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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 17 Jan 2002
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Kitting out a TLC (for the Sahara - why not!)

I've been looking at the possibility of buying a TLC HDJ80 for overland trips. Being new to things Toyota, I need some ideas:
What improvements to the engine, drivetrain, suspension, etc., need to be done to to make a stock HDJ80 as strong and reliable as possible for long haul trips? As this is a long term project, no effort will be spared if necessary.

Is the front beam axle available as standard in the UK? If not, where?



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  #2  
Old 17 Jan 2002
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As a standard vehicle, the Land Cruiser 80 series is superb. You won't really need to do too much to it for venturing into the Sahara. Perhaps you might consider upgraded suspension and repalcing the front and rear bumpers with something a tad more solid, but the 80 series is about as good as it gets.

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  #3  
Old 17 Jan 2002
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I agree with Jon ... Just get in it and go
Front beam axle is standard on all 80s - 100s got the indi front end

CS
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  #4  
Old 18 Jan 2002
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Thanks guys
You dissapoint me. I've got a garage full of tools and bits left after finishing work on my Landrover, for which apparently I will have no use. Weird!

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  #5  
Old 18 Jan 2002
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Although I live in the UAE and don't get the chance to venture into the Sahara, for the past ten years I've seen what works in the sand and what doesn't here.

The 80 Series Cruiser is still a very popular vehicle. The 100 Series went further 'up-market' and as a result has lost ground to a certain extent amongst those who need a solid desert vehicle. The Nissan Patrol has benefitted from that.

One of the strengths of Toyota and Nissan has been their bulletproof reliability. What Chris has been said is completely correct - you can simply get in it and go.

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[This message has been edited by JonHarbour (edited 18 January 2002).]
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  #6  
Old 18 Jan 2002
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The only disadvantage I can see is that Toyotas are also more sought after by potential thieves (see Bad Niger). That having been said, right hand drive is hardly ideal unless they fail to notice this minor detail before going for it...

Finding spares, good mechanics is way easier than with Land Rovers etc....

Sam

(I drive a 1984 pink rhd Land Rover - the theory is that nobody will ever want to steal it!)
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  #7  
Old 19 Jan 2002
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Sam is right TLC 80s and 75s are most desirable to theives - but they can still nick everything in it. A ratty (or pink) old LR is the best disguise... Or avoiding the risky areas.

CS
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  #8  
Old 4 Feb 2002
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I will be happy to collect everything when you change to toyota : any date set yet?

Kar El.


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Roman:
Thanks guys
You dissapoint me. I've got a garage full of tools and bits left after finishing work on my Landrover, for which apparently I will have no use. Weird!

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

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  #9  
Old 5 Feb 2002
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>As a standard vehicle, the Land Cruiser 80 series is superb. You won't really need to do too much to it for venturing into the Sahara.

As a standard vehicle a 300tdi 110 won't need no changes to wander in the Sahara.

Don't fall asleep guys.
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  #10  
Old 7 Feb 2002
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by karellevrau:
[B]I will be happy to collect everything when you change to toyota : any date set yet?
/B]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, some time next week. I don't know, maybe I should keep the landie as well, I've grown used to it. But where on earth could I go in the landie where I can't go in the toyota?



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  #11  
Old 8 Feb 2002
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>I don't know, maybe I should keep the landie as well, I've grown used to it.

It's a pitty, I'd set my mind on your Landie-stuff.

>But where on earth could I go in the landie where I can't go in the toyota?

I don't think this forum has enough webspace available to quote everything ; a few examples : a LR-club, a LR-garage, friends infected with the LR-virus, strangers alongside the road who have technical problems with their landie, places all around the world where people have good taste of vehicle-choice, etc..

Kar El

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  #12  
Old 8 Feb 2002
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Karl,

At the risk of turning this forum into a chat room, I can't resist keeping my thoughts to myself.

Yes, the world-wide LR community is a great thing. Lots of helpful people exchanging information how to keep their landrovers going. I would definitely miss the people, not necessarily the problems that bring them together.

Karl, I want to travel to see the world! I don't want to be a travelling grease monkey at the whim of his transport. Life is too short to spend it underneath a vehicle.



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  #13  
Old 8 Feb 2002
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Roman,

of course you are right. This is not a pub-like forum where one can elaborate about what's best or not.

Me as well, I can't resist keeping my opinion to myself : I have respect for all 4WD's and their owners but if it wasn't for Land Rover there was no Africa(or as you wish Sahara)-rush by 4X4.

In the early days (and they keep doing)LR's helped to explore Africa and bringing this beautiful continent to our doorstep, just because there were no other means. That's easily forgotten. In my opinion LR's have, for that reason, a special status (and not just because some people think they are better than any other brand). Therefore, LR should earn some respect as grandfather of the 4WD's.


I rest my case.

Kar El

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Roman:
Karl,

At the risk of turning this forum into a chat room, I can't resist keeping my thoughts to myself.

Yes, the world-wide LR community is a great thing. Lots of helpful people exchanging information how to keep their landrovers going. I would definitely miss the people, not necessarily the problems that bring them together.

Karl, I want to travel to see the world! I don't want to be a travelling grease monkey at the whim of his transport. Life is too short to spend it underneath a vehicle.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

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  #14  
Old 9 Feb 2002
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Hi Roman,

In that case, if you can afford it, go out and buy yourself an 80 series Landcruiser. In over a decade of raising the desert dust across the Middle East and Africa, in a variety of vehicles, I've found the Landcruiser impossible to beat as a compromise between reliability, comfort and off road (particularly desert) ability. Lack of the readies and individual cirmcumstances mean that I own a Defender: a great vehicle and one for which I've got great affection, but if you just want to jump in and go (and keep on going) the Landcruiser wins every time. The 80 series as it comes is pretty much ready for the worst you can chuck at it. Ultimately almost any mechanically sound vehicle with reasonable clearance which you know well (particularly its limitations) will get you across the toughest desert terrain there is. Just read the biographies of the guys who opened up the Western Desert and Sinai back in the 20's and 30's (e.g. Bagnold, Clayton, Jarvis). They travelled in 2wd Fords, the reliability and fuel consumption of which sounds incredulous these days. Read more closely and you'll also find they spent one day in five rebuilding their vehicles, and more time pushing and digging than driving. In the end the choice of vehicle is going to be a matter of compromise, and being in the right place to buy the right vehicle at the right time. If I had the choice I'd try to make sure it was a Landcruiser, but I don't so I'm living with the frustrations and joys of Landrovering (I'd planned a desert trip for this weekend, but am currently staring at a lake of recently escaped coolant underneath my LR...)
Alex
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  #15  
Old 12 Feb 2002
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Have to say that we've absolutely no regrets with our Landcruiser VX, J reg, diesel,- 130,000 miles on the clock now, and been a delight to drive on many differing sorts of terrain from snow and ice, to desert, to mud, to the vehicle wrecking piste to Assakram. It's just about to have another fast trip to Timbuktu and back (in the company of a Landrover 110 station wagon). My husband promised me it was good for 300,000 miles when we bought it at two years old, so I'm keeping him to it now. We've plenty more long trips planned in it over the next couple of years. Once you've got the first scratches and dents in it the worry factors soon go away.
They are just so comfortable to drive long distances, and make the journey south through Europe from the UK a faster option, leaving more time for the desert if you're on a fixed time limit. They'll cruise at a reasonable speed on the auto-routes etc.
Not completely trouble free but never caused us a serious problem on the road, despite 2 x broken standard back springs (drove over 2000 miles with both back bottom spring coils broken off), a shorted out lighting relay on a dark mountain track, and leaking oil from the swivel seal on the front axel.
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