First LC Build: '97 40th Anniversary Mall Crawler (1 Viewer)

Joined
Apr 16, 2020
Messages
50
Location
Charlotte, NC
Howdy y'all!

I needed a "reasonable daily driver" that I could quickly ruin with modifications, and always liked FJ80's. Finally settled on a non-locked (I'm not an offroad hero) 40th Anniversary in Sage. The truck has some cosmetic issues on the drivers side and hood (plenty of paint fade from life in New Mexico), but I wanted something a little scruffy as it'll have to give up a garage spot occasionally. Completely stock as purchased aside from 285/75 KO2's.

Gratuitous "Other Car" Pic:

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This will really be a diary for me more than anything else, but I figured I'd solicit feedback on some stuff too! Mud has been incredibly easy to use, you guys have a great community here. On with it!

As purchased :

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In its natural habitat at H&H here in Charlotte for a few PITA gasket changes I didn't want to deal with.

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A full interior / exterior detail later, it turns out PO had a dog!

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Patched up a the wiring and replaced the TPS, resolving the only OBDII code on the truck.

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Joined
Apr 16, 2020
Messages
50
Location
Charlotte, NC
All Better:

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Shedding a little weight:

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Always liked the pre-95 grille better, and got the new front bumper mocked up!

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Mud Users guided me to a sunroof fix using some thin speaker wire tucked within the sunroof gasket to get the seal to engage better with the roof, and voila! Currently outside weathering a week of rain here in NC with no leaks now. PO had lots of gunk up there, not fun to clean out.

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Cleaned up all the fusible link wiring, threw on some new battery terminals and used the Slee Aux harness to get the KC's wired up.

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Joined
Apr 16, 2020
Messages
50
Location
Charlotte, NC
Bumper back from powdercoat, and light / switch install wrapped up!

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New Shoes!

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Fresh flare gaskets all the way 'round.

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It's been a fun few weeks! Looking forward to a few more projects in the future:

  • Lock Actuator replacement
  • Leaky PS pump rebuild
  • Custom Inclinometer Build
  • ~2.5" Lift
  • Sorting out the paint on the driver's side
  • Interior odds & ends, seat netting, etc
If anyone has a line on driver's side sage doors or a hood east of the Mississippi, let me know! Looking forward to chatting with y'all.
 

Ncrunner4x4

SILVER Star
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
187
Location
Charlotte, NC
ONSC would be my first choice for vehicle specific club, other off-road clubs out there with all type of vehicles. Lots of local ONSC members in the Charlotte area. Been over to there page yet under clubhouse?

If your on Facebook several overland and Toyota based groups around here.
 

jfz80

Cruisin’
Joined
Jun 5, 2005
Messages
12,349
Location
Madison NC
Another Carolina welcome. Truck looks great and that bumper Turned out really nice. Hope to see you out on the trail soon. Definitely pop over to ONSC and say hello. Pretty solid group With lots of members in your area.
 
Joined
Apr 16, 2020
Messages
50
Location
Charlotte, NC
Thanks y'all!

Still whittling down the to-do list. Got the saggy nets knocked out. Would recommend clipping the nub halfway down and prying the washer off to anyone attempting the fix as documented on mud. The washer was pretty easy to get under with a set of picks and went back on using a socket and hammer afterwards.

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Joined
Apr 16, 2020
Messages
50
Location
Charlotte, NC
Spent a bit more time in the truck this weekend, and felt the need to organize the center console bucket. Voila. Door opener no longer rattles around in the upper compartment, and the phone tilt is great for map viewing.

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Joined
Apr 16, 2020
Messages
50
Location
Charlotte, NC
Nice truck! Now, please remove the little black rubber piece on the rear doors left over from your factory running boards! Such a pet peeve of mine! o_O

I kinda like em! They're like little front-flaps.

Got started on the sleeping platform / drawer build this weekend:
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Joined
Apr 16, 2020
Messages
50
Location
Charlotte, NC
And we made it out to Uwharrie for a fun afternoon. Truck did pretty well for stock suspension, didn't really feel comfortable beyond the moderate trails.

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Joined
Apr 16, 2020
Messages
50
Location
Charlotte, NC
Lessons learned from the storage build:
  • Trust your router! I should have made the top a single piece and plunge cut the pockets for the latches to engage with out of that piece. Instead I had to run screws through the front face of the bar I used as the latch strike plate and spoiled the look.
  • Use Torx head hardware! Phillips was a PITA and I just didn't know any better.
  • Your goals when constructing the carcass and drawers are dimensional correctness and having each piece be square to the others. Use a framing square over a speed square to get a better picture of things.
  • Home bedliner just isn't going to be consistent. Use paint, deck restore / coating or have it done professionally. I'll probably be refinishing mine in brown later on.
  • I used a contouring guide / tool and it was really helpful for the wings! 10 bucks at Lowes.
On to the pics:

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Joined
Apr 16, 2020
Messages
50
Location
Charlotte, NC
A few updates! Two full weekends sleeping in the truck so far, really enjoying it. Ended up getting some lighter bedding and an interior roof canopy for convenience. Upholstered the box with marine canvas (Ottertex), didn't like how the bedliner turned out. Finished up a camping ventilation setup and rear power cubby install. 4G (had to buy the crimper, but worth it) to the blue sea 6 circuit fuse box, with hardwired connections for the fans and an inverter along with external USB / 12V. Fans draw around .15 A each, running one bank for the evening dropped me from 12.6V to 12.51V.

Next up is a cargo net and tailgate storage fabrication.

Power Setup:
  • 4G Pos via the PS Firewall Grommet and PS door sill wiring channel.
  • Grounds at front body mount and rear frame rail (look for threaded holes, they're up there)
  • Amazon ANF fuseblock in the bay, mounted on top of factory relay box near factory battery location
  • Amazon Battery Isolator Switch for On/Off
  • Blue Sea 6 Circuit Fuse Block
  • Blue Sea Dual USB
  • Blue Sea 12V Socket

Upholstery:
  • Ottertex Waterproof Canvas (PVC Backed)
  • Requires CA glue to bond, couldn't get traditional spray adhesives to work.

Fans:
  • 120mm Computer Case Fans
  • 3D printed brackets / covers
  • Mesh screens internally, silicone coated from the outside for weatherproofing
  • Uses standard 4pin Molex connectors to draw power from rear fuseblock



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Joined
Apr 25, 2016
Messages
169
Location
Austin, TX
Those drawers are awesome, details on the materials? I also love your sleeping area fan solution, definitely will be copying that.
 

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