If I was to start all over again, I would... (1 Viewer)

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Sleeping inside is pretty sweet but I'm getting some mounts fabbed up to hang my hammocks from the truck just to keep off the ground and not deal with the hard, uneven ground and critters. Installed a RTT for my buddy and it's a beast! I didn't like it the first time I put the cover on the dang thing and we never even opened it or went inside. Putting on the cover was more work than setting up a tent or an entire campsite for that matter. I can't imagine wrestling with it when it's covered with a thick layer of trail dust. :confused:
 
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What i did different second time around; waited for the "right" one for the moment.
Buy the best you can afford, just keep looking they are out there. We bought ours with slee lift, bigger tires, upgraded turbo and exhaust, trans is done, PITA hose, it's a diesel and it was what I wanted to afford in a new toy. A Fantastic base vehicle. Pay more for a better deal.

First; Baseline. Regarding drive train, hoses belts, batteries, fluids, etc. fix or replace everything, bring it all back to the way it should be when manufactured, then get Sliders. Now I have reliability and have no fear of taking family for 1,000 mile (or more) journey, :flipoff2: ANYWHERE!!!

At this point I am going to stay as is for a while, get a feel for the needs vs wants.

Needs; FULL recovery kit; working winch; on board air; reliable coms. Already done, great stereo. Well, maybe a sub...
Wants; More time on MUD, power to back, breathers, extended fuel capacity, armor, this, that, etc.etc.etc, $, $$, $$$, $$$$ :popcorn::beer:
 

TexasJack

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I would have built my plywood toolbox slightly deeper to accomodate more tools (it should be as high as the back seats when they are folded over - mine is about 2 inches shorter). As it is, I stuff it to the gills. I will hold everything I "need" but there are some additional items I'd like to carry just to have them for "what if" scenarios. I will likely rebuild it sometime soon.

I would have put a nylon recovery rope on my 12K Warn Winch right off the bat. The metal one's kink up over time.

I would have lined the body with a sound deadener (my next project) - it is difficult to make a call when you are on the road with mud tires - too noisy.
 

FloridaFJ80

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I have been reading this thread since it started, and I have been thinking what I would do if I was to do it all over again. And here is my insight. When I sold my LX450 to a family member after 1 month taking off all of my accessories and putting it back to stock form. I decided then and there that driving a stock 80 was really what I wanted. So when I delivered the LX to the new owner, I told them that if they were ever going to sell it that I would get first option to buy it back.

I am really happy with the way my current rig is built for overlanding and camping. She is exactly how I would want my rig to be, but for DD, I want a stock 80, so when I buy back the LX I will put a mild lift, and 33's and call it a day. Might even put in a 5 speed but other than that she stays stock or as close as stock to possible.

So the build its really based on how you plan to use your rig.
 
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I decided then and there that driving a stock 80 was really what I wanted.
...so when I buy back the LX I will put a mild lift, and 33's and call it a day. Might even put in a 5 speed but other than that she stays stock or as close as stock to possible.

^^^ Hasn't even got the truck back yet and is already planning the mods. ;)

I agree with the sentiment that a stock 80 will serve the needs for 99% of us...but fat chance any of us will leave well enough alone! :hillbilly:
 
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If I was to do it all over again, I would:

1) Pay a premium for a bone stock, locked, low miles (< 100K) rig.
2) Purchase Recaros instead of recovering and refoaming the stock leather seats.
3) Purchase mods in the following order: a) Sliders; b) Drawers; c) Fridge; d) Chassis armor; e) Front bumper/winch; f) Rear bumper.

And to be super honest, I might have just bought a JKR Unlimited. You may flog me at will for saying that.
 

retrofive

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This thread could almost double as a things I've learned thread.

1) It is always easier to fix stuff in YOUR driveway or friends than out on the trail. Take that no matter how little it may be time to work on your truck at home, so the trail is the fun part.
2) Never too soon to stock parts. Plan ahead. Purchase whatever parts and needs ahead of time for a project(s). Always nice to have everything you need on hand when the time does come to tackle whichever project you are on. (refer back to #1)
2a) Inventory; mistakes happen. Check your parts list and do the research ahead time before tearing stuff apart and you realize you needed that extra washer or shim. Sometimes this is on the vendor side, sometimes this is on the manf. side and sometimes this is on our side of missing or wrong parts.

Sounds pretty easy huh? :lol: :doh: BTDT
 
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Agreed, mine has gone everywhere I asked it to, it's only complaint is slowly wearing down the receiver hitch and that's with 18 year old LX springs. Now that I've lifted it a few inches to give my hitch a break, I've broken the bank instead! :eek:

If I had to do it all over again, I'd immediately get my hands on a Factory Service Manual and a 200lb capable Torque Wrench (rear Lateral Rod Bolt!). Toyota has some specificity that I've not seen in the Chevy/Dodge world that should be paid close attention to. Next, I'd grease anything that rotates (bearings, slip joints, u-joints, etc.). Then replace anything suspension related with new OEM rubber and gain a deeper understanding of pinion/driveshaft angles and how a lift will/could impact them before doing anything else to the truck. Next I would put aside the dreams of big tires and suspension lifts and completely finish the remaining Baseline and Preventative Maintenance work on the truck. There's lots of good posts on what that involves. Finally, I would determine what I plan on doing with the truck in the long run and proceed slowly with a full budget, lots of time and an extra pile of cash for the "While You're In There" things that arise during the various projects. Have a good idea of where you want to end up and keep an eye on the horizon so you don't buy parts or replace parts you will ultimately replace again because your long term goals ran you off course.

For instance, I replaced my OEM bushings everywhere on the truck immediately after my lift before I understood that I'd need to ultimately replace my lower control arms to reset the axle pinion angle. Now I have 2 OEM LCAs with new OEM bushings ($140) that are sitting on the garage floor.

Don't be afraid to ask questions or look foolish. Your safety, the safety of your family, friend's and all the people around you depend on how well you approach the truck and the problem at hand. Many people with give you a rash of garbage and it sucks to be bashed about by the senior guys who really know this stuff but they sometimes forget that you are learning and they have forgotten more than you will ever know about these trucks. Everyone is very helpful and willing to lend a word of advice and in the end, it's worth it and really pays it forward for the next guy who reads your post and is reluctant to take the beating. :hillbilly:

U-Joints and Slip Joints - Evaluate, grease to spec and/or replace U-Joints. Understand what a slip joint does when it's over-greased and how to avoid/correct over-greasing. I always err on the side of caution and replace U-Joints and balance the driveshaft unless I know it's been done recently. Many issues arise there. Use the Factory Service Manual to validate the driveshafts are phased correctly; front out of phase and the rear is in phase. Verify the Zerks and Yokes are aligned per the FSM as well. Use the OEM Toyota joints, there are special specs again for Toyota that Spicer and the other folks just don't understand. They are pricey but they are strong and you'll probably only replace them once. Finally get the shaft balanced if everything else looks good.

Service or replace anything rubber (including tires) before chasing down vibrations or poor handling/road manners once your drive shafts are perfect!!!! Don't assume a noise or vibration is coming from ANYTHING until you have new Motor/Trans Mounts, OEM Rubber Control Arm and Panhard (Lateral) Rod Bushings, OEM Rubber Sway Bar Bushings, and maybe even new OEM Body Mounts (although I haven't done body mounts yet). I drove my truck 400 miles immediately after purchase and got to really know it on the road, I've removed at least 5 "layers" of noise and vibration through wheel bearings, control arm bushings (front and rear), drive shaft balancing, u-joints, and motor/trans mounts. It feels like a completly different truck and I'm finally understanding how it once deserved a Lexus badge. It barely deserved a Jeep badge when I first bought it and it was a Soccer Mom virgin. Too bad the Soccer Mom maintained it like a Prius and not a Land Cruiser. :oops:

Drive Shafts and Pinions - U-Joints and Slip Joints aside, I'd gain a better understanding of how to take angle measurements of the aforementioned components and understand both the mechanical and financial requirements to right a misaligned pinion and the pros/cons of each. 95% of my driving is on the street every day to work, many folks on this forum are building dedicated trail rigs and there's a Grand Canyon of gap between the two. So many variables that can fluster, bewilder and frustrate even the wisest shade-tree mechanic. Understanding the use/purpose of the truck is key but unfortunately, many of us have 1 truck and 2, 3 or 4 purposes (Daily Driver, Family Camping, Weekend Wheeling, Overland Expedition, etc.) for it so it makes the actual build difficult. I saw many posts about "Adjustable Upper and Lower Control Arms" and "Double Cardan Drive Shafts" and "Caster Correction Plates/Arms/Turn and Cut" without paying a whole lot of attention to them because they seemed too extreme and it didn't seem to apply to me. I thought it was a hardcore wheeling thing. My advice is to read everything about the components related to what you are working on and understand "WHY" it would be required and see if it fits your situation. Lifting the truck? Understand the thresholds (2-3", 4-6", etc.) and research "WHY" a vendor is selling a certain component. Understand if it is a an OEM replacement size, lengthened or shorted for a specific purpose or remedy or just a nice to have that's bigger than your buddie's. o_O Don't assume you won't need it or it doesn't apply to you until you fully comprehend your requirements.

I lifted my truck only 3" (TJM 50mm Heavy Linear and 30mm Poly Spacers) but ended up with a solid 4" at all four corners due to recovering an extra inch from 18 years of spring sag. Unfortunately, no matter how much I rationalize it and how much people tell me "it shouldn't be that way, we do that lift all the time", the truck, the pinions, the drive shafts all see 4" and react accordingly. Now I own a DC front shaft, caster correction plates, Metal Tech Rear Lower Control Arms, and a Digital Angle gauge. I never foresaw buying anything but the Caster Plates and I over-plan like a demon. Now I'm refurbing my OEM rear shaft and putting my brand new Rear DC shaft up for sale. Sometimes you can't see the "Transmission for the Gears" though and you overlook things that are relevant even though you don't think they are. :steer:
 
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Regeared a lot sooner

Depo headlight conversion a lot sooner

Maybe ATs instead of MTs

Built the roof rack out of aluminum instead of steel

Started with a factory Toyota turbo diesel 80 with lockers

Not wasted time building a cargo box that fits behind the third row of seats and just built drawers.

Bought better shocks/coils
(Ironman performance series coils and foam cell shocks are definitely not up to controlling the weight of my truck)
 
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....How is it that the women in the family are so used to having a fridge in the truck that they start to buy ICE CREAM as a part of the menu during camp????!!!!

and parfaits, wine and escargot and other things I would not put my tongue to....

On my next trip I would love to take a nice bottle of hennessy paradis!!


You don't have ice cream on your camping shopping list? You only had 2 servings of root beer float and cheese cake on our last trip........


That being said my arb 47 quart has been permanently commandeered and lives permanently in the mini van and I have to ask to use it if I want it for a camping trip. BUT the wife is complaining it's too small so might have to get her the 60 quart version for the minivan so I can have my 47 quart fridge back.
 
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I have owned my Cruiser for 16 years and drove it stock for 13 of those 16. It did the job very well and performed perfectly and I see the major upsides to having a stock Cruiser. But the last several years, the Cruiser was "retired" from an everyday commuter grocery getter family hauler to an overlanding style rig with capability to tackle some pretty tough trails. At this point the limiting factor on the trail is my driving skill and experience with the Cruiser being able to handle more than me. I studied this forum for several years and listened to all opinions on each part of the truck I wanted to change from stock. Listed all the pro's and con's and then thought about my expectations and made sure I was being realistic and also if I could live with the trade offs. I think that is key. Everything I added or changed on my Cruiser I thought over for a good long time (mostly due to having to be patient while saving up money for the expensive purchases) and by the time I was ready to buy something I was pretty damn sure of the purchase. Even the full 6" Slee lift which doesn"t get a lot of love on here, I don"t regret for several reasons. And contrary to what others have said, in my experience with this particular Cruiser, it is NOT hard to drive down the road nor do I have vibrations or have a difficult time with it other than it won't go in a parking garage. I could go on and on about what I like but the question is regrets. So my regrets are that I am not finished yet and I should have budgeted for gear changes. Yeah, with bigger tires you can drive around with stock gears and mostly be fine but it really needs a gear change. I say that after having lived with stock gears and 35's and a pretty loaded truck for a couple of years.
 

ewillis

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I told you I was heavy

Also on the way to Funnel lake I was doing 65+mph on some sections and the KINGS did not complain.

How is it that the women in the family are so used to having a fridge in the truck that they start to buy ICE CREAM as a part of the menu during camp????!!!! and parfaits, wine and escargot and other things I would not put my tongue to....

And all the Asians get weirded-out when a white boy shows up with a salad! @Qball @Dr Gil :cheers:
 
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I dont understand the need to buy the best truck possible and then in the next sentence you say replace everything with oem. I bought the cheapest 80 I could find for $1400. It runs great but I knew I would be replacing most items anyway so WHy on earth would you pay premium price just to rebuild a truck. I bought it way used, put 37's with no lift, trimmed fenders, cleaned the inside, replace stereo and enjoy from there. I have items on the list I will do soon but with 313k miles this truck runs and drives great.
 
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I dont understand the need to buy the best truck possible and then in the next sentence you say replace everything with oem. I bought the cheapest 80 I could find for $1400. It runs great but I knew I would be replacing most items anyway so WHy on earth would you pay premium price just to rebuild a truck. I bought it way used, put 37's with no lift, trimmed fenders, cleaned the inside, replace stereo and enjoy from there. I have items on the list I will do soon but with 313k miles this truck runs and drives great.
Was thinking the same thing. Paid 1250 for mine. 237k and Runs good. Could use some work but is a project that doubles as my daily driver. Love the truck!
 

dogfishlake

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My situation was kind of by accident. I wanted to build up my 80 but i knew the price tag was going to hurt. I found another on Craigslist that had tons of mods already done by a cruiser enthusiast with plenty of $$. Then it got sold to the guy I bought it from, he really just kind of beat it up. Lucky for me that brought the price tag down for me. I ended up with a stock cruiser and a modded cruiser. I have to say it's a nice set up because they both have features I love, so, I plan to keep both.
 
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I can see paying a premium price for a truck that has everything you want but to buy the nicest one you can find and then replace it all is a little obsessive.
 

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