ROTF lt1fire (Now a buy back and rebuild thread)

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Ok here it goes.
My vehicle back ground.
This is my first Toyota truck but it won't be my last.
I grew up working on muscle cars. In high school my friends and I spent our free time working on our cars to get the most amount of power out of them and them taking them to the Pomona open track day every month. We had all types Buicks, Pontiacs, Chevys, Fords etc.....
My first car was a 69 Camaro that I had for exactly one week untill my mom found out I bought it. She then sold it and took me to a ford dealership and bought me a 88 Mustang GT.
I then got a 94 Firebird formula (which is actually where I got my screen name from lt1=engine, fire=firebird)
That is still my favorite car i've ever owned. Got it up to around 450Hp and then traded it in on a 99 Z28. Got that a little faster but by then the truck bug had bit my friends and I and we all went searching for various vehicles.
This is basically what my Z28 looked like with out the grill
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And this is my formula
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They wanted a big diesel for towing our quads and sand rails to Pismo and Glamis and I wanted something that would wheel well and I could camp out of. So the search was on........
 
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Being a muscle car guy I was never really a fan of Toyota, the Asian car market was getting into full rice burner swing when I was in high school and I vowed to stay away from their annoying cars. It was in 2003 when I was staying in London for school that I saw a BBC show on land cruisers in Africa and the Middle East and I took notice. Then in 06 when I really started to look for a 4x4 I had it narrowed down to 4 choices.
Land Cruiser
Land Rover
Suburban
Jeep Grand
I wanted something reliable so the rover was out, I wanted something that would seat 8 so the Grand was out, the suburban was then eliminated due to size and the cruiser won out. I was now on new ground knowing nothing about land cruisers or the difference between the 91-92 and 93-97. I saw a few here and there but most were stock and most were more money that I wanted to spend. I almost just fell back to a suburban but then I saw an ad for a modified cruiser at the point magu air base. I emailed the guy and he let me know that it had been for sale for a while and no one wanted it yet but it had a full slee 6 inch lift (had to use the net to find out what the hell that was) 36 inch tires, winch, custom bumpers front and rear, sliders, light force lights and an OBA in the making. While I took a week finding mud and asking a billion questions he must have thought I wasn’t interested and started selling things off of the truck. (winch, rear bumper, lights all gone). I went up and did a quick look over of it as it all looked alien to me anyway and ended up buying it for 5K.
Now the fun began it was October 06 and I was getting married in Scotland, in July 07 and then moving from Los Angeles to charlotte in August of 07. I knew the truck needed repairs front axle service and leaking pinion but I wasn’t in a good place, financially, to spend money, nor did I know just how many repairs would pop up. I had to save some more money for the wedding so the truck was parked in the driveway till I sold the Camaro.
First thing I did was get it tuned up. Then I had to take the OBA system off to put the smog system back in place to pass smog in Cali. It failed and I had to save up some cash to get the valve adjusted. It passed that time. I started doing the axle service in December and got it done. Then the radiator started leaking so I needed to save some money for that. Then the temp sensor for the coolant went out and I had to save for that. All along I was also trying to track down my death wobble to stop it. A few other things broke here and there and in May of 07 I fixed the leaky pinion and thought I was done. I took it on my first “wheeling” trip to Pismo beach and it was a blast.
A month later I loaded it up, threw my brother in the car and high tailed it from LA to Charlotte in 4 days. Now as this was July I thought charging the A/C would be a good Idea since the air hadn’t been blowing cold on the Pismo trip. Opened the hood to look and then I realized that there was no A/C at all, it had all been stripped. With all the repairs and the lack of driving it I had never noticed this because I wasn’t looking for it. Oh well it was only 118 degrees in needles when we passed through.

After the move and wedding I had even less money than before and the cruiser was my DD. Then the brakes just decided to fail, and I mean all the brakes. The rotors where thin and brittle, one snapped off of a hub, both front calipers needed to be rebuilt, new pads and one of the lines had sprung a leak. With no money to speak of I was screwed. Luckily my sister had a 94 ford ranger she didn’t want anymore and gave it to me for free. The cruiser sat from Oct 07 to Oct 08 while I fixed other various stuff and saved for all the new brake parts. After that it was done and my attention turned back to fixing the death wobble. I got it aligned and changed the TRE’s and the rods, nothing. I adjusted the panhards to make sure they lined up, nothing. I changed the panhard bushings, nothing. Then a friend suggested to turn the toe out a little bit. Bingo… it went away.

With a fixed truck I decided to join the local NC club that had just gotten TLCA sanctioning. I went to my first trip with them to the outer banks in April and while there wasn’t much wheeling to be had there was great company and it was a very relaxing three days away from my job. My front tires went bald on that trip and we had a uwharrie trip coming up in May. I scrambled and was able to get four Goodyear mt’s in a 37 inch variety for $300. I was set and finally after fixing and saving and sweating all over this truck for almost three years it made its first 4x4 debut (beside the washed out trails in canyon country I took it on) and performed great.
Mods so far
6 inch slee lift with gen 1 arms and everything adjustable
1 inch front coil spacers
Custom wheels with 37” Goodyear Oz MT
Custom front bumper
10k winch (not installed yet)
SS brake lines (not installed yet)
Bud Built Tie rods
Electric engine fan
OBA (still not completed as I left some of the parts back in LA)

Mods coming soon
Rear 4x4 labs bumper
Aussie locker in rear
Dual Batteries
A/C install (in the process of collecting all the parts)
Paint front fender

Mods in the future
Diesel swap
FF rear swap
Try to get a double or crawler gears in there (even if I have to chop the tank)
Aux fuel tank
Draw system
Part time kit with Longs in the front
 
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Now some pics

Pismo beach
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OBX (its not been to two oceans!!)


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Uwhwarrie
Ran into a tree because PS refused to move the tires :D

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At work after installing the new tires and right before I painted the bumper and wheels black

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Some older pics from the PO

SNT 05
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jfz80

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Nice write up AL. That thing is a beast and sounds like it'll only get bigger and badder from here. Im jealous youve gotten to wheel both coasts with yours; hopefully someday ill have that privilege as well. Since you know em so well why not throw an LS(T)-1 in there ?

See ya on the trails :)
 
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Nice write up AL. That thing is a beast and sounds like it'll only get bigger and badder from here. Im jealous youve gotten to wheel both coasts with yours; hopefully someday ill have that privilege as well. Since you know em so well why not throw an LS(T)-1 in there ?

See ya on the trails :)

I thought about it quite a bit. I could get an lt1 for cheap or an ls1 for a little bit more..... but in the end I just wanted to go diesel.

I do miss the sound and the power of that camaro running up to 160+ that one time (you should ask Andrea about that experience)

There's an lsx car in my future for sure but not in the 80
 
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Nice truck and rotf write-up. I never realized you had to put so much work into getting it going. It's a tough way to start, especially since these trucks are built like tanks, but PM is important and lack of it really adds up.

Instead of the rear Aussie, why not swap both axles for e-lockers and get the FF rear as a bonus. ;)
 
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Nice truck and rotf write-up. I never realized you had to put so much work into getting it going. It's a tough way to start, especially since these trucks are built like tanks, but PM is important and lack of it really adds up.

Instead of the rear Aussie, why not swap both axles for e-lockers and get the FF rear as a bonus. ;)

Wow, I never knew it was that big of an ordeal to keep it running. Always assumed you must have been too busy to wheel after you said you drove it from LA to Charlotte.

That E-locked FF rear is more trouble than it's worth, plus he's on heavy 37s. Don't want to chance twisting splines in the locking collar if you don't have to.
 
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Wow, I never knew it was that big of an ordeal to keep it running. Always assumed you must have been too busy to wheel after you said you drove it from LA to Charlotte.

That E-locked FF rear is more trouble than it's worth, plus he's on heavy 37s. Don't want to chance twisting splines in the locking collar if you don't have to.

Yeah well the lack of money and time (when I lived in the apartment place to work on it) was the real factor in that. The cruiser had tons of little things (mostly pm items) that needed done and for a truck with 220k on the odom the big things are still running strong.

When I think about it there wasn't that many things that needed done it was just that when I fixed one thing another thing broke.
I still love this truck (as my wife can atest to)

Clint I was going to say why I didn't want the elocker but Logan did that for me :doh:
But an elocker in the front isn't a bad idea as bigger brakes do come with it.
 
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Yeah well the lack of money and time (when I lived in the apartment place to work on it) was the real factor in that. The cruiser had tons of little things (mostly pm items) that needed done and for a truck with 220k on the odom the big things are still running strong.

When I think about it there wasn't that many things that needed done it was just that when I fixed one thing another thing broke.
I still love this truck (as my wife can atest to)

Clint I was going to say why I didn't want the elocker but Logan did that for me :doh:
But an elocker in the front isn't a bad idea as bigger brakes do come with it.

Sounds about like the situation I'm in now. Guess I'll be playing catch-up for another 6 months.
 

OB-1

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With that 6" lift and the 37" tires your rig is probably almost as tall as you now. :lol:


Hopefully I can make it out to the next event so I can see that bad boy up close.
 
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Man what a rough start to owning a GR8 truck! Way to stick with it and all of this work will last you a long time! Congrats on a great ROTF.

Yeah it's been a journy but I would just not be happy if nothing had to be fixed on it..... it would take all the personality out of it.

Jorge I think I saw you heading down the 85 south yesterday. Looks like you got the front end back together.
 

OB-1

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Jorge I think I saw you heading down the 85 south yesterday. Looks like you got the front end back together.

Yeah, that was probably me. Took a ride out to Lake Lure today and made it back so I guess I did ok.

Let me know when you plan getting started on your future mods so I can give you a hand. I'm really interested in the aux battery system you plan on doing and the drawers.

Let's git-r-done. :hillbilly:
 

S4Cruiser

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Nice write-up. Love the history...gives it just that much more character!!

This thing is a beast just like you :grinpimp:. Glad you worked through the trials and tribulations...but just think that now if something needs to be done, we can all help to fix it :).

-Jon
 
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I guess time for an update.

Got quite a few projects coming up (last bit of money permiting)

First.... made it in four wheeler magazine
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That was last April in the outer banks.

Nex up I swapped out the SF rear for a FF rear with an ARB locker and 4.88 gears.
I swaped out the front 3rd for 4.88 gears and an ARB locker. I also put the larger FZJ80 brakes on the front.

Pics of that soon. I just have to install the compressor and wire it all up.

Next i'm finally going to install and do my OBA project York compressor with a custom bracket where the air pump used to be..... have almost all the parts I just have to figure out how to wire it all up.

Last install and wire up my XRC10 winch.
 

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