Maint/PM before year-long trip? (1 Viewer)

mdcoa

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My wife and I are currently planning on taking a gap year after I retire from the military (summer '22)--our kids will be 9, 8, and 6, and we will be able to put all our stuff in storage for a year and hit the road with no rent or mortgage.

Planning to ship the 100 full of gear to Europe (20' container) and spend the year exploring (and homeschooling . . . ), probably camping the majority of the time. France, Spain, Portugal, UK, Italy, Morocco (yes, not in Europe--that'll reset our 6-month timer for a foreign-registered vehicle). Remains to be seen if we can score a 1 year visa to France or will have to engage in the "90-days in Schengen/90-out" dance.

Obviously most of Europe isn't terribly remote, so I don't need to prep for this like a trip across the Sahel. But would like not to lose time because of breakdowns or be forced to pay shops to do stuff I could've done before leaving if I'd had my act together.

We've had the 100 for two years; it was a very well-maintained truck before we bought it at 130k miles. It now has just shy of 150 on it. I'm currently at 5-10k miles/year, so it should have between 160 and 165k on it when we leave, and I think the trip will be 10-20k miles of driving before we ship the truck back to the States and figure out where we're going to live.

Major service/PM items (only listing most recent iteration of each), starting with most recent:
New denso iridium spark plugs and coil pack boots 148k
New gear oil in T case and front and rear diffs 147k
Brake fluid mostly replaced in the course of putting on all new flex hoses--April and Oct 2020
New ignition key shaft, replaced as PM MAR 2019
New heater Ts (OEM) Jan 18
Front pads and rotors, new CV boots, CV repack at 126k
Transmission and PS flush and fill at 120k
New (reman) starter and intake gaskets at 112k
New stereo head unit (!) at 116k
Wheel bearings repacked 118k
New battery at 80k (2012)--yeah, I know . . . I should do tht now
Brake fluid flushed 80k
Radiator repaired, new water pump and thermostat, new timing belt, idler, tensioner @ 95k

Before the trip, I'm definitely planning on:
Replace radiator and hoses and coolant
Repack wheel bearings/grease spindles
Replace brake fluid
Replace PCV hoses and valve
Replace alternator brushes

Wondering if I should:
-Do the timing belt, water pump, etc since if trip lasts 20k it'll be due at the end of the trip
-Replace driveshaft U-Joints

What am I forgetting?
 
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Joined
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Minneapolis, MN
You got most of the big items. I wouldn't bring a ton of spare parts. Toyota's parts network is great in Europe and carrying spares across the ocean is a pain. When you are replacing the brake fluid I would read the @2001LC thread on the brake system. Having a master cylinder failure away from home would be inconvenient and probably take a week or two to fix.

Cooling system is the most important, followed by brakes, then axles/bearings. If you do all those PM items you'll probably be fine.
 
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Not much. Would prepare the same way as a year long trip in the USA. Also #1 thing is that I'd definetly watch out for 100 series theft in Europe. These things are very wanted in Eastern Europe, Africa, and Russia. Whereever it is in Europe, its well developed and parts/breakdown shouldn't be a scare.

Thats a lot of money on fuel though at $6+ a gallon and 12-13 mpg lol!
 

Red Beard

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I don’t have much to add other than I’m super jealous of your trip. Sounds like so much fun.

What does shipping a car look like? You gonna drive around with USA plates?
 

mdcoa

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Thanks for the feedback so far, folks!

What about timing belt? Do it early, or just go close to or up to recommended interval? It's my sense that these tend to last a loooong time, so it might be OK to just do that after returning to the States at something between 170-180k miles.

And alternator brushes? Good idea, or better idea to buy reman and do a preventative swap when I have the radiator out for replacement?

Not much. Would prepare the same way as a year long trip in the USA. Also #1 thing is that I'd definetly watch out for 100 series theft in Europe. These things are very wanted in Eastern Europe, Africa, and Russia. Whereever it is in Europe, its well developed and parts/breakdown shouldn't be a scare.

Thats a lot of money on fuel though at $6+ a gallon and 12-13 mpg lol!

Yeah, yikes. But when you look at the cost of flying a family of five (gulp) over there and the cost of shipping the vehicle full of stuff both directions, $500/mo on fuel isn't all that disturbing, particularly if we're camping and cooking our own food. Total cost for shipping and fuel probably still way cheaper than a) paying an airline to move our bazillion pounds of camping gear as checked bags and b) renting a car big enough for five people and a bazillion pounds of camping gear for a year. And c) buying gas for that rental. Thought about buying something there, but there's no way I'm aware of (other than some dodgy website in Moldova) for nonresidents to register vehicles in Europe. We do have some relatives, but I don't want to put anyone out, and I really, really am liking how this vehicle is coming together for travel--would hate to start with a totally bare-bones 4x4 and just hit the road with no spare battery, no compressor, no winch, etc.

Good warning on theft--thoughts on making these more theft-resistant? Battery disconnector for when we leave it unattended?

I don’t have much to add other than I’m super jealous of your trip. Sounds like so much fun.

What does shipping a car look like? You gonna drive around with USA plates?

Thanks! Yup, my research indicates a foreign-registered vehicle can stay in Europe with foreign tags for 6 mos--that's per entry, so all you have to do is leave for a bit and get some receipts to prove you left, and you reset your clock. The people are actually harder than the car, with a visit limit for non-visa holders in the Schengen zone of 90 days out of the past 180 (rolling count).

Shipping ain't cheap--I haven't gotten an estimate yet, but I think it'll be around $2500 per direction. . . which would make no sense at all for a short trip but does make sense for a year.
 
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suprarx7nut

The YotaMD Guy
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My wife and I are currently planning on taking a gap year after I retire from the military (summer '22)--our kids will be 9, 8, and 6, and we will be able to put all our stuff in storage for a year and hit the road with no rent or mortgage.

Planning to ship the 100 full of gear to Europe (20' container) and spend the year exploring (and homeschooling . . . ), probably camping the majority of the time. France, Spain, Portugal, UK, Italy, Morocco (yes, not in Europe--that'll reset our 6-month timer for a foreign-registered vehicle). Remains to be seen if we can score a 1 year visa to France or will have to engage in the "90-days in Schengen/90-out" dance.

Obviously most of Europe isn't terribly remote, so I don't need to prep for this like a trip across the Sahel. But would like not to lose time because of breakdowns or be forced to pay shops to do stuff I could've done before leaving if I'd had my act together.

We've had the 100 for two years; it was a very well-maintained truck before we bought it at 130k miles. It now has just shy of 150 on it. I'm currently at 5-10k miles/year, so it should have between 160 and 165k on it when we leave, and I think the trip will be 10-20k miles of driving before we ship the truck back to the States and figure out where we're going to live.

Major service/PM items (only listing most recent iteration of each), starting with most recent:
New denso iridium spark plugs and coil pack boots 148k
New gear oil in T case and front and rear diffs 147k
Brake fluid mostly replaced in the course of putting on all new flex hoses--April and Oct 2020
New ignition key shaft, replaced as PM MAR 2019
New heater Ts (OEM) Jan 18
Front pads and rotors, new CV boots, CV repack at 126k
Transmission and PS flush and fill at 120k
New (reman) starter and intake gaskets at 112k
New stereo head unit (!) at 116k
Wheel bearings repacked 118k
New battery at 80k (2012)--yeah, I know . . . I should do tht now
Brake fluid flushed 80k
Radiator repaired, new water pump and thermostat, new timing belt, idler, tensioner @ 95k

Before the trip, I'm definitely planning on:
Replace radiator and hoses and coolant
Repack wheel bearings/grease spindles
Replace brake fluid
Replace PCV hoses and valve

Wondering if I should:
-Do the timing belt, water pump, etc since if trip lasts 20k it'll be due at the end of the trip
-Replace alternator brushes
-Replace driveshaft U-Joints

What am I forgetting?

If you're still using a remote key, I would get a YotaMD key upgrade kit, but I'm plenty biased. ;)

You said you replaced the coil boots, but if that did not include the coils themselves, I'd bring a couple spares. Those are a semi-common failure and easy to replace roadside if needed.

I'd be sure to have torque app and a bluetooth OBD2 dongle (or a similar setup for iphone)

New battery is a good idea.

I would do alternator. I've been stranded TWICE with a bad alternator in the 100. Not fun.

I think you're in good shape otherwise! Sounds fun!
 

Red Beard

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Messages
550
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Sounds like a trip of a lifetime. My uneducated guess is that you will probably need some work done at some point, so put aside some money for that. Just in case. But I have a feeling you already have thought this out.

There was recently a post about a cross country trip and there were a handful of things everyone suggested to keep that are common things that will leave you stranded but cheap to fix if you have the parts.
 

mdcoa

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Apr 14, 2017
Messages
558
Location
NoVA
If you're still using a remote key, I would get a YotaMD key upgrade kit, but I'm plenty biased. ;)

You said you replaced the coil boots, but if that did not include the coils themselves, I'd bring a couple spares. Those are a semi-common failure and easy to replace roadside if needed.

I'd be sure to have torque app and a bluetooth OBD2 dongle (or a similar setup for iphone)

New battery is a good idea.

I would do alternator. I've been stranded TWICE with a bad alternator in the 100. Not fun.

I think you're in good shape otherwise! Sounds fun!

Thanks! Yup, one YotaMD key upgrade on our primary chain (one of my very favorite upgrades--thank you!), and I've asked Santa to bring me another for our spare key! Spare new Denso coil lives in the glove compartment. I've got OBD Fusion plus dongle; will probably get a Scan Gauge II as well before we leave.
On the alternator, I did some reading last night, and it sounds like new brushes is a no-brainer (can be done with ease while I'm replacing the radiator); anyone recommend a reman unit instead? Sounds like that'd be swapping a repaired failed unit for my known-good unit, so I'm leaning toward just brushes.

Sounds like a trip of a lifetime. My uneducated guess is that you will probably need some work done at some point, so put aside some money for that. Just in case. But I have a feeling you already have thought this out.

There was recently a post about a cross country trip and there were a handful of things everyone suggested to keep that are common things that will leave you stranded but cheap to fix if you have the parts.

Thanks--I'll re-look that thread; good reminder! I don't plan to bring a ton of spares, but will see what else (other than fuses, serpentine belt, spare coil) is compact/light/vital enough to warrant bringing along.

One thing I will need to do is reduce the weight of my insane tool bag . . . having started out as a Series Land Rover guy, I have a bad habit of bringing enough tools for a roadside frame-off rebuild . . . I'm now emotionally dependent on both hammers, three ratchets, sockets, tool roll with roughly 400 wrenches, etc. . .
 

2020 Rocks

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Columbus, OH
Good warning on theft--thoughts on making these more theft-resistant? Battery disconnector for when we leave it unattended?
You can buy a gps tracker and hide it somewhere on your cruiser, so if stolen a better chance of recovering the vehicle quickly. The type i am talking about just needs a sim chip inserted, which you can buy overseas. They're pretty cheap and could be good insurance beyond a battery disconnect switch or something along those lines.

Edit: Might also be a cool way of mapping your adventures as it can keep a log of travel, etc.
 

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