94 lower miles & lockers vs 97 amazing service records (1 Viewer)

Joined
Nov 19, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Miami FL
Hey guys so I have a little predicament here. Ive been looking at buying an FJ80 for a couple months now and ive been lurking these forums trying to learn more and ive come across two 80s that I like. The 94 has 164k miles and it has lockers but when I ran the carfax no service records since 2001 when it had 101k miles. It does look clean but im weary of the condition especially since the person dosent have pics of the lockers working or of the underbody but I am waiting for a response from them. The other one is a 97 with 202k miles and it is immaculate its in really good shape clearly no rust interior is clean and it has some mods I was already gonna do but it has no lockers. Does anyone have any suggestions? Should I go the air locker route or should I go with the OEM ones?
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
21
Location
Phoenix
Hey guys so I have a little predicament here. Ive been looking at buying an FJ80 for a couple months now and ive been lurking these forums trying to learn more and ive come across two 80s that I like. The 94 has 164k miles and it has lockers but when I ran the carfax no service records since 2001 when it had 101k miles. It does look clean but im weary of the condition especially since the person dosent have pics of the lockers working or of the underbody but I am waiting for a response from them. The other one is a 97 with 202k miles and it is immaculate its in really good shape clearly no rust interior is clean and it has some mods I was already gonna do but it has no lockers. Does anyone have any suggestions? Should I go the air locker route or should I go with the OEM ones?
Go with the one with lockers if everything checks out. But can't go wrong with either. 💯😋
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2018
Messages
59
Location
Texas
Don’t worry about lockers. Unless you’re going to do a bunch of hardcore rock crawling you will likely get by just fine without them. I’d definitely go for a cherry 97 model that’s in immaculate shape... plus you have OBD2 compatibility and you can still get engine wire harnesses, o2 sensors, don’t have to worry about the MAF meter failing (the 95+ has a mass air flow sensor, not a MAF meter), etc.

I say this as a 94 owner... wish mine was 95+.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Miami FL
Go with the one with lockers if everything checks out. But can't go wrong with either. 💯😋
Do you by any chance have factory lockers? I researched 3rd gen 4runnners a while ago and I know the oem locker on that was prone to failing occasionally.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Miami FL
Don’t worry about lockers. Unless you’re going to do a bunch of hardcore rock crawling you will likely get by just fine without them. I’d definitely go for a cherry 97 model that’s in immaculate shape... plus you have OBD2 compatibility and you can still get engine wire harnesses, o2 sensors, don’t have to worry about the MAF meter failing (the 95+ has a mass air flow sensor, not a MAF meter), etc.

I say this as a 94 owner... wish mine was 95+.
Thanks I do some reading and everyone says get the lockers and they would definitrly help but my thinkjng is save on some of the mods with the 97 such as bumper winch tires and lift and then spring for arb lockers in the future. Would you agree with that?
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Messages
1,340
Location
Surprise AZ.
First, what are your plans for it? Second, how much cash are you going to throw at it when you get home? My answer would depend on these questions.

I could write a short story on which I would take so, as I don't want to write a short story:. Take the one in the best condition.

Now a little food for thought. Nothing on these things are cheap and the rigs are 23 plus years old. You will throw a bucket load of cash at either one just to get it baselined. If you are wrenching on it, plan on at least $1k. I know it sounds like alot, but, see the second sentence above. The rubber hoses, grommets, power steering hoses etc are going to be hard, brittle and will let you down if they have not been replaced. Replace the radiator and T-stat while you are at it. If the trans line corrodes inside the radiator, you will be rebuilding the transmission; cheap insurance. Also, for almost all of these parts, save yourself a lot of heartache, go with Toyota parts.

As for the lockers, if you are going to regear, see the above. If not, that will be about 1k of savings.
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Messages
207
Location
Bellingham WA.
don't overvalue service records from the dealer, do value receipts for parts and extensive knowledge of the seller.

i wouldn't dream of letting those monkeys at the dealership touch my 80...the parts manager there salivates over all the parts I've bought and knows what its about but the monkeys in the garage dont know jack about working on these, let alone care.my receipts book is 3 -4 inches thick by now and i care....that is what your looking for.

air lockers are less problematic than stock i hear.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
21
Location
Phoenix
Do you by any chance have factory lockers? I researched 3rd gen 4runnners a while ago and I know the oem locker on that was prone to failing occasionally.
No, I have a 97 without lockers but I don't offroad much. I occasionally do some trails. It's more of a camping / road trip vehicle for me right now. I know the OEM lockers make this thing almost unstoppable with the right setup.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Miami FL
First, what are your plans for it? Second, how much cash are you going to throw at it when you get home? My answer would depend on these questions.

I could write a short story on which I would take so, as I don't want to write a short story:. Take the one in the best condition.

Now a little food for thought. Nothing on these things are cheap and the rigs are 23 plus years old. You will throw a bucket load of cash at either one just to get it baselined. If you are wrenching on it, plan on at least $1k. I know it sounds like alot, but, see the second sentence above. The rubber hoses, grommets, power steering hoses etc are going to be hard, brittle and will let you down if they have not been replaced. Replace the radiator and T-stat while you are at it. If the trans line corrodes inside the radiator, you will be rebuilding the transmission; cheap insurance. Also, for almost all of these parts, save yourself a lot of heartache, go with Toyota parts.

As for the lockers, if you are going to regear, see the above. If not, that will be about 1k of savings.
So my main use for this vehicle is going to be city driving and dirt road driving with occasional offroading and camping. As far as cash to get it right my plan is to buy a really clean one from the beginning rather than take on a project and go from there. After the purchase im gonna do basic baselining and inspect what needs to be done what rubbers gone bad etc and go from there. Basically I dont mind spending a grand if i have to but if it can be avoided ill avoid it.

I appreciate the heads up with toyota parts ive noticed that seems to be a trend in the forum so ill definitely take your word for it!
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Miami FL
don't overvalue service records from the dealer, do value receipts for parts and extensive knowledge of the seller.

i wouldn't dream of letting those monkeys at the dealership touch my 80...the parts manager there salivates over all the parts I've bought and knows what its about but the monkeys in the garage dont know jack about working on these, let alone care.my receipts book is 3 -4 inches thick by now and i care....that is what your looking for.

air lockers are less problematic than stock i hear.
I meant the guy has no service records which is very very concerning lol. Ive decided to go with the 97 and if that dosent pan out then ill keep looking I just cant imagine a michigan car having no rust and going from 0-101k miles from 94-2001 then just gaining 60k miles over 19 years.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Miami FL
I'd go with better condition vs lockers, especially with a 97 being more conducive to turbo/blower if you feel the need of more horses down the road
How come the 97 is better with FI? I know there was a transmission swap but I didnt know there was engine internal differences.
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
346
Location
Colorado
How come the 97 is better with FI? I know there was a transmission swap but I didnt know there was engine internal differences.

Has to do with the way the air is metered coming into the engine.

And a turbo is well worth the money.
I would do the 97. Sounds clean. Clean is so much better to work on.
 

AussieHJCruza

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
1,834
Location
New South Wales, Australia
How come the 97 is better with FI? I know there was a transmission swap but I didnt know there was engine internal differences.
Nothing internally (a 1FZ is built like a tank from Mr Yota) but the engine management system uses a MAF sensor rather than AFM so it handles on-boost fuelling to approx 10-12 psi
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
1,239
I think the later rigs are easier to live with as they're OBD2. I also like the later style dash. I also like lockers. If I had to pick, I'd go with #2.

One thing you didn't mention was the color. Some people don't care about that, others care a lot. My rig is the rarish dark blue, which looks cool, but it's way too hot in the desert environment where I use it most. I wish it were white. So, think about color.

IMHO, the 30K mile difference is not significant. Good luck - save your pennies! These trucks cost some money, especially if you're interested in doing mods, getting it set up for off-roading, etc.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 19, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Miami FL
I think the later rigs are easier to live with as they're OBD2. I also like the later style dash. I also like lockers. If I had to pick, I'd go with #2.

One thing you didn't mention was the color. Some people don't care about that, others care a lot. My rig is the rarish dark blue, which looks cool, but it's way to hot in the desert environment where I use it most. I wish it were white. So, think about color.

IMHO, the 30K mile difference is not significant. Good luck - save your pennies! These trucks cost some money, especially if you're interested ing doing mods, getting it set up for off-roading, etc.
I do have a preference in terms of color I just figured these things are so expensive its kinda trivial lol. The 97 is my preffered color combo its like a champagne sort of and then the tan leather interior. I definitrly feel you on the heat im in south florida and owning a black car is a mistake!
 

bwesty

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 2, 2006
Messages
918
Location
In the mountains
So my main use for this vehicle is going to be city driving and dirt road driving with occasional offroading and camping. As far as cash to get it right my plan is to buy a really clean one from the beginning rather than take on a project and go from there. After the purchase im gonna do basic baselining and inspect what needs to be done what rubbers gone bad etc and go from there. Basically I dont mind spending a grand if i have to but if it can be avoided ill avoid it.
At 23 years old you will have plenty of parts and maintenance to keep you busy bringing it back up to par and properly serviced. Plan on spending a good bit on parts that will need to be replaced. Chances are quite a few things were neglected. It may operate okay but once you get in there and go through it you will quickly find how much better it will run and drive after replacing parts.
For example, steering, chassis and suspension bushings. Likely all toast and overlooked.
Cooling system as suggested previously...these are just a couple of the many things to go over.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom