Mauka2Makai - Our Quest Begins...An 80 Series Adventure

Townsend

Observer
WOW

Just stumbled across this thread, and quickly devoured every page and picture. Bravo on an amazing rig and a GREAT thread. For someone who is getting back into LC's after making the mistake of selling my 97 last year, this has weighed heavily on my constant inner struggle between getting back into an 80 (in white - my favorite color by far for the 80's), or a 100. I'll be doing the same sort of exploring, although it will just be my girlfriend and I, no kids. No plans of rock crawling of any sort, mostly exploring Colorado, and see myself going the same route and building over time. First mods will be similar to your phase one, regardless of if I do the 80 or the 100.

No matter what I choose to buy, your attention to detail and thoughtful (USEFUL) mods are truly inspiring. Keep it up man!
 
Good stuff as always, and of course I'm looking forward to the next installment... Crazy seeing The Racetrack and Teakettle Junction covered in snow!
 

Townsend

Observer
OP, sorry for a brief thread jack but Townsend, look up the "Rising Sun 4x4 Club" forum for more Colorado brethren. I've only been on there recently but it's a good place to connect for local trail runs, etc.

Back to the story. (Great write up, OP!)
Thanks bud! Been meaning to get involved. Met some great RSSUN members on Mud and I'm actually on the Rising Sun forum but haven't gotten to get to a meeting or anything yet. Looking forward to getting my new rig and immediately getting involved. Cheers
 

Mauka2Makai

Explorer
hey Muaka2Makai ..,, Congrats!!! very nice truck!! and very nice build up!!!
I was in shock yesterday! reading all the post from the beginning...!!!
Wow all the way from Paraguay... Thank you, glad you enjoyed the thread.


My mind is blown just reading about it, what a neat adventure. Thanks for sharing!:sombrero:
Granted the Racetrack Playa isn't Badwater Basin it's still Death Valley though and will always be grateful to have experienced snow there.


Great thread. One day I hope to do some exploring in Death Valley. Could you give a bit of an update on your tires since you've had 'em for a bit longer and now have experienced some snow. I've been eying the ST Maxx's to maybe replace my STT's.

Thanks,
Pete
Thanks Pete... I will do a bit more of an in-depth review soon, I will say that these are by far my favorite tire I've ever owned and fit overland travel in all weather and driving conditions superbly.


holy cow!!!! I don't play nice with wasps (allergic) and that pic makes my skin crawl....
At first we were pretty sketched out with all the wasps and fear of our boys getting stung. Thankfully every night they left and no one was stung... we felt really bad seeing the results of our traps in the end though. Next time we'll just deal with it.


Wow, what a great adventure and seeing DV covered in snow is incredible!

The 80 in that last pic looks great.
Thanks Russel.


Just stumbled across this thread, and quickly devoured every page and picture. Bravo on an amazing rig and a GREAT thread. For someone who is getting back into LC's after making the mistake of selling my 97 last year, this has weighed heavily on my constant inner struggle between getting back into an 80 (in white - my favorite color by far for the 80's), or a 100. I'll be doing the same sort of exploring, although it will just be my girlfriend and I, no kids. No plans of rock crawling of any sort, mostly exploring Colorado, and see myself going the same route and building over time. First mods will be similar to your phase one, regardless of if I do the 80 or the 100.

No matter what I choose to buy, your attention to detail and thoughtful (USEFUL) mods are truly inspiring. Keep it up man!
Thanks for the kind words... Your Cruiser will find you soon enough.


Good stuff as always, and of course I'm looking forward to the next installment... Crazy seeing The Racetrack and Teakettle Junction covered in snow!
Thanks Dave... Crazy for sure. stay tuned
 

unabashedpraise

Adventurer
Just finished the thread, I like it. It's an interesting read. Being in the midwest I'm a bit 'jealous' of the areas so close to your home.

That being said, I have been wondering what vehicle to go to if we upgrade from our ZJ. I've been thinking either a 4 door full size truck with a short bed and camper shell or a larger SUV. If I'm going to get "lousy" mpgs, I might as well go bigger!

Is there enough room for the kids to be comfortable in the back seat during road trips? (ie plenty of leg room without kicking your seat) When your wife was sitting back there was she comfortable? Do you ever use the 3rd row seating? One of the deciding factors may be whether or not we have to have room for a third car seat. I keep saying no, byt she keeps holding other peoples babies and starts getting that dreamy eyes look. I may not be getting away from car seats for at least 6 more years...
 

Mauka2Makai

Explorer
Just finished the thread, I like it. It's an interesting read. Being in the midwest I'm a bit 'jealous' of the areas so close to your home.

That being said, I have been wondering what vehicle to go to if we upgrade from our ZJ. I've been thinking either a 4 door full size truck with a short bed and camper shell or a larger SUV. If I'm going to get "lousy" mpgs, I might as well go bigger!

Is there enough room for the kids to be comfortable in the back seat during road trips? (ie plenty of leg room without kicking your seat) When your wife was sitting back there was she comfortable? Do you ever use the 3rd row seating? One of the deciding factors may be whether or not we have to have room for a third car seat. I keep saying no, byt she keeps holding other peoples babies and starts getting that dreamy eyes look. I may not be getting away from car seats for at least 6 more years...
Thank you... definitely fortunate to be living in this region, scenery may be changing this summer so we're not sure what the future will entail for us. I've often thought that we should have gone bigger as well, especially since mpg are comparable. I'm leaning towards a RAM 2500 not sure though. Our boys are comfy with what limited room they have when packed for camping... they have improved a 100% in handling long rides. The leg room is tight and they do kick the chairs when upset... I'll pull over and wait till they are done though. As far as my wife sitting in the second row it was cramped for her as she's pretty tall. Three car seats may not fit, will depend on their size. We took the 3rd row out fairly quick in the game and have since sold them. If we had additional kids the 3rd row would be a MUST. Hope I was able to be of some help. I know I'm trying to stay away from additional car seats... HeHe. :ylsmoke:
 

Mauka2Makai

Explorer
Death Valley... Snow, Sun, and Stars 11/22/2013

After having just left Racetrack Valley for Eureka Dunes via Big Pine road we entered back into familiar Death Valley conditions... No snow, dry, and cool for the time of year. It's over 40 miles from Ubehebe road to Eureka Dunes on Big Pine, the road conditions can vary from relentless washboard that take a toll on your vehicle and lower back to a freshly graded dirt road allowing you to be a bit less sparing with the gas and race against sundown. Needless to say we arrived at the Dunes to set up camp in the dark and for me a aching lower back from all the washboard.



Quick photo break at Crankshaft Junction...enjoying the views.



The trail traveled is always a beautiful view.

The sun quickly set on us and we embarked the rest of the way to Eureka Dunes with just the lights of our High Beams and my Hella 4000's. This was my second indicator for this trip that my rig in particular was not adequately prepared for safe night time travel. Maybe my speeds were a little faster than what they should have been, but I definitely know an improvement in lighting can be made. The temps were cold that night, not freezing though... we enjoyed our beverages around a very toasty fire.
We made a decision that morning to heed the Rangers personal orders of not traveling Steele Pass and to reroute back the way we had traveled earlier. It would be nearly a hundred miles traveled and close to the end of the day till we reached the gate of west side road. Our ambitious plans were to reach Geologists Cabin together, but due to numerous stops to enjoy the views, have lunch, and talk to folks along the way I parted paths with my bud at the creek crossing on West Side road. Luck would have it that I'd meet 3 ADV MC riders with the sweetest BMW's and follow paths to Warm Springs Cabin. We stopped multiple times to make sure we'ed all make the path and at WSC they asked if I'd camp here but, decided to continue on to Geologist Cabin solo in all of Death Valley's glorious of night's. Traveling solo... wether out at sea or through a lonely trail at night in Death Valley brings out your inner soul that only shines when alone. I wasn't able to appreciate the big picture as I entered Butte Valley that night... only seeing what was ahead of me. At a distance I could see a shadow from the many stars of the perfect clear night... Geologists Cabin up on the top of a very well off cambered and washed out rutted trail. That night it was simply speechless to see such a place that welcomed me home.





Leaving Eureka Dunes... on Big Pine. I LOVE these open roads.

Butte Valley, Geoligist Cabin taken the next morning.









I awoke that morning around 8 am to pure silence... just a cool gentle breeze and the warming morning sun. Coming from my household in LA this is the type of morning that is just God sent. That night was spent enjoying spirits amongst the spirits of times past... very enlightening. I brewed my morning coffee in my new SnowPeak titanium french press... my "highlight" of glamping gear and spent the rest of the morning enjoying the cabin.













Don't be afraid... I had a glass of the Captain... seemed only natural. Everything was very well cared for... lots of items left for future travelers to read and use. I wouldn't recommend sleeping in the cabin unless your exposed to extreme weather conditions due to the health warnings from rodent droppings. This is just another example of one of many of Death Valleys hidden jewels... places like this just reinvigorate your life.







WELCOME IN THE SPIRIT OF THE OLD WEST PLEASE LEAVE IT BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT

I did my part and took 5 minutes before I left to police the area and collect trash that was left behind... lets help and keep places like this free of trash. I was bummed by the amount found not in the cabin, but in it's surrounding vicinity.

The Death Valley NP: Historic Resources West Side was one of the best reads I could find on Geologist Cabin and Butte Valley. I will leave this site for the History.
Stay tuned for heading Home. :)
 

stephen13

XDrive
Your thread has been particularly interesting to read and see the vehicle progress through its amny stages to where it stands now. well done. If I may ask, where did you buy your rear ladder that you have attached to the upper portion of the rear tailgate

Thanks
 

unabashedpraise

Adventurer
Thank you... definitely fortunate to be living in this region, scenery may be changing this summer so we're not sure what the future will entail for us. I've often thought that we should have gone bigger as well, especially since mpg are comparable. I'm leaning towards a RAM 2500 not sure though. Our boys are comfy with what limited room they have when packed for camping... they have improved a 100% in handling long rides. The leg room is tight and they do kick the chairs when upset... I'll pull over and wait till they are done though. As far as my wife sitting in the second row it was cramped for her as she's pretty tall. Three car seats may not fit, will depend on their size. We took the 3rd row out fairly quick in the game and have since sold them. If we had additional kids the 3rd row would be a MUST. Hope I was able to be of some help. I know I'm trying to stay away from additional car seats... HeHe. :ylsmoke:
If you were to have an addition to the family and your oldest was using the third row, do you feel there be enough room to pack for one of your trips comfortably? Thanks for the info, I don't know anyone that has a LC. I see some every now and then while on patrol but most people don't want me to stop and talk to them... :violent-smiley-031:

As far as your possible choice for an "upgrade", why a RAM 2500? For SUV's I've been looking at the 80/100, Yukon/Tahoe and Expedition platforms. Either a wide back seat or 3rd row seating. For trucks I haven't considered the Ram (not sure why), but instead was looking at the shortbed Ford F150 Supercab/crew or a 1st gen ext cab Tundra. My parents have/had one of each of those and they have been great vehicles. I would plan to get a shell, but I'm honestly not sure if a truck would be easier or harder to utilize for a trip. Also these larger wheel bases are something that won't fit well in the off road parks around here. All this talk about replacing my ZJ makes me feel like I'm cheating on her...lol.

Great pics of your trip. I completely understand why you love those looooooong open roads! Would your possibly change of scenery change your opinion of what vehicle to move into?
 

p nut

butter
unabashed - I know for us (currently 2 kids), there would be not nearly enough room for a week's worth of gear with one side of the rear cargo area taken up. Even for an overnighter, it would be tight (and this is counting the roof rack full of stuff). If a 3rd row is needed, I would definitely get a trailer. Trucks are cool, but then you don't get the 3rd row. A Sequoia would be a good option as well (not the current gen, unless you're strictly on maintained dirt roads).
 

Mauka2Makai

Explorer
Your thread has been particularly interesting to read and see the vehicle progress through its amny stages to where it stands now. well done. If I may ask, where did you buy your rear ladder that you have attached to the upper portion of the rear tailgate
Thanks
Thanks...The rear ladder is off of EBay from JDM Motorsports. Just do a search for 80 series rear ladder and they should pop up. Very stoked with the ladder... makes rack access way easier now.



If you were to have an addition to the family and your oldest was using the third row, do you feel there be enough room to pack for one of your trips comfortably? Thanks for the info, I don't know anyone that has a LC. I see some every now and then while on patrol but most people don't want me to stop and talk to them... :violent-smiley-031:

As far as your possible choice for an "upgrade", why a RAM 2500? For SUV's I've been looking at the 80/100, Yukon/Tahoe and Expedition platforms. Either a wide back seat or 3rd row seating. For trucks I haven't considered the Ram (not sure why), but instead was looking at the shortbed Ford F150 Supercab/crew or a 1st gen ext cab Tundra. My parents have/had one of each of those and they have been great vehicles. I would plan to get a shell, but I'm honestly not sure if a truck would be easier or harder to utilize for a trip. Also these larger wheel bases are something that won't fit well in the off road parks around here. All this talk about replacing my ZJ makes me feel like I'm cheating on her...lol.

Great pics of your trip. I completely understand why you love those looooooong open roads! Would your possibly change of scenery change your opinion of what vehicle to move into?
If we did have an addition to the family, I would probably have the oldest sit up front with me and the wife would sit in the second row in-between the youngest. It would be a little tight for her, but she would be right there with the baby. Personally I'd try to make it work with just the second row to avoid having to use any of the third row seats, its valuable cargo space back there. If we didn't have the cargo space we would definitely have to look into getting a trailer. Have you gone on Mudd to see if there are any Cruiser owners in you area? I'm sure if there are, they would be more than willing.
A neighbor has a new 2500 down the road, just think it's a sweet looking truck... If I was to go the full size truck route, I'd have to do a lot more research. A FWC would be the main goal for a full size truck though. If you plan on going the Landcruiser route, I would recommend a 2004-07 100 series.
They are a lot more modern and refined for family comfort and just as capable if not more so as an overland vehicle over an 80 series.
2014 will bring a lot of change for our family... new location, new vehicle we'll see.



Nice pictures and story. The cabin was neat.
Thanks.
 
Another nice report! The Geologist Cabin has been on my DV "must do" list for some time now. And I agree, the trips with family and friends are great, but so too are the solo trips where you have that unique freedom and are left with your own thoughts.

The rear ladder is cool. I could use one although I don't get up on the INTI rack very often... I'd have to mount mine on the right side... Going to give that some thought.

Thanks for sharing as always.
 

unabashedpraise

Adventurer
If we did have an addition to the family, I would probably have the oldest sit up front with me and the wife would sit in the second row in-between the youngest. It would be a little tight for her, but she would be right there with the baby. Personally I'd try to make it work with just the second row to avoid having to use any of the third row seats, its valuable cargo space back there. If we didn't have the cargo space we would definitely have to look into getting a trailer. Have you gone on Mudd to see if there are any Cruiser owners in you area? I'm sure if there are, they would be more than willing.
A neighbor has a new 2500 down the road, just think it's a sweet looking truck... If I was to go the full size truck route, I'd have to do a lot more research. A FWC would be the main goal for a full size truck though. If you plan on going the Landcruiser route, I would recommend a 2004-07 100 series.
They are a lot more modern and refined for family comfort and just as capable if not more so as an overland vehicle over an 80 series.
2014 will bring a lot of change for our family... new location, new vehicle we'll see.

Good info, thanks. I don't have a Mudd account, never looked at the site much. I'm searching my brain, but can't come up with anything: what is FWC? I was looking for the 80 series because some of what I had read was that some of them came factory with f/r lockers but not the 100. That is based on just a forum posts I've read, nothing official.
 
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