Sold: 1997 Toyota 4Runner

There goes another one…

Rare 5 speed Manual and E-locker 1997 Toyota 4Runner SR5.

 

Bought it in May 2020 – sight unseen in Calgary.  Because of Covoid, didn’t get to it until August 2020. By then, it had been picked up and moved to a new location outside of town. Did a few repairs and drove it back to Yellowknife. 

Definitely fun as heck to drive. Short shift 5 speed transmission, and straight piped (no muffler – straight pipe exhaust). Great sound from the engine. It also had a forward tilt, slightly nose down. Two inch lift and 17″ tires, and a crazy blinking light pole at the rear.  Like any used vehicle, it had its share of surprises.  In retrospect I should have known. It had a rebuilt engine installed.  Last winter i had a heck of a time starting it. It had an electric battery blanket and cord for the engine block heater.  Cord….I assumed it was plugged in. But i discovered a week later that the cord wasn’t actually plugged in – it was left over from the previous engine !. New engine didn’t have a block heater.!.

 

The power windows didn’t work, and still don’t. Checked the fuses, and same circuit as the sunroof – and that works !. Power locks work, except from drivers door.  I opened up the side console and checked the controller. It was dirty, worn out and sooty. Cleaned it, and figured it was the problem – Not !. Broken wire somewhere?.

I replaced the brakes. All new parts; pads, rotors, calipers and drums, and the entire parking brake system (removed by previous owner) – Wow. That was a bit of work, and so much better !.

Also did a bunch of smaller jobs; sway bar (removed by previous owner), end links, replaced all the fluids, and fluid film on rusty bits. The truck came with a cargo rack, that was replaced with a DIY roof rack for canoes and roof top tent.   Never got around to doing body work – seemed as though every panel had a big dent.

The ARB bumper and 12,000 lb winch for a bit of use moving other vehicles around the yard – but not real use off road.

Of the original 5!!  4Runners in my fleet, this was number 4 (4-4). One remaining ;>

 

 

For sale: Toyota land cruiser landcruiser diesel manual BJ42

1980 BJ42 Toyota landcruiser.

Diesel (3b engine), 4 speed, two speed transfer case (2H, 4H, 4L). 10% gear reduced transfer case to compensate for the large tires. Drives and runs well. Rear body needs work. missing rear window on passenger side. Winch. Front turn light removed and is included. $5800 – OBO. Clear Title. Not at location shown in photos. **** Don’t ask if still Available. If post is up – it is available.

 
 
Yellowknife
 

For Sale: 1974 FJ55 Toyota Landcruiser

Spring over suspension, Detroit locker in rear differential, 4.11 gears.
Scout power steering, On 35” BFG tires

Rusty at drivers quarter panel, small holes in drivers floor and cargo area.
Interior panels removed for inspection (included). Light bezels included.

Pressure washed, paint stripped. Lots of layers of paint.
Oldest paint – White top, Orange lower.

More pictures upon request.

Includes: spare Toyota 2F engine, drivers door, drivers side passenger door, rear hatch, power window motor, radiator, engine head and floor mats.

Located in Yellowknife, Title in my name.

 

23ZERO Tent (Below Zero) Rooftop tent

23ZERO tents are designed in Australia, and the name derived from the geographic coordinates of Alice Springs, Australia (23.6980° S, 133.8807° E).

Our name 23ZERO is derived from part of the co-ordinates of one the toughest places on the planet and the most central place in Australia, Alice Springs. Alice Springs is a small place surrounded on all sides by an expanse that truly helps you to remember how small we are in a huge universe.

Some folks would say that Yellowknife, where I live is also one of the toughest places to live and also pretty close to the central place in Canada. Officially, Baker Lake, (64.3176° N, 96.0220° W) Nunavut is termed the “Geographical centre of Canada”. Yellowknife (62.4540° N, 114.3718° W) is approximately 934km the west of baker Lake. Coordinates aside, Yellowknife is still a tough place to live, and literally (seasonally) at the end of the road. During the winter the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road extends approximately 400 to 600km beyond the all season road (highway 4) that ends at 65 km east of Yellowknife.  Average temperatures in Yellowknife vary from +25C to -30C and with windchill can plunge to -45C. 

Below -30C it is just downright ….(swear word) Cold!.  I don’t even think about using a tent at those temperatures. My comfortable limit is close to -23 (Below) Zero.

I’ve got a winter liner for the 23ZERO rooftop tent and built a propane heater system using a Propex HS2800 heater, a car battery, 20lb propane can, ducting and a table (brown box in picture). If looks a bit jury rigged – it is !. This is the prototype that we tested last year. Version 2 is on a metal step ladder to support the venting pipes from the heater and it takes about 10 minutes to set up.

As a bonus, not only is the tent warm, the ducting can also be use to warm up the truck !.

If you have any questions about the set up – drop me a comment.

My “Covid Illness” – Part One

Farewell to the 1999 4runner. It was called 4-2. 4-1 (sold) was its earlier sibling, followed by 4-3 (sold). 4-4 (1997), and 4-5 (1999) are still in the family. Not crazy original names!. Good thing I didn’t name my kids. Lol.

With 5 Toyota 4runners (I miss read the memo about 4 runners…Ha Ha), it was difficult to keep track of which one was which, and to refer to them.  I am not into giving my vehicles people names. My dad had a couple of Volvos. He was always fixing something, cursing and sometimes calling them “Swedish Shit”.  That said, they were good cars, and they (and the occupants) survived car accidents in which my family would probably not survived.

I digressed…

Prior to Covid, I had only one car – a 2000 Toyota 4runner. It was Jade Green, Manual and ‘stock’. I spent a ton of money on maintenance and repairs – in retrospect many things i could have done my self. When Covid really hit the fan in my town – another Jade Green 4runner was advertised.  Asking price was $1000. Body was in near pristine condition – but it blew blue smoke.  Most likely a Head gasket failure – a major and costly repair.  A gamble – Could I fix it ?, or simply a truck to practice mechanics, or simply for parts. My daughter and did a few repairs – value cover gaskets, and compression test. A vehicle to spend time with my daughter whom had expressed an interest in mechanics.

“Covid Illness”…It starts !

While searching for parts, I came across another 4runner. The Covid illness had started, but I didn’t notice.  Bought another 1999 Toyota 4Runner – Silver, Manual, ARB front bumper.  Great Truck, needed a few repairs and had a bit of body rust. This one got the name of 4-3.

“Covid Illness”…It continues !

And then, bought another 4Runner !. 1997, Silver, Manual, ARB bumper with winch, leather interior, rebuilt engine, short shift transmission, elocker, and straight piped.  Driving it – feels like a sports car, with the throaty roar, and short shifting, and the lack of rear anti-sway bar !.  Obviously this truck got the name of 4-4.

“Covid Illness”…It goes on and on !

4-5. Yes – My fifth 4runner !. 1999, Silver, Manual, rebuild front and rear suspension, rusty rocker panels and quarter panels, and front which and stinger type front bumper.   It was filthy !!. Mud all over the dash, and dog hair everywhere.

Yes – 5 Toyota 4Runners in my yard. !!

 

4-1 (manual) and 4-2 (automatic) were stock.  Drove more like a station wagon.

4-1 beside its bigger brother

 

4-2

Usual state of 4-2

4-2 on its way top new owner. Ironically, towed away with another 4runner !.

 

4-3 with stiff shocks felt like a heavy truck, and 4-4 feels like a sports car. 4-5 has been neglected – though feels more like 4-3, distinctly truck like.

4-3 on Marian Lake ice road (NWT).

 

4-4 ‘Road Runner’

4-5

Delivery day (4-5)

 

Since then, 4-1, 4-2, 4-3 have been sold, and 4-4 will be soon.

Does a person really need 5 4Runners ??

Without a doubt – No.  But sure was fun having them.  Basically the same vehicle, though each one is distinct, and its own feel when driving.

Soon, down to only 4-5.

But the illness continues. Why do I call this My “Covid Illness” – Check a previous post. In brief, vehicle maintenance, repair, buying and selling is a new thing for me, and started with the Covid shutdown. It is a mental distraction during the times that we are not able to socialize.

..The Symptoms are now a collection of Toyota Landcruisers – But that is  another post.

“Study Hard – Or you will be a Mechanic”

In the early 1980’s I was a young kid in high school. I certainly wasn’t at the top of the class, and the kids with lower grades were typically directed by school administration to auto mechanics.  My Dad, as most parents do, was hoping to motivate me to work harder, get higher grades and pursue a career path other than auto mechanics.

He was geophysicist working at the Geological Survey of Canada, and a Adjunct Professor at the Ecole polytechnique in Montreal. My Dad could also fix cars – sort of.  We had several old beaters, a couple of which were destined for the scrap heap by the time we were done with them.  For him – fixing a car was more out of necessity than pleasure. One car had a massive hole in floor at the back seat. My brother and i would sharpen sticks on the pavement while my Dad dove us to school.

My brother is also pretty smart, so there was no need for Dad to give him a “pep talk”. But me – well, I sometimes needed a bit of extra motivation.  I remember my Dad saying “Study Hard – Or you will be a Mechanic” .  Not sure if that particularly motivated me, though i did graduate high school, and went on to get a Bachelors degree and Masters degree. 

And now now i am closer to the tail end of my career, and also a parent trying to motivate my own kids, i find myself more and more drawn to auto mechanics.  It is mostly for pleasure as long as I am able to keep at least one of the fleet in operating condition. Safety in numbers doesn’t always go in my favour…

Most interesting, the vehicles that I am most drawn to now were new back when i was a young kid in high school. !!  Yes – these vehicles are really…really old ;>.  Actually, one is nearly as old as I am, and that is more that half a century old.

 

Taking apart the Tacoma. What better way to learn how the pieces go together.

Taking apart one of my favourites – 1980’s vintage Toyota Land cruiser.

Obviously, I don’t say to my kids….”Study Hard – Or you will be a Mechanic”

My Daughter spinning the lug nuts putting on the winter tires.

 

End of the Road & Yoga Mechanics

For this 1982 Toyota Landcruiser it literally is the end of the road. It has approximately 370,000km on the dial. Is it restorable ?. Probably, but not economical.

Its parts will live on in other vehicles. Conveniently, most of my fleet is also 1982 BJ60 Landcruisers and also the BJ42.

Thus far, two days to get to this partially disassembled state. I’ve never taken an entire vehicle apart. Actually, I do my best to avoid taking things apart – as that usually mans what ever it was is broken, and there is no guarantee that me taking it apart will ever result in a successful re-assemley.

In this case, instead of cutting and hacking the vehicle to pieces, I am trying to be organized. Bags of screws and bolts from each….except I forgot to label the bags (frown).

It is a therapeutic process. Not simply sweet revenge on something mechanical, bashing with with a sledge hammer, smashing al the pieces into smithereens. Instead, it is a thoughtful process, determining the order that parts were assembled, and how there were attached. How is this thing attached, where are the nuts and bolts, which tools do I need, and how do I get my fingers and hands in there to turn the wrench.

Sometimes it is easy. The screws loosen and the piece is easily removed. Overtimes, I just can’t find the darn bolt, or can’t get my hands in position to turn the wrench, of the screw is stripped, or – I just don’t have the right tool. Ok – be like McGiver and figure it out. In case you are too young to know, McGiver was a TV character who could always build a tool using only what was available.

And, then there his the physical effort of reaching in and over, in awkward positions, dropping a bolt an drawing under the truck, back to the tools, back to the engine, get another tool…over an over. It isn’t cardio activity, more like yoga. Stretching, holding poses, and mindfulness. Yoga Mechanics ?

Purists will scoff. Call it what you like-
For me, it is a welcome relief from sitting (“driving a desk”), moving only my index finger all day.

After a couple of hours of Yoga Mechanics my body and mind feel relaxed.

What is your equivalent of Yoga Mechanics ?

 

Covid Illness

A guy and his truck. Trucks are a new thing for me. Yes – I’ve had trucks before but nothing like now. Since Covid, I’ve taken up an interest in trucks, fixing them (or trying to), and collecting them. I call it my Covid illness. The covid pandemic has affected every one differently – for me, it is Toyota 4runners and Landcruisers. More importantly – it is an activity to keep me busy. Yes – it is just a big piece of metal and I’d rather be spending time with friends. But – busy lives and Covid has changed all that.

Fun Friday: Leica-r 19mm on a Leica M240 Icefields Parkway (Jasper National Park)

I recently returned from a driving vacation (6,000km in 2 weeks).  As usual, there were a few cameras in my bag, including a Leica M240 and my favorite lens – Leica 19mm/2.8 V1.  Yes, it is SLR lens on a rangefinder. An unusual combination: a huge and heavy lens on a compact (though still heavy) camera.   I use a Leica EVF for focusing and a Nikon-to-Leica M adapter (Leica lens has a Nikon F lens mount). Ok – lots of complicated camera gear.

Before the pictures….one more thing to add.

The Leica 19mm lens has a big blob of fungus and lots of dust (so does the camera sensor).

Icefields Parkway (Jasper National Park, Alberta). Sept 14, 2021.

(Click on the picture to make them Bigger).

Good – bad, or downright Ugly ?

Leave me a comment.

Timeless –

This road between Yellowknife and Alberta has been there for many years and will remain more or less unchanged for many more years. The vehicle, a 2002 Honda CRV has maybe a few more years of life (2002 – 2025?).

 

This picture however is Timeless –

Human memory will always remember the years of Covoid-19 and the mask on the dashboard is the time marker for this picture – 

The mask years (2020/2021)