Welcome to the Overland Cruisers Blog

Over the last few years I have provided a lot of help to customers either via email, over the phone or via some of the various Land Cruiser or Overlanding forums.

In order to avoid repeating myself too often I have decided to start using this blog and the Preparation Guide as a central archives that hopefully someone will find useful.

A library of detailed information will be maintained in the Preparation Guide and then any updates and commentary will be posted here along with other useful snippets of of useful information.

It's going to take me a while to build up the articles so please be patient.

Still Recruiting - Parts Manager / Workshop Controller

We have had a couple of attempts at finding someone suitable for this position with the main problem being not knowing exactly what we need, but we are pretty set now on the requirements.

As we continue to expand we are looking for a dynamic individual to fill a key role within our office to help with our onward expansion.

This is a full time, permanent position (subject to a trial period)

Main Roles -

  • To manage all aspects of the parts used in the business from liaising with mechanics to order parts they require for jobs in the workshops on a daily basis, to manage the stock of regularly used parts and to liaise with suppliers to ensure parts are delivered in a timely fashion.
  • To manage the job sheets and liaise with the mechanics to ensure they record their hours and the parts used accurately and then enter the details in to our internal garage management system (Dragon 2000) for tracking each job leading towards the final invoicing.
  • To prepare reports based on the vehicle health checks carried out by us and then assist with preparing estimates for future work
  • To handle existing parts sales to the public or other garages that come in over the phone or via email
  • To deal with customers; over the phone, via email as well as face to face when they visit.

As you settle in to the job within six months we would expect the role to expand to include:-

  • Regularly shop around to ensure we are getting the best prices from suppliers.
  • Manage the purchase and importation of parts from abroad from existing suppliers as well as tracking down new ones.
  • Assist in setting up and running an ecommerce website for selling parts direct to customers.


Required skills -

We expect you to be able to demonstrate the following key skills:

  • Strong organisational and administrative skills
  • Teamwork
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Ability to work to deadlines
  • Confident and professional communication skills
  • Full clean driving licence
  • MS Office particularly Outlook and Excel - you will need to at a minimum be able sort data and create basic formulas for manipulating data within Excel.
  • Experience of garage management and/or stock control systems.
  • Numerate, accurate and thorough.

Required Experience -

It is essential that the applicant has experience of all aspects of managing stock from purchasing through to setting stock and re-order levels ideally within the automotive or a similar industry.

Experience of 4x4s and their uses for things like overlanding, etc. is helpful, but not essential as long as you are interested and willing to learn.

Training will be provided where required

Hours -

Office Hours are ideally 8:30 - 6:00 Monday to Friday to coincide with the workshops.

Salary -

Salary is negotiable based on experience.  As the role develops some form of commission/profit share will be introduced.


If interested please email your CV with a covering letter to sales@overland-cruisers.co.uk.  Please be aware that due to a large number of applicants you may not be contacted.

And another position... Skilled Mechanic / Automotive Technician / Diagnostics

As we continue to expand we are looking for a competent, experienced and self-motivated senior mechanic to join our team to carry out our standard range of jobs from basic servicing, engine and drive line work, suspension upgrades, performance tuning, creating new wiring looms, plumbing (shower systems!), hydraulics (power steering and hydraulic winches), fabrication, etc. as well as to take over the lead with any diagnostics work.

Most diagnostic issues seem to be engine rough running problems and electrical wiring issues.  We have full access to all the factory manuals and the Toyota diagnostics software.

This is a full time, permanent position (subject to a trial period)

Required skills -

We expect you to be able to demonstrate the following key skills:

  • Able to devise and work through logical diagnostic steps to solve problems.
  • Good admin skills for filling out job sheets and vehicle health check reports.
  • Ability to work within a close knit team
  • Ability to work quickly under pressure whilst still paying attention to detail
  • Good communication and customer service skills
  • the ability to follow written and spoken instructions
  • an up-to-date knowledge of vehicle developments, especially new engine types and electronics
  • Full clean driving licence
  • Must have own toolbox/tools
  • Basic computer skills
  • It is essential that the applicant has a minimum of 3 years' experience working in a commercial workshop.  It doesn't necessarily matter if it is an automotive, agricultural or larger commercial vehicle environment.
  • Experience of working in an independent workshop would be an advantage, but not essential.
  • Experience in using the latest computerised diagnostic equipment would be useful although we primarily use Toyota Techstream, which we can provide training on.
  • Experience of 4x4s and their uses for things like overlanding, etc. is helpful, but not essential as long as you are interested and willing to learn.

Required Experience -

Training will be provided where required

Hours -

Workshop Hours are 8:30 - 6:00 Monday to Friday.

Salary -

You will need to be self-employed (something we can help with) and pay rates will be negotiable based on experience starting from a minimum of £12.50/hour.

As the role develops some form of commission/profit share will be introduced.


If interested please email your CV with a covering letter to sales@overland-cruisers.co.uk


Please be aware that due to a large number of applicants you may not be contacted.

Rust, Rust, Glorious Rust!!

With winter finally upon us and the UK roads getting regularly spread with salt, it's a good time to mention how rust affects our beloved Land Cruisers and to provide some tips for avoiding problems.

How are they affected?

Apart from the old 60 series that used to disintegrate at the merest sniff of moisture, overall most Land Cruisers built after 1990 are pretty well protected as standard from the factory, although they do struggle a bit with road or sea salt.

Land Cruisers are perfect tow vehicles so they often get used for launching boats and so regularly get the back end dunked in the sea water at the same time.  The rustiest examples we have seen in the workshop have come from launching boats - they almost all have a tide line of rust on them from the front mud flaps to above the rear bumper.

The salt spread on the roads is also another killer, it gets all over the underside of the car, particularly under the back of the car and then as the thaw comes the layer of salt attracts the moisture and starts to corrode the metal.

Of all the models, the 90 series with the fuel tank under the boot seems to suffer the worst - the salty water collects around the rear axle and fuel tank causing severe rusting of the axle casing, fuel tank and guard as well as the outlet pipes on the fuel tanks.

The 80 and 100 series are a little higher, which seems to help.  Road salt doesn't seem to affect the rear axle as much, but does have a habit of collecting around behind the rear mud flaps, on the fuel filler pipe running to the tank as well as in some cases the sills in front of the rear wheels.

Something else to mention whilst not specifically a rust issue, on all the series a common point of failure due to rot are the rear diff lock actuators - aluminium and steel generally don't play nicely together, but in a dry environment you should be reasonably OK.   However if you throw some salty water at them the rot sets in causing the alloy housings on the actuators to start to dissolve where they touch steel - at nearly £1k a pop this is an expensive repair.

Underbody Protection

In most cases it is the salt that does the damage so it is important to keep it off the bare metal.

Traditionally you can use a Waxoyl or Dinitrol product to coat the underside of the vehicle, keeping the salt water away from the metal and treating any underlying rust.  We have tried both products, but have settled with the Dinitrol range because they provide a good range of products for different applications

In most cases this works fine, however areas like the rear axle get almost sand blasted as you drive along rough roads and tracks and then you have a bigger problem - the moisture gets underneath the rust treatment causing more damage than if it was allowed to just run off.

One cheaper solution that we recommend is to get a garden sprinkler and periodically run it under the car to give it a good soaking - this works a lot better than most pressure washers because it gets in to all the nooks and crannies and has the benefit of cleaning the underside at the same time (we prefer clean cars in the workshop J).  With models like the 80s, the rust behind the rear mud flaps is accelerated by the build-up of dirt there that seems to retain the salt water for a lot longer.


The salty water can spray all over the car and in the engine bay so another trick I have seen is to keep the engine bay area liberally coated in WD40 - it does make it a little harder to spot fuel leaks, but does reduce the amount of corrosion on the engine and ancillaries.

Rust around some of the windows, particularly the upper tailgate windows on the 80s is a perennial problem - the water builds up around the seals and sits there doing it's damage.  The best solution is to get a sealant like Arbomast or even a basic silicone based sealant and squirt that around the seals to stop the moisture from getting behind there

Please wipe your feet...

Whilst we all love playing in the snow and mud, do be conscious that every time you get in and out of the car the chances are you are dumping a load of moisture into the car eventually soaking the carpets.  

The key thing is just to be conscious that you may be doing it and to check the carpets regularly.  Even if you have rubber mats in the car the water could be flowing under them and preventing the carpets below from drying properly.

Whilst many people hate it, your aircon does a fantastic job of drying out a car's interior and keeping the screens clean so if you can, make sure you keep it running over the winter.

If the carpets get really soaked the only option really is to pull up the trim around the door ways and then lift the carpet so that the air can circulate under it.  We have a small fan heater that we use - we hold the carpet up with a strip of wood and then blow warm air under it.  If the carpet is double thickness with a layer of sound proofing on the bottom, separate the two layers so speed drying.

Actually the old trick of putting screwed up newspapers down wellies to dry them could also work, putting the balls of newspapers between the carpet layers will keep them separated and the newspapers should draw out the moisture.


If you have existing rust it is essential to treat it to prevent it spreading.  There are many treatments on the market for rust - ideally aim for a product that will convert the existing rust in to an inert state and then re-spray the area to keep the moisture out.

Currently in the workshop we tend to clean off the old loose rust and then spray with Dinitrol's Converust 900 which provides a good base for later spraying and then we use Dinitrol's ML spray on components that we work on to prevent rust starting.


Well that covers most of the bases.  There will always be exceptions to the rule, b ut hopefully this will help get you on track to keep the rust at bay.

Stay warm.


Japanese Imports and the London Emissions Zone

A couple of customers have been in touch worried about the new London Low Emissions Zone and the fact that since their Land Cruiser had been imported as a Van as opposed to being an Estate (like the equivalent UK models) they are now liable to the new charges.

Initial enquiries to the DVLA had indicated that they would have to contact Toyota in order to get the type of vehicle verified, however their initial enquiries to Toyota have struggled to get any results.

Fortunately Toyota have now put things in place so that if you contact the Toyota customer relations with your vehicle details, they will provide a letter that can be passed back to the DVLA so that you can change the vehicle type on the V5.

So, send a letter or email to Toyota Customer Services providing your Frame and Model details from the ID tag under the bonnet (usually on the bulkhead on the passenger side of the engine bay) and then they will provide you with a letter that you can take along with a photo of the chassis plate to the DVLA to change the registration.

Toyota Customer Care's contact details are:

Customer Relations Team,

Toyota GB Plc
Great Burgh,
Burgh Heath,
Surrey.  KT18 5UX

Email:  customer.relations@tgb.toyota.co.uk

Good luck and do report back with how you get on.

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