Scuba Steve's 80 Build Thread

ScubaSteve80

SILVER Star
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
332
Location
Birmingham, AL
I thought I would start a thread of all the build mods and upgrades I am doing to my LC 80. I am planning on upgrading many parts of the LC and thought it would be cool to document it along the way.

I bought my LC in September 2019. Its the first LC I have ever owned and I am incredibly impressed with what it can do off road. This is strictly a fun/off road vehicle for me. Needless to say I am a novice when it comes to many subject pertaining to LCs so any suggestions or comments are welcome. So here we go.

About the LC when I bought it:
150,000 miles on it when I bought it.
purchased for $9k
OME suspension
35" tires
Reupholstered black leather seats


Below is a picture of the LC on the day I bought it.


LC original.jpg


The first thing I had to do was build a swing out for the back of the LC. The previous owner had an awful design for a tire carrier. He built a pipe straight up from the trailer hitch which didn't move so you couldn't get into the back of the LC. So I wanted to do this on a budget. All together the swing cost me around $300-$400. Eventually I will buy a high clearance bumper with a swing out but this works great for now. If anyone has questions about the details of the swing out build please feel free to ask. I have many pictures of the build process. I will be adding a high lift jack to the back soon.

Swing out 3.jpg


I have also done the alternator upgrade from the 80 amp stock alternator to the 150 amp alternator after purchasing the famous bracket off of the forum. Works great and will be a big help when I had a winch and cooler.

Rock sliders, snorkel and auxiliary fan have been purchased and I will add them soon.
 
Last edited:

GA Trevor

SILVER Star
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
369
Location
Atlanta
 
 
Looking good, Would be interested in more pictures of the swing out setup, would like to get mine out of the rear cargo.
 

ScubaSteve80

SILVER Star
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
332
Location
Birmingham, AL
Looking good, Would be interested in more pictures of the swing out setup, would like to get mine out of the rear cargo.
Thanks Trevor. Below I have attached photos of the build process. The swing out works great and I am very happy with if for money I spent on it.


swing out 2.jpg
rear 2.jpg


Then we built the Jerry can holder. I am adding a high 48" high lift holder soon to the right side. If you want me to go into more details on the sizes of steel and gauges I used just let me know. If you are or know a decent welder the process isn't bad at all. You could do the whole thing in a whole day if you have help.
 
Last edited:

GA Trevor

SILVER Star
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
369
Location
Atlanta
 
 
I don't have any welding skills (or a suitable space to try) but Im sure I could outsource the labor to a small shop at a price point that still comes in below most other options. If you don't mind posting the info here or in a PM I would appreciate it.

Thanks and Roll Tide
 

ScubaSteve80

SILVER Star
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
332
Location
Birmingham, AL
Installed a snorkel. I bought the ebay snorkel and in my opinion it looks great. Of course the template was off and we had to modify it and the bracket but other than that I am happy with the way it turned out.

Snorkel 1.jpg
Snorkel 2.jpg
snorkel 3.jpg
 
Last edited:

ScubaSteve80

SILVER Star
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
332
Location
Birmingham, AL
Replaced the oil pump gasket. This was a headache of a job to say the least. I don't know how you would do this without building the tool to get the crack pulley off. The Philips head screws that hold the oil pump cover on gave us a really hard time. We actually striped 3 of the five trying to remove them and one of them required us to drill the bolt out and use a helicoil. We replaced all the screws so some poor soul doesn't have to go through what we did in the future. Being that it was the first time we had done the oil gasket repair and running into some issues, this job took us close to a day and a half to complete. If you ever attempt this job, I hope you have better luck than we did. Big thanks to @KrOswalt for all the help.

Oil gasket 1.jpg
Tool.jpg
 
Last edited:

ScubaSteve80

SILVER Star
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
332
Location
Birmingham, AL
Put in a new DENSO Radiator this weekend. My ScanGuage was telling me I was running 220 degrees on the trails the other day so I figured a new radiator would help. With the new radiator in I am running 190-200 degrees but I haven't taken it on the trails yet. If the new radiator doesn't give me the results I'm looking for I will probably install the Witts End blue fan clutch.

The DENSO radiator was only $160 on rock auto. I am not considering this as a long time solution. But for now it can't hurt.

Radiator 1.jpg
Radiator 2.jpg
 
Last edited:

fj80pb

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
147
You definitively have excellent welding skills-congrats! (I wish having a fraction of yours...)
You'll be happy having a new rad for sure. The blue clutch you refer will likely help in dropping a few additional degrees and the pushing fan will surely help in keeping the A/C colder at low speeds.
Cheers!
 

ScubaSteve80

SILVER Star
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
332
Location
Birmingham, AL
You definitively have excellent welding skills-congrats! (I wish having a fraction of yours...)
You'll be happy having a new rad for sure. The blue clutch you refer will likely help in dropping a few additional degrees and the pushing fan will surely help in keeping the A/C colder at low speeds.
Cheers!
Thanks! I wish I could take credit for the welds but all that credit goes to @KrOswalt. He's the white knight of the blue light.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
359
Location
Lower Alabama
 
Thanks Trevor. Below I have attached photos of the build process. The swing out works great and I am very happy with if for money I spent on it.


View attachment 2013176View attachment 2013177
View attachment 2013178
For some reason it looks bent in this picture but everything is level.
View attachment 2013179View attachment 2013181

Then we built the Jerry can holder. I am adding a high 48" high lift holder soon to the right side. If you want me to go into more details on the sizes of steel and gauges I used just let me know. If you are or know a decent welder the process isn't bad at all. You could do the whole thing in a whole day if you have help.
Can you post the size and gauge square tubing and where you sourced the spindles?
 

ScubaSteve80

SILVER Star
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
332
Location
Birmingham, AL
Can you post the size and gauge square tubing and where you sourced the spindles?
For the square tubing for the swing outs I used 2"x 3" I believe it was 11 gauge, 1" x 1" for the Jerry can holder, and 2" x 2" for the tire carrier. I also bought 3" flat bar to use where necessary. The spindles I bought off amazon AtoZ Fabrication Tire Carrier Hinge kit (Mega Spindel)

Here is a link to the spindles: Amazon product
 

ScubaSteve80

SILVER Star
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
332
Location
Birmingham, AL
Been chasing a very small oil leak for awhile now. Finally located it in the distributor. My distributor o-ring was as hard as plastic, it was crazy. Replaced the o-ring, distributor cap, and distributor rotor. One of the easiest repairs I've done so far to the LC. Did it in under an hour.

You can see the old o-ring on the work bench in pieces in this picture.
Distributor 1.jpg
Distributor 2.jpg
 
Last edited:

ScubaSteve80

SILVER Star
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
332
Location
Birmingham, AL
Rebuilt my front axle over the past few days. I have to say that as a novice LC owner it felt good to get this done. It needed to be done, I had a lot of play in my wheels. I also replaced my tie rod ends, rotors, calipers and break pads while I was in there. I need to look into my caster and I am still learning all about that but if need be I will get caster corrector plates. Did this at 152K miles.

Turns out I didn't fix my oil leak from the distributor in the last post so I bought a used one and we will see if it works. I believe the seal in the shaft of the distributor is bad and the only fix for that is to get a new one.

knuckle 2.jpg
Knuckle 1.jpg
knuckle 3.jpg
 
Last edited:

ScubaSteve80

SILVER Star
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
332
Location
Birmingham, AL
I put a new thermostat in the LC that I got from Witts End. I have been getting high temp readings in the 190s and its not that hot outside yet. I changed my radiator thinking that would help, and it did a little but I didn't see the results I was expecting. I wanted to change the thermostat before I move to a blue fan clutch by Witts End. I still need to put coolant in the LC before I will see if this had anything to do with my high temps. Crossing my fingers.

IMG_2653.jpg
 
Last edited:

ScubaSteve80

SILVER Star
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
332
Location
Birmingham, AL
So at 154,000 miles I blew a head gasket. This all happened during the quarantine and so I had nothing but time to work on the LC. This was a long job but not that hard of one (couldn't have done it without @OTRAMM video). I asked for quotes from local places to do this job and it was around $2.700. I was able to do this job for right over 1K with a bunch of new parts. I also had the head machined and cleaned along with a bunch of other parts cleaned. While I was in there I did:
  1. Everything that came in the head gasket kit. New head gasket, valve cover gasket, manifold gaskets, and many o-rings.
  2. Fuel Filter
  3. Break Booster
  4. Master Cylinder
  5. ARP Head Studs
  6. Spark Plugs
  7. Water Pump
  8. EGR Delete
  9. NGK Spark Plug Wires
  10. PPH
  11. Knock Sensors
  12. New hoses in many places
  13. O2 sensor
  14. Painted valve cover, heat shields, pulley, and brackets
  15. New fan clutch nuts
IMG_2771.jpg
1587613129201.png
1587613212823.png


I don't consider myself a mechanic but after this job I am starting to change my mind... very proud of this and learned a lot during the process.

-Steven
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom