the bed-liner. I decided on the Herculiner product due to my friend’s application of the product on his Defender 90 and the excellent results he achieved. I visually inspected his results and was quite pleased with the product and he walked me through his application process and it seemed like it was a fairly easy product to work with.

    I decided that I would pretty much remove most of the parts that could get in the way. I pulled off all the lights, bumpers, turn signals, and just about everything else I felt might get in the way. I decided early on I would extend the Herculiner around both the front and rear of the vehicle. I used automotive tape for my lines and basically wrapped the remainder of the vehicle in brown “masking” paper. I decided that I would apply three layers of the Herculiner, as my friend had done the same and the results were great, thus I decided to use three tape lines. This would allow me to pull off a layer of tape after each layer of application. This takes a ton of time to accomplish; however, it is well worth it as it produces extremely defined lines. I also extended the Herculiner into the interior of the vehicle just enough to protect the interior edges and of course to reduce the appearance of any “white”.

    Once my lines were laid (all three) I used my Dewalt random orbit sander and some 30 grit pads to remove and scuff up the paint. In some areas I decided to remove the paint straight down to the metal (especially close to the paint lines as I wanted to ensure that the Herculiner bonded extremely well with the surface. Once the entire vehicle was sanded I wiped it down with Xylene and then as a final precaution used compressed air to remove any dust and then one more wipe down with Xylene.

    Applying the Herculiner is fairly simple and easy, I used a small 4 inch roller and sponge based applicator to roll the product on the vehicle. I had originally contemplated spraying the Herculiner on but, my friend’s Defender came out perfect with the “roll-on” approach. I took care to apply the product evenly and precisely around the vehicle and let it “set” for approximately 10 minutes before removing the first tape line. I then let the Herculiner “set” for an additional 30 minutes before applying the next coat. I followed this process for all three coats. I then let the Herculiner dry for 16 hours before removing the rest of the masking and reassembling the vehicle. The results were fantastic and I only had to clean up a few small imperfections with a tiny bit of Xylene and a micro-fiber towel.

    I picked up my wife from the airport and she immediately commented that I had done an outstanding job and told me the following, “it looks much better than I thought it would and actually looks nice”. So, with the wife happy and me being extremely pleased with the result it turned out well.

    While in Memphis, I also had my local muffler shop build a nice tucked in Magna Flow system from the cats all the way back. Despite being a little louder than I originally planned for…it was a great installation.

    I am headed back to Memphis in October of 2008 and will be attempting the lift (either OME Heavy or FOR) at that time. Prior to my arrival my friend (who owns the Defender) will be putting on both front and rear bumpers for me as well as sliders over the summer. I have decided on the ARB (winch) for the front and the new Slee rear bumper for the rear. As far as sliders I am leaning heavily towards Metal Tech.

    I am finishing the design process of the rear drawer system I am creating and will be manufacturing a few of them in China…sans lead paint.

    I am building the vehicle to be an expedition vehicle, my two close friends and I plan on taking some vacations with our trucks and some friends around the America’s and possibly around the globe. We are building our three vehicles to compliment each other. With a Defender 90, a Jeep CJ5, and a Land Cruiser we have some good platforms. We decided early on that the 80 would be the “support” vehicle with all the extra cargo capacity. So, a moderate lift, solid armor, and all the goodies...it should be fun. We are aiming to have our vehicles built and ready to go by 2010. The Jeep is almost complete and the Defender 90 is about 50% complete, with my 80 bringing up the rear. Hopefully, when I move back to CONUS I will have some time to play catch-up.

    I hope you guys enjoy the pictures and I apologize for not having a great side shot of the finished Herculiner product, however it was raining before I flew back to Hong Kong and decided to just leave the truck in the shop. So, you will have to wait until October for some more pictures, when I can make it back home again.

    It is very tough only being able to drive the truck one week a year, but my mileage is staying really low. My in-laws do crank it up, take it out of the shop and drive it around the block twice a month to keep everything in tip-top shape…so all offers to “watch” the truck will be refused…my apologies in advance.
    I want to say "thanks" to all the members of ih8mud.com and all the vendors who not only support the forum but, also support us with great products. Thanks for allowing all of us to do what we do.

    If anyone wants to visit Hong Kong, just PM me and let me know. We have a great place looking out over the South China Sea and we are always open to house guests.

    Cheers from Hong Kong and Happy New Year!


    Enjoy the pictures:


    The truck after I purchased it and put on new shoes:


    IMG_0424.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  2. fjfar80

    fjfar80

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,246
    Location:
    NOVA
    After removing the running boards/side-steps:
    Before II.JPG
     
  3. fjfar80

    fjfar80

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,246
    Location:
    NOVA
    Taking the flares off:
    More Deconstruction.JPG Deconstruction.JPG December 3, 2007 Download 009.jpg
     
  4. fjfar80

    fjfar80

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,246
    Location:
    NOVA
    Flares removed - mess remaining:
    Flareless.JPG
     
  5. fjfar80

    fjfar80

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,246
    Location:
    NOVA
    Taped, masked, sanded, and ready for Herculiner:
    December 3, 2007 Download 050.jpg Masked, Taped and Sanded.JPG
     
  6. fjfar80

    fjfar80

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,246
    Location:
    NOVA
    Finished Product:
    IMG_1666.JPG IMG_1663.JPG IMG_1661.JPG
     
  7. cc93cruiser

    cc93cruiser CRUZAHEAD

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Messages:
    1,605
    Location:
    Hayward, Ca.
    Wow! good job.. Looks really similar to my cruiser...:cheers:
     
  8. fjfar80

    fjfar80

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,246
    Location:
    NOVA
    Thanks, I think your Cruiser is awesome...I have to say it was my inspiration to go flareless and lined.:cheers:
     
  9. cc93cruiser

    cc93cruiser CRUZAHEAD

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Messages:
    1,605
    Location:
    Hayward, Ca.
    Cool, thanks for the kind words... So whats next on the old gal....? Like you said before, it is an addiction..Once you get started, it is over...
     
  10. fjfar80

    fjfar80

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,246
    Location:
    NOVA
    Bumpers - front and rear, sliders and a lift. I have to work it in during my annual meetings back in Memphis. It is a matter of purchasing the parts in advance and then dedicating a few days to installation. The hardest part is convincing the wife of the need to spend several thousand dollars on parts for a vehicle that is sitting in our garage 10,000 miles away and only gets driven by me once a year for a week or two. Challenging, but not impossible. She has her purses and shoes...I have the 80. Fair trade in my book.
     
  11. trevdawg

    trevdawg

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    San Ramon, CA
    Hey, looks amazing!

    I love the lining.. Im currently in the process of doing this myself!

    Love your rig!
     
  12. Buckru

    Buckru

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    1,069
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    That picture of the herculined door jam shows great attention to detail. Very well done and nice build so far.

    Buck Buchanan
     
  13. CreeperSleeper

    CreeperSleeper SILVER Star

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    5,853
    Location:
    Wilsonville, OR
    Looks great! And you will absolutely love the MetalTech sliders! It's cool to see your determanation!
     
  14. hzavarce

    hzavarce

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    298
    Location:
    Frisco, TX
    Nice !... My LC is white like yours and I'm thinking about doing the same paint job.

    Can you post more pictures on the LC with the paint job(i.e side, back and front) ?

    I also heard that over time the black tends to "gray out" and looses its shinny black look. Have you had that happened to yours?

    Thanks !
     
  15. AKcruiserfreak

    AKcruiserfreak SILVER Star

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,252
    Location:
    North Pole, AK
    Wow, That Herculiner looks great. I might just have to copy your idea. Keep up the good work.

    TK
     
  16. Ting

    Ting

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,212
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    I love the night life at Hong Kong. Great looking truck.
     
  17. ddorsch

    ddorsch

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    40
    nice job on the lining?great attention to detail.


    Dave D.
    ----------------------------------------------
    1996 stock lc w/lockers
     
  18. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Messages:
    9,510
    Location:
    Centennial, Colorado
    Nice write-up. Thanks for contributing
     
  19. fjfar80

    fjfar80

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,246
    Location:
    NOVA
    Quick Answers to all:

    First thanks for the super kind words...I know it is not much of a "build" so far...but, it takes time and indeed determination.

    I was an accountant at one time in my life and worked for Arthur Andersen and despite the bad reputation from the Enron affair - they do stress detail and I guess it carried over into everything else in my life...including the Land Cruiser. The tape lines took a lot of time and getting them laid just right was a bit challenging but...I think the results were well worth it.

    I just completed the "lining" at the end of October and since, it has been in the garage - where it will remain until October of next year - except for the bi-weekly crank and quick trip around the block. Thus, there has been no "graying" thus far. I will keep everyone informed if that does indeed develop at a later time.

    I will have my in-laws take some additional pictures and email them to me and I will do my best to get them posted. I apologize for not being able to do so quickly - but, being 10,000 miles away from your truck...makes it a little challenging.

    The nightlife in Hong Kong is indeed a lot of fun. You can easily get into the "ex-pat" routine of working too hard and partying harder. However, I am lucky the wife and I enjoy doing other things - besides drinking. Our other activities keep us more than busy and out of the bars for the most part...climbing, traveling, sailing, hiking, etc. keep us more than busy.

    Contributing just a minor bit is the least I can do for everything and everyone on this forum. The forum is indeed an incredible resource for owning a Land Cruiser and it is one of the main tools in my toolbox.

    Cheers to all and I hope everyone has a great 2008. When I get some additional pictures I will post them up ASAP.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2008
  20. cruiser80

    cruiser80

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    299
    Location:
    El Paso TX
    hey great looking rig! nice write up. white is the best color!:cheers:
     

Share This Page