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What to look for in a 80 Series

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by cruiserrg, Aug 5, 2003.

  1. cruiserrg

    cruiserrg

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    OK, now that I have decided that I will probably go with a 80 for my towing/trailriding rig, I need to know what to look for and good mods to do for what I am using it for.

    I plan on trying to find a 93-94. I figure I should look for one with diff locks and full floater rear. What options and things should I look for in purchasing a used 80 for towing and trailriding?

    Here are some other questions I have:
    How to I know for sure it will have a FF without pulling a wheel?
    Is the tow package necessary, what does one with this option have that other don't?
    Is it better to get a stouter bumper/receiver and add the cooler and wiring to a non-tow option rig?
    What modifications are best for a tow rig are a must, and which are nice to have (towing ~5000 lbs with 18' trailer w/brakes)?
    What modification are best for light trailriding that will work decent when towing?

    Thanks for helping out the 80 newb ;)
     
  2. Brentbba

    Brentbba Former Golfer SILVER Star

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    I'll try to help some. It's my understanding from lots of previous threads on subject that all US models have the 'tow package'. Since you have brakes on the trailer, you will need to wire the cruiser up for a brake controller unless you have surge brakes, then the std. 4pin connector assembly that comes with an OEM hitch will do.

    Can't help much with the rest. Some will suggest either a turbo or supercharger for the extra power towing. Somewhat questionable on a 93-94 per past threads.

    Good luck.
     
  3. scottm

    scottm

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    I thought all 80s had full floaters? There was a discussion on another list about that, I can't find it now. All US cruisers came with the tow package, my wife's didn't have the hitch or wiring, but the tow package was on the window sticker. Wiring the lights is simple, plug & play harnesses are available from DrawTite pretty cheap. Trailer brakes are required for that weight, the state-by-state rules are in the front of my road atlas. Pretty easy to run wires in these trucks, like most mods and maintenance. I used to tow a construction trailer daily, air bags in the rear springs are nice for towing. Mine are Air-Lift, under $100 and easy install.
     
  4. Rogue

    Rogue

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    If the rear brakes are disc, then you have a FF out back.

    OME 850J/863 combo works great for both towing and trailriding. It is the heavy set of springs but with 3.5" up front and 2.5" in the rear.

    That's all for now...
     
  5. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    Look at the rear diff where the add plug is. If it is welded on it a FF. If it is bolted it is not.
    The other way is to look at the brakes. THe FF has disk rear brakes. If it had drums its not.
    And one more way is to pull the hub cap. If the wheel studs don't stick out past the axle hub, its a FF. The flush hub is not.

    FF will have the locker, but just having a locker doesn't mean ita a FF.
    And don't fall for the switch on the dash, I have a diff switches that could be pluged into a nonlocker port on the dash. Its is a trick on EBay to make you think its a 80 with Lockers.

    Drive the vehicle at 70+ hwy speed for 15 min+, then get on a gravel p-lot and turn sharp and go round and round to see if the wheel bind up. If they do it a bad t-case. Lock the center diff (low range) and see if the birfields are worn by turning shape and go round and round. If they pop they are worn.
    kurt
     
  6. Jon916996748

    Jon916996748

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    I bet a TRD S/C would be nice for towing to help up the hills. Just gotta make sure your engine can handle all that power first, especially an older one with lots of miles. There is some debate between a Turbo and a S/C, I would rather have the S/C for its constant power band. a

    With the OME J springs you will probably have to replace your control and panhard arms with the AWR ones from Slee.
     
  7. cruiserman

    cruiserman

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    [quote author=landtoy80 link=board=2;threadid=4131;start=0#msg30572 date=1060138595]


    FF will have the locker, but just having a locker doesn't mean ita a FF.[/quote]

    Actually, it's the other way around. If it's got an OEM locker, then it's a FF. But if you identify the rearend as a FF, it doesn't mean it has a locker. It does mean it's got rear disc brakes, ABS, and a viscous coupling transfer case.
     
  8. cruiserman

    cruiserman

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    IMO buying an 80 as a tow rig is a mistake. It's underpowered and overbuilt in other ways for towing. You would be better off with a cummins-powered Ram or similar rig.

    That being said, I would choose a '94. The wiring is there for towing, but if the rig didn't come with a hitch, you'll need the adapter harness to mate the OEM wiring to the trailer. Christo has it.

    The rig already has an oil cooler and a tranny cooler.
     
  9. Jon916996748

    Jon916996748

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    K, may seem like a dumb question, but what are the differences between the 93-94 and the 95-97? Other than dash layout and little body subtlies?
     
  10. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    [quote author=cruiserman link=board=2;threadid=4131;start=0#msg30583 date=1060144534]
    Actually, it's the other way around. If it's got an OEM locker, then it's a FF. But if you identify the rearend as a FF, it doesn't mean it has a locker. It does mean it's got rear disc brakes, ABS, and a viscous coupling transfer case.
    [/quote]

    Thats not true, you can adapt a locker into a nonFF. You could adapt disk brakes to the rear also on a nonFF.
    Did Toyota make FF without lockers?
    I just looked in the FSM (94 Toyota Repair Manual) and it shows how to remove the diff assembly with locker on a nonFF axle (drum brakes).

    Well the safest thing to do is look to see if it has lockers on the front and rear diff, there will be a assembly bolted to the diff with 2 plugs and a air(breather)hose hose and look to see that the hub sticks out and the diff cover is welded on.

    The 93,94 has the big (better) bus tranny 8)
    The 95+has the tiny tranny:(
    This is a big debate on this list.
    kurt
     
  11. cruiserman

    cruiserman

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    Kurt, What I said is true. No 80 came from the factory with OEM lockers and a SF rearend.
     
  12. alaskacruiser

    alaskacruiser

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    kurt and others- for those of you who respect Christo's opinion, he chimed in on the 442 vs. 343 debate (this may have been on the old board...?) and said, if anything, he's seen LESS problems with the 343 tranny.

    Those of you who call it the "4Runner tranny" are mistaken, since it is NOT the same tranny. Also, bigger is not always better. I've had a '93 and now a '97, and the 343 definitely shifts smoother. The one problem I had with my '93? Transmission started to go around 80+k (no I was not the first owner).

    Yes, I have the superior A343F myself. ;)
     
  13. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    I didn't think so. It is strange that the manual shows how to remove the locking diff from the SF.
    All should beware, people will do anything to make their 80 look better to sell them.
    kurt
     
  14. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr SILVER Star

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    Hey Rogue, is that new Avatar a BYU "Cougar"...? :D ;)

    -H-
     
  15. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    [he's seen LESS problems with the 343 tranny.]

    Well the 442 is on older 80's and they tend to have more miles and seen more off road than the mall cruiser 343 :D

    The only reason the 442 is better is becouse thats what I have ;)
    kurt
     
  16. Rogue

    Rogue

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    [quote author=Hltoppr link=board=2;threadid=4131;start=0#msg30663 date=1060184692]
    Hey Rogue, is that new Avatar a BYU "Cougar"...? :D ;)

    -H-
    [/quote]

    It is actually Ray the hamster from Blockbusters current TV spots. The Cougar avatar is next. Gimme a couple of weeks though... :D
     
  17. cruiserrg

    cruiserrg

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    Thanks for all the replies and keep the info coming.

    Rogue, what tires are you running with the lift you mentioned above? Do you tow and trailride on the same tires, and if so how do they handle the towing?
     
  18. Gumby

    Gumby Supamod Staff Member s-Moderator

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    I'm very happy with the Goodyear AT/S. MT/R would be better on the trail, but the AT/S is a great on road tire. It can't be beat in the snow and ice.
    305/70R16 with OME heavy/heavy springs
     
  19. Rogue

    Rogue

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    Currently running 285/75/16 MT/Rs. Rides well on and off the road. I haven't done the caster correction yet either, but I am running a very heavy front end. Towing is nice. The Toyota sag is no longer a problem at all.