Mauka2Makai - Our Quest Begins...An 80 Series Adventure

In what seemed to be our never ending quest to find the ultimate family adventure vehicle, We have finally found what we feel will be our memory maker... It's white, straight front axle, locked 3 times, has a high payload capacity, very safe, reliable, and most of all for the wife and kids... it's very comfortable. When my wife is content, and our boys are happy, and I am focused... we can all concentrate on our next adventures and memories that will ensure. Enjoy...:)

1997 Toyota Land Cruiser Collector's Edition FZJ 80

Vehicle Specifications

4.5L I6 DOHC 24V FI Engine
Horsepower: 212 hp @ 4600 rpm
Torque: 275 ft-lbs. @ 3200 rpm
Factory Locking Front and Rear Differentials + Locking Center Differential
Gross weight: 6470 lbs.
Curb weight: 4751 lbs.
Total Payload: 1719 lbs
Maximum towing capacity: 5000 lbs.
Fuel tank capacity: 25.1 gal.

OEM Parts Removed

Chrome Wheels
3rd Row Seating and Passenger Belts
Running Boards
Spare Tire Mounting Bracket - Reinstalled-Removed again and tossed in dumpster while in Moab.
Rear Tow Hitch
Front and Rear Tow/Recovery Points
Front Bumper
Fender Flares
Roof Rack
Rear Spoiler

Vehicle Modifications and Expo Additions

Toyota OEM Center Differential Switch
Pin 7 Mod
Scanguage 2
OME 861 Front Springs - Removed
OME 862 Rear Springs - Removed
OEM Dark Gray Clam Wheels
Nitto Terra Grappler 295/75 16 - Removed
Baja Rack Utility Flat Rack - Removed
ARB Awning 2500 (8.2 ft.) - Removed
Toyota OEM Front Mudflaps
OME 850 Front Springs
OME 863 Rear Springs
OME Nitrocharger Sport shocks
OME Steering Damper
1" Ironman Front Coil Spacer
MAF 4+Plus Front 2" Control Arm Caster Correction Brackets - Removed
MAF Front and Rear Sway Bar Drop Kit
Ironman Front and Rear Panhard Rods
Adjusted LSPV
AJIK Modified OEM Fan Clutch with 15,000cst oil
Safari Snorkel
K and N Drop in Air Filter - Removed
1FZFEPHH.COM Gates Green Work Around PHH kit and Firewall Heater Hose kit
DieHard P1
NGK V-Power Spark Plugs - Removed
ARB Deluxe Winch Bumper
Hella 4000 x2
TOYO Open Country MT 285/75 16 - Removed
Eezi-Awn Series 3 1600 T-Top Roof Tent - Removed
EA Ladder Extension - Removed
IBS Dual Battery System w/ RBM
SleeOffroad OEM 2nd Battery Tray
SleeOffroad Washer Bottle Relocation Kit
Hi-Lift ARB bumper mount
WagonGear cargo lid
Speski Off-Road Cargo Barrier
FRBv2 recovery points
CoverKing Ballistic Seat Covers
Husky Front and Second Row Floor Liners
Fourrunner's FZJ80 Heavy Duty Battery Cable Set
SleeOffroad 3* Castor Correction Bushings
SleeOffroad Lower Control Arm Frame Side Bushings
SPOT 2 Satellite GPS Messenger - No longer using
GlobalSat BU-353 GPS receiver
MacGPS Pro
Wilson Electronics Sleek 4G Cell Phone Signal Booster
Cooper Discoverer S/T MAXX 285/75 16
Pocket Fender Flares w/ Stainless Steel hardware and Rivnuts
Jonesy's Pintle Hitch Rear Recovery Point
Hannibal Roof Rack
Hannibal 2M Awning
Baja Rack Twin Fuel Can Holder
Front Runner 10.57 Gallon H20 Tank w/ Twin Fuel Can Holder
Rear Ladder
Spare Tire 5" Spacer Lift - Waist of money and time...Removed due to trail damage in Moab
Donaldson 10" Prefilter with 4" to 3" adapter
Blue Sea Fuse Block and Circuit Breaker
Blue Sea x2 USB and x2 12v outlets
Uniden Pro 520 XL CB w/ Firestik antenna
ARB 50Qt Fridge
yodaTEQ Antenna Mounts v2.1
Yaesu FT-2900R 2M w/ Hustler antenna
Front Runner 3-inch 16w square led flood pattern with harness
x6 Front Runner Wolf Pack boxes

Mod "Wish" List / Next Up

Rear Cargo Deck w/ Aircraft Tracks
Fridge Slide
Warn VR10000
Reservoir Front and Rear Shocks
RTT/Hard Shell?
Hannibal 1.4M awning
Slee rear bumper
Engine rebuild or replace?

Preventive Maintenance

TLC Stage One: Inspected and Certified @ 151K

Mobil 1 Synthetic: Engine oil, Front and Rear Differentials, Transfercase

OEM Toyota Fluids: Automatic Transmission, Brakes, Power Steering, Coolant

OEM Toyata Parts: Valve Cover Gasket, AC and Alternator Belts, Thermostat, Waterpump, 1994 Brass Radiator, o2 Sensors, Complete Tune-up Kit, Big 3 Radiator Hoses, Intake Tube, Front and Rear Brake pads and Rotors, PCV Valve and Hoses, Modified OEM Blue Fan Clutch, Heater Valve, Air Filter, Valve Cover Bolts, Starter, Fusible Links, All Front Axle Lower Control Arm Hardware, Tie and Relay Rod Ends, Front and Rear U-Joints, Alternator, AC and Idler Pulleys, Crank seal, Oil Pump Seal, Fuel Filter, Driver Window Motor, 3 exhaust mounts... What's next?

All OEM parts ordered through American Toyota ask for cruiser Dan.

In the beginning our priority was to just get it baselined and get it out there.

Join our family as we strive to camp more and expose our boys to all the beauty the great outdoors have to offer.

On to the Story...

Our quest started out with a brand new 2006 Nissan Xterra 4x4 Offroad model purchased a month before our first son.

This truck suited us well with a locking rear diff, 3” lift, shrockworks front bumper, sliders, and BFG MT 255's. We were slowly but surely progressing to a vehicle that was being built to express our lifestyle and future desire of expo.
Things change and at times, life requires sacrifice. We sold the Xterra.
We made a decision to sell the Xterra to help further my wife's education. I try to never become attached to a vehicle no matter how much money, time, and most of all memories were made with or spent on a vehicle. After the Xterra I swore I would never buy new again and would only buy used.

On to our 1989 VW Wolfsburg Vanagon. It was white, had a bed on the inside, was able to store multiple longboards on the inside, and helped to make many memorable memories.

This vehicle was definitely most suited for the beach lifestyle as it provided a comfortable and private environment for changing out or into your shorts or bikinis. I personally think that this is the best and my favorite island vehicle. We had so much fun with this van, I think our youngest may have even been conceived in this van. What a shame, SOLD!

With transfer season in the horizon and dreams of expeditions and new adventures awaiting, a new vehicle was in store. At the time, I thought that I had found my vehicle savior. A white 2009 Toyota Tacoma DC 4x4 OR.

I owned this truck for around 7 or 8 months and decided to sell. My payments were a little over $500 a month and I just could not justify spending that kind of money on a monthly basis for a vehicle.

From the Tacoma I went back to another van and bought a Toyota Previa.

It is one of the only modern vans with a four cylinder and tons of room. Very eco surf mobile! I got my windows tinted limo black and all was good, lots of privacy. I sold it for a 1k bucks and bought a white 1989 4runner.

With my 4runner I thought that I had finally found our ultimate family vehicle. I was getting around 18 mpg on my 60 mile round trip commute to work in LA. It stored my longboard, l was able to dream once again of expeditions down south, and did I mention that it was white. Shoots! I even shipped it to Cali from Hawaii. I had no monthly payment, the boys loved it, I had a 3” lift installed with 33's.

I did tons of pm. But it was a 2 door. It was standard and only I could drive it. It just didn't have the comfort or the refinement my wife was looking for.

Not even San Onofre made up for it.

Bye Bye 4runner.

All of my vehicles have been meticulously maintained, pm and mods performed by myself except for the 4runner. I had 4 wheel parts do the suspension install, as most of my tools were stolen while in Hawaii. All of my vehicles were sold on Craigs List and You are probably thinking that this guys got a serious problem with vehicles. I've owned many 4wd vehicles to include a 73' Bronco, 2006 Xterra, 2001, 2003, and 2009 Tacoma, and 89' 4runner. What's next? Am I ready to settle down and make a commitment?

My commitment to wife and family is first most. But, like most guys I love my trucks as well. In Hawaii... 80 series were very rare. No! even more rare than seared Ahi. Non existent. With our move from Hawaii to SoCal, l could not believe the amount of Landcruisers on CraigsList in Los Angeles. I Knew exactly what year and color I wanted. So the wait begins...:safari-rig:
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Expedition Leader
Welcome or more appropriately ALOHA! I recently moved back from Hawaii. Looks like you were on Oahu. I was in Ewa Beach. If you ever saw LX470 with an ARB front bumper or FJ55 rolling around, that was me! My brother lives in Kapolei and he has an 80, which I'm trying to buy from him :sombrero:.

I don't think you can go wrong with an 80.

Is that Kaena Point in some of your pics?
It is best to get a vehicle that you can afford. Mod it slowly over time. I bounced around from vehicle to vehicle and i have regreted selling each and every one of them :( I think an 80 would have the staying power! It is important to have the room and the comfort for the lil lady :) I need to work on making my H1 more comfortable for my soon to be wife :wings:

I need to make it have the following:
- less vibrations (i did this by getting new tires!!! Helped a lot. Next i need to get some really nice shocks :) )
- less noise (i need to add sound deadening of some sort hehe)
- reclining seat (i will really have to do some custom work on this one to keep the factory seat)
- faster highway speeds (I am playing with gear ratios. I just want to be able to hold speed limit hehe)
- have the AC work more reliably and not leak on her feet (this will require tons of work :( Have to remove the whole system)

So good luck make a list and check it twice hehe

BTW i am going to Kauai for my honeymoon. Any recommendations? I have been reading and reading. (i hate reading lol)
Welcome or more appropriately ALOHA! I recently moved back from Hawaii. Looks like you were on Oahu. I was in Ewa Beach. If you ever saw LX470 with an ARB front bumper or FJ55 rolling around, that was me! My brother lives in Kapolei and he has an 80, which I'm trying to buy from him :sombrero:.

I don't think you can go wrong with an 80.

Is that Kaena Point in some of your pics?
Howzit, I think I remember seeing your 55 in the Ocean Pointe area one day, and yep Kaena point. Not many off-road spots on Oahu.

BTW i am going to Kauai for my honeymoon. Any recommendations? I have been reading and reading. (i hate reading lol)
HV, I would recommend eating at dukes for lunch and hiking the Napali Coast. Also check out the Grand Canyon of Kauai. Have fun...
Where is Dukes? (what city) what kinda food.

We are def hiking a lot and kayaking the Napali cost (17 miles) :)

HV, Dukes is on the beach at the Kauai Marriot. They serve your typical american fare with an island feel. Lots of fresh fish and seafood, great burgers, and my favorite — seared Ahi. The bar area on the bottom of restaurant is best for lunch as well, cause your right on the beach.
Rewind to August 28 2010. After roughly spending 2 months or so looking for a white 97' 80 series with factory lockers and in stock condition, Bingo! Found one :wings: in Auburn, California. I came across it the day that it was listed on Auto Trader. The Landcruiser was at a used auto lot as a trade in. After confirming the numbers and vin for the lockers with the dealer, checking the carfax (cool only 2 owners), and having him send a ton of pictures, I put a down payment over the phone and flew out that weekend.

It was love at first sight. Spent the next hour inspecting the LC with the guidance of Slee's newbie 80 inspection guide. The dealer gave me the keys and told me to take her for a ride. Now was my time to here her out, get a good feel, and check the lockers. I found a dirt lot up the road and engaged the lockers. Uh oh the diff lights just keep flashing... did a couple of alternating figure 8's and sure enough front and rear engaged. Just needed a little attention. Everything checked out well for me as far as I could assess. My immediate concerns were: brakes had a slight squeal and the tires were worn. I was ready to negotiate a price. Hands were shaken and keys handed over. Now to drive over 700 miles in my new LC to get back home.

Allow me formally introduce Mauka2Makai our White 1997 FZJ80 Collectors Edition with factory front and rear differential locks. :victory:

The LC all stock.

The LC with New used OEM wheels (non chrome), Nitto TG 295's, and zero lift OME lift.

And how she sits today.

My wife is happy, the boys are happy, and I think we've finally found our ultimate family vehicle. Let the mods, adventures, and memories begin.:)
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Had some free time this afternoon to mount my 8ft ARB awning today. I used 3 Baja Rack expo awning mounts to secure the awning to the rack and a ratchet strap attached to my garage rafter to assist in a one person install.

1/2" thats around the amount of clearance I have now from top of awning to bottom of garage facial. I'm cutting it very close I know.

The fuel tank is full as well so I'm hoping at empty we still have clearance. Otherwise I'm very pleased with the quality of material, craftsmanship, and how secure the rack and awning are to the LC's roof.:)
Congrats bro! I love my white 80. I'm like you; kids, wife constantly changing vehicles; in the last four years, I've bought and sold an Xterra, a 4Runner, a Jeep Rubicon, and an Fj Cruiser. Spent tons of money on each of them.

The one I've always loved and has never let me down is my 80. Best truck ever!
Our 80 Series Sleeping Solution

With not much camping or adventure / overland travel on Oahu, Hawaii. One of our goals while on the mainland is to see as much outdoor travel as possible. Some of my best memories as a boy was camping and just going exploring, while growing up in Nevada and Washington. We want to create memories for our boys that will last a life time as well.

My oldest calls roof top tents “Up Top" Tents, cause they are up on the top of the roof! Our plan was to mount a series 3 ARB “up top” on top, but unfortunately we had to cancel our order. We needed a new solution. Sure we could just pitch a tent, but we wanted something secure. We didn't want to have to worry about weather, animals / insects, or wet / rocky / unleveled ground.

I removed the 2nd row seats to vacuum a couple weeks ago and bingo! I was amazed with how much room was in the back of the LC.

Instantly I new what our new sleeping solution would be. I ran the idea by my wife and she agreed that this would be our best solution for our budget. There are a total of 8 bolts to undo and the seats to remove, big deal.

Next I'll lay down a blanket to protect the mattress.

The air mattress is around 8” thick and has cut outs for the wheel wells.

The whole back cabin is now usable space for comfortably sleeping the 4 of us and we are most stoked that we have 360* viewing of our surroundings and are able to sit up with ample room above our heads! We can regulate the air circulation with 6 windows and the moon roof.

And with our sun shades and curtains that I plan on making we can increase our privacy if need be. All in all I think this will be an awesome compromise until we can afford.................. an "Up Top" Tent.:)
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