After I made a few tweaks to the templates, I started cutting steel. Most of the center section will be 1/4" plate. I'll be attaching it to the frame with 5 bolts on each side: 2 in the bottom plate, 2 in the side plate, and one in a tab on top of the frame. Fortunately there are already weld nuts in the frame.
I'll be adding another layer of 1/4" on each side of the D ring tab once I have the center and wings tacked on, so that it will be 3/4" thick.
Started tacking it together:
Put holes in the bottom plates for winch bolt access:
Added the winch platform inside, still need to add some bracing:
Ran into a snag that I didn't think about. I was planning on recessing the fairlead about 1.5" but It might end up too high. The line in the pic is where the top of the bottom roller will end up. It doesn't quite line up with where to cable will come off the spool, the cable will need to go up ~1'. Anybody see an issue with this? My alternatives are to raise the winch, which I really don't have room to do, or lower the fairlead which will put it below the bottom of the front panel of the bumper where it will be a rock magnet.
The only issue I see with the design is that when you are pulling a hard load, there will be downward pressure on the roller, which could strain the bolts for the fairlead. The typical design where the fairlead lines up with the cable doesn't put near the force the fairlead whether up/down/sideways.
I think the risk is minimal though that anything would happen. There is even an Aussie company that sells an offset fairlead for issues such as this.
Made some good progress yesterday. Got the sides tacked in place and a template made for the top plate. I ran out of 3/16" plate so I need to get some more to finish the top as well as some 2" strap for the bottom of the sides. I'll probably also add a couple if inner braces to the sides once the top and bottom plates are in place.
Added a tab to bolt to the top of the frame
Recessed the fairlead a little bit
Hoping to get some more plate this week but I'll be our of town next weekend so work will slow for a bit.
Quick update, pics to come this weekend. I finally got the bumper done and installed with the winch, and relocated the winch control to under the hood. At some point I'll wire up an in-cab winch control. I ordered a set of 30mm spacers from Man-a-Fre as a poor mans lift until I can get a 2" kit. I'm just going to install the front for now and see how it looks. The pumper is heavy, 103 lbs without the winch, and it lowered the front a little bit. I'll do the rears after I do a rear bumper. I'm also going to do the "Auto Up" mod for the drivers window so it will have the second click and go all the way up without having to hold it.
Other to-do list:
- Rebuild front knuckles
- Replace front main seal and oil pump gasket
I have the parts for both, just need the time. And to add to it, one of my best friends just bought a locked '97 LX450 that needs the same work. I for see side by side axle rebuilds in my future.
Ok, so finally a couple of updated pics.
With front bumper and 30mm front coil spacers:
I like the stance and will wait to add the rear spacers until after I do a rear bumper.
I noticed that the vents on the passenger front brake rotor were full of dried mud. Had to use a cordless drill and old drill bit to clean it all out.
I also had to change out a leaking power steering line, and I degreased the motor so I can start tracking down the oil leaks and actually see where they are coming from.
That was a lot of dirt! Think it has been offroad at all?
I does have some signs of being offroad. I noticed some gouges in the tranny cross member and t-case skid plate like it might have been high centered at some point. I doubt it was ever seriously wheeled, but you never know. It was just the passenger front rotor that was full of mud, drivers side was fine.
I really don't know any history on it. I bought it "as is" from a Toyota dealer that took it in on trade, it didn't pass their inspections and they were going to wholesale it. I felt like I got a good enough deal on it that I didn't even bother with a carfax.
Yeah, sometimes you take it how it is if the deal is good!
Yup, it helped that they handed me the list of problems that their service department found, so I had a pretty good idea of what needed to be done. Luckily, I found that some of it was overstated, and a lot of it was neglected routine maintenance that I'd be doing on any vehicle of that age.
Long overdue update here. I haven't been active much lately due to other commitments but am looking forward to hopefully getting out more in the next wheeling season. I noticed that a bunch of pics on the first page aren't showing up which is strange as they are still on photobucket.
Since my last post I have completed more routine maintenance including a rebuild of the front axle/knuckles, replaced the oil pump cover gasket & front main seal, new distributor shaft o-ring, a few new vacuum lines, new PCV valve and hoses, & new radiator (due to me breaking the old one while working on the oil pump). Yeah, expensive OOPS!
We headed out on a camping trip last summer with a borrowed pop-up trailer.
During that trip the Cruiser ran way hot with the trailer and I ended up having to have a friend pull it home. It ran fine for the rest of the summer round town in traffic with the AC on full blast, but then I continued to have an overheating problem while pulling I-70 during hunting season. In attempt to remedy that I've done: a new fan clutch, water pump, radiator cap, & thermostat. All OEM Toyota. The only opportunity I've had to test the result was towing my old Subi home from my parents in Aurora last weekend and it ran fine but I really won't know until it gets hot out.
More to come.....
Chris in Florida
On to the new mods....
I picked up a set of Old Man Emu Medium duty 2" lift springs from Brandtrbs, and finally got some FOX 2.0 IFP shocks to go with them late last summer. I also picked up some castor correction bushings and stainless brake lines from Slee Offroad.
Before with 30mm spacers up front:
After w/ same spacers up front:
A friend of mine that works at a machine shop also custom milled me some aluminum front and rear bump stop spacers. I wish I had taken some pics of them before they went it because they looked cool.
I also picked up some new shoes right after Christmas, another set of 285/75-16 Duratracs:
Due to the lift the rear axle was pulled to the passenger side by ~3/8". I got the idea off Ih8mud to modify the rear trac bar by adding threaded tube inserts and use a 3/4" 16 x 6" grade 8 bolt as the adjuster. I got that done today.
A few other pics from this last few months:
Obligatory flex shot pre-lift on OCG last summer.
Got onto a pretty nasty road during hunting season in September, doesn't look bad here but there were a few good pucker moments. The Taco in front of me didn't know he had a rear diff lock until he burred it in a mud hole and I finally asked since I saw the TRD sticker. Had to explain how to turn it on and he drove right out.
Top of Rollins/Corona pass in October:
That's it for now, time for some more adventures!