Today I joined my offroading friends for a day of wheeling in our “back yard” trails. It was a big day for me and my rig, as it marked the first time I was meeting up driving a Toyota. This group of friends had grown and bonded over our common JKs – build parties installing coil overs, and offroad/camping trips in Moab, the Rubicon, and elsewhere.
So it was a moment of truth for me – was selling my JK and buying a 25 year old Land Cruiser a good choice?
After the initial ribbing and airing down was over, we hit Archer’s Firebreak. This was an awesome trail choice – Archer’s was my favorite trail in the JK, and one I led every year for the Jeep Jamboree. So I had a lot of history with it and knew it well. However, I had never wheeled it in anything other than the JK. Now I was in a Toyota. And an automatic.
The biggest difference for me this time, was that I would bypass the burly stuff. I was without rock rails, skids, and confidence in the new rig.
So last year I purchased a 1993 Land Cruiser FZJ80 in Bend. The vehicle was in really good shape, but as a dedicated family overlanding rig, I was concerned for reliability for a 25 year old vehicle with over 260,000 miles.
Last January I decided to pull the motor out and do a complete rebuild.
I pulled the engine out in my shop at home with countless tools, about 300 ziploc bags, and the help of dear friends.
After the first night, I had the front clip and hood off with some engine components.
For organization, I used the aforementioned baggies and also a ton of blue masking tape with letters written on them. The other end of the hose/item would have the corresponding letter so I knew where everything connected later.
I have taken a little breather from writing new content for the blog.
A large part of that is due, in part to….wait for it….selling my Jeep! That’s right, I sold my Wrangler.
A lot of people asked me why. Basically it was a combination of things. Primarily, I was just a little bored with it. Don’t get me wrong, I love Wranglers. And I will have another one. But for now, I wanted something different.
Second, I was bored with rocks. I have done the Rubicon 3 times, Moab 3 times, and countless trips in Oregon and Washington. I want to try overlanding and exploring with the family, not just bouncing off rocks.
And last, I want to learn something new. I have worked on my Jeeps for many years, and want to learn something new. In addition to overlanding, I want to try a new vehicle, a new platform, and even a new brand.