Am I Crazy? FZJ80 to HDJ81

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by thekitchensink, Jul 12, 2018.

Should I get a '90 HDJ81 or stick with my '93 FZJ80?

  1. HDJ81

    51.6%
  2. FZJ80

    48.4%
  1. thekitchensink

    thekitchensink

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    Ok MUD… am I crazy? I bought my ’93 FZJ80 a year ago today exactly(!). And now I’m looking at selling it to buy a 1990 HDJ81. I loathe the 10mpg I’m getting currently, and the thought of owning a diesel really intrigues me.

    I’m 20, and I will be leaving my full-time job at the end of the month to go get educated (still holding on to a part time job… but income will be reduced drastically). A 18-20mpg vehicle sounds really nice (due to me commuting to campus), but I don’t have the space to own a daily driver and the 80. Therefore, if I wanted to keep driving a Land Cruiser (which I do), but get better gas mileage, I would need to get a diesel. Thoughts? Am I crazy? Is this unreasonable?
     
  2. jpoole

    jpoole

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    1 month doesn't seem like enough time to make the transition to me and in my experience getting a new / old vehicle always comes with a lot of extra costs. If you stick with the FZJ80 I assume it's a known quantity that's ready to go. Selling/buying/baselining seems like a lot to save some gas $.

    How much will you be driving? If you really want to get frugal then consider an old fuel efficient station wagon or something like an old Corolla or Mazda 3 or whatever. Sell the 80, drive the econo car until the cash flow goes up and then get whatever you are excited about for transport when the time comes. A cheap motorcycle could also save a ton on gas if you aren't risk and foul weather averse.

    Every situation is different though so only you can figure it all out. Sounds like fun decisions to make and transitions ahead for you.
     
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  3. Douglas S

    Douglas S

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    IMO the HDJ81 is superior, but it isn't cheaper to run.
     
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  4. danthman114

    danthman114

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    I would love a diesel but parts for diesels are hard to get and when you do theyre expensive. you could probably keep it and find a used Toyota pickup that will get even better mileage than the diesel and parts are everywhere...
     
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  5. ZackR

    ZackR

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    Without a steady flow of income either option isn't the best but at least you know what you have with the 93'. I'd say keep it, save up and then eventually go for the diesel when the time comes.
     
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  6. gungriffin

    gungriffin

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    How many miles are you putting on your vehicle? What does cash look like for you? My understanding of the HDJ81s is that it is quite possibly more expensive to run even factoring in the fuel. If that holds true then you would just be kicking the can down the road.
     
  7. Lumpskie

    Lumpskie

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    I don't know whether gas or diesel is cheaper to run. What I do know is that you should really want to own a diesel, if you want to make the switch.

    I love my diesel... probably more than is healthy. I love having a 350 mile range between refills. The engine really shines when rock crawling or highway cruising over relatively flat ground. With 315s, it cruises on the freeway at 2200 and never needs to downshift. Torque is great. BUT, even with the Gturbo at 18psi, EGTs will really climb in the hills. It has me wanting an intercooler. I get about 18.5 mpg, no matter how I drive it or how loaded up it is. I've put 35,000 miles on mine and haven't had to repair anything other than a broken threaded rod in the throttle linkage.

    One caviate: I bought my rig from another Mud member who put in a lot of work to make my swapped rig totally turn key daily driveable. (cleaned/refurbished diesel injectors, rebuilt diesel pump, already installed GTurbo, Wholesale automatics trans with lockout in 3rd and 4th gear)

    Looking back, if I had just bought a diesel, I think there could have been things that I would have had to tinker with to get it to the point where I could just drive it everyday without worry.
     
  8. cahill

    cahill

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    Stick with what you have. After you get an education, pay off your school loan and start having some extra cash then consider getting a diesel. They will still be available if you still want one at that time. You may find that you like your current rig. If you want gas mileage, don't buy a land cruiser - diesel or otherwise.
     
  9. gungriffin

    gungriffin

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    Your situation sounds like mine. You paid for your maintenance to be completed by the PO up front when you bought. Your build thread is quite awesome!
     
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  10. IanB

    IanB SILVER Star

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    25+ year old trucks aren't "turn key" commuters, that's reality. If you've currently got a baselined, dependable gas model, you'd be a fool to swap to an unknown maintenance history diesel model, no matter how much better it is (IMO).

    There are lots of hidden costs in owning a diesel, parts aren't hard to find if you know where to look, but you can't just drive down to the dealer and get what you need either. There's a lot of planning involved, keeping an inventory of common stuff on hand, waiting if you have to order something (and related downtime), brokerage fees, etc.

    The gas engine really only has head gasket issues to watch out for. The diesel's have BEB's, injectors and fuel pumps, turbo, and it's in your best interest to be your own mechanic as finding someone who's worked on one in the US will be a tall order.

    Lots of time for toys when you're done your schooling.
     
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  11. Dave 2000

    Dave 2000 Not all Land Rovers are useless! SILVER Star

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    I am a diesel convert so biased towards the diesel but will offer my own experience as an example.

    Purchased with 180,000 genuine miles, AC condenser missing, radiator corroded but not leaking, but generally OK. I did replace the BEB's but it is a one off job, and a torque wrench will be needed.

    The last 80,000 miles have seen the 80 doing everything from airport runs to off road trips loaded to the hilt. Unexpected expenses over servicing was the transfer box, I broke it, lots of hard off roading, it finally broke climbing out of a river bed, so apart from that all good.

    True you do have the turbo and diesel pump and injectors to think about, all are supposed to be good for circa 500,000 miles?

    In general day to day running the diesel will be cheaper to run and more reliable, I get around 28 MP (imp)G, thats 550 miles between fills.

    When you start looking at the petrol rigs, there are plenty of things that affect the overall time your under the hood.

    It might be the heater hose or PHH, plug leads, fuel pump or injection relay, problems with the cats and O2 sensors? OBD throwing ambiguous codes that can take ages to track down. You see these are the regular hiccups the petrol versions are afflicted with.

    When you start adding these up along with labour costs and down time the diesel is not such s bad deal, as an aside if you plan any off roading, remember once a snorkle is fitted the engines run under water, not that you might want to do that, it was just a point.

    Diesels are designed and built for the long haul, other than my transfer box issue there have been no extra costs.

    Regards

    Dave
     
  12. DancesWithMutts

    DancesWithMutts

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    I made the switch and I am happy with my decision, but it's absolutely not going to save you ANY money. I'm not sure if you have looked at the prices of HDJ's lately, but your going to spend in the neighborhood of $20k to get one. You'll have your degree before the fuel savings even get close to paying off the extra cost of the vehicle. Then there is the thousands of dollars in mods to make it a little faster and more "streetable".

    The other factor that want in to my descision to buy a HDJ and sell my FZJ, was the fact that I am going to do a very extensive expo build with the intention of living out of this thing, and my FZJ already had rust problems. It's hard to justify a $15k+ build on a truck that's already rusting.
     
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  13. beno

    beno Gihee Arakawa Moderator Supporting Vendor GOLD Star

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    Truth.
     
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  14. Kaninja

    Kaninja

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    Keep what you have. The premium you will pay for the HDJ81 will buy you so much gasoline you could fill a swimming pool.
     
  15. LINUS

    LINUS Waiting for the Great Pumpkin

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    Living as close as I do to the CA border, I look at the Canadian car market.

    IMO the HDJ thing is just a case of “greener grass / other side of fence” -thing.

    I’m sure somebody here would want ambulance rear doors “just because” - when in reality the tailgate & hatch is more useful & practical.

    I’m happy with my run-of-the-mill 1FZ, where you can get most all parts with very little effort.

    That’s just my opinion.
     
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  16. bigredmachine

    bigredmachine

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    stick with what you have, what you may save in fuel you will spend in parts very quickly, never mind the cost of having to base line another truck. I don't know what the commute situation is but you could get small displacement motorcycle or even a scooter to commute with, may not be a hit with the ladies but cant argue with 60 mpg
     
  17. DancesWithMutts

    DancesWithMutts

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    I was recently driving back from a camping trip with a freind He was in his LX 450, I was in my HDJ.

    We drove together on several mountain passes, and despite the fact that my truck is heavier and has a RTT, I could pass him on the hills and i got 20 mpg while he got 13.

    All that said, he has about 1/3rd as much invested into his base truck than me.
     
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  18. bwesty

    bwesty

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    Stick with the FZJ. The loss you will under take selling yours plus the buy in for an HDJ will be costly and you haven't even started figuring out what potential work a HDJ may need...

    You've already got a great rig. Neither are cost effective vehicles to own. Get a 3rd gen 4runner for a more cost effective vehicle.
     
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  19. Manona

    Manona

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    I love my HDJ81 with a passion; as another said, probably more than is healthy. I sold a Sequoia for it, as well as an FJ40. I don't regret it one bit... it does get better mileage; that being said, diesel is also more expensive at the pumps and the oil filter should be replaced whenever you change the oil. Being an older vehicle, she needs a lot of TLC. Other things to consider- where are you going to purchase it? I went through 2 importers and was almost had by both (beware Scottsdale/LA and Seattle, I'll leave it at that), and had even flown to LA to drive one home and was then stranded at the airport for 9 hours until I could find an affordable flight home... all because I thought I'd save a few grand by going with them. I went with Land Cruisers direct and had NO surprises mechanically; they did a lot before they let it go, the other guys did not; I would have spent more than the difference to get them in the condition she came in.

    Other things to consider, you're probably going to want to dress her up; wheels are just a tad off from the US version, so it took four tries to find wheels that fit, and they cost me more than what I wanted to spend... parts aren't hard to find, but expect to spend some time researching parts and where to buy them, then there's a little more time to wait for said parts. Again, I don't regret my purchase at all; I think I'll have her til I die, but be aware you won't be saving any money and everything is just a tad bit more involved.
     
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