Back to the hilltop - Camp P Lookout

After the little night time exploration I had to go back and this time in day-light hours!
Also to make note of the GPS coordinates.

Last time in the middle of the night, I only made it up to this plant:

This time in the day light and actually got the ADV80 to the VERY TOP!:

Same plant in the foreground.

GPS coordinates for location in Santa Margarita Mountains:
N 33°27.408
W 117°23.837

It's not a major climb, but it look like it in the dark on the previous trip!

So what can you see from up here? Last time, in the middle of the night, nothing really, but this time, we could see far in all directions!

This direction is looking South and out into/onto Camp Pendleton. We could actually see Military guys in training across the valley.
Just below us is a Forestry Station and basically we are between Oceanside and San Clemente maybe 20-miles from the coast in between the 5-FWY and the 15-FWY.

Also, we listened to some heavy artillery!!! Tank's where firing long range - LONG RANGE!!!


Just a bit of overcast along the coast.

Looking back up towards Orange County:

We could actually see SaddleBack Mountains - with all the radio towers on top.

Nice little road up to the top for the awesome view. While my offroad adventures are short quick trips, I want to get the rig fully sorted and will take on more adventerious trips.


Getting Ready: Front Axle Re-Build

Getting ready to do the Front Axle Re-Build! Or at least, know what is in store, involves and getting myself into.

I've been trying to read all the treads over on 'Mud pertaining to front Axle and items around the front end area:
Front Axle Rebuild - For FAQ
Tools for birff job
Front axle rebuild - OEM P/Ns here
Longfields and Asian hubs
Longs with Aisin hubs install
Wheel Bearing Preload Methods
Best option for new Tie Rod Ends

Going to be fixing this soon!!!

And now I have this newly added feature to fix as well:

So, parts are ordered and getting ready - MENTALLY!


Well, I guess it's bound to happen at some point..

Wife called all giddy to tell me that my new tires showed up at the house!!! After work... get in the truck, insert key and NO GO!!!

I wiggled it and after about 15-minutes of fiddling with it, I'm over it! But I got new tires! I'm going out of town on business for a week, so we will see what happens when I get back.

I wonder if I can get new keys from Toyota based on my VIN#?


Falken High Country Tires - THE DONUTS HAVE LANDED!!!


Got some new tires for the ADV80!!!

The High Country All Terrain design is not an aggressive lug design, more of what I like to call a dual-sport design, for those of you who are also into bikes.

I do drive the truck daily on the freeway. My off-road style is light-duty, more of an overland adventure dual-sport style. We will see... There is the rally side in me and Falken is the fastest tire at Pikes Peak!

My Cruiser is basically stock so why "over-tire" the vehicle?
These are 31-10.50R15 - same size as the Dunlop's that are on here now.

More to come soon... new goodies and a jacked up key issue to deal with when I return!


Got my new key!!!

The old key, of which was a copy, just wore out. Called my buddies over at Cabe Toyota in Long Beach where able to use my VIN# and proof of ownership.


AND FLAWLESSLY EVERY TIME! Yes, this has fixed my issue that just seemed to "all of a sudden" start happening a couple of weeks ago and to the point where I could not drive the truck home from work.

Give the guys at Cabe Toyota a call if you need assistance: 562.595.7411 Roger is a Cruiser fan and enthusiast! My buddy Herb who also works there introduced me to Roger the last time I was in there so thank you too HERB!

Again, Roger - THANK YOU!!!
PS: They honor TLC Members as well, just have your member number ready.

It's the simple things like these that make us happy!!! :)

Factory Key Cost: $8.75
Running VIN for key code must be done in person as it’s a security policy procedure. You, the registered owner must present valid ID and car registration (must prove the vehicle belongs to you) otherwise NO GO!

So scoot on down there if you live around the South Bay!

Cabe Toyota
2895 Long Beach Bl.
Long Beach, CA



While my speedometer is not been metering for a while - I now have incentive to get it fixed! SO, off into the dash I go!

Getting to the gauge cluster behind the steering column can be a bit of a task and several dash plate pieces have to come off in order to get to where you want to be - behind the gauges, just to even check if the speedometer cable is connected or broke or both.

This is where the speedo-cable hooks directly into the back of the gauge cluster.

While I disconnected the speedo-cable at the bottom on the transmission side after checking the gear drive inside the tranny, I clamped the speedo-cable with a clamp and twisted the cable at the top to see if the speedo-cable was broke and SURE'NUFF!!! BROKE!!! Luckily I had ordered everything speedo-cable related from CABE Toyota so I just replaced the whole cable.

Toyota's are beef eaters!

This is a happy sight!!! Speedometer is metering!!! Now I can get on with some test evaluations...



I FINALLY loaded up the tires and when to have them mounted!

ALLEN TIRE CO. [Costa Mesa] is the place I have done all my tire work as they where the only guys in Orange County that knew how to mount Michelin Rally Tires properly. It's not easy and they knew how, so I have stuck with them as they do great work. Funny, this is the place where I spotted the Land Cruiser for sale, of which I bought!

Falken Tires installed at mileage: 173,161

deadbeat son

Looks like it's coming along nicely!

With the awesome help of the IH8MUD community, details like this are great to know:

On the Vin# tag, look at the row of text/numbers just below the bar code in the middle and see the K292.

Also a tidbit of info for you:

The FJ80 was never available with factory e-lockers in the US. Those weren't available until the release of the FZJ-80 in 1993, which also added the FF rear axle and the 1FZ engine versus the FJ80's 3FE.
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When you get new tires on, just driving around on pavement is just NO FUN!

All you need is an ever-so-small excuse to go out test out your new tires!
So, I asked my daughters if they where game to go camping for a night and do some wheelin' in Big Bear. So we packed the ADV80 and the kids and where off to the mountains!!!

Lexi made the ADV80 a "good luck charm" and is hanging from the visor. Will see how long that last as I usually never hang anything from the rearview mirror or sun visors... it's a motorsports thing...

Spotted these guys on the 91FWY and I bet going out to practice for a day at the Barstow Loop.

We are almost through Riverside, still on the 91FWY, sun is going down fast.
TIRES: sound nice, no knobby howl. These are great for daily drivers and good thing as my truck is just that - the Daily Cruiser!

We are off the freeway and making way to the mountain:

Greenspot Road Bridge, Redlands, California

Fiberglass Super Chicken House on Greenspot Road, Redlands, California

The sun is fading fast!
We cut off the Mill Creek Road / Old HWY38 @ Middle Control Road [left turn] this is a dirt road.
At the bottom-end of the road [Middle Control Road] it goes back onto paved [Seven Oaks Rd] but we cut back to dirt just a couple hundred yards to the left and it's back to dirt and up the backside of the mountain [1N54].

Here we are on the 2N10 just above Snow Summit.

We like to get onto dirt as soon as possible and looking at 1N16 and 1N13 as our next possible routes to explore.

ADV80 at the Yellow Post Camp Site #28, Big Bear, California.
dsm1's[eXpO-member] Big Bear YP Camping Information Resource:

The Falken High Country's are already at home in the dirt!!! As soon as we hit dirt on Middle Control Road off the HWY38, even my girls noticed the difference in the ride on the new tires and they commented on how "NICE" these felt on the dirt road over the old tires. They do ride very "nice" in the dirt and gravel!

The Falken High Country's rode "normal" and quite on the tarmac road up here, but in the dirt is where they have a more noticeable difference in ride. Soft but firm is the best thing that comes to mind... The Falken High Country is a more aggressive tread design that stockers with wider siping and larger tread blocks than most original equipment tires. These puppies walked up the 1N54 easy as well. Not that this is a "crawling" road, but I do deem this a very suitable ADVENTURE TIRE and perfect for my adventures!

The Falken High Country's while at first have a "mild all terrain" look, upon closer inspection, do have larger blocks on the outter-edge's and large negative spacing thus making room for rugged terrain traction suitable for mountain conditions. It's not a mud-terrain and they are not rock crawling tires, but again - very suited for my overland vehicle-dependent expeditions and mini-adventure travels.

The FALKEN HIGH COUNTRY's score HIGH MARKS there first weekend out!!!

253-MILES ROUND TRIP! Not so bad for a quick 2-day/1-night get-a-way with the kids.

So, it's 78.3 miles from our house to Middle Control Road off HWY38.
There and back is 156.6 tarmac-transit-miles.

And there was a little transit on HWY38 around the very dried up Baldwin Lake through Woodland [from 2N02 to 2N93] and that may have been about 6-miles?

SO, at best we logged 150-miles of DIRT ROADS!!! I'm stoked with these tires for what they are - Overland Perfect!


SaddleBack Side Trip

The big white gate of chance [happiness or sadness] depending on if it's open or closed and being this is Southern California, who knows...

TODAY ITS HAPPY TIME!!! And even more so as I have my daughters with me today.

We start the first climb up and crest the ridge to see the sun setting in behind the cloud layer over the ocean.

That big white thing in the background... That's where all the golfers lost golf balls are collected into a monument and shot into outer space.

Making our way up the hill... Oh, I forgot to tell you....

My oldest daughter

we have been getting her in behind the wheel... SLOW SPEED!!!

But this allows me

Rolling shooting time...

We stop for some more

photo time....


I've never sat in the passenger seat up here and noticed that the road looks narrow from this side of the truck. Yes, my daughter is still driving and we are just carefully taking our time. No worries, we have food and all the items needed for an accidental or planned overnight, so it's a good time.

It's cool to see the clouds coming over the hills like this. It's cool that we are on a dirt road in ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA!!!

I like this image as we are looking out to the Orange County side and we are above the clouds rolling in, but it looks more like a lake back home with the fog rolling across the top of the water. It was be a massive harsh drop if I was to get all dreamy and try to wade out into the "water"...

We stop again

for a little dinner.

And now my daughter is no longer apprehensive about driving in the dark.
We love our little Quicky-ADV trips when time does not allow for the full over-night weekend trips.


Service PM Work Getting Done!!!

The ADV80 got dropped off to Eric and Jay at YOTA MASTERS in Corona, California for some much needed and overly due service work!
Its in to get the front axle rebuild and a couple of service PM's.

So Yota Masters wasted no time at all on getting my front axle knuckles rebuilt! In one day and out the next and it was only a two day deal due to other issues such as the oil pan gasket replacement, brake job and a couple of tie rod ends not participating in the removal process.

A little discovered hick-up along the way:

Passenger side Steering Knuckle had 12-1.25 thread pitch studs rammed into the factory 12-1.50 thread location. Yota Masters drilled out the messed up threads and inserted Timeserts and replaced the studs back to factory spec threaded studs.

While servicing the axle:

A 10mm Allen Plug to replace the lower hanging factory plug for the drive shaft pumpkin. My stock plug bolts had been chewed up so bad by the previous owner, it took Yota Masters some endurance muscle and the chiseling talent of Venus of Willendorf to get the stock drain plug out.

DPD: Dead-$-President-$-Damage
Front axle knuckles rebuilt by Yota Masters $450 [labor]
Drill/tap Timeserts $127.50 [parts/labor]
I provided the rebuild kit that I got from Cabe Toyota with my TLC member discount.

Next to sort in the front end department is to replace the Tie Rods Ends. Yota Masters attempted to replace the the Tie Rods Ends, but they are seized into the tube ends. A new Tie Rod is $300 from Toyota and our salvage yard had nothing on hand, so I have some unfinished business here and these need to be replace very soon!

OK, on to even more excitement!

Oil Pan Gasket replaced $127 [labor]
I provided the gasket from Cabe Toyota - TLC Member discount.

New oil pan gasket!!! YEA! My truck is not leaking oil everywhere! I can park in friends driveways, I can change my parking location at work and will not be embarrassed by the dead dinosaurs I've been leaving on the surface wherever the ADV80 had stopped.

If you are in the Southern California area and looking for a good service shop, I highly recommend the guys at Yota Masters.

They love rock crawling & and adventure trailing and specialize in Toyota's! What more could you ask for?

1336 W. 6th St
Corona, CA


With the front axle all nice and rebuilt,

Now for me to scrape up some more dead presidents for the next item/s!


How Toyota Became #1 & Toyota Trails Magazine

I am currently reading How Toyota Became #1 by David Magee... seeing how I own a Land Cruiser, its cool to know how this company got to where it is in the global automotive mix. I've been a Toyota fan long before my 80-Series as this is not my first Toyota hence the Toyota Trails Magazine - now available only in digital format: http://www.tlca.org/trails/


awesome sunset pics! good to see you enjoying your 80.

your link to yota masters comes up as a dead link on ih8mud.com, so here's a link to their website for anyone. http://www.yotamasters.com/ looks like they did a great job on your knuckles. i'm always anal about cleaning and slapping a little rattle can on everything, so it's nice to see someone else takes the time to make it look good too.

oh, and nice to see a miniscule shot of bills rig on it's tires for a change (your tt cover) :sombrero: