80 and 100 series comparison

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Hello My Name is: TAD
Aug 20, 2003
South Carolina
Background: Looking at getting a 'cruiser as a daily driver and fun weekend off-roader. The wallet is weighing in at about $23k at the top end for this purchase. I feel pretty comfortable that all of the '96 and '97 series are easily attainable at this price limit. I could also squeeze into a '98 100 Series at this price; but should I?

I don't see any threads that state whether the 100's have factor F/R lockers; this is a must. What are the facts?

Also, would holding out to get the V8 be worth it? I don't have a problem getting the 4.5 and S/C'ing it.

I've wheeled in 4Runners before on the Upper Tellico Trail in North Carolina and want a mild mannered very capable vehicle. That seems to be the Land Cruiser's MO :D

Sounds like you may want to consider picking up a 96-97 with factory lockers. This should cost no more than $17k (and that includes a cushion!) and allows you to spend some $ on suspension, new rubber, bumpers and winch. You won't be doing all the trails at Tellico with this setup, but you'd be doing most and driving in comfort to and from the trail.

The 100's are nice trucks. The IFS thing is over rated. They are very capable. Biggest drawback I see is all the body molding plastic crap that would look horrible if trimmed/hacked up.

I don't think you'll find a need for the supercharger. I have one, but don't think it's necessary. Spend the money on gears if you really want to spend the money.
Welcome Tad,

You could buy and outfit a damn nice 80 for 23 grand. 100 series early models had a rear only locker as an option. The later 100's have traction control instead. I see you have a Tundra so you are already familar with the V8. The 1FZ is a very smooth powerplant. When fitted with forced induction, they will out run the V8's unless they too are blown. There is a greater selection of goodies for the 80 vs the 100 but time will even out that playing field. I believe the 80 is easier to lift and I prefer solid axles at both ends. The 100 has better hiway manners but that is not to say the 80 is not a good hiway vehicle. My 80 is the best road car I have ever owned AND the best off road vehicle I have ever owned. So, a 100 will cost more up front and be a bit more difficult to modify and does not offer the possibility of OEM locks at both ends but would have the edge on the hiway. I definitly prefer the styling of the 80 vs the 100. To me it looks like it ought to be able to do the amazing things that it is very capable of doing while the 100 looks like a comfortable ride and that's about it.

My .02 Dan.
Everyone's said it. You want an 80. You have enough to buy a nice low miles one, and still have enough to properly oufit it.
Just so you know, best years of the 80, as someone said before, 93-94 :D :D. Mainly thats because what I have, but I do like the dash setup better in the ealier ones. If you went with an ealier model, you could save more money as well. Say about 10k at the most for moderate miles and in good condition. Then you have 13k to spend. Hrmmm what to get?? Safari Turbo(if ya can find it), Kaymar/Slee rear bumper with tire carrier, long range tank, ARB w/ m15000 winch, slee slidders, Swampers, snorkel, roof rack, OME (possibly Slees 5" ome kit too). Heck waith 13k you could have a pretty sturdy rig to wheel in.

From a different thread.
93-94 are the best years.

- Bigger, better tranny
- More front leg room
- No Auto-climate
- No airbags

I can attest to that. I like my 80 plain and simple.
Could you elaborate on the Dash setup of the earlier 80s? I need some more education!

There has never been any proof that the earlier models have a better tranny. And the 95-97 dashes are way nicer! So what's the big deal with having air bags?
From my understanding, from someone else not me, said that since the 93-94 tranny has a higher gear ratio in 1st and Rev, I think, it would therefore have more power. Dash however is preference, I'll get you a pic of my(93) dash. As for airbags, who needs em when your driving 2.5 tons of metal? lol jk but ya, never been in a wreck so I hope I wont regret saying that :-X.

Those would be lower 1st and Reverse gears. The higher gears of the smaller A343F transmission give it a bit less grunt, but isn't really noticable overall. The older A442F transmission, besides having lower gears, holds more fluid. The guys with the newer trucks are just jealous.

As for the weight, mine weighed in at ~5940 with a full tank of gas and otherwise empty last time I stopped in at the scales. Mind you, this includes an ARB front bumper and a WARN M12k stuffed in there. Also the GY MT/Rs are quite heavy for their size. When I get in, the beast tops three tons. I don't worry too much about the airbags either.

I am curious... Do the airbags in the 80 series have the ability to be disarmed? Vehicles with first generation airbags have been judged often as more dangerous than a vehicle that is unequiped. The force of these early airbags is enough to cause severe damage to youths and adults with smaller builds. I am not saying this is my reason for disliking airbags, but it is a valid point if the airbags can not be shut off. I am not sure though... can they?
Cutoff switches can be installed on an airbag equipped 80 series AFTER the owner petitions the NHSTA AND is granted permission to do so. The applicant must fit into one or more of the allowed catagories. The catagories include a driver of short stature that would be required to be seated less than 10 inches from the steering wheel, children that MUST be transported in the front passenger seat and persons whose physican certifies that due to medical or physical conditions the air bag would do more damage to them than the dashboard. A single cutoff switch for either passenger or driver runs about 165 bucks. A dual switch for both runs about 325 bucks. And no, you don't get to pick which one you want, the government decides that for you based on who needs to ride where.

A footnote. It is illegal to disconnect them yourself and selling a vehicle that has had that done to it opens up some very nasty legal issues.

Class dismissed............ ;)
Someone correct me if im rong but also dont the 93-94 have the exhaust pipeing mounted higher in the frame than the 95-97? This is great for anything that has a rock near it.
Thanks for all of the great input! 80 series it is then. Now I will just need to unload the Acura in order to bring another 'yota into the family; and convince my wife that is the right thing to do. ;) Any effective approaches to identifying the factory F/R locker package? It seems I'll have to crawl under the vehicle and look in the door jamb plate as well as look for the switch. That kinda puts a damper on the internet searching option. I was considering going to the Toyota dealer and having them do a search using the factory option code. May cost a few bucks more but I may have more to choose from that way. I'm worried that the percentage of 80's that have this option is pretty low; am I wrong?

About 7% of the total build is so equipped.

You can PM me with the vins of any candidates you are looking at and I can tell you if they started life with them or not.

7% !?! :eek: I've found one here in town I'm going to go look at tonight. Has the switch in the dash and the proper axle code in the door jamb. It's a '97 w/ 104k miles for $18k. Seems a bit pricey for that mileage but I'll go look anyways. I feel pretty comfortable I could get that down to $16k without working to hard. Maybe a single :banana: job.
Good luck...

For a '97 with 100k that is on the high end, but still reasonable depending on condition. If you love her, she will take you 300k.
BTW, not the truck... Junks mama... :eek: :flipoff2: :eek:
I've been looking for an 80 as well. I found a 94 last week with 94k on it and lockers for $9300. It was gone before I could get to it.

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