ONSC Chat

Discussion in 'NC- Olde North State Cruisers' started by NCFJ, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. NCFJ

    NCFJ Supporting Vendor

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    Trends in how we all use our Land Cruisers change with time. I think a lot of us change our use patters as our lives change and we get older. I’m 54 and comfort has become more important to me and I suspect that will continue. Often we change directions because we are bored with what we are doing and want something different. I’m gonna have to push myself if I decide to build my own bumpers for the 80. At this point I prefer what I am doing now.


    That’s me, this thread is to see where your thoughts are on current rigs and projects and thoughts and opinions on different current trends in the LC community. A place to bounce around general ideas without having to open a thread about it. I’m obviously into GM repowers and others are installing diesels. What do you like and dislike about both. Johnny built a 60 that will most likely climb over about anything, others want a truck that will handle class 3 maybe 4 trails and be able to drive out to Moab and do it.


    I am digging Ramon’s 40 build and I am jealous at some level. I can’t roll a 60 or 80 on it’s side to work on the bottom. We are all doing things to our trucks to take them another decade or more, or at least until we just can’t help ourselves and tear something apart and make it better, just because we can


    Speak your mind
     
  2. CharlestonG8R

    CharlestonG8R Hey y'all! SILVER Star

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    Subscribed. I like the idea of this thread, although I don't have much to add at the moment. I've owned my 80 for 9 years and have only decided to start building it for off road use about a year ago. It's no longer a daily driver, so I'm willing to make more modifications as long as it doesn't impact highway drivability; I won't be trailering this thing so it has to get me back from a trail ride (and there are no mountains here in Charleston).
     
  3. GLTHFJ60

    GLTHFJ60 Rum Runnin' SILVER Star

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    My evolution and thoughts over the past 9 years since I've been into cruisers:

    - I absolutely LOVE driving my truck
    - I absolutely LOVE the LC culture, but even more so, I LOVE this club and the people in it.
    - I absolutely LOVE hanging out with everyone in this club, both at cruiser "functions" and outside of them.
    - I absolutely LOVE camping and jump at any opportunity to do it, although lately, I haven't been able to get out as much
    - Without my cruiser, I would not be able to do as many of the things I love.
    - Without this club, or the TLCA in general, I would not be as into the car culture as I am now, nor would I even know some of the best friends I have ever had the pleasure of knowing
    - I absolutely HATE the idea of not being able to get home, or having to scramble to get my truck back together to get home.
    - I *somewhat* dislike the amount of money my cruiser addiction has "forced" me to spend
    - I have, in the past year, discovered that I enjoy building trucks more than I enjoy wheeling them. (I mean s***, I bought a house so I could have a garage to work on my cruiser in / around)

    About trucks specifically:
    - It is in your best interest to build your truck so that you can drive it to work at least SOME of the time. Don't build a trailer queen unless you are ready to drive to Harlan / Windrock / Rausch Creek regularly. Building a trailer queen will deflate your motivation to fix her when she's broken, or when you can't make the time to go on those long and expensive trips. Start saving that PTO.
    - If you're going to build a land cruiser to wheel the hard trails, it's worth the time to transition right to one-ton axles and skip building toyota axles altogether. Benefits include, but are not limited to, SIGNIFICANTLY wider availability of parts, SIGNIFICANTLY wider aftermarket support, SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper cost of maintenance and, of course, the ridiculous strength advantage.
    - If you're going to wheel hard and drive on the street, you better have a set of tires dedicated to wheeling and preferably a small trailer to tow them around with. Don't forget the electric impact.
    - If you're going to wheel the hard trails and enjoy the skinny pedal (like I do) then you'd better have a tow rig and trailer to tow your junk to and from the trail, regardless of whether or not you have one tons.
    - ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS, carry spare parts. This includes inner axle shafts (assemblies, not parts), driveshafts, when wheeling. We're talking about 15-40 year old trucks here and sometimes, despite their best efforts, they break down.
    - ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS, carry grease, fluids and tools. Yes, this even includes your 4 mile commute to work.
    - ALWAYS carry AAA. You'd be surprised how often you'll use it, whether its for your tow rig, your wheeler that you drive to and from events, your DD or even your wife's car. I cannot begin to articulate how much money AAA has saved me over the years.


    As for conversions, I still have not driven a V8 swapped LC! I need to find someone with one so I can feel the raw power :D IMHO, the low-end torque and efficiency of a diesel is perfectly matched to a LC, but I've accepted the fact that I drive a 60 (tractor), not a 100 or 120 (luxury SUV):D
     
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  4. JohnVee

    JohnVee SILVER Star

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    I echo lots of what Johnny just said. Maybe I'll let him drive my V8 40 soon (during the day, pre cooler-opening). I just recently was able to drive a 2F 40 for the first time. What a blast! Definitely very different mannerisms than my V8 swap. I love the V8 power but so many things are up in the air right now and filtering through my mind about going stock...
     
  5. roadstr6

    roadstr6 SILVER Star

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    I have 'wheeled several vehicles over the years but my initiation into the world of Land Cruisers was upon purchasing a '70 model FJ40 a couple of years ago. It was basically stock. I loved the "old school" charm of that rig. The older 40's had thicker metal. The door latches were like opening a gun safe or a bomb shelter. The ever-present gear whine from the old 3 speed box was music to my ears. It really was like driving around in a tiny tank or maybe a dump truck. The whole thing just felt heavy and overbuilt for what it was. The F engine was slow and pokey and with smallish 32" tires it felt like it was about to come apart at 60-65mph. It could drive all day at 50 though and had plenty of torque. The low gear on the 3 sp trans/xfer was super low and it would just about idle over anything in 4LO. It was fun owning an old relic but I grew weary of the non-syncro 1st gear. In traffic, it sucked and was alot of work. The drum brakes, once I sorted them out, worked okay but the rig had the single circuit MC and I worried about safety without a split system. I started gathering parts to install front discs and a split system but I had reservations about cutting the firewall to install a booster and re-doing my brake lines from 9mm to 10mm seemed like it would be a tedious process. I found out quickly that armstrong steering sucks on the trails. I wondered about the long-term (and even short-term) parts availability for the old F. What would I do if I had a problem? In the end, I sold it.

    My idea was to find a later FJ40 with discs, 2F and 4 speed and eventually install power steering. I wanted something a little easier and more comfortable to drive that could handle the interstate if needed and still be trail-worthy. I kinda' found what I was looking for when I bought the Crockpot ('78 FJ40), but kinda' not. The power steering, power disc brakes and 4 speed are wonderful. It goes down the road at 60-70 just fine. In those respects, it is much easier and more comfortable to drive than my old 40 was. However, there are some caveats. The CP is lifted 4" and on 35's. It's tall, rides rough and feels tipsy. On the trails it is a little scary, I have to admit. With the 4 speed/factory xfer, LO is not as low as I would like. The tall tires don't help that situation either. The CP has a mechanical locker out back which makes driving a short wheelbase rig like this a unique experience. The truck swerves a little from left to right when you're on-off the gas on the street. On the trail, when the rear lets go, it really lets go and the whole rig slides as both rear tires dig for traction. I think I would like the Crockpot better with a 2.5" lift and 33's but as it sits it just has a look about it that I really love. I'm not in a hurry to change too much on the CP. I have learned to accept it for what it is and I think we will have a long and happy life together.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
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  6. GarnerFJ40

    GarnerFJ40 Back in Garner!

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    I'll play.

    I concur with Johnny, I had lived in th RDU area for a while, and it wasn't until I bought my first Cruiser did we connect with a group of people to hang out with on a regular basis. We're all a little different in political views and lifestyles, but it works and I wouldn't trade it for anything...

    My project 40 is still my overall dream for a Cruiser. I've got the mini-truck 5 speed (actually 2), the 3.73 gearing, and the Mercdes Benz Turbo Diesel, and the power steering for it. I'll have to do a sprungover axle for the clearance on the oil pan, and the centered rear axle. The combo of the MB engine, 5 speed, and 3.73 gearing should give me a great daily driver with much better mpg. The best wheeler? Probably not, but should be ale to handle itself on some of the mid-level stuff... The plans are still to put lockers in it....

    I too love driving my 40. Some good seats, some AC, and some soundproofing would give me a truck I would love to drive to work everyday, combined with no car payment, maybe for the rest of my life! I don't even mind my drum brakes, I've gotten them dialed in, but still watch out for people stopping short...

    In 2 years, Ella will be going to Kindergarten, so I won't have daycare duty anymore (and maybe more cash!). My overall goal is to drive this 40 to graduation in 2016! Will it happen, probably not, but it's at least a plan!

    The 80 will always be the main family camping vehicvle, an I hope to stop using that as a daily driver to ensure the wear and tear is minimized. The green 40 may or may not turn into a wheeler, and the pig I'd love to turn into a every so often driver for both Heather and to drive to work.
     
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  7. NCFJ

    NCFJ Supporting Vendor

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    You've got more projects than I do Brian :)

    A trend I am starting to pick up on from speaking to guys interested in a future Vortec swap is that many are foregoing a new vehicle purchase in favor of a total resto mod of the Cruiser they love. When you crunch all the numbers it makes a lot of sense. The fact that you get to cruise around in a cool truck is just icing on the cake. A lot of these guys are throwing around words like "Investment" Predicting the value of any vehicle down the road is a crap shoot. Think of the LC you could build for the price of a new Tahoe, that is what these guys are talking about. SO keeping these LCs alive may well turn out to pay off down the line. Sure looks like it is already happening with the 40 series.

    I have a 40 waiting in the wings that Heather talked me in to keeping, she talked me in to keeping the 88 4RNR too. I have learned to avoid emotional attachment to any one vehicle but not so much for Heather, she was sorry to see the FJC go. I just said Cha Ching$$$ because it paid off a couple of notes and got me a lift and new shop door. I'll have to wait to get to the 40, knee deep in an 80 build along with customer builds.
     
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  8. lt1fire

    lt1fire

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    I bought my land cruiser 8 years ago next month. It was bought solely out of most closely fitting my needs at the time.
    They were :
    Room for 6
    Able to wheel the dessert trails, mountain trails and be reliable enough to spend days driving the thousands of miles of dirt trails that surrounded my house at the time.

    I was looking at a Solid axle diesel suburban and Jeep grand Cherokee and then I saw this cruiser in the auto trader. Went and test drove it… bought it that day.
    It was my first foreign car as I drove almost entirely V8 RWD cars before that. Spent about 8 months slowly repairing the 1 million things that were wrong with it so I could wheel it and take it camping.
    Moved here and the front brake rotors snapped off of the hub so it sat at my dad’s lake house for 8 months as I getting married and moving 3000 miles had sapped all my $$$
    Got it fixed and joined the club…. Can’t ask for a better group of people… even though the dynamics have shifted it is still the best club I’ve been a part of.
    This club is really the only reason I still have the 80 as I could make a suburban tow/camping rig and a blazer trail rig for the price of the 80 and parts are much cheaper and I think I would have sold it years ago if I didn’t get into ONSC.
    That said I can’t really see me selling it now even though I hate the lack of leg room (and a 91-92 has much more than a 93+) on long trips and yearn for the leg room my diesel suburban had.
    Only reason I’d sell it is if I got a diesel suburban for a tow/camping rig and a 40 or mini truck for a straight wheeling truck (just to stay in ONSC)
    Eventually I will do a diesel swap. IMHO Diesels in cruisers that are (expo/long range drivers/ semi hard core hybrids) just makes more sense to me. Grew up driving around in gas suv’s and trucks and it only took one time in a diesel to convert me. That’s where my diesel addiction comes from. Most likely my swap will be a 6.5 GM just to make sure it is 50 state legal so I don’t need to worry about problems registering it if I move state. NV4500 will most likely be the trans of choice.
    It has grown to cars also spending time in college in Europe driving a mix of diesel cars.
    A V8 would still be my weapon of choice for a performance car though.
     
  9. mtweller

    mtweller SILVER Star

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    This, x100 - ask me how I know.

    I've been a member of ONSC from nearly the beginning. I still hang with ONSCr's and some of my Fraternity brothers. That's really about it. It really is the only "club" I've been a part of as an adult. Can't say enough about the people and good time!

    For me, it's been an evolution. I was introduced to LC's when I was about 16yo and Joe Turpin (JT Outfitters) and his borther Jon started fooling around with them. I knew those guys growing up. I had the bug, but in Pilot Mtn where I grew up, there were none outside of the Turpins. My frist vehicle was a Toyota mini on 31's... 84 with a tired 22R. It could hardly get out of its own way, but held it's own when I went "4-wheeling" with my friends in their S10's, Broncos, etc. I loved that truck.. but when it came time to head to college, I decided a Jetta would make more sense. I still had a 40 in the back of my head.... always on the lookout. I'd leave notes on trucks, cruise the classads, autotrader magazine, etc. Then one day I got the call about Dozer - it was a truck I saw in Chapel Hill about 6mos earlier and left a note on the windshield. I won't tell y'all what I paid for a 1 owner '78 with aobut 68k miles on it - you'd hate me. Anyway, drove that a couple of years until it had some mechanical issues, and I had zero knowledge, or money to fix it. So I drove a loaner from my folks for a while until I got her back on the road as I could afford to pay someone to fix her. I then decided I'd get another little Jetta since they were dirt cheap and I could afford to actually put gas in that. I drove that through the balance of school, then got a job upon graduation that required a lot of driving, so I bought a brand new Jetta and drove that for a while. Over the next few years, I went through a Colorado and a Silverado, all the while keeping Dozer in the garage awaiting some much needed love.

    That's when I found Mud, and a bit later found the clubhouses and ONSC. Saw there were a bunch of likeminded Spreadheads and Deadheads and next thing you know, Dozer was under the knife. It's been a long road, and I'm rambling on, but the point is I really got the crawlin' bug and started building her as capable as possible with the money I had available to do so. About 3 years ago, I realized exactly what JC was alluding to.... I NEVER drove her. I rarely had the hardtop on b/c I hate wheeling with it on, which makes it challenging since she no longer fits in the garage. The 465 tranny is GREAT offraod, but I missed the butter smooth Toyota tranny. Propane was, well just a pain. Another mod that was FANTASTIC off road, but really limited how much I drove her otherwise. In the last year and a half, I've dumped a lot of money in Dozer, all the while never turning a mile, but the plan is to make her a capable off road rig that I can comfortably drive on shorter trips in lieu of being a trailer queen. The last mod, once I can find about another 3k of spare change, will be a OE style soft top, and then I think she'll be done for a while. Should be able to drive her to URE for a bit of wheeling, or to the beach for a weekend.

    That's why I think you are onto something Stan. I love the diesels, but they aren't for everyone. The LS platform is proving to be one for the ages and I can't wait to drive one of your conversions. One day I hope to build a Duramax Piggie with all the modern conveniences that could serve as a DD and a tow rig... one day. :D

    I'll shut up now.

    :beer: R
     
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  10. krzyabncanuck

    krzyabncanuck USFS HOTSHOT

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    Meh. I don't own a Land Cruiser anymore......






















































    They own me.
    That is all i got.
    But this winter does start Frankenstein. And it will be V-8...... With Tons........ And no roof........

    You get the idea. Trailer queen to the max.......
     
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  11. GLTHFJ60

    GLTHFJ60 Rum Runnin' SILVER Star

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    I guess you can have a trailer queen if you have more than 4 cruisers :lol:

    Where is the build thread already?!?
     
  12. krzyabncanuck

    krzyabncanuck USFS HOTSHOT

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    Soon enough. It will have some nice components but need to chat with you about axles and best place to look for some.
     
  13. GLTHFJ60

    GLTHFJ60 Rum Runnin' SILVER Star

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    Can do. I'll talk your ear off. Lots to learn about one tons.
     
  14. lt1fire

    lt1fire

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    I know quite a few places to get some military one tons, but if its going to be a trailer queen why not do some rocks :)
     
  15. mtweller

    mtweller SILVER Star

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    Portals is the way to go, but a bit exotic. For a trailer queen though... keep her low and still get the clearance. That's what will be under my Duramax Pigge :D
     
  16. krzyabncanuck

    krzyabncanuck USFS HOTSHOT

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    I will want something that you can find parts for in most towns also.
     
  17. GLTHFJ60

    GLTHFJ60 Rum Runnin' SILVER Star

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    One tons are the ticket. Parts availability, and reduced parts cost, was a big reason why I moved to them.
     
  18. lt1fire

    lt1fire

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    trailer queen to me equals rocks..... If you were to actually brake something on them you are doing something seriously wrong. Spare parts are easy to have on hand already since any surpluss yards have them.lying around. Just carry spares in bed of tow rig.





    only arguing because I'm bored on lunch right now ;)
     
  19. GLTHFJ60

    GLTHFJ60 Rum Runnin' SILVER Star

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    If I were building a trailer queen, I'd likely be a rock bouncer type rig. They run 14bolt (one ton) steering axles front and rear. No need to run anything bigger than that.

    Unless you are going for larger than a 50" tire, why do you need to run 2.5ton axles?
     
  20. lt1fire

    lt1fire

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    :grinpimp:stronger axle, cost isn't too much more than a 1 ton combo, most likely will never break anything.



    and they just look damn cool




    I've seen friends with 1 tons break at the hammers never seen any friends with rocks break.





    anything that ever sees street time though I'd do a 1 ton combo.

    Really though all this is just how I would do a trailer queen if I had the time and money for one..... everyone's personal build will be different.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
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