Bruiser - 1999 Land Cruiser

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KonzaLander

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

1,798
Junction City, Kansas, USA
Member #

15814

Ham Callsign
KE0EBF
Year: 2016

I bought my first Toyota in January 2016, a 1999 100 series. I set out looking for a 100 series in October of 2015 after returning home from exploring the Rockies in a 70k mile 2006 Hemi powered Grand Cherokee. The Jeep was comfortable and had more power under the hood than necessary, but it always felt cheap and clunky. When it failed to go into 4-Low at the base of Cinnamon Pass in the San Juans I was furious. The WK was sold a couple of months later ushering in the Toyota chapter of my life.

Thanks to a lot of background reading I knew I could find the right cruiser with a modest $15k budget. However when a one owner, 246k mile rig popped up on craigslist for a mere $6k, with complete Toyota service records, I couldn’t say no.

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The ‘budget’ Cruiser and my Toyota learning experience went pretty well. I knew the Cruiser would need some TLC and maintenance, so I jumped right into unfamiliar territory that first year.
  • Scrubbed and cleaned the interior (the original owner passed away from lung cancer and the interior smelled like an ash tray)
  • Installed cabin filter
  • Removed running boards
  • Replaced steering rack
  • Replaced upper ball joints with 555 joints
  • Serviced wheel bearings (oil seal, flange gasket, Slee bushing tool, etc)
  • Greased drive shafts
  • Cranked the torsion bars to reduce the 2 ½” forward rake to ¾” rake
  • Replaced the tires with 265/75r16 AT3’s
  • Replaced coil pack #1 with a Denso
  • Replaced heater tees

After driving the Cruiser a few thousand miles I could tell my baseline work wasn’t quite complete.
  • Installed new front swaybar bushings/links and new rear bushings
  • Replaced the shocks with OEM (The actual shock was okay, but the bushings were shot. Bushings cost nearly as much as the shock assembly!)
  • Replaced MAF sensor
  • Replaced overhead interior and center dash lights with LED

Now that the Cruiser was driving well I started to make it mine.
  • Removed the faded/peeling faux wood trim
  • Installed WeatherTech floor mats
  • Upgraded the radio to a JVC touchscreen and routed HDMI/USB extension cable to the ashtray
  • Installed a PL259 connector in the face of the ashtray and ran the coax behind the second row of seats for easy access for a mag mount CB antenna. A Midland 75-822 CB gets pulled out as needed.
  • Replaced the garage door housing in the overhead console with a HomeLink module and a Blue Sea USB power source
  • Installed a Warn winch on the TJM 957MTT1581C winch plate behind the stock bumper
  • Installed a set of Black Peak 80 series D-ring tow brackets up front
  • Installed a set of IPF lights on a home built mount up front with the FJ Cruiser Auxiliary light switch
  • Replaced the cracking factory Michelin spare tire with a 265/75/r16 AT3 tire
  • Performed the spare tire lift mod
  • Performed the rear mud flap trim mod

Then more general maintenance was required as time went on.
  • Replaced the fan bracket, tensioner pulley and serpentine belt
  • Replaced coil pack #3 with a Denso (now I carry one in the glovebox)
  • Replaced the generic 24F battery with a lead acid 27F from Batteries Plus (840CCA and 168RC)

During that first year, the Cruiser took me to the Salida, CO area four times, once to the Ouray, CO area, once to Branson, MO, and explored my backyard (Flint Hills area, KS). Putting 24k miles on a single vehicle in one year was a new personal record for me.

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KonzaLander

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

1,798
Junction City, Kansas, USA
Member #

15814

Ham Callsign
KE0EBF
Year: 2017

Turned over 288K miles. The cruiser had been pretty trouble free for the 2nd year, but it has needed some continued maintenance.
  • New Toyota fuel filter
  • New Toyota Mass Air Flow sensor
  • New Denso SK20R11 Iridium Plugs
  • New Toyota front brake pads and guide pins
  • New Toyota rear brake pads
  • New Napa rear brake rotors
  • 2 new Denso coils on Bank 1 (chasing misfire codes)
  • New Whiteline ‘big’ horseshoe steering rack bushing (I reused the factory bushing when I originally replaced the steering rack)
  • Remanufactured Denso alternator
  • 4 new Denso coils on Bank 2

Modifications came slow and steady through 2017.
  • Bypassed and removed factory stereo amplifier
  • Installed Kenwood TM-71A ham radio
  • Refinished and installed a Reece 2” receiver
  • Installed Curt 55356 trailer wire harness/converter
  • Installed a 32g ATOTO Android Radio to replace the JVC radio

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The modifications came slow because the Cruiser and I were busy exploring. From leading 30 rigs through the Flint Hills Back roads of Kansas, to following a herd of 100’s at HIH7 in Silverton and leading an Arkansas River run in Western Kansas. Needless to say, the Cruiser and I made a whole host of new friends this year.

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KonzaLander

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

1,798
Junction City, Kansas, USA
Member #

15814

Ham Callsign
KE0EBF
Year: 2018

I closed out my 3rd year with the Cruiser at 307,000 miles. At this point I have put 61k miles on the rig.

I did not spend too much time wrenching on the Cruiser in the last 19k miles…at least it didn’t seem like it!
  • Installed a set of Wet Okole seat covers over the cracking leather on the front seats
  • Replaced the worn rubber stopper on the front differential
  • Replaced remaining stock coil packs with Denso
  • Replaced front brake pads
  • Rebuilt the front hub assembly with new Timken and Koyo wheel bearings
  • Replaced the lower ball joints with 555 joints
  • Replaced the rear upper control arms with new Toyota arms
  • Replaced the front CV axles with new Toyota axles
  • Installed 30mm Slee Spacer and indexed the Torsion bars
  • Replaced Cooper 265/75r16 AT3 with 255/85r16 ST Maxx
  • Installed SuperLift Truespeed
  • Made quick release awning brackets for a used 8’ Smittybilt awning

Wet Okole covers fit great!
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Wheel bearings were making some noise
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SuperLift Truespeed in the glove box
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Awning bracket
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255/85r16 ST Maxx tires installed
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KonzaLander

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

1,798
Junction City, Kansas, USA
Member #

15814

Ham Callsign
KE0EBF
Year: 2019

2019 has been a busy year for the 100. I am at 320k miles as of September, so I've done 13k miles so far this year.
  • Install +03 ARB Deluxe front bumper with amber Xprite JK fog lights
  • Replace rear lower control arms with SPC
  • Replace rear driveshaft
  • Replace steering rack bushings with WhiteLine Poly
  • Replace rear passenger, brake caliper bracket
  • Replace Timing Belt with Aisin kit
  • Replace Radiator with OEM
  • Install dual battery system
  • Upgrade roof rack crossbars with 80/20 for ARB RTT
  • Replace Brake Booster assembly with OEM

Fresh ARB Deluxe bumper installed
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Timing Belt service completed!
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80/20 roof rack cross bars installed
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ARB Simpson III RTT on top of the cruiser
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Took the Cruiser for a trip along the Continental Divide with a couple of days in the San Juan mountains with my brother-in-law.
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My dual battery install is outlined in the gear forum:
 
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