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  • Writer's pictureKelsey

30 Minute mods

Sometimes you actually get a lot done in a short time period... almost never..., but sometimes...



SO! The other night on the way home from Overland Expo the 80 wouldn’t restart at a gas station. So, I had to hit the low voltage disconnect re-connect to get it to start. It did it again later on. So, the battery won’t hold enough charge to stay above the minimum anymore. I’m sure it would work fine to drive around town for months or even a year or more, but that’s not where I use this truck so it’s gotta go.

It’s a Sears Diehard Platinum with a construction date of late 2012, which is the re-branded Odyssey Group 31.

Specs: Voltage:12 Volt Capacity:100 Ah Type: AGM Battery Size:Group 31 Length:13" Width:6.8" Height:9.41" Cold Cranking Amps:1150 CCA Shipping Weight: 82.25Lbs

So, I did some research to see if there is something better or more reliable than Odyssey. (Odyssey’s are great and I’ve never had an issue, but I have had several friends have to return theirs and Sears state reason for dropping them was excessive returns due to faulty batteries)

So, with that I decided to try Northstar Batteries. Similar specs, but a bit more power. (By a bit I mean infinitesimally small amounts) Of course, there is the off brand version of this battery as well which in this case is the X2Power which is the Northstar re-branded for Batteries Plus.

So, I pulled the old battery and ordered the new one.



Then I decided to get rid of the annoyingly hard bump stops on the rear of the FZJ80. Every truck I’ve ever had has some cheap bump stops made of out material that was too hard to make hockey pucks out of. I’ve always changed them for something that starts to slow movement earlier in the up cycle of travel and then brings movement to a more controlled stop. “Always” being a relative term since I’ve had this truck for man years and uh... I haven’t. The Icon shocks have an internal bump stop, but A- You don’t hit it enough with bump stop spacers or B- It may suck and need more dampening.

So, why not go for it, the low tech way. How long could it take. Next thing I knew the old bump stops (and spacers) were off and the new ones were on. I had to drill a small hole through the frame and screw in the new center bolt style ones. Done, tires on, jack it up, remove jack stands.

(Daystar bump stop. Yes, the photo was taken with a sweaty potato.)

Will update with how they work and if they improve it as much as I hope, based on how they did on a previous truck. (This is the one I really can’t believe only took 15 minutes. I was prepared to leave it to think about a solution and do it another day)



I filled the bucket and the water was dirty enough to not see your hand 3 or 4 inches below the water. So, I filled it up a second time and gave it another wash. The water was brown again, but not as bad. Glad I decided to clean it!

PROTIP: From Jeff Yaeger of Overlandtheworld. If you have a washable air filter bring it with you anytime you grab a shower in a campground or cheap hotel. That’s how they kept it clean through their South America trip.



A Landcruiser Adventure from Arizona to Alaska to Argentina Overland The World Read More


Then I went and looked at Cheeky Monkey’s because that’s what you do after a successful 30 minutes of work.

(Wake up!! Get out here!)

(It was the Roars and Pours charity event)


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