NOTFZJ80: PART III- 08.05.14
The NOTFZJ80 Project is being sponsored by our friends at AutoNation: America’s largest auto retailer with 270 stores selling 33 brands nationwide backed by industry-leading policies like SmartChoice pricing and no-hassle money back guarantee. They are helping us turn our 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser into an overland adventure rig to go discover inspiration off-grid! Follow the progress here as we build up to our first trip.
Seems about time for a NOTFZJ80 Project update! This update is a combo of accessorizing and… waiting. So much patient waiting… as the Land Cruiser heads in to TLC to get some work done. But just because the car isn’t here doesn’t mean there aren’t NOTFZJ80 Project related tasks to be done. In this update we’ve got the front bumper + winch installed, dropped it off to the shop, started the scavenger hunt for parts (which even brings us over to AutoNation Toyota in Irvine), amusement with jigger siphons, jerry cans, MaxTrax, D-ring shackle bracelets, marine grade battery and more… check out the latest progress on the next page! We are nearly adventure ready!
The ARB Deluxe Front Bumper is heavy! Then add the hefty 80lb+ Warn XD9000 Winch to it and try to get it on the Land Cruiser. Had to recruit some help to get it installed… but once on, it looks great, and turns out it’s an easy spot to hook Bucky to when we’re working in the garage.
Next stop was to bring it all over to TLC. Time for a lift, new brakes, rear bumper, and more…
The truck has been over at TLC the last few weeks getting a few things done… and will hopefully be back soon!
But in the mean time… that hasn’t stopped the packages from arriving, the hunt for parts, or dreaming about future trips! We’ve also started selling off some parts to free up garage space - third row seats/belts, bumpers, running boards, etc - let me know if you need some!
As i’ve been learning, hunting for parts for an 18 year old car is no easy task. Luckily for the 80 series Land Cruiser, Specter Off Road has some great diagrams which make it far easier to figure out exactly what tiny pieces you may be looking for. Since they didn’t have the parts we were looking for - our other options have been scouring craigslist and even considered hunting through junkyards.
Luckily when we were chatting with AutoNation about having them sponsor this project, we had a great chat about the parts departments at dealerships, and how important the Service Departments are to each one. While most people don’t buy a car all that frequently, the service department is indispensable for the life of the car… so we decided to pop by the AutoNation Toyota Irvine when we were next headed south.
In fact, i didn’t even realize that the dealership you can’t miss on the fun 405 carpool lane that flies over to merge with the 5 was an AutoNation Toyota. They’ve recently been branding more of their nationwide dealerships with the AutoNation logos - I must admit i quite like their clean black font on the white cube like front as you drive by.
So we found our way to the parts department in the service center - and were lucky to have such an incredibly patient man help us out as we explained that we were looking for two sun visors and a rear windshield wiper cover for our 1996 Land Cruiser. And while we tried to figure out official Toyota part numbers by scouring the internet, those didn’t always work with what they had in the computer. He even pulled out the parts catalogs - which only went back to 2002 or so… apparently the previous ones had already been tossed! After quite a bit of hunting around, he tracked down the right parts, some were local in socal, some were going to take a little longer to get there, but the parts were ordered and on the way! While OEM parts for older cars can often be more expensive, i was surprised to find that for things like sunvisors (which used tend to get floppy and useless like ours) were sometimes even more EXPENSIVE used! (Oh - and Land Cruiser folks - look for Bob at the parts department - he’s a wealth of knowledge.)
While we waited for the parts to come in and the NOTFZJ80 to finish up at the shop…
Flotool Shaker Siphon! First thought - how did i not have these as a kid? It’s so simple, so brilliant, and incredibly amusing. Essentially there is a glass ball in the valve with a tube attached, and instead of having to suck/etc. to get the siphon going, just put the valve in the liquid and start shaking! It will force the liquid into tube, and start siphoning away… all while making a pinging sound as the glass ball moves in the valve.
Then came the Jerry Cans! While i adore the design of the Rotopax, we decided we needed a few bigger ones for gas/water considering the mileage of the car. So we got two Plastic 5 Gallon Water Cans in Sand, which have a great little valve you can open for easy pouring, and 20L Metal Jerry Cans for gas - with a removable spout for pouring when needed.
A must for getting out of sandy/muddy situations - Bucky was quite curious about these MaxTrax. While the signature orange looked a bit too Baywatch for me, and the black seemed like it might just disappear next to the tire… we ended up settling on the Olive Green. Matches the camo seat covers?
Bucky’s Gators camouflage well in the MaxTrax… and we also got the Rear Wheel Harness so we can strap them to the spare. Picked up a few D-Ring Shackles which are HEAVY as bracelets, but perfect for winching. And to beef up the battery/power situation - we picked up a Sear’s Diehard Platium 31m Marine Group Battery that should be a nice upgrade. It’s so heavy, they gave us a hand truck to get it to the car!
Then we got the call from AutoNation Toyota Irvine - our parts were in! They beat the car in the shop…
So even though we didn’t have the NOTFZJ80 with us to screw them into yet, we couldn’t resist opening them up! When we first got the car, the floppy sun visors were so annoying we just took them off - I never realized how nice sunvisors can be, until I didn’t have any! Can’t wait to put these on!!!
And now… back to waiting. Hopefully going to go pick up the NOTFZJ80 tomorrow!