Cruiser prep for road trip TX to NM

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Aug 4, 2008
Hey guys, I am about to take a road trip in the cruiser from Houston to Red River and I am having a few issues. Rig is a 94 TLC with approx 170k miles. PO maintenance was great including front axle service about 30k miles ago.

My power steering is leaking a little and has been quietly groaning for about a month. That doesn't bother me too much, but then I started hearing a clunk noise, when turning at slow speeds (turning at higher speeds no clunk, parked and rocking while parked car no clunk). I think it is the TRE's as twisting them by hand causes similar clunk sound and the bushings look pretty shot. I am ordering new TRE's and Drag link ends from CDan, for before the trip. Other than the power steering moan and new clunk car runs great.

QUESTION 1: Do you think I need to rebuild or replace the power steering pump before the trip or just take some extra fluid? So far I just top it off a little, no leaks on the floor yet.

Here is my list of prep work:
New Toyota TRE's and drag link ends
Flush coolant and replace with Toyota Red and distilled H2O
Replace Diff Fluid with Mobil One Gear Oil
Oil Change: Toyota filter and Mobile One 0w40 Synthetic
Power Steering pump rebuild or replace?
Transmission fluid change (No tranny issues, just PM, but do I "HAVE TO" before the trip?)
New Hoses (don't look too bad, so may just pack new ones)
New Belts (don't look too bad, so may just pack new ones)
New Toyota Wiper Blades
Ordered Tsunami Compressor (probably can't hard mount before trip)
Ordered Hi-Lift
Install Fog Lights (Hella)
Order Full Sized Spare and do spare tire lift mod (running 295's and current spare is a 275)

Want to do, but probably can't get done before the trip:
Slee upgraded headlight harness
New headlight bulbs
Install CB (ordered the Cobra 18 WX ST II)
Firestik II 3 foot or 4 antenna foot on front ARB
Hard mount power inverter in rear PS panel (have a 1750)
Hard Mount Tsunami
Dual Battery Set-up (not going to happen before the trip)

QUESTION II: Anything you guys can think of that I am missing or that is a definite MUST before the trip?

QUESTION III: I will be there for a week June 7 - 13, and might be able to sneak away for a day if any local mudder wants an excuse to hit some trails. I am a newb as far as trail experience but would love someone to take me out if there are any good trails close to Red River, NM.

I know this isn't a groundbreaking idea thread, but I really appreciate the advice. I have done a lot of searching and saved several TRE and Power steering threads for when I do the work.

Thanks in advance,
Case (New2Cruiser)
Sounds like you've covered your bases, you should be fine.
Sounds like you have it pretty well covered.

You can install the new head lights without having to intall the Slee harness. Just install it later.

I would grease the driveline, ujoints and slip yoke.

Call it good with all you mentioned and have a great trip.

Check out the local club T4x4T - Toyota 4x4 of Texas

Thanks for the input. I greased everything last oil change, but it is always good to check!
I signed up for the local club forum. Been meaning to check out some local stuff, just been busy.
if your truck NEEDS all that before a road trip, you're trucks in bad shape. Check and top off all fluids, lube it up and fill it with gas man!!! Highway miles are the easiest on your vehicle, its the in town stop and go that kills ya.
I did a similar prep prior to my OR-UT trip last year. I passed on the PS pump rebuild and HP hose replacement. I did do a flush and fill on the PS fluid. I am now 1 year + into the leaky PS pump/HP lines (knock on wood). I need to do them but I am milking it till other stuff is done. I just figure I have a self lubricating frame system now.:hillbilly:

Basic rule of thumb, if you are not comfortable doing more difficult maint proceedures don't do them just before a big trip. I did alot on my truck because I was confident in my abilities to do it right the first time. The only problem I encountered during the trip was a faulty starter. I found a starter in UT, thanks to Cdan, and all was good.

Not knowing how far out you are on your ATF fluid it is tough to tell if I would do it before the trip. I run fully synthetic ATF and don't worry if I have to streach it out a little bit. If yours feels fine, and the miles aren't too high, you may be able to pass on it.

Hoses are something that I do stay way ahead on. A burst hose on a trip also means a coolant fill will be needed. Are you going to be able to find Toy Red in never never land? I would do hoses when I do the coolant flush. Don't forget to drain the block when you flush.
Thanks for the input Fly Rod, solid advice. I am going to do the PM with the fluids and hoses and go ahead and replace the TRE's. May or may not do the PS pump yet.

On a side note, I see you're in Ashland. My wife was born there. We went up last summer for a wedding and almost wanted to stay up there and not come home. Beautiful area.
Your "clunk" could be coming from your TRE clamps hitting the control arms. I would check the clearance to be sure.
I will double check the clearance tonight. One TRE bushing is torn completely on one side so I will need to replace them anyway. If they are hitting the control arms, how do you adjust the clearance? Thanks for the input.

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