Builds Zeus, a VZJ95 living in Whistler, Canada.

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Jan 5, 2021
Whistler, Canada
Hello! I'm Charlie.

I have been snooping around on here for a while but thought it would make sense to get a build thread up, just to keep track of progress!

I bought a Silver 1998 VZJ95, a Japanese import, with 115,000km in Vancouver in June and have been having loads of fun with it. It's my first Toyota and my first 4x4 I've actually used for its intended purpose and living in whistler theres plenty opportunity to do that.

Some pictures from when my girlfriend and I picked him up:

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As the car stands it was entirely stock aside from a sh*t load of jdm radio and tv equipment that didn't work, and some 17 inch FJ steelies with a questionable red pinstripe!

I had started wanting a 4x4 since discovering the maze of Forestry service roads that exist around BC and the first weekend after we got the car we decided to drive an 800km off road loop up to a town called gold bridge, taking an aesthetic road called the Highline pass. It was a great run down for the car and we came out with a good idea of what we owned :) One small mishap was the original radiator cap gave up on us and we had some coolant boil over, an easy fix.

Some pictures of that weekend:





These pictures are from back and June so theres a bit more to update but I've just seen it only allows 5 photos to be uploaded at once so i think ill use that as an excuse to do one update each night to get caught up!

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I absolutely love the 90 series, I don’t know why.
You picked the best wheels, my opinion would be paint then white or light gray, but it’s your truck.
maybe I missed it but Is this gas or diesel?
VZ so I'm guessing it has the 3.4 V6 Lump in it.
Yes it has the 3.4 lump in it. I was considering a 1KZ hilux at the same time as this purchase, but due to a number of factors, the main one being the scarcity of KZ parts in canada and the car being a daily driver (for now) meant having the 5VZ parts easily accessible was a big plus.
Started off with a quick detail to get years worth of grime out of some of the nooks and crannies! Car looks good despite some fade on the LHS arches which i plan to have resprayed at some point!

  • Removed side steps because I hate them
  • Removed JDM mirrors and deleted with stickers for now because i think theyre goofy
  • Added a Yakima rack
  • Added Full size AT spare wheel to replace old one that wasn't up to the job.
Since buying the rack back in July I've decided it is miserably low duty and will soon be replaced with a custom extruded aluminium rack when i find the time to have a go at making one!




Next on the to do list were a few more little bits and bobs.

  • Refresh taillights which were horribly faded
  • Remove JDM stereo system and install a double din carplay unit (ft the missus telling me its dinner time)
  • Install boot matt cover to keep up with an outdoor lifestyle




Things that are winding me up at this stage:

  • Fog lights leak
  • Rear prado badge is loose
  • Front bumper hangs too low with JDM 'bush bar'
  • Need to fix JDM mirror holes!

To be continued...
I absolutely love the 90 series, I don’t know why.
You picked the best wheels, my opinion would be paint then white or light gray, but it’s your truck.
maybe I missed it but Is this gas or diesel?
Thanks! Ive actually looked at so many pictures of FJ steels powdercoated white / Grey, I think ill actually sell these and switch them for the 16 inch variety which are exactly the same when i get my new tyres!

I love steel wheels!

Always have since owning a spree of 106 Rallyes back in the UK when i was a bit younger! One of my favourites:

Spent the summer finding out how much fun it can be to own a 4x4! Taking every opportunity to drive up a dodgy unmarked road to the highest point we can! It's only a matter of time before we get into some trouble me thinks. Insert 'Enjoying my Prado in BC' summer shots...

Exploring Vancouver Island with some friends:


En Route to The Okanagan with the missus, camping on hwy12:


Camping above Kelowna:


Looping Harrison lake the long way with friends:


High above lilloett Lake in mid august:


I moved here to ski but having the Prado I'm realising how much more there is to do once you can leave the beaten path, its awesome!
It's the end of the summer now and Nina and I are planning to go away on a big trip to Vancouver island exploring. We've got a double bed sized memory foam mattress in the back which creates a perfect bed with all the seats down and is literally our new favourite place to sleep. Plan is to spend 12 days on the island exploring some modest trails and visiting tofino and the north of the island.

few more silly little jobs at this point:

  • As well as the front bumper, the exhaust and fog light keep scraping the floor, I've removed the fog light and plan to cut the exhaust off at a slight angle until the lift kit is on there.
  • Replaced the loose Prado badge with one that just says Land cruiser, got a good deal.
  • Also got given a toyota badge which i replaced the JDM 'TX' badge with, wasnt for me. back end looks cleaner now.
  • Fitted some traction boards after a slightly stuck incident, got them on the back for now using spare wheel hole to avoid bringing the dirt inside after use.
  • Still have JDM holes *sigh*
Traction board + Old badges + Fog light


New badges + Deleted Fog light


Yeah lets hear the updates! I'm in the process of trying to pick up a KDJ95 for my new daily to replace my 80 series. Curious who you imported through? Nice whip BTW
So I sort of neglected this thread but had a couple messages to ask me how it was going and thought it might be a good time to put a quick update in here :)

Long story short I got the car incredibly stuck about 70km away from the nearest town on a small trail on Vancouver island a while bck and after walking a good distance out my girlfriend and i were saved by some loggers who had finished their day and were driving back to town. They were amazed at where our stuck little prado got to!

The car took a little bit of body damage and the front bumper was destroyed. We decided we needed to gear up a little haha. The car has since had some work done:

Old Man Emu 40mm lift completed at Overland Garage in Vancouver (Jerry is the best)
Coastal Offroad steel bumper for a 3rd gen 4runner built and modified to fit the prado
Warn Evo10S winch with some Factor 55 hardware
Amazon cheapo LED pods to fill the holes in bumper, until i have completed more important jobs these will suffice.
Removed s***e yakima roof basket
built extruded aluminium rack utilising the threads from the factory rails
Falken Wildpeak 255 / 80 / 17
Fully rubbed down and painted the underside and fluid filmed
Deleted all japanese mirror holes

Some pics:

Coastal bumper is all tacked up (before lift). we had to reshape the inside of the bumper so it would fit the Prado body and reshape the AC condenser hose. Then there was a 1.5" gap between the body and the bumper which we filld with a piece of flat bar bent to the contours of the body. it looks neat i think!


Bumper is now painted to match the body and the winch and lights have been installed. This is the first picture of the car after the lift at Overland garage next to Jerry the owners Prado. it now sits on OME shocks and heavy duty springs in the front.


Living in the PNW (and particularly Whistler has meant coming to terms with SALT. The already rusting yakima rack came off and was replaced with this full length aluminium rack i built for around 400 CAD. I added some handles to the side and all the hardware is stainless. its pretty cool i think! Note that the aluminium bike rack also cost an arm and a leg haha.




Rack sits exactly as i wanted it, as close to the roof as possible without touching. Functional and minimal. I had a go at tiniting the lights yellow which i have decided looks tacky and will be coming off.

New tyre day was very exciting. Car came on some crappy all terrains but they were brand new and i decided to spend money in other areas and abuse the tyres until they died. Make of that what you will iIknow its not how everyone else does it haha.

Old tyres were 265/70/17
New are 255/80/17

I kept the FJ steelies that came on the car ( but have since removed the red stripe) because they are badass.




And the side profile:

Few more pictures of the 1UP bike rack with swing out (So we can access rear door) and some of my other favourite photos of the car from being out exploring, taken at various stages of mods:


Front bumper with Factor 55 hardware installed (still need to remove yellow tint :/


Exploring Poison Mtn in the Chilcotins:


Coming through the tunnel at carpenter lake, testing out the new suspension:

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Fun little Before and after of the Prado 18 months into ownership.

I really love the Prado platform. its much more useable than a 4runner due to the added space. we sleep inside and wouldn't dream of changing anything about that setup as it is so comfy! Roof tents are a pain IMO. Parts haver been really easy to come by and Jerry at overland garage has been pretty useful getting me on track with anything. He will also be doing the water pump / thermostat / timing belt job this spring.

Short term plans for the car are:
  • Diagnose battery light fault (I have good battery and alternator, not sure what it is!)
  • Big spring service
  • Relocate all breathers higher (diffs, Tcase, Trans)
  • Get rid of the chrome trim somehow
  • Plan roof rack setup properly ( I have a series of hard cases to mount as well as tools like a shovel and an axe)
  • Timing belt / water pump / thermostat
  • Trans temp / voltage gauges in factory blank switches on dash
  • remove motorised aerial and replace with whip antenna
  • Add bigger DIY mud guards to stop stone chipping in arches, these will look as close to stock as i can get them to look.
  • Black vinyl over rear passenger side windows - we never use this window and its nice to have in black when we sleep in the back.
  • Make velcro curtain for rear window
  • Enjoy :)
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Hi, I’m in the situation you were in with the bumper, I have a few questions about the coastal off-road
Did you get the body lift option on yours or bought a regular one?
It actually raises it by however big your body lift is, so considering the 4Runners are lower than prados, it might’ve helped?
Sorry to ask on here, great looking truck btw

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