My Cruiser

StarCruiser

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I might give this another go. The key points that are wrong are:-

1, The attachment system grabs and seizes, being Ally and needs too precise a fit.
2, The leg attachment points in the Awning area are too close to the middle so in effect take almost all the weight.
3, The amount of room left for the truck to leave and return is too narrow.

So, I could use the longer outriggers that go in the awning on the side in the photo, and the shorter ones in the awning with an extension piece to put the legs in the right place.
Revisit the attachment system with a redesign.

I could then Guy it down with ratchet straps in the corners.
Trouble is taking all the gear to do it.
 

Shayne

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I have the seeds of an idea Rich and i know you enjoy sitting up all night worrying out solutions :crazy:

What if the legs were over extended then dropped to the ground , then the tent was hooked to your bull bar . As you drove forward the legs would dig in and the tent would be lifted clear of the roof .

An idea to play with is all .
 
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StarCruiser

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It's a good idea Shayne and one I contemplated for some time. Rather like the way the older style stretchers folded their legs to go in the back of an ambulance. Trouble is, with the awning down and pegged, it won't take much additional movement.
You have got me thinking though.
 
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StarCruiser

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As part of ongoing replacement of parts that are past their best, I'm looking at getting my driver's seat base replaced. So far, Clive has a foam base for me for when we get to Romania but the cloth is getting a bit worn in places where the foam has gone.

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I'm considering having the fabric restitched as I expect that colour combination is going to be hard to come by and it doesn't warrant a complete interior swap as it's a work vehicle and the rest of the seats are pretty good really.
 
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Chas

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I've been thinking of a plan to demount the roof tent temporarily by fixing four points (one for each corner) on the rafters of the garage to store it. First of all I considered some sort of hoist, electric or manual, then I realised it wouldn't necessarily need to come down to ground level just on/off the truck so now I am just going to tie it off when unbolted from the roof rack and drive away. . . . . . . . . That's if I ever get round to rigging it. :oops:
 

StarCruiser

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The problem in all this is that the cruiser is going to vary in height. Your plan sounds OK Chas if you used ratchet straps for instance to an eye at each corner. You need to lift it a little way to let the suspension relax upwards.
 

Chas

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The problem in all this is that the cruiser is going to vary in height. Your plan sounds OK Chas if you used ratchet straps for instance to an eye at each corner. You need to lift it a little way to let the suspension relax upwards.
Yes I did anticipate that but there is plenty of room between garage roof and truck roof to winch it clear.
My idea, just modified in the last few minutes, is to use two ratchet straps underneath the roof tent as there are no points on the tent corners to attach ropes to, so two straps part way in from the ends to raise/lower should be OK. :think:
 

StarCruiser

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About time I did an update! :whistle:

During the summer the cruiser had a lot of time spent on slightly reluctantly turning it into a camper. I say reluctantly as it has been mostly as Toyota intended up until recently.

First to go in was a CB radio, a 2m amateur radio and a split charge system which I've written up separately here
https://www.landcruiserclub.net/com...olt-dcc-pro-dc-dc-split-charge-system.148666/

I then embarked on a long planned drawer system which I drew up on CAD over the winter complete with aluminium cutout drawings for lots of various sized drawers, which I binned and redesigned in birch ply instead with Aluminium sides.

The brief I set myself was to try and keep things as low down as possible, as lightweight as practicable, and use the space the best I could. To this end, after long searches for 1m long heavy duty fully extending ball slides I decided to risk making my own drawer runners out of Müpro support channel and Chinese shower door wheels. (Photos to follow). This involved having some ally supports made for the shower door wheels which proved a nightmare to fit straight, probably due to me rushing things and not checking like I should do. :whistle:

The battery and associated controls and an air compressor got located on the right hand side around the wheel arch.

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I then made a carcass to take the drawers out of 15mm birch ply. I bolted it together using little threaded slugs of metal from Screwfix called Cross Dowels that are used in flat pack furniture and countersunk 6mm bolts. This made for a seriously sturdy design without breaking apart the plywood with screws. They are doable but manual inaccuracies make for tricky alignment issues and a lot of adjustment. This whole thing would be a breeze if CNC router cut.

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I then fitted the slide rails in and drilled some weight saving holes in the carcass with a downlight hole cutter. Once finished I had removed 6kg of ply disks.

You can just see the ally rails I let into the top of the carcass to enable stuff to be secured in place either by eyebolts or direct fixing to channel nuts. This was set into the ply to be just shy of the top of the carpet tiles.

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I also cut access panels in the side nearest the battery to gain access tonit and the air compressor should I need to. I fitted a slim PC ultra low noise fan to the left hand side as I intended to put the fridge in this side of the carcass. I also ran 12v and 230v power to connectors that would sit in the void under the fridge drawer. A drag chain would later look after these cables while pulling the drawer out and pushing it back in.

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The first drawer was made with two ends and a base as it was going to be used for the fridge and the loo.
I needed maximum space usage to get both the fridge and the loo in this drawer for transport so the fridge got mounted with two ally straps at the back and a pair of ally angles to attach it to the back of the drawer front, stiffening it all up nicely while making it really easy to remove if needed. I wanted to keep this and the porta potti as low down as I could due to their weight when full. This also meant the top deck ended up level with the base of the windows, great for accessing stuff from the gullwings.

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The front of the fridge with the lid catch was a bit close to the front so I scalloped out the back of the ply and sanded it even to make access to the handle a little easier.

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Finally I covered the top and drawer fronts with grey carpet tile which I'm really happy with. Catches went in at the base of the drawers. The type I got were just the right size and most importantly, depth, however they've proved a bit problematic and have bent in use. I may have a remedy for this. :)

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I also fitted a tailgate storage door as superbly made by Mike (Chapel Gate).

I need to upload some more photos. To be continued.
 
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clivehorridge

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This is a very nice set-up Rich and very well made may I say, I was impressed when I saw it in action when you visited us last August.

The action was smoother than the smoothest thing on Smoothday :lol:
 
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Ben Stratford

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A very slick and well planned conversion Rich. I especially like the gull wings which I would like to make one day for my 60.
In mine I may be able to get an air compressor under the bonnet since there is a lack of turbo, bhp trickery etc!!!
 

StarCruiser

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Not much has happened since the drawer system. Winter descended and put paid to any outdoor work…and my enthusiasm. But now it’s at least thinking about summer things have slowly moved on.

I took the whole roof rack off to paint and it’s not looking too shabby I have to say. I’m still working on the tail end of it as that will involve a bend at each corner which I have yet to create. I originally had a piece of hollow ally section left over from the sides and intended to cut out the back of this and have it welded into a 90 degree curve but that little voice said ‘no you don’t want to do that, bend it instead’. So, buoyed with new enthusiasm I had a former made to bend this ally 50mm x 12mm box section.

The first bend didn’t go as planned.

Photo to follow

Neither did the second after filling the thing with carefully prepared dried sand.

Pic to follow

So I’m having one last try before I give up and order another piece of box section from Germany. :icon-rolleyes:

Painted everything visible satin black and I’m really quite pleased with the result.

So last week I finally took the plunge and ordered some new boots. Great pains were gone through in choosing the Cooper Discoverer STT Pros in 285/75/16 format. Advertised as being Q rated for 99 mph but downgraded to a K rating for 110 kmh (What!!!:angry-screaming:) It turns out it’s because of some EU directive or such regarding Road noise. They’re quieter than the STTs allegedly. They’re exactlybthe same Tyre with the Q removed from the mould and substituted with a K so perfectly capable of doing the extra 2mph in the UK (and probably anything else the truck is capable of). Well pleased with how the tyres and the truck look.
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I’ve yet to hear them on a good gallop but so far the ride seems very good.

Can’t believe how heavy they are though. I had to help get them on the balancer machine which took ages to get them spinning.

I wonder what it would look like with some of Clive’s Angel eye headlights? :think: :eusa-shhh:
 
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Gary820

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The weight of them was noticeable compared to the bfg's when I swapped to the stt pro, good tyres I find the 80 is really sure footed even on wet tarmac.
Been great off road too.

Not too noisy at speed, can't hear them over the exhaust!
Interesting with the speed rating, mine are Q rated.
 

StarCruiser

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The truck certainly seemed more sure footed on the short trip home. The speed rating is due to a new EU ruling that’s come in this year. The only thing that’s changed is the letter from what I’m told. I found the STTs very good for grip, even in the wet so I’m looking forward to seeing what these do.
 

Shayne

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It still squats at the back Rich so i guess your tools are in it and though i think its unlikely they might fit i have Pedders heavy duty towing springs for my 90 that i'm unlikely to use again , might they work with a coil spacer ?
 

StarCruiser

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Yes she is fully loaded Shayne. The driveway accentuates it as it’s downhill but there is a slight squat. I’ve got EFS +150 kg springs on the back with all that weight used, and + 50 on the front with no extra weight so it either needs a coil spacer on the back or I need to get my finger out and fit the winch I’ve had sitting in the garage for the past three years. Or both. :)
 

StarCruiser

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Ok, long overdue for an update.

I finally got round to getting the roof rack corners made up.
This time I had two strips of ally machined to the same dimensions as the ally box section. These had to go and be softened at 400c for an hour. I finally summoned up the courage to bend them and…success!! Off they then went for a bit of milling to make the ends fit inside the ally box section and after drilling and tapping some fixing holes they fitted. really well as it happens. :)

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So I made the ally box to go between them then sprayed the whole lot the same as the rest of the roof rack.

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Next on the list was to mount the Batwing awning I got from David (thanks David).

I made some brackets that would sit around the side rails of the roof rack and take the bolts for the Batwing.

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These were cut from ally box section then painted.

Then the Batwing got fixed and adjusted for length.
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Next I found the steering ball joint attached to the pitman arm had a small split. It was still tight as a drum so I asked locally and voila, new rubbers are available.
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Swapped over in no time with a little added grease.

Dropped the front diff oil out again and found it still a fair bit gloopy. I’m not convinced my seals are sealing.

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I did pack the spheres very well with grease so perhaps I over did it as the outside of them is smeared with grease but not by a huge amount. Hmmm!

Next project was getting the truck and the Cursed Smart Car ready to go away.

I bought a second hand towing A frame and modified it to fit the Smart front grille as being the Brabus, it’s different. Then after completely replacing the suspension as some idiot had lowered it so much it grenaded it’s bump stops !!

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and over Engineering the brake mechanism where I took a lesson from @Ben and welded the two parts together to work on them as one,

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we were ready to go away :).

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Despite the best investment of £1 on the whole holiday on these little clamps to stop the straps flapping in the wind,

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Storm Helene gave us a very disturbed night while we were in Cornwall and resulted in us spending two nights in a B&B.

After visiting the AO and picking up a scrap front exhaust section as a template (thanks Trevor, I still find it amazing you had only just taken it off when you read my post) I built a rather homespun jig to begin the next project.

Removed the tent for the winter

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Got some 3” stainless bends and cut them to fit. Got it all welded up.

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Then got two flanges and had them welded on.

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Then got some gaskets and fitted it to the truck.
Had to file the holes in the 3 bolt flange as it wasn’t quite in the right place :icon-cry: but after changing two of the studs, with heat, got it to fit in the end. :)

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With just the front section as purely 3” pipe rather than the stock size and the short box, it already seems to respond better.

The two bolt flanges didn’t quite meet up as I’d hoped and the flexi is a little bent but I think (I hope) it’s all ok for now. A pair of gaskets and some log burner fire cement sealed the two bolt flange onto the Centre section good enough for another MOT pass today so I’m happy. :dance::cool:
 
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