*notcot in tech , 00:41

NOTFZJ80: 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser- 05.03.14

fzj00.jpg Those following us on the NOTlabs Instagram, have seen that between other craziness we have taken on a project car: a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80! Between regular visits to ICON and seeing more of the TLC side of things… we caught the Land Cruiser bug. It’s no surprise that they just don’t build things like they used to… priorities have changed, and accessibility to grab a toolkit and access/fix just about anything on the go just isn’t quite the same. But while we wanted something fun to play with, we also wanted something safe, comfortable, and functional as well, that made sense for longer roadtrips before offroading/overlanding! So we settled on the ‘95-97 FZJ80, which has a/c, airbags, and other amenities but are some of the last years of solid axles, factory front/rear locking differentials and such. Also, when you see the modifications you can make and even build yourself… it’s like a designer’s dream! (but more on that to come…)

So between the soldering, electronics assembly, 3d prints and more on the _ project… we scoured craigslist and local listings and watched hours upon hours of overlanding youtube videos… and ended up popping down to Costa Mesa to see about a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80. With 160k miles on it, a single owner, clean title, locking diffs, and having never left southern california… we couldn’t resist! So the adventure begins… check out how it looks and where we’re at so far on the next page!

In the glove compartment we found the original manual and sticker… fzj2.jpg

Bucky felt right at home in it! Also, i’m fascinated by how the third row of seats fold up to the sides and hook on to the handles! fzj1.jpg


Took it on a test drive up the canyons in Malibu today - and it handled great! fzj3.jpg









Bucky cozy on his Ruffwear Mt Bachelor Pad fzj12.jpg

This spot fits the iPhone 5 surprisingly well. fzj14.jpg


Incredible that all of the original paperwork was in the glove box! fzj15.jpg Click here to see the full sticker.


Fun graphics… and the CD advice makes you think about what life was like back in ‘96! fzj21a.jpg

Checking out the tool bag and jack… fzj17.jpg


Love that it even has a two sided Toyota screwdriver - made in japan! fzj19.jpg

A few of my favorite little details… up/down is for the antenna. fzj22a.jpg

Graphics on how to remove the third row of seats. One of the first things we did was unbolt the seats and remove them for more trunk/Bucky space - SO easy! Even removing the rear seat belt units was a breeze. fzj20.jpg

Now it’s time to erase the traces of the previous owner bit by bit… as you can see all carpets, paneling, etc are really easy to remove - making the body/bed of the car extremely accessible, and great to mount/build on. Time to scrub, clean, tighten, and set up a good base FZJ80 to start with! fzj24.jpg

… and here’s our friendly ShopVac to the rescue! fzj25.jpg

So now you’ve seen where the NOTFZJ80 is starting… can’t wait to share the evolution with you!

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2 Notes

I love this! I recently bought my wife a 2003 Honda CRV for her “doggie wagon”. She’s a dog trainer/walker by trade (instagram: doggiedatetampa) and she regularly drives with 6 or 7 pooches in tow. She goes through the dog-specific seat covers/hammocks like they’re going out of style, and has gotten to the point where we’re thinking of developing our own.

Kind of bummed we didn’t look into a Toyota, but we’re happy with the 2nd gen CRV. It’s built like a tank. A tank covered in dog fur, of course.

One other thing that may not be in Bucky’s future but is certainly in ours— our dogs are all over 11. So custom ramps are something we’re thinking about. There really aren’t many good options on the market…

Good luck with the build, Jean and Bucky!

----- Seamus Payne 05.05.14 11:53

Awesome project. Good luck! THe car is in a pretty good shape and the iPhone fits perfectly. I’m curious what you are doing with it.

----- Markus 05.05.14 03:46

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