First Cruiser - 06' in it for the long haul (1 Viewer)

Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
48
Location
San Antonio
Hello my new Mud family!

Some may have seen a couple photos I posted in the undercarriage rust thread a few weeks back while I was still a bit heated and having a temper tantrum. Figured I would finally sit down and make a long winded intro thread for the folks who like to waste their workday reading these much like myself, afterall... it's Friday! Also because I'll be bouncing around this forum a lot as I baseline some things and upgrade. This is going to be my daily driver and I plan to keep this truck until it literally falls apart, although I've been guilty of saying that in the past and then buying a new car, this time I'm serious damnit! I know that Black Garnets are a rare specimen in the 100 world and I can only hope that I tastefully improve this truck to win the respect of the team here.

Firstly, this has been a long time coming, I've wanted a land cruiser for years, for all the same reasons as everyone else here. I've owned 9 cars in the last 10 years before landing here. Historically, I have had a beat up daily driver that I buy for cheap and then maintain as long as I can, and then have a mediocre weekend fun car. But once I got a big boy job, I started buying new cars so I wouldn't have to deal with mechanical issues. The most recent being a Discovery Sport that I bought new, and a 2021 Tesla Model Y that I got in December and sold in February. I've made a career change and I make significantly less money than I did, but I get to work remotely and I'm much happier now, so there has been a lot of self-reckoning taking place and I wanted to get back to the old me. So I am down to 1 vehicle, and I paid cash for it so I no longer have a payment (that feels so damn good). I like to wrench on things and feel that achievement after knowing I took a s***ty broken part off and put a shiny new one on, even if nobody sees it. I also like to drink beer, and there's really no better time to do that than when you're working on cars, lets be honest. Sadly, I sold or gave away just about all my tools when I moved to Colorado a few years back, only to move to Texas and need them again to work on this truck. Major bummer, but I'll get what I need.

On to the truck -

It's a 2006 with 255k miles, and sadly for what I paid I could have got one with less miles and in better shape, but I didn't know that going into the purchase and lots of stuff was discovered after I got it home and really started digging. It spent most of it's life around the Kansas City area, then to TX for about a year, then up to Iowa for only a couple months. To be clear, there was a PPI done at a Toyota dealer, but they missed a lot of stuff. If nothing else, let that be a lesson to others to maybe avoid dealer inspections, I truly don't think their techs give a s*** when a random person wants a 15+ year old truck inspected for a purchase that they get nothing out of. I digress... It was/is a little crustier and little more scratched up in places than I was led to believe but I made the decision based on photos and conversation. I have moved past that because I know I can't sell it for what I paid and I'd like to end the money-wasting streak that I've had in relation to vehicles over the last several years. So, I accept that I'll need to a put a little time and money into remedying a few spots. Why didn't I walk away from the sale when I saw the obvious signs you ask? Power of the situation I suppose... I flew 1,000 miles to get it, the seller is a Mud member and seemed like he really didn't know about the problems and I had a deposit on it that I wouldn't get back if I bailed, not to mention I would have eaten another $500 for the flight home. Also, the truck has had a lot of maintenance and runs like it's new, everything electrical works and the interior is in better shape than 90% of 100s I see. While the thought of selling it, taking the hit, and just starting over with one that needed a little less initial love, by time that is all said and done, the money lost in the process would have easily fixed everything that this needs, and I got a lot of love to give.

My guess is that the original owner had kids and dogs judging by some of the exterior scratches in the paint. Bumpers have some cracks in the paint that you could never see in photos, so it's definitely been bumped into before in the mall parking lots, tagged some tree branches, sabotaged by other careless drivers' doors, etc. Most of this doesn't concern me, it shines pretty good with some wax so it could be way worse. PDR can probably pull out all of the dings minus the rear hatch, and there's no clearcoat fading at least. I'm going to take this truck into the wilderness, so I know it's getting scratched and dinged down the road anyway, I just like to be the one doing the dinging.

Cruiser 1.jpg

Cruiser 2.jpg

Cruiser 3.jpg




The Good:

  • Maintenance records dating all the way back to original purchase with only a couple gaps and some big ticket items done here and there including a brake master cylinder, air injection system overhaul (spendy!), and a couple others.
  • The windows are already tinted with what appears to be very high quality stuff, and they are quite dark, which saves me around $800 or more.
  • Everything works, and I mean everything.
  • 0 leaks, engine bay is extremely clean, no rusted parts and no built up gunk anywhere.
  • Engine is very smooth and healthy, I hear almost 0 valvetrain noise at idle, and power band is right on point when under hard acceleration.
  • Spark Plugs done within last 3000 miles (so I'm told, no receipt for these though).
  • New Tires within last 3000 miles.
  • New headlight lenses last year.
  • Heater T's look new, haven't taken them out yet though.
  • AHC shocks all 4 new within last 3000 miles, including a new AHC pump and fluid flush, entire system works flawlessly.
  • TB/WP done within last 3000 miles.
  • Driveline fluids done within last 3000 miles.
  • Wheel Bearings repacked within last 3000 miles.
  • Front Swaybar bushings and link bushings done within last 3000 miles.
The Bad (and the kind of bad)

  • Body has some discreet rust, which you will see in photos below, including the notorious quarter panel rust behind the rear bumper, (had no idea). It's not major but I have to tackle it soon (quoted by reputable local shop at $2,300 to fix it all in one shot).
  • Normal exterior wear for 15 year old truck, some chrome on the LC log starting to peel, etc.
  • Vertical window moulding cracked on both sides near B-pillar, this has to be common I'm sure with age
  • Drivers fog light is letting in moisture
  • Belt trim on the passenger rear window will not stay put, I have to keep pressing it back down a couple mm.
  • Some unfixable dings here and there, including a nice tailgate crease about 3" long.
  • Rear Crossmember is rusted - it failed the hammer test badly.
  • At some point, someone put an undercarriage coating on everything, and it is flaking off just about everywhere, looks like maybe POR15 but I can't tell. It's bulky and crusty. There's a wire wheel and a 24-pack in my near future.
  • As a result of said coating, some bolts are going to be a nightmare, I have PB Blaster on the ready and have been spraying just about every bolt that I know I will take off for the last few weeks
  • PPI inspection missed some obvious items like completely shot rear swaybar links, I can wiggle them around by hand.
  • Upper and Lower rear control arm bushings are toast.
  • While not bad yet, the seats are pretty dry, they're on the verge of going from 7/10 to a 3/10. I have been conditioning regularly until I can pony up to get new covers. I think another couple years left in those at most depending how much I drive.
  • Steering rack probably needs a refresh in the next 1-2 years. Seems ok now but it's original.
  • Upper shock bushings in the rear are shot, I have no idea why they didn't replace these with the shocks just a few months ago. I have read the DIYs and I see that they are a PITA without damaging the shock.
  • Someone either tagged a tree branch or it had a botched windshield install, but the driver A-pillar has some paint damage that was touched up, and the moulding is scraped to all hell. The seal is still fine from visual inspection, I'm afraid to take that off yet, at least until I fix other things. I have some wind noise above 40mph.
Couple pictures of the rust, more to follow:

Rust 1.jpg

Rust 2.jpg



Things I have done:

  • Replaced rusted out front skidplate with Asfir Aluminum. I have to elongate the holes on the rear to fit better still, and drill out a couple broken skid plate bolts, but it's a major improvement. The mid plate and rear plate will be next.
  • Greased the driveshaft and eliminated the clunk (thanks Mud for the tip on that one).
  • Metaltech upper and lower control arms are on a UPS truck as we speak.
  • Whiteline 24mm heavy duty rear swaybar is arriving today with new bushings as well
  • SuperPro rear swaybar links and bushings are here and ready to go in with swaybar
Maintenance items I am doing within the year
  • Exterior trim and moulding overhaul, door seals, etc
  • Replace fog light lenses
  • Ordering (if I can source them) upgraded springs for the rear and front to support future weight add-ons, also for towing
  • New OEM lower control arms
  • New upper control arms (unsure on brand yet)
  • Ball joints
  • Steering rack bushings
  • Upgrade Panhard bar

Wanted upgrades in the future:

Torsion bars (still learning about these)
Roof rack, still undecided on which style
Awning
Rock Sliders
Rear Bumper with spare tire swingout and jerry can swingout, also undecided on which.
Front Bumper and winch (no bull bar), still undecided on which.
Maybe some new wheels, trying to locally source some Rock Warriors


Thank you all for reading and being a bountiful source of information, I look forward to learning and don't be afraid to call me out if I'm an idiot about something.
 
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Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
688
Location
Northwest Montana
Interesting, the rust really doesn't seem bad in most areas but then in other random spots its rotting through. all and all not so bad, keep up with maintenance and post a pic when you get it to 500k miles.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
48
Location
San Antonio
Interesting, the rust really doesn't seem bad in most areas but then in other random spots its rotting through. all and all not so bad, keep up with maintenance and post a pic when you get it to 500k miles.
Yes, that was my initial thought as well. My assumption is that the original owner, who had the vehicle up to 240k miles or so, was meticulous about taking it through the automatic car wash, but probably never bothered to get some of the nitty gritty areas or do any sort of regular deep cleaning of the problematic areas. I can't see any signs of wheeling, so my guess is was just used as a family vehicle and wasn't ever an enthusiast truck. Overall, it's manageable. It takes money away from other things I wanted to do right away, but I've got years with this truck hopefully.
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
138
Location
New Mexico
Knew I had seen this one in the classified section. Great color and bummer about the rust. Mine has a little rust but I knew that going in, and didn’t have to fly across several states to look at it. Don’t kick yourself too hard over it if it’s still solid mechanically. 🍻

edit: went back and found the original listing and the pictures and description have been mysteriously scrubbed from the listing... 🤔. Seems someone may be trying to cover up something.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
48
Location
San Antonio
Knew I had seen this one in the classified section. Great color and bummer about the rust. Mine has a little rust but I knew that going in, and didn’t have to fly across several states to look at it. Don’t kick yourself too hard over it if it’s still solid mechanically. 🍻

edit: went back and found the original listing and the pictures and description have been mysteriously scrubbed from the listing... 🤔. Seems someone may be trying to cover up somethin up.
Unfortunately I think at some point between the last two owners there was some dishonesty that I ultimately paid the price for. I did call the owner prior to the one I bought it from to get some details and he told me the price he sold it for, nobody got rich on the truck given the amount of maintenance done, especially as of recent. I feel better about now than I did before.

Either way, it’s solid and as others have told me, it’s luck of the draw sometimes with trucks this old. Had I passed this up, I may have wound up with a perfect chassis and body but needed $5000+ in maintenance off the bat.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
48
Location
San Antonio
Control arms showed up today, they’re impressive. They came with 4 grease zerks and there’s threaded holes on the non-Johnny Joint ends, I assume that’s where they go but there’s no paperwork with them and they are polyurethane bushings so I’m not sure. Anyone else have these on their truck?
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Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
22
Location
Queens NY
I think yours doesn't look that bad at all. I also had a rant/post about the rust on mine. Its a 100 times worse. Now I'm never gonna trust anyone but my own eyes for inspections. I'm now just waiting for my appointment with a shop that will help clean out the undercarriage rust and do some (hopefully minimal) rust repairs. Probably about 2k+ to do all that. Plus, some body rust like your to fix on my own. Just keep your spirits up and keep going!
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
48
Location
San Antonio
The more I poke around on here and see other folks' rust situations, mine doesn't seem terrible, a weekend with pack of wire wheels and and some POR15 or Eastwood will take care of the undercarriage. I was quoted $2,300 to fix everything on the body, so my plan is to break it out into smaller projects over the course of 6-12 months and get a bit fixed here and there until it's all done, that way I'm only spending $300-$400 at a time, and since I'm living in South Texas currently I shouldn't have any issues with it spreading or growing. I do need to get it done before I move back to Colorado, otherwise it's going to accelerate and I will feel defeated.

Going to tackle the broken bolts this weekend I think, need to go to Lowes or Harbor Freight and get an extractor kit and some left hand drill bits.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
22
Location
Queens NY
The more I poke around on here and see other folks' rust situations, mine doesn't seem terrible, a weekend with pack of wire wheels and and some POR15 or Eastwood will take care of the undercarriage. I was quoted $2,300 to fix everything on the body, so my plan is to break it out into smaller projects over the course of 6-12 months and get a bit fixed here and there until it's all done, that way I'm only spending $300-$400 at a time, and since I'm living in South Texas currently I shouldn't have any issues with it spreading or growing. I do need to get it done before I move back to Colorado, otherwise it's going to accelerate and I will feel defeated.

Going to tackle the broken bolts this weekend I think, need to go to Lowes or Harbor Freight and get an extractor kit and some left hand drill bits.
That's the best way to go about it! I also have a bunch of broken bolts. Do you buy them from Toyota to replace or can you get them from hardware stores?
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
48
Location
San Antonio
That's the best way to go about it! I also have a bunch of broken bolts. Do you buy them from Toyota to replace or can you get them from hardware stores?
For the skid plate bolts that are broken, I'm just going to bring one of the good ones in and use the thread pitch block at Lowes to match it up with some nice stainless bolts. I broke one of the swaybar bushing bracket bolts as you can see in the photos, those I just ordered from Toyota, they were like $1.50 each or something, so I got 4 new ones. I'm sure you can order the skid plate bolts from Toyota too. Fastenal would probably have them too, if there's one near you.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
22
Location
Queens NY
For the skid plate bolts that are broken, I'm just going to bring one of the good ones in and use the thread pitch block at Lowes to match it up with some nice stainless bolts. I broke one of the swaybar bushing bracket bolts as you can see in the photos, those I just ordered from Toyota, they were like $1.50 each or something, so I got 4 new ones. I'm sure you can order the skid plate bolts from Toyota too. Fastenal would probably have them too, if there's one near you.
Mine are from the inside of the vehicle. The bolts that hold down the plates that help hold the seats to the body. Just cant seem to find the part numbers for those. I'll have to give Toyota a call and find out.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
48
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San Antonio
Small victory today, seriously beside myself because I had low expectations. I was able to extract the broken/rusted bolt from the swaybar bracket mount on the axle. It was STUUUUCK, and at a s***ty angle for drilling.

Tools I used (doubled up on the cobalt bits and the ex-3 extractor from Irwin, figured I’d break one but didn’t):
DC8D2A5F-28C9-4526-94F5-6CAA2D90E391.jpeg


Right about here I was starting to lose patience.Had a pretty deep hole and I wasn’t even sure if it was centered. Extractor wasn’t grabbing at all and I was 30 minutes. So, getting anxious I upped the speed a little.
40773A85-7781-43D7-B04A-9CDD36EB2A39.jpeg



Eventually ran out of real estate on the back of the bolt, so I hit it with the torch again and then tapped the extractor in with a hammer and by golly it started moving!
8F41AB0A-7019-400E-A98E-A72CEAFCD59F.jpeg


I wire-wheeled the mounting surface and then sprayed with a couple coats of engine enamel. Swaybar will go in tomorrow when it’s all dry.
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D8C8ADFB-D225-415D-B75D-7526E95DA0EE.jpeg


After this project I’ll tackle some scraping and rust mitigation, then on to control arms next week.
 
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