Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Check out the installation of the ARB 47L Fridge on our Alu-Cab Tilt Slide

After a lot of work we are ready to wire up and strap in our ARB 47L overland fridge to the newly installed alu-cab tilting fridge slide.  Couldn't be more excited to get this project wrapped up and ready for action.


Here is the stuff we used for the install
This is the wire we used and will be using for most of our circuits.

These are the connectors we used to hook up to the ARB socket.

These ring connectors are similar to the ones I bought locally for wiring to the fuse block.

Here is the ARB socket you can see more on this in other vids too.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Alu-Cab Tilting Fridge Slide Install

We got the alu-cab fridge slide installed and it is awesome.  Next we'll wire up the fridge, strap it down, and load it up with some cold beer!


Here are the materials we used to install the slide.

Here are the awesome T-Nuts we used

and the Stainless Screws and washers similar to those that came with the slide but the length and number I needed

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

How to pick a 100 series Land Cruiser in the US?

I have been asked this question a bunch of times so here is the quick and dirty on how to pick a 100 series.

Slee off road has one of the best write ups of year and model differences (LC vs Lexus LX470)
http://www.sleeoffroad.com/newbie/newbieUZJ100.htm

If you haven't already check out the 100 series forum on ih8mud it's a huge resource for 100 owners

https://forum.ih8mud.com/forums/100-series-cruisers.26/

I talk about a few reasons on this vid but don't go very deep into it.

Here are the main things to consider in my opinion.
2000 Front differential was changed from a 2 pinion to a 4 pinion unit.  The 2 pinion was prone to breaking
2000+ have A-TRAC (Active Traction Control)   which is great but some early models have a rear locker
2003 gets more Horsepower
2006 and 07 for the land cruiser get AHC is an option

The lexus is nicer inside, there are way more of them in the US so easier to find, but some mods are designed for the cruiser and not perfect on the LX,  Most importantly all 98+ LXs have AHC

Some people like AHC but it can be a maintenance pain in the ass and if you want to upgrade you'll need to get rid of it.  Not impossible but something to consider. 

RUST - You will find some that are ate up and they can require a lot of maintenance and tough to work on. 

I would say take the first one you find with little to no rust underneath. No AHC is a big plus and stick to a 2000+ to get ATRAC and the beefier axle. 2003-2005 Land Cruisers are going to be the best overal for technical features so if you can find one with little to no rust jump on it.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Why no DC-DC charger and how did I pick the batteries?

Here's a question I got on YouTube.

Question:
 "Great set up.  I'm wondering your battery selection, and I guess it all depends on what you run for gear.  I am planning on a 31M for the aux and a 34m For the starter.  I don't think the alternator can fully charge the 31M, so likely a dc-dc charger to toss in.  I love the RedArc products I see.  Just that if I'm doing dual batteries, i want one for quick starting, and another for the slow drain...Great video."


I just kept typing and here was my response.  I thought this might help someone running into the same questions.

Answer:

Thanks man!

My selection of batteries was purely due to the battery trays and space available.  I went with the slee off-road trays since they were very nice and I didn't want to fabricate.  That said the start is a 31 and the aux is a 75/86.  Ideally these would be the other way around since the 31 has twice the amp hours. I intend to eventually wire them the other way.  

As for charging and dc-dc vs. a relay here is what I believe and trust me this could be debated by someone more knowledgeable than I.  

Many people especially in Australia use dc-dc chargers for a couple reasons.  

First, since many alternators on newer vehicles are "smart" they do not provide sufficient voltage to fully charge an AGM battery.  The alternator on my land cruiser consistently puts out 14.1-14.3v which I thought would be pretty good, below 14v would not be so good.  

Second big reason, even though having the higher voltage can get you fully charged or close to it, for the best battery life when frequently draining your batteries low you need to have a phased charge profile.  DC-DC chargers generally have the phases required by a battery like an AGM but some only provide higher voltage.  

Back when I planned the system the only DC-DC charger available in the US was the CTEK and it did not enable you to link the batteries in an emergency start situation or in high amp draw situations where having linked batteries can be helpful, like winching. Not sure how much I care since I don't have a winch yet but at the time it seemed important.  I also noticed many people operate with Tmax, IBS, national luna, or blue sea setups that are all simple relays with no problem.  I also considered the additional cost of the dc-dc chargers and some are a pretty significant investment. I also intend to add solar so this was part of the consideration.

I think if you are going to be on expedition with no shore power for many many days, frequently completely draining the battery, and potentially have a lower voltage alternator then a dc-dc charger is going to be preferred, or a must, but if your travel is more like a couple days here and there and your alternator is higher voltage (not smart) and you can always top off / condition your batteries with a good ac-dc charger and be fine. I am looking at adding an on-board Powermainia dual bank agm ac-dc charger so in campsites with power or when home I can plug in the cruiser and keep the batteries strong.  

Here's the charger:
Ultimately a group 31 battery with the load of my planned accessories, the cruiser's decent alternator output, a solor panel, occasional ac-dc charging and the fact that I don't think I will be completely draining the battery often all lead to me thinking the dc-dc charger is not 100% necessary. These opinions are based on research but I will be putting my system to the test this summer. I realize that at some point I may want to shift to dc-dc charging. I have heard from others that the REDARC products are now available in the USA so I will be checking those out at some point. Man that was longer than I though but it is a great question and I hope this helps. I am going to post this over on my bradyadventures.com blog since I know many people have these questions and it is not at all straight forward. Let me know if this makes sense and if you have any follow up questions or if you disagree. Thanks Chuck.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Land Cruiser's Overland Blue Sea Auxiliary Power Distribution is in!

The Land Cruiser's auxiliary battery is now ready to distribute that power to some cool overland gear.  We got the blue sea systems 285 series circuit breaker and fuse block wired up and ready for our next big project.

Check out the video below and here are links to the products we installed in the video:
   

Dual Battery Auxiliary Wire Run

This is our first time using the hydraulic crimper. We chose the wire route, crimped the main eyelets, and ran the 2 gauge auxiliary wire to the rear.  We considered running the wire on the frame rail outside the vehicle but in the end went with running the wire along the door sills.  We chose 2 gauge wire since it was more than enough to provide power to the 100 gauge blue sea fuse block as well as another major electrical load, like an inverter, air pump, etc.


Here are links to the crimper, wire (although we got 30' not 100') and eyelets we used in the video.
   

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Check out the National Luna Dual Battery Monitor Install

In this video we install the National Luna dual battery monitor. Not much to the installation.  You need to add a fuse to each positive lead and the supplied wire only got us to one battery but not a big deal.

I really love this thing, it has a certain 80's car gadget charm with the old skool LEDs.

We choose this one because it was one of very few available in the US and many that are available are number read outs that can be hard to read at a glance.  The LEDs and colors make it easy to know where you stand.  This particular one can be used with any dual battery system.  Many nicer monitors are also controllers and can only be used with the full system that they were intended for.