Introducing the BJJCruiser (1 Viewer)

Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
327
Location
Cowpens, SC
Hey guys, first of all I'd like to give a big "Thank you" to everyone who helped me along my quest to buy my first 100 series. Lots of you gave me good advice, helped me decide what I was looking for, and offered me great deals on your personal vehicles. Eventually I landed on a 2004 LX470 with 140k miles that @Arrowhead was selling. He was straight forward about the price and the known problems, and was great to deal with. Thanks again, man.

This was his wife's vehicle, and he admitted he didn't know much about the actual condition other than the few recent test drives. However, they are a cruiser family, and all their vehicles get serviced at Toyotech in ATL. All major service showed up on the Carfax, and everything looked good.

The timing on this was excellent. As some of you know, my wife and I are expecting our first child in May. She always said she would never drive a minivan. I never believed her, but as we started preparing for the baby we realized that my 2000 F150 with 256,000 miles was not a great family vehicle. Neither is my 1980 K5 Blazer with a 454 big block. My wife drives a 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid that is very nice, gets 45 mpg and makes over 200hp. We both enjoy it and take it on our road trips every time. Its a comfortable 4 seater, 5 in a pinch, but on true road trips its a 2 seater due to luggage space. Add a car seat in the mix and we knew it was too small. I've been an offroad enthusiast for awhile, but never really had anything reliable that I could drive long distances to cool places and then hit the trail in. As you all are figuring out right now, the 100 series is the perfect vehicle for us.

The timing on this was perfect. My wife and I were taking our last weekend getaway before the baby to San Antonio using a Delta voucher we got from our last trip. Terra picked a flight out of ATL due to the affordable first class seats. It's about a 3 hour drive for us, but being 6 months pregnant we thought it may be worth it. And it was. Days after booking our flight I began talking to @Arrowhead. We drove down on Thursday and inspected the vehicle in the dark. I liked what I saw, but had several concerns. After conferring with @2001LC I decided to go for it. We had a great time in San Antonio and returned to ATL to do a final daytime inspection of the vehicle.

If you get a chance to visit the Riverwalk in San Antonio, do it!
San Antone.PNG



Here is a picture I was sent pre-purchase.
First pic.jpg



Here is the first picture I took. This was at a rest area on the ride home with the AHC in high mode. Poser pic I guess. I filled up on premium and got 16.2 mpg on the ride home trying to keep up with my wife doing 85mph.
Ride home.PNG


The name BJJCruiser comes from my favorite hobby: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I started training in 2007 and immediately fell in love. We drive to tournaments and seminars fairly often, so in addition to being a family vehicle this is also a Jiu Jitsu Cruiser!

I look forward to working with you guys for years to come!
 
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Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
327
Location
Cowpens, SC
My wife wants to make sure I actually meet my goals with this vehicle, so she is the one who encouraged me to start a build thread. This will not be anything revolutionary, but rather more like a log of my journey with the 100. Most of the work I do will probably be fixing problems instead of actual modification because I feel the LX will probably do what I ask of it in stock form. However, if I meet the vehicles limitations, I am not afraid to modify as i see fit.

Here is a running list of projects/modifications. Please chime in on recommendations.

Baseline:
  • Adjust brake light switch (Complete)
  • Replace drivers side rear running light (Complete)
  • Clean fog light assembly (Complete)
  • Replace front right turning signal socket and bulb (Complete)
  • Replace front right fog light bulb (Complete)
  • @PADDO's 1 Can AHC flush (Complete)
  • Front diff fluid change
  • Rear diff fluid change
  • Transfer case fluid change
  • Engine oil change
  • Transmission fluid change
  • Heater T replacement (Complete)
  • Valve cover gaskets (Complete)
  • Neutralize AHC pressures
  • Replace missing oil drain plug access panel
  • Re-plumb windshield washer (Complete)
  • Replace winshield wipers (Complete)
Interior and body:
  • Clean leathers
  • Replace 3rd row seat
  • Repair passenger side front bumper
  • Baseline the paint
  • Refoam subwoofer (Complete)
  • Refoam speakers (2/4)
  • Replace passenger seat heater light
  • Replace drivers door lock cylinder
  • Repair drivers door handle (Complete)
Modifications:
  • WeatherTech floor mats
  • 285/70/18 Falken AT3/W All Terrains (Complete)
  • PlastiDip emblems
  • Remove running boards (Complete)
  • LED interior lights
  • Dissent modular aluminum roof rack from @benc
  • Dissent aluminum front bumper from @benc (On order)
  • Mudflap delete (Complete)
  • Amazon EZ Tire Deflator
  • Superflow air compressor?
  • Envirocooler?
  • Rocklights
 
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Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
327
Location
Cowpens, SC
First project: get the brake lights to work. My wife and I remembered testing the brake lights before we purchased the car, but half way home my wife called to inform me the lights were not working. We pulled over, and as I was parking she said "they are working now." My heart started to sink as I feared electrical gremlins, but we quickly figured out it was just a poorly adjusted brake light switch. We arrived home late Monday night and my wife blocked the LX in the driveway so I wouldn't be tempted to drive it to work anyway. I got home and adjusted the switch. What a PITA, but I finally got it.

First I removed the electrical plug and realized why it was out of adjustment: the jam nut was loose. I adjusted it properly, tightened the jam nut and reinstalled the plug. Ended up scratching it pretty good turning it with my small Knipex alligators. Either way, I now have Brake lights.
brake light switch.jpg
 
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Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
327
Location
Cowpens, SC
Surprise #1. Dead battery. Had to tow it out of the carport to get jumper cables on it. Went to advance auto and had 3 choices of batteries. Silver, Gold, and Optima Red top. $120, $200, or $230. Same cold cranking amps across the board, but the silver had a 160 min reserve. Gold had 120 minute, Red had 90 minute. Silver only had 2 year warranty, the other 2 had 3 year. I usually don't cheap out with batteries, but man I had a hard time with this one. I ended up getting the silver and saving the money for other projects.

I believe I decided on a front bumper. I love the idea of an all aluminum option as I plan on keeping the AHC as long as possible. So far, @Dissent looks like my favorite option. Unfortunately, I am in dire need of tires right now. That is first on the list.
 

Somebodyelse5

Land Crushers
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
2,852
Location
Phx, Arizona
Surprise #1. Dead battery. Had to tow it out of the carport to get jumper cables on it. Went to advance auto and had 3 choices of batteries. Silver, Gold, and Optima Red top. $120, $200, or $230. Same cold cranking amps across the board, but the silver had a 160 min reserve. Gold had 120 minute, Red had 90 minute. Silver only had 2 year warranty, the other 2 had 3 year. I usually don't cheap out with batteries, but man I had a hard time with this one. I ended up getting the silver and saving the money for other projects.

I believe I decided on a front bumper. I love the idea of an all aluminum option as I plan on keeping the AHC as long as possible. So far, @Dissent looks like my favorite option. Unfortunately, I am in dire need of tires right now. That is first on the list.

@Kavik makes a SWEET aluminum bumper, take a look at his if you havent.

I think you made a good choice on the batt... apparently Optima has been sold to another company and their QC has gone down the crapper. Those redtops are coasting on their reputation, I wouldn't spend the money for one.
 

ogsuv

SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 18, 2004
Messages
535
Location
Madison,WI
Congrats man. Looks like a great rig and a good fit for the family.

I am an MMA/UFC fan and your post reminded me of when I met Pat Miletich, famous MMA coach 16 ish years ago (coached Matt Hughes, Tim Sylvia, etc..). I installed a remote start in his 80 series. Pat Miletich - Wikipedia

I too flew 1000+ miles from home to buy my latest 100 and drove it home. My wife and I will never forget that trip. so much fun. we talk about it all the time. Great to have those memories forever.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
327
Location
Cowpens, SC
@Kavik makes a SWEET aluminum bumper, take a look at his if you havent.

I think you made a good choice on the batt... apparently Optima has been sold to another company and their QC has gone down the crapper. Those redtops are coasting on their reputation, I wouldn't spend the money for one.

I looked at those bumpers, hard choice between his and @Dissent. What do you like better about @Kavik's? I can tell they are both absolutely top notch quality.

I am glad you backed me up on the battery choice. I usually don't cheap out on things that can stop the vehicle from running, but I just couldn't justify the price.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
327
Location
Cowpens, SC
Congrats man. Looks like a great rig and a good fit for the family.

I am an MMA/UFC fan and your post reminded me of when I met Pat Miletich, famous MMA coach 16 ish years ago (coached Matt Hughes, Tim Sylvia, etc..). I installed a remote start in his 80 series. Pat Miletich - Wikipedia

I too flew 1000+ miles from home to buy my latest 100 and drove it home. My wife and I will never forget that trip. so much fun. we talk about it all the time. Great to have those memories forever.

That is awesome! I have never trained with Pat Miletich, but I have been to one of his schools in Davenport, Iowa while on a business trip. He has a fantastic reputation. Good to know he is a CruiserHead!

My wife and I have several stories about travelling to buy a vehicle. Luckily this was the most uneventful one yet lol.
 

Somebodyelse5

Land Crushers
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
2,852
Location
Phx, Arizona
I looked at those bumpers, hard choice between his and @Dissent. What do you like better about @Kavik's? I can tell they are both absolutely top notch quality.

I am glad you backed me up on the battery choice. I usually don't cheap out on things that can stop the vehicle from running, but I just couldn't justify the price.

I’m partial since I see Kavik and his rig rolling around town all the time, but it really comes down to preference...I like the styling a bit more, it’s a little more boxy. The dissent is modular though, which is really cool
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
327
Location
Cowpens, SC
I’m partial since I see Kavik and his rig rolling around town all the time, but it really comes down to preference...I like the styling a bit more, it’s a little more boxy. The dissent is modular though, which is really cool
What are your thoughts on the look of unfinished aluminum on a white LX? I can't decide.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
327
Location
Cowpens, SC
Guess what I am doing this afternoon?

20180224_153844.jpg


Dealer only ordered 16 of the valve cover bolts instead of the 18 I asked for, so ill be reusing 2 in a convenient place to get to until the other 2 come in.
 
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Joined
Mar 30, 2017
Messages
114
Location
SF Bay Area, CA
Guess what I am doing this afternoon?

View attachment 1640863

Dealer only ordered 16 of the valve cover bolts instead of the 18 I asked for, so ill be reusing 2 in a convenient place to get to until the other 2 come in.

Sweet looking rig. I was looking for the same color but wasn’t able to find one in good condition.

Btw, where did you order those brass heater T’s?
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
327
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Cowpens, SC
Valve cover gaskets and spark plug stem seals are done. The bolts were certainly loose. I am sure I could have torqued them down and been ok, but I figured I may as well do the job right. No real problems with either side. On the drivers side, the bottom bolt closest to the firewall was impossible for me to get a torque wrench on. I took my best guess at it with a ratchet wrench. All in all this was an easy job. Everything was very clean on the inside. This is a picture before I cleaned anything.
75135.jpeg

Very happy with the look of the valve train after 14 years and 141k miles.
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This is after I cleaned up.
20180224_183459.jpg
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
327
Location
Cowpens, SC
I know it has been said a million times, but CHANGE YOUR HEATER T'S! This is after 141k miles. Brass T's and worm clamps will surely be an upgrade.
20180303_182124.jpg
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
327
Location
Cowpens, SC
My passenger side fog light is missing the turn signal socket. Looks like it has been for awhile.
fog light.jpg


After baking it for 15 minutes at 250 degrees it came right apart.
Fog light3.jpg

There was enough dirt and water in there to sustain life!
Fog light4.jpg


I washed the inside out in the kitchen sink. Next I scraped as much of the old adhesive off after baking it a second time before reassembly. Then, I applied some grey RTV and pushed the lense back in.
75129.jpeg


After a little elbow grease and a headlight restoration kit it looks decent again.
75130.jpeg



Keep in mind I will be getting a Dissent aluminum front bumper when @benc gets the design finalized, but I couldn't stand that fog light! I ordered a turn signal socket that should be here Tuesday.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
327
Location
Cowpens, SC
My subwoofer was sounding rough. Like, unbearably rough. I followed this thread for repair:

Lx470 ML Speaker Repair for Cheap!

$22 from ebay. It came in with foam for 2 speakers. Ill likely do this to all the speakers.
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At first glance, the speaker didn't look damaged.
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Then I realized all the foam was separated.

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I followed the thread I mentioned above and had great results. I gotta say, putting that interior back together was very satisfying. I love how everything lines up perfectly and clips into place! Not only was it easy, but it is very solid once fully assembled. Thanks, Toyota!

20180303_120217.jpg


20180303_120638.jpg
 
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Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
327
Location
Cowpens, SC
Changed my rear running light. Man, I didn't realize how horrible of shape my tailgate cover was in. I ripped out several of the clips while removing it. I have seen several replacement options, but its hard to justify spending that money right now. I may try to fabricate something out of aluminum.
20180303_180531.jpg
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
327
Location
Cowpens, SC
285/70/18 Falken Wildpeak AT3/W installed. Got a good deal price matching an Ebay seller at Discount Tire. I'll probably continue using them for our families tire needs. These tires are fantastic. I have only put a few hundred miles on them so far, but they are quiet and ride great. I can't wait to get them in some dirt! I did however notice some power loss. Not enough to matter to me, though. I drove a few hundred miles on the interstate today and the power was still adequate to say the least. New tires will make your dirty rims really stand out though.
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