Builds LX450: Baja surf trip build

Joined
Jun 4, 2015
Messages
661
Location
Santa Cruz, CA
I’ve been lurking on mud for awhile now and have been have probably been bugging everyone with my basic questions about my LX. I’m constantly been amazed by how knowledgeable and helpful people have been. Figure its time to post a build thread. If nothing else maybe people can learn from my mistakes.


My friend with a troopy and I are planning a trip I have been dreaming about for years. Our goal is to drive our respective land cruisers from Santa Cruz, CA down the entire length of Baja. I want to take my time and hit as many surf spots on the way and eventually end up in La Ventana. I’ll meet my wife there (if she doesn’t make the trip south) and we will kitesurf for a week. The wife will then be joining for the trip back north. I hope to leave town he last week of January and be back home towards the end of February.


Half the fun of this trip (for me anyway) is the excuse to build up my LX the way I always wanted it!

Here is what I hope to get done to the truck before I leave:
  • Remove all the dumb LX trim and monstaline the truck
  • Refresh suspension
  • Refurb winch and repaint or powder coat front bumper
  • 4x4 labs rear bumper
  • Install better driving lights
  • Tailgate storage
  • Front axles service
  • Fix giant exhaust leak (done today!)
  • Install Tepui hardshell tent with integrated roof rack.
  • Maintenance
If I have any money left and my wife doesn't murder me
  • new head unit with backup camera
  • recovery gear
  • center console lock box
  • Water/fuel cans, upgrade some camping gear

Here is a photo of the LC just before I ripped off all the trim, and of the wife and dog after a long day of backcountry skiing

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Joined
Jun 4, 2015
Messages
661
Location
Santa Cruz, CA
Here is some background on my cruiser.


Last year I was looking for a truck to replace what I thought was decrepit 1994 4runner. I considered dozens of different vehicles but knew it had to be a Toyota. An x-girlfriend has an amazing FJ40 with a 350 swap on 36-inch tires. The girlfriend didn’t last, she was bats*** crazy and tried to get me killed, but my love of land cruisers did. I was also inspired/jealous of my friend Tom who bought diesel, left hand drive troopy, complete with cable lockers.

Tom connected me with his co-worker (nicknamed Bronco,) who had a friend selling a pretty cool and well maintained 80 series. It had a bunch of upgrades that made it way more capable then my 4runner. The only snag was that the car was in Colorado and that I would have to fly out there and buy it sight unseen.

The previous owner Glen was super cool and had all the services records since the first owner. He even had the original sticker and Lexus brochure! Truck was sweet and had the following:


· ARB bumper and Slee Sliders

· Safari Rack

· Warn M800

· ARB stock ride height suspension

· Dope 90’s drug dealer phone in the center console

We made a deal. I flew out to Grand Junction Colorado. Bought the truck and then immediately drove back home to Santa Cruz.. As soon as I set off the driver’s side mirror started rattling like crazy! I was pretty nervous about buying a car this way but the truck ran beautifully. Made it home in 22hours in order to make it to a Birthday party


Here are some photo’s of the truck before I bought it

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Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
438
Location
Santa Cruz
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Stalker status I know but I think I've ran into you around town once or twice. When you see a 70 troopy rolling thru town you snap a shot, ha! Theres a little impromptu 80 hangout in town this Wednesday at my buddy's house in Live Oak if you wanna roll by at shoot the s***. I'll shoot you the address.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2015
Messages
661
Location
Santa Cruz, CA
In the last year I have put 12K on our truck and have used it pretty hard. I work for the local land trust and drive lots of over grown fire roads. This hasn’t been great for the trim or the paint. I have also been out to our local offroad park a bunch of times.


All of this use has resulted in a destroyed exhaust and ugly paint. The exhaust was just replaced. Everything is now tucked above my sliders or frame rails. This past week was Lex’s lowest point. My exhaust totally let go and I had straight pipes for a day. My dog also ended needed to go to the vet. He got sick from the pain killer’s they gave them and he had diarrhea in the car while I was at the exhaust shop. Poor guy crapped between the passenger seat and the center console. His leash was attached and dragged s*** everywhere. I had no choice but to sit in it and drive home with my 150db exhaust


Exhaust is fixed and truck is detailed. Things can only go up from here. First step in filling all my trim holes and monstalining the truck. Pretty nervous about this as I have Zero experience working on cars.


Here is Lex in his current state of disrepair:

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Joined
Jun 4, 2015
Messages
661
Location
Santa Cruz, CA
You don't need anything else on your rig for the trip. If anything I'd do a simple oil analysis and see what that says. Take the money to Baja and have that many more good times and drinks. Just go!
Your are right. I'd do this trip in my old truck in a heart beat. Probably should just buy more surfboards. But the trip is a great way to justify building my dream cruiser to my wife lol
 

PabloVTA

beside La Caja China
SILVER Star
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
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2,446
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Ventura Ca. USA
keep it low key, focus on security items, locking gas cans and caps, secure the rear slider windows, maybe an awning, and cooler for cervezas.
get a tire patch kit, valve stems, and slime for last resort. I'd keep it the way it is with the holes. might keep the eyes off of it.

stop in Ventura and I'll meet you for tacos. Sounds like a killer adventure.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2015
Messages
661
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Santa Cruz, CA
keep it low key, focus on security items, locking gas cans and caps, secure the rear slider windows, maybe an awning, and cooler for cervezas.
get a tire patch kit, valve stems, and slime for last resort. I'd keep it the way it is with the holes. might keep the eyes off of it.

stop in Ventura and I'll meet you for tacos. Sounds like a killer adventure.
Sound advice. I have done a lot of travel through Mexico and Central America. I do worry about being low key with my crazy expensive RTT on the roof. Planning on bringing a tool kit, patch kit, compressor, and my friend Tom who is a marine engineer on ships with 50,000 HP. What would you suggest to lock the sliding windows and where do you find locking gas cans?

Thanks for the Taco offer!
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2015
Messages
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Location
Pawleys Island
Now this is a thread I can get down with. :popcorn: I'm right there with you wanting to do a road trip through Baja...I would just happen to have a bit of a head start since I'm right by the border.

One main question though...how are you loading up your surf gear, more specifically your boards? Are you planning on kite surfing only or are you taking regular surfboards too? Trailer?? I've been thinking about how I would go about transporting 6 or so surfboards (2 being longboards) and I was thinking that a RTT might not be the way to go. Sleep in truck with boards up top and other supplies...what are your plans for this?

Also, after stalking @bajaphile account, you might have some good input on this since it looks like you've done the trip before! How many boards though and for how long?
 
Joined
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@on3i11s , I'm bringing 2 to 3 surfboards, kite gear, and if there is any room a fishing rod. I ride my normal shortboard kiting, without straps. So at least that cuts down one board. Probably will need to bring a longboard between the two trucks too.

For the past year I had had a Tepui ruggedized autuna RTT on my rig. My wife loved it for camping but my surfboards started getting left behind on our adventures. Unacceptable! When I saw this I new I had to have it....I got in early on the kickstarter campaign. Probably the biggest splurge purchase of my entire life. Though I was able to sell my old tent, which was a gift, so it only cost me what a normal Tepui would go for. Can't wait to get it!

White Lightning Hard Shell | Tepui Tents | High Quality Roof Top Tents

Tepui hardshell.jpg
 
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Joined
Nov 22, 2015
Messages
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Pawleys Island
@DanMedeiros all that stuff you're taking and you don't think you can fit a rod in there!!?? :lol: Is it a one piece or can it be disassembled? Surf rod??

Not being able to bring the boards is totally unacceptable...shame on your wife! I'm lucky enough that my chick surfs so I have to bring boards and gear for her as well :princess:

That white lightning hard shell tent looks bad ass...my only thing is would it be able to withstand all the weight of 6 boards or so. If I were going the RTT route, I think a hard shell would definitely be the way to go...just gotta find one sturdy enough for that much weight. Didn't check the specs on that white lightning one yet though. I'm no where near that point with my cruiser right now but eventually I want to get it set up for Baja trips with big dreams of even driving further south into central/South America!

Good luck on your build and I look forward to seeing how everything turns out for you.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Santa Cruz, CA
@DanMedeiros all that stuff you're taking and you don't think you can fit a rod in there!!?? :lol: Is it a one piece or can it be disassembled? Surf rod??

Not being able to bring the boards is totally unacceptable...shame on your wife! I'm lucky enough that my chick surfs so I have to bring boards and gear for her as well :princess:

That white lightning hard shell tent looks bad ass...my only thing is would it be able to withstand all the weight of 6 boards or so. If I were going the RTT route, I think a hard shell would definitely be the way to go...just gotta find one sturdy enough for that much weight. Didn't check the specs on that white lightning one yet though. I'm no where near that point with my cruiser right now but eventually I want to get it set up for Baja trips with big dreams of even driving further south into central/South America!

Good luck on your build and I look forward to seeing how everything turns out for you.
The wife kites but doesn't surf. I keep telling her she has it backwards. Kiting is way harder!
 
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