2000 stock Land Cruiser build total gross weight considerations

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I just purchased I stock land cruiser from the original owner with 118,000 miles. I want to build it into a global travel vehicle during the next 3 years. I have a vision in mind. Since I understand these vehicles are prone to overloading I need to figure out what OME HD suspension, lift and other mods are necessary to get to the maximum safe operating capacity. I need to choose a tire size that is available globally if possible. How heavy can you build and load one of these and still consider yourself safe at say 70MPH?
Once I have the weight I can work backwards in choosing what I can and cant live without. The first thing that comes to mind of shedding is a heavy winch & winch bumper in lieu of a front and rear locker instead. I have 4 wheeled gutless Prado's on the beaches & jungles in SA and never needed a winch. We don't plan on doing any serious off roading. I'd like a winch but I'd like 40-65 liters of onboard water system & a long range fuel tank instead if it came down to choosing. It looks like I can have everything I want based on the builds on expedition Portal but I never see the weight information given for these fully loaded builds. Any help with the platform/foundation starting point & fully loaded weight details is appreciated.
Sean
 
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LC 1.JPG
 
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Great looking LC.

First things I'd do:
1. Strip Running Boards
2. Pfran LED lights(Interior, Dome, Gauges, etc)
3. Replace Fuel Filter
4. Phillips 9011/9012 headlights
5. Silicone treat all rubber surfaces
6. Scrub out minor rust with Naval Jelly, use Por15 or No Rust to cover other areas.
7. Mother's car wax
8. Replace motorized antenna with a removable

Just for starters...Expedition Portal might be more helpful, but I think your weight question depends entire on whether you replace both bumpers..

I'd start to be concerned with handling at high speed when I've added 20-25% to the curb weight. It's a question of the impact on your brakes and suspension first..
 

tabraha

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Yep brakes and suspension. Suspension can be beefed up without too much pain on the wallet but the brakes are a big investment to get a setup that is up to par for a heavy vehicle. Spressomon can give you some insight on brakes.
 
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I would definitely do something with the brakes when adding weight. OEM brakes are underpowered in my opinion, even unloaded.. I definitely have to adjust my driving in the 100. It will stop, it's just a big sloppy mess if it's a quick stop.
 
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Yeah, brakes are important. Read up on EBC yellow stuff and Hawk HPS. I have the Hawk and it's a huge upgrade that can handle lots of heat. IMO there is no need for a "big brake" kit, just do pads and make sure your rotors are in good shape.


...via IH8MUD app
 

paflytyer

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I would probably disagree with the notion of not needing big brake kit in this case, especially if you are completely loading the vehicle down. Once you start talking "global travel vehicle", the weight will skyrocket. The added water and fuel alone will be hefty additions. Usually, I think people overestimate their weight (like saying they have 300-500lbs of stuff in their drawers) but you can add a serious amount of upgrades and gear when building something you can live out of.

In this case however, going to a big brake kit means you'll have to move to an 18" wheel and tire combo. Not a bad thing, but you'll have a better chance of finding a 16" replacement tire globally than an 18". I would assume you'll carry 2 spares if you're going that far off the beaten path as well.

Having a winch and not needing it is better than needing a winch and not having one. You're talking about spending a large sum to build a vehicle to travel globally, why wouldn't you spend the extra $$ and carry a winch/recovery gear? It's a very small cost, comparatively speaking.

Sounds like a fun build. Post up as you go.
 
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I'm prepping my 2003 to go round the world in the next couple of years. I keep a very accurate weight calculation, including weight that I remove from the vehicle (every item is weighed on to/off of the truck). To go round the world it is worth considering what will be superfluous to that journey. For me the 3rd row and 2nd row seats come out, lots of other bits and bobs (handles/trim/roof-bars etc) all add-up (in this case the diet takes over 120kg (265lbs) off the kerb weight. I'd also be giving VERY serious thought to whether you will be traveling alone (self recovery) and what type of off-road you'll be doing. If you are travelling alone and off-road/remote then self recovery capability is a must - ie winch, pull-pal etc - there is not much point in saving 50kg on a winch if you have to leave the truck somewhere. The type of trip and distance between provisions (worst case), average fuel mpg, will set how much of your available payload to donate to the gas/diesel/water/food.. I'd also be thinking about how things can have dual purpose - could those sand ladders also double as a table?. Also put the truck (loaded/expedition ready) on a weighbridge to see if each axle is not overloaded.

If it is any consolation then with front/rear bull bars, dual wheel carriers, extra 100litres of fuel, extra 50litres of water, winch, self recovery equipment, seats stripped out and other weight saving items, bash-plates, 50litre fridge, 10litre freezer, roof tent, roof rack and all the other essential travel gear, two occupants I am 52kg under the max GVW. I have options to save a further 88kg if I need to be really mean.

Seriously consider what spares you will really need and which can be available within a day or two from an international supply network.

I haven't done any brake upgrades and having opted for 275/85 on 16" rims the rotors are as big as they're going to get
 
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PS - lockers don't really add that much weight - just the compressor really as the locker replaces the OEM diff. A great investment for the additional weight.
 
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Thanks everyone for the input. Hedgepig, that's the information I was looking for on the weight which as I understand it is not a problem so long as I keep track of everything. I really want to stick with OEM as much as possible other than the obvious stuff. What I see here is at some juncture is there is a financial turning point where although this is the ultimate build vehicle it becomes the wrong vehicle. I like the idea of the new 2015 4x4 sprinters, Earthroamers ect.. But they are not in the budget. Even the used ones seem pretty outrageously expensive.
One of the reasons I am working until full retirement at 58 and not taking early retirement penalties is so that we can rent places by the month or longer and really get to know an area, stay in hostels & hotels and use the RTT only as it suits us and not because we have to. Its so cheap in many of the countries to go this route. Plus I am traveling with my wife who will be 48 at that time, a woman, which brings it own set of challenges including always being conscious of her safety. I am seriously considering a campteq conversion pop top. You know the old saying 'when the wife's happy...' I have a great marriage and know how to keep it that way. Sleeping in a RTT for extended periods of time over & over is not going to cut it. We have a condo on the beach in Ecuador & I have watched retired couples over the years, as it becomes more popular to retire there, pack their bags & leave due to not being able to handle the culture shock after a couple of years. I pay close attention to the global travel blogs with couples to see how couples work together.
I think I've talked myself into aftermarket bumpers, sliders, winch, 2.5 lift build, lockers ect.. & the mods to keep everything underneath to specs. I have a DOT weigh scale close by so I can get accurate fully loaded weight. We also plan to purchase a small used ultra light tow behind 12ft travel trailer to see the USA & Canada and then sell it in CAL before leaving the US. Dual batteries, a 300amp alternator and I like the idea of the aftermarket heat exchanger shower. I can see how it is easy to overload these things. I am big on security so global positioning & live feed cameras on the vehicle will help me deal with bribes and other undesirable issues that come up. Its mandatory that we stop in the US for my wife to take a quick self defense class for the basics for a couple of weeks or so. On those rare occasions in Central & SA when we have had close calls its only because I am always prepared for this type of scenario that we have not had an incident. Predators don't like the tables turned on them but even the best of us that think we have it handled can have the tables turned on us. I wont leave the barn without a personal & vehicle security hardware plan in place. Not a paranoid person. This is based on what I have seen out there. 3rd world, poverty stricken or low literacy rates areas should not be taken lightly. We don't drink so my opinion is based outside the bar scene. These 100's are sure a sweet ride for a 4 x4. They asked me at work how I liked driving it so far but my wife has been behind the wheel since it hit the driveway.
 

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I'm prepping my 2003 to go round the world in the next couple of years. I keep a very accurate weight calculation, including weight that I remove from the vehicle (every item is weighed on to/off of the truck). To go round the world it is worth considering what will be superfluous to that journey. For me the 3rd row and 2nd row seats come out, lots of other bits and bobs (handles/trim/roof-bars etc) all add-up (in this case the diet takes over 120kg (265lbs) off the kerb weight. I'd also be giving VERY serious thought to whether you will be traveling alone (self recovery) and what type of off-road you'll be doing. If you are travelling alone and off-road/remote then self recovery capability is a must - ie winch, pull-pal etc - there is not much point in saving 50kg on a winch if you have to leave the truck somewhere. The type of trip and distance between provisions (worst case), average fuel mpg, will set how much of your available payload to donate to the gas/diesel/water/food.. I'd also be thinking about how things can have dual purpose - could those sand ladders also double as a table?. Also put the truck (loaded/expedition ready) on a weighbridge to see if each axle is not overloaded.

If it is any consolation then with front/rear bull bars, dual wheel carriers, extra 100litres of fuel, extra 50litres of water, winch, self recovery equipment, seats stripped out and other weight saving items, bash-plates, 50litre fridge, 10litre freezer, roof tent, roof rack and all the other essential travel gear, two occupants I am 52kg under the max GVW. I have options to save a further 88kg if I need to be really mean.

Seriously consider what spares you will really need and which can be available within a day or two from an international supply network.

I haven't done any brake upgrades and having opted for 275/85 on 16" rims the rotors are as big as they're going to get

Nice post Hedgepig. That is pretty much what I am finding...I think I will be able to break the 5000 lb. barrier by what I am stripping off mine. Of course, it will quickly climb as I start adding on bumpers and all the other heavy items. It is good to see that you are still within the GVWR with all that gear. That is my goal as well.

I concur on the winch as well. I believe a person could go on a global road trip with a 100 basically stock, but the second you want to really start exploring a region extensively, you can expect to be on some pretty rough tracks. And being a single vehicle, you need to have the equipment to get yourself out of a situation. No point in saving the small weight of a winch if you have to hike out of somewhere when you get stuck.

ameridorian1961, since you are on Expedition Portal, check out the DR Congo write-up a couple did in the Completed Expeditions forum. They took their LandCruiser Troopy on a major adventure through the Congo and did it without a winch. However, you will see, and they affirm, that they did much unnecessary damage to the vehicle because they did not have a winch to help them out of situations. The obstacles and stress they faced makes for a great read for us, but also provides a lesson on being able to get out of a situation without beating on your vehicle. If you can fit it within the GVWR of the vehicle and within the budget, a winch (and lockers) are a no-brainer.
 

VidereStudios

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In this case however, going to a big brake kit means you'll have to move to an 18" wheel and tire combo. Not a bad thing, but you'll have a better chance of finding a 16" replacement tire globally than an 18". I would assume you'll carry 2 spares if you're going that far off the beaten path as well.

I agree with this as well. To get a BBK, you are going to have to go to 18's, which brings a whole other dimension to the issue. While it would allow you to hit 35" with a relatively narrow tire, the rest of the trade-offs are pretty much in the negative column. Not as readily available overseas, less sidewall for airing down, reduced selection of tire treads, cost. I think a nominal 33" tire (+/-) on a 16" rim is the way to go for overseas travel.

Plus, you have to realize that the only places in the world where you are going to be able to hit 70mph are in North America, Mexico, Europe (on the main highways), Australia, and maybe a few places in South America. I bet you won't break 55-60mph on most of the roads it sounds like to you gravitate towards. Keeping it slower will mitigate the need for a BBK.
 

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Thanks everyone for the input. Hedgepig, that's the information I was looking for on the weight which as I understand it is not a problem so long as I keep track of everything. I really want to stick with OEM as much as possible other than the obvious stuff. What I see here is at some juncture is there is a financial turning point where although this is the ultimate build vehicle it becomes the wrong vehicle. I like the idea of the new 2015 4x4 sprinters, Earthroamers ect.. But they are not in the budget. Even the used ones seem pretty outrageously expensive.
One of the reasons I am working until full retirement at 58 and not taking early retirement penalties is so that we can rent places by the month or longer and really get to know an area, stay in hostels & hotels and use the RTT only as it suits us and not because we have to. Its so cheap in many of the countries to go this route. Plus I am traveling with my wife who will be 48 at that time, a woman, which brings it own set of challenges including always being conscious of her safety. I am seriously considering a campteq conversion pop top. You know the old saying 'when the wife's happy...' I have a great marriage and know how to keep it that way. Sleeping in a RTT for extended periods of time over & over is not going to cut it. We have a condo on the beach in Ecuador & I have watched retired couples over the years, as it becomes more popular to retire there, pack their bags & leave due to not being able to handle the culture shock after a couple of years. I pay close attention to the global travel blogs with couples to see how couples work together.
I think I've talked myself into aftermarket bumpers, sliders, winch, 2.5 lift build, lockers ect.. & the mods to keep everything underneath to specs. I have a DOT weigh scale close by so I can get accurate fully loaded weight. We also plan to purchase a small used ultra light tow behind 12ft travel trailer to see the USA & Canada and then sell it in CAL before leaving the US. Dual batteries, a 300amp alternator and I like the idea of the aftermarket heat exchanger shower. I can see how it is easy to overload these things. I am big on security so global positioning & live feed cameras on the vehicle will help me deal with bribes and other undesirable issues that come up. Its mandatory that we stop in the US for my wife to take a quick self defense class for the basics for a couple of weeks or so. On those rare occasions in Central & SA when we have had close calls its only because I am always prepared for this type of scenario that we have not had an incident. Predators don't like the tables turned on them but even the best of us that think we have it handled can have the tables turned on us. I wont leave the barn without a personal & vehicle security hardware plan in place. Not a paranoid person. This is based on what I have seen out there. 3rd world, poverty stricken or low literacy rates areas should not be taken lightly. We don't drink so my opinion is based outside the bar scene. These 100's are sure a sweet ride for a 4 x4. They asked me at work how I liked driving it so far but my wife has been behind the wheel since it hit the driveway.

I like your thought process on this. I do agree that the 100 series becomes the wrong vehicle at some point (and at some level of financial investment). However, if you can fit what you need within the GVWR, then I believe a person would have one awesome vehicle for a global adventure. Small and nimble (relatively speaking to Earthroamers, Sprinters, etc.), not too high (can fit in shipping containers), and a world class off-road 4x4 system (when set up with lockers, etc.). I truly believe that with a built 100, a person won't run into many roads that they say "Hmm, let's not go down that one" and still have the capability to do long days comfortably on pavement highways.

I believe I have ended up at the conclusion of building two 100's at this point. One is going to be my international off-road and road trippin' vehicle and the other is going to be my U.S. and Canada camping rig with the ability to trailer my dual sport motorcycle. The overseas traveling version will be more stripped and built up for sleeping inside and being self-sufficient in terms of recovery and food and water supply. Basically a tighter and more focused level of gear to fit within the GVWR and on two axles. The camping rig will be able to spread out the weight onto three axles plus having extra gear for more basecamping as well as stuff for the motorcycle.

I think you are on the right path and I hope that you share your build and adventures with us!
 
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I like your thought process on this. I do agree that the 100 series becomes the wrong vehicle at some point (and at some level of financial investment). However, if you can fit what you need within the GVWR, then I believe a person would have one awesome vehicle for a global adventure. Small and nimble (relatively speaking to Earthroamers, Sprinters, etc.), not too high (can fit in shipping containers), and a world class off-road 4x4 system (when set up with lockers, etc.). I truly believe that with a built 100, a person won't run into many roads that they say "Hmm, let's not go down that one" and still have the capability to do long days comfortably on pavement highways.

I believe I have ended up at the conclusion of building two 100's at this point. One is going to be my international off-road and road trippin' vehicle and the other is going to be my U.S. and Canada camping rig with the ability to trailer my dual sport motorcycle. The overseas traveling version will be more stripped and built up for sleeping inside and being self-sufficient in terms of recovery and food and water supply. Basically a tighter and more focused level of gear to fit within the GVWR and on two axles. The camping rig will be able to spread out the weight onto three axles plus having extra gear for more basecamping as well as stuff for the motorcycle.

I think you are on the right path and I hope that you share your build and adventures with us!


The other thing to consider is the extent to which you want to have items permanently fitted or "demountable" - for example water and diesel tanks, could be jerry cans (demountable and light, uses space in or on top of the truck) OR could be long ranger tanks (low CoG, heavy and permanent). in a cut down weight world then 5 jerry cans are better in many respects.......but will get in the way if you intend to sleep inside or 100kg sloshing around on the roof with poor CoG. Sliding drawers are another example of convenience that weighs a lot......but if you're living in your truck for 6 months at a time then it may be worth the weight for that convenience. All are compromises. Your desired operating range and safety margin will ultimately set how much weight/space capacity you have left for everything else and this will vary greatly with number of passengers and/or the terrain you intend to cover. 4 passengers 1000 miles across the Sahara is very different to 2 people on the Dalton. Also what level of protection do you REALLY need? It all weighs a lot and may not be of as much use as say a second spare tyre. Also be prepared to remove equipment you don't need - e.g. my 40" LED light bar was great for Arctic winter but is it much use for a desert trip (where I wouldn't travel at night)? A 25Kg potential saving.....so my light bar will be designed to be easily removable should I wish
 
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I came across the Congo trip awhile back on the Portal. It's the only blog story that I have come across that I couldn't stop reading once I started. It was about 2 or 3 in the morning when I finished. On a work night. Reminds me of that fine line between balls & common sense when I was in my 20's & early 30's before I had kids to raise. I'll be looking at a James Baroud or a Campteq conversion for sleeping. I'll have to do more research on what others who have these set ups have to say about taking up the roof space vs the flip out tents. Unless something pops up on Craigslist that's too good to pass up. I already found an Engal 45 refer with the slider shelf,12V custom hardware & tie downs for $400 on Craigs so you never know. I'll end up doing a Slee or ARB drawer set up & then order a custom made water tank to fit a custom space with as small as volume as required. What I don't have figured out is extended fuel range. Just driving up the Alcan through the Yukon when I brought it back to AK left me no doubt its a thirsty V8. Smooth as glass at 100mph though. Wondering were the next station is when you hit half a tank in the middle of nowhere is not time well spent. I thought I came across a fender well retro tank awhile back but it may have been for a diesel & different series. These big 100 series aftermarket fuel tanks always remind me of the RV holding tank draggers we have all seen. Or been a party to at least once. Anyone know of a well thought out tank size & protection or is 2-3 jerry cans hanging off a rear Slee set up the way to go?
 

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Slee Offroad doesn't make drawers, so you'll need to research some more on that. The Outback system is popular and TrexboxX is new on the market.

@pcut is selling a Baroud RTT right now for a steal of a price. If you're considering one of those, grab that one before it's gone.

The under mount aux fuel tank that mounts in the spare tire location is spoken highly of from the folks who have them.
 
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Looks like the Slee website calls out the system as Outback. My mistake. I like the looks of that system only the longer version. I plan on canning the 2nd & 3rd row seats & that would leave enough room on the 1 side for a campteq pop top to work if I went that route. I don't see anyway around a long range tank. Using jerry cans on a regular basis would get old quick when I think about it. I,ve seen some issues with the spare tire tank which is what I wanted to start with. I saw some sites with issues of the composite fuel neck & trying to get the gas gauge to work between 2 tanks. I don't remember a site where it was all worked out by the detail.Then I've seen the oversized replacement tank change out. What I don't remember seeing is a place in the USA where this was all worked out who would ship the tank without the installation. Is there a place in the US that ships the tanks or do they have to come from outside? Those Ausies sure have some trick builds & accessories all the way down to the kitchens for the 100's.
 

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