Discussion in 'Overlanding / Off-Road' started by Strigidae, Sep 7, 2017.
No and no.....but the pain meds are good....
.....as some i may have seen, after 23yrs and several hundred thousand KMs I decided to "upgrade" Landcruisers. I say it as "upgrade" as there are certainly things on the new one that I like less than my old one. But that is always going to be the case. Given I am laid up at home post surgery for another week I have some time and am bored, so a good time to type....
On vehicle to vehicle let me start by acknowledging that the VDJ76R I have got is NOT (in Toyota's build type) the direct replacement for my old HZJ80. That replacement vehicle would be a VDJ200R. Both the 80 I have or 200 I would choose as a replacement for the 80 are the utility/bottom spec/barn door version of their Luxury Wagons. I looked at the 200 (and have several at work I can drive) and - besides the price over what I paid for the 76 - there remained several things that I din't like compared to my old 80 or the 76. The 200 only comes with an auto gear box for one and is also a twin turbo diesel engine (same power plant as the 76 I have with and extra turbo bolted on) and they are HUGE inside and out ! The other factor was that a 200 of similar age, condition, KMage etc would have set me back at least $20K more and still needed the work I will do on the 76 now.
On what I loose and which I struggle with most, SPACE (this is a pro and con) but the 80 is for me like a "Tardis" (for the Dr Who fans) and there is LOTS of space inside. The 200 has MOOOOOOORE space than the 80 but it is also significantly larger outside - the 80 and 100 series that replaced it, strike the BEST balance on this front to me. Space is followed by an easy to work on power plant, the 1HZ has been around since the late 80s and is still being built and sold by Totoya in 70 series trucks delivered to the Middle East and Africa. There is a reason for this, they go and go and go. But they are also slow and slow and under-powered (I can live with this). I can do most things on a 1HZ that fall in my wheelhouse (I am NOT a mechanic by ANY stretch of the imagination !!) and my final complaint alone is "RIDE" ! The 80 and 100 series are both live axles with coil springs all round. You can made that about perfect for any situation with the addition of a set of poly airbags and the right spring rate and shocks. The 70 is the same in the front (yay) but has big honking industrial leaf springs in the back. So the ride will NEVER match the 80/100 and that is a pill I am still working on swallowing.
On the 70Series.... well it has been in continuous production since @1985, it is the direct replacement for the almost religiously loved 40Series trucks (I had one of these as my first ever four wheeled vehicle - and would have another tomorrow if I were were wealthy and could have a "weekend toy"). In about every way however the 70Series is better. I had lots of exposure to these as a young'n given my best mate (he still is) bought a brand spanking new table top 75Series in 1989 and we added LOTS of distance to it in our travels !!
The 70 was designed to be "light industrial" from the get go, that you see so many OLD ones running around Africa and the Middle East tell you they probably got it right When I was in Mozambique we spent much time in a 1985 75Series and I didn't feel at all worried !!! I am no historian of the vehicle but they have been made in MWB with a Fibreglass Top, SWB with steel top, Table Top, Ute (Tub) Back, and LWB Troop Carrier till the late 90s. They then extended the cab a little on the single cab versions and called it a 78Series. Then in the @mid-2000s they had another revamp and added a dual cab version (calling the Cab Chassis versions 79Series and they updated Troop Carrier the 78Series) and in 2007 the 76Series (which is a shorter 4 door version of the Troop Carrier) was added. With the mid 2000s update they added the 4.5L V8Turbo Diesel to the entire range. The first time I saw a 76Series (almost had an accident weeing on at a car yeard as they had not really been announced, just delivered) I knew I would end up owning one at some point.
One of my Godsons drives a 2009 79Series Single Cab with a tray on the back, they thing just goes and goes and goes !!!
Now, let me clarify wht it is I want from a vehicle (as this defines what it is needs to be done and what "success" looks like at the end). For me it is pretty simple, something that can carry me (and maybe a single passenger) long distances, in reasonable comfort, carrying a significant load of gear depending on the needs of the trip. Given the remote locations out here, it needs to be highly reliable, built tough and with SIGNIFICANT range even when loaded up. I am NOT after a rock crawler or something that needs to climb un-climbable tracks just for fun etc. It does need to be able to get through some really bad spots (water, mud, rocks etc) capably. And yes U understand there is a fine line between playing offroad and essential offroading. Lets face it, we do the first to a degree so we can do the later when it matters !!!
So the starting point...
Day we arrived home (a few weeks ago)....
And some I snapped today....
....since arriving and today about the only change I have made was swapping the Cooper tyres off my 80Series and onto this one.
So this one looks about stock but the prior owner spent some $$s on it to make it suit his needs. He and his wife are retired and this has been used solely to pull their caravan north a couple of times a year. Pretty much all his modifications were with this in mind. Being a factory GXL package it comes standard with front and rear Diff Locks (switch operated from the dash) and (a negative to me) carpet ! He added a reversing camera (aimed to use hooking up his van one out), a UHF radio, windows are tinted, several power outlets inside and out (for both fridges and running the van electricals from the truck), an engine monitoring system (the ECS type that plugs into the factory diagnostic port) and a temp gauge for the fridge about round out the internal changes (oh and about $600 in canvas seat covers).
He spent more $s elsewhere. Under the front there is a dual battery system with a management unit (allowing it to charge from the alternator, solar or any combination of these), fuel pre-filtering system and an electric brake controller (won't ever need that). He also added a three plus inch stainless exhaust system from engine to tail and has it all sitting up on a set of HEEEEEAAAAAVY Ironman springs and Foam Pro Shocks. Above the back springs he has also added a set of airbags to take up/level any extra load. The back springs are perhaps my biggest issue, they are designed to hold up a freaking big caravan when hitched, so even dropping the airbags down to a 3psi holding pressure it is still harsh in the back !!!! I will bide my time before and decisions of changing these springs and see how they go when I sling some of the weight off the back I have in mind.
Some new additions are already in the garage awaiting fitting when I am off Doctor's restrictions and some more are inbound.
Currently there is a set of 9inch LED driving lights and loom, some LED replacement kits for the terrible internal lighting units, some custom lit LED internal switches (for the fridge, lights, winch etc), a swing up mounting bracket so the front registration plate can be swung up and away from the winch fairlead and a 12,000lb winch.
I got a GREAT deal on a full height cargo barrier that should arrive by Tuesday.
On Thursday I had all the seats and carpets steam cleaned (they were really not dirty but had that "other person smell") as I will put the canvas seat covers back on and I have found a place that services mostly the taxi industry here that makes vinyl flooring that is moulded to the layout of this vehicle and fits over the carpets front to back.
@Andy the Aussie
1. Does anyone offer a kit to swap the leaves for coils? Or would it have to be a custom job?
2. Are you leaving those wheels on? I liked the white steelies on your other truck, but those look pretty good too. Any worries about not being able to just hammer a wheel back straight if you bend one out in the bush?
3. Do you know Kimmi Greentree?
4. I thought Landcruisers brought a premium here. Your prices are way worse. What's the cheapest four wheel drive vehicle that is available in Australia?
1. Yes $19k or so cost...so no !!
2. For the time being. They are pretty but as you note I also prefer steel. So I will change to either black or white steel jobbies. I do however need to buy 8 when the time come (4 on the truck, 2 spares and 2 on the trailer -when I change the hubs on that to match) so it will be a bit.
3. No I don’t mate.
4. Probably a Mahindra or some similar Asian/Chinese. Cheapest workable trucks are probably from Isuzu. Great little trucks !!!
Hummmm so one must make the most of adversity !! I am off work for at least another week, Mrs Andy heads away for the week with work tomorrow morning....I will be home to intercept all arriving packages.....time to get ordering
Andy, what about airbags? (suspension airbags)? All dash controlled (height, stiffness etc)
And on the cost of vehicles here....yes it blows !!! A 2019
..... it already has supplementary airbags fitted above the leaf springs. Most airbag systems (spring replacements) are looked at with great disdain here as they have the potential (and are known to do so in the vehicles factory fitted) for leaving you totally up shyte creek in the arse or nowhere here. Once they fail you are screwed. With coils or leaf springs there are always DIY options that wont see you stranded two days drive from anywhere. Once I sling some weight off the back - rear bar with two spares and a 180L fuel tank are first up - I hope that takes the sting out of the ride. Failing that $600 gets me a pair of top quality leaf springs with a lower rating.
Just ordered the full vinyl flooring for front and back. Have to get them to custom cut some for the cargo bay yet.
Perun rack on the 701 today and the Rotopax on the Can-Am with ratchet straps until I get the double mount plate.
So was feeling a bit better yesterday (blew that up by doing too much around the house/truck but that is another story).... added the swing up registration plate holder (swings up as the plate partially obscures the recess where the winch fairlead will sit) and swapped out the original ARB fog lights for some brighter LED jobbies...
The fog lights are MUCH less about fog for me as they are about illuminating a track immediately in front of the vehicle at slower speeds ...
Also replaced the innards of one of the cabin lights with an LED kit....
....just a stunning difference !!! I have already ordered a kit of the other light unit !!
Leds are the way to go.
Yes they most certainly are !!!
Doing the same thing to my old Ford
A couple of small additions and jobs on the new toy today (working on what I can on this is probably keeping me sane and my mind off how horrible I have been feeling)....
....just small and direct replacements of the horrible factory jobbies that are built into the front dash. simple swap and for $50 a huge improvement. I wont bother doing the ones that are in the cargo bay, when loaded they are mostly buried behind gear and partially covered by the false floor that will go in. Down the road I *may* and a small shelf/pod that sits across and above the rear barn doors that include some modest storage and forward facing speaker provisions. That is faaaaaaaaaaaaaar down the list of projects. Before that I will perhaps add these ....
....to the front doors and stick in some decent speakers where *I* can can hear them. Given I rarely share the truck with others and now when I do it is only a front seat passenger, too much good sound in the back is really a waste...
also got some of the switches in I ordered, this one...
....for the LED driving lights is my favourite......
your taking the whip cream thing too far man.....
LMFAO good one Bushy
Been quiet on the delivery front ...... the big $ things approach so trying (and failing at times) to hold off unless they are essentials. Vinyl flooring has shipped and will be a whole weekend to fit (will need to pull all the seats and such) but that can wait a little.
Cargo barrier arrived....pulled it out of the box and saw it need "drilling" on the Tojo to fit and (knowing my ability at such things) I slid it back into it's shipping box and will get my guys at the workshop to do it with the rest of (what is becoming known as) "the list" ...
Second LED internal light kit arrived so I dropped that in today.
In the next couple of weeks I need to make a firm decision about which rear bar and wheel carriers I am going to use as well as the long range fuel tank. Can't add the side rails and sliders till the winch is fitted so they are a few weeks at least off.
What I have found is how out of touch with the 4x4 accessory market I have been. Almost everything was 50-100% more expensive than I had recalled/planned for !
Also messaged a guy on "Gumtree" (Aussie version of Craig's List I guess) who has six rims in the same style that are on the truck now. That would give me my second spare, plus a pair and a spare for the trailer. Will see how that goes.