40 Guy builds a 100 Series

Rezarf <><

I find myself spending so much time on ExPo that I thought I would post up a build thread here detailing our 100 series family truckster.

I bought the 100 series after searching for a clean 60/62 turned out to be a tougher than i thought. I was finding nice clean 60s and 62s but they are starting to fetch big money. That and the fact that I wanted to swap in a V8 and the platform quickly became expensive. Once reality set in on the 60/62 search, I had to decide between the amazing 80 and 100 series. Everyone knows the 80 is perhaps Toyota's all time best off road machine out of the box. But since I already have a lifted locked FJ40 with 35s' and since clean/locked 80's are getting tougher to find, we decided that the 100 series fit our family of 5 perfectly. Our main goals with this cruiser are hauling the family on camping adventures, touring the western national parks, family road trips and sloshing the ski gear to the mountains during our ski seasons.

We've had the 100 for over 1.5 years, it has a lot of miles but drives like a dream. I'll fast forward my build up to where it is today and update as I add bits and bobs to it along the way.

Here's where I am coming from, I've daily driven my 40 for over 15 years and I am just the second owner. I built the trailer for camping, back country adventures and hunting. You can see the whole build thread in my sig line. I LOVE THE FJ40! When I drive it still, the world seems as it should be. My kids love it, but we outgrew it... but as the saying goes 40's are only to be sold at Estate Sales. :sombrero: I hope to chop the rust out, repaint it and drive it for another 15 years... but that is another thread. ;)

And our new to us 100 series, 1999, full options, rear locker, 1 owner.

And how it sits as of Mar 2017

Most current pic. Sept 2018
Cruiser Sept 2018.jpg
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Rezarf <><

The Plan:

Overall this is a backup minivan in our family ;) That said, its going to be a lifted well equipped minivan that has great on road manners and enhanced offroad capability. In general I don't want to compromise the nice ride of the 100 all while improving how far we can go into the back country. I'd like to be able to take this truck to Devils Kitchen in Canyonlands... that's about as hardcore as it needs to be... However, I want the ride to be nice there and back too.

Lightweight. I hope to keep an eye to lightweight whenever possible and practical.

First Phase: Clean up, and Maintenance.
  • Overall the truck is good shape, was garaged and not abused.
  • Clean up was/is needed on the interior leather, engine bay, and wheels. (DONE)
  • Recondition the leather (DONE)
  • Swap out the hoses for the radiator and do the PM on the heater "T"s.
  • Figure out how to beat the caked on brake dust on the wheels.
  • Add Weather tech floor liners (DONE)
  • Replace the antenna with a working unit.

Suspension, Wheels and Tires:
  • OME and Slee 2.5" lift (DONE for now I cranked TB's and installed 30mm Spacers)33" tires either on the factory 16" or Tundra 18"s (Which tire I'm not sure, leaning towads the BFG ATs) (DONE Duratracs)
  • Slee Diff drop
  • Bumpers, Sliders and Armor:
  • In order to stay light weight I'll likely only build bumpers if needed. (DONE)
  • I would like a tire carrier so I may go with a lightweight rear bumper and carrier. (DONE)
  • I'll build some skid plates before next wheeling season.
  • First up for armor, I'll weld up some step sliders. (DONE, installed slee sliders)

Interior Mods:
  • Clean and condition the leather (DONE)
  • Weather Tech floor liners (love them!) (DONE)
  • Add a GPS Bluetooth CD system... likely the Alpine w900bt (DONE)
  • Tint the front windows (DONE)
  • I'm going to try my hand at building lightweight drawers/fridge slide.
  • Add one of the OBD2 Diagnostic devices, scan-gauge, iPhone app or similar.(DONE)
  • Ham Radio install (DONE)
  • Replace all the wood grained interior pieces (I got a kit with the Cruiser from the PO)
  • Maybe rewrap the leather steering wheel. (DONE)

  • Hard-wire for my fridge.
  • USB ports for front and rear passengers.
  • Auxiliary fuse block (Blue Sea) (purchased)
  • LED cargo lighting for drawers
  • Dual batteries if deemed needed. (purchased)
  • Solar panel for the roof rack to run the fridge while camping.
  • Hella 4000s up front. Maybe I'll try the new light bars but so far I've not been impressed for the cost. (Purchased)
  • Hella matador rear work light if I build a tire carrier.

Misc Accessories:
  • Winch (maybe hidden behind factory bumper) (DONE)
  • Snorkel (DONE)
  • Roof rack (I'll go Gamaviti if I decide we need the functionality of a rack).
  • Fuel tank. I'd love to add an extended range fuel tank but I'll need to do a bit more research before deciding.
  • RTT I may add one for camping but we will likely go with a pop up for the family instead... since I can get a loaded pop up for about the same price ;) :eek:

I hope to build this thing up slow and steady as time and funds allow. I've been making 300 mile trips for work each week lately and the 100 drives so nice on the highway that I want to make sure I don't kill the on road performance and the gas mileage I am getting which has been 16mpg.
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Rezarf <><

Cleaned up the 100, engine and leather... came out nice.

First order of business was to clean the Cruiser up. There are no leaks, no issues, just dust and grime from the miles on road. I hit it up with Purple Power cleaner stuff and went to town. I pulled the engine cover off and scrubbed for a while, it needs another round of cleaning and scrubbing but I am holding off until I can get a hold of a pressure washer.


Rezarf <><

Next I started working on the leather. Overall it was in good shape, no rips, tears, deep scratches etc just greasy and dirty. I started to watch some good vids on YouTube about restoring leather seats and used some of the tricks I picked up along the way. There is nothing hard about getting your seats to like new again, just some patience and elbow grease.

I used Mothers Leather products exclusively for no other reason than they were on the shelf at my local Wally world. I used two products, the Leather Tech Foam and the Leather Cream moisturizer. I have to say, I am uber-impressed.

All I did was:
  • Vacuum thoroughly, paying attention to the seams and getting all the junk out.
  • Wipe them down with a warm micro-fiber cloth (that I steamed with my wifes drapery steamer).
  • Apply the leather foam cleaner.
  • Brushed it in with the shoe polish brush until the suds became contaminiated. You can actually see the suds go from bright white to grey/brown as it starts to lift up the dirt and grime. Once you see the foam get dirty just wipe it way with a microfiber cloth.
  • Let it dry. (Overnight for me)
  • Repeat the foam cleaner again working about one leather panel at a time.
  • Let it dry.
  • Rub the conditioner in like wax and buff it off before it drys.
  • Simple.
  • For as easy as it was the back seat probably took me about 2-3 hours of scrubbing each little section at a time.

The Products I used: Mothers Leather Tech and Leather Cream

And here is a before and after line I made with some painters tape so you could get an idea of how much grime was actually coming off the seats. The coolest part is these products really gave the leather their "softness" back. They feel like fine glove leather instead of the previous heavy "saddle" leather feel. They are supple and soft to the touch now... again, I'm impressed.

Rezarf <><

Got a little time to tackle base lining my paint today. I gave the 100 a thorough wash, then before waxing it up I tried one of the Meguiars Clay Bar kits... I was shocked at how much stuff it pulled off the paint. This pic is of the clay after one pass over the hood, it really cleans up the paint and makes the wax shine even more. I'll get a good daylight pic of the "fresh from the spa&#8221; paint in the morning, it was dark when I wrapped up.


Rezarf <><

Feeling good about where the paint is. I have a few chips to address and a few scratches as well, once I knock those out I'll have the Cruiser polished. I always feel mo' betta about getting a good base of quality wax on the paint as it helps with the day to day junk that falls on it. Now to pin stripe it on the trail!


Rezarf <><

Got a big, time intensive, laborious mod installed today Weather Tech Floor Liners ;)

Actually, I think they are one of the simplest additions that really keep your cruiser looking good. Here in Colorado between the muck and grime of the mud season, or the slosh of snow, these liners are awesome at collecting it all and are easy to clean. I just ordered the mid piece for the middle row of seats but I won't use the rear cargo mat since I am planning on drawers down the road. If you don't have a set of these, they're the first thing I buy for any new vehicle in our home. I have 3 kids that prove their worth constantly! :D

And the middle section, man this one has saved our 100 several times so far, drink spills, puke, you name it, this thing rocks!

Rezarf <><

I added this little cup doohickey from Mr. Toyota. I think Kurt put one in his Death Star build up, at least that's where I think I saw it. It is a perfect little pocket for the unused cap by the shifter. My iPhone fits perfectly in there and doesn't get tossed around. It was about $18 bucks at my local dealer.

Great little storage cubby to keep things from getting tossed around.


Rezarf <><

So I bought a used set of 35s and here were my thoughts at the time...

I rolled the new shoes up next to the 100 and began measuring about where I will be with the OME lift. I may order a 1" body lift as well, but I'll cross that bridge when I see the clearance or lack there of in real time. Spacers will most likely needed to run and turn well. I knew the 315's would be a slippery slope but it is the size I think looks best on the 100 and I knew I would want to get that size eventually so I might as well jump into the deep end. :bounce:

I am researching lifts and shocks, and bumpstops, and adjustable control arms and body lifts and, and and... should be an adventure.

I still need to level out the stance as it is raked forward as it sits now.


Rezarf <><

In the end, reason got the better of me and I decided to roll with a 33 instead. I bought a set of used 285/75-16s off craigslist and mounted them up. After all, I have a FJ40 that is locked with 35s to tackle any trail I'd like, and this is my Daily Driver and family hauler. In the end, reason won. I will likely step up the 35s once these wear out and I bolt up a OEM lift. For now I cranked the Tbars and added a Slee 30mm spacer in the rear. Still rides like factory and it is just enough tire to play here in Colorado.

Pre lifting the 100.

Here was my thinking at the time...

I have gone around and around on tire size, I bought a used set of 315/75-16 Goodyear Duratrac's about a week ago. Then as I got deeper and deeper into the necessary mods to make them fit I got cold feet (for now). So I called up Nakman of Gamiviti and asked to take his 100 for drive to our local club meeting last week. Tim is on 285/75-16's and OME 2.5" lift. I was impressed with the quality of the suspension after driving a worn out factory ride for a year. There was really no power loss on the 285s that I could notice, combine that with the ease of strapping a set of 285's on without NEEDING, spacers, lift, gears etc. I poked around and found a barely used set of 285/75-16 Duratracs locally on CL near my house. These tires only had 4,000 miles on them so I jumped on them, shelved the 315's for now, and tossed the 285's on the truck Friday.

I will end up with 315's I am sure as I think they fill out the proportions of the 100 better than any other size available. However, for now I will save up for all the necessary goodies to make them fit and work properly. For the rest of this Colorado wheeling season I will the 285's and re access if I NEED the bigger tires for the trails we run.

For now I plan on adding a 30mm Coil Spring spacer to the rear coils and adjust the front torsion bars to match, align it and run it!

Rezarf <><

Next up was a VERY, VERY important mod... my rear badge :bounce: I got a tip they were producing these for Toyota enthusiasts and I got in early and scored two of these name badges for free. Pretty sweet, I put one on the 100 and saved the other for the 40.


Rezarf <><

I also stopped by Slee... what a candy store for all things Cruiser! I talked with Ben and bought a few parts that I have been needing, a bushing kit for the steering rack (basically a rebuild kit) and a pair of 30mm rear coil spacers. Then I dove into adding 30mm of lift to the rear and adjusting the front T-Bars to match. I'm going to run this setup the rest of this season and see if I need to step up to the OME 2.5" lift and or 315's.

Here is some of the new goodies, also pictured is the bronze tint I picked up on mud that matched the 90's color tint on the cruiser, it is Viper Bronze 30% light transmission I believe.

To install the spacers, you only need to pull the rear springs. The key here is a big jack and flexing the axle enough to get the springs to come free from their spring perches. Both sides took about an hour and a half, the key is getting the rig up HIGH and then flexing the axle to full droop.

The spacers have a groove that rests against the spring and just reverse the order and get the spring back up inside the frame.

Tip: After my Snap-On ratchet, these might be the last two things I'd let go of for working on my Cruisers... PB is step one, Anti-Seize is step last... every time. I have used the anti-seize on every bolt I have touched on my 40 and it has already paid off hugely in the past 15 years of driving and working on it. FWIW, that is my original bottle... should last a lifetime.

mmmm, anti-rust frosting. Be warned this stuff gets on everything!

Rezarf <><

Half way there... rear lifted 30mm and the front still rockin' stink bug rake.

I adjusted the torsion bars to bring the front end up. All in all, not a bad way to lift the 100 series for less than $50. I took it to the alignment shop today and had them adjust the front end to get it back into spec. Overall, I am happy with the stance and ride. I am heading wheeling this weekend and look forward to getting it on the trail to see how all works.

Overall the ride is still nice, but I wouln't kid yourself thinking this is as nice as a OME or similar lift, I have ridden in a few 100's lifted with the OME lift and it is NICE, and on my short list of additions once my tires wear out. However, for $50 bucks this lift is unbeatable for the budget minded cruiser head trying to fit a little more tire than factory.

Rezarf <><

Got a day off, a hall pass, and a full tank of gas. I ran Kingston Peak, and Barbour Fork in Colorado solo. It was awesome. The 100 really impressed me coming from a locked 40 on 35's, it really wheels great, minus the flex.



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