rise and fall of an 80

Jon Wildsmith

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Hope Chris doesn't mind me nicking his idea but I thought I'd have a trip down memory lane and run through my old 80's life :)

Back in 2001 I bought a 1994 80 to tow our caravan but the off-road bug bit deep and fast. I don't have any pics of it as delivered to me but it was one owner, full service etc super shiney low miles :lol: 2 months into ownership I put a 2" Pro Comp lift kit on (springs and shocks) and some 285x75x16 BFG AT's and went to play:

01-04-25-004.JPG


I played in it like that till the November and then put a Safari Snorkel and some 35" Simex ET's on it:

01-12-03-005.JPG


And then a TJM T15 bumper a month or so later:

02-01-12-002.JPG


And then a Milemarker hydraulic winch someone was in a hurry to sell:

02-03-24-001.JPG


so less than a year of ownership and it was already collecting dents:

02-04-14-009.JPG


and going where everyone said you couldn't go :)

02-06-16-027.JPG


but it didn't have enough lift and no one was offering longer springs. So the spring seats were ground off and some box section added for some more lift (same basic thing at the back as well)

02-06-29-025.JPG


and I had some fun laning it like that for a while and around this time we started getting a regular visit from a fox by the water fall on Strata Florida (I know, nothing to do with the cruiser but it's part of it's history)

02-11-13-026.JPG

02-11-13-027.JPG


The lanes were starting to get boring already

02-12-07-020.JPG


Then my xmas 2002 present was a Safety Devices Roll cage so I ripped out the interior and in it went with a bit of plywood where the sunroof was :)

02-12-23-001.JPG

02-12-23-005.JPG


Which made no difference to how well it went on the boxing day pay & play but the plywood kept the rain out!

02-12-26-029.JPG

02-12-26-036.JPG


and it went laning with that plywood quite a few times

02-12-29-023.JPG


but did get replaced with some aluminium plate in the end

03-01-25-035.JPG


and the fox was still visiting us

03-01-25-050.JPG


I added some recovery hoops to the front bumper, the type meant for the rear cross member of an LR defender

03-07-12-025.JPG


and then in june 2004 I imported and fitted some slee sliders and a transfer bash plate

04-08-24-015.JPG


and laned like it was going out of fasion, here it is on LFH off Sarn Helen

04-12-26-034.JPG


about this time I swapped to a synthetic winch rope and tried some Pro Comp 315x75x16 mud terrains to be a bit more PC

05-01-16-004.JPG


and then went to some 36x12.5x16 Simex now they were finaly available (I'd been begging them for something bigger for years by now!) and the rear bumper corners have been ripped off

05-04-02-005.JPG


The roof gutter rail was taking a bit of a beating from hitting trees and I didn't want to have to start messing with fixing bent door openings etc so I welded some 48mm tube along the gutter rails and braced that with some flat onto the roof panel. About the same time I replaced the 3rd row windows with aluminium plate as well.

05-12-29-001.JPG


and started chopping up a rack I picked up off ebay to fit and somewhere in there the flares have been removed!

06-04-01-006.JPG


and I still went laning like it was all going to end and took it places everyone said it couldn't go

06-05-30-045.JPG


tried some 37x13x16 Pro Comp XTerrains but wasn't impressed

06-06-25-050.JPG


with all the added weight the origional 2" springs were very soft so it leaned a lot but flexed well.

06-10-15-013.JPG


well twisted

06-10-15-021.JPG


but the ARB's have been removed both ends

06-10-15-024.JPG


The day before NERCA came into force I went out and did some of the lanes I knew it would never be legal to drive again and one I'd not plucked up courage to drive before that would be lost - an old ford that was quite deep ;-) (starts by the white cottage in the background).

06-10-15-031.JPG


about this time it was helping lead other 80 series owners astray

07-02-15-010.JPG


then there was the drop down kitchen shelf, very popular that was

07-11-02-583.JPG


it's picked up a few more dents by now and I'd started making sliders a bit before this

07-11-10-013.JPG


and put OEM steel wheels on and they're very heavy!

07-11-10-014.JPG


made some interim bumper corners / recovery points

08-04-26-017.JPG


and then not long after cut the rear cross member off and made a new one

08-07-26-016.JPG


Not the prettiest bumper ever but that wasn't part of the requirements analysis

08-07-26-059.JPG


still had fun laning in it but the nature of laning had changed dramatically since NERCA and I was enjoying my new 100. Didn't know it at the time but this was near the end for it with stiffer springs front and rear restoring the lift lost by being over weight (in excess of 3500Kg according to the ticket!)

08-08-15-183.JPG


and then it was time for it to go

09-02-16-048.JPG


and the 100 watched so it knows its own fate

09-02-16-070.JPG


RIP
 
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adrianr

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Mar 4, 2010
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Off in the trees, again
Hi Jon

Enjoyed your write up. It was reading your mudtoys site many moons ago that got me interested in laning. Not quite as serious as you though, most impressive stuff!

Thanks for this write up.

Is the fox still about. Very handsome!
 

Chas

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That made great reading Jon, some of the angles you were at I just wouldn't dare :o it's a shame she was scrapped in the end (I think it's your springs I've got on my truck, from Julian)
Chas
 
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Jon Wildsmith

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About 2007 I fitted some Slee caster correction plates and weld in panhard rod adjusters. They made a big difference but I'd driven it for a long time without so they're nice to have but not absolutely essential.

I haven't seen the fox since 25/03/03 but being that willing to come close to humans can't have been good for its health! I mention it to people but no one has yet said oh yes we used to see that fox as well but for a short while it was a feature of our trips along Strata which was usually last lane of the day when we did it.

If you had 868's off Julian Cossack than they probably were off this old 80. Most of the mechanical parts went to new homes only the shell you see in the last picture got weighed in for scrap.

Under the silt under the carpets, amongst the ants and bugs (very environmentaly friendly truck :lol: ) there was nothing more than the odd bit of surface rust where bare metal had been exposed so there was no danger of her rotting away it seems and is why I think the 80 series anti corrosion / steel quality must be about as good as it gets.

I think Steph realised I had a problem when I sold my much loved Jaguar XJR about 6 months into cruiser ownership because it was just sitting in the garage unloved :shock:
 

Jon Wildsmith

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tree sliders picture courtesy of Keith

SN850019.jpg


Seeing that pic reminds me that I flared the rear arches and wheel tubs so I could still get full stuff with 36's & 37's without extended bump stop spacers. I don't think 35's have too much of a rubbing problem but upwards of that they catch the lip of the arch so I slotted the wheel arch lip, folded it flush with the inside of the arch then hit it a few times with a big lump hammer till the whole length of the arch was flared a bit :mrgreen: also gave the wheel tub some attention with the lump hammer.

Some of the flex pics in the first post are same place and time different camera man / camera.
 

Mal Eade

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Hi Jon

The roof mounted sliders did not work to well then !!!!!.

Thanks for letting me know about the tent all done picking it up Sunday



Mal :thumbup:
 

Graham

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Well, 'WILD' Jon Wildsmith, :clap:

You sir have provided some very, very good images of how much serious bashing a 'cruiser can take.
I am in awe at how much flex, amd crazy angles you managed to get your wheels into.

Great write up, really is.

Graham
 
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