BPM’s FZJ80 Family Cruising/Exploration Machine

bpm

Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Grand Junction, CO
I wasn’t initially planning on doing a build thread but I am inspired by Boxrocket and the threads of others. It’s neat to look back at the history of the vehicle to see where it was and what is has become. So here’s the beginning of my story…

My wife and I moved back to Colorado after a little over a decade in the military. We decided to settle down in Grand Junction, CO to be closer to family and friends as we start a family. We love the outdoors, camping, hiking, and adventuring and want our child(ren) to grow up with fond memories of such adventures. We initially chose a 2016 4Runner TRD Pro as our “overland” platform thanks to its popularity/marketing on youtube. We sold it after about 10 months of ownership after realizing that even though it was a Pro model we still desired to change it quite a bit and the monthly payments were in the way of those goals. So, with the help of a friend we discovered/decided on a FZJ80 based one their reputation for being “tanks”. This choice really opened up the budget to build it how we want it. We began our search in January.

We searched the market pretty briefly because we knew what we wanted and knew that spring/summer were fast approaching. The goal: mostly stock (didn’t want to inherit someone else’s project, though deals could be had), maintenance documentation (not necessary but good to know), factory lockers not required (gears will be upgraded anyway), relatively low mileage, no major rust.

We found this 40th Anniversary Collectors Edition in Salt Lake City, Utah with ~197,500 on the odo w/o factory lockers and no major rust. Paid $6800. The part history was well documented with receipts since ~120k miles. It had a couple of minor leaks but I was well informed of those and roughly knew what it would take to get them fixed (oil pump cover, distributor o-ring, power steering reservoir, upper pan arc seal/rear main weep).


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Preventative maintenance - Early Feb - Ongoing

Overhauled cooling system (maybe unnecessary but I’m sensitive to cooling issues and know these vehicles are not without their own)
-New water bypass hoses
-New radiator hoses
-New Koyo radiator
-Thermostat
-Upgraded firewall hose and installed Samco Extreme PHH
-Blue hub fan clutch (may swap the oil later)
Replaced fuel filter
Hood struts
Idler pulley
Oil pump o-ring
Distributor o-ring
All new belts
Pulled and resealed upper oil pan (this was quite the project, and sadly I think there may be weeping from the rear main)
Sway bar bushings
Checked valve clearance
Temp gauge resistor mod

Still ongoing:
Front and rear axle repack/rebuild (upon diff rebuild)
Brake fluid flush (part of suspension work when extended lines are installed)

Short term modification goals:
-4.88 Gears with Harrop Lockers done by Zuk
-35” AT tires (probably BFG KO2 but still open to ideas)
-Slinky Long Travel Stage 4 75mm HD suspension
-Bowfin Cruiser roof rack
-ARB bull bar with Smittybilt X2O 12k# winch
-Rear bumper with tire/jack/aux fuel carrier (custom built)
-23zero Byron RTT
-Dual battery + solar charge capability
-Ham radio(s), maybe a cb radio too
-Sliders
-Maybe a rear 9” platform/drawer system
-Fridge + slide-out
-OBA/compressor solution of some sort - still undecided but likely leaning the ARB twin route because it could be neatly tucked away in the rear quarter panel and will not decrease airflow in the engine bay like a York OBA system will.

Long term modification goals:
-Redo the original paint or do some kind of bed liner option in colors similar to R129, G142, B148
-Redo front seats or seat swap (currently thinking WRX or 5th gen 4runner)
-Sound deadener
-Sound system upgrade
 

chap79

Wheel. Break. Fix. Repeat.
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Mar 20, 2009
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2,897
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Harrisonville, MO
 
 
Looks like you got a good start going. Keep up the posting. There will be dry spells as life intervenes and priorities shift but stick with it. As you said it’s nice to look back. But it is also a good way to recall when you replaced or modded something, recall a part number, or if you actually did something.
 
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Joined
Apr 23, 2005
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3,249
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Oregon
 
 
 
Great start and list. My only suggestion is to not do the ARB front bumper. IMHO, they are very light duty. I'd go for something else.
 
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bpm

Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Grand Junction, CO
Great start and list. My only suggestion is to not do the ARB front bumper. IMHO, they are very light duty. I'd go for something else.
ARB bumper is being delivered tomorrow. I may do something else in the front after seeing how the rear turns out. I don't have much in the way of fabrication skills/equipment and will be relying on my brother's help.
 

bpm

Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Grand Junction, CO
Diffs got weather delayed but should be delivers to @gearinstalls.com today.

Finished disassembly of front and rear knuckle/axle assemblies an cleaned up the majority of the parts.

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Will be swapping birfs from side to side to reverse wear. Flanges do not seem to have excessive play.

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To all of those who say "just use a seal puller to pull the front axle seals" I say :flipoff2: . A chisel, hammer, and emery cloth were my introduction to FZJ80 axle seals.

The second one came off with a seal puller and less brute force.

Will be using a Terrain Tamer knuckle/wheel bearing service kit (SH5WB) provided by Cruiser Brothers (thanks @orangefj45!) Also obtained rear axle wheel bearings and seals from Georg.

Decided to upgrade the rotors and brake pads with terrain tamer high performance rotors and standard TT pads per Georg's recommendation. This is to reduce the chances of warped rotors and wheel seal leaks caused by excessive friction of hard HD pads. Shipping on those are 1-2 weeks out.
 

bpm

Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Grand Junction, CO
There are a couple of things I discovered during the disassembly:

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There is excessive wear on both sides of this washer. It was likely flipped over during the last knuckle service. Maybe over torquing is to blame? Or play in some other area. Need to search mud a little bit for other examples.

I also found some divots created by either myself or the previous owner in the hub housing from driving the bearing races out. Need to use some emery cloth on those before setting the new wheel bearing races.
 

bpm

Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Grand Junction, CO
Wheels and tires.... I planned to order 315/75-R16 BFG KO2's from Discount Tire and stick with the OEM wheels only to find out these are on massive backorder (4-8 month lead time and not currently in production). So I decided to buy 17" wheels and switch to 35x12.5-R17 tires. I decided on Bronze Icon Rebounds after some photo-chopping with @Box Rocket 's images and input from the wifey.

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Box Rocket

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Jan 2, 2003
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4,541
Location
Syracuse, Utah
 
 
 
Wheels and tires.... I planned to order 315/75-R16 BFG KO2's from Discount Tire and stick with the OEM wheels only to find out these are on massive backorder (4-8 month lead time and not currently in production). So I decided to buy 17" wheels and switch to 35x12.5-R17 tires. I decided on Bronze Icon Rebounds after some photo-chopping with @Box Rocket 's images and input from the wifey.

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haha nice. I love how the rebounds look and the bronze color is perfect IMO. A lot of others are too brown or too dark. These are perfect I think.
 
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bpm

Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Grand Junction, CO
haha nice. I love how the rebounds look and the bronze color is perfect IMO. A lot of others are too brown or too dark. These are perfect I think.
I normally like black or dark grey accents for accessories and this color is certainly out of my comfort zone for wheels but I think it looks damn good. For some reason I find myself choosing colors other than black with this build (tan vs black tent cover). It definitely looks good on your 95 and I'm excited to see how it looks in person on green.
 

bpm

Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Grand Junction, CO
Slowly but surely coming along. RX'd the rebuilt F/R diffs from ZUK in superb packaging. Got those installed. Wiring is a work in progress as I wait for a Blue Sea ST Blade fuse block to come in the mail from Amazon.

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bpm

Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Grand Junction, CO
35's mounted on the new Icon wheels. Can't wait to get them mounted on the vehicle. Finishing up the front knuckle rebuild tonight, then just waiting on the Terrain Tamer brake shipment from @orangefj45. I decided to use the Trail Gear Trail Safe ball wiper seals instead of the OEM felt kit. It sounds like I'll have to make sure the knuckle balls stay lubed (that's what she said) so they do not rust over time. However, they should provide some benefits on the trailz.

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bpm

Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Grand Junction, CO
Finally finished up the gears/lockers/knuckles/brakes/tires/wheels project this weekend.

Filled the diffs with Super Tech 75w-90 gear oil for the break in period. They will be filled with Mobil-1 75w-90 after 500 miles.

Drained and filled the transfer case w/ Mobil 1 75w-90.

Installed the terrain tamer high performance rotors and TT standard brake pads.

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I bought/installed spidertrax 1.5" spacers in order to ensure there was proper clearance and keep the wheel center caps on the icon wheels I bought.

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bpm

Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Grand Junction, CO
The spacers had to come right back off due to clearance issues. As it turns out, 35x12.5-R17 KO2's on stock suspension and spacers creates a wheel well rubbing issue when the wheel is turned about 20-30 degrees. After taking the spacers off we found that there was enough room for the tires to clear the wheel well after removing the end cap on the side steps.

35's on stock suspension is a temporary solution until the Slinky kit I ordered from Kevin @dockbox @ Endless Horizon Outfitters arrives.

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Here's a picture of our "factory" diff locker switch install. It just plugged right in! But seriously, we filed out the lip for the old switch, put some adhesive strips that act as spacers between these two switches, and both switches as a whole fit pretty snug into the factory diff lock switch location.

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We used a couple of add-a-fuse adapters to wire the e-lockers into the fuse block in the dash. 12V ignition leads went to a fuse plug tied to the cigarette lighter fuse and the 12V battery leads went to a fuse plug tied to the 30A center diff lock fuse.

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bpm

Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Grand Junction, CO
We began implementing my dual battery plans with @ab0tj's help! My end goal/design consists of:

- 2x deep cycle AGM batteries in parallel in the engine compartment for starting, winching, lighting, lockers, 12V compressor, dual band ham radio with APRS, and other normal vehicle operations
--Pros: Good for winching (less voltage sag), more usable capacity
--Cons: Can't jump myself with the second battery

- Isolated 50 or 100AH Lifepo4 battery in the rear for a fridge, HF ham radio, camp lighting, other camping accessories

The fuse block in the rear will be tied to a 2-way blue sea switch. Position 1 will allow items on the fuse block to use the Lithium power bank. Position 2 will allow items on the fuse block to use the AGM battery bank. Position 1+2 should allow me to jump the AGM bank with the lithium bank.

I don't have the lithium battery or fridge on hand yet. I'm still doing some research on these options. I'm leaning toward Battleborn lithium batteries due to their temperature conscious BMS and exceptional warranty. I'm also looking at either a Dometic or Snomaster dual zone fridge/freezer combo but have more planning to do in the rear cargo area before making a decision on which model.

Back to the battery install:

We installed the Slee wiper bottle relocation kit and a secondary battery tray. We installed 2 Optima DH6 AGM batteries with military style battery terminals in parallel using 1/0 gauge wire between the batteries. These batteries combined provide 144AH and absurd cranking capacity. (BTW, there's a $50 rebate offer going on for Optima battery purchases through April 22nd @ OPTIMA Rebate ).

I also decided to use @LandCruiserPhil battery tie downs for both boxes. They barely fit in the secondary tray with the coolant overfill container but we made it work. The angle brackets on the tie down don't make contact with the top of the battery on these DH6 batteries but we used a couple of pieces of fuel line to stabilize them.

I plan to upgrade the ground wire going to the body with 2 gauge since the compressor will be grounded to the body in the rear. I plan to run 2 gauge wire from the secondary battery to the passenger rear quarter panel where the switch, fuse block, 12V compressor, lithium battery, and likely a wits end quarter panel mount will reside. I also have 3 100A breakers to tie into the system: 1 for the 2 gauge lead coming off of the secondary battery to the rear fuse panel, one for the rear fuse panel to 2-way switch connection, and one for the compressor to 2-way switch connection.

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LandCruiserPhil

Peter Pan Syndrome
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Joined
Mar 10, 2004
Messages
24,801
Location
Scottsdale Arizona
 
 
 
We began implementing my dual battery plans with @ab0tj's help! My end goal/design consists of:

- 2x deep cycle AGM batteries in parallel in the engine compartment for starting, winching, lighting, lockers, 12V compressor, dual band ham radio with APRS, and other normal vehicle operations
--Pros: Good for winching (less voltage sag), more usable capacity
--Cons: Can't jump myself with the second battery

- Isolated 50 or 100AH Lifepo4 battery in the rear for a fridge, HF ham radio, camp lighting, other camping accessories

The fuse block in the rear will be tied to a 2-way blue sea switch. Position 1 will allow items on the fuse block to use the Lithium power bank. Position 2 will allow items on the fuse block to use the AGM battery bank. Position 1+2 should allow me to jump the AGM bank with the lithium bank.

I don't have the lithium battery or fridge on hand yet. I'm still doing some research on these options. I'm leaning toward Battleborn lithium batteries due to their temperature conscious BMS and exceptional warranty. I'm also looking at either a Dometic or Snomaster dual zone fridge/freezer combo but have more planning to do in the rear cargo area before making a decision on which model.

Back to the battery install:

We installed the Slee wiper bottle relocation kit and a secondary battery tray. We installed 2 Optima DH6 AGM batteries with military style battery terminals in parallel using 1/0 gauge wire between the batteries. These batteries combined provide 144AH and absurd cranking capacity. (BTW, there's a $50 rebate offer going on for Optima battery purchases through April 22nd @ OPTIMA Rebate ).

I also decided to use @LandCruiserPhil battery tie downs for both boxes. They barely fit in the secondary tray with the coolant overfill container but we made it work. The angle brackets on the tie down don't make contact with the top of the battery on these DH6 batteries but we used a couple of pieces of fuel line to stabilize them.

I plan to upgrade the ground wire going to the body with 2 gauge since the compressor will be grounded to the body in the rear. I plan to run 2 gauge wire from the secondary battery to the passenger rear quarter panel where the switch, fuse block, 12V compressor, lithium battery, and likely a wits end quarter panel mount will reside. I also have 3 100A breakers to tie into the system: 1 for the 2 gauge lead coming off of the secondary battery to the rear fuse panel, one for the rear fuse panel to 2-way switch connection, and one for the compressor to 2-way switch connection.

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Good to know about DH6.👍 How tall would the spacers need to be to bridge the gap between the DH6 and the battery hold down?
 
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