Builds THE LESS MAD - MAD MAX BUILD

Rainen

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AND SO IT BEGINS…..

It all started on a family vacation to Mexico. My wife and I and having friendly conversation, and she said the words

“I miss the blue truck”

I tired to remain calm,

“Yeah. Me too, I have been thinking about that a lot. Seems silly for us to live in the where we do and not have a rig”

“Yeah I agree”


Well that may not have been the green light in her mind, but it was in mine. As soon as we were back state side the search began. I knew this time the rig had to have more space for passengers and an FJ80 seemed the perfect fit
 

Rainen

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THE BLUE TRUCK

A little back story. The “blue truck” was a 1984 toyota extended cab pick up. I had built it up with all the goodies, lockers, longfields, 36” Irocks, beadlocks, dual cases, 5.29s, internal cage, on board welder, the works. This rig was unstoppable.

This is what it looked like when I bought it.
toyota early.jpeg


This is what it looked like before I sold it.

Blue Truck built 1.jpg

Blue truck built 2.jpg

This was a great truck, I loved building it and wheeling for the better part of 10 years. However the family got bigger and I needed more seats. So it had to go.
 

Rainen

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CRAIGSLIST FIND

So about two years after selling my last Toyota I was on the look out for the next one. After a couple weeks of searching, I found it. A dirt cheap FJ80 that ran. My feeling is that it’s a Toyota so everything is fixable. If its running thats a huge step up, so finding a dirt cheap running LC in my state, I’ll take it.

So I call the number on the add,

“Can I come look at it this weekend”

“I need to be out of debt by Friday” -Lone shark problems??

“OK Can I come see it Friday”

“I posted it yesterday and 20 people interested”

“I am leaving now, I will be at your place in 4 hours”


So after driving 5 hours to pick it up, then about 9 hours home in a white out, I was the proud owner of a very clean FJ80
LC Home.jpg
 

Rainen

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THE PRIME DIRECTIVE

While showing the wife and kid the new truck and checking fluids, and changing the oil, my wife lays down the prime directive.

“This rig needs to be less Mad Max than the last one”

Hmmm….OK not sure what that means but I will do what I can. Gotta keep everyone happy!!!! The wife and my son decide to enjoy the nice weather with me and help clean the truck. The boy was excited about changing the oil and getting under the truck. Gotta stat them early!!!

View attachment 1246062

C Helping.jpg
 

Rainen

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WHAT THE $%&# DID I JUST BUY???

So that weekend I take the truck for a drive and start digging into what I bought.


No transmission shift lights on the dash and the transmission slips a little when backing up hill…..hmm those two might be related.


The truck had been in an accident damaging the driver front fender, which led to the really low price!!! This also smashed the trans and AC cooler.


The truck doesn’t want to idle, dies at low speed.


Ok that’s a good list of things to get started on. I want to get the LC running solid prior to making any big changes to it. Lifted locked trucks don’t do you any good if they don’t start!!!
 

Rainen

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THE 3 ELEMENTS

So lets start with the low idle problem. Trucks need 3 things to run right?? Air, Fuel and Spark. So I changed the plugs, wires, distributer cap, and rotor. While I was in there I check the compression on each cylinder. All cylinders show about the same compression, but compression is low according to the FSM. For not we’ll just assume that is due to my crappy amazon $25 compression checker and the difficulty of getting it to seal with block. Ignorance is bliss.

So after all that I get in the truck it up and …. Still no low idle.

Ok lets check air, from all my lurking on MUD I know that the intake hose from the MAF to the throttle body is prone to causing issues. So it looks like the cracks in that were made worse when I pulled that off to get to the plugs. So there is a quick fix for that
Duct intake.jpg


Get it taped up, jump in the truck and sure enough low idle is no problem. Add the intake hose to the list of parts to order, button the truck up and call it good.
 

Rainen

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MAKING THE SHIFT

So now comes the issue of transmission slipping and no shift lights on the dash. More reading on MUD reveals that the likely candidate is the wiring connector below the PHH. Ok after pulling off the driver side front tire and some of the inner fender plastics. I find the connector. Pull it apart and….

Bad Trans wiring.jpg

Sure enough this connection is toast. The pins crumble in my hands, no saving that thing. So do a little more reading on MUD and FSM. I find the shift position sensor (correct name??) on the side of the trans and after a whole bunch of non-family friendly language I get the 3 wire ties off the wiring harness so I can get the wiring harness loose and accessible. While everything is still on the truck I use a multi-meter to determine the color code for each shift position on sensor side of the wiring. As the connector fell apart in my hand I wasn’t able to get it all figured out while it was still connected.


So I study the FSM a little more, checking the wiring codes on the electrical diagrams and come up with a plan.
Wiring scheme.jpg

I pull out my box of Delphi?? Connectors. These are great connectors. Easy to install and redo if you mess up the wiring order. They are waterproof (ish) and although they are bulky, because you crimp pins on to both the male and female side of the connector, they add length to the wiring. This is a nice feature when doing a repair of stock harness.

So the connectors I have are mostly 4 wires each. Looks like I am out of 3 wire connectors. I choose a long connector with all 4 pins and row and a square connector, That way I can’t miss plug the connectors later.

I go to work. I start with the sensor side, because its out of the truck and easy. After the connectors are on

Sensor wired.jpg


I reinstall it in the truck and fish the wiring up above the trans and into the engine compartment.

Now the vehicle side. I find that pulling the dipstick tube for the trans (2 10mm bolts) gives me enough room to work above the starter, but progress is slow. But eventually it all goes together and now I have plugs on both the vehicle and the sensor side. Plug in, turn on the truck, and success I have dash shift lights!!!!

A couple days later I am have a chance to drive the truck, and the transmission dosen’t appear to be slipping in reverse any more. Also seems to be shifting much smoother, so we’ll call that one good!!!!
 

Rainen

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TEMPTATIONS

So now its on to fix the driver fender. I need to get this straight enough so that I can get a headlight and marker light re-installed. I sourced a trans cooler and AC condenser as well as AC lines from a pick and pull. So I disassemble the front of the truck and make the swap on those. As I reinstall the AC lines I notice the AC dryer is not there. Bummer. After some searching I find this is like $8 part and everyone says you should swap it out anyway. So not I have one of these, but I don’t have a bracket to hold it. I will have to come up with something on my own. If anyone has a picture of the stock mount they would like to share that would be fantastic. Might save me some time.

So I start to work on the fender literally pounding out the dents with a hammer and dolley. I get it smooth enough to pass inspection, no prime directive violations!!! Ok so the fender is good to go, now how about the front end core support and inner fender. After trying to straighten it out and not having much success I break out plasma cutter, to do some trimming. And in a moment of weakness this happens…….

pacfab_FJ80_truggy_01.jpg


Just kidding, don’t think I can get away with the firewall buggy yet (pic shamelessly stolen from pirate4x4) So after trimming this s that I am left with
Fender trimmed.jpg


Not pretty but it will do the job for now.
 

Rainen

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UNINSTALLING THE ANTI LIFT KIT (OR PERHAPS LET ME SEE YOUR FLAIR)

So now that the driver’s side front fender is straight enough. Its time to loose the flairs and steps. The flairs weren’t in very good shape, falling off ect, and the steps will end up being replaced with real sliders.

So after some broken bolts and drilling out of rivets the truck starts to look much better. As I strip things off I add to the magic-metric-bolt-basket, cause you never know when you might need one.
Bolt Basket.jpg


While stripping off the flairs on the passenger side I am greeted with this site
pass fender.jpg


That confirms my suspicion about the front of the vehicle being repainted at one time. Ok so we repaint both front fenders. We’ll just stip this one off as well. So more 10mm botls and a littler persuading a both fenders are off.


Now what to do with this pile?? Anyone need some parts?

Parts pile.jpg

Ok time for paint. Lets get the rig out of the garage, clean up and get ready to prep and paint!!! Now this look might be violating the prime directive.
Stripped front.jpg


View attachment 1246082
 

JaketheSSnake

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I haven't read through the entire thread yet, but I loved the intro! I had a 92 Xcab Toyota not quite as extreme as yours, but I regretted selling 6 years a go everyday since. I found a blue fzj80 right around new years and I'm happy again. :)
 

Dave 2000

Not all Land Rovers are useless!
 
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Gonna be a good thread! :popcorn:

When a lot younger I too let my heart rule my wallet, I bought absolute basket cases (although yours is not in that category fortunately) and rebuilt them, age and health prevents it now but still love reading about them. Keep up the good work! :clap:

regards

Dave
 
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tominboise

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Very nice - you write a great thread.....I'd replace the power antenna while it's hanging out there if I was you,,,,,
 
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I started out with a "rough & ready" mini truck as well (see avatar). Moved on to the 60 series when my family grew, and then on to the newer vehicles (4runners, LX). Keeping the wife happy is a very important part of any build :eek:

Nice work so far. That transmission wiring problem would have completely stumped me.
 

Rainen

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Thanks everyone for reading and your replies, More updates are on the way

I haven't read through the entire thread yet, but I loved the intro! I had a 92 Xcab Toyota not quite as extreme as yours, but I regretted selling 6 years a go everyday since. I found a blue fzj80 right around new years and I'm happy again. :)
Yeah I was at the point where I was about to tear into my daily driver. Thats when I knew it was time for another project.


Gonna be a good thread! :popcorn:

When a lot younger I too let my heart rule my wallet, I bought absolute basket cases (although yours is not in that category fortunately) and rebuilt them, age and health prevents it now but still love reading about them. Keep up the good work! :clap:

regards

Dave
I am a sucker for a project, Thanks!!

Very nice - you write a great thread.....I'd replace the power antenna while it's hanging out there if I was you,,,,,
Thanks thats a good idea. The antenna was toast, not sure what, if anything I am going to put back in that spot.

Here in Europe, people will pay decent money for original flares. Believe it or not, the Series 80 is considered a prime OEM restoration rig.
The didn't some off in very good shape and they are huge to pack up and ship. The steps are in great shape, so if anyone on the wester slope of Colorado is interested let me know

I started out with a "rough & ready" mini truck as well (see avatar). Moved on to the 60 series when my family grew, and then on to the newer vehicles (4runners, LX). Keeping the wife happy is a very important part of any build :eek:

Nice work so far. That transmission wiring problem would have completely stumped me.
It's hard to give up on mini trucks, they are such a great platform. I did an engine swap on mine. I put in an injected engine (22-RE) After figuring out that wiring harness, the rest of it seems pretty easy!!!
 
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