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1996 Toyota Land Cruiser
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This truck was advertised on here for a couple of years: Toyota Truck Conversion

I ended up buying it on a leap of faith and it turned out to be a diamond in the rough! Sad story with this truck, the owner converted it about 10 years ago spent a bunch of money on it but before he installed batteries he took his own life. I don't know the specifics but having experienced that type of event with friends and family I know the specifics don't really matter. I can tell he loved this truck and must have spent hours and hours and hours on it. It's a shame he was never able to drive his creation.

I paid $1000 for this truck but I had to drive 30 hours to get it and 30 hours back home. And I promised the family I would finish it and not just part it out.

Here's the truck. It's a 1988 with 200k ish miles. Pretty dang good shape no dents really and the interior is still good with no tears or cracks.






Has a crazy custom instrument cluster which is pretty sweet IMO





Plugs on the front BEFORE Nissan did it!








Ok so now the weird part. This whole truck was built around a house AC unit! Yes! This whole truck was built around the AC in the back here is the electronics panel:



Behind the panel is the AC, it's very hard to see. But you can see the 5000 watt inverter that was used to run it!!! I will be removing all the AC stuff, it's just not important for me. I guess AC is important in that region haha!





This motor has never been run except for testing at low voltage and it has never even been pushed out of the garage until I got it. This is just corrosion from the environment. I am assuming it's all just cosmetic...

The conversion does look complete, however. I am excited to hook it up to 144 volts and see what it does!

Parts list that came with the vehicle. Looks like all high quality stuff. Probably similar to what's on the market nowadays honestly.





Assuming it all works, getting it all for $1000 + $800 in gas is a bargain! Assuming it all still works...

 

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$1000 eh? Hard to beat that for a nearly finished project. Truck looks great.

I love quirky solutions, I hope you at least give the AC an attempt before yanking it out. Never seen that before.

I think it's kind of you to complete someone else's project, though, the motivation is that you have a nearly-complete project too, so, probably the best decision for you too.

My EV project was also born out of someone passing away, and I drove 3000 miles round' to get it. But I waited until his family were literally going to call the scrapyard to shred the car before I adopted it. No one in the car community wanted it. I think he was doing a V8 conversion on a small car. I had no interest in pursuing it, and, it was barely started when I bought 2 of his cars (to merge), and got someone else to buy the 3rd.

Shame to hear about the owner taking his own life. I think that people suffering from depression can often benefit from something larger to sink their teeth into and look forward too, helps the minutia of the day fade away. Sad to know he never got to see it running. Similarly, that's part of why I started my EV project, not depression as much as anticipating I might be headed that way, and wanted a bit more of a positive anchor that wasn't dependent on or involving other people.
 

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This doesn't have anything to do with the EV conversion, but...

The truck appears to have dual rear wheels, with the outer wheel missing on the driver's side, but perhaps it just has very different tire sizes on the left and right rear, or a spacer behind the passenger side rear wheel. It does not appear to have a proper full-floating rear axle designed for dual wheels (as indicated by the five-bolt pattern on the driver's side), so it might have one of the goofy and potentially unsafe "dually conversions" which were thrown together to put more tires under the rear of overloaded motorhomes built on Toyota truck chassis; in this case, they would widen the tire setup to look better under the wide rear body. If it does have an adapter setup or spacer on the other side, consider replacing all that junk with properly fitted wheels and tires.
 

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1996 Toyota Land Cruiser
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No duallies, just single rears. The spare has a little less offset and tucks up more. Also the custom rear cab is extremely heavy. On the inside it is fully built and welded thick aluminum. the rear had supplemental air springs added, but they were rotted and collapsed. First order of business will be to cut out as much of the un-needed metal as possible.
 

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At 144 volts, it appears to have been set up for twelve 12V lead-acid batteries, with some under the hood. Where do the rest go? Is it excessively heavy even without batteries? It would be good to know specifically where you stand before launching into modifications.
 

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1996 Toyota Land Cruiser
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Yeah my guess was the batteries were intended to go under the hood. There is plenty of space for 12 of them. The weight in the back is all from the custom bed work on the inside. I will try to get some photos of it when I get to it. I have by no means abandoned my Land Cruiser project and that is my main focus still so this is my side project. This truck is also super moldy and everything so I'm avoiding getting inside it until I get a chance to properly clean it.

His father said that he bought the first 3 batteries and that's what's under the hood. It was enough to spin the tires on jack stands and test the systems but not move the vehicle. He needed "6 more" I guess for 108v which might be minimal viable voltage to drive it around.

e: I have been collecting old car batteries and have more than 12 of them to choose from so my plan is to check it over and then power it up and see what it does with the right voltage. From there I will plan next steps.
 
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