Builds The never-ending build: My 80 Series

Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
98
Location
Rockingham Virginia
Hey everyone! I'm new to mud. Talked to a few of you and realized I would like to share my build with you all. This is the first time that I have posted anything like this so bear with me. This build is not done yet but getting pretty close. Maybe by the end of this build thread it will be done. Well as done as a build can be. They are never really done are they? Much of my inspiration for this build has come from a lot of you all. I bought my 1994 80 series about 7 years ago. I had wanted one for a long time. By the time I was able to get one they were fairly old trucks. I picked this one up for $2100! Has 265k on the odometer. It ran and was rust free. Very rare for the east coast. I am located in Virginia. I picked it up in Richmond Va. about 2 hours away from home. Obviously it was going to need some work but I love to restore vehicles in my spare time so I knew a little bit of what I was getting into. Or did I? In this build thread I will cover how this rig came to be and how it evolved into what it is now. I have had a little bit of everything as far as off road rigs go from my 1964 CJ5 Kaiser Willys (which I still have) to a 1999 Jeep Cherokee XJ with 8 inch lift, 35s, and the works. But now onto the Toyota goodies.

1994 Toyota Land Cruiser
Factory lockers

Things done:

-Custom 3 link front suspension
-Radflo 14 inch travel coilovers with reservoirs and compression adjusters up front
-Radflo 10 inch travel shocks with reservoirs and compression adjusters on rear
-2.0 Radflo bump stops up front
-5 inch OME competition coils on rear
-Custom bump stops in rear
-Cut and modified fender wells/flares
-Front axle truss
-Front knuckle gussets
-Slee off-road brake lines
-Slee off-road belly pan
-New calipers and rotors/pads (including emergency brakes)
-Longfield chromoly axles in front
-1 ton steering conversion
-5.29 Nitro gears and bearings
-Metal Tech adjustable upper control arms in rear
-Iron Man pan hards front and rear
-New bushings and bearings most everywhere
-Binks Fab front bumper
-4x4 Labs rear bumper with swing out
-White Knuckle off-road sliders
-Method NV 305 17x8.5 wheels
-Trail gear 2 inch wheel spacers
-Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ P3 40x13.5x17 tires
-Huracan Fabrication tailgate storage
-600 watt pure sine wave inverter
-Rockville 8 inch subwoofer (inch factory sub location)
-2.5lb Clean angent fire extinguisher
-Aisin lock out hubs
-Part time 4 wheel drive (homemade will eventually buy actual kit)
-CDL switch with 7 pin mod
-Low/High range lever extension
-New u joints in drive shafts
-New Toyota radiator
-New Toyota heater core
-Pesky heater hose mod
-Rear heat delete
-New front main seal
-New oil pump seal
-New distributor o-ring
-New Spark plugs
-New air filter
-Yellow Top Optima Battery
-Custom rocker switches for off-road lights
-USB ports with voltage gauge
-Alpine ILX-107 double din head unit
-Cobra 75 WX ST CB radio
-Seat heater controls
-Extra fuse panel added under hood
-Blacked out grille

Things to do:

-Rear main seal/arch seals/oil pan gasket
-Powder coat/paint bumpers and sliders
-Front seat upholstery and seat heaters
-LandTank seat extensions
-Winch (Smittybilt 12k synthetic rope)
-Hella Led off-road lights on bumper
-Rear Led lights in bumper
-New Toyota power steering pump
-Toyota power steering hoses
-Derale Heat sink cooler for power steering
-Paint exterior of truck
-New window rubber runners (hopefully help windows go up better)
-New exterior window trim
-New fender flare rubber
-Mount full size spare
-Mount Hi-Lift Jack

Wish list:

-Hydro assist steering
-Prinsu roof rack
-DRIVE THIS BEAST!

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
98
Location
Rockingham Virginia
This is what she looked like when I brought her home. Plain old 80 series. Only thing I knew it that she ran and that the front passenger side axle seal was leaking. Naturally I started working on her right away. Front axle seal was the first plan of attack.

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
98
Location
Rockingham Virginia
First thing I jumped on was the axle seals. Ended up buying a whole front end rebuild kit with new bearings and everything. Then I started the cleaning process. Vacuuming and shampooing the carpets was next. Then I found out that that the front seats would adjust. The plastic gears had stripped out. Ordered some of those and replaced them too. Working seats again!

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
98
Location
Rockingham Virginia
Yeah 4x4 Labs. Had a great experience working with them. I really wanted to do a bumper without a swing out because I love the look of the rear of these trucks so much. The problem came when I wanted to run a full size spare. Just takes up too much real estate inside the truck and I didn't want it on top so it was really the only option for me.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
98
Location
Rockingham Virginia
It was back together and ready to roll once again. Time to take the dogs on a ride!
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Then we ended up doing a little overnight camping trip. Well almost. Went up to a local spot to hang for the night. The part of the plan that my girlfriend (now wife) didn't know was that I was planning to propose to her that night. Just as I was about to get set up for my big question we heard a noise fairly close to us. I just figured small animal rustling around. Turned out to be something a little bigger. A bear cub was curious about what was going on. I'm sure he caught a sniff of my beer brats in the wind and he couldn't resist. After running it off a couple times it still kept coming back. My wife decided that it was time to leave. Ha. She wasn't excited about potentially meeting Mama bear. So I packed up the rig and we headed back home. I still ended up popping the question that night. Wasn't exactly the moment I had in mind but worked out to be really special and it is one that we certainly won't forget. Ha
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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
98
Location
Rockingham Virginia
The next task was to do was a part time kit. The front passenger side axle seal was leaking when I bought it. I soon found out that it had been like that for far to long. When I started driving it I could hear the front gears wining. I wanted to do the part time kit anyway and I figured if I went ahead a did it now then I could milk my front gears for a while longer if they would only be used for slow going off-roading. I found a guy that had a set of aisin hubs for sale so I scooped them up.
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Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of this process but on my rig it was very easy. In fact it was bolt on. I had done some research and discovered that since my rig had a build date of before April of 1994 (I believe it is) the snap ring groove should line right up. If built after that date I believe you just have to modify the end of the axle to get the snap ring it the correct location.

Then the real fun began. Tearing into the transfer case.
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I removed the viscous coupler and "modified" the section that the output shaft slides into. I'm not proud of what I did here and I'm sure that some of you will throw some hate but I will share anyway. I welded it. Yes I know not the most ideal thing. I saw someone else do it but never could find out what the results were. I did however have a professional welder do this so that I didn't just go throwing a bunch of heat to it a warp it. I was broke and desperate. Desperate times call for desperate measures. It has been this way for years and is holding fine. Even with wheeling with 35s. Do I regret not saving up for the kit? Yes. My plan is to install both the high range and low range reduction gears at some point and buy the part time kit and do that part correctly. For the time being it is what it is.
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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
98
Location
Rockingham Virginia
I am again back on the road having fun and enjoying my land cruiser. Unfortunately this does not last long. I notice that the carpet has a different color on the passenger side floorboard. A little bit of investigating leads me to the heater core. CRAP! There really wasn't a smell of antifreeze in the cab like I would have expected but the window did fog up from the film coming out of the defroster. Once again I find myself with my rig in the garage tearing it apart. There are no short cuts getting to the heater core. Just tear the entire dash out. What a project.

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The culprit.

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Immediately you could tell that it had been leaking. Apparently for some time. I guess I just didn't notice until the weather turned cold and I started trying to use the heater. I ordered a Toyota heater core from (I believe) Toyota parts overstock. The part I was not excited about was that there is an o ring in the long two piece pipe.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
98
Location
Rockingham Virginia
I installed everything back the way it was, including a new o ring, and started the reassembly. I had marked and tagged EVERYTHING while taking stuff apart. It was nice to see that Toyota had made every plug different so there was really no way of hooking things up wrong but marking everything did help things go back together more quickly. Also thanks to some of you here on mud and some other sources I was able to go into this with a little idea of what to expect.

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Done at last! That was a long a tedious job. My anxiety was on 10 at this point. Ha. Fingers crossed I started it up and took it on a couple of test drives. Success! No leaks.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
98
Location
Rockingham Virginia
One thing that I forgot to mention is that I did decide to not run abs anymore since it would only work with the front axle spinning. With the dash apart I took the opportunity to remove the bulb for the abs light.

I also installed a center diff lock switch out of a 1992 cruiser in the dash to be able to engage and disengage the front driveshaft. I then did the 7 pin mod so that I could have two wheel drive low range. My 1994 cruiser didn't have a diff lock switch of course and when put into low range it engaged the four wheel drive. Now you just select high range or low range and if you want the front driveshaft engaged you simply hit the diff lock switch. I do wish this was a manual set up with a lever instead of an electric motor doing the work but these things are just to fancy. lol

So there again I was back on the road. Took a chance to do some off-roading this time since at this point I had worked on this thing more than I had driven it. Seemed to be going well until low and behold the radiator let go. :rolleyes: It was leaking at the top seam where it is crimped together. Not even joking it was about two weeks after I had installed the heater core. Wow! Ok. back to ripping things apart. I once again contacted Toyota parts overstock and ordered a new Toyota radiator.

While waiting on the radiator I decided go ahead with the disassembly. Once I had the radiator out I decided to check out some other things. I noticed that my front main seal was leaking pretty good. No better time than when the radiator was out to do this. Much more access with this out of the way. I began to research other things I could do while the radiator was out. I ended up replacing:

Front main seal
Front main seal cover gasket
Oil pump gasket
Distributor o ring
Fan Clutch

A big shout out to Clay with his YouTube channel Texas Know How. By watching one of his videos I was able to be prepared on what to expect and what tools were needed to complete the job.

By the time I had completed this work the radiator had arrived. I got that installed and was back up and running.

Unfortunately I could not find any pictures of this whole process. Apparently I was just shoulder deep into getting all this stuff replaced and didn't take any photos.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
98
Location
Rockingham Virginia
Now that I was able to drive the truck for a while I was ready to start thinking about a lift and tires. Still on a tight budget I was able to score some used 315s for a good price. I pieced together a lift using OME springs and L shocks. I went with the 850J coils up front and the 863 medium springs in the rear. I really liked the stance of the truck with this set up. Installed all of this and topped it off with an OME steering stabilizer and truck looked so much better.

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