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Looking at a '97 FJ80 - newbie questions!

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by alia176, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. alia176

    alia176

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    Hey guys,

    I've been lurking here for the last few days trying to gleen some info on the FJ80s before purchasing one. I still have a few newb questions I'm afraid, if you permit me. Currently I own a '91 RRC (Range Rover Classic) and the suspension/drivetrain is very similar to an FJ80. I'm sure these questions been asked before so please email me if you don't want to waste bandwidth. I did look at Slee's (spell) FAQ on the different FJ to get a good feel for the model.

    Here's the list of questions:
    -Timing belt or chain?
    -Price sounds ok?
    -I'm looking at a '97 FJ80, 64k miles, front/rear diff locks, white, $21,900 obo
    -engine alum block and alum head or just alum block? Dry engine weight?
    -weight distribution - front heavier than rear?
    -heater water valve - tendency to leak or malfunction? Is it vacuum operated? I ended up installing a manual valve in my RRC.
    -Normal leaks. I understand the pinion seals go out at this mileage. How about oil pan, tranny oil pan and T case?
    -Tranny clunking - is this an issue with this vehicle? For example when you put it in D or R, is there a definite clunk coming from the slop in the drivetrain? Is this common among high mileage FJ80s?
    -I happen to have a set new 33" MT/Rs that was going to on the RRC but looks like there's plenty of room in the tire well in the FJ. True?
    -What's the typical oil pump press and flow rate?
    -Does the under hood temp reach critical mass after a short drive with the a/c on? Another words, if you open the hood are you greeted by super hot engine parts, hood latch, etc? Along the same line, does this heat make its way into the cab?
    -HVAC system. Any quirks about this system? How often does the heater core go out? Easy to change w/o removing the entire system out of the vehicle? Are there separate controls for the driver and pass? How does the air make its way to the rear?
    -Looking underneath, there seems to be some room for an aux gas tank where the spare tire goes. Question is, does the spare tire take up crap load of room inside the cargo area? I'm aware of the rear tire carriers mounted on the bumper.
    -The birfields (known as CV in my world) are greased not oil bathed, right? Can you put 90 wt oil in there or is there not a provision for this? Just curious.
    -Are there any known rust issues with Toys? Do they have superior rust protection from the factory?
    -Anyone needed to take advantage of the extended warranty? Is this worth purchasing?
    -Do the aftermarket bumpers typically have built in hitch receivers? Has anyone modified the rear bumper to accept a hitch receiver that goes through the bumper straight to the chassis? I think the spare tire lowering mechanism is in there, right?
    -What accessories come with a brand new FJ80 - jack, spare lowering handle, tools, manuals, remote alarm key fobs, etc..
    -Lastly, what's up with the bananas? :banana: Some kind of a rating system for mech difficulties?
    Thanks for humoring me :D

    Ash
    alia176atyahoo
     
  2. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    Welcome Alia,

    Time to step out of the darkness and into the light, hey!
    A good freind of mine has an 87, I understand your questions but honestly those concerns of how it's built and heat related problems don't apply to a Cruiser. These trucks just RUN and RUN as expected from any properly engineered vehicle.

    You should get a jack and a small tool set with the vehicle. Manuals can be gotten on line or at a dealer. These manuals don't resemble the garbage that Rover offers either, they are very detailed and indepth while being easy to underdstand.

    Where do you live? I'm sure if it's near one of us we could meet up talk about some of the other questions you might have.
     
  3. shocker

    shocker

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    That price might be a little high, but if it's in "perfect" condition, maybe....

    I'm personally not aware of any problems with pinion seals. No common leaks otherwise, especially not on ones with the mileage your looking at.

    The "tranny" clunking is actually the accumulated drivetrain slop (i.e. driveshafts, diffs, etc.) that is created after 60K + miles. Common, but not a problem at all.

    The birfs are filled with moly grease. I've heard of people modifying the knuckles to take 90 wt., but have never seen it; not common. Recommended repack is 60K - 90K miles; you can find write-ups in the tech section.

    http://www.ih8mud.com/tech/birf-repack.html

    http://www.safari4x4.com.au/80scool/tech/birfield_repack/repack.html

    33" tires can fit on a stock FZJ80

    A few companies carry auxiliary fuel tanks that go where the spare is. Check Man-A-Fre; I think they would have them. Of the rear tire carrier/bumper combos that are most popular (Slee, Kaymar, TJM), Kaymar is the only one that has a reciever hitch. However, modifications can be made to the others to make them so equipped.

    The only rust issues I am aware of is that smaller rust spots tend to appear on the upper tailgate, below the rear window.

    All of the accessories you listed normally come with a FZJ80. The best manual to have, however, is the Toyota FSM; essentially the same one a Toyota mechanic at your dealer would use.

    Don't worry, this isn't DWeb.... wasted bandwith is O.K. and simple questions won't erupt into all out webwar. ;)
     
  4. sleeoffroad

    sleeoffroad Supporting Vendor

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    -Timing belt or chain?

    [cs] Chain

    -Price sounds ok?
    -I'm looking at a '97 FJ80, 64k miles, front/rear diff locks, white, $21,900 obo

    [cs] On the high end. However prices differ from place to place and condition. That truck would sell for about 18k in Denver from a Dealer. And even then it would be high.

    -engine alum block and alum head or just alum block? Dry engine weight?

    Aluminum head. Weight probably close to 700lbs or more.

    -weight distribution - front heavier than rear?

    Don't know. Why do you need to know? When we load them on the lift, they don't fall forwards or backwards so I say 50/05. When I cut the back end of the Shortbus, it wanted to fall forward of the lift.

    -heater water valve - tendency to leak or malfunction? Is it vacuum
    operated? I ended up installing a manual valve in my RRC.

    [cs] At high mileage maybe. Cable from servo motor.

    -Normal leaks. I understand the pinion seals go out at this mileage. How about oil pan, tranny oil pan and T case?

    [cs] Most common is 2nd oil pan. Also higher mileage.

    -Tranny clunking - is this an issue with this vehicle? For example when you put it in D or R, is there a definite clunk coming from the slop in the drivetrain? Is this common among high mileage FJ80s?

    [cs] Nothing wrong. It is a truck & constant 4wd at it. Lots of components with slop makes for clunk eventually when everything starts moving. Will get worse with higher mileage as tolerances get bigger due to wear.

    -I happen to have a set new 33" MT/Rs that was going to on the RRC but looks like there's plenty of room in the tire well in the FJ. True?

    [cs] should go on, however stock suspension sucks. Worthwile to update and get extra clearance and better ride.

    -What's the typical oil pump press and flow rate?

    [cs] Not sure, oil pumps are gear driven mechanical of the crank. Never seen a problem with one.

    -Does the under hood temp reach critical mass after a short drive with the a/c
    on? Another words, if you open the hood are you greeted by super hot engine parts, hood latch, etc? Along the same line, does this heat make its way into the cab?

    [cs] with supercharger, dual batteries and a bunch of stuff under the hood this becomes an issue. Normally not. As for heat in the cabin, mostly from exhaust. 93/94 worse than 95/97 since exhaust wraps over framerail under the ps seat. However off-road this is the better setup.

    -HVAC system. Any quirks about this system? How often does the heater core go out?

    [cs] Haven't heard of one yet.

    Easy to change w/o removing the entire system out of the vehicle?

    [cs] Never tried, other than swapping the whole dash. That was some work.

    - Are there separate controls for the driver and pass?

    [cs] no

    - How does the air make its way to the rear?

    [cs] Through the air. :D Does have 2nd row heater under the ps seat that wents at the back of the center console.

    -Looking underneath, there seems to be some room for an aux gas tank where the spare tire goes. Question is, does the spare tire take up crap load of room inside the cargo area? I'm aware of the rear tire carriers mounted on the bumper.

    [cs] Yes there are aftermarket tanks available. Both oem that can sit above spare tire or bigger ones that suck up all the space. The tire takes about as much space as a tire :D Depends on the size you run.

    -The birfields (known as CV in my world) are greased not oil bathed, right?

    Greased.

    - Can you put 90 wt oil in there or is there not a provision for this?

    [cs] No, it would leak past the wiper seals and make a huge mess.

    -Are there any known rust issues with Toys? Do they have superior rust protection from the factory?

    [cs] Tailgates seems to be the only pieces that rust and then it is not common.

    -Anyone needed to take advantage of the extended warranty? Is this worth purchasing?

    [cs] Depens on coverage and price.

    -Do the aftermarket bumpers typically have built in hitch receivers?

    [cs] Some do some don't. Depends on application.

    - Has anyone modified the rear bumper to accept a hitch receiver that goes through the bumper straight to the chassis?

    [cs] The black that you see is actually crossmemeber. CDan is supposed to do this and report back. Sure it has been done somewhere.

    -What accessories come with a brand new FJ80 - jack, spare lowering handle, tools, manuals, remote alarm key fobs, etc..

    [cs] Not all had alarms.

    -Lastly, what's up with the bananas? :banana: Some kind of a rating system for mech difficulties?

    [cs] Yup, more banana's means the shade tree monkey (mechanic) has to be clever :D
     
  5. cruiserman

    cruiserman

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    * chain
    * price is OK in my part of the country. dunno about yours.
    * cast iron block & aluminum head. dunno about weight.
    * dunno about weight, but seems relatively well balanced
    * it's a toyota, not a POS LR :)
    * pinion seals do not go at this mileage. the only seals that routinely go are axle seals.
    * drivetrain clunk is a feature, not a problem :)
    * yes to 33s
    * dunno about oil pump pressure/flow. it's in the manual. the pump is a set of gears in the timing cover housing.
    * underhood temps are reasonable
    * no HVAC issues. single controls. who cares about the rear seats when you're driving :)?
    * moly grease for birfields & knuckles. again, it's not a LR
    * your call about spare location
    * no rust issues
    * the bumper is the chassis. That center bumper section is the rear cross-member.
    * tool kit & jack are housed in cargo area, driver's side. supplement as needed.

    Bananas taste good. I think Brian has an explanation of the STHM rating system somewhere.
     
  6. TxAggie

    TxAggie

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    I'm really new to LC's as well, Alia, and I've scoured these forums for anything to check prior to buying my 97 LC.

    $21,900 is really high compared to prices in Texas. I spent 8 weeks shopping before I found a suitable LC, and I paid $15,200 for one with a little over 100k miles. There isn't (nor shouldn't) be a huge price gap for 40k miles, maybe $1500-$2000 at most.

    I don't know if you are looking for an 80series in particular (I was) but you can easily find a mint 97 with 80k miles for around $17,000.

    Here is an anniv edition on ebay that I was watching when I got mine. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&category=6443&item=2427210390

    I'm a newbie to LC's and a newbie to 4x4's, so I wanted an 80series that had full repair documentation and had been serviced in a good shop. I'd just rather not have any nasty suprises.

    I'm sure most people in ih8mud would offer, but if you want me to post up some good LC's in Texas (shipping is like $650) I wouldn't mind dragging my mechanical-minded friends to look at some for sale.

    Anyway, i hope that helps.
    Jay
     
  7. cary

    cary

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    Instead, of reviewing all of the questions you posted, which seem to be targeted towards Landrovers (you have my deepest sympathy), I'll mention the only areas that seem to be of any specific concern to the cruisers, and they tend to be maintence.

    1) Cooling- No problems if you use the factory coolant and change it once a year. A few higher miliage motors have needed radiators replaced due to overheating when towing heavy loads in heat. There is a little hose on the left side of the engine that should be replaced as a preventative measure.

    2) Engine- Very reliable, potential head gasket failure if you strap a blower on it.

    3) HVAC- Works, doesn't seem to break, some complaints about the operation of the optional climate control on 97 40th Ann model.

    4) Drivetrain- Repack the birfields every 60,000-90,000 miles, probably the most expensive maintence item.

    5) Stereo- Pull out the stock front and rear door speakers, throw them as far as possible, and buy the Eclipse SE series 5.25" and 4" for $180 for both and replace them.

    6) Other issues- Trying to figure out what to do with all the free time you have not working on your landrover.

    Prices- The price seems a little steep. I practically stole my 80 when I bought it in April. 1996, White, factory lockers, 113K miles, $13,000, in Northern California.


    Cary
     
  8. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    I weighed mine at the truck stop a while back.

    Steel wheels & 305/70/16 tires(5), 8k winch and heavy bumper, supercharger, rock sliders, Garvin roof rack, drawers.

    Ft axle: 3,200 lbs
    Re axle: 2,840 lbs
     
  9. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    >> Ft axle: 3,200 lbs
    >> Re axle: 2,840 lbs

    A Slee rear bumper and an aux fuel tank oughta get that thing right at 50/50 ;)

    BTW, there are signs all up and down Tramway that say no trucks over 3 tons. I guess they won't let me get home any more.

    -B-
     
  10. alia176

    alia176

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    Don't worry, this isn't DWeb.... wasted bandwith is O.K. and simple questions won't erupt into all out webwar. ;)

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the sympathies and the warm welcome. Sounds like some of you have peeked at what goes on at DWeb!

    Excellent inputs and very very appreciated. I now have a good idea of what to look at when I go check it out with my wife tomorrow at the dealer. Let's see what I can do with the price, nice to know where it falls in with the norm.

    I'll still keep the RRC since it's setup just the way I like it. Here's the rundown: front ARB bumper w/ M10000, sliders and bumpers home made and hold air, belt driven air compressor, ARB f/r lockers, castor correcting from arms, custom made beefy rear arms, 32" MTRs, usual geek factor inside (GPS, laptop, cb, gauges, winch control, etc), dual batts, blah blah blah. I just finished building a sweet alum block 4.6 for her but we'll see. Maybe I'll stick it in the FJ ;)

    But there comes a time when decisions have to be made about what we want out of an older vehicle and I'm afraid I'm at that stage. I really wasn't looking to for a FJ but when I saw this one with lockers, everything became very focused quickly. Normally I hunt around for months before buying a vehicle like this but I'd hate to pass up an opportunity.

    Thanks again for the inputs.

    Ash
     
  11. shocker

    shocker

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    I used to have a Disco (Mr. Sparky!), but that was before DiscoWeb got big at all (4 - 5 years ago or so). My sister has a DII right now. I've always liked Rovers in some weird way, but reliability became too much of an issue to ignore. But, I still like reading tech stuff on them, mainly because I still get bored at work. :D
     
  12. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    I have an off-list Bud with a 93 80 and a D90. he bought both rigs new. He is fond of both but does mumble more about the Rover than the 80 ::) He drives the Rover in the summer and the 80 in the winter.
     
  13. cary

    cary

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    [quote author=alia176 link=board=2;threadid=4530;start=msg34193#msg34193 date=1061584481]
    I just finished building a sweet alum block 4.6 for her but we'll see. Maybe I'll stick it in the FJ ;)


    Ash
    [/quote]

    Now, why would you want to go and ruin a perfectly good 80 by putting a 1960's Buick engine in it????? :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[
     
  14. alia176

    alia176

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    Why a new 4.6? Since I keep hearing the gutless tendencies of the 80, thought that maybe an option some day. Since the 4.6 will be lighter than the 4.5, may have change front springs out, LOL! Nah, if the 4.5 I-6 does well with all the stuff that'll eventually end up on the 80, then I won't mess with it. If it ain't broken, don't fix it works for me!

    Ash
     
  15. shocker

    shocker

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  16. cary

    cary

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    If the 80 doesn't have enough power, blow it, 300hp, 400ft/lb torque. No 4.6 Buick motor will being putting that out.


    Cary
     
  17. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr SILVER Star

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    Yeah, I have to admit rovers look pretty cool, but when I sold my FJ60 and was looking at a Disco, I realized that the build quality is just too questionable to bet on when I'm 100 miles from the nearest paved road. Plus, I don't think BMT would have talked to me again if I got a LR. :-\

    My 1992 80 has 181,000 miles on it, original engine, TRANNY (a Dweb dig... ;) ) etc. and the only thing I've replaced is a small radiator hose.

    This is my 4th Landcruiser, and none of them have let me down. Build quality is top notch, they're easy to work on, and easy to modify. My wife and I have actually talked about getting another FZJ80....

    -H-
     
  18. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    When I worked on my buddies 87 RR I had a full set of SAE and metric tools and STILL didn't have all the wrenches I needed! Something about Witworth :p? You'll like working on the Toyotas, up to and including 14mm all nuts and bolts are even numbered sizes :D.
     
  19. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    [quote author=landtank link=board=2;threadid=4530;start=msg34231#msg34231 date=1061593414]
    all nuts and bolts are even numbered sizes :D.
    [/quote]

    That is until you add a blower. Then you get 13,15 and 18 :eek: (the 18 only comes into play if your stock nose pully "falls off" and you need to replace it with one that is a wee bit smaller in diameter ;) )
     
  20. Junk

    Junk

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    [quote author=cruiserdan link=board=2;threadid=4530;start=msg34238#msg34238 date=1061595166]
    That is until you add a blower. Then you get 13,15 and 18 :eek: (the 18 only comes into play if your stock nose pully "falls off" and you need to replace it with one that is a wee bit smaller in diameter ;) )
    [/quote]

    No really Cdan? ::) LOL, my mechanic wasn't prepared for anything other than even when he installed mine.