As winter closes in on the Midwest, I figured you all deserved an update on the Land Yacht, our 1994 Toyota Land Cruiser. We last had the Land Cruiser on a camping adventure exploring the Flint Hills in South Central Kansas in the spring.

There are still some items on the truck that need to be addressed.

Still to Do List

  • Still no radio head unit.
  • Passenger side rear door stopped actuating the power lock/unlock
  • Driver’s seat cushion foam worn down to the springs. Starting to hurt my back…
  • U-Joints need to be replaced
  • Windshield washers stopped spraying
  • Dobinson Lift Springs need to be installed
  • Bed liner to seal the holes from the stock roof rack

Items Remedied

The left rear brake had no material left on the pad and was grooving the rotor. Replacement rotors, calipers, and pads were acquired and replaced by a local shop. I wanted to do the work, but just ran out of time and needed a functioning vehicle more than I needed that sense of self-accomplishment having repaired another item on the Land Cruiser. Also installed with the brakes were stainless steel brake hoses that can accommodate up to a 4-inch lift. The Dobinson springs that I have are half that, but due to the stock springs sagging we will probably see about 3.5 inches from the new springs.

1994 Toyota Land Cruiser

If you look closely, you can see where the pad is wedged between the rotor and dust cover.

Another repair was a ground issue with the left rear brake light. The tail light would glow when the lights were turned on, but when the brake pedal was pressed the light would go out completely. I replaced the bulb first. The issue persisted. I cleaned the ground location underneath the truck and behind the spare tire. The same issue still. A friend came and traced the electrical from the tail light to the battery. The same readings every time from the back to the front. Eventually, we replaced the tail light wiring and socket harness. Thirty-two dollars from Toyota and that has the tail light and brake light functioning normally again. I think the culprit was a faulty ground in the old socket. I can’t definitively say that was the cause, but the light is working now.

Love-Hate Relationship

I’ve developed a love-hate relationship with the Land Yacht. I’ve been around it since I was 15-years-old. I don’t want it to go anywhere. The truck has lived up to its reputation of being super reliable. The only time it has let me down was when the stock alternator died at 292,000 miles. It drove through the rear brakes being shot for a month before I was able to get those changed. The grinding was audible.

But it has developed some annoying quirks. The driver’s seat finally reaching a point where it is going to either need to be replaced or update the foam has become a nagging issue. I can feel the seat springs every time I get in the vehicle. It is still my daily driver. There are days I would rather not drive it. The ride is rough with the old suspension springs and the seat isn’t helping anything. 

The rear door not unlocking with the rest of the doors isn’t a terrible issue but has become frustrating now that sometimes we are loading all for kids into the truck.

It’s the usual story. The truck doesn’t cost us a car payment. The gas mileage is double digits, but barely. It does have the right amount of seats in it, but there are zero airbags.

Maybe Santa will bring OEM U-Joints and I can get those installed with the new suspension springs. Maybe. 

What is the most comfortable manual car seat? Passat? WRX? Prelude? I’m open to options.