Builds TommySosa Build Thread (Camping rig/Daily with Turbo Goodness) (1 Viewer)

Tommysosa

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
128
Location
Eastern WA
Well after lurking on here long enough and seeking sage advice I have finally decided to add my useless ramblings and ideas to the hoard of endlessly good content on this site.

My love of Cruisers started before I even knew what a LC was. I was 15 and had my first job as a Lifeguard for a summer pool. One of my coworkers had a ranger that he was lifting and needed some extra hands so I decided to help out. After work one day we went to one of his buddies houses to borrow some tools. When his buddy's garage opened I saw a behemoth sitting in the garage on 37's, engine pulled and parts everywhere. I didn't even know what I was looking at but knew I wanted one.

Long story short after years of owning other vehicles and getting my feet wet in the world of off-road Toyota's I set out to buy a LandCruiser. My wife had tolerated me and my incessant need for bigger and better and with our first child on the way we began looking for something bigger than my 4runner. She was looking at Sequoias but I knew I wanted a Cruiser. We found one we loved. It was a 100 series that had been built and was ready for just about anything... (I know its on here somewhere and will still buy it in a heartbeat if it ever comes for sale again. Black 100 series bought in Hercules, CA... I will find you one day) It didn't work out. We offered a full-price sale but someone else offered the seller a full-price sale and a trade for an 80 series. We kept looking for the right cruiser.

This eventually brought me to a 95 non-locked semi built rig that was a CA vehicle its whole life. With only 145k miles on the clock... Ended up paying a little more than I wanted for it but it came lifted with an OME 2.5 inch practically new, brand new Baja rack, meticulously maintained by a cruiser shop in Santa Cruz and was in great shape besides terrible paint cracking on the hood. It was in great shape and low miles so I felt okay going over budget. Not a spec of rust on the undercarriage either. Carfax showed it lived its whole life in Northern/Central California.

I drove it home. It was heavy, it got terrible gas mileage compared to our 2011 4Runner, didn't have a ton of get up and go compared to my SC'd 4Runner, and yet I was hooked. It was by far everything I wanted and more. I also did the purchase while my wife was out of town and didn't tell her what I had done so I also thought I may be in the doghouse for a while. (Only reason I get put in the dog house now is I don't let her drive it enough, so she says). The moment I got it home I took a picture and started looking at what I could do next.

Here is a list of what it had done to it when I got it.
OME 2.5 lift
Bronze Powder Coated FJ wheels wrapped in 33" Toyo A/Ts
Baja Rook rack
Snorkel
American Overland Expedition bumper
Warn 10k Winch W/ wireless remote
Inside was also updated with a pioneer Navi/DVD head unit, stock speakers throughout.
Up to date on all Maintenance and was given a thorough review before purchase.

Since that time I have done some other things to improve creature comforts and retain reliability but I haven't been great at documenting and I'm sure I have forgotten some things from this list:
Interior
LED's throughout including headlights
WeatherTech Floor mats front and back
Replaced all speakers throughout including rear headliner speakers
Added Rear panel hidden amp/sub
B3HD printed cup holders
Seat Swap from LR disco II (best interior mod to date)
Power ran to rear for 1000w inverter/ future accessories

Exterior
Ruff Stuff Roof top tent w/ annex
270° Overland Pros Awning
Swapped over to 35" Cooper Mud terrain sitting on 15" Steelies

Wheel Spacers to prevent rubbing from said tires
Pressurized water tank on Roof rack

Mechanical
No major upgrades
Mostly Preventative maintenance

Coolant system flush and clean
Spark plugs and new NGK wires
Minor repairs here and there
Remote start added for the "Hot" and "Cold" days. I'm in NorCal right now but originality from both Northern and Southern Utah so I laugh when I say hot and cold here in NorCal. I've grown soft out here for sure.
 
Last edited:

Tommysosa

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
128
Location
Eastern WA
How it looked the day I got it. Also parked behind my 4Runner, which it quickly replaced.
IMG_2001.JPG


IMG_1966.JPG
 
Last edited:

Tommysosa

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
128
Location
Eastern WA
Well the real push for this thread was I just recently ordered a Wits End Turbo kit. I wanted to fit in with the cool kids so I nutted up and bought the kit.
I also got some other goodies from Joey so I can redo the HG, not blown but better safe than sorry and know it'll last through any "skinny pedal all the way down boost sessions."

New HG
Blue Fan Clutch
New belts
Upgraded Spark plugs
Overhaul the entire cooling system to help manage temps
I am beyond excited to get the kit so when it shows up I will be sure to document the build and install here

In the meantime I will try to showcase a few of my past projects and try to help inspire someone else to do stupid things like me.
 

Tommysosa

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
128
Location
Eastern WA
I have done some minor maintenance along the way but never really took pictures. I got most of the assistance I needed from others on MUD.
Here is a picture of my seat swap from a 2002 LR Discovery. ARMRESTS!!!
IMG_2458 (1).jpg


270° Degree awning from Overland Pros
60653607893__256C33A5-D19D-422C-A6EB-7059A66B3A67 (1).JPG


35" tires purchased on steelies for $300. Also came mounted and balanced.
60694280525__7A807863-4B2D-450C-932A-DFB0BAB35132 (1).JPG
 

Tommysosa

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
128
Location
Eastern WA
This weekend I spent some time starting the work on my cooling system. I performed a leak down test and my head seems to be in good shape. I am still toying with the idea of just slapping on the turbo and not doing the HG. I decided to do a coolant flush because I haven't done one since buying the truck. While I haven't put too many miles on it I know that red and green coolant have been mixed in the past by a PO so I decided to flush it as best I could. This might all be a waste in the chance I do replace the HG but hey it gave me something to do and I know I'll be good until that time.

I flushed it 6 times before I was getting relatively clean water coming out. Each flush I would drain the old coolant, refill with distilled water, and then drive the truck with both front and rear heater on full blast for about 20-30 minutes (I chose a bad week to do this as we got unusually hot weather ). 😓

Draining the radiator
IMG_2689.jpg


Flushes 1-6

IMG_2692.jpg
 
Last edited:

Tommysosa

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
128
Location
Eastern WA
I also got my Modified Blue fan clutch from Wit's End this week as well as new belts. They will be going on the truck this week (if I'm lucky enough to get some time to do it, that is).

Towards the end of the coolant flush, I got another package from Joey... Sadly not a turbo, but that's still for the best I have more to do before that point.

What I did get, however, was the new head gasket... So I guess I probably should find some time away from work and get started on that.
 

Tommysosa

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
128
Location
Eastern WA
I also did an oil change on front and rear diffs and Xfer case. The wife complains the garage smells... Gotta love gear oil.
 
Last edited:

Tommysosa

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
128
Location
Eastern WA
Nice! Yep, good old Martweakez hahaha. Interested to see how the turbo goes with smog tho. Hopefully it’s no problemo
Well... I'm actually lucky (ish) I am military so I am allowed to have my car registered in my home state which no longer requires smog (25 year rule). However I said "ish" because the base does require so many vehicles each year to be checked. So If i get drawn then I will have to do smog... We will see if that happens, but I am hoping it won't be an issue or Joey has the CARB cert done by then. I guess I will see what comes first.

Its nice to know you're close by. We'll have to get together sometime. I actually followed your Taco Build on Tacomaworld for awhile and didn't connect the dots that it was you until just now haha. Small world.
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
155
Location
Los Angeles & NorCal (Martinez)
Well... I'm actually lucky (ish) I am military so I am allowed to have my car registered in my home state which no longer requires smog (25 year rule). However I said "ish" because the base does require so many vehicles each year to be checked. So If i get drawn then I will have to do smog... We will see if that happens, but I am hoping it won't be an issue or Joey has the CARB cert done by then. I guess I will see what comes first.

Its nice to know you're close by. We'll have to get together sometime. I actually followed your Taco Build on Tacomaworld for awhile and didn't connect the dots that it was you until just now haha. Small world.
Oh for real? That’s crazy! What’s your TW handle?

I can surmise where you work now lol that place is cool. When all this lockdown stuff is over let’s grab a beer and nerd out over trucks lol
 

Tommysosa

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
128
Location
Eastern WA
Haven't done much to the Cruiser for awhile. Between changing jobs, having a kid, the pandemic, moving to a new state, and buying a house I have been pretty busy. I haven't really done much to the rig the past 7 months aside from oil changes, lubing up some U joints, and putting gas in it. I also bought a new Tundra so that has been getting some love and the cruiser has been neglected.
With any luck, I will get some decent weather soon and will be able to start wrenching a little more. Turbo isn't in yet but I'm still not concerned by it. This year has been crazy and even if I had it, It would still be sitting in boxes in my garage.
My plans for the recent future will be, head gasket, transmission shift kit install, install the new blue fan clutch, and of course, anything else I run into during the process. My ideal goal would be to have everything done and ready so once the turbo shows up it can go straight in.... But I already know that's not happening.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom