And some additions.... I put the ScanGauge II back in. I hadn't ran it in anything since pulling it out of the 100 Series, so it's all set up with a corrected MPH, current MPG, Engine Temp and Voltage.
I had these MASSIVE 9" LED lights that I bought on Ebay a few years ago. They are Chinese copy's of the ARB Intensity... I don't expect them to be nearly as well built, bright or last as long. I was going to use them on another vehicle, but never did. They are HUGE and overkill, but I wasn't impressed with the Hella lights and since it was already wired I tossed the 9" LED's on. I think they are a Spot/Flood combo with 96 Watts, 8,000 lumens, 6,000K color temp. While I would LOVE the ARB lights, these were cheap... I think they were under $100 for the pair. We will see of they last!
I think they look pretty good mounted on the bumper, overkill for the use of this vehicle, but that's OK.
And some night pics... the lights are decent, I expected more distance to be honest. Seems like they reach out to about 150' and then the light dissipates quickly. The color is VERY white, the beam pattern is pretty good up close.... no hot spots or dark areas. Not bad for $80/pair.
Catherine's siblings all have 2-4 kids each, when they've come to visit we haven't been able to take them to Moab or the San Juans to explore. Now when we have family come out, we can take the Land Cruiser and the Jeep, up to 10-12 people!
Some minor work recently, replaced both rear anti-sway bar end links. Figured since one had already broken and I had 2 new ones, I might as well get both on. After pulling them apart, I saw that the bushings in the sway bar ends are SHOT. I'll have to order new ones and replace them later on. For now, the rear anti-sway bar is connected again. It drives better with the rear anti-sway bar connected... no surprise.
We also got 2 keys with the truck, one worked fine and the battery was good. The other had a dead battery and the case was very loose, it needed work. I found a kit from Yota MD that replaces the case and includes a Titanium frame. It wasn't cheap, but it should last the rest of this Cruisers life. The swap was easy, but I had to buy a tiny Phillips screwdriver to get the key apart and battery out. I dropped in a new battery and put the new parts together.
And lastly, Catherine loves proper cup holders. It's the little things that make women happy, you know? The factory cup holders are about 3 1/4" wide, but very shallow. Any cups placed in them will wobble around, risking spilling coffee, etc. I found some cheap office pen holders at Walmart and set them in place with 3M double sided tape. They're the perfect size for a 32 oz. cup or Starbucks coffee cup.
Got the snorkel back in place. Totally unneeded but if the wife ever needs to ford a flooded river on her way to work, she'll be prepared!
We knew the Cruiser needed a passenger side CV shaft, found CVJ Axles in Denver that rebuilds OEM axles with some quality boot upgrades. The aftermarket axles for 100 Series are known to be questionable at best, they go bad quickly and are much weaker than factory. The only other option is going to the dealer and I believe they run aound $600/ea. CVJ axles start at $119, by the time you add better & upgraded boots you add up to $120 more.
There is a vibration coming from the front end under hard acceleration and seeing how the passenger-inner CV boot is torn, I grabbed the CV shaft and it's loose. Pretty sure the vibration is due to the shaft getting thrown to one side in the worn joint under hard acceleration. I'll be ordering a new CV shaft next week.
Lastly, I don't recall the Cruiser leaking oil when we had it but it does now. There are a handful of drips when parked. Looks to be the rear main seal. Not a huge surprise with it's north of 300k miles, but it is a disappointment. I'll see what it'll take to fix the leak.
Got the Cruiser aligned at Firestone today... toe was way off. But those guys didn't straighten the steering wheel... and I mentioned it before they started working on it! Not impressed.... either I'll take it back or do it myself.
Truth.... the last 3 alignments I've had done had massive issues. I had one done at Big-O here in GJ right before our last Baja trip and the dumbass moved the steering stabilizer (it was centered, by myself) so that I couldn't turn full left. I didn't notice it until we were on our way and had to deal with it thru the trip.
Did a lot of maintenance, repairs and upgrades yesterday. First the engine received a full tune up, Denso spark plugs, new air filter, new fuel filter, PCV valve, MAF sensor was cleaned, throttle body cleaned, etc. Also vacuumed out the air filter box, it has a small amount of junk in the bottom and didn't want the junk getting pulled into the air filter. I'm pretty sure the plugs were the same that I installed a few years ago when we owned it, so it was time.
I replaced the switch panel on the drivers door that controls the windows and door locks... the original was well worn and loose in places.
Lastly, I upgraded the headlights (again).... this time I went for 55 watt HID drop-in bulbs from Retro Solutions. The bulbs I upgraded to before were a small improvement at the time, but seem to be dimmer than when first installed. The headlights were pathetic, I hated the idea of Catherine driving in the dark with such poor low beams. The HID bulbs from Retro Solutions don't create a scattered light pattern, the beams ended up right where they're supposed to. All the reviews were very high with lots of good feedback from people running them, so I felt good about buying. Install was easy, bulbs dropped right in. I added their wiring harness and relay, for more voltage going directly to the bulbs.
After a test drive in the dark, I have to say that I'm impressed.... this is how the headlights should be. I left the halogen high-beam bulbs in place, but may upgrade to HID's down the road if needed. I'll try get some night shots of the difference soon.