The Adventure Truck build thread 1990 HDJ81 (1 Viewer)

slceso

... pronounced "Jason"
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Messages
678
Location
Clarksville, TN
I've done a few things now since I've had this thing for a year so I thought I'd start putting a thread together.

I used to have a pretty nice (except for the frame and body rust) locked '95 FZJ80 with 96k miles. I was going to build it for family camping with an emphasis on overlanding, but once the krylon touch started wearing off and the rust showed through I just never could commit the funds or resources. So I ended up letting it go to a body shop guy for $3k when we were moving here. Should've kept it. Anyhow I decided it was time to grow up and just drive my Subaru Legacy and forget about playing with trucks.

Well it didn't take me long to decide I needed a pickup truck and I started looking at low mileage used Tundras. It's hard to find a deal on Toyota trucks around here. They either have high miles or people want way over book, "it's got the Xsp package so I'm gonna need a kidney from ya!"

Everyone has probably drooled over @SteveJackson 's site landcruisersdirect.com at some point and seen the many fine examples of non-US market unicorns that have come through his shop. I looked one day and noticed that he was starting to list JDM 80s for the first time. I got excited because of the lore of the Toyota diesel and how so many people were breaking their necks and wallets to shoehorn diesels into their 80s here in the US (and how few seemed truly happy once the conversion was done).

Man, this thing had almost all of the stuff I wanted or had considered adding to my old truck. It already had a lift, factory winch, factory swingout, heated seats, fridge console, altimeter, luggage rack delete, hatch wing delete, e-lockers, the turbo diesel, and only 46k miles. Condition was the most important part to me, and it looked like this thing was about as good as it gets for original paint and interior, not to mention clean and rust free. US 80s sub 100k miles practically don't exist anymore or are not accessible to mere mortals like us.

I discussed the acquisition with my better and sometimes more reasonable half and surprisingly she was not wholeheartedly against it, which I took to mean we are definitely doing this. I called Steve and we chatted. At this point I was really, really interested (not just mud classified interested), but I just didn't know if I could justify the purchase.

Well I did it anyway. I bought it sight unseen and had it shipped out. The only time I miss my Legacy is on the highway, and really just not that much. I've really enjoyed this thing over the last year and even had a few adventures. Hopefully there are many more to come.

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Last edited:

slceso

... pronounced "Jason"
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Messages
678
Location
Clarksville, TN
Brown Mountain OHV

I've only done this the once, but it's just down the road from me. Mostly for bikes and quads etc, but there were a few jeepers out there. At the top of the trail it gets a bit narrow and I drug branches down the paint, but oh well. There is a big bald up there that is pretty neat.

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Last edited:

slceso

... pronounced "Jason"
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Messages
678
Location
Clarksville, TN
Hatteras Island

I went with some work buddies for a chartered fishing trip and took the fam with. The sea was choppy as hell and we all got sick, but we redeemed the trip with some leisure time on the beach. This was the first time we all drove for about 9 hours in the HDJ. Wife drove her van separate the next time haha! A few weeks before the trip, the headlights started blowing fuses. I was not thrilled since I had only had this thing a few months. Turns out I had an aftermarket HID kit and the ballasts had fizzled. Once I figured out how, I got the lights back to stock and adjusted the aim for American roads.

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Last edited:

slceso

... pronounced "Jason"
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Messages
678
Location
Clarksville, TN
Hurricane Creek

This was a really fun trip, but I packed way too much stuff and spent all my time loading and unloading. The second night camp by the falls was really nice. I've got my loadout and gear tweeked a bit better, but was unable to go in 2017.

June Hurricane Creek Run - June 24-26 2016

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Last edited:

slceso

... pronounced "Jason"
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Messages
678
Location
Clarksville, TN
Kiss drawers + ARB 50L + @TemboTusk Loadspotter

Anchoring for 80 series without 3rd row seats but with tie down anchors (Early FJ80/JDM HDJ81). I may switch to cable and turnbuckles for more rigidity (I'm open to suggestions). When the load spotter is extended, it wants to tip forward a bit.
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It just so happens that the spacing on the loadspotter lined up perfectly to not interfere with the other drawer or the side wing. I also used the optional quick mounting dock which shifts the mounting bolts toward the centerline of the slide. Otherwise, it would have been a lot tougher to mount and not interfere with the structural bits of the KISS.
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I did end up using some 1x lumber and some shims to lift the tailgate end of the KISS frame. The luxurious JDM loop pile carpet on the taligate wanted to interfere with the drawer sliding. Also when I extend and articulate the slide the drawers want to tip a bit, just enough that the drawers and slide hit the tailgate carpet.


Gratuitous photo

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In the wild, + optional undermount sliding cutting board. I didn't even know how much I needed this thing!

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slceso

... pronounced "Jason"
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Messages
678
Location
Clarksville, TN
Springs n things, @CharlestonG8R . Finally got the Ironmans installed. I neglected to actually measure the spacers I had on there before, which were 4".

These 6" heavies add a little more than 2" to previous. I think the ride is ok, but will probably be more stable when fully loaded up and if I ever get armored.

Ended up having a place in HKY do the work since I've kind of been taking it easy since I got my backeotomy. I may have to do some work to improve the handling. It's a bit floaty/dodgy on the highway. Luckily I already had all of the drop brackets and adjustable panhards.

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GLTHFJ60

Rum Runnin'
SILVER Star
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Apr 18, 2005
Messages
26,979
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Durham, NC
Whohoo!! Love build threads.

Looks like you've got a bunch of rake. Was that planned?

Looks like you're ready for bigger tires :steer:
 

slceso

... pronounced "Jason"
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Messages
678
Location
Clarksville, TN
Whohoo!! Love build threads.

Looks like you've got a bunch of rake. Was that planned?

Looks like you're ready for bigger tires :steer:
haha yeah, @CharlestonG8R warned me about that. I guess in the 6" they only make super heavy spring rate for fully built rigs. I do plan on armoring up and loading out for trips (you've seen how I pack) and the springs will help with towing a full trailer, but it is a bit much. It's even getting hard for me to climb in.

I thought the same about the tires as soon as I saw it. It's unavoidable at this point, really lol. I don't want to de-flare etc. yet though, so I think I will stick with the 35s for as long as I can.
 
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CharlestonG8R

Hey y'all!
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Aug 11, 2013
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Charleston, SC
haha yeah, @CharlestonG8R warned me about that. I guess in the 6" the only make super heavy spring rate for fully built rigs. I do plan on armoring up and loading out for trips (you've seen how I pack) and the springs will help with towing a full trailer, but it is a bit much. It's even getting hard for me to climb in.

I thought the same about the tires as soon as I saw it. It's unavoidable at this point, really lol. I don't want to de-flare etc. yet though, so I think I will stick with the 35s for as long as I can.
LOL! Yeah, that was exactly the problem I had! Those are some seriously stiff springs. You should have seen how ridiculous my 33's looked... Just a thought, you might see if you can get some of the stiffness out by adjusting the panhard rod... Marshall mentioned that mine was extended too far and it should have been brought in a bit. We adjusted the panhard after we found where the springs relaxed, but maybe that was wrong?
 

izzyandsue

Izzy
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Oct 31, 2014
Messages
5,708
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Charlotte, NC
Thats some LIFT! Have you checked post work caster? Overall alignment is a good idea, panhard rod is also a good idea as you have that frame farther off the ground. How about driveshafts angles? Pinion angles? Anything else you should review?
 

slceso

... pronounced "Jason"
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Messages
678
Location
Clarksville, TN
LOL! Yeah, that was exactly the problem I had! Those are some seriously stiff springs. You should have seen how ridiculous my 33's looked... Just a thought, you might see if you can get some of the stiffness out by adjusting the panhard rod... Marshall mentioned that mine was extended too far and it should have been brought in a bit. We adjusted the panhard after we found where the springs relaxed, but maybe that was wrong?
I think since I went from a 4ish to 6ish everything was reasonably close. The shop installs lifts and seemed to have an idea of what they were doing, though they don't really work on cruisers. I haven't looked too closely at it, but the handling is close to how it was before, just a little more tipsy. The ride isn't too rough. I would like to tweek on it once I figure out what to do. I was reading some of Slee's tech stuff today. I may spring for their lower control arm$ (pun intended) after I donate plasma a few dozen more times.

Thats some LIFT! Have you checked post work caster? Overall alignment is a good idea, panhard rod is also a good idea as you have that frame farther off the ground. How about driveshafts angles? Pinion angles? Anything else you should review?

I do need to check everything over, angles and travel. It already had all of the drop brackets, but I need to verify breather lines. I don't really have any vibration in the drive line (it's actually a bit better than before. I got it aligned and it is better than pre-shop. I need to get some double cardan action going on up front. I do get some shimmy when steering right at 40+ mph. I know I could chase that forever.
 
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