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  #1  
Old 27 May 2010
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Exclamation I'm going to give it a go!

Leaving early 19th July (or maybe even late PM 18th if I'm over excited). Planning a relatively short 2.5 week trip down to Morocco.

Haven't fully decided on the route as I'm still trawling through the Morocco Overland book (which if anyone like me is thinking of doing a trip like this, get that book, helps a lot) and there are a lot of routes to do.

If anyone would like to suggest any particulary scenic and challenging routes please feel free to add. Myself and one other will be in a Toyota Landcruiser 80 4.5 (petrol). I wasn't planning on doing much to it apart from gearbox oil flush (it's auto and the fluid will be over a decade for sure), replace diff oils (ensuring all diff lockers are working), oil and filter(s) change. Also going to fit new BFG tyres all round inc spare. MO book suggests upgrading the suspension but is that required on a Landcruiser? I could understand on something a little less 'proven' like a X-trail or a Freelander plus also a spring/shock setup seems to be nearly £1,000 and I'm struggling to find anyone in the UK who can supply.

Does anyone know where I can purchase some kind of a-bar or nudge bar for an LC80 to mount some driving lamps on? I can't justify importing an ARB bumper plus I'm sure they are illegal but smaller ones aren't?

I have some experience with offroading but it's all limited to gravel and clay tracks. I've also never used a Landcruiser before, I'm usually in a Discovery of some type or an old Range Rover. So any tips/quirks of the LC80 would be appreciated.

Finally, will anyone off here be out there then for me to look out for?
Thanks for all your very helpful posts, the search feature was great in answering lots of my questions already!

-James
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  #2  
Old 2 Jun 2010
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Hi James,

Sorry you haven't had an earlier response...

OK, working through your questions...

When we went to Morrocco three years ago we found one of the best set of guides were the Gandini guides - they are in French and expensive with six covering the whole of Morocco, however we only got the general Pistes one and then the Camping one and they were perfect - the best thing is that they are checked/updated annually.

The key thing on preparation is to ensure that all your brakes, wheel bearings, etc are 100%. If you have had the truck for a few years you should know how well serviced it is, if it is new to you get it properly checked out by someone that knows Toyotas

Yes, suspension upgrades are recommended, but as long as you aren't overloading the suspension too much you should be fine. If there are 2+ adults, roof tents, fridges, and loads of kit I would suggest an upgrade.

On the tyre front, aim for 285/75/16s or 235/85/16s. The former are the ideal size for general driving in an 80 whilst the latter are better if you are going to do a lot of N. African trips.

I wouldn't waste money on driving lights at this stage. Your best bet is to spend your money on HID kits to improve the standard high and dipped beams. If you still feel you need spots, just mount them onto the factory bumper - as far as I know A bars/nudge bars are now technically illegal, although you can have winch bars.

You should also make sure you have a decent compressor for adjusting the tyre pressures. We hardly needed to lock the diffs at all once we had mastered the art of dropping tyre pressures.

Finally, for the gearbox try to use fully synthetic Dexron III ATF and also consider fitting an extra oil cooler.

I hope that's a useful starting point. Any other questions fire away.
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Overland Cruisers - Specialising in Land Cruiser preparation and servicing.
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  #3  
Old 3 Jun 2010
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Hi,

Thank you for the response.

I've only just bought the LC80 although it has been well looked after, I know the previous owner (I sold him a car recently) and it has a full Toyota main dealer history, MOT'd 1,800 miles ago with no advisorys. It drives very well apart from the track is slightly off and some play in the steering which I think is normal in a high mileage (140k) Landcruiser. The brakes, wheel bearings, etc all seem to work fine. The only thing that doesn't work it seems it the AC (hopefully just a regass), the rear diff lock won't engage (need to investigate this), just those bits and a few cosmestic bits are damaged.

The tyres I've got on it already are better than I previously thought, they are almost new but they are highway tyres so they'll struggle in sloshy stuff although I realise Morroco doesn't really have mud in July, but in the UK I like taking it down some lanes that can get muddy.

My friend is going to service it for me at the weekend, change the plugs, filters, oils etc. He isn't a Toyota expert so I might take it to a main dealer or a specialist for an inspection.

It shall be most likely myself +1 other but possible 2 others. We won't be using roof tents, we'll just be loading up the car with camping gear, water, extra fuel basically.

When I got the car it had almost no fluid in the gearbox at all, I've put about 4/5 liters in now and it seems fine so hopefully no damage was done. I used the Dexron III as you suggested.

Do you have any knowledge as to why the rear diff lock won't engage on the LC80? I can hear the accuator moving inside the diff but won't lock and the red light on the dash continues to flash. I've tried driving in a circle which sometimes works according to a googlesearch but this hasn't worked. The rear diff isn't locking for sure, the front and centre lock fine and the lights stop flashing on the dash.

Thanks again for the response.
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  #4  
Old 3 Jun 2010
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Hi James,

OK firstly, 140k miles isn't really high mileage, once it gets up to 250-350 miles you can consider it high mileage for an LC.

Secondly, do double check with the dealers that they know what they are doing, we get LCs being brought to us from all over the UK because the dealers can't look after them properly. Ideally do the research yourself using something like the ELCO club so that you know more about the truck and can therefore double check that the job is being done properly. The main problem with dealers with things like CVs, Wheel Bearings, Swivel Bearings, etc is that they don't actually do an preventative servicing by repacking them with grease, they just replace if broken.

On the AC front, do get the system leak tested first - the AC won't work without gas so if it isn't working the gas has got to have leaked out somewhere - I can never understand why people go for a regas without sorting out the leak (sorry for the rant).

For the play in the steering, check the tie and track rod ends and also check the wheel bearings. If those are all OK, the chances are that it may be play in the swivel bearings - these usually get ignored in general servicing or when CVs are replaced. They are a biggish job to replace if done properly but worth it in the long run if you plan to keep the truck for a while - it's a good opportunity to get the CVs and wheel bearings repacked with grease wh
Diff lock actuators on 80s are prone to rotting in the UK environment. You ideally need to get it off and strip it down to re-lubricate it however the chances are that you may struggle to get it off and the bolts on the covers are prone to shearing so will need to be drilled out and retapped.

You could start by spraying soome WD40 into the breather pipe (stubby rubber hose sticking out of top of actuator) and then jack up one wheel on the rear axle and continually engage and disengage the actuator - the odd tap with a block of wood may help to free it.

If you have no luck you can get replacement actuators (RRP £819.56 + VAT from Toyota or around £400 + VAT odd from Milner Off Road.).
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Julian Voelcker
Overland Cruisers - Specialising in Land Cruiser preparation and servicing.
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  #5  
Old 3 Jun 2010
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Thank you Julian for your help!

I'm amazed how 'tight' the LC feels. The previous owner never engaged the diffs in the entire time he had it. I'm suprised they work at all. No damage underneath it so I doubt it's even ever been offroad, no towbar either. Couple of scars from car park wars.

You are a bit of trek of from me (a tank there and back) but it might be worth taking it to your place before I leave just to confirm it's all okay. I shall get the AC tested for leaks before regas, I didn't mention this as I thought it was common sense. I work in the motor trade, for sales not service the guys in my workshop can do the AC for me.

I'm going to get it on the ramp tonight and have a look at the steering bits you've pointed out. I shall report back my findings to you tonight.

Oh and I'm very confused about suspension upgrades. Sorry to be so stupid. Am I right in thinking I should upgrade both springs and shocks together?

Looking on Devon4x4 website, they list OME shocks standard height and extended versions and they also list springs am I right in thinking that I should get OME 850 front spring and OME 863 rear spring (Devon 4x4 Off Road - 80 Series and 105 Series - Off Road Equipment and 4x4 accessories from Devon 4x4) as that will give me extra load and a slight increase in height, even though I don't have a winch? Which shock do I need, the extended one to go with the 50mm increase or just the normal one?
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  #6  
Old 3 Jun 2010
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Right...

Think I've got it now on the spring front.
THIS is the front spring I need.
THIS is the rear spring I need.

But with that rear spring fitted when the LC is empty will it ride correctly?

Are these the correct shocks I should fit with the above spring setup? Front and rear.
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  #7  
Old 4 Jun 2010
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You might also want to think about Dobinsons springs and shocks.

The Toyota Landcruiser Owners Club :: View topic - Dobson springs and shocks ?

I was recommended these by Footloose 4x4 and they were good.......Footloose said they'd come across incidents of OME shocks failing and although my Dobinsons shocks DID ironically fail, they all did this at once because I drove too fast on a bumpy road. This didn't stop Dobinsons or Footloose sorting the problem out admirably, so I would fit them again. The Home people who I met had also had problems with OME stuff.

Not sure whether my Dobinsons springs were soft, medium or hard but they were a 2" lift all round with 50kg extra weight on the front and 350kg on the back. I was advised not to bother with a castor correction kit and the advice was right.

Mark

overlandcruiser.net
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  #8  
Old 5 Jun 2010
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Mark, I was reading your website last night for many hours. Very interesting!

I'll do some more research into the springs/shocks. I've been struggling to find a decent LC80 forum one of them I found is mostly USA based and all the threads are willy waving 'look at my shiney car' and 'look how massive my wheels are' which aren't really any use to me. Most of the posts are 'LOLz nice truck!11!!!!'.

I shall hunt around on that TLOC website you've linked to.
Sounds stupid but does a 2 inch list affect the handling much? Not that it could get much worse anyway, a battletank would appear to hold the road better!

The rear diff is proving rather annoying, I think to properly get it up on a ramp and change the oil and test everything as I've tried everything including hitting it with a rubber mallet but to no avail.
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  #9  
Old 5 Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Rothwell View Post

I'll do some more research into the springs/shocks. I've been struggling to find a decent LC80 forum one of them I found is mostly USA based and all the threads are willy waving 'look at my shiney car' and 'look how massive my wheels are' which aren't really any use to me. Most of the posts are 'LOLz nice truck!11!!!!'.
James

Maybe have a read around the Euro Land Cruiser Owners Club European Land Cruiser Owners' Club - The new home of Toyota Land Cruiser Enthusiasts • www.landcruiserclub.net

There is an Archive with years worth of information here Land Cruiser Club and Forum • ELCO Archives - An archive of all the ELCO mailing list posts. All topics are locked, if you want to reply to one then create a new thread in the relevant section and refer back to archived thread.
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  #10  
Old 6 Jun 2010
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Ah, that would be what I'm looking for. Not sure how I didn't find it before.
Thanks!
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  #11  
Old 6 Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianVoelcker View Post
For the play in the steering, check the tie and track rod ends and also check the wheel bearings. If those are all OK, the chances are that it may be play in the swivel bearings - these usually get ignored in general servicing or when CVs are replaced.
Absolutely spot on, also the steering damper has a lot of play in it, so will replace that. God knows how much that will be!
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  #12  
Old 7 Jun 2010
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Hello James

Glad my website was of use. Any time! There was an American LC forum I used from which I seemed to get intelligible responses to my posts - its IH8MUD.com

Re the 2 inch lift, no it made no discernible difference to the handling. I was advised it might affect the UJs (by increasing the angle they had to flex through with each rotation) but I was quite anal about greasing them every 5000 kms and they seemed fine. Maybe a lift much higher than 2ins would make more of a difference.

Re the steering play, I would add to Julian's advice that you also check the steering box for slack. This happened to me and I had it rebuilt in Pakistan - excellent idea. It's quite easy to check - open the bonnet and the driver's window, then position yourself over the box and wiggle the steering wheel with your left hand while watching whether movement of the steering column into the box produces corresponding movement of the crank coming out of it. There's also an adjusting nut on the box you can tighten to take up slack but if you do this, be circumspect and don't tighten it any more than you need to.

Mark
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  #13  
Old 13 Jun 2010
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Hello James,
Are you still on plan to depart around 19th July?
What are your 'rough' plans?

I would like a run down to Morocco, and almost any date suits me.

I haven't done much in preperation of my LC, but I don't have any concerns, she has been very well looked after.

Will you be taking an extra spare wheel?
What will you do as far as water storage?
I think I did read, you will not bother with a roof tent, so 'on ground camping' ?
What will you do as far as cooking go's ?


'vette
ps, glad you like the Land Cruiser Club and Forum • Land Cruiser Forum Home
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  #14  
Old 15 Jun 2010
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Hi there,

I'm leaving the night of the 1st August as annoyingly I have to work as we are having a launch event for 2 new cars.

The night of the 1st cross to France drive for 2-3 hours and stop. The following day 2nd August drive down past the Spanish border and get as close to Algeciras as possible try and get within 200 miles which is like a 14 hour drive. Then the 3rd August get to Algeciras and cross into Morocco and begin...

I need to be back in the UK the evening of the 17th.
Here is a rough route so far- Morocco 2010 - Google Maps

I'm not modifying my LC in any way, just general maintanence and new decent tyres.

Not taking an extra spare wheel but might take one of my old tyres (brand new but not AT or MT just a highway tyre).

Water storage, lots of 2l bottles, was thinking about a huge drum thing but if I get the car stuck and need to shed weight throwing out 2l bottles is easy but trying to offload a 15 gallon container of water will be tricky!

Yes I'm doing ground camping, but there are lots of little motels which are cheap at £15 a night.

As far as cooking goes, erm, I'm crap at cooking so will be really easy stuff.
Just a little gas cooker and some basic food.

Would be great if you come with me.

Have you got a Garmin based GPS to load the Olaf maps?
I'm eating into my prep funds a lot recently since my wheel bearing decided to collapse and melt lots of stuff at the weekend. If you've got one I won't buy one.
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  #15  
Old 6 Jul 2010
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I would strongly reccomend a trip over the tiz n test pass, truly awesome drive
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