ROTF- Nicholas

Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
2,591
Location
Central WA
Well it’s about time I made an official ROTF thread, so here it is. I’ve always been a fan of wheeling and I used to enjoy wheeling my 95 Chebby half ton in High School. It was more of a family truck that I took over, but I had a lot of fun beating the heck out of it on tight trails that my friend’s 4runners and taco’s wheeled with ease. I eventually added a 6”IFS lift and 35’s after bending a few too many cross members. I was all too aware of the limitations of the IFS setup and I yearned for a solid front axle. I wanted to do a SAS, but I figured it was best to cut my losses and start on working on a more trail friendly rig. An 80 series seemed like the perfect candidate especially since they had come down into my price range.

I have loved the 80 series ever since I laid eyes on my neighbor’s 1993 Land Cruiser. I used to watch in awe every morning while I waited for the bus in Jr. High, as the $50K tank rolled down the street, its glistening forest green paint shimmering in the sunlight. I knew someday I would own one when the price was right. I started my search in the fall of 2005 with a budget of $10K. At the time I couldn’t find a locked version within my budget especially in the Utah market. I found out that theLX450 versions were slightly less than a comparable LC, so when I found a 1997 LX450 that had recently had the head gasket replaced by the dealership, I jumped on it. It was kind of risky because I bought it from a guy on fleabay just outside of Cincinnati. The guy seemed honest, he sent me a lot of pictures, it looked like a fairly clean, and reasonably well maintained so I put in a bid in the last 30 seconds of the auction and won it. I knew a buddy was heading out east for work, so I split the fuel costs with him and we started our journey out to Ohio. We actually ended up running out of gas at 1:00 AM just outside of Iowa City. Luckily we were able to hitch a ride into town with a Highway Patrolman.

We eventually made it to Fairfield, OH where I took possession of the LX on April 20, 2006. What a day that was, I still remember my first impressions of driving it. I couldn’t believe how wide the LX felt after spending the past 8 months driving a civic. The engine purred gracefully and the transmission shifted ever so smoothly. I was amazed at how soft the suspension was for having a solid front axle. I did a quickie tune up then turned around to make the trek back to Utah to take my finals. I decided to take a different route home, so I traveled along I-70 and then made a detour up through Steamboat and Craig CO. I was very happy with my purchase and I couldn’t wait until I could start customizing it.


Here is a picture of passing through Southern Indiana on the way home.
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I had to stop by a few cemeteries on my way home to collect some lifespan cohort data for my ecology class. This was in Kansas.
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After finals I moved up to Spokane, WA to work while I was applying to grad school. I picked up a set of 285/75R16 Cooper STT’s in Ogden, UT before I left.
Here is a little sand dune I found in Idaho on my way up.
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Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
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Location
Central WA
I used my LX as a daily driver and did a little wheeling out at the Five Mile ORV park for the year I lived in Spokane. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures. I moved out to Des Moines, IA the in 2007 for school. I lived right across the street from school, so the LX sat for virtually ten months. I think she felt a little neglected so I decided to treat her with some reconditioning with money I earned from a research stipend. This is when the madness began. The following is a list of modifications and maintenance I completed over the summer/fall of 2008. I couldn’t have done all of this without the help of the great members here on MUD or without the nice OEM part discounts from Cruiserdan. Thanks again! My landlord almost had a stroke when she walked into my garage in the middle of the front axle service. :)
-Front axle service with new wheel/trunion bearings, seals and synthetic grease.
-Front/rear O2 sensors
-New plugs/wires/cap/rotor
-Blue hub fan clutch w/ 10K cst silicone
-New belts
-New antenna mast
-Thorough coolant flush with distilled H2O, fresh Prestone green and a new thermostat
-New OEM rotors X4 and 100 series pads.
-New Brake hard lines that connect to the SS Lines
-Slee stainless steel lines X7
-Silicone PHH
-All new radiator and heater hoses under the hood
-New Idler pulley
-New A/C tension pulley
-Recharged A/C
-Temp Gauge Mod
-Auto-up window mod
-Center Diff Lock switch with 7 pin mod
-OME Mediums 850/861
-TRD supercharger
-Transmission temp and boost/vac gauges in a dual A-pillar pod
-Scangauge II
-Fixed an emerging rust spot in the rear DS window seal
-Raingler Cargo Net #LRBN
There are probably a few other things I’m forgetting but this is all I can remember right now.

Before OME lift

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After OME lift

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The LS is not mine. I thought it was interesting that Lexus did the same paint scheme on other cars.

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Joined
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Central WA
Here are a few pics from an event at MIOBI in Knoxville, IA. Our son George was only 6 weeks old at the time. He handled the off camber trails like a champ.

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Joined
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My wife used to get a little frustrated with how much time I spend wrenching on the LX, but she was sure glad I did when the LX performed flawlessly on our way home to Layton, UT and Coeur d’ Alene, ID for Christmas break 2008. We ended up hitting a major blizzard just outside of Sydney, NE on I-80. It was a complete whiteout and we couldn’t even see the reflector side markers at the side of the road. The freeway was closed at Evanston, WY, so we gassed up in Little America and made a detour up through Kemmerer, WY, over to Bear Lake and down into Logan, UT on snow packed roads. When we hit Brigham City there was a 20+ car pileup on I-15, so we were even further delayed on our trip home. In all, the LX was running for 27+ hours straight with the exception of a few gas stops!


Last spring I decided I just had to get a set of 315/75R16 Coopers for my birthday. I had been pretty impressed with the performance of the Coopers in the snow, ice, mud, rock, and the street so I decided to stick with them for another round. The night of my birthday a drunk in a stolen classic car ended up crashing into the LX in our parking lot. I had grown tired of scraping the stock hitch on trails and I needed a place to store my 315 spare so I called up Luke at 4x4Labs and ordered one of his dual swingout bumpers. I also contacted Mike at Bump It Offroad and ordered a set of his tube slides. I picked up the sliders in Greeley on my way home to UT for the summer and Luke shipped the bumper to UT. I highly recommend both of these vendors. Both were great guys to work with and they make a high quality product.

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Joined
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Central WA
I finally had a chance to correct my caster this weekend. I took a trip down to SLC and visited Kurt at Cruiser Outfitters and he pressed in some 3 degree caster bushings for me. The vehicle handles much better now and tracks straight down the road now. I recommend correcting caster if you have been sitting on the fence about adjusting it. Thanks again Kurt!

This a trail by my folks house.

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I also added a Lumina Z34 hood vent to help keep the underhood temps down.


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****Update: In Sept 2009 I made a roof rack and bought a RTT.****

Here is a link to my roof rack and RTT thread. I figure this thread wouldn't be complete without it.

https://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-...inspired-j-moose-rack-mule-gutter-clamps.html


Well I hope you enjoyed reading about my rig. Thanks again to everyone helped me along this journey. I look forward to meeting more of you in person on the trails.:cheers:
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Did you stop and see the Cathederal of the Plains while you were at the St. Fidelis Cemetary?

I did, but I didn't go inside. It was pretty neat to see it sitting in the middle of Kansas.

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Joined
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awesome!! love the hood vent!!! Why did you only go with 1 accessory on the bumper?
 

reconranger

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Nov 13, 2004
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Nich,

That looks just like mine. Except for some mods, which I plan on fixing soon. Nice pics.
 
Joined
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awesome!! love the hood vent!!! Why did you only go with 1 accessory on the bumper?


Thanks. I thought you might like the vent especially since I stole your idea. :cool: It definitely dumps out heat.


$$$ was the main reason why I only went with one accessory. I maxed out my budget on the dual swingout and tire carrier. I knew I would eventually want a ladder and cooler/jerry can holder so I went with the dual swingout because it was only about $100 extra IIRC.

I took a study break the other night and started messing around with a welder and some pipe. It's probably the wrong type of tube to make a ladder, so I didn't take it any further. Someday I will add some accessorys to the empty swingout, it looks a little lonely all by itself. :rolleyes:
 

G-Cat

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I like the "Toyota Land Cruiser rear badge mod", myself. Nice write-up!
 

retrofive

rɛtrəʊ
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Mr. N - Great write up :D, Your LC is a true testimonial to the legend :cheers: Looks great! I all ways enjoy your comments and tributes to 'Mud.
 
Joined
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Goodyear Arizona
looking directly at the back of your truck, can you see the whole license plate? Im going to get the exact rear bumper with one swing out for now, like you did. I would also choose to have the tire swing out on the DS. Do you happen to have a pic of the rear swing out from the DS angle? Just wanted to see the angle of the tire and how much it sticks out. Thanks, and your truck is looking really good. Whats your plan for the front bumper?
 
Joined
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Nice catch on the rear landcruiser badge...must be cool to look like an 80 from the rear.
 

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