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Taco2Cruiser

Rob @ BudBuilt Off Road
Joined
Apr 2, 2016
Messages
2,012
Location
North Carolina, USA
Well, I guess this will also be my introduction. So hi guys, I've always loved this forum, and always loved land cruisers. I grew up in shops, learned to build ground up custom cars and trucks from an early age and had a great time doing it. Built some amazing things, learned from some great men, and I try to keep learning. I'm a believer that anyone who thinks they know everything, knows not a damn thing at all.

That all said, I started in the hardcore rock crawling world.

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And that was fun, I mean real fun. 38"-44" tires, propane injection, 3' of travel. But challenging means a lot to a lot of people. Somewhere along the way, I started to think about building a dual purpose truck. In my mind, building something that could do what i've been doing, but be designed in a way to also drive itself down the highway, was a far greater challenge.

So the '96 single cab Tacoma was born. Loved that truck, just could go anywhere. This is where I discovered that maybe my crawling skills, really helped me get a significantly smaller setup the same places I used to go. Granted, not the same line, but I started to more enjoy getting through the trail, not just up some 10' vertical wall. That said, lockers, a 140:1 low range, and 18" of travel never hurt either.
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Now when you drive a truck daily, no truck is safe from bad drivers. Like ones that hit you head on at 90mph while you're going 45mph.
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4.5 rolls, and 90 feet of sliding. I was fine, the other driver was not. That rear left super swamper went into her passenger compartment, and well light switch off. That swamper never popped, even though it ripped the CRVs engine and transaxle out. My rear axle shattered, rear driver leaf spring sheared, frame held, body held.

A sad day, I bought that truck before I joined the Army, and it never let me down. But out of the fire, the Tacoma was reenacted as a new FJ Cruiser, one of the first made, as I bought it in '06
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8 years, 120,000 flawless miles, 5 deployments of cash. Rubicon, Moab, Tellico, Death Valley, and a ton of local wheeling from Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Colorado. It was even at my wedding.
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Taco2Cruiser

Rob @ BudBuilt Off Road
Joined
Apr 2, 2016
Messages
2,012
Location
North Carolina, USA
Now I found myself, driving thousands of highway miles, then running some big name trail. I guess I was overlanding, before I knew about this thing called overlanding. Sleeping without anything but a issue sleep system and the FJ by me was all I knew. Then I discovered a world of comfort, but still capable, and my wife was all about that. That said, my wife loves wheeling and traveling. She's just super happy in the passenger seat on a 3,000 miles off road trip. So life is good. That brings me to why I'm in the 200 forums. I was about 2 seconds from ordering a ton of metal and start making an offroad trailer, but after a couple months of set backs in tubing availability, and business just not getting back to me, I questioned a trailer, or starting over. I was on the fence about switching to a LC, I've build 6 80s for customers throughout the years, and loved that platform. Then I was looking at diesel engine swaps, then maybe a 100 series and a SAS, then a 60 series because I just loved that LC.

Then some where I said to myself, self, what about a 200. NO... you can't afford one of those. After many more months of sleepless nights. I found one. But I can't sell the FJ, its just too good. My wife's thing is to not really give me her opinion, but to let me come to decisions myself. After finally just asking her, "babe, I just need your honest opinion" She replies, I love the FJ too, but you've always wanted a Land Cruiser, and I think this is the time to do it.

Then started a month of deciding between a 2011 and a 2013. Ultimately, I knew it was going to be built, and the 2013, just didn't have much to warrant the on average 10k price increase. One flight to Baton Rouge, and bam, I picked up a 2011 and drove it to West Texas.
 
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Taco2Cruiser

Rob @ BudBuilt Off Road
Joined
Apr 2, 2016
Messages
2,012
Location
North Carolina, USA
So the build, this is a fair amount to prior experiences, combined with a reservation to add anything that weights a lot and doesn't really help me. Not to say this won't get heavy, I just try to keep it inline. I also had to view availability of parts. I line-x my FJ, and found it to be one of the best things I ever did. I like my trucks in great condition, even though I take then on tight trails. So where I live now, with knowing that I will be moving soon, bumped the line-x up faster than I wanted. So here we go.
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So I'm almost done spraying the 200, a Front Runner Slimline II rack (worked well on the FJ) in in the family room, BP-51s in the entrance way, a ARB front bumper (been on all my Toyota, and they just work) in on the porch, sliders are outside also, Total Chaos Upper arms (ran so many of their products and just always good stuff), a Tepui Gran Sabana Ruggedized is in the garage, 5 rock warriors are floating around here, and I'm thinking 295/70r17 Cooper STT Pros, but haven't decided yet.
 
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Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
1,110
 
 
Love the Line-X but afraid of turning my rig into an oven in the summer. Let us know how yours fairs.
 

Taco2Cruiser

Rob @ BudBuilt Off Road
Joined
Apr 2, 2016
Messages
2,012
Location
North Carolina, USA
I'm sub'd!

That Line-X hood looks really good, as do all the other components! Can't wait to see you put all of the Lego pieces together.
Thanks man, yea, I ended up putting every fastener in labeled ziplocks, because without that, whoo, it would get crazy putting this thing back together.
 

Taco2Cruiser

Rob @ BudBuilt Off Road
Joined
Apr 2, 2016
Messages
2,012
Location
North Carolina, USA
Love the Line-X but afraid of turning my rig into an oven in the summer. Let us know how yours fairs.
Haha, yea I understand your concern. I have been living in El Paso, TX since I got the line-X done on my FJ, and I have to say, it keeps your vehicle significantly cooler even in 110 degree weather.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
525
Location
Oklahoma City
 
Taco - To follow-up, you're doing the entire body in Line-X correct? After my wife saw your posts she now wants us to do our hood, fenders and lower doors with Line-X. She started asking if they do colour match. Hmmmm, I think this forum is helping my interests every day.
 

Taco2Cruiser

Rob @ BudBuilt Off Road
Joined
Apr 2, 2016
Messages
2,012
Location
North Carolina, USA
looking forward to reading more about your build.....im blown away with the head on at 90mph and 40mph.
I still miss that 'ol black tacoma. I think though that is what solidified my deeper respect for Toyota 4x4s. That wreck took so long to stop that I actually started to wonder when it would stop, definitely not trying to act tough, it was just that the Tacoma keep rolling and flying down the highway on its roof.

But yea, I rolled the window, well, up, since I was upside down, released the seat belt, and crawler out. Not a scratch since the cab never buckled, that truck saved my life.
 

Taco2Cruiser

Rob @ BudBuilt Off Road
Joined
Apr 2, 2016
Messages
2,012
Location
North Carolina, USA
Taco - To follow-up, you're doing the entire body in Line-X correct? After my wife saw your posts she now wants us to do our hood, fenders and lower doors with Line-X. She started asking if they do colour match. Hmmmm, I think this forum is helping my interests every day.
Yes, I'm doing about 95% of the truck. Line-X makes some pretty amazing products, the stuff I'm having sprayed isn't really for bedliners, but spall protection. I remember in Iraq and Afghan, they started spraying building with this stuff to keep the building in tact when a S-VBIED would go off. Pretty amazing stuff.

Once I get enough posts to edit. I'll add some picture of my FJ to those earlier posts. My FJ was full line-x, but the black was black, the white top was white, and the silver agents were silver. They actually can take your paint and mix it in to get you just this right color. I love this stuff.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
525
Location
Oklahoma City
 
Thanks! We'll see if she really wants the colour match or if she would like the black. We have a silver LX and that and the black would look good.

BTW - I might be heading to Afghanistan for a 365... Buddies keep sending photos of the compounds and they have fleets of Land Cruisers. Be nice if I get one as well. Eeekkk I might see some of the stuff you're talking about.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
1,110
 
 
Cooler with the Line-X? Wow. I wonder how that happened?

So what did it cost to Line-X your rig? What kind of prep did it require?

I am TOTALLY interested in this and would appreciate any info and experience you could impart to us!
 

Taco2Cruiser

Rob @ BudBuilt Off Road
Joined
Apr 2, 2016
Messages
2,012
Location
North Carolina, USA
Cooler with the Line-X? Wow. I wonder how that happened?

So what did it cost to Line-X your rig? What kind of prep did it require?

I am TOTALLY interested in this and would appreciate any info and experience you could impart to us!
It gets cooler because it's almost an insulator, kinda like gyms where they spray the roof to cool it down also, noise also gets a hair less, but not anything worth raving about.

Prep is the same as a good paint job, everything removed, tapped, covered, sanded, and cleaned.

Price... well, I costs me a significantly less amount because I do all my own prep, and my really good friend owns a line-x shop. I've painted quite a few cars, and while line-x is very close to paint in its application, its not close enough for a paint job quality by just anyone, so one of his guys is spraying.

I would say about $7k-9K for someone to completely do a full line-x job, now you can spray for much cheaper, its just not going to look as good. Think of it on the same price as a proper full car repaint.

Now if you want cheaper material used, less stuff sprayed, do your own prep, you can bring prices down to a much more understandable level.
 

Taco2Cruiser

Rob @ BudBuilt Off Road
Joined
Apr 2, 2016
Messages
2,012
Location
North Carolina, USA
I love boxes of stuff.

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Got home around 8 pm finished cutting the front bumper and preping around 2am
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Sprayed the rear plastic cover because I think i'm going to wait for the Slee rear.
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Gratuitous 40 series shot at the Toyota in Baton Rouge that I stopped at before drive the new to me 200 series home.
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So... I've made a lot of custom bumpers, frames, suspension components in the past. But this build is new for me, I'm just getting into a more dedicated overland rig and don't want one off components should something happen, that and I don't have the time to make much anymore, but to just bolt stuff on.

I think that is the difference I'm trying to teach myself, between off-roading and overlanding. With a buggy, who cares if I break something, the trailer isn't far away. Now if I break something 2,000 miles from anyone, there's only so many things I can do with a small welder, and some hope.

I've also got to get this 200 ready by June because I'll be taking 45 days off work to enjoy some place. Place not yet determined, thinking California, or maybe Wyoming, Canada sounds nice also, I don't know.
 

Canyonero

Beating up Land Cruisers since 2015
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
664
Location
Centennial, CO
 
:popcorn:

Very cool and I'm intrigued by the line-x as well. Maybe when I get to a certain level of pin-stripes it will make sense to hit the line-x.

I'm excited to see your truck when you get everything on!

Also, I'm very interested to hear your thoughts on wheeling the LC vs the FJ. I came from an FJ (Tundra in between) and it's a very different experience in the LC. Best way I can describe it is that you don't "feel" what's going on with the LC as much. It's a much more insulated feeling off road.

You should do the Ouray/Moab trip in August!

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