ROTW: kevinmrowland (1 Viewer)

kevinmrowland

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Eugene, OR
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www.wagongear.com
Here is the FrankenCruiser that I affectionately refer to as Lil’ Truck.
It is not really one cruiser, just a pile of junk that I gave some more life to. I have unwittingly bought rusted out hulks of junk for the past 11 years and kept building them into this one. So this is MY cruiser, the first legal car I ever had, will be the last, nobody else in their right mind would own this thing since it has become a complete custom in the form of a 60.

I have it ‘cause it takes me places without fail, I know every nut and bolt (I should, I put them all in, most more than once) and it looks like crap so no one seems to mess with it.

It is a daily driver, but I walk to work. I use it for road trips and it has trucked from Maine to Alaska, Mexico and back, with a bunch of stuff in between. Everything has been added for a reason, found a need for it while traveling and justified the expense. One thing I like to remember is that it took me to the Arctic Ocean with little more than a bed in the back in the way of mods.
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kevinmrowland

Forum Lifer
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Eugene, OR
Website
www.wagongear.com
My Dad bought a family hauler 62, we liked that so much that I bought an old 81 60 with delusions of fixing the completely rotted body and rusted out frame. It was about as far from road worthy as you could get, so I mustered together the most complete set of hand tools I could find and started disassembling…that one never really made it back together, but that was how I learned to take apart front knuckles, remove a carb, pull a steering wheel, drive out bearings, separate a T-case, torch u bolts, swear, kick, grunt and bloody my knuckles all while learning to love the cantankerous beasts that are Land Cruisers.
I suppose it never made it back together not due to a lack of motivation, but rather reality sinking in, rust is a bitch.

With my ever growing pile of parts to draw from, I felt armed for my next Cruiser purchase, a grey 85 that I spotted sitting outside a local auto parts store. I bought that one right away, it was only the second one I had ever seen for sale, spent all my savings on this one since it was in such mint condition. I thought it was mint since it only had fist size rust holes, that was an improvement from the head sized ones in the previous cruiser. This one is technically my Cruiser, despite the Frankenstein it has become. I’ve made a lot of mistakes with it over the years, done things just plain wrong, learned lessons, struggled along quite a bit before finding LCML, MUD and good vendors (back when I still threw money away at $OR).

It was barley running, I used the parts from my 81 to get it going and drove it with sagging springs, rusted frame and numerous other safety violations for a few years, all the while convinced that I had the ultimate 4x4, go anywhere vehicle. And even in the abysmal shape it was in, it really did go anywhere, it amazes me just how capable that rusted out shell with 29” street tires really was.
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kevinmrowland

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Eugene, OR
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www.wagongear.com
I milked what was left of my rolling ball of oxidization for as long as I could and finally decide to fix things up right. I bought a new frame, and a new body, rented a sandblaster and pulled every nut bolt and screw out of the 3 1/2 land cruisers I had stashed behind my fathers shop by that point. After I had the parts in a huge pile, I went through, piece by piece, and chose the best one of every part, cleaned it up and moved it to a new pile ready to be assembled into my new Cruiser. You may think I am speaking metaphorically, but this is literally exactly what I did. The pile I started with was rather daunting, but once I had whittled it down to only one cruiser worth of parts, it did not seem so bad.
I then put the thing back together, a process whose mistakes I have spent the last 6 years fixing.
And now my cruiser is so far from stock I have a hard time remembering what things were supposed to be like from the factory, but I can fix this one, so I will keep it. I love keeping an old piece of trash running, I love not buying a new plastic box off a car lot, I love that this one is MINE, I made it, and it's the way I want it.
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kevinmrowland

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Eugene, OR
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www.wagongear.com
DRIVE TRAIN
The 2F was a great engine, it had a 3F carb, custom dual alternator setup and a manual HAC, but despite all that, I decided to install a 1HZ-T engine for the fun of it.
As it sits now it has:
4.11 gears, full floating axles, cable locked front and rear
H55
Dual optima batteries in stainless trays
OME heavy springs
T-100 Master cylinder
4 runner calipers
Braided stainless lines (everywhere except the front to back frame line)
Low 2 mod
Extended breather lines

Some other threads about my Cruiser:


1HZ Swap

Fridge lid mod

Dual Alts

Winch

Under seat storage

Tailgate/side panel storage
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Joined
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the valley, yeah that one
WOW!:eek::eek::eek::eek:


an obvious labor of love.
 

kevinmrowland

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Eugene, OR
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www.wagongear.com
OUTER AUX MODS
The front ARB has been modified to accept a Warn 9.5xp with a synthetic line and plastic roller fairlead. I also shortened the bumper mounts so that it sits 2.5 inches closer to the grill. There is a grip pad on the bumper since I was tired of my foot sliding off, plastic coated shelving inserts were cut and zip tied to the bumper tubes to protect the radiator and the Wipac H4 headlights.
The grill has been blacked out (as has most everything else) the windows have been de-chromed and tinted black.
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kevinmrowland

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Eugene, OR
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www.wagongear.com
I was tired of the wind whistle around the front doors so I had a roll of custom weather strip made with a larger than stock welt, nice and quiet now.

The second pic shows the OE weather strip; you can see how it is barely even compressed by the door.

The last shot shows the new weather-strip, nice and compressed.
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kevinmrowland

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Location
Eugene, OR
Website
www.wagongear.com
DASH AND INTERIOR:
I use spare defroster switches for aux stuff; it looks stock and confuses people
Extra12v outlets in the back of the glove box
Gearshift lock
Center hatch instead of center console
GPS bracket
62 Grab Bar
70 Dash pods with aux gauges and a 4runner altimeter/inclinometer
Cobra CB remote mount radio
Stock AM FM push button radio
Cig tray modded to hold Ipod
Hella map light
Subaru Impreza seats
LED domes
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kevinmrowland

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Location
Eugene, OR
Website
www.wagongear.com
Security is a big issue, I figure the rougher it looks, the less likely anyone is to mess with it. I keep some things easy to steal (stuff on the visors, a cheap I-pod in the ash tray…) but make sure the important stuff is hidden or locked up. I figure thieves are like building inspectors; you have to leave something out for them so they don’t find the good stuff.
I have a kill switch, and I just installed this great gearshift lock.
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kevinmrowland

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Joined
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Location
Eugene, OR
Website
www.wagongear.com
STORAGE MODS:
Full Tool set stored in custom under seat storage.
Everything is as low and as far forward as possible.
Cargo net attached to roof for light items
Roll down curtain for privacy and cold weather camping
Fridge tie down D-rings to keep the fridge secure (everything is bolted down in some way or another)
I changed the fridge lid to open more conveniently
I also replaced the unwieldy fridge cord with a self-retracting curly cord.
Front storage bins
Upholstered storage bed
Tailgate lid
Side panel lids
Seat-in sleeping mode
Modified Coleman stove in kitchen drawer

Storage is one of my personal pet peeves; here is a bunch of pics to chronicle its evolution.
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kevinmrowland

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
Eugene, OR
Website
www.wagongear.com
The front storage bins have been modified numerous times beyond recognition, the lids have been hinged every way possible and they have been shortened so that three Scepter cans lay upright across the floor. They are great for when the seat isn’t installed, but I needed the seat from time to time so I made this makeshift platform extension.
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