Hello from Brussels

leeloo Jul 31, 2018

  1. leeloo

    leeloo New Member I am in romania

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    Hello, I am Mihai and live in Brussels, tough I am Romanian of origin.
    Toyota Landcruiser Prado 2009 AT - bought yesterday, I think is what you call in UK LC5 , with the air suspension, sunroof, reverse camera and all the bells.
    No mods yet, but first on the list are are some Yokohama Geolandar AT g015 tyres and a bash plate. Had the same tyres on the previous car I had and I was very happy with them.
    I used to own a Subaru Forester, used for holidays and trips,( daily driver I have a Toyota C-HR hybrid ) but to fit all the camping and recovery gear I had a roof box on it.
    Since I was losing a lot of time to set and move camp, I wanted an RTT. But I can't fit an RTT and roofbox on a forester hence the need of a bigger car.

    On top of this I was maybe even over the weight limit on the Forester with all the gear and the camping things, and I don't like to push the cars so hard, something will give out for sure at some point.

    I am relatively new to overlanding, the first big trip I had was this year, a tour of the Pirinei Mountains, 800 km off-road 1200 km in total, over a 9 days period. Done the trip with my wife and 11 year old kid.

    The car seems mostly ok, some scratches on the bumpers, some wear on the drivers seat but with good service history ( all wheel bearings replaced last year, service on the gearbox and transfer case done recently, etc.) . and a lot of km, around 280k, that is why I managed to get it on the cheap... :) . Time will tell, but the parts seem very cheap to me and I like to work on cars as a hobby, and around Brussels you can rent a fully loaded garage with tools for around 50 Euro/half a day..

    The AC compressor is faulty,but it will be replaced by the dealer on his expense in the next few days. Probably seized while sitting on the lot for god knows how long.
    I am not sure why all are running away from the air suspension, I found the toyota site that an new OEM airbag is 200 euro, I saw coils more expensive than this.. .
    The only thing I am worried about are that some AC controls are on the bloody touchscreen, I hope It won't crap out on me.

    My plan is to make a practical car for overlanding trips, mostly in Europe for the first couple of years, and after I get some experience perhaps Africa or the Stans..
    Some pics from my last trip.

    IMG_20180715_111831[1].jpg IMG_20180716_100050[1].jpg
     
    hopeless wanderer and Rosy like this.
  2. Chris Boorer

    Chris Boorer Active Member I am in australia

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    I look forward to hearing more and see more pics , welcome to the site and club
     
  3. AndycruiserguyLomas

    AndycruiserguyLomas Well-Known Member I am in england

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    Welcome along Mihai, this a great forum with the 120 series becoming more popular I have an LC4). You will be among friends here.
    BTW Toyota pics are better.
     
    hopeless wanderer likes this.
  4. leeloo

    leeloo New Member I am in romania

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    Thank you.
    Will post some pics with the Toyota as soon as I do my first trip, hopefully this week-end at a not so difficult forest track ...
     
  5. clivehorridge

    clivehorridge Well-Known Member Supporter Guru I am in romania

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    Ce faci Mihai?

    Welcome aboard!!

    Nice looking truck you have there and plenty of intentions to travel, it seems. looking forward to more photos of trips and the truck... :thumbup:
     
  6. leeloo

    leeloo New Member I am in romania

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    and a pic with the toyota brothers...

    IMG_20180731_180622 (Medium).jpg
     
  7. Jamsy

    Jamsy New Member I am in scotland

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    Welcome to the forum!
     
  8. leeloo

    leeloo New Member I am in romania

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    The registration certificat came, and it is wrong, they put there Euro 3, which is impossible for a 2009 car.

    The big issue - Euro 3 is banned from all Brussels at the end of 2019., this why I made an extra effort and bought a 2009 car...

    I hope it will be possible to correct it, otherewise I will be forced to sell it..
    I honestly don't remeber since I have been in this country for a car registration to go well. For the previous car, the certificate got lost it in the mail and after 2 weeks of calls with the car registration office here, they told me I have to go to the police to fille it as lost, pay for a copy etc etc...

    This what I pay 900 euro/year tax on this car .and 300 euro on a bloody hybrid.... these... idiots.
     
    clivehorridge likes this.
  9. clivehorridge

    clivehorridge Well-Known Member Supporter Guru I am in romania

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    It pisses me off that politicians seize the “Euro” numbers and use them as the cut-off line between permitted and banned, and not the actual tested emissions of the vehicle itself.
     
    hopeless wanderer likes this.
  10. leeloo

    leeloo New Member I am in romania

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    Did a small forest trail, about 30 km off road. All I can say, comapred with forester, a very underated capable car, is that the air suspension and the low range, DAC, makes the non competiton offroading seem easy
    At the moment camping with a beer and forgoting about the certificate...

    IMG-20180804-WA0006.jpeg
     
    clivehorridge likes this.
  11. leeloo

    leeloo New Member I am in romania

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    I am looking for a solution to have some roof rails/ bars. The truck does not have any ( not even the ones that go for the length of the car ) I was expenting to find a bunch for the landcruiser but the ofr is pretty non existant.
    I was only able to find some rails on Alibaba. After I have those in theory I can mount some bars that I find easy.
    https://wholesaler.alibaba.com/prod...ml?spm=a2700.7724857.2017203.2.2c7a3a74R8SxeA


    From Thule there is a possibility to put roof bars with no roof rails , and they are pretty expensive, the whole kit around 300 euro, but is not using the sloted mounting points, they have some kind of clip that I don;t trust it will take the weight of the RTT with 3 people in it.
    If you guys know a site or can make a recommendation I would appreciated.
     
  12. clivehorridge

    clivehorridge Well-Known Member Supporter Guru I am in romania

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    I would avoid roof “pad” type bars, those that rely on the strength of the roof panel only. They do have a tendency to depress the roof panel at each foot, unless of course you spread the load more with 3 or 4 bars, but then it would work out very expensive and a bit cumbersome.

    You have capped channels in the roof I suppose, just no bars as yet...?
     
  13. leeloo

    leeloo New Member I am in romania

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    that is correct. Some plastic channels with 3 caps on each side, probably covering the factory mounting holes
     
  14. leeloo

    leeloo New Member I am in romania

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    I ordered today the parts for the regular service, oil filter, air filter and also the brake pads for the back, I think soon they will be metal on metal..
    50 euro.. not bad.
    I hope next week I will be able to rent the garage and go do the service and the brake pad replacement. The oil I will pick up straight form a shop.
    Front discs are not in good shape, I will have to replace them when the pads will wear, but they still have some life left in them.
    The air con compressor is not delivered yet, it is a bit bigger than the one for the 5 seater ( mine is a 7 seater ) and not so readily available.
    To solve the issue with the Euro 4 certificate, I have to make a trip to the Belgian MOT, they will give me a paper, than to make an appointment with the car registry service here in Belgium ... and that takes 2 weeks easy.
    I might need the COC certificate, and that will take another 2 weeks and more money...
     
  15. leeloo

    leeloo New Member I am in romania

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    I did the service on Friday. I still have muscle fever from it.
    The bloody oil filter was extremely hard to remove, someone torque it too high.. and the position is not ideal. I had this lousy clamp thing, the filter bent from the force. Than I managed to get my hands on a proper Oil filter removal tool, but still...lost like 30 min easy just to remove it.
    I also used some engine oil flush, will see how clean will be the new oil after a few more kilometres.
    Oil I put some Shell helix 10w-40 Hx7 .
    The brake pads in the back were not that bad.
    I looked at them when I put in the new tyres they seem to be at the limit, like 2-3 mm left on them, but when I removed the caliper there was actually maybe only 1/3 wear on them. But since I had the caliper off and they would squeak from time to time, I put the new ones in anyway and put the special anti-squeak paste on them.
    The underside is really clean and rust free, and I don't see any hits from off-roading, it was an import form Italy, so maybe that is why.
    I was finally called by the dealer, the new AC compressor will be installed on Thursday, so finally that is good news, because on Friday I plan to take it in France, in Normandy for the week-end, we are invited at some friends..
     
  16. Gr8Yota

    Gr8Yota Member I am in scotland

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    Welcome. Like the pics of the Subaru and the LC.

    Lots of good stuff now available for the 120 Series out of the USA now as they are modding the Lexus version for trails.
     
  17. AndycruiserguyLomas

    AndycruiserguyLomas Well-Known Member I am in england

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  18. leeloo

    leeloo New Member I am in romania

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    thank you for the link, I will PM the guy.
    Indeed, a lot of mods in US and Australia, but when you buy from there and add the import taxes and VAT...it adds up to some pretty big numbers.
    My biggest issue is that unless I will relocate ( possible, this is my 3trd country in 12 years ) I won't be able to keep the truck more than 4 years, it will be banned from all Brussels area, so I want to avoid things that I can't remove and use on the next one.
     
  19. chapel gate

    chapel gate Well-Known Member Supporter Promoted Company I am in england

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    How can anything burocratic possible go wrong in belgium....
     
    clivehorridge likes this.
  20. leeloo

    leeloo New Member I am in romania

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    Brussels is not your run of the mill bureaucracy. It has a special status, it is run by both the wallon and flemish government, and on top the federal one so 3 of them. For 1.5 mil people, so it is small, it has 18 local city halls. It is an administrative nightmare even by Belgium standard, and it is impossible to change anything. For anything to change on grand scale, the the wallon and flemish have to agree, almost impossible even in the best circumstances, than sell it to the 18 local city halls than go to federal level if it is need it..
    Has nothing to do with the the fact it is the so called "EU Capital ", it is a pure belgian thing..
    Registering a car in Belgium in theory is easy, specially if the car was registered in Belgium before, but I had problems tough very often, wrong data like now, lost registration certificate by the mail service.. and things like this.
    When the car is for the first time registered in Belgium it becomes a nightmare that lasts for about 2 months easy..
    I swore I will never buy an import unless I absolutely have to.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
    clivehorridge and chapel gate like this.
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