The Kitchen Sink - My First Land Cruiser Adventure

thekitchensink

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Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
167
Location
Atlanta, GA
I've been called "The Kitchen Sink" due to my aptness to bring everything I think I might possibly need on a trip (and, in my defense.. 90% of the time someone ends up needing something I have). I figured it was appropriate to name this thread after that since I carry 90% of my tools and gear in the Cruiser with at all times. My goal is to have a vehicle I can take spontaneous trips in, while using it as a daily driver until I get enough space and cash to keep a second vehicle.

This is my second vehicle I've owned.. first was an '05 F-150 with the Triton in front. Loved the truck, hated the motor. I ended up spending about 10k in repairs the first 9 months I had it. It ended up needing a new engine, so I decided to sell it. Long story short, I ended up with a 1993 Land Cruiser with 160k on the clock off of Craigslist for $4,400 (!!!).

This build will be mild (I think) and well balanced (I hope). I don't have an unlimited amount of cash, and working full time with college coming up will leave even less time and money. We'll see where it takes me! Let's begin.

Purchased: July 12th, 2017. 159,980 miles.

(This is mainly so I can keep up with what I've done. Also if the unthinkable happens and I have to sell.)

As it sits now:

IMG_0945.jpg
 
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thekitchensink

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
167
Location
Atlanta, GA
Repairs and Maintenance / General log of doings:

160,000 -- BFG KO2 284/75/16 (Shop told me the PS front tire was most likely the spare, as it was dated from 1992).
160,037 -- Changed the oil and filter, plus the air filter. Also installed new windshield wipers.
161,135 -- PHH bypass, coolant 50/50 green (prestone).
161,200 -- CDL install, Pioneer BT radio (pulled it from my F150 just prior to selling it to CarMax)
162,400 -- New brake pads and rotors. Found the 'ol birfield soup in doing so... replaced seals with TrailGear Knuckle Rebuild set. Thanks to @vubuilt for helping out here. Great guy. Also changed front and rear diff fluids.
164,305 -- Installed the rear tire swing out from @SUMMIT CRUISERS Jr . Highly recommended.
165,342 -- New gas struts installed on rear, upper hatch.
168,032 -- Oil change.
168,935 -- Mild encounter with a concrete wall (minor frame damage repaired by shop)
170,346 -- 5 tire rotation.
173,400 -- Oil change.
174,400 -- New brake pads on all 4 corners.
176,xxx -- New alternator (Denso)
177,xxx -- Blue Fan Clutch and new Fan
177,813 -- New OEM 180* thermostat and coolant 50/50 green mix (prestone)
177,900 -- Oil change.

----------------------

To-Do/Get List (not in order of preference or need) :

Front bumper - TG tube bumper with stinger
Rear bumper - (thinking 4x4 Labs... but need a welder)
Aux gas tank (or larger main tank... maybe TheLongRanger?)
Suspension system - ToughDog 2" TourFlex medium front and rear, with 41mm shocks
Rock Sliders
Roof Rack - Bowfin Cruisers
Storage system - Custom single drawer... need to improve and cover with carpet.
New speaker system - Pioneer front speakers. Did not replace rears or sub.
Corbeau Sport Seats - Black cloth, double locking slider, lumbar support
9,000lb Winch - ComeUp DV 9s
TOYOBD1 OBD reader
 
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thekitchensink

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Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
167
Location
Atlanta, GA
The dreaded PHH:

I was driving to work one morning and noticed an odd smell. It smelled like coolant, only, imagine coolant burning. That's the smell. Didn't think it was me at first, so I drove on (this is on the interstate, going roughly 65mph... second to left-most lane). A couple seconds later I glanced down at my dash and saw the engine temp rising fast....aaaand now there's steam coming from the hood. Great. Thankfully, I was able to cut across to the shoulder quickly and shut it down. At this moment I had no idea what it was (honestly, thinking HG failure...). After an hour of letting it cool on the side of the road, I limped it in 50 yard increments to the nearest exit and started the investigation in the closest, empty, parking lot (a Marriott Hotel, if you were curious).
After consulting MUD, and some personal sleuthing, I concluded that it was indeed the PHH. Walked to the nearest gas station, bought some coolant and two gallons of distilled water, and was able to drive it to the nearest PepBoys ... coolant pouring out and everything. Long story short (long as in, ~2hrs of waiting in the PepBoys waiting area), they finally came out and said "My mechanic doesn't want to work on your truck... he says it's because the dash isn't present (which is true... I was in the middle of installing the CDL and my BT radio..). Whatever... I'll tow it to my mechanic.
Another long story short, my (now, former) mechanic said it'd be about $500 to fix "because we have to pull the manifold off to get to it". Garbage. I'll do it myself for $10. I duck-taped the hose in his parking lot, and drove home. I was able to fix it in 4hrs, and I DIDN'T have to remove the manifold, and I never once went ANYWHERE near the dash panel (take that, mechanic men).

Some pics of the repair in-progress:
(note the pup, mid-shake)
IMG_6124.JPG

IMG_6137.JPG
 

thekitchensink

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
167
Location
Atlanta, GA
While changing the brake pads and rotors, I noticed I had the dreaded birfield soup. Hooray.
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While doing all this, we looked in the diff and found that it was full of goop. I believe a P.O. must have changed the diff fluid with something like diesel engine oil.[edit: just re-read this. It should say “something that looked like”. Not “something like” I knew it was probably a mixture of birff grease and gear oil..but wasn’t 100% positive] Whatever it was, it had a super high viscosity. I drove it around a little while to heat it up and drained it:
IMG_6820.JPG

Mmmm... a lovely army green. That's delicious.

Changed the fluid a couple times after that, and deemed it good.
 
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cowboyjack

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Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
148
Location
Hereford, AZ
The dreaded PHH:

I was driving to work one morning and noticed an odd smell. It smelled like coolant, only, imagine coolant burning. That's the smell. Didn't think it was me at first, so I drove on (this is on the interstate, going roughly 65mph... second to left-most lane). A couple seconds later I glanced down at my dash and saw the engine temp rising fast....aaaand now there's steam coming from the hood. Great. Thankfully, I was able to cut across to the shoulder quickly and shut it down. At this moment I had no idea what it was (honestly, thinking HG failure...). After an hour of letting it cool on the side of the road, I limped it in 50 yard increments to the nearest exit and started the investigation in the closest, empty, parking lot (a Marriott Hotel, if you were curious).
After consulting MUD, and some personal sleuthing, I concluded that it was indeed the PHH. Walked to the nearest gas station, bought some coolant and two gallons of distilled water, and was able to drive it to the nearest PepBoys ... coolant pouring out and everything. Long story short (long as in, ~2hrs of waiting in the PepBoys waiting area), they finally came out and said "My mechanic doesn't want to work on your truck... he says it's because the dash isn't present (which is true... I was in the middle of installing the CDL and my BT radio..). Whatever... I'll tow it to my mechanic.
Another long story short, my (now, former) mechanic said it'd be about $500 to fix "because we have to pull the manifold off to get to it". Garbage. I'll do it myself for $10. I duck-taped the hose in his parking lot, and drove home. I was able to fix it in 4hrs, and I DIDN'T have to remove the manifold, and I never once went ANYWHERE near the dash panel (take that, mechanic men).

Some pics of the repair in-progress:
(note the pup, mid-shake)View attachment 1613790
View attachment 1613798
Hard to over-emphasize the importance of a good repair dog!
 

thekitchensink

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
167
Location
Atlanta, GA
It's been a while since I've touched this thread. Figured I should get it up to date. I'll try to go chronologically.

Somewhere around the time of the bird rebuild I purchased and installed the Summit Cruisers rear tire carrier (yes... that's a dent caused by my tire swinging open because I didn't latch it right... I was able to push most of it out)
IMG_6715.jpg
Also blacked out the chrome trim around the bumpers.
IMG_6675.jpg
 

thekitchensink

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Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
167
Location
Atlanta, GA
A couple months later, it snowed!
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Shortly thereafter, I proceeded to spin 360* and kiss a concrete wall. Stupid mistake that could have been avoided by going slower...but what's the fun in that? Here's the carnage:

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Thankfully just the front portion of the frame was bent. No other damage to the axle, tie-rods, etc.
IMG_7861.jpg


Took it to Classic Collision and a nice tech there agreed to help me out. He got it 98% straight, said any more than that was starting to pull on everything else. I'll take it! The factory bumper was trash, so I settled on a TrailGear tube bumper with the stinger (mainly for the price point... lots cheaper than custom).
 

thekitchensink

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
167
Location
Atlanta, GA
Went to the beach and had some fun. It was probably about 30* that day... with a wind chill of 10. Painful. Beautiful day though!
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(Got an enthusiastic wave from the FJ guy... didn't get to talk to him though)

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I love this thing. Didn't need to air down at all going through the soft sand (probably would have helped... but I had no trouble in normal gear driving around).
 
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