Events/Trails Cross Country Road Trip in my 1987 BJ75 Troopy

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Wilmington, North Carolina
About a month and a half ago I graduated high school and left to travel across the country with 5 other friends in my 1987 BJ75 Troopcarrier that I had just slapped a $50 junkyard turbo onto 3 weeks prior... No power steering, no air conditioning, no lumbar support, and no horsepower. I'll just be posting on this thread in chronological order of what exactly happened on this trip, as well as all the beautiful images I got of the Troopy in so many different environments. I wish I would've been able to do this while on the trip but we rarely had connection to be able to post anything.

The Beginning:
We left on June 4th, it was pouring rain. A lot of stuff was soaked and just kinda thrown into the Troopy and then we were off.
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From there we bombed it to the edge of NC where we were gonna set up camp in Ashville, all was going to plan. Well, all was going to plan until we started to climb yet another hill, as usual, you start it in 5th gear, then gotta go to 4th, 3rd, 2nd... usually never 1st, thank god. Anyways I was just about to downshift into 2nd when I heard a *plunk* and then all of the sudden the troopy started FLYING up this hill. It pushed me back into my seat and the passengers and cargo all flew to the rear of the troopy on those slick jump seats. My EGT's skyrocketed to 1300f and I see my boost go up to 30psi (yes the wastegate is wired shut). Turns out one of the venturi lines that control fuel had just been so old that it popped right open, limped it to a local Autozone and shoved some fuel line on there and it's been holding ever since.
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From there we set up camp, enjoyed the night, and headed to Nashville, TN the next morning to some random guy's place off of Instagram who offered us a place to sleep.
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I'll keep posting more and more to this thread as the days go on whenever I have free time, just glad to finally get it started after a month.
 
Joined
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Armstrong, Canada
Good way to learn your way around a Land Cruiser! Good on you guys, you'll make it.... just remember to take your tools, bailing wire and gorilla tape and you're good to go! :steer:

Keep us posted on how the trip goes and let us know if you have any questions! :cheers:
 

John McVicker

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Sounds like the beginning of a good story. I will be looking for your posts.

And good on you and your friends for getting out there and ‘making it happen’.👍
 
Joined
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Leverkusen , Germany
Thank you for delivering the full story.
I bear with you when you have been on the road. The first pics you posted en route were just great 👍 .
Can't wait to see and read it all.
Where is my popcorn ;)
 
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Day 2
It turned out the random guy off Instagram turned out to be a pretty cool guy. He worked for some major recording studio as an audio engineer. I'll put in exactly what I said the day we had met him in my Red Rocket Troopy Thread.

"Met up with this guy Nick from Instagram to stay at his place in Nashville, he’s an audio engineer and took us to his studio. Very very very nice and cool place, middle of the woods 20 min out of Nashville. Taylor Swift, Darius Rucker, Asking Alexandria, Dolly Parton, and many others have recorded albums there. We got to meet the guy who wrote Mr. Brightside who also happens to be Dolly Parton’s manager. Also said he met Dave Grohl the other day there. Just a really cool place. Also, he owns a 100 series went back and played music with him and his roommates."

It was a pretty good first 2 days, a lot of cool stuff had happened already and we still had 26 days of our journey left. Onward to Missouri

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Some pics of the recording studio
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Joined
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Wilmington, North Carolina
Day 3 & 4
Made it to my friend's uncle's farm in Missouri, very pretty property. We had only been without a roof over our heads for 2 nights so far, it was pretty luxurious compared to how I thought it would've been.

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Me and Gilbert the donkey
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Filled up with a fresh tank of biodiesel and headed straight to Denver, Colorado. We wanted to get Kansas over with as soon as possible.
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This section of the US is terribly boring, at least to drive through. Really not much to write about. I remember taking this photo and sending it to my family saying "this will be my view for the next 2 days" and it was...
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Kansas did have its pretty moments like this Home On The Range during sunset or this dirt road we decided just to go down. However we just really wanted to get to Denver and meet up with Jamie, the previous owner of the Troopy, who decided to sell it just cause it couldn't be the daily he wanted up on those big mountain passes up at altitude. Which we would soon learn as well, even with the mega cheap turbo setup it struggled, especially with water temps.

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Day 5 & 6
Made it to Denver and met up with Jamie and his family, their house would serve as our home base for the next couple of days while we explored areas around Denver. The climb up to Denver was when water temperature first started becoming a problem it was 90 degrees and 5000ft up, the combination of the both wasn't good. Pretty much every hill we had to climb we would end up pulling over and letting the temps idle back down from 215f to 200f or so. Was not looking forward to this for the majority of the trip to come...😑

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The next day we figured we would go ahead and see if the troopy could climb the highest road in North America, Mt. Evans... some 14,500ft. I had already turned the fuel back some, and I did a bit more at the very base of Evans. The troopy was slow, very slow, like wouldn't go over 25mph. Thankfully the road up is a 2 lane road with not many (if any) guard rails so people don't really wanna go all that fast. The higher we got, the higher the troopy would idle, it would also take 5-7 seconds to shut off once I turned the key off, like it was slowly dying off instead of an instant cutoff how it does at sea level. Thankfully once we crested 8,000ft the air temperature started to drop and so did the water temps, once we had reached the top it was running pretty cool even though the EGT's were pretty high. Funny to see the dynamic change depending on altitude and outside air temp. Anyways onto the pics

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With all this snow it's kinda crazy to think that we would be in the scorching hot desert in 3 days.
 

Gun Runner 5

First and Final Warning!!
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Love the photos, keep ‘em coming. If I had done a similar trip with my friends we would still be at the first Cracker Barrel we passed. 😁
 
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Really awesome! That's heck of an adventure straight out of high school! Enjoy every second of it because as life gets more complicated trips like this get more and more difficult to pull off.
 
Joined
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Really awesome! That's heck of an adventure straight out of high school! Enjoy every second of it because as life gets more complicated trips like this get more and more difficult to pull off.

Hello,

x2.

Great adventure, perfect timing.

Now you have a few stories to tell.





Juan
 
Joined
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Texas
Hallo!! I am from Shallotte,NC and I think i have seen you driving near shallotte driving 17 south several days ago....I do have 40 series...Enjoy your trip I did several out west!!Good luck!
 

SNLC

OCD
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We were all young once. 😂🤷🏼‍♂️🥰

I bought an FJ60 in 1990, it was an 87 with 40,000 miles on it. I was 17yrs old. I learned to off-road in it, I drove it from LA to Seattle and back, I lived in Oregon on the I-5 corridor. I took like five friends I went to high school with to SF when they moved there, we were like 19. I learned to off-road in it and got stuck doing dumbass things. I got laid in the backseat on “make-out hill”. I went camping a ton in it. It set me on my life path. 🥰

Cheers on ya for carrying the torch for us old schoolers! You have literally made memories well worth remembering your entire life. 😆😉🥰

Cheers
 
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Wilmington, North Carolina
Sorry about the month-long hiatus from this thread, I've been moving into and getting adjusted to college. Got some free time now so I'll post the next bit, at this rate this thread may become a year-long thing haha.

Here's some more photos from Mt. Evans and the rest of that day. We were lucky enough to meet up with @gilmorneau and see what is probably the cleanest/most OEM troopy in the US, funny enough @gilmorneau is actually the original previous owner of my Troopy and is the one who got it into the US.

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Day 7-8
Spent the day after Mt. Evans just exploring around the Denver/Boulder area. Was supposed to meet up with @FJBen but it sadly just didn't work out :confused:. Got a nice sunset though.
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Also found a fellow cruiser
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The next morning we headed from out from Denver to Twin Lakes, CO. A small town with a population of 23, absolutely love that place. (the next shelter over our heads & shower would be in Palm Springs, CA after the worst day of my life in the Mojave) Just so happened between us and Twin Lakes was Salida... so of course, we had to stop at Classic Cruisers. Their inventory was just as impressive as it was 2 years prior when I went.
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Twin Lakes was as beautiful as ever.
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Day 9
We woke up and went for a swim in the lakes. After that, we instantly headed for the continental divide, some 12,00ish feet I believe, which meant there was a lot of 2nd gear uphill troopy action going on. Water temps would slowly creep up and we pull over... wait a minute or 2... rinse & repeat that for what feels like forever.

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One of our prettier pull overs when the temps started getting a bit high.
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Packing snow in front of the radiator and in the Rad-Cooler 9000® to help us on our uphill journey. In case you forgot what the Rad-Cooler 9000® was, we re-routed the windshield washer squirter line to the front of the radiator, actually did work.
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Went cliff jumping in Devil's Punchbowl right outside of Aspen, 30-40ish feet.
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Apparently, I didn't document much else of the day, but all that happened was that we drove for hours... nothing new. Just kept driving and driving, ended up 3 minutes from the border of Utah at 2 am. Took some really desolate sand road off the highway for like 20 minutes and just slept where we parked. Our view in the morning would be pretty mindblowing.
 
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Day 10: The Morning
We woke up to the sound of a propeller-driven plane in the morning. Now I have seen the desert before in person, been wheeling in Moab, etc etc. But no one else on the trip had ever been in the desert before. When the sun set the day prior, Colorado was turning slightly into a desert landscape but nothing crazy, and as we drove throughout the night we knew we were in the desert but couldn't really see anything. We woke up to a bunch of planes flying through this canyon we slept on the edge of without knowing, needless to say, they were mindblown. All the crazy rock structures were just so cool to them.


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We had driven past stuff like this the night before on this road, everyone was just amazed by it all. And the fact we didn't see any of it on the way in.
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Flexing the troopy out, pretty impressive for having 8 leaves in the front
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More examples of stuff we had driven past the night before without seeing. "I thought this was just stuff you saw in cowboy movies"
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We were headed straight to Moab. Time to see how the troopy did in the offroad capital of the world. No diff locks, not much flex, not an ideal break-over angle, and no power steering... Kinda crazy how you can be in a snowy forest one day and in a searing hot desert the next day.

Took an awesome road through a massive canyon to Moab
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Day 10: Arches
As we left the canyon and headed into Moab we fueled up, got ALOT of water, and headed off to Arches. Today wouldn't be the offroad day, well not much offroad at least. If anything were to break we at least wanted to see most of the beauties the park had to offer beforehand. Oh also, water temp. Really wasn't happy it was 100f and 4000ft up in altitude. Troopy wasn't happy luckily Arches has many places to stop and to pull off the road on. In fact, the next time I wouldn't be stressing about my water temps would be when we hit the Pacific Coast. Always monitoring and stressing over it.

The last bit of the beautiful canyon road into Moab
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Can you spot the cowboy? Aka Simon. The youngest on the trip at just 17, yet he is the lead mechanic at a local shop in Wilmington. If it's broken, Simon can fix it. The only problem with the troopy is that if it breaks, a lot of the time you have to wait for parts from Dubai...
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The Double Arch
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You know how I was saying they were all amazed by the desert? Well, Arches just about blew their minds. I still remember how amazed I was when I saw it for the first time. However, with all of this beauty, it was just brutal. Outside walking around was hot, but in the troopy, with no A/C it was even worse. Being packed in there with a bunch of hot sweaty guys to go see the next natural beauty kinda sucked. Little did we know, it would get much much worse.

We were in Moab right when there was a massive fire there this summer. It was constantly lurking in the distance... kinda surreal to see, this was on the way back to our camp
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Camp for the night
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Also man the washboards there are HORRIBLE, doesn't matter how fast or slow you go. Even on 20 PSI, they were brutal... as shown below (you can see the massive plume of smoke from the fire when I pan the camera up)


 
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Day 11: Offroading
We woke up early to make the water temps not as bad on the way to whatever trails we were gonna do. Got some food at the Moab Diner and set off. Well if something was going to break, it had a much higher chance of happening now. And due to us being 1,700 miles away from home in a desert wasteland, I really didn't want anything to break. Also don't think my wallet could handle a blow like that. We can't take one of the most legendary offroad vehicles to the offroad capital and NOT take it offroad, so we went for it. Apologies for not getting many photos during this time but I was the only one driving the troopy. Most I got was just one gravel roads and other people's iPhones so enjoy!





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