neverendingprojectgarage None
1/19/20 12:21 p.m.

Long time lurker, just now decided to start participating so I'm starting build threads for a few of my cars. I'll start by catching up with the major modifications since I've bought each, and then go from there. Any advice would be welcome, either on the vehicles or the best way to participate in the forums.

My background - long-time car enthusiast, just started getting into autocross in 2016 and HPDE in 2019. My wife co-drives some events with me and is also very amateur.

This is Sully on the day I bought him:


1998 Land Cruiser, 247k miles at the time. Paint is rough in a few areas but nothing major is wrong and there's no structural rust, so for <5k it felt like a good deal. We bought the truck a week or two after we bought our first house. I knew I'd want something to tow a yard trailer and do house projects with, and I've always loved 4Runners and Land Cruisers. What I wasn't expecting was how solid and comfortable this is for a 20+ year old truck. I launched straight into projects, we had one weekend to paint the house before we moved in so I drove straight home, picked my wife up, and hit up Home Depot:

For the last 18 months or so, the mods have been minimal. First, I took it to a local Toyota dealer for a thorough going-over and timing belt change. It got a clean bill of health, so next I removed the running boards, because they look lame.


After removing 4 bolts per side, very easy job:

I certainly don't need the extra ground clearance but I prefer the look. In 2018 I had to make a few repairs:

  • The starter went out unexpectedly, but I was able to rock it back and forth to get good enough contact to get it started again to drive to a shop. I decided to have a pro replace the starter because it's in the top V of the engine and they'd already be disassembling it to replace the AC compressor...
  • The AC compressor seized and needed to be replaced. Since then it still seems like there's a very slow leak somewhere in the system, but it's much improved.
  • New Hankook Dnynapro tires. We have these on our Rav4, and for a budget all-terrain tire we've been very happy. I went slightly larger than stock, 285/75/16. That fills out the wheel well and gives me a little more sidewall, without creating any rubbing problems.

After that, I've mostly enjoyed the truck. It makes a great base vehicle for lazy camping trips out in the woods:


It's also almost too easy to drive in the snow, I've never had to engage 4L or lock a single diff yet (first world problems):


It's gargantuan next to our Rav4:


And it swallows everything we need to carry for a day of autocross. Seen here in late 2018 carrying the remnants of my wrecked MR2 Spyder:

My future goals for the LC:

  • Have a nice truck for road trips (nothing carries the dog, all our stuff for a week or two, and us in as much comfort)
  • Turn it into a tow-capable vehicle. I recently bought a '98 M3 as our new AutoX/track car, and my wife is ready for us to start riding to events together. 


Thanks for reading this far, and enjoy!

mr2s2000elise Dork
1/19/20 1:45 p.m.

Didn't see this thread. Made a comment about the 100 in your other thread about how nice it is. Love them.  


We bought our 100 new, and went 331K miles, and replaced with LX470.  That went 212K miles, and due it to being too small, we went with a LX570, which we still have, baby at 88K miles.  Waiting for 300 series. 


neverendingprojectgarage New Reader
1/19/20 1:57 p.m.

This is my first 100, and we plan to drive it into the ground and then replace it with the best LX570 we can afford. How do you like the 570? Any threads on it? 

We test drove a GX 470 before buying our GTI and also though it was a little too small for what we'd want out of a truck.

mr2s2000elise Dork
1/19/20 2:28 p.m.

People on this forum aren't interested on a 570 thread. You should see some of the SUV flame fest that happens.  COme over to Ih8mud. Best SUV forum on the planet. Love the 570. It is the best LC we have had since our FJ62/FJ62.   


Prado/GX470/460 isnt my thing. My brother has one with 500k+ miles on it. 

neverendingprojectgarage New Reader
1/19/20 9:50 p.m.
mr2s2000elise said:

People on this forum aren't interested on a 570 thread. You should see some of the SUV flame fest that happens.  COme over to Ih8mud. Best SUV forum on the planet. Love the 570. It is the best LC we have had since our FJ62/FJ62.   


Prado/GX470/460 isnt my thing. My brother has one with 500k+ miles on it. 

I've lurked on ih8mud a few times too, but I haven't gone to look for any 570 threads, I'll do that!

neverendingprojectgarage New Reader
1/24/20 11:17 a.m.

Here's the towing problems I have to solve:

  1. No brake controller. This one's easy. I'd already added a 4-pin for lights when I bought the truck, so this week I just had it replaced by a Tekonsha P2 with a 7-pin.

    When I spun a rod bearing on my last AutoX car (2002 WRX) in August at VIR, I had to grab a Uhaul trailer to get it home. The Land Cruiser definitely wasn't happy stopping the extra 4500+ pounds just using the truck brakes. With a brake controller it should feel a lot better, I'll do a test in the next week or two to see how it handles the load. 

  2. Tongue weight/squatting the back of the truck. Land Cruisers aren't heavy-duty tow vehicles, so the rear springs don't like the weight.

    This is a relatively light load in the yard trailer, and you can already see a noticeable squat. 

    This is when I pulled the WRX home. You can see how close the Uhaul trailer is to the ground in the front. That's with the WRX on backwards, when I put it on the trailer normally the hitch was a few inches closer to the ground. 

    So far, my main ideas are getting a weight-distributing hitch, and possibly adding air bags in the rear springs. I also want to measure the actual tongue weight, because the truck's hitch is only rated to 750 pounds with weight distribution. 

  3. Finally, while the trans fluid has been changed in the last 20k miles, I don't know when/if the diffs have ever been done. I want to replace the fluid in the diffs, bleed the brake fluid, check wear on the pads and rotors, and go for some test pulls before the season starts. I might be overly cautious, but I'm not used to towing on a vehicle with this many miles. 
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