Project Hundy Build Thread - 2000 UZJ100 Land Cruiser

cruiseroutfit

Cruizah!
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Sandy, Ut
Introducing the Cruiser Outfitters "Project Hundy" Build Thread

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The Blank Slate

Earlier this year I picked up a 2000 100 Series Land Cruiser from a local customer & friend of mine. The Cruiser had some major brake issues and he had exhausted his patience dealing with the repairs and was ready to move on. Just so happens I like projects and we struck a deal that worked for both parties. We spent the next 3 months base-lining the Cruiser and repairing all the issues including a major overhaul of the braking system here in the shop in between customer jobs. From there it served as a occasional daily driver and a couple of road trips over the summer.

I've enjoyed traveling in my 2004 Double-Cab Tacoma all over the western US for the last 5 years. It has served me exceptionally well but my needs were changing and I needed a larger platform with similar capabilities and features. I'd had my mind on a 100 Series for quite some time but I wasn't quite committed nor did I really have time to really dive into the used Land Cruiser shopping market. The more time I spent in the 100 the more convinced I was that it would be a great replacement for my Tacoma.

Basic stock specs of the Land Cruiser:

2000 UZJ100 Land Cruiser
Color: Riverrock Green Mica (1C3)
Engine: 2UZ-FE 4.7L Petrol V8
Trans: A343F 4spd Auto
T-Case: Full-Time 4wd w/locking differential
Suspension: IFS front (torsion/shock) & 5 link rear (coil/shock)
Features: A-Trac & VSC
Curb Weight: 5115 lbs
Payload: 1470 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 25.4 gal

While there isn't anything terribly impressive about the specs themselves, they combined to make a solid proven platform that has proven itself in markets all over the world as a true Land Cruiser workhorse. I've got customers that have driven 100's all over over the world and I myself have spent plenty of time bouncing around the ruins While I would long for the economy and unique value of the diesel variant 100 Series available in foreign markets, the petrol motor offers better drive-ability and obvious parts availability here in the US. Next up, time to start planning.

Developing the Build Plan

I'm a big proponent of planning ones vehicle build long before you turn the first bolt. All to often I'm discussing a customers Land Cruiser plan and they ask "What would you do next?". It is by all means a valid question and I appreciate their trust in my opinion an product knowledge but while some items can suggested others need to be developed solely on the needs of the user. For example I can tell a customer they need to replace their shocks based on a few questions or suggest tie rod ends get replaced based on a quick inspection. However questions like "What accessory should I do next?" are generally a launching pad for me to discuss a "build plan" with the customer. We do "build plans" on the phone with customers on a daily basis, rebuilding a Land Cruiser front axle and we'll go through our build sheet to make sure we are covering all your parts needs. Looking to install an Old Man Emu suspension and we'll spend 15-20 minutes talking about your past, current and future vehicle uses, loads, accessories, etc and from there we'll recommend the right components. But why not use this same logic on a complete vehicle build? Why not pull up a chair next to your rig in the driveway and start making notes. What do you want out of your rig? What didn't you like about the one you just sold? What made you purchase this one? What needs do you need to build around? While it might sound a little naive for some, I think many can benefit. It doesn't matter whether your build is going to take a weekend or a few years, after all "A goal without a plan is just a wish" (stolen from Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

So I'm getting off topic here, back to the 100 build. What did I need? What did want? What did I love about my Tacoma and what did dislike about it at the same time? This vehicle will see far more time bombing down dirt roads in high range than it will crawling in technical rocks in low range. It will support 1-4 adults, their gear and food on anything from an over night trip to a week+ self supported trip. In the short-term this vehicle is going to be used as a chase truck and team transport for our upcoming run at the Baja 1000 later this month. While its not a conventional "chase truck", neither was my Tacoma and it has worked well for our previous racing endeavors all while service as my primary mode of transportation. I can see this vehicle being with me for 2-5 years and while I don't envision it serving as a daily driver, I want it to be comfortable, reliable and ready. My wife may use it from time to time on her mountain biking adventures and we might load the dog in the back and head to the hills for a short hike after work, versatility is fundamental. With that said I've decided to touch on a few of the major categories for my build plan and add a few notes about their importance for my needs.

Armor & Protection: The rig would need protection, front, rear, sides and the belly. While one or several of those areas are easily ignored on the emotion of budget or lack of perceived need, if I was going to do it I was going to do it right and there wasn't a single piece of protection that wasn't used over and over on my Tacoma.

Roof Rack: Like many I have mixed emotions on roof racks. They produce aerodynamic drag, noise and result in loss of clearance in tight trees. However, when storage space is at a premium or a roof-top-tent is an option, a roof rack is mandatory. When not in use a quality rack is generally easy to remove. Given my criteria to have one weeks worth of gear for 4 adults for a trip this month, a rack was included in my build plan.

Suspension, Wheel & Tire: With the anticipated loads I expected to carry along with the additional height needed to allow a larger tire and additional ground clearance, a quality, reliable and sturdy suspension were mandatory. With the increased room I hoped to achieve with the suspension I wanted to run a strong wheel that met my aesthetic needs and a tire matched to the job. This truck will bounce between long stretches on the Interstate and hundreds of miles of dirt road, I needed a tire that was capable of providing reliability and function in both scenarios.

Shower System: I've had lines of grungy camp mates lining up to take a quick rinse with hot water, a godsend after a few days in a dusty line of vehicles for men and women alike. While its an easy sell to the misses for those married folks, its also an easy sell to anyone that has every used one. I've installed one on each of my vehicles since, absolutely no reason this one would be different even if space under the hood would be a premium with the other plans.

Snorkel/Waterproofing: Some love them, some hate them, I'm not hear to convince either way however for my needs and intended uses its a need. If your interested in more of my thoughts on snorkels, please see an article I wrote last year for Tacoma Magazine

Lighting: Both the interior factory lights as well as additional exterior auxiliary lighting would need to be improved and installed. Lights on the front bumper for added nighttime driving comfort as well as a manually switchable light for the rear of the vehicle that allows for use as a reverse light as well as a camp light.

Storage: This is one are where I really felt I was lacking on the Tacoma. Not lacking in actual space as the Tacoma's bed left a very flexible amount of room but rather the organization. If I was hauling more than two people than we had to leave the back seat at least partially open which in turn meant gear was getting 'stacked' into the bed. With the 100 Series I was going to lose actual square footage but I hoped to improve upon the organization via shelves, drawers, bins or some other similar method.

Winch: My travels often find me in some pretty remote locations, possibly in a group or possible solo with nothing but the wolves to keep me company. While we all hope for the best outcome to any situation, its naive to plan for anything but the worst. The winch would need to be matched for the demands and rated for the heavy rig.

Wheel/Fuel Carrier: A full-size spare was mandatory for this build. Between the full-time 4WD which can be damaged but mis-matched tires and the need for comfortable road manners when we are days away from home, there was no other option. This dictates the need for a rear bumper tire carrier which also gives the added benefit of increased ground clearance under the vehicle or the future option for an secondary fuel tank. Given the criteria in my build plan for a tire carrier, a jerry can holder was also mandated to add to the fuel range or carry water outside what will become a stuffed cab. and increased.

Communication & 12V Equipment: Both for personal uses out on the trial as well as this trucks service as "Chase 3" for our upcoming run at the Baja 1000, this vehicle needs a full communication suite consisting of a high output HAM unit (modded for use in the race circuit) and a CB radio for general trail duties on future trips. Our modern tech age dictates the need for addition 12V & USB outlets for charging phones, camp lights, GPS power, etc. These would be placed in strategic locations to allow use at the rear as well as by passengers inside the cab. With all the added electrical load as well as the potential for this vehicle to sit boondocked at a camp in the middle of nowhere for days, a dual battery system will be mandatory for my build plan. Dual batteries provide not only the added reserve capacity for electronics while the vehicle is not charging (not running) but also provide redundancy in the case of a battery failure and provide a needed second battery for welding with products such as the Ready Welder.

12V Fridge: I could go on and on about my needs for a fridge but I previously did: RME: 12V Freezer-Fridges - Do they bring the heat?

This covers all the major components I planned to conquer within the scope of my "Phase 1". I'm literally planning to not have any other projects once phase 1 is complete. I'll use it for 6-12 months and if/when there are needs from there. Note: These are my build needs, yours may, could and should vary :D

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Before Picture

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Before Picture


Next Up: Choosing the components
 
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clfrnacwby

Recovery Addict
Location
Logandale
This is awesome, can't wait!
 

sixstringsteve

Well-Known Member
Location
UT
Glad see this build thread. You're ability to express yourself in the written and spoken word is a breath of fresh air these days.
 

cruiseroutfit

Cruizah!
Moderator
Premium Vendor
Location
Sandy, Ut

cruiseroutfit

Cruizah!
Moderator
Premium Vendor
Location
Sandy, Ut
Petrol? Flippin' cruiserheads.... :greg:
I copied the initial spec from Toyota literature :D

Fwiw the world uses Petrol vs diesel. Buy a "gas" vehicle in some countries and your getting propane :D
 

clfrnacwby

Recovery Addict
Location
Logandale
The more I read through this, the more I feel I can just copy and paste this for my Tundra build - I love the approach.
 

cruiseroutfit

Cruizah!
Moderator
Premium Vendor
Location
Sandy, Ut
The more I read through this, the more I feel I can just copy and paste this for my Tundra build - I love the approach.
Thanks I guess. The thing I'm really trying to emphasize with this build is the importance of tailoring to your needs, not that of the Internets :D

While its entirely plausible that people share the same needs, I personally get a light chuckle when I people ask what color they should paint their wheels. I like asking an offering quantitative information whereas qualitative variables often are best chosen by he user :D


what years did the 100 series have torsion bars?
All i.e. 98-07. There was never a 100 proper that had anything other. The 105 (also called a 100 Series) platform had a solid axle (identical suspension to that of the 80 Series) however they were never offered in the US market.
 

cruiseroutfit

Cruizah!
Moderator
Premium Vendor
Location
Sandy, Ut
Very nice Kurt!

Are there plans to sell the Tacoma?
Why yes. It won't be until after the B1K and I have some time to clean it up and figure what its value is. Realistically its ready to move today, just put a fresh set of Odyssey batteries in it ($500 ouch!), oil change and rotate the tires and she is ready to conquer the world.
 

Stephen

Under Construction
Supporting Member
Location
Salt Lake City
Why yes. It won't be until after the B1K and I have some time to clean it up and figure what its value is. Realistically its ready to move today, just put a fresh set of Odyssey batteries in it ($500 ouch!), oil change and rotate the tires and she is ready to conquer the world.
You know my offer. I think its quite reasonable. ;)
 

mesha

By endurance we conquer
Supporting Vendor
Location
A.F.
Great start to a build thread. Now time for more pictures.
 

spencevans

Overlander
Location
Farmington
It's a good looking ride and it will make a great expo vehicle. I too have realized space is at a premium and had to move into a large SUV. I really wish the FJ80 had more rear leg room and a larger engine or even better yet Toyota could have imported the FJ105 or FJ70, but not very many rigs are perfect right out of the box. When I was shopping for a new rig a few months ago I drove several hundies and really liked them. My only hang up was the fit an finish on some of the interior pieces like the window switches, the cheap feeling transmission selector and it felt bigger than it was. Things I really liked were the engine performance, visibility and roominess. They are great vehicles and I am sure you will do a great job building it to fit your needs.
 
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