My Dance With The Princess - A Tragic Love Story

Joined
May 22, 2014
Messages
325
Location
Los Angeles
IMG_0759..jpg

Last Tuesday I said goodbye and good riddance to The Princess. I stripped her of parts and put her on a trailer for a visit to Valley Hybrids where she will be converted back to a factory H55F/Spit Case configuration with a brand new transmission, from there she will head back to her adopted home state of Texas where she will be getting some sort of top notch restoration and will become a weekend cruiser. Sounds like her days of rock crawling and high expectations are over. I never did a build thread, I was too busy with kid/wife/work/fixing Princess's busted ass to put together a build thread and now I feel like I should to close this chapter.

I've worked in the off road industry for years, and my vision for Princess was a family hauling rock crawler/overlander adventure mobile. For the most part, my vision was a huge success. She drove better than the s***ty Jeeps I worked with, she got fuel economy on in the 20s on 37s, was comfortable on the road, cruised at 75mph all day long and was hands down the most incredibly capable trail machine I've ever owned. She did all these things well, that is she did them well in-between catastrophic and ridiculous failures of the transmission which happened over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, each time with its won separate flare and fun circumstances. I finally had enough and threw in the towel. I am pretty bummed it didn't work out, but like that crazy stripper ex girlfriend that was really, really hot but kinda dirty who liked to make out with her girlfriends when she got drunk, she didn't make a very good housewife.

I'll cobble together my pictures and give everyone a rundown of what I did, what worked and what didn't. It might take a while but hopefully I can get it all up here.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2016
Messages
793
Location
Boulder, Co
“There’s an oil slick running down the driveway ever since you brought this damn thing home. And then you bought a second one?! I can’t do this anymore. I’m not sure what I should be doing with my life, but THIS is not it!” -my ex fiancé.
 

cruisermatt

Florida Man
SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
7,648
Location
Orlando Florida
An all too common story
Lifted to Kingdom Come with gigantic tires, owner gets sick of it then sells it. Happens all the time.
Did you even read what he wrote?

I've worked in the off road industry for years, and my vision for Princess was a family hauling rock crawler/overlander adventure mobile. For the most part, my vision was a huge success. She drove better than the s***ty Jeeps I worked with, she got fuel economy on in the 20s on 37s, was comfortable on the road, cruised at 75mph all day long and was hands down the most incredibly capable trail machine I've ever owned. She did all these things well, that is she did them well
 
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89GASHOG

 
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
4,118
Location
Latitude 58N or 19N
. She did all these things well, that is she did them well in-between catastrophic and ridiculous failures of the transmission which happened over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, each time with its won separate flare and fun circumstances...
Was this the auto everyone likes to rag on or manual 4spd? Fuel economy in the 20's with Toyota 6 cylinder I'm not buying for a second.
 

doug720

 
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
3,256
Location
El Segundo or Gardnerville!!!
Curious...

What broke in the transmission?

I have am Isuzu 4BD2t with an H55, and no issues over 65k miles. The 4BD2 has similar power, but is much smoother than the 4BT.

Enjoy the "New" 60!
 
Joined
May 22, 2014
Messages
325
Location
Los Angeles
I met Princess in October of 2010. I worked at what was then a well known high end four wheel drive shop in LA, the owner came in asking for help sourcing parts for his rear disk brake conversion. It needed pads and rotors, so he said. Me, being the only person in the shop with a full set of teeth an a knowledge of Land Cruiser stuff, went out front to take a look.

I was completely blown away but the truck in front of me. Shiny Green paint, 35" BFGs, epic custom sliders and bumpers... and what is this? A Cummins badge????? Yes, it had a diesel. A 4BTA to be exact, something I had fantasized about shoving in the front of my FJ40. The owner was really nice, but knew next to nothing about it other than it was once a famous truck and was named "The Princess". It had a Caddy disk conversion in the rear, I quoted him the parts and he agreed. I brought the truck into the bay, I loved it. The rumble of the diesel was fun. The leather interior was definitely worn but comfortable. A little leather treatment would have brought it back to life. While it was back there I poked around the truck. I discovered it had some sort of no name weirdo ram assist steering and FJ80 tie rods and high steer, kinda cool. It had ARB lockers, also cool, and what the hell was the third lever? A MARLIN CRAWLER TOYBOX?!?!??? How cool is that??? I popped the hood... there's the Cummins... and eck.... some gnarly electrical, what is the deal here? Oh well... still an amazing truck! I stole the keys from the tech, I wanted to test drive it, and I did, around the block. It was slow as hell, but still oddly powerful somehow. It rode nice, steering was really good and stopped like a race car with the GM hydroboost brake system.

Before the truck left, I snapped this single picture of it with my fancy iPhone (you know, the original one). I also recorded his name and phone number in the notes of my iPhone under "The Princess Land Cruiser", you know, just incase someday I was in the position to offer to buy it.....

Here's the picture:
IMG_0573.JPG

Life went on... my wife and I had a beautiful daughter, and like every American slob I continually upgraded iPhones. I worked my way into sales and marketing an influential Jeep parts manufacturer. I sold my FJ40 because it just wasn't munchkin friendly enough, I bought a really clean FZJ80 with the intent of building it but couldn't stand the auto transmission and horrendous fuel economy. Sometime in early 2016 some dude walked up to me in the parking lot and offered me $10K cash for it (after I had bought it for $3500), so no more FZJ80. I decided to go for my dreams and bought a really nice HZJ73 from Steve at Land Cruisers Direct. I loved it so, so much, but I made some mistakes and got caught up in the whole CA emissions thing and sold it. I had some money burning a hole in my pocket.... what to do, what to do......?
 
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