Yota, Cruiser, IH8MUD/forum n00b! But happy I'm here! (1 Viewer)

Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
38
Location
Big D, Texas
Hello, all! I've been stalking this forum for a couple months, gleaning lots of great information, and even posting a few times...but figured I should go ahead and formally introduce myself. Name's Lee, from Dallas, TX area. After considerable research, a little over three weeks ago I acquired a '94 FZJ80 GXL (RHD Aussie import) from an importer in Nashville. 83,960 original miles! I went the import route because after about six months of researching the U.S. market it became clear that clean examples in good repair with <100k miles were going to be out of my price range. RHD imports allowed me to get 65% of the mileage for about 65% of the price.

The RHD aspect just makes it more fun, IMO. I've driven in both the U.K. and the Caymans, so it wasn't completely unfamiliar. Love the looks I get around town! I also love some of the Aussie features that don't come standard on U.S. models, such as the sub tank, secondary power terminal, etc. I appreciate the more stripped down GXL trim...fewer electric bells and whistles to break.

Meet "Elphaba". She's green (Dark Emerald Pearl), from Aus, and accepts no limits. (It's a Broadway reference...my daughter is heavy in to musical theater, so she helped with the name, lol...) She's super clean, inside and out. As an import there weren't really any maintenance records, but it's definitely been taken care of. I ran the Aussie version of a Carfax report and at least know it was never totaled, always had a clean title, and the odometer is legit. Easy to tell that all hoses and belts were changed recently, as well as the head gasket.

Runs very smoothly, maintains oil and coolant levels, oil pressure and temps are solid. Handled the 700 mile trip from Nashville to Dallas with ease. No rust underneath except for some minor surface rust on the exhaust system. I can tell that the knuckles/front axle seals will need to be rebuilt soon. Dealer gave a 6 month warranty on the powertrain.

Cruiser, first pic.jpg

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This is my first Toyota, first 4x4. IH8MUD is the first forum I've ever joined, and so far it's been a great resource. Already members have been helpful and supportive, and sheer volume of exhaustive information gives this mechanically inexperienced guy confidence that I can actually maintain this old girl! I know I'll be leaning heavily on the expertise of MUD members, and from what I can tell, you are all more than willing to help. I'm looking forward to it!

My justification for the purchase is that my 16yo daughter just got her license, so a 3rd vehicle in the family will make logistics easier. We love the outdoors, camping, hiking, etc. The ability to go even further afield is exciting. This will be my daily driver as well, so I don't plan on any hardcore rock crawling or anything, but some trail runs/overlanding type stuff is definitely in the future!

We spent a week at a lake in Oklahoma last year. Cabin was off some dirt roads that were a little hilly. Some storms came through and messed up the grading. We were in my wife's 2011 Honda Pilot FWD grocery getter, and we had a hard time negotiating some of those small hills and ruts. One hill we couldn't even make it up and hand to take a longer route out of the area to the black top. I made the decision then and there that the next vehicle would be four wheel drive. It's important to be prepared, and while I'm no doomsday, bunker-building prepper, the idea of preparedness in general is important to me. It's comforting knowing that should the SHTF and we need to bug out, I have a vehicle that can take us wherever we need to go.

I've wanted a classic 4x4 for a long time, and being of British heritage, I honestly thought I'd end up with a pre-'95 classic Range Rover. Of course it doesn't take much research to realize that while there's no denying Land Rover's style and legendary off road prowess around the world, long term reliability and expensive maintenance are major issues. Learning that LandCruisers are equally capable and legendary without those two issues caused me to set my sites on a classic Cruiser. I'm so thankful I did!

Things I've done so far:
  • Cleaned passenger side power window mechanism, replaced motor
  • installed floor mats (went with generic trim to fit...RHD, remember?) and WeatherTech cargo mat
  • Removed most of the dash and center console for thorough cleaning. Found 70 cents in Aussie coins, a Victoria Bitter beer cap, and what seems like half the Outback in twigs, leaves and sand. Oh, and a tag from a lady's size 14 shirt.
  • Replaced windshield washer pump and one front nozzle, bypassed relay for back washer for now. May or may not replace at some point, but for now I have full power to the front.
  • Replaced fuel tank cap.
  • Cleaned charcoal canister. Likely will have to replace at some point, but so far the cleaning procedure (from the Emissions Manual found in this forum!) seems to have solved the fuel tank vacuum issue.
  • Replaced speakers in front dash (yeah, Aussie GXL had speakers in the dash, no speakers in the front doors) with 4" Pioneer TS speakers. Perfect fit!
  • Installed aux port in the ash tray
  • Changed the oil
  • Installed seat covers to protect the originals that are in surprisingly good shape
  • Removed the running boards. Much better look. I do eventually plan to get some sliders installed. Again, I don't intend to go crawling, but I like the idea of the rocker panels and cat being protected if I ever want to explore a trail that I happen to pass by.
  • Put on the Yakima LoadWarrior cargo basket. Yakima racks get a bad rap on this forum, from what I've read, lol...but this one has served me and my family well for about 18 years now on three different vehicles. I get that it's not "overland" strong...but I don't intend to put my spare up there, or a month's worth of gear and supplies. It will hold camping gear and free up interior space. For that purpose, it's perfect and looks pretty darn good, IMO. I got the towers on eBay, and I built the crossbars myself. I read some reviews for the towers, and one of them mentioned using 3/4" black iron pipe as cross bars. Sure enough, it's the perfect fit! And likely stronger than the crossbars you'd get from Yakima or Thule. Lowe's cut a length of 10' pipe for free. I sprayed them with Rustoleum black bedliner paint and bought endcaps online for $6. Total investment: $32!
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Anyway, enough rambling! I'm glad to be here, and I look forward to enjoying this truck and this forum for years to come.

Lee
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2013
Messages
333
Location
Appleton, Wisconsin
Welcome to the jungle! Elphaba looks like a very clean rig and very willing to live up to and exceed your expectations! The one thing I have learned from this forum, ASK QUESTIONS.... in the end, doing that exact thing will save you grief and money! Cheers and happy cruising!

Jack
 

Onur

52122-60140
Moderator
GOLD Star
Joined
Aug 28, 2004
Messages
29,178
Location
Tabasco, NY
The one thing I have learned from this forum, SEARCH, SEARCH, AND SEARCH SOME MORE BEFORE ASKING A QUESTION ALREADY ANSWERED IN 2007, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2020, 2021.... in the end, doing that exact thing will save you grief and money! Cheers and happy cruising!

Corrected. :lol:
 

FMC80

GOLD Star
Joined
Sep 30, 2017
Messages
474
Location
Honolulu, Hawaii
Great intro, welcome to many firsts. Surprised no one gave you your first mud salute; I take this obligation freely, without mental reservation or prupose of evasion :flipoff2:.

That’s a great looking rig and I’m sure it’ll take your family to many adventures safely and reliably (unlike the LRs). I noticed under the hood you got a K&N sticker, if so I’d highly recommend throwing that filter in the trash and getting an OEM one. Look up some reviews and you’ll see that the K&N filters are not very good at protecting your investment.
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
38
Location
Big D, Texas
Great intro, welcome to many firsts. Surprised no one gave you your first mud salute; I take this obligation freely, without mental reservation or prupose of evasion :flipoff2:.

That’s a great looking rig and I’m sure it’ll take your family to many adventures safely and reliably (unlike the LRs). I noticed under the hood you got a K&N sticker, if so I’d highly recommend throwing that filter in the trash and getting an OEM one. Look up some reviews and you’ll see that the K&N filters are not very good at protecting your investment.
Thanks! Will definitely look into the OEM filter.
 

LandLocked93

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 11, 2018
Messages
637
Location
Colorado
Welcome to the chaos!
That's pretty rig, in the correct colour too I might add. LOL
The under hood shot is interesting. Looking at what gets mirrored and what doesn't.
Indeed. I swear I see the steering shaft on the left side.

But more importantly, to the PO, you'll definitely want to trade those non-aerodynamic headlight assemblies to get the best fuel mileage.
I'm in Colorado and will trade you my flush mount types any o'le time you're ready. 👍
I'll come to you, friend. 😁
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
38
Location
Big D, Texas
Indeed. I swear I see the steering shaft on the left side.

But more importantly, to the PO, you'll definitely want to trade those non-aerodynamic headlight assemblies to get the best fuel mileage.
I'm in Colorado and will trade you my flush mount types any o'le time you're ready. 👍
I'll come to you, friend. 😁
IKR!? Loving the classic dual headlights. I see all these posts about headlight "upgrades," and I'm like no, "downgrades."
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
38
Location
Big D, Texas
Thanks! Will definitely look into the OEM filter.
Great intro, welcome to many firsts. Surprised no one gave you your first mud salute; I take this obligation freely, without mental reservation or prupose of evasion :flipoff2:.

That’s a great looking rig and I’m sure it’ll take your family to many adventures safely and reliably (unlike the LRs). I noticed under the hood you got a K&N sticker, if so I’d highly recommend throwing that filter in the trash and getting an OEM one. Look up some reviews and you’ll see that the K&N filters are not very good at protecting your investment.
Replaced that K&N filter (man, it was NASTY!) with a shiny new OEM filter. Thanks for the tip! Very cool that they can be cleaned. And with handy instructions in different languages.

IMG_20210419_125050941_HDR.jpg

OEM Filter Languages.jpg
 

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