A little guidance (1 Viewer)

airon23

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Hey members of the 80 forums. I haven't been here so feel out of place, but I'm looking for some guidance. I currently own a 40 I've done a bunch of work on, you can see the link from my signature line, so that is really where my perspective is coming from. But I'm looking now at possibly buying a 1991 FJ80. I didn't see a FAQ like there is for the 40series forum or I might've started there.

I don't know much about these things, i.e. what to look for what not to look for, which years are better, etc. The one I'm looking at seems to need a lot of work and I would likely just do the work over some time, not looking to it as an immediate truck to drive around in, But the body is straight without any rust, but would need work to refresh her for sure. I'm not a big time wheeler, but would like to start getting more into it with our local club BBCNN.

I think from what I know it's good to grab one that has center diff lockers, and from what I can tell this one has it. Do they come stock with rear/front locking diff? Whatever help either links or just pointers what I should be careful for when figuring a novice mechanic like myself needs to know before getting into these things, would be appreciated. It is a landcruiser so I figure cost of parts is likely $$$ pricey.

Thanks in advance.
 

jfz80

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Welcome to the bright side.

Check the sticky again.
Good FAQ section compiled here.

SLEEs newbie guide here

FAQ

91 is the earlier model. School bus tranny but somewhat underpowered 3fe. Excellent power plant but parts are going NLA. I’d suggest a 95-97 for obd2 and 1fzfe motor but I would not ignore a Well sorted clean example of an earlier model. Plus they make excellent drivetrain swap candidates.

They all have a center diff. It’s locked when shifting to 4lo. Or you can add a ctr diff switch (or hazard) to be able to selectively activate ctr diff. Front and rear lockers were only avail in 93-97 models.

91-92. 3fe a440
93-94 1fzfe with afm and a442
95-97 1fzfe with maf and a343

The latter is capable of forced induction if desired.

Here’s a ppi checklist from Ryan’s shop.
 
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airon23

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Wow what a noob, I must've missed that. Thanks for the links and tips, I'll look into it.
 

Road Apple

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Welcome to the 80. Hope your purchase works out for you.

Here are random buying notes I’ve kept from other posts.

Anything under 200k miles is a winner, but, not necessary.

Worth paying a premium for no rust and/or an enthusiast maintained vehicle. Check New Mexico and AZ rigs. Rust free and you can find some gems down here for a decent price.

If I was to do it again I’d look in the Southwest and ship it or make the journey. No rust on these old Toyota’s is such a treat. Makes working on them fun instead of a nightmare with broken bolts and stripped nuts at every turn.

I’d want to know if it uses oil & how much.

I’d ask if the headgasket is original or a replacement? If replaced, was the head surfaced & were the stem seals changed?

I’d also want to know the last front axle service done? Look for caked on crap on the front knuckles since they are rarely serviced.

Look for something with documented maintenance If possible, but not a deal breaker. I want to see receipts galore & do a very good inspection from running every last control to doing full lock circles to see if the birfields are ‘clicking’ AKA need replacing or swapping side-for-side.

Lockers are a bonus, but if not locked, you can always add them later. Better to find a good condition, well maintained truck.

Some say the ‘93/‘94 are the best year, OBD1, best engine, best tranny... etc....

93 and up has a good following for aftermarket stuff or OEM.

Also keep in mind that the 93 and 94 model years had the slightly shorter birfields which makes them easier to find Aisin hubs for if you choose to convert to part time 4x4. And they also have the better looking front grill without the space cowboy emblem.

‘95- ‘97 have airbags, full float rear diff, OBD-II, and you can still get engine wire harnesses and o2 sensors.

95+ has a mass air flow sensor, not a MAF meter, so you don’t have to worry about the MAF meter failing.

91-‘92 have smaller disc brakes and come stock with 15” wheels. ‘93-‘97 have larger front disc brakes and come stock with 16” wheels.
3FE parts are starting to become scarce. Most of the heater hoses on the 3FE are discontinued 😞

The 3FE is slow, dead reliable, and relatively impervious to neglect. They are slow on the highway, slower on steep highway grades, and happiest cruising in the mid 60 MPHs, which was the speed limit for which they were designed back then.

It's reasonable to expect deferred and ongoing preventative maintenance. Somewhere on this forum is an excellent 3FE tune-up checklist--this is must-do for the 3FE. Sunroofs leak. Cracked dashboards and front seat bottom cushion sidings are common. Also expect to replace rubber things, especially suspension bushings and belts, but also door seals, window runs, etc.

Plan on spending $2500+ to get it baselined (hoses, gaskets, o rings, seals, tools, cooling system updates, knuckle rebuild, fluids, etc). If you get a cheaper rig, budget for more in catch up maintenance.
 
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FMC80

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Did you decide to go through with it? My personal opinion is to pass until a better one and more money comes along. $1000 to start with a non-functioning 80 series with the 3FE coupled with numerous issues in the interior seems hardly worth it especially if you’re on a budget. Parts are expensive and harder to come by from my research. That’s one of the main reason I passed up a couple of relatively clean 91 & 92 model years. Despite the lower introductory cost, I fear the work and parts required will negate the initial cost of entry. My 2 pesos.
 
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For me, rust is way more of an issue on these vehicles than miles. Look for a rust free one. Just like your 40, these things last a good long time unless rust eats away at them like the cancer it is. And I know some are going to be insulted by this, but I think the FZJ80 (93+) is far superior to the FJ80.

As far as "baselining" goes, IMHO it really depends on how much love the previous owner gave it. I've have two FZJ80s. Both were in decent shape. I just put gas in them and drove them.
 

airon23

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The plan right now is for me to go get this tomorrow. I appreciate the responses and opinions here and value them for the experience they come with.

I'm looking forward to starting to tinker with it and getting to know it. It's been years with an FJ40 for me, so this is like welcoming a new kid into the family. Although I know it'll never be as good as the other kids (FZJ80+). I've known the other one for so long, but I'm sure I'll grow to love this one too.

Not quite sure yet on plans to either rebuild, or swap the engine, but I'll let the 80 speak to me and tell me what it needs. It isn't an immediate project, but I gotta admit I'm excited to get into it and making her look as good as she'll let me.

I know I'll have a great wealth of knowledge for all my questions from this group. I look forward to getting to one day make it good to drive and getting it on the trails.
 

FMC80

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The plan right now is for me to go get this tomorrow. I appreciate the responses and opinions here and value them for the experience they come with.

I'm looking forward to starting to tinker with it and getting to know it. It's been years with an FJ40 for me, so this is like welcoming a new kid into the family. Although I know it'll never be as good as the other kids (FZJ80+). I've known the other one for so long, but I'm sure I'll grow to love this one too.

Not quite sure yet on plans to either rebuild, or swap the engine, but I'll let the 80 speak to me and tell me what it needs. It isn't an immediate project, but I gotta admit I'm excited to get into it and making her look as good as she'll let me.

I know I'll have a great wealth of knowledge for all my questions from this group. I look forward to getting to one day make it good to drive and getting it on the trails.
I’m happy for you. You’re going into it eyes wide open. I think it’ll do me some good to share your perspective. I bought my rig sight unseen and even though I was expecting the worst I was hoping for the best. My rig isn’t a let down by any means but I realized today that I have a ton of work ahead of me.

I look forward to your journey on this.
 

airon23

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You too, I'll be following along and likely taking some queues from your rig, so keep up the good work. I'll start a build thread once I get it, including initial photos and first impressions.
 
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There's another guy on here that just pulled his 3FE, so you may want to contact him to see if he's going to sell.

It may influence your decision.
 

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