Category Archives: Trucks

Do It Yourself Cold Weather Mechanic Work Gloves That Are Insulated But Still Allow You To Work

Here’s a quick tip for you when you need to turn a wrench outside except it is really cold but you still need to feel what you are doing or can’t wear bulky insulated work gloves.

What you need to do is real simple – put on nitrile gloves first. This layer next to your skin insulates and protects you from both the wind and your hands getting wet. This is a big deal when there is snow. The second layer is your regular thin mechanics gloves. I have several brands of work gloves but Mechanix is probably the brand I use most followed by Ace.

I meant to write about this last year but forgot. Yesterday I had to work on my plow and it was +9F. The above worked great. Of course there is a limit and I don’t want anybody getting frostbite so use your common sense and play it is safe it is super cold.

At 9 degrees Farenheit, holding steel tools and moving metal parts around is a recipe for frostbite. It was this kind of work last year that led me to experimenting with putting Nitrile gloves under my thin Mechanics gloves.

I buy boxes of 5 mil Nitrile gloves whenever they go on sale at Harbor Freight. I think the sale prices tend to be around $5.99 and there are 100 in each box. I use a ton of them with my plastics work but also when working on cars. Any brand ought to work but I think the Harbor Freight gloves are a great deal when on sale.

I settled on 5 mil thick gloves because thinner ones fall apart very easily and thicker ones start to be bulky and mess with your sense of touch. I tried both 7 and 9 mil gloves before going back to 5.

I like 5 mil. It’s neither too thin nor too thick in my opinion. Note, they are meant to be disposable so you may or may not get more than one use from them.

The outer gloves are just basic Mechanix brand gloves.

I literally snapped this photo on my way out to work on the plow in 9 degree snowy weather.

I hope this little trick helps you out! I set up some Amazon product links for you below this post in case you would like to buy gloves.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


Don’t Buy the DBPower 1200A Portable Jump Starter For Your Car or Truck – You Can’t Rely On It!

In August 2016 I bought a DBPower 400A DJS10 Peak jump starter amd found it handy. At the end of August 2018, I bought two of the bigger 1200A portable jump starters. I was busy and the units sat until some time in November when I tried to charge them. One was dead on arrival and would not charge no matter what method I tried (USB or their supplied charger). I contacted the seller and they were cool about immediately shipping a replacement. I charged it no problem and put both in our cars as a “just in case” measure.4

So, fast forward to February 1, 2019. Michigan was in the grips of an arctic freeze with ambient temperatures ranging from -8 to -12F and windchills under -20F. It was this way for two days. On the first, I went to start my wife’s Camry for the first time in several weeks and the starter could barely turn a few times before the solenoid clicked. The battery read 11.17 volts.

I thought myself lucky that I had the foresight to buy the batteries as I would not have to move my truck around to jump start it or run an extension cord out to use one of my Noco Genius chargers. The DBPower unit had been in the card and it was about +9F at the time. The whole point of these things is to store them in the car, right? It was fully charged when I put it in there.

Guess what? The DBPower read “Lo” voltage on the LED display when I turned it on and tried to charge the battery. It didn’t help the cart start at all. I was pissed. These things were $72.99/each. I felt like I had wasted a ton of money on junk. That is not a good feeling.

So, I decided to run an extension cord from my shop and hooked up my big Noco Genius G2600 charger to the battery and set it to the 30 amp quick charge setting that runs for five minutes.

This time around, the story ends a lot better – the car started right up. My wife used her car to run errands and I let it charge all last night with the normal charging cycle on the Noco.

Bottom line, I am done with DBPower. I only bought it because of good reviews and past experience. I am looking at the Amazon site right now for the DBPower 1200A and am looking at all the bad reviews in the last few months. [Click here if you want to jump to the review page for this item]

Folks, don’t buy their stuff. If you live in a rural area and are counting on this to get you out of a jam, you can’t. As for me, I just bought a GB40 Noco jump starter because I have had such great luck with their chargers over the years.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


NOCO GB40 Genius Boost HD 1000 Amp 12V Gas/Diesel UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter

$99.95
End Date: Saturday Mar-16-2019 6:18:32 PDT
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NOCO GB70 Genius Boost HD 2000 Amp 12V Gas/Diesel UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter

$199.95
End Date: Saturday Mar-16-2019 6:18:42 PDT
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NOCO GB150 Genius Boost Pro UltraSafe 4000 Amp 12V Lithium Battery Jump Starter

$299.95
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NOCO G7200 Genius UltraSafe 7.2A Battery Charger and Maintainer for 12V

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NOCO G15000 Genius 12V/24V 15A Pro Series UltraSafe Smart Battery Jump Charger

$159.95
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NOCO Genius G3500 Battery Charger

$59.95
End Date: Saturday Mar-23-2019 7:53:19 PDT
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NOCO Genius Boost Pro GB150 4000 Amp 12V UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter

$254.95
End Date: Monday Feb-25-2019 20:03:14 PST
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NOCO GB20 Genius Boost Sport 400 Amp 12V UltraSafe Lithium Battery Jump Starter

$79.95
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Noco GB40 Genius BOOST Plus+ Jump Starter - 1000 amp - Start Dead Batteries!

$99.95
End Date: Thursday Mar-14-2019 11:45:35 PDT
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NOCO Genius Boost GB70 2000Amp 12V Lithium Jump Starter (Free 2nd Day Shipping)

$199.95
End Date: Tuesday Feb-26-2019 12:47:21 PST
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What to do if your 1996 Landcruiser’s Shifter Will Not Come Out of Park – How to Release the Shift Lock Button

Have you ever noticed that things go bad at the worst time? In my case it was during heavy snow. I was plowing wet snow out of the way and had a few hours to beat when the temperatures would drop and turn the melting snow into a block of ice.

My plow truck is a 1996 Toyota Landcruiser that has a rear mounted plow made by a long gone firm named “Super Plow”. It works pretty good when snow stays under 18″ so I plow a few times during a storm to keep it knocked down.

I was plowing, put the truck in park and got out to see what I needed to touch up. I got back in and it would not shift out of Park. I could tell that the shift lock button was not going in as far as it should. First, I tried turning the steering wheel left and right – no luck. The lock would not release. I then put the truck’s transfer case in Neutral and rocked it some – nothing. I dropped the blade to make sure there weren’t any stresses – nothing. Well, that meant the selector solenoid wasn’t moving out of the way. Argh!! Of course I was stuck right in the middle of the driveway.

I called my buddy John Freehling up who is a real mechanic and will forget more about cars than I will ever learn. He told me that there ought to be an emergency release somewhere near the lever and to do a quick search on the Internet to find out just where, which I did.

You get access to the emergency release by using a blade screw driver, knife or something, to pry the little rectangular lid that is located to the upper left of the shift console. You then can insert a screw driver to gently push down and release the shift lever.
Bingo! Problem solved. I then got the truck back to my garage and went in and read on the computer instead of my little phone screen.

The access plate is at the upper edge of the console. You can see the small plate sitting in the boot of the transfer case lever. You need to reach in and press the release each time you want to take the lever out of park.

The Work Around

Now, it is literally subzero weather right now and I’ll work on permanently solving the weather this weekend when it warms up. Until then, I found a great solution on the web – cut a carpenter’s pencil off so it sticks up slightly – just the body – you don’t need it to be pointed. I put my pencil in and gave myself about an inch protruding and cut it off in my bandsaw.

Getting out of park takes two hands – I push down on the stubby pencil with my left hand, push in the lock button like normal and pull the lever down with my right. Again, you just need it to move the shift lever out of park – not all the time. It works just fine. I was able to finish plowing my hose and my mother-in-law’s no problem.

What might the problem be?

Troubleshooting and fixing this one ought to be pretty straight forward when it is warmer. Here’s what I am going to try in order:

  1. Push down on the brake pedal. If the lights turn on, then the brake pedal switch is good. If they don’t then the problem is most likely the brake pedal switch. I read an interesting post where the guy said unscrewing and removing the brake pedal assembly makes it very straight forward.
  2. If the brake lights come on, make sure they all come on. If not, one blown bulb could potentially cause the problem.
  3. Related to #2 – Check brake light fuse and replace if blown.
  4. If the light all come on, check for power at the solenoid because odds are the solenoid failed.

So, we’ll see what the final fix is but I hope this helps anyone stuck and unable to get the shift lever lock switch to depress and let them shift out of park.

2/3/19 Update: It blew the fuse — As you see, the truck’s plow is on the rear. I smashed the trailer light hookup assembly pretty good and it must have shorted somewhere. This summer I’ll use a hole saw and cut the rear bumper to install a trailer electrical assembly that is better protected vs. under the bumper. So, the truck’s brake lights and shifter are working again.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


GENUINE Toyota LandCruiser FJ80 FZJ80 HDJ80 HZJ80 Lower Front RH Door Hinge

$39.05
End Date: Sunday Mar-10-2019 1:15:29 PST
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GENUINE Toyota LandCruiser FJ80 FZJ80 Windscreen Washer Bottle Tank wRear Washer

$68.44
End Date: Thursday Mar-14-2019 16:35:19 PDT
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Genuine TOYOTA Landcruiser FZJ80 FJ80 Left Vertical WeatherStrip Back Barn Door

$23.29
End Date: Monday Mar-18-2019 22:43:37 PDT
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GENUINE Toyota LandCruiser FJ80 FZJ80 New Door Bezel Inner Left Front Rear Grey

$12.54
End Date: Friday Mar-22-2019 0:27:22 PDT
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GENUINE Toyota LandCruiser FJ80 FZJ80 HDJ80 HDJ81 Door Courtesy Light Swit

$19.49
End Date: Thursday Mar-21-2019 1:39:38 PDT
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GENUINE Toyota LandCruiser FJ80 FZJ80 Front Right Fender Guard Apron Cover Seal

$38.70
End Date: Saturday Mar-16-2019 18:19:41 PDT
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GENUINE Toyota Landcruiser 80 series FJ FZJ HDJ HZJ Front Right RH Brake Hose

$31.75
End Date: Thursday Mar-21-2019 20:48:24 PDT
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GENUINE Toyota Landcruiser FJ80 FZJ80 Rear RH Door Window Channel Bailey Rubber

$72.77
End Date: Tuesday Mar-19-2019 1:16:14 PDT
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GENUINE Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series FJ80 FZJ80 HDJ80 HZJ80 Gear Stick Dust Boot

$24.40
End Date: Friday Mar-22-2019 17:24:35 PDT
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Toyota Land Cruiser FJ80 FZJ80 "DIFF LOCK" T-shirt

$18.00
End Date: Saturday Mar-2-2019 19:27:12 PST
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These are the Correct Weatherstripping Clips for 1996 Toyota Landcruisers (80-series)

I did some bodywork on my 1996 Landcruiser (an 80-series Landcruiser) this past summer and had to replace the weatherstripping clips on the bottom of the driver side door. I did some digging and found that these clips are the correct size (5mm with a 15mm head) and they worked great for me. The one guy complains that these are green so he only scored it three stars. My originals were a pinkish color so green didn’t matter to me at all plus once installed, you can’t see them.

I popped the remaining originals out with a removal tool. If you don’t have one, they make a world of difference in the removal of clips. In a truck this old, I try to replace old plastic clips when I can as often find them to be brittle and either break during removal or re-insertion.

Here is a clip removal tool. The green clips under it are the brand new replacement units.

The tool you see in the above photo came with the following replacement Toyota Trim Clips package that has helped me out a number of times such as securing drooping engine bay plastic shields on a 2002 Toyota Camry.

Here were the remaining original clips. Note the lovely pink-ish color thus I really didn’t mind what colors the originals were as long as they worked.

Here is the end result – I worked the clips into each hole in the weather stripping and then simply pushed them into the body holes. I think I installed a total of five to six clips. The drooping problem was solved.

The heads securely fit in the holes in the weather stripping and into the body.
No more drooping weatherstripping!

In Summary

These clips worked great. I just did this post to try and save anyone trying to find clips specifically for an 80 series Landcruiser.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


Toyota Landcruiser 80 series guard mount antenna. NEW.

$28.66
End Date: Thursday Mar-21-2019 1:27:22 PDT
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GENUINE Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series 1995 - On Drink Cup Holder

$60.55
End Date: Friday Mar-8-2019 3:44:52 PST
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GENUINE Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series HZJ80 HDJ80 Fuel Filter Water Sensor

$78.47
End Date: Wednesday Mar-6-2019 22:58:44 PST
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Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series FZJ80 HDJ80 Right RHF Power Window Switch Surround

$32.25
End Date: Monday Feb-25-2019 18:28:49 PST
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PASSENGER REAR INTERIOR CARGO TRIM PANEL 1996 Landcruiser R256556 OEM

$77.17
End Date: Thursday Feb-28-2019 6:08:30 PST
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DRIVER REAR INTERIOR CARGO TRIM PANEL 1996 Landcruiser R256558 OEM

$77.17
End Date: Thursday Feb-28-2019 6:41:00 PST
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Fzj 80 series landcruiser toyota DIFFERENTIAL magnetic fill up DRAIN PLUG truck

$5.92
End Date: Saturday Mar-16-2019 11:07:12 PDT
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GENUINE Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series Door Weatherstrip Moulding CHROME All Doors

$186.03
End Date: Saturday Mar-23-2019 1:15:36 PDT
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GENUINE Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series Battery Box Right Driver side RH FZJ HDJ

$62.92
End Date: Tuesday Feb-26-2019 18:11:33 PST
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GENUINE Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series LH Battery Box Passenger Left hand side

$70.91
End Date: Tuesday Feb-26-2019 18:05:50 PST
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