Am I being unreasonable, fair, or overpaying????

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Nov 29, 2017
Burke, VA
Car: 1991 FJ80, 235K miles, 4+? owner car, the current owner (which is a nice guy) has owned it for less than 2 months. He has it listed $4000 OBO.

The Good: engine and transmission seem to be working fine; AC and heater are working; good tires and brakes; amount of rust in frame and body (except hatch) are minimal; interior is in decent shape; new battery; knuckles seemed fine; could not hear the birfs or clunks from suspension; shocks seem fine; 3FE engine is a tractor engine; some maintenance records; and I can try doing some of the work myself.

The Not so good: As is, I would not be able to drive it because it needs bearings, a sealtbelt, and 1 turn signal, and bulbs for the turn signal and parking light to pass inspection; it is a FJ80, not a FZJ80, so lower resale value IF I wanted to sell and no airbags or ABS; 235k miles, so approaching the 250k, when transmission could start failing; Oil filter is dated 1/2016; All preventive maintenance will need to be done to keep it running (hoses, belts, fluids, etc.); has the "normal" clunk; front bumper cap and fender are missing/broken; back left bumper will need to be repaired/replaced; paint is in rough shape; tailgate has been hit; hatch is starting to corrode; heat shield rattles; all window motors are very lazy; and AC has not been converted.

Price negotiations: I offered 3,000, if he helped me do the bearings (I'm a newbie), which I would buy. He came back with a counter of 3,500, but no help with the bearings. I declined the counter offer because a week ago I was going to buy 1992 FJ80 that had current inspection and emissions, with 40K less miles, and with no work needed on the exterior...but it got sold just before we were scheduled to do a pre-purchase inspection.

We agree to talk again in the event the other 3 parties that want to look at it don't buy it.

Question: Am I being unreasonable, fair, or overpaying? Location matters in terms of price, so we are both located in the VA/DC/MD area.

I would appreciate your input please!!!!

I don’t live in the area but the price seems high. I live in Southern California where prices tend to be inflated and I picked up my 1994 with 150k and a blown trans for $2500. When I was looking I saw running examples of 3F LC for around 3 asking. If I were you I would sit tight and look for the right fixer upper.
I don’t live in the area but the price seems high. I live in Southern California where prices tend to be inflated and I picked up my 1994 with 150k and a blown trans for $2500. When I was looking I saw running examples of 3F LC for around 3 asking. If I were you I would sit tight and look for the right fixer upper.

Thanks for responding. Please keep it coming guys!
Pricing does tend to be regional on some of these. Don't compare VA to SOCAL because there is a very different amount of them. Now, if that's the case.....Can you buy one on SOCAL for $2500, fly out there and drive it back for less than the $3500? People have done it!

Personally, I would hold out for a 95-97 1FZ-FE version. But others here REALLY dig the 3FE tractor engine and longevity of it.

Sounds a bit high, but if you don't do your own work, you're gonna pay.

You'd be better off to wait and pay more for one in better shape.
If i was selling a vehicle - any vehicle - and the prospective buyer offered me 25% less for it on the condition that I do a full days work on it, i would promptly move onto the next buyer.

That's just me though; if I'm selling a vehicle its because i DONT want to be doing the work on it anymore.
Price is high for an FJ80 in that condition in this area. Ask someone in CLCC (their club meeting is going on as I type - Kilroy's in Burke) to check this one out or any other Cruiser you're interested in. Go for an FZJ if you can.
He's high, or his price is.

Either way, even jumping your budget by small amounts gets you into late 1FZ's & FF rear axles.

Unless you're a old 2fe guy, just jump into a late 1FZ.

More you buy up front, the more it's a solid rig on trails & in resale. Keep your receipts, pass on this one.
Why is he selling after only 2 months?
Allegedly, he bought it thinking he would like it (he is a 4Runner guy) but did not. Honestly, I think he just flips cars or keeps him if he likes them and he was honest while negotiating. For example, during the test drive he asked me to get the truck up to 65-70 to feel a small vibration at that speed caused by the bearings.
This would be the very question I'd be asking too.

I know. That was one of the reasons for me to do a pre-purchase inspection, but it all checked out, although I used a shop that I don't know and they did not seem to know much about TLCs.
Hold out for a 1fz-Fe
Hold out for a 1fz-Fe

Everyone keeps saying this. I was inclined to get a 3FE because I'm on a budget so I'm likely in the higher mileage market, and had read that the 1fz-fe were prone to head gasket failure at higher mileage and wanted something that it is likely not to break. I'm a newbie, and I'm still learning, so my apologies if I have all this screwed up.
The advice to hold for a fz engine is sound. They are better engines, and have more product support for them. Your choices are really 93-94 and get OBDI, or 95+ and get OBDII. Plus with the 93+ you get full float, 4-wheel disc brakes and some other improvements.

The FZ is an incredibly durable engine, you can buy a used one safely if you do a good inspection on it, and get it for a reasonable price.

Your better to buy up at the beginning than buy cheap/base and spend on improvements later. Although thats a lot of fun.....
Don't worry, there will be another one that will come along. She's not the only girl at the dance.
We're at the early days of what was the "$20K rule" in E30M3 world a decade ago.

Spend $5K - do $15K in parts labor
Spend $10K - $10K parts / labor
Spend $20K - it is a solid unit, receipts, no issues

Then when the E30M3 hit the 25yr mark, they were insane $$$ - an average guy can't get one now - EU guys are scouting us & bringing them back there.

80's are far from $20K rigs if bought well, but a '68 Camaro was easy to find for $10K a decade back, so as a guy with all 3 - guess where I see an 80 going in a scant 5-7yrs?
Doh. 2x post.

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