Last week I announced 'Project80', my mission to build the ultimate ’20 Grand’ family touring 4WD.
My plan is to repair, restore and upgrade our 25 year old 80 Series Landcruiser over the next few months into the ultimate low budget family touring 4WD with a total budget of around $20,000 . . . including the value of the car.
To keep you guys in the loop I'll do a blog post every week with a summary of what progress I've made each week and the current budget spreadsheet which I'm updating constantly as I buy things and have new ideas.
Some weeks will be big steps and others not so much but at least this way you're not having to wait too long for each update.
Make sure you're subscribed to our weekly newsletter to hear about each update . . .
What happened this week:
Firstly I want to say a massive THANKS to everyone who contacted me or commented on the last blog post or Facebook post with feedback, tips and offers of help.
This is great and exactly what I'm looking for.
I don't have all the answers but collectively we do, so keep them coming.
Wheels & Tyres
The rear tyres currently on the car are worn and in desperate need of replacement so fitting the new wheels and tyres is the first priority.
I've already bought and paid for a set of 5 Nitto Trail Grappler 285/75R16's and black steel rims from Bob Jane T-Mart in Preston and by paying for them by the end of January, I was able to get their 'buy 3 get 1 free deal', so I ended up paying $1875 for the set which was a pretty good price. The last tyres I bought were Cooper ST MAXX 265/75R16 which were around $1600 for 4 tyres without the rims.
Bob Jane is holding the wheels and tyres for me until I'm ready to get them fitted which I cant do until we get the front end suspension sorted out . . .
Front End Suspension
The car has been a bit wobbly and loose in the front end for a while now which is not really surprising given the work it's done.
The OME shockers have done over 170,000km and none of the sway bar, radius arm or panhard rod bushes have ever been replaced so they've done over 370,000km.
In the original budget I had sourced all the suspension bushes separately from a few eBay suppliers but I managed to find one supplier (car-egg) that sold the complete bush kit for front and back suspension for $375 so I've bought this instead. This was for the 2 degree offset radius arm bushes which fix the steering geometry with raised suspensions.
It arrived yesterday and unfortunately they sent me the standard radius arm bushes, not the offset ones AND the wrong front sway bar hangers (see pics below) . . . so not a great start.
I now need to send them back to get the replacements.
I've also bought a new steering damper which arrived yesterday and I'll fit this weekend.
Terry at Mr Mods has ordered me a set of Old Man Emu Nitro Charger shocks which are the same as the ones I already have (except new!!) so we'll fit those at the same time as we fit the new bushes.
I'll do some of the bushes myself in my garage but the radius arm, trailing arm and panhard rod bushes need to be fitted with a hydraulic press so Terry will be helping with that one.
Once the shocks and bushes are all fitted I'll head down to Bob Janes and get the new wheels fitted and get a wheel alignment and we'll see where we are at.
Hopefully this will all be done in the next 2 weeks.
Check out the 'Project 80' eBay Collection
As I've been searching eBay for bits and pieces I've been saving the things I find into a collection called 'Project 80'.
It's visible to anyone so feel free to check it out and see what I'm looking at.
These aren't all parts I'm planning to buy, just a way of saving them all together to easily find when I need to.
Rear Drawers Arrived
The rear drawers arrived this week from 4X4 Supacentre about a week earlier than they were meant to so that's good news.
They are currently still in the box in my garage and I'm hoping to be able to have crack at installing them on Sunday, but we'll see what happens.
New Front Seats
More good news . . . I've found several wreckers that are selling Ford XR8 front seats for about $400 for the pair which is less than I expected them to be so this has added a few hundred dollars back into the budget.
I'm looking to pick up a pair in the next few weeks and get them installed - may as well get them in and start using them as soon as possible!
I've also found a business called Huracan Fabrication that makes adaptor rails that apparently make it very easy to fit the XR8 seats straight into the 80 series using the original 80 series rails. The plates are about $90 for a kit.
Thanks to Zoë Hazelwood for sending me a pic of their 80 series with the XR seats installed - see below. It's a definite improvement over the standard ones!
New Darche 'Eclipse 270 Awning' looks pretty good
Part of my plan is for a rooftop tent and I mentioned in the first blog last week the the Darche Intrepidor 2 is the current front runner in my choice of models to buy.
Well, earlier this week, Darche released a short video showing a new 270 degree awning they will be releasing soon and it's definitely got my attention.
A big part of the Project80 plan is to be self sufficient without towing anything, so living in, on and around the vehicle is the way to go.
There are a couple of other wrap around awnings on the market but for one reason or another (weight or setup time) I hadn't considered them as part of the plan.
BUT, this new one from Darche looks like it could be a contender.
I'll wait to find out more about the setup time and weight and if they work and the price is reasonable, then I might see how I can squeeze one into the budget - stay tuned.
I've managed to shave a couple of hundred dollars off from last week . . . but it's early days.
|Steering & suspension||Suspension 2 degree offset Bush Kit - Front & Rear||$415||$375|
|New shock absorbers - OME||$800||$750|
|Cracks around radiator mounts||Weld it up||$100|
|Fuel filter mount broken||Weld mount||$-|
|Steering box leaking||Find source of leak & fix||$100|
|Oil seals||Rear tailshaft and speedo cable leaks||$200|
|Rocker cover leaking||replace gasket||$20|
|Rear windscreen leaking||Remove and reseal||$15|
|New Tyres & wheels x 5||Nitto Trail Grappler LT285/75R16 x 5 + rims - Ready to fit||$1,875||$1,875|
|Body work||Fix rust around drivers windscreen pillar||$50|
|Paint work||Prep body for new paint job||$100|
|Spray gun buy/rent||$100|
|Flare seals||New rubber seals around flares||$150|
|Wipers||Paint front wipers matt black||$15|
|Door locks||New barrels & keys||$100|
|Spotlights||Service & replace globes & covers, paint housings||$50|
|Drivers seatbelt||Replace due to fraying||$50|
|New front seats||Good second hand eg. XR8||$400|
|Front seat mounting bracket||Huracan Fabrication||$100|
|Rear door skin||Rear left door inside panel needs replacing||$50|
|Tailgate||Doesn't stay shut tight||$-|
IMPROVEMENTS & ADDITIONS
|Rooftop tent||Darche Rooftop Tent||$1,100|
|Roofrack modification||Remove side rail for tent & paint||$20|
|High Flow Exhaust||$800|
|Rear Drawers||Ordered 23/1/2017 - Arrivewd ready to install||$500||$465|
|Front LED light bar||Mount on bullbar or roofrack||$80|
|Side & rear LED flood lights & switches||$100|
|New radio aerial||$20|
|New UHF aerial||$60|
|Brake & indicator light housings||Replace with new LED||$200|
|Modify rear cage||Cut, weld & paint to fit with rear drawers||$-|
|Rear roof storage shelf||Build from steel mesh & mount on rear cage mounting points||$20|
|USB charge points||Double USB charge sockets for back seat pasengers||$40|
|LED Lights in rear||LED lights on back tailgate to light rear work & kitchen area||$35|
|Battery link cable||Built in jumper cable from battery 1 to 2||$40|
|Dyneema rope in winch||Replace wire rope to save weight||$189|
|PLUS Original Value of Car||$12,000||$12,000|
|TOTAL PROJECT BUDGET||$21,304||$15,539|