Budget Mods and maintenance

Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
15
Location
Oregon
Hello all, I’ve lurked on here for quite awhile and figured I’d finally make an account and post ( once I saw how friendly and helpful everyone was I couldn’t resist ). I’ve got a 1995 LC that I picked up for 2000$ out here in Oregon about a year ago. Center diff locker on it. Fender flares are all ripped off and the holes have ?plugs? In them. Little beat up but I’ve managed to put about 20k miles on this thing as it’s my daily.
While I enjoy working on my own things, I lack a lot of knowledge and tools. ( I can borrow some from a friend who’s a mechanic ) but seeing all you guys working on your stuff really made me want to get some stuff done!

So I’m looking for ideas for cheaper mods/maintenance that you all would suggest.
Keep in mind I’m an 18 year old who doesn’t make a bunch of money, so needs to be wallet friendly ( somewhat ) and I’d like to start off with some easy stuff!

So far I’ve installed a 52” light bar ( some people don’t like that, I like the look and Oregon is always dark and gloomy )
I bought ?Lapter? Fender flares.. have yet to install as you have to drill new holes.
Any ideas appreciated!
And thanks to everyone who posts on here, you guys make a great community!
And I think I added a couple pics of my rig.

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Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
15
Location
Oregon
I was also thinking of buying a trail gear front tube bumper.. but once again, on a bit of a budget and figured maybe some maintenance might be better spent..
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2014
Messages
427
Location
Mesa, AZ
Everyone talks about baselining the LC. Which I would recommend doing the fluids especially if you are on a budget (oil change, differential fluid changes, etc), changing out the PHH under the intake manifold, the heater control valve on the firewall, coolant hoses, accessory belts, and replacing any hoses that could be hard/brittle, grease the birfs via the inspection screw, greasing the zerks on the driveline.

I have used @NLXTACY AKA Absolute Wits End for a few of my purchases. His power steering hoses are great and he has great prices and is always coming out with something new for the 80.
 
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Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
15
Location
Oregon
Everyone talks about baselining the LC. Which I would recommend doing the fluids especially if you are on a budget (oil change, differential fluid changes, etc), changing out the PHH under the intake manifold, the heater control valve on the firewall, coolant hoses, accessory belts, and replacing any hoses that could be hard/brittle, grease the birfs via the inspection screw, greasing the zerks on the driveline.

I have used @NLXTACY AKA Absolute Wits End for a few of my purchases. His power steering hoses are great and he has great prices and is always coming out with something new for the 80.
Yeah I was about to do an oil change.. thinking of some new trans fluid? Replacing some radiator hoses, and maybe some belts.. has anyone used sea foam before? My rig has 290k on it and I wanna know if anyone has suggestions for anything to help keep that going strong.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
493
Location
RIVERSIDE CA
Do a full baseline but sprinkle in fun parts here and there like a bumper or other mods. You could claybar and buff the paint and it would look a lot better, might be worth considering since your paint doesn't look shot.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
15
Location
Oregon
Do a full baseline but sprinkle in fun parts here and there like a bumper or other mods. You could claybar and buff the paint and it would look a lot better, might be worth considering since your paint doesn't look shot.
Dumb question, I’ve seen the term “baseline” multiple times. What does that exactly entail? I have a general idea, but I’m trying to keep up with the terminology!
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
493
Location
RIVERSIDE CA
Dumb question, I’ve seen the term “baseline” multiple times. What does that exactly entail? I have a general idea, but I’m trying to keep up with the terminology!
Basically it means doing all of the maintenance items the truck needs for it to be reliable long term and not eventually have parts fail. Most land cruisers have really high miles and even though they're working, the parts don't have a lot of life left. Typical points of interest are the front axle which has a lot of bearings and things that need lubricated and re-sealed, the cooling system, which typically needs to be replaced in its entirety to avoid failure which will probably blow the already weak head gasket on the 1zf-e (your motor). There are lots of other ones too, I'd start by reading the FAQ and buying a hard copy of the FSM. The FSM (factory service manual) actually spells out in a chart what maintenance you should do, how often, and how to do it. You don't need to follow it exactly but it's still a helpful guide. Keep in mind the better you maintain your 80 series the more it's worth so it's not a bad idea to just do a full baseline unless the thing is rusted out or elsewise FUBAR.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2014
Messages
427
Location
Mesa, AZ
Yeah I was about to do an oil change.. thinking of some new trans fluid? Replacing some radiator hoses, and maybe some belts.. has anyone used sea foam before? My rig has 290k on it and I wanna know if anyone has suggestions for anything to help keep that going strong.
I have done the Sea Foam treatment on most if not all my cars. The newer cars actually smoked more than my LC ever did. I see that others have mentioned doing modifications to the LC. But if the head gasket has not been done yet get the LC in and have it done, while they are in there have them do the PHH, heater control valve, check the head for cracks, bad valve seals and have the injectors cleaned.

I got mine done for $2480 here in AZ. I would get on the local Oregon Club pages and see if there is a dealer in your area that does some deep discounts for Mud members. Yes, it is nice rolling around with a lift, 35s, etc but if you do not have a reliable car what good do those modifications do for you when your LC is sitting in your driveway or yard?
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
15
Location
Oregon
I was also curious, has anyone used rhino liner on bumpers? Should I just sand the hell out of it then rhino line them? Or how would that work? Any clues?
 

tominboise

SILVER Star
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2004
Messages
868
Location
Boise, Idaho
I was also curious, has anyone used rhino liner on bumpers? Should I just sand the hell out of it then rhino line them? Or how would that work? Any clues?
Rhino liner is nice for a lot of things but exterior paint isn't really one of them. My personal preference would be to sand the bumper and rattle can it the color of your choice with plasti dip, rustoleum or some other relatively high quality paint. Rhino liner is OK in the back of truck beds, the inside of utility trailers, maybe even certain areas on the body subject to damage (rocker panels, etc) but it's rough and fades in the UV eventually. Plus it's overdone on so many rigs.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2015
Messages
86
Location
San Diego, California
Highly recommend the auto-up window mod and a digital temp gauge. I just used something cheap off amazon for like $8 and calibrated it @ 212F with boiling water.
-I've been toying with modifying mine with a smaller display so It'll fit in one of the factory switch blank slots. That would look pretty slick.

Also recommend the steering box slop adjustment, made a big difference for me.

If you get wet a lot then make diff breathers.

Change diff/trans case oils, grease u-joints and slide-shaft things that I forget the name of, and front ball joints can get some pumps of grease too (there's a grease zerk on the top).

Maybe replace fan clutch fluid, and all heater hoses, one of the worst things that can happen is a cooling system failure.

Check how worn the contacts in the cap are, maybe replace the the cap/rotor/wires/plugs if its really bad.

Go through with a can of rust converter and just get everything that's rusting (undercarriage too). Maybe someday you'll get around to painting it, maybe not, but at least the cancer is pretty much halted.
 
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rghouse

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
348
Location
Oroville, CA
LEDs = $bang for your buck. Cheap, easy, look awesome, lower wattage draw, updates it, helps you see better (in reverse), and make you more visible.

1924514
 
Joined
May 20, 2018
Messages
158
Location
Alabama
I’d do any mod possible to raise the longevity of the truck in general, as well as reduce engine temps (which is usually the killer of the 1FZ).
A few have mentioned baselining, which is a fantastic idea, fluids are cheaper than rebuilds for sure. Don’t forget a 8’ long x 3/8” I.D. clear hose is needed for the front diff refill, I won’t charge you for the free tip :flipoff2:.

#1-Not sure how hot your area gets but an auxiliary fan helps engine temps as well as preventing a heat soaked a/c condenser, tons of write ups to be found on this topic (10” electric fan and sealed automotive relay can be had at a junkyard for about $15-$30) .

#2-If SMOG isn’t required in your area (your vehicle is almost 25 years old, would you even need another smog test?) look up some threads on deleting the EGR on your engine without throwing the check engine light. The EGR feeds exhaust gases back into the intake to burn them off, it’s pretty much proven this causes head gasket failure at the #6 pistol/cylinder.

#3-Speaking of check engine light, might wanna start checking off some codes being thrown if that’s lit up. I recently replaced my CATs with a single magnaflow high flow catalytic converter and picked up 2 MPGs, figured the CATs were clogged up but a check engine light code confirmed this.

#4- A hood scoop has been used by many to help evacuate some heat. There are multiple options on this as well and generic hood louvers to WRX hood scoops available, just use that search button.

#5- If you’re feeling ballsy and don’t mind spending money to cut a hole in the passenger side fender with a hole saw, that you’ll probably only use once, snorkels (aka dorkels) for 80 series LCs can be had for about $85 on Amazon or eBay. Supposedly this lowers intake temps as much as 40*+, which is always helpful. Beware of the templates, they are garbage.

#6- Getting rid of those OEM axle breather tubes and check valves is cheap. Grab some hose and a cheap open flow filter off eBay/ amazon and have peace of mind that you aren’t sucking diff fluid past and seals.

Anyways that’s enough info and ideas to keep you busy for a while I’d you do instead follow thru with most of them. Also, if you plan on keeping that beast for a while, downloading or eBaying a FSM for your year model will probably answer most mechanical/maintenance questions you’d ever have, as well as give you step by step instructions and illustrations. Good luck and welcome to the club
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2005
Messages
122
I definitely recommend a good baseline and PM before jumping into the most costly, albeit fun, items.

Here's everything that went wrong with mine in the first 1-2 years of owning it.

  1. Starter
  2. Radiator
  3. Heater Control Valve (the original ones get very brittle and crack)
  4. Wiring Harness by the EGR Valve. I was on a road trip when this happened. Very common for the hot pipe to melt wires inside the harness overtime causing shorts. Search here to find out how to address and fix.
  5. Valve cover Gasket
  6. Brakes (duh)
  7. 02 Sensor Failed
  8. Fuel filter clogged
I've done a ton more PM and repairs than this list, but these are all the things that failed while driving (or trying to drive) somewhere and made my trip a lot longer and more annoying. Had I checked/ replaced these preventatively they would never have become an issue.

Also, definitely do the PHH and anything else you can to keep the engine running cool (fan clutch mod). Already some good suggestions above.
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
1,232
Location
Bend, OR
Skip mods for now, get the maintenance needs dialed in and drive it. Plenty capable stock and after you have it for a year you'll know what mods you need.

If you find that its not wheeled very hard then skip the monster tires, etc.... and focus on meeting your actual off road needs. We've all been in your shoes once and the temptation to add mods is strong. Resist the temptation and go out and explore instead.

Would you rather sit around the campfire and talk about the awesome road trip adventure you just got back from, or would you rather talk about how some dude at safeway commented on how cool your huge tires or off road bumper are? Keep it in perspective and have fun!
 
Joined
May 20, 2018
Messages
158
Location
Alabama
I’ll reiterate what I think is the most important, and things I did right off the bat that helped me out. I know you mentioned your a younger dude and don’t have money to just throw at it, so it was a little easier for me to spend the money, but the sooner you can do these things the better peace of mind you’ll have, and chances are the longer your rig will last.
  1. Baseline fluids
  2. Rebuild front and rear axles. (Don’t baseline your front and rear diffs until you do this, you’ll be wasting fluids) Birfield joints are relatively expensive and very important to the operation of the vehicle, might as well replace those gaskets and repack knuckles with grease to prevent that birfield from wearing out.
  3. EGR delete and auxiliary fan. EGR to help prevent head gasket problems, auxiliary fan to help the A/C in the summer and also help with engine temps.
IMHO that’s the top three things on my list of things to do when buying an 80 series, and it’s all preventative maintenance. You got a great deal on a quality vehicle, at the price point you purchased it at it’ll be a long time before it depreciates that far. So spend the time and money making that sucker run as long as possible. If you get in a bind and need to sell it you can easily triple your investment, but only if it’s runs and drives.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
15
Location
Oregon
I’ll reiterate what I think is the most important, and things I did right off the bat that helped me out. I know you mentioned your a younger dude and don’t have money to just throw at it, so it was a little easier for me to spend the money, but the sooner you can do these things the better peace of mind you’ll have, and chances are the longer your rig will last.
  1. Baseline fluids
  2. Rebuild front and rear axles. (Don’t baseline your front and rear diffs until you do this, you’ll be wasting fluids) Birfield joints are relatively expensive and very important to the operation of the vehicle, might as well replace those gaskets and repack knuckles with grease to prevent that birfield from wearing out.
  3. EGR delete and auxiliary fan. EGR to help prevent head gasket problems, auxiliary fan to help the A/C in the summer and also help with engine temps.
IMHO that’s the top three things on my list of things to do when buying an 80 series, and it’s all preventative maintenance. You got a great deal on a quality vehicle, at the price point you purchased it at it’ll be a long time before it depreciates that far. So spend the time and money making that sucker run as long as possible. If you get in a bind and need to sell it you can easily triple your investment, but only if it’s runs and drives.
Any threads on egr delete? Thanks so much for everyone’s ideas too!
 
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