The upgrade… to the same type of vehicle, just older, with more kilometers on the clock. Oh and it cost nearly twice as much as the original one. Logical right ?
After 4 months of searching for a 95+ hdj80 auto I end up with a 92 hdj80 manual
This thing appeared to be in mint condition. I had looked at a few newer model factory turbo’s with less km’s that did not drive or present anywhere near as nice. Also the amount of accessories on it was phenomenal, it would have taken me years to justify the expense of all the accessories it already had so I made the sacrifice to getting a slightly older model Cruiser for the advantage of saving thousands on buying future accessories. Not to mention it was in mint condition.
The turbo had let go a few months earlier, that had been fully rebuilt, injectors were also reconditioned at the same time. When it was all re-assembled combustion gasses were found it the coolant, the head was checked and found to be cracked that was replaced with a brand new Toyota unit. I had receipts for the lot so I knew the engine should be right for many a year to come. The plan was to buy this one all ready to go and not spend a cent on modifications, just drive it and enjoy it for what it was. Yeah right… it was wearing 35’s within a month.
So a little run down on the vehicle itself and specs when purchased :
92 HDJ80 GXL Landcruiser
* 5sp manual
* 309k km’s on the clock.
* 3″ Coils- front sagging (stinkbug)
* OME Coils
* 285/75r16 Cooper S/t Tyres
* 3″ Exhaust
* Dual Battery Setup with Red Arc Isolator
*Underbonnet Air Compressor
* Lightforce 240 Blitz Spotlights.
* Warn 8274 High Mount winch
* Boost Gauge & Battery Monit0rs
* Alpine Head Unit w/Ipod input –
* 6 1/2″ Components up front –
* 5″ Alpine Coax in rear doors
* Overhead Map Pockets
* Roof console
* Sheepskin Seat Covers on all seats – Grandpa Spec but surprisingly comfortable
* Cargo barrier
* Outback Accessories Storage Drawers with Fridge Slide
* GME TX3200 UHF
* Custom Stainless Water tank – Outlet in Rear bumper
*ARB Commercial Bullbar
* ARB Scrub Bars and Heavy Duty Sidesteps.
* Kaymar over bumper Wheel Carrier with Worklight
* Custom Full Length Ali Roof Rack
Click thumbnails for full size
As I said the whole “No Mods” thing did not last too long. I think it was 3 weeks before the 35’s were swapped over from the FZJ80.
Here’s a few pics from Wedge at Sunrise after the Anzac Day dawn service. Just swapping the tyres made it look alot better. I took these pics on my phone, they turned out Ok ( I thought they were possibly the best photo’s taken in the history of photography at the time) but they did spark my interest in photography.
I would be lying if I said the mods stopped there too, I mean who was I kidding really ? I think ordered the intercooler before the tyres where changed over. I went with the Safari Front Mount, I never planned on pouring a huge amount of boost or fuel into a 20 year old vehicle but I just wanted a bit more grunt. When you look at the torque curve compared to a petrol on paper you see it coming on way early and holding it steadier throughout the rev range, but they don’t tell you it takes twice as long for a 1hd-t to get to 2000rpm than a 1fz to get to 3000rpm. Standard for standard I preferred the 1fz-fe, but it is hard to tell with all those accessories and extra weight, not to mention the change from automatic to manual. Either way I was loving the economy and power once the car was going but it was horrible off boost, worse than a 1hz, I would find myself in low range trying to take off on semi boggy beaches, only had do do that for the real soft stuff in the fzj80. It was either gearing or power, I went for power.
Installing the cooler was a pretty straight forward process thanks t the well thought out kit. Having a father who is a mechanic helps no end too.
Sometime after I fitted the cooler I found an interesting article on the Warn website regarding the history of their winches, in particular the good old 8274 High Mount. The article can be found here: Warn© High Mount History
Went out and had a look at my one and saw that it was definitely pre-98 as it was just an 8274 not an 8274-50, Couldn’t work out the serial numbers or any numbers for that matter as it appeared to have 30 layers of paint on it, but a bit of thinners on a rag rectified that.
I should have got a photo before I started, I’m actually surprised how good it came out.
With the numbers I worked out that it was made on the 18th working day in January in either 1974 or 1984, thinking there was no way that was correct I sent Warn an email with the serial number and the 3 digit code.
This was the reply:
Good day Daniel,
Thank you for visiting the WARN web page.
By the serial number your winch is a 1984 vintage, this is our best winch ever by the way… I have a 1978 vintage 8274 on my Land Rover, so I may be biased.
I have a new red W decal I would be happy to send you to spruce up the control pack cover, just e-mail me your complete address.
If you have any other questions please let me know.
So there ya go, I have since noticed it has the original motor too, I will post a picture of the serial number below later… Lets se a chinese winch do that!!
Oh and the decal did turn up too, he gave me a couple more then what he said though, how is that for service.
Also replaced the halogen interior lights with led’s around that time, cost me about $5 thanks to ebay, also replaced the 1/4 panel indicators with clear lens versions, just makes it look a little bit newer.
Around September 2012 I order a custom clutch from Direct Clutch Services this clutch is good for 800nm or 1000nm of torque (it was a while ago!) and isn’t that much heavier than the standard clutch, I also swapped the EFS Extreme shocks over from the old cruiser as the OME’s wee fading out corrugations when loaded up. The EFS shocks made for a harsh ride in the old Cruiser but with all the extra weight the White Whale had on board they were perfect.
Then along with in preparation for a 4000kkm solo Overland Trip I added a Sunseeker II awning to the roof racks and some no name China LED worklights to the wheel carrier, I already had a halogen one on there but it was next to useless, these, if anything are too bright.
So trip done and dusted without issue, also without a doubt the longest and best trip I had ever done, by the time you read this there will probably be a write up link right here
I was extremely impressed with the Cruiser, I was returning ridiculously good economy on that trip worked out to an average around 12l/100km. But one thing that I was missing was power, with all the extra weight on board and the 35’s the old 1hd-t was struggling, not long after the trip I noticed the injector pump was leaking a little bit, they are an expensive item and was getting quotes up to $2500 for my one to be reconditioned. After giving it a good clean I traced the leak to the timer cover assembly. with a bit of advise from the fella’s at Offroad80s.com I changed it over without any issues, well it worked the 2nd time, must have squashed the o-ring first time.
Now that I had sorted all that again it was time to chase some power! In hindsight I could have just got it tuned but after reading up on the GTurbo’s for a couple years on various forums I knew what i wanted to do. So after talking to Graeme he arranged to take me for a spin and he had a deposit the next day. I ordered a Grunter 2 (Now called Grunter Extreme). After I put it on and Graeme tuned it the performance was incomparable, I was absolutely stoked.
The power and more so the torque I was getting now was unbelievable, but the best thing was how early it was coming on, here is a couple video’s Graeme took while tuning.
Sometime not long after that I decided to upgrade the stereo, bought a cheap Kenwood slimline sub and box combo and a set of Alpine Type S coaxial’s for the rear doors, I had already transferred my Type R components from the old Cruiser but they were just hooked up to the deck, there was an amp under the seat when I bought the car but it wasn’t hooked up, I powered it up and all the lights worked tried that for a while, it put out sound but it wasn’t any better than the deck so I bought an Alpine MRX-V70 5-channel amp to power the whole lot, it sounded great but has already been returned due to failure, I currently have an old alpine 4-Channel MTX amp I got for $100 of Gumtree, sounds Ok but not as good.
I also knocked up a new rear tailgate badge for the Cruiser, sent the wrong file out to the router so I ended up with another Land bruiser, I am going to change that soon though.
Also did some new lighting for the tailgate, there was a fluoro on there but it was temperamental so I just put some of the LED strip light that I had left over after doing the awning. Was pretty happy with the results, all up about $10 spent.
After that I was just doing heaps of trips and kicking ass in general, then the injector pump started leaking again, this time from the motor side of the pump, it was going to have to be removed. I got it rebuilt by a local mob fairly cheaply considering. The night I got it back from getting the pump rebuilt I took off to the family shack up at Wedge Island about 100km into the trip the old girl started cooking. I limped it there and back and pressure tested it when I got home, we found a few leaks in the header tank of the radiator so that was replaced the following weekend along with the thermostat and radiator hoses. After pulling the hoses off it became apparent the cooling system was in pretty bad shape, so we flushed the block while the rad was out.
The trips continued without any real issues, was planning another big end of year trip when i noticed a coolant leak, it was the water pump so that was replaced along with the timing belt and tensioner. First night of the big trip I blew a head gasket 550km from home. I thought bugger it and pushed on to make it a near on 4000km trip, the problem was so manageable that i was starting to question whether I had even blown the gasket, I did another South West trip with the OffroadWA.com forum by the end of that trip it was clear something had to be done, so I took the head off.
Long story short 7 months later and the cruiser looks somewhat like this, just minus the whole motor now not just the cylinder head
to be continued…