My better half has been wanting a Cruiser as a daily driver for a while now and we tried getting her used to a well-sorted BJ60 but the 5 speed proved to be too much to handle day in and day out.
She loves the Troopy but as we all know, they are a bit "industrial" and she wanted some creature comforts. We looked at a few 80's and she just didn't like the feel. After finding out the LJ78's had all the electronic goodies she tasked me with finding a suitable rig from Canada.
Upon finding a 1991 EX5 with verified mileage, a 3L head and a much cleaner body than the rest we made the trek up. Still had all 5 matching 16" alloys which is a plus. The exchange rate is super helpful for a decision like this and we ended up spending just a bit more than we got for her Honda. Outside of having to get the AC going again we were pleased with the condition and feel of it so we made the deal happen and headed south. Amanda got used to RHD real fast and had a huge, if not nervous, grin as we got going.
Got through the border without any hassle and filled up. Truck was driving dead cool and we sure turned a lot of heads on I-5. Got some heavy rain close to home but she soldiered on.
Had her in my cross hairs...sombrero hairs?....for the start of the drive.
Its hilarious how 'his' and 'hers' they look next to each other.
Made it home and immediately dove into the usual PO wiring rats nest and a nearly blown turbo. Tossed a new turbo in and verified the condition of the oil seals, timing belt, and valve clearances. Ditched a bunch of EGR crap that was just there for visual inspection (EGR had been been disabled already) and just made sure to get a wrench on pretty much everything to start. Tridon thermostat is in and the side pipe will get a full run of 2.5" to the back this week. New filters all around. The knuckles are in good shape. Verified the locker engages without issue.
Cleaned up an already clean engine bay and started to deep clean the interior. Can I just say that those suspension seats are the coolest damn thing! Luckily the only s***ty tint was on the sunroof and that was quickly dispatched with.
We made a template out of the rear carpet for some nice rubber mat for the back and put the useless 3rd row seats in storage for now.
Final step was the DMV and in short order she had a title and plates.
So the base-lining continues as she uses it as a daily driver. I have a transmission cooler on the way and will probably do the side mount intercooler setup that @GTSSportCoupe has championed. New valve cover gasket is in and she'll get a full fluids flush this week. I'll throw a larger fan on and that about does it for now. The overall condition is pretty ridiculous. All the trim is there and even the rear door hinges are tight and quiet!
I know very well the shortcomings of the 2LTE platform and plan on keeping this little thing cool and breathing better than stock. My time with a 2LT Hilux was a blast and gives me more optimism than most taking on one of these rigs. Lots of smart mods we're already done and she'll be looked after meticulously in our care. Obviously I'm already scheming for a repower hmm: turbo'd 3B with a A440 or A442?!) but for now it is exactly what Amanda wanted...a fuel efficient 4WD that can handle winter weather and turn some heads. By the way, that first tank of gas lasted all the way home and into a week of commuting!
Jonathan & Amanda