Builds Cincinnati LX Build and Adventure Thread (1 Viewer)

LndXrsr

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Congrats on the new rig!

I’m located in Cleveland and actually tried to buy this exact 100 from Gary while he still had it in SC. It looked extremely clean for the age, and particularly so for the Midwest. I recognized the photos from the ad. He called and said someone bought it sight unseen - you beat me to the punch!

I ended up purchasing a 99 LC100 that spent it’s first 17 years in Colorado and am pretty happy with it.

Subscribed to this thread, will be interested to see how your build progresses.

Sorry, Gary did mention there were a couple interested folks. I knew after talking to him and seeing some extra pics that it was either a really great car or a really great scam given that it wasn't in OH yet. I put a deposit down anyway. Glad to hear you found something, sounds like yours probably has the rear locker then which is a unique bit.
 

LndXrsr

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Changed out the power steering fluid, which was quite nasty despite being changed only a few thousand miles ago according to the service records.

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Discovered while reading some posts then cleaning out my PS reservoir that the mesh screen at the bottom of my tank was missing. Not sure where it went, but I found a little chunk of the screen that fell out was all that was left. Hopefully it got pulled out sometime previously when someone noticed it was damaged, but I assume it probably really just got ground up by the power steering pump.

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Put new fluid in the old reservoir for now; plan to order a new reservoir and then do another change in the near future anyway. My new fluid looks dark again already, so I assume it's going to need a couple serial flushes at least.
 
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LndXrsr

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Also changed the oil as it had been about a year despite the miles not requiring change. Time for some fresh Mobil 1:

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However, the guys a Valvoline really did a number getting this old oil filter on there. With a filter wrench, this is what I had to do to to the thing to get it off:

First, I had to pull the skid just to get the angle I needed since I couldn't get enough leverage otherwise.
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Then it finally crumpled to end up like this before i could get enough torque on it to give way
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Moral of the story: dealer or myself are the only folks doing oil changes.
 
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CloudCity

LuxCruisers.com
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Portland, OR
Discovered while reading some posts then cleaning out my PS reservoir that the mesh screen at the bottom of my tank was missing. Not sure where it went, but I found a little chunk of the screen that fell out was all that was left. Hopefully it got pulled out sometime previously when someone noticed it was damaged, but I assume it probably really just got ground up by the power steering pump.

A previous owner may have broken the screen out if it was clogged to allow fluid to flow rather than replacing the pump. The screen is sealed in so not removable under normal circumstances. They may have even accidentally broken it while trying to clean.
 

LndXrsr

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Escaped the pandemic for a couple days last weekend and went down to the Daniel Boone National Forest/Red River Gorge area. We did about 75%of the Daniel Boone Backcountry Byway, which is a 100 mile mix of winding paved, gravel, and 4x4 trails. This stock rig on all-season highway tires was amazing. There were only a handful of sections we didn't think it could manage, so we bypassed a couple small sections of the route. We climbed and descended some impressive slopes with great clearance (AHC on H is awesome) and, even more surprising, excellent traction.

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On day two, we ran into one issue...mud. We got a bit off course, and now I know first hand why this site is named what it is.

Embarrassed by how poorly prepared we were. I wanted to get a tow strap or kinetic strap and some recovery boards before heading out on the first adventure, but they didn't have time to ship and I got impatient to go somewhere. After an hour of digging, makeshift traction sticks/rocks, and bringing in sand to get some bite, we were getting nowhere. Thankfully somebody came by with some high-tensile climbing rope to pull us out. Lesson learned...
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LndXrsr

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Quick little safety mod today. Got this small FirstAlert fire extinguisher mounted. Fits perfectly on the second row plastic step. Tucked out of the way with seats up or down but still easy to pop out either way. I know it's not a simple grab from up in front seats, but I'm happy with the result.

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LndXrsr

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New heater Ts today. What a pain relative to how simple a job it should be. I still spilled a good bit of fluid despite draining coolant off in advance.

Hot side was brittle and broke up some. Passenger side was intact and will keep as a spare. New one at the bottom. Hoses didn't look too bad, minimal swelling, no cracking.
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Before and after, which is which? Haha.
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LndXrsr

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Forgot that I did new hood struts before the heater Ts so I could get under there safely. Used some Monroe ones recommended by folks on here. They seem high quality but open ever so slightly less than the OEM ones. Just enough to bang my head on the grill from the front (I'm 6'0"). Oh well, no more sketchy wooden handle anymore...

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LndXrsr

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Fog lights needed some polishing, so I used my old 3M drill restoration kit and they came out great.

I upgraded the high beams to 9011s, which everyone swore up and down the internet are lightyears (no pun intended) ahead of the OEM 9005s and fit with a simple trimming of one locking tab. To me, they're a smidge better, but not significantly. I guess for $20 total, it wasn't a bad upgrade. Have some HID upgrades coming from The Retrofit Source including 4500k 35w low beams with the TSX-R clear lenses for better cutoff resolution in the OEM projector bowls. Might upgrade to the Mini H1 Bi-Xenon, LED high beams with built in resistor for DRLs, and go to 3500k HID fogs at some point as well.

Blood pressure always goes up a little when you hit a lens with 500 grit sandpaper:
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Came out great though after multiple passes (500 grit, 800 grit, 1000 grit wet sanding pad, rubbing compound, hard wax). Before and after:
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9011 on L vs 9006 on R. More impressive in the photo than in real life to me:
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LndXrsr

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Traction boards came in today too. Went with the MAXSA Escaper Buddies which seem to have a bit of a following but are significantly less money than MaxTrax.
Likes: solid build, cheaper, fit great across the back of the trunk area (which is where they'll live until I settle on a roof rack).
Dislikes: don't really stack on each other at all, traction nubs are a little shallow and smooth.


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LndXrsr

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Re-spec'd my AHC yesterday with measurements, a fluid flush, and leveling/adjusting pressures. Everything went super smoothly thanks to tons of shared info on here and a blessed lack of rust. The ride is improved, maybe a bit because of the fluid flush, but I imagine mostly due getting pressures in spec. Thinking about a mild sensor lift (0.75-1"), but that will probably get my rear pressures a bit too high. Don't feel like adding spacers right now, because hopefully I'll be adding some weight with drawers, RTT, etc so would prefer to just swap to King Springs + sensor lift when the time comes.

Wrote up a detailed account of a start-to-finish procedure for anyone who needs to do this in the near future and doesn't want to read all 39 pages and growing of the main AHC thread on the forum:

The ABCs of AHC

Only use the real stuff:
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New vs old fluid...that's definitely not OJ:
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Down on the bumpstops. Lowrider LX:
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LndXrsr

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Changed my spark plugs today. Not interesting, I know. Until I screwed it up a bit. While I was torquing the plugs back in, I accidentally put my socket extension into one of holes without the plug socket on. The socket had gotten a bit stuck on the last one I had been tightening and I didn't realize it didn't follow along. The socket extension came down kind of hard on the spark plug top in cylinder #6. Didn't think much of it, tightened things all up and started the car. Had a terrible bunch of misfires and the OBD pointed to #6. I knew right away I screwed something up in there. Turns out my plug took some damage with that misstep and looked like this:

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Fortunately, it doesn't seem like any significant amount of the ceramic insulator made it into the cylinder. There were a couple small chunks resting on the lip down inside that I had to creatively vacuum out. Put an old plug in for now and running great. Off to get a new plug tomorrow. Went with the Denso Iridium Twin Tip IK20TT at the recommendation of many on here. We'll see how they run when I have 8 good ones instead of 7...
 

LndXrsr

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Truck is running great on 8 new Denso TT plugs. Much quieter and smoother. Got a coolant flush done as well.

Picked up some tow points from @TRAIL TAILOR and man are they SOLID. Had some old red brake caliper enamel paint that I did a mediocre job putting on and did the factory tow hooks as well. Easy to see where to put a shackle front or rear now. Front and rear each have a hook and a Trail-Tailor tow point. I kept the hooks primarily because in the front, the hook reaches below the factory bumper and won't automatically destroy it if used. Also kept the factory tie down points on the sides with the hooks (but didn't paint them) just in case the car ever needs to be secured on a flatbed.

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LndXrsr

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Got my Morimoto HID setup from The Retrofit Source installed. Went with 35w ballasts, 4500k bulbs, and a Canbus harness instead of the standard "HD Wiring Harness." It looks and works great. The Canbus wiring setup is really easy with a simple "loop" for each headlight, no harness to run all the way across the engine bay to the battery. The Canbus module acts as a capacitor to help fire the ballasts at startup (and a resistor to fix bulb out errors in some cars). The power draw is low enough when the HIDs are on to be supported without issue by the factory wiring.

Overview of the wiring setup. Canbus module at the top of the loop with blue ground wire. Power comes from connecting to the weird H1 plugs inside the headlight housing.

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Fitment of the H1 bulbs into the factory projector was super tight and it actually required cracking the ceramic bit covering the wire outside the arc tube which you can see if you look closely at the base of the bulb of this pic taken after initial install then later removal for adjustments. I think this is what a lot of people are referring to when they say alignment of the bulb in the housing and clamping it in place is really a finicky process. It certainly took a while to get the bulb "hotspot" as close to the cutoff as possible.
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Much improved results...
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LndXrsr

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...But not improved enough.

Baked my headlights and opened up the low beam housing to install the TSX-R projector lenses mentioned in this thread, though I know many have gone beyond to putting in full bi-xenon HID projectors like the Mini H1 or 3" D2S. I wasn't ready for that investment so just stuck with the lens swap for now. Went fairly smoothly and with solid results.

TSX-R lens (left) is much clearer and focused compared to OEM. It is slightly smaller, which required a dab of glue onto the the paper spacers to prevent movement.
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Best focus was with the OEM spacer (larger ring) and 3 TRS paper spacers (which are a bit smaller). Centered them all and glued together for stability. Put a dab of glue between them and the lens also. This prevents any movement of the lens since the OEM spacer fits the factory projector ring perfectly. Can remove the whole spacer + lens setup in the future if ever needed. Not sure why that would be, but keeping things as reversible as possible is important in my builds. In a move exactly opposite of that, I covered the "squirrel finder" holes with JB weld to prevent blinding others with the new HID output.
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OEM lens bottom, TSX-R lens top. So much sharper.
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Both TSX-R lenses but no paper spacers on the bottom.
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Final beam pattern (leveled them just after this pic). Still has a mild hotspot that I centered a close to the cutoff as possible but so, so much better than the stock halogens. I suspect someday I'll want to upgrade to a Bi-xenon fully retrofitted projector, but for now this is great. Plus, if I never have to remove those damned fiberglass trim pieces to get to the headlights again, it will be too soon (cracked them both on removal, now glued back together with some tiny fault lines as a reminder of this project).
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LndXrsr

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Just took a fantastic trip...4,007 miles of perfect comfort, exploration, and reliability from OH to CO and back. We did some backcountry camping in Black Canyon and Rocky Mountain National Parks, but also explored a bit in the LX. We hit the Continental Divide in couple places, camped on BLM land in multiple places, hit Alpine Loop/Animas between Silverton and Lake City and ultimately circled most of the state. Amazing what this thing can do on basic highway tires and completely stock. The truck exceeded all expectations and won my wife over. Even bigger win...convinced her that we need some more upgrades, starting with a set of drawers to make our travels more organized!


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AlpineAccess

Overlanding is an expensive word for car camping.
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Looks like a good time. Further proof that the mods aren't really all that necessary.
 

LndXrsr

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Looks like a good time. Further proof that the mods aren't really all that necessary.

For sure. We did all of the Animas Loop, Engineer, and Cinnamon Passes without issue. Traction was fine up and down the steepest bits. Tried Mineral Creek, and made it most of the way, but the going got so slow since we were going against the majority of traffic that we turned around. AHC in H, so I'm not sure an LC on a stock suspension would do so well there. All on the standard Michelin LTXs...
 

LndXrsr

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Very few things I hated more about the truck than the OEM green dash lighting. Reminds me of crappy 90s GM trucks. Went red for my buttons as I miss my Audis (it's also shown to produce less eye strain at night), and I also "de-greened" the OEM radio. I doesn't match the red, but way better than the factory color. I'll be dropping an aftermarket radio in at somepoint anyway. Dropped in red courtesy door lights in as well to not attract the bugs so bad when we go camping.

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