new life of my LX450 (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
39
Location
Poland
 
First of all I want to say Hello to all members of ih8mud and readers of this forum.

Second, I apologize for my English but this is not my native language, I do my best to minimalize number of mistakes but cannot promise


Actually I'm type of person usually called petrol-head but mostly oriented on track days cars such as Impreza STI or Mitsu Evo. And 4WD cars dedicated for offroad were not interesting for me.


Everything change in 2010 during our (with wife and 2yo daughter) rtw trip somewhere in southern Bolivia (Salar de Uyuni). Those 4 days on the rough road (if you can call it "road") in an old fzj80 ('95 if remember correctly), on the elevation above 15000ft, with huge differences of temperature (day/night) opened my eyes.

In this extremally unfriendly environment the only cars you meet are Land Cruisers.So the lesson for future was - if some days I will search for 4wd cars it will be tlc 80.


Few years later we had chance to spend 5 weeks of holiday in the States. As it was our fourth visit in this amazing country, the destination was clear - Utah the only problem was renting a car suitable for backroads around Moab.

Much cheaper was to buy fzj80 and sell it after our vacation.


Deep research on craiglist, ebay and other web sites helped me to identify 4 cars in reasonable distance (meaning for this sentence is completly different in Europe).

Finally the first one we saw and made a test drive (5miles from house of our friends) was our choice.

'97, LX450, one owner from new, clean interior, some rust, small leaks between downpipe and exhaust, left side doors replaced after small accident (In Carfax - checked deeply when doing body works here in Poland),189k miles, new tires (unfortunately not even AT), no lockers, no hitch and very open dealer to finally sell this car (on the lot for over 7months). Asking price 8,5k plus tax, paid 7200 including all taxes and plates ;)


The only unknown was the head gasket...



We've choosen "no risk no fun" option and hit the road...

our rig first time on the driveway:

trail and gas station - natural enviroment of FZJ80 :)


interior needs some works:

climat in IL is not friendly for cars:



Finally our vacation was better than expected so we decide to keep this car in garage of our friends until next visit :)

And I start thinking about some modifications...
 
Joined
May 15, 2015
Messages
72
Location
Seal Beach CA
 
trail and gas station - natural enviroment of FZJ80
So true...

Nice looking 80, even without mods I think many are impressed with how incredibly capable they are stock. Welcome to the cruiser addiction, and the off-road world in general! Btw the pics showed up fine for me.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2015
Messages
11
Location
California
Hi Jabar,

Thanks for sharing your story. I have a friend that has a 93 cruiser and I was so impressed with its capabilities I recently bought a LX450 for myself so we could go off roading together.

I live in California so we don't get rust but things are just more expensive here. When I bought it from the dealer "as is" I knew it needed new tires but since then I have had to repair a check engine light problem, oil, steering fluid and radiator leaks as well as the rear lockers that were not engaging properly ( they were probably never used in 18 years by the original owner). The Lexus now runs well but all of this has added up to more than I was planning for - thankfully I have an understanding wife.

The only modification I have made so far is a OME suspension package ( medium) - I am really happy with it. It gave me a couple of inches of additional clearance which is what I was trying to accomplish. However even with this improvement on our last outing I bent my running board on a big rock so perhaps in the not too distant future I may get some rock sliders.

One thing I noticed on the fuel milage ( since you mentioned it ) is that you can get much better milage on the highway if you go slower ( I am retired so I'm not usually in a hurry anyway). Also around town - anticipate and coast.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
39
Location
Poland
 
Thanks a lot for your comments.

@cruiserpilot no idea what is going on all pictures are on my server located in Poland, usually it is OK but once or twice in the past there was a reported problem by people using some corporate network where list of websites are on the black list (don't know why my personal blog but thats the fact).

@hsoliday - after 15000 miles behind the wheel of I know the magic barrier of 60mph, with roof top tent, snorkel and couple bikes behind above this speed fuel efficiency fall down dramatically (to 12 mpg or even less).

with OEM size tires (street Michelin), no rack on the roof and just 2+2 family in (and some baggage) we did easy an average 16,3mpg on distance of 6700miles - mostly highway and slow offroad trips around Moab

(now I see I should change language to English - it is time for quick lesson of Polish średnio is average and dzień is day :) )


the first upgrade of my rig was suspension I decided to install OME +2inches heavy duty set (thanks Slee), on the same order I took Front Runner roof rack and some small things like cup holder :), and central diff switch.


that seems to be a neverending story...(by the way I don't know what is this material - looks like kind of cement - anyone knows? )


plus purchased in local AutoZone liquids


(finally we do not replace fluid in the transmission and we used oem oil filter)
that's another story about some legends about maintenance of cars in the States and in Europe.
As I see it is common to have much shorter distances between oil change (less than 7k miles) and using standard oil (mineral base), in Europe most of the people decided to choose much longer distances between oil change (up to 15k miles) but using full synthetic oil.
I think does not matter type of oil as much as regular maintenance. Always is better to have enought fresh oil (avarage quality) in engine, than below minimum hiper/sexy 22nd century-ready high grade synthetic oil
I bought as well an universal power steering fluid cooler (dedicated for F150) as the Lexus had something like that (right side of the picture):





orginal cooler is expensive - much more expensive than I expected.
temporary fixed:



When we came back to the US exhaust was repaired, Old Man Emu installed and new set of BFG AT 33" so the clearance were more suitable for our destination.
I ask my friend to install trailer hitch because the system used in the US is much more universal than our european fixed ball. Choice of Uhaul hitch was very good, I've just limited offroad capability of the car :(
again we hit the road - this time with my father in law, my dad and our friend.
We were more brave than before with my wife and kids :) So Elephant Hill or Hell's Revenge become to be a goal for this trip.





and short movie from the trip you could find there:
 
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
8,556
Location
Ladysmith
 
 
 
Got the pics now! Fantastic, lots of miles must have been a great trip. Glad you got to Moab. Sort
of a badge of honour! J
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Messages
278
 
 
 
that seems to be a neverending story...(by the way I don't know what is this material - looks like kind of cement - anyone knows? )



Welcome to the life and the States! That stuff looks a lot like urethane foam hardened and degraded by heat. The foam seems to be a modern version of duct tape in that people use it to do many things for which it was not intended.

Where in Poland do you live?
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
39
Location
Poland
 
I'm orginally fromSsilesia (south of Poland), currently in Warsaw
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
39
Location
Poland
 
Got the pics now! Fantastic, lots of miles must have been a great trip. Glad you got to Moab. Sort
of a badge of honour! J
indeed. Since 2007 when I visited US for the very first time I cannot imagine how to not fall in love in Utah.

after amazing 3 weeks we had to say goodbye and went back home...

just few weeks later Lexus came to Poland, I did all paper works, paid all taxes, duties and insurance just to start the real part of preparation.
shopping first:

most important part was head gasket.


I noticed head gasket was already replaced, but using not oem parts. Condition of them in the area of 6th cylinder was very poor so choosing original Toyota parts seems to be much better idea.


and exhaust (here old and new).


friend of mine is a very good mechanic and welder so he made for me new stainless steel exhaust that meet my requirements - light, durable and silent.
He also did HG works including many other small parts like all valve seals (if the name is correct), fuel injectors insulators, o-rings, gaskets...
By the way of this work some other things were replaced.

valve cover repainted - you can see many small dents on aluminium surface - they use more salt in IL than we used to ...

fresh oil in engine


Having head in the shop we replaced some of the water pipes on the back of the engine bay as the access to this part was great. I had to bypass water line to heater located under passenger seat due to the rust.
I decided to say goodbye to EGR valve -(I am still fighting with CEL - but the end of this war seems to be very close).
having a lot of time (some of the gasket, seals, o-rings are not so easy available in Poland - I had to wait up to 2 weeks) I did some additional works like 7-pin mod to have full control over CDL. I removed subwoofer between front seats (to call it subwoofer is a bit funny).
I also ordered and installed new glass for mirror. Locally made, equipped in heating connected to rear-defroster switch. I chosen aspherical type - much better suitable for narrow european roads and different type of traffic (much more nervous).
Safari Snorkel installed, and some lights on the rack..

I am afraid this localisation of led bar is not perfect due to the potential reflex on the hood... I will check...

I installed rear fog light (obligatory in Europe)

and special sealed connectors were installed in the roof to let me disconnect lamps when roof rack removed (picture soon).

to be continued...
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
39
Location
Poland
 
that's the point, rust, rust, rust everywhere :(

It was not so bad, but not perfect as well, I think next car will be from California or Arizona :)


this is on my list as well:


sorry for quality of pictures, they were taken by an old camera in telephone





further we go, more difficult it looks. I think it will be a very long and not easy project.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
39
Location
Poland
 
(picture heavy!)
after all dismantling works, we (actually friend of mine) can start a real work.
a lot of hand work



Do it well or don't touch :)

a lot of welding

to fill all holes









when all pieces are fixed, all rusty places were cleaned and cover by special materials (don't ask me the name of that - my friend is using it when rebuild cars from 50's and 60's and after 10 years there is no rust.


first elements already came back from painting

some were powder painted


finally we could sent biggest part of the rig to paint
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2014
Messages
1,122
Location
NJ
 
Wow, that's going to be an amazing restoration job. Looks like a lot of work!
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2009
Messages
109
Location
Germany
 
 
The video is fantastic!!!

Next time you should buy an 80 with less rust:crybaby:.

Why not choose an European HDJ Turbodiesel?


This summer we followed the southern polish border ( Karkonosze, Tatry Wysokie) for holiday and enyoyed it every single minute! What a wonderful country!


Best regards from Germany.


Reiti
 
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Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
39
Location
Poland
 
@Reiti why not HDJ? Is is extremely rare to find good one in Poland, absolutely impossible to buy it in the States (what was the clue of whole plan). Diesel is slow, not so smooth and durable as 1FZ FE. And fuel consumption is still very high. As petrol engine is installed in toyota fork lifts till now (or so) where it works using LPG, I plan to upgrade my rig to "bi-fuel". It will dramatically reduce cost of fuel.

I knew about rust in day of purchasing - just didn't know how much of that is under all plastics around, under window seals etc.
anyway - she is back:





a lot of wax

and couple kilograms of additional insulation




and some details

 
Joined
Sep 30, 2009
Messages
109
Location
Germany
 
 
She will be a beauty again!

I prefer the HDJ (Diesel turbo) because it was the only available 80 for a long time in my country. And it is more powerful than the petrol donk in front:grinpimp:. Whatever, I like your car and the importing story behind it.

My LHD manual shifted HDJ80 is as or more rusty than yours, fortunately i got a second but rust free body. Unfortunately the body was an auto and RHD from Japan:confused:. Just plug and play, or so. But same colour. And by VIN they should have seen each other in the factory. May be they are siblings.

What I also like: There is a guy in southern Poland making back bumpers for 80 series. I will find out his or his companies name, may be need you for translation. My polish is less than basic.

Dobranoc!
 
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