Your Top 5 projects to begin building on a budget? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Nov 30, 2019
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Hello, I finally managed to find my very first build project Land Cruiser. It’s a 1999 Toyota Land Cruiser and I need some help with where to begin. Would i love to have the $ to have it trailered to the fellas at TLC/IKON? Yes, but I don’t have that sort of bankroll. So, help me figure out what order all these upgrades and or repairs need to take place? Thanks in advance.

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Joined
Nov 30, 2019
Messages
7
Location
United States of America
What's your budget and what are your plans?
Probably could swing $3-$4k to start off. It has some rust beginning to come through on the rockers, handle on the tailgate has rusted off and in need of repair/replacement, wiper arms are rusting and could use some tlc, (not sure if there are stronger aftermarket motors to improve wipers performance?) the switches on the sunroof aren’t operational, driver’s side window/door lock switch plate seems to have a clip that’s missing or broken and looks a little janky, steering wheel could be re-wrapped, need a new/used set of tan leather 3rd row seats (missing), the “D” (for Drive) light on the dashboard transmission Christmas tree must be burned out? Antenna (of course) ain’t climbing out of his hole, windows roll up and down, but can be as slow as molasses. So far, that’s all the pesky “little” things we’ve taken note of that will need some attention. Now, the plans are to listen and learn as much as i possibly can from those of you who own a 100 series LC (specifically a 1999) I want to ease into this with the wisdom gleaned from those of you who can Offer the best advice on what steps to to take first. I would love to add a small lift kit (OME, King,etc.?) that doesn’t make it impossible for us to get in and out of it. Any other critical suspension add ons that make things perform better? Rock plates, rock lights, Slee Off Road rocker bars in lieu of the current stock running boards, ARB or Slee Off Road front bumper w/winch and LED lights as well as a rear bumper w/ ladder, storage racks/trays, spare tire swing/lock out, and some sort of idea as to what size tires and wheels w/bead locks to stuff under the wheel wells without rubbing and or causing steering/suspension parts the stress that makes them fail in the future, maybe a top rack and some light bar systems that are somewhat hidden and less pronounced than the BIG ROUND KC LIGHTS, replacement LED headlamps/lights (not just bulbs), also some smaller boxed LED lights to light up the ditches while driving the dark backroads to illuminate potential wildlife, stranded motorists or simply light up your campsite a little more while setting things up for the night? That’s about all that is running through my mind at the time. Might also include any engine performance advice for the 4.7 liter V8 and or extra battery, air compressor, bolt ons that have served others well in various parts of the build? Thanks for any advice you can offer.
 
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
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350
Location
Denver
Where are you located? I have the 3rd row, unsullied, that will never go back in my LX.

As for what to do on a new rig, I did front bumper and winch, rock sliders (yet to install), drawers and sleeping platform (which you don’t want with the 3rd row), larger than stock KO2s on Tundra wheels, and maintenance items like heater tees, headlight bulbs, and so forth. I also built a receiver mounted tire swing so that I can carry my spare on the back, when need dictates. But the list is pretty individual, as determined by how you’re planning to use it and your family needs. I’m a single guy that wants to get out of town and explore remote locations alone. Ymmv.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2018
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WV
The answers to a lot of your questions can be found by searching the forum. There are lots and lots of different ways one can go with a build. However, every build should begin the same. IMO, you've got to take care of the maintenance/ restoration items first. First thing I'd do is baseline the truck and take care of all the necessary maintenance and especially the rust. Rust is the real killer of a vehicle and there is no sense is dumping money into mods on a truck that is only going for a rusty death in a few years.

Once you've got all the basics done and your truck is solid, it's time to decide what you want to do with the truck. Daily driver, street queen, rock crawling, overlanding? Forest service roads or technical trails? Once you decide on that you can start prioritizing mods.

These truck are very capable in their stock form. If off roading is something you'll be doing it's hard to go wrong with a replacing the running boards with rock sliders and stepping up to a 33" AT or MT tire as your first mods. Evaluate your needs and the vehicle's performance and go from there.
 

MongooseGA

Learns things the hard way
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Atlanta GA
What does the frame look like?

If it's a rust bucket and has body panels eaten through, and you know this now, before putting anything into it: don't.

Baselining the truck, if it's not done already, will cost your $3-4k budget. If you aren't doing all of your own work, the timing service if not done is ~$1200. You're going to have a plethora of bushings to replace in the suspension. Front Control arm bushings alone are several hundred dollars for parts. Rust repair will cost you at minimum a few hundred bucks to just completely replace a single panel (if removable) and a lot more if there's actually body work involved.

Get the truck to a point that it's ready and worth doing mods to. If I were in your shoes and the underside of the truck is already rusty, I'd start with a new one that was a cleaner platform.

That probably sucks to hear, I'm sorry, but that's where I'd go after owning 4 and building 2 of these trucks.
 
Joined
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North Carolina
While far from an expert, I am going to use my LC for the next year before I start any mods, this will allow me to catch up on any maintenance and also understand more how I am going to use my new toy. I’ll then develop a plan for mods/upgrades I need.
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
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United States of America
I had a few more pix of some “bubble rust” forming in a couple areas above the front window trim. I couldn’t post them because I could only attach 5 pix. It’s not a ton of rust, just needs to be addressed rather than ignored.
 

GTV

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Jan 31, 2019
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Si'ahl
What about the chassis and suspension? That is what is going to make life miserable for the mechanic be it you or someone else ($$$).
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
Messages
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United States of America
Where are you located? I have the 3rd row, unsullied, that will never go back in my LX.

As for what to do on a new rig, I did front bumper and winch, rock sliders (yet to install), drawers and sleeping platform (which you don’t want with the 3rd row), larger than stock KO2s on Tundra wheels, and maintenance items like heater tees, headlight bulbs, and so forth. I also built a receiver mounted tire swing so that I can carry my spare on the back, when need dictates. But the list is pretty individual, as determined by how you’re planning to use it and your family needs. I’m a single guy that wants to get out of town and explore remote locations alone. Ymmv.
What about the chassis and suspension? That is what is going to make life miserable for the mechanic be it you or someone else ($$$).
Thanks, I can’t rack it myself, so I’ll have to try and illuminate the undercarriage to show you the current condition. I’ll try and post some additional pictures later “if possible?”
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
Messages
7
Location
United States of America
Where are you located? I have the 3rd row, unsullied, that will never go back in my LX.

As for what to do on a new rig, I did front bumper and winch, rock sliders (yet to install), drawers and sleeping platform (which you don’t want with the 3rd row), larger than stock KO2s on Tundra wheels, and maintenance items like heater tees, headlight bulbs, and so forth. I also built a receiver mounted tire swing so that I can carry my spare on the back, when need dictates. But the list is pretty individual, as determined by how you’re planning to use it and your family needs. I’m a single guy that wants to get out of town and explore remote locations alone. Ymmv.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2019
Messages
462
Location
Fort Lauderdale
a stock LC is plenty capable. i would concentrate on the base lining and buddget for coming break downs in the future.

your sliders and winches and front bumpers wont matter if the car grenades.

what was done to it maintenance wise? timing belt? water pump? tstat? heater ts? any clunks?
 

87warrior

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
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Dec 14, 2015
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992
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Junction City, Kansas
I am just down the road from you (Junction City, KS) and have a set of rear seats that have been collecting dust in my garage. They are in good shape but one seat is missing a head rest. Send me a message if you are interested.

As long as the frame isn't rotted out, I'd baseline the rig and start enjoying it. If that is the Cruiser I think it is, I had a good friend who wanted it but was concerned about the lack of maintenance records and the painted over rust on the axle. I suspect you will have a lot of sweat equity into it before long. The good news is you already have good tires :)

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Joined
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Those front rockers are holding some serious dirt. Pull the front wheels and the plastic splash shields out and get the dirt cleaned out, although it is too late for the passenger side...
 

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