Lot's of pictures for those who don't like to read
Nope, not another Tacoma , bare with me. Lots of reading, but trust me. A few beers later you will enjoy it. Or at least I did writing it. I spend 99% of my forum life on IH8MUD.COM , I am on TacomaWorld since I have a few friends on the forum and it's fun to be apart of forums, meet people, wheel with them, always a fun hobby. Expensive, but fun.
2000 Toyota Landcruiser 100
4.7L V8 2UZ-FE W/ ATRAC and VSC
Back in the early 90's my dad had a old white Chevy Suburban. It was a great truck and did what it was supposed to do. After many family trips he started looking for a new car. He then came home with a green Chevy Tahoe. Served us well for many years to come, going to Florida, Skiing, the daily Costco runs. At the time I was in Middle School and didn't know anything about cars, but I knew I loved them (my first word was "dardar", which in my language was car). My dad then started looking for yet another daily driver. Something nice, and a step up from the Chevy lineup. He looked into the Toyota line-up. Back in December of '99 he pulls up in a brand new "Toyota Landcruiser". I was sitting in the garage working on a huge project with a friend of mine. I saw it and thought "wow, what is that? It's huge". I ran over and looked at it. It was awesome! My dad had officially bought a 2000 UZJ100 Landcruiser, which at the time I knew it was a Toyota and it wasn't American. That's how much I knew. After 80K and 5 loyal years of a Daily driver it became my Landcruiser. I went to get my drivers permit with my dad and I passed. We walked outside the DMV and started walking through the parking lot back to the 100. I hear from my dad, "so, you wanna drive home?". I had driven a little. By that I mean through parking lots and sitting on my moms lap steering through the neighborhood. Absolutely nothing compared to Atlanta traffic and streets. I was nervous and didn't want to say yes, but I was excited I could drive so I didn't say no. I kind of gave a nod and he handed me the keys. I turned the 100 on, put it in reverse and backed out. Driving home I was so nervous I started sweating, it was a huge truck to drive for the first time on the streets of Atlanta. Traffic everywhere, blind drives, people driving 90MPH past me on the interstates, tail-gaters, everything I DIDN'T need on my first drive home. I guess I could blame me for the tail-gaters due to my 90 year old grandma style driving at the time. I drove it to school, and that was it. After a few months I soon began to hate it. I was trying to find a way to sell it and get something sporty. Being young at the time (and still am) I wanted something fast and cool. Like a 1997 M3 coupe in Azul Blue and black leather! I found one and wanted it so bad I never stopped talking about it. I really thought I was going go crazy if I didn't get it. I guess the spoiled factor could have a small factor in it (being given a 50K SUV at the time). My good friend soon found out I drove a Landcruiser. He asked if I really drove one with a excited and shocked sound. I told him "yeah, why?", he said "you ever watched 4WD Weekly?"... "nope, whats that?"..."its a really cool offroad show and Landcruisers are always on it, you should really take yours offroad"...." why the hell would I do that??? It's a big old soccer moms truck, i would get stuck or break something". O.K, at the time I knew pretty much nothing about wheeling. He asked if it had lockers, I said yeah it does (showing him my key and pointing to the door lock button lol). After 45 minutes of him ranting about how good these things are offroad I told him "sure, whatever lets go offroad then". Well, from that point on I didn't stop. It kept going and going and going and climbed everything I drove up and over and went through anything. My brother had smashed up a 4Runner Sport offroad so you can kind of tell where this is going with the parents. I had to wash it and detail it every-time I went home. Which was pretty much 3 times a week. I soon started tackling harder trails and noticed these "running boards" kind of hang low, but my dad would notice and beat me to death. I then brought up the question of "dad, can I take off the running boards ?". He didn't say yes, nor did he say no. I took it as a no. A few weeks later I put the smallest scrape in the running boards and I knew I was screwed. I scratched dads truck! After about 3 hours of waxing that same spot I figured he would either find out or I could say a basket at Costco did it. Then I made the mistake of going mudding, I brought the truck after cleaning most of it. But forgot about the frame and underside. It was so obvious. My dad simply said "cool, how did it do?". All hell broke loose after he said "cool". I lost the running boards the next week and was hunting for more challenging trails. I then started liking it, but nowhere near keeping it loving it. I found IH8MUD (great site with great guys in lots of info) and saw some of there built and armored rigs. Lifted 100's, 105's, snorkels, ARB's, Slee Offroad stuff, roof racks, 4 wheels, 3 wheels, 2 wheels, 1 wheel and no wheels on the ground!!! I joined and that started the whole shebang. I was hooked. I liked the 100 a bit more. Starting to realize these things are really built for wheeling and expedition driving. Being on a very tight budget with no job. I started with some mods that I now regret. I bought a chrome brushgaurd and put that on. At the time I liked it. I threw some KC Day-lighters on it and loved those.
Here is a picture in stock form, but without the brush-guard and lights
I saw a few rigs with black rims. Looked pretty sharp. I really did like the black rim look. I then spray painted my rims with a flat black paint. Looks great and has held up great (even after 3 years). I have since then sprayed my D pillar vents, entire grille, and the side moulding.
After that I started looking for lift kits. I knew of one. The Old Man Emu 2" lift kit. It was around $900 without the Slee diff drop. No way that was happening. Now, the 100 Series has a torsion bar IFS setup upfront. Torsion bars are adjustable (meaning you can crank them to raise or lower the suspension), I thought for a while and wondered if I could put some OME springs and adjust the front. Well, it seemed possible. A few months of saving and I bought some used OME-866 rear coils. I installed them in about 2 hours with basic tools and a help from a friends shop. Outcome was great! So my suspension was OME 866's in the back, factory shocks and factory torsion bars.
Here are the end results
I drove it another 10 miles after the lift and noticed my CV boots are leaking. A quick run to Home Depot and $3 later I had some hose clamps around the boot. I was careful not the cut the soft boot with them. I now have 25K on the lift and still no diff drop and they don't leak or have any issues.
Since I blew my money on the lift and spray paint I could not afford new tires. That, and we had just replaced the 275/70/16 Michelin LTX's a few months ago and still had about 90% tread left. I couldn't justify selling them, nor could I get a new set with the money. I waited about 7 months and got a job working valet over the summer. I was looking for a tire that could handle offroad but would last as long as the Michelin. That wasn't going to happen. I saved up some money and started calling around and asking opinions. I found the BFG A/T's. I wanted 285/75/16 and was going to buy them. I saw some 295's. oh boy, the little extra width and height changed my plan. But was concerned about rubbing since everybody was saying 285's were the biggest you can fit. How bad could it be??? I bought some, yea, they rubbed. And no, I didn't care since they were 100X's better than the stock tires. The stock tires got me stuck in f'ing moist grass, pine straw. They sucked massive.