Gretty's rennovation build - From Old Reliable to Capable Beauty

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Mar 12, 2017
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Redondo Beach, CA
After years of reading and asking questions here, I finally took the first steps in renovating my old girl. I used to call her Old Reliable but re-christened her "Gretty" (a combo of my name and my wife's name - that way, I she can't object to upgrades, right?). Originally purchased from the Toyota Dealership with 10K miles on her in the fall of 1995 when I went in to test drive the new 4Runner (I couldn't afford a new LC back then) and the salesman said, "I have a nice '95 LC in the used lot..." 4 hours of negotiations later, she was in my driveway for less than the price of the new 4Runner! One of the best snap decisions I've ever made.

Currently, I've got 141K original miles and she has been my ultra reliable surf/camp/transport weekend vehicle for the last 20 year. I don't plan to do any rock crawling so my build is to make Gretty the most functional/comfortable and beautiful weekend vehicle, while keeping her as reliable as she's always been. Offroad travels will be mostly to access remote camping spots.

I'm always in awe of how capable so many here are...I wish I had the time to learn how to do all the upgrades to Gretty that I want, but for now, I'm having others do the work for me.

The first thing I did was drop her off at Man-a-fre up in Henderson, Nevada to upgrade the suspension (OME 3" level stance kit) and install new seats. While she was in the shop, a guy brought in his project car with a bunch of parts and sold it back to Man-a-fre, including (5) nearly new Method rims and tires that they offered to me for $600. Sold! I like them but they are offset so the don't quite fill out the wheel wells. But I needed new tires regardless so these were a no brainer. I think moving to 33" tires will make the offset look better too.

They also installed new Scheel-Mann Vario F seats that I drop shipped there (ea seat was $1900. After adding heaters, armrest, planted brackets and installation, the tab was just under $5k). I ended up getting these seats because the Recaro Orthopeds were all special order and I didn't want to wait 16 weeks, plus the rep said they no longer do custom colors. The Scheel-Mann Vario F seats were in stock and, even though I've got tan leather interior, the two tone cloth/leatherette seats looked great! Man-a-fre got the planted brackets and wired up the seat heater switches.

One thing I never noticed was that the center console is offset closer the passenger seat so you can't use the passenger seat armrest option. I wish these seats were ventilated but the heaters will be nice when camping in colder areas.

I also ordered BXBuilt quad projectors but the wait time is loooong. Land Cruiser 80/100 Series Retrofit Headlights | BXBuilt - https://www.bxbuilt.com/product-page/land-cruiser-80-100-series-retrofit-headlights. (I paid just under $1200). 18-20 week wait for the plug n play version. I ordered mine at the beginning of June and was told at that time they were 16 weeks out. I was told these are DOT approved and they have cut offs so they don't blind oncoming traffic. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 and my Cruisers OEM lights seem anemic and dull...combined with my old eyes, the new lights will be a welcome sight. When then go in, I'll add pics to this thread.


My next steps, in no particular order:

1. Radiator - my mechanic says it's got some stress cracks but isn't leaking. Been reading up on TYC vs Denso. Probably do this within the year and will replace all hoses while I'm in there
2. Add auxiliary fan - hopefully LCP will have them in stock soon and can do this when the replacing the radiator
3. Custom paint - She's currently dark emerald green but I'm thinking about giving her a unique color (my wife and I both like the Porsche Biscay Blue Metallic). This will take about 1 month so thinking about after the summer is over. Anyone painted their roof white? Thinking it might help with heat. Starting to look into finding all the rubber moldings. Hopefully they are still available.
4. New Rack - Prinsu? Bowfin? Gobi? I'm not looking to add a RTT but want a low profile rack for my surf boards/kayak/gear.
5. New 33" tires and speedo calibrator. Will see how she drives to see if I want to re-gear.
6. Replace cracked grill with mesh grill? Anyone fab (or purchased) a wire mesh grill for your 80? - https://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/anyone-fab-or-purchased-a-wire-mesh-grill-for-your-80.1260403/

All for now!

IMG_6065.jpg


Vario F Passenger seat.jpg


Vario F Seats.jpg


Park 2-18-2021 Drivers After 2.JPG


Park 2-18-2021 Side Before 1.JPG
 
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Aloha Jen

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Welcome! My only 2cents is your comment about replacing the radiator. OEM radiator is still an option (I just got one for my ‘95). Certainly more expensive, but might be the best option long term if you plan to keep it. Anyways, enjoy your 80 upgrade project!!
 
Joined
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Redondo Beach, CA
Welcome! My only 2cents is your comment about replacing the radiator. OEM radiator is still an option (I just got one for my ‘95). Certainly more expensive, but might be the best option long term if you plan to keep it. Anyways, enjoy your 80 upgrade project!!

That's good to know! I'm planning to drive Gretty until I'm old and gray so an OEM radiator is definitely something I'll look into when I replace mine.
 

MrMikeyG

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Nice! I know there are more folks on this forum that have owned their trucks for a lot of years, but I feel like it's semi-rare. your 4th photo is with the lift but still stock (265?) tires right?
 
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Looks like you’re not new to mud but welcome to phase II of cruiser ownership and enjoyment and congrats on having a well sorted and known history of a low mileage 80.

Build plans sound amazing and you seem to be off to a great start with some fantastic additions. Looking forward to following along.

I second Jen’s OEM radiator suggestion. It’s lasted 20+ years and served you well so far so he’s to go wrong.


The biscay blue metallic looks fantastic. While several folks here have painted the roofs white and been pleased with the results maybe a light silver would be worth considering and have similar results for heat reflection?
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
46
Location
Redondo Beach, CA
Nice! I know there are more folks on this forum that have owned their trucks for a lot of years, but I feel like it's semi-rare. your 4th photo is with the lift but still stock (265?) tires right?
I’ve been lurking for a while but you’re right…all the build threads are of recently acquired 80s.

Yes, both before and after the suspension mods pics are with the stock 265s.

Here’s a recent pic with my new Method rims (but still with 265s). Gotta see if my local tire guy will give me something for the Coopers on it in exchange for some 285s

040D91D7-7CAD-4E18-9C95-012319632FF1.jpeg
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
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Redondo Beach, CA
X3 OEM rad. Nice truck! Awesome that you’ve had it so long!

The backstory on me getting Gretty: I used to drive a VW Corrado (supercharged 4 banger coupe) in the early 90's. I loved it...when it worked LOL! After putting in an alarm system and new stereo system, I had electrical problems what would drain the battery but I couldn't trace it because it was intermittent. I used to travel a lot for work and I would always park at the top level of the airport parking structure so I could roll start my car if the battery was dead which was more often than not. Not fun.

Every summer, I would visit my cousin in Montana every year to fly fish and he had always had a Landcruiser...Back then, he had a 60 series with 350K miles and a '94 80 series. Neither of them even had a rattle (my VW always had cabin rattles). After one late night when I had to roll start the Corrado, I decided (got older?) that reliability was more important than driving performance and I vowed to get a Landcruiser (or at minimum a high reliability Japanese car). I've loved mine ever since and barring something catastrophic, Gretty will be with me until I'm 6 feet under.

My cousin still regrets selling that 60! He currently owns a '97 and a '99 4Runner. All running without a hitch!
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Redondo Beach, CA
The biscay blue metallic looks fantastic. While several folks here have painted the roofs white and been pleased with the results maybe a light silver would be worth considering and have similar results for heat reflection?

Hmmm, never thought about a silver roof to go along with the Biscay Blue. But I wonder if it would look like I did that on purpose or if I ran out of Biscay Blue paint LOL!
 

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