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.


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



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’


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.

Ice Road Bikering: Bechoko to Gameti

Two years ago. March 2018 – 

With the trucks loaded with bikes, food, camping gear, food and extra clothes, we began the one hour drive to Bechoko. A three day, 194km fatbike adventure on winter roads begins. 

Roll ahead two days, Sarah Lake, March 24, 2018.  


The ice on the lake is the most beautiful ice – crystal clear and smoother than most hockey arenas. We are on bikes, on a 25km long lake and heading straight into a 30 to 40km headwind. At times it seems that pushing the bike is less work than trying to peddle. 

I’ve got frostbite on my nose and ears, my body aches from pedaling and my brain is fatigued from concentrating on keeping my bike upright. 

Fortunately, this was the last day – The previous two days were much more …pleasant…

Sarah Lake, March 24, 2018.  

In November 2017 we gathered for the first planning session. Ewan had completed a similar bike trip along the Mackenzie Highways a year earlier – the rest of us – winter bike packing beginners. The maps were unrolled on the kitchen table showing the different winter road options, over portages and frozen lakes.  We settled on the Bechoko to Gameti route, a total of 194 kilometers. With climate change, ice roads are slowly becoming a thing of the past; more and more are being replaced by all-weather roads.    From then on Bob, Amanda and I started depleting our bank accounts to buy winter camping gear including new -40C sleeping bags, winter tents and sleeping mats. 

During the spring we had a couple of practice camping trips and rides with fully loaded bikes. All this gear – how are we going to pack it all on our bikes ?. As time grew closer we decided to have a support/safety vehicle for safety, and for the convenience of being able to bring EVERYTHING needed for any conditions the weather may throw our way. One week before the scheduled departure we were joined by Damian and Bev. By coincidence, they had also selected the same trip on the very same weekend, however at the last minute their logistics support was not available, so now there were six of us.

We had planned for pit stops every 20km, with whom ever was driving in the support vehicle setting up a stove for hot soup or tea. With clear skies, no wind and relatively warm conditions we made good progress.

Pit stop on Marion Lake. Maps laid out to track our progress and best understand the length of the journey.


It took several hours to bike the length of Marion Lake, then over smaller lakes and portages. After obligatory photos at the 50km highway sign to mark my 50th birthday – How better to celebrate that occasion. Our pace was surprisingly fast, and by the time we stopped for the night we had biked 68Km. 

Day One. Cooking Dinner along the road, and a surprise birthday cake.

Day two started with pushing our bikes a few kilometers to get out bodies and muscles warmed up for a day of biking. As we rode, lakes and portages passed by. Each of the bikers traveling at their own speed; ride fast enough to keep warm and slow enough to not break a sweat (sweating can cause hypothermia). Surprisingly, even in -70C rated boots feet still got cold.


Barren Ground Coffee on Mazenod Lake


We traveled over all kinds of road conditions, hard packed snow, bare ice on lakes and portages (the portages are actually flooded to make them last longer as the days get warmer) and rough overflow. With the exception of the odd vehicle – and very curious drivers – no doubt wondering what the heck we were doing, and why we would even think of bicycling this road. Wildlife was also scarce, except for the moose carcass and a wolverine that followed one of the riders for a while. 


Towards the end of the second day, Damien and I were at the back of the group. My rear tire was loosing pressure, and we dreaded the thought of changing a fat bike tire in the middle of a windswept lake. Luck prevailed, and we were able to cycle into camp.

Earlier, Amanda, driving the support vehicle had selected a perfect location to set up camp on Mazenod Lake, and had even donned snowshoes to pack a trail and compact the snow to make setting up the tents so much easier. That evening, as we huddled around our camp stoves, comparing the calorie values of our respective boil-in-the bag meals, and tasting Ewan’s homemade hot water disolvable ‘pucks’ – to me they tasted like hand soap. 

On day 3 light crept through our tents around 7, we woke to the sounds of frosted tent zippers and gas stoves and the aroma of fresh coffee. Amanda had selected a perfect camping spot – lots of morning sun and sheltered from the light wind. Conversation during the morning was centered on how amazing the weather had been, and the relatively few bike crashes. Bob had decided to ride in the support vehicle as his knee was still sore from a crash early on day one. This solved the need to fix my flat tire, as I could use Bob’s bike for the day. 

As the hours went by we started to encounter stronger wind. The stronger gusts wanted to push us backwards, or at least cause our bikes to want to veer into the smooth polished, and super slippery bare ice. At times, despite our best efforts, we were slowed to a crawl and even began walking and pushing our bikes. The wind continued to get stronger and stronger, and our route was directly into the wind. More and more smooth bare ice appeared, the wind blowing away the packed snow that we needed for traction for our tires, and boots when pushing. My speed was anywhere from two to five miles an hour.

Blowing snow collected on the leeward side of the snowbanks – saving a narrow strip of suitable riding track. With each gust, the fine crystalline snow swirled around the trail, blowing past me and over the polished glass surface of the exposed sea ice, in hypnotic patterns. 

This was probably the most beautiful ice that I’d ever seen; crystal clear, completely smooth. A speed skaters dream – a bikers nightmare !. At times, the smooth ice surface combined with the high winds made riding virtually impossible.

In front of me somewhere was Ewan, Bev and the truck.. 

“What the F*** am I doing here – this is worse than Planet Hoth”

“What the F*** am I doing here – this is worse than Planet Hoth”(Star Wars reference). I had unceremoniously dropped the bike into a snowbank and took a few pictures to record the experience.  A few minutes later Damien had caught up and we silently pushed our bikes into the wind. 


Pushing bikes into the wind.

At 2pm we re-grouped at the north end of Sarah Lake. Our progress has slowed to a crawl. Energy reserves had plummeted. We had biked 150km – only about 40km to Gameti. From here on – a short portage then a nearly 40km crossing on Faber Lake to Gameti. 

It was Decision time. We had three choices:

                             Camp here



Occasionally there comes a point in an adventure where circumstances force you to make a decision that will ultimately determine the outcome of the trip. Halfway through day three we had such a decision to make. 


I have already reached deep into my energy reserves. On a calm day, I could have eaten a few power bars and pushed on. 40 km wasn’t that far – under normal circumstances. But this was a 30 to 40km/hr head wind. With the decision made to bail, I packed my gear into the truck for the drive to Gameti. Bitter sweet – I’d have preferred to have continued. Two hours later, the truck returned to check in on Damian and Bev. They had covered 25km. Bev’s words were –  

”You didn’t miss a F*ing thing”


Ewan – cycled in a few hours later. Frostbitten and completely Spent. He had biked the whole length 190km. That evening, after hot showers we celebrated with a bottle of scotch and had a potluck of sorts finishing off our remaining camping food.

The next morning after waking up in warm beds, we had a leisurely bike tour around Gameti and packed up our gear in preparation for the drive home.  Shana and Maggie had driven from Yellowknife to drive us back to our vehicles in Bechoko. They had been delayed as the road we had biked on the previous day had been closed due to snowdrifts.  They had brought beer, fresh fruit and snacks for the drive home. By 9:30pm we had transferred gear and bikes to the other vehicles and were heading back to Yellowknife. Two hours later (total distance of 100km) we were home – Yes – Exhausted and happy.

One of the most memorable moments of the trip, which really touched my heart, was the birthday cake on Day One. In the middle of nowhere and a few close friends. The least enjoyable was biking on Sarah Lake. I remember my thoughts as I took that picture


With frostbite on my nose and ears, my body ached from pedalling and my brain is fatigued from concentrating on keeping my bike upright. 

Fortunately, this was the last day – The previous two days were much more …pleasant…


Thanks to Barren Ground Coffee for their sponsorship !

Footnote: Our planned bike ride in 2019, Bechoko to Whati was cancelled due to a sudden warming and the ice road was closed. 

March 2020 – Our last opportunity to bike the Bechoko – Whati ice road as construction has already started on a all-season road. The end of the ice roads is near. Trip planned and ready to go.


Six days in Victoria BC

Six days in Victoria BC with Jennifer.

Six days of Shopping, Sun, Green grass, Coffee shops and abundant Craft beer !.

Two cameras – Fuji X-T1 (Fujinon 35/1.4 lens) and Leica M 240 (Leitz Canada  28/2.8, Voigtlander 40/1.4 and Leitz Elmar-C 90/4 lenses).

OK – I know what you are thinking !.

Why Both the X-T1 and M 240 ?.
Valid question – Yes, they are similar, But different. 

The conversation about camera gear will come in another post. Enjoy the images and drop me a line if you have a comment. 


Yellowknife snowking

2016 Snowking Winter Festival XXI

March 1, 2016 – The Grand opening of the 2016 Snowking Winter Festival XXI. Check out the official Snowking Winter Festival webpage ….

These are a couple of sneak peak images and panoramas from inside the castle and from the roof.

Yellowknife snowking

To view the 360 degree animation. Click Here. Use your mouse or swipe the screen to look around. This requires the QuickTime Player. Click the icon on the upper right corner of the animation to get a full view. Depending on network speed, the image may take a moment to load.


Yellowknife snowking

To view the 360 degree animation. Click Here. Use your mouse or swipe the screen to look around. This requires the QuickTime Player. Click the icon on the upper right corner of the animation to get a full view. Depending on network speed, the image may take a moment to load.



Yellowknife snowking

Yellowknife snowking

To view the 360 degree animation. Click Here. Use your mouse or swipe the screen to look around. This requires the QuickTime Player. Click the icon on the upper right corner of the animation to get a full view. Depending on network speed, the image may take a moment to load.