Builds bcomnes' 1991 3FE FJ80 Build

bcomnes

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Here is my build thread for a 1991 3FE FJ80 Land Cruiser. I'll be using this thread mainly as a build and maintenance log (at least for the halfway informative and interesting stuff), re-documenting my questions I have along the way and information I found helpful to address those questions. Fingers crossed there I can generate some interesting or helpful content for everyone. I've certainly learned a lot just reading mud for the last couple of months. It's definitely not going to be the most impressive build. Please bear with me and let me know if I step out of line!

Quick back story:

My wife and I were living and working in Humboldt County after moving from Portland OR and we purchased my first car from a friend for $1000. Meet 2005 Chevy Aveo.

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Kinda a s***ty car, but it was my first car ever and it was a lot of fun trying to keep the CEL off and generally learning about car ownership. Thanks Adam! It came at the right time and I had a lot of fun with it.

Fast forward to 2019, we decide to move to Copenhagen Denmark for work, and end up selling everything. Move went well, work went well, but then we ended up conceiving our first kid 👼 and decided to move back to the US to be in a more stable family/work situation. We had family living in southern Utah, so we ended up landing there! And needing a new car.

I knew we wanted something cheap and old, but also wanted something that would be fun for the area. Old 4Runner, Land Cruiser? XJ? 💪 Time to scour craigslist. After days of crappy email alerts from craigslist, I came across this:

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(p.s. always archive CL ads you are interested in! avoid posters changing prices, or deleting on you. pps. the seller in this case did none of that, still good to have it for reference!)

Was nervous about the year (jeez almost as old as me), but contacted the seller and they were super nice, non-sketchy people who had a decent understanding of the car and its history.

It had a good looking history, mostly a single owner up until the last couple of years, but the last couple owners were in the same family, which was also a good sign.

(See carfax and TIS attached for deets)

PO was even headed through town from Las Vegas and could bring it by on the way over to their destination (I happened to be along the way). Good sign! Car can drive at least 4 hours! Took it for a test drive, noted some busted trim, talked the price down to $6k and it was a done deal!

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Ok breaking into a second reply. Out of attachments.
 

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bcomnes

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More new shiny!

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Its a car from 1991, there are a lot of minor trim pieces that have minor issues, but overall the car looked really nice, and in good shape.

PO upgrades I spotted

- Nice new 31" tires and new rims
- Decent tint job! Looks really cool
- Swanky land cruiser windshield decal
- Beefy roof rack bonus
- Outdated, but improved double din pioneer headset. Works with a phone. Great!

Also worth noting! The OTRAMM 80 prepurchase inspection video is super helpful! I didn't get to see it until after purchase, but it at least helped provide some piece of mind that I got a decent vehicle.

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bcomnes

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First things first.

Fixing shaky mirror! Drivers mirror was completely busted, and passenger was close behind. Fix this with some wire, creating a vertical loop which worked super well. Mirror could be put in and taken out without removing the fix.

Don't forget to note the order of the wires as they are attached to the motor!

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Eventually I replace this with SolveFunction's (@Outsane) excellent 3d printed fix:


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Detailing

Oh! Also, the whole car smelled kinda funny and was covered in dog hair. We gave it the best detailing we could muster with the tools we had and it cleaned up really well on the inside.


Second up

I took it to Pro Auto Care at the recommendation of @woody. Great mechanic! Had every fluid in the car changed out. Running wonderfully.

Initial conclusion

Its been driving great and a ton of fun. I love the car, and don't regret the purchase at all. Only had one weird issue with it that fixed itself. 🤔. Hopefully it was a fluke:

- 91 FJ80: Won't start: no crank, CEL on, Good battery, FP flowing

Next up

Thinking a lot about what to do next. For the most part, just enjoying driving it day to day as a daily driver. I work remote, so I don't need to commute, so its an excellent car to get out and drive around Utah in. I'll share some more pics and adventures in future posts!

In terms of the car itself, current priority:

- Fixing all the busted trim
- Get all dash bulbs working so I can see what the heat is set at night.
- Fix the steering wheel column.
- Fix the busted antenna mast.
- Fix the visor clips
- Fix a broken side indicator lamp
- Remove the old toyota audio amp.
- License plate bulbs.
- Owners manual
- Repair Manual

After that, I'll look at some harder but less annoying issues:

- Drivers seat is ripped. Figure out a good fix for this beyond a seat cover.
- LED conversion for the exterior lights.
- LED conversion for the interior lights. Looks like warmer LEDS are available which should be an improvement and match the warm 90s aesthetic better.
- Upgraded sun visors.
- Fix the rear defroster.
- Better Cup holders

Once all thats out of the way, and I know the car better, I'll consider some bigger upgrades maybe (lift? suspension? 35" tires?)

More to come

I have a few post ideas lined up, but this is all I have time for right now. Stay with the thread, as there are some fun discoveries I made about the car I didn't know upon purchasing and its history. Once I get that trim fixed, I'll put together a walk through video as well.

Bonus Pics:
Got the bonus roof rack on and got a xmas tree. Look at that snow bloom!

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Ohhh ahh, sunsets.

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bcomnes

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History and discoveries

After purchasing, and taking it to the mechanic, I didn't mention a major discovery: Rear axel had been upgraded by PO! Awesome. I had no idea. It was noted during the inspection that it had a full-floating solid axel which wasn't normal on that year of the car.

Later that week, I had the YouTube app open, and a thumbnail popped up that looked a whole lot like the car. Turns out the PO made some YouTube videos on the exact car I just bought. Cool!



Interesting discoveries:

- Car had CEL on in the videos. Not on any more, and hasn't come on. Thanks for the fixes, whatever managed to fix that! Yes the bulb still works :)
- His purchase price was $2600. What a deal!
- Breaks were totally shot, and were fixed.
- Upgraded the rear axel to an FZJ full floater rear axel with disk brakes.
- Was planning on swapping the engine.
- Something about coming with Tacoma wheels?
- Car history ~= Old lady, sold to son, sold to the BackYard built guy, sold to his mom? Then sold to me. So ~2 owners prior if you are counting by family.
- Said PPO was non-smoking, however the car is covered in cigaret holes in his video, so it clearly came that way.
- Car came to PO covered in dog hair. Its finally out now though!
- Had a front mounted LED light bar at one point. I wonder where they wired in? Haven't found that yet.
- Decal, tint, pioneer head unit, 31in tires, rack were added after the videos.
- Lived its life in Washington (PPO, backyard built), spent time time in Las Vegas (family), and now Utah (me).

Also explains the BackyardBuilt sticker on the window. Turns out the PO is a really skilled mechanic who specialized in building drift cars and doing engine swaps. Nice! He has a really cool YouTube channel and instagram to check out:



Ok enough creeping on the POs. Thanks for the work you did on it! Appreciating it today.
 

bcomnes

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Drove out to to visit ih8mud HQ yesterday, got to meet @woody in person and see his kickass F Toy and workshop. Kicking myself for not taking some pics 🤦‍♂️ Here are some he posted a while ago:


Hoping to scrounge up some interest from other cruisers in the area to do some runs together.

Still seeking a 1991 FJ80 owners manual if anyone has one lying around. I found a place that reprints, but it would be cool to pair an original missing a vehicle home.


I received and installed a new fusible link and distribution block from @NLXTACY, hoping to clear up a seeminly-no-power-to-starter issue I had last weekend, that fixed itself, thus far. Details here:


Fusible link replacement was trivial, however, the the existing distribution block cover immediately disintegrated upon opening. Getting the bolts off was also quite difficult. I needed to clamp onto the old distribution block with large adjustable pliers and socket wrench in the opposite direction. Definitely glad I ordered the distribution block otherwise I would be electrical taping up the old block while I waited for a second order.

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What was left over:
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Saving the old fusible link just in case, but I bought two new ones (the one I just installed, and a spare) and threw it in the tool bag in the back.

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Also hit the locks with WD-40 and the dash with ArmorAll. Locks are super buttery now. :D. Does armor all really save dash material? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Also forgot to post my solution to the leaky rear seals. A huge garage mat. I also threw some cardboard underneath in case it eventually permeates, however so far so good. Thinking about using these, oil leaks or not, they look nice and keep the garage clean.
 

bcomnes

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My toyotapartsdeal.com order came through this weekend and I got started putting things together. I'll post pics as I complete the various repairs:

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First bit of trouble I ran into though.... fixing the 91 LC power antenna! I thought this would be easy! Nope, of course you don't realize this until you get hands on and understand the nature of the issue.

First, getting the antenna nut off with needle nose pliers was extremely difficult, and the nut started stripping out. I ended up using long handle pliers with the teeth covered in electrical tape + wd-40 to unscrew this, though it was damaged quite a bit. I guess it sort of fused to the antenna tube over the years. Time to order a new nut and seal :/

- 86392-60040 Ornament, Antenna Seal
- 86396-89102 Antenna Nut

After dismantling the antenna housing, I removed what was left of the broken antenna

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The white cable was clicking inside the assembly. The way I got it out was by putting the lower tube of the new antenna in and then pushing the up button. I guess this created a clear pathway for the white cable to shoot out. Once it extracted, it would not retract. Likely due to internal breakage. s***.. I lightly tugged on the nylon cable and it unspooled out. Ok, simple enough.

So at this point I just installed the new antenna without a nylon cable. I can use some sticky tape to grab the ball and manually raise it and lower it. It works nicely, but this isn't good enough.

After doing some research on how to actually fix it, here is what I found:

1. The easiest/cheapest fix is to replace with a fixed antenna. Asking any questions on how to fix the power antenna will get this suggestion in the first reply. Seriously, not helpful people!
2. The tutorial in the 80 FAQ is for a 96-97 LX450 and 97 LC, not a 91-96 Land Cruiser. Also the link is dead, but here is an archive for reference.
3. The best thread on a 91-96 antenna repair is antennae repair write up with pics but of course all the pics are dead. The value in in @cruiserdan's comments which I'll capture here.

86337-60080 applied to 96-97 LX450 and 97 Land Cruiser. 91-96 Land Cruiser uses 86336-60040 which does not include the nylon cable.
The cable is not officially serviced. The factory repair procedure is replace the antenna assembly.
The cable from a 91 Camry sedan power antenna can be substituted, 86327-22211.
You can obtain a replacement mast from any Toyota dealer, the part number is 86337-60080. You will need to remove the antenna and disassemble it in order to remove the broken cable. Do be careful however because if you lose or break anything in the process you will need to replace the entire antenna assembly.
Ok great! I ordered 86336-60040 "ROD & PIPE,SHIELD" but I guess I need a "CABLE,W/ANTENNA DRUM" 86327-22211 from a Camery. Which is discontinued! DAMN.

And once I get it, I need to disassemble and re-assemble, I can't just feed it down the hole.

I found a source for the Camery nylon cable, despite it being discontinued, so this might be getting to the end of the road.

Will report back once I get these parts and attempt the fix. In the meantime, here are some notes and pics I found that might be helpful to anyone (and for myself later):

- Pics of the assembly
- Cruiser Parts kit - looks like they are selling 96-97 LX450 and 97 LC mast with cable attached, along with a spool that you put together? Antenna mast with cable pn: 86337-60080. Has anyone repaired their 91-96 with this? How did it go?
- AntennaMastRus kit - looks to be the same as the Cruiser parts kit.
- The entire 91-96 assembly (The factory 'fix') is still available from $146.16 - 200+ from Toyota part dealers. PN 8630060050
- Having Cruiser Dan around still would be mega helpful.
- I wish there was a new motor assembly I could swap for that would let me used top-feed toothed antenna nylon cables, instead of the stupid drum assembly thing. Can't find any info on this.
- a 91-94 antenna mast fix thread, sans part numbers
- More mishmash of pics / advice of questionable quality
- Overpriced part listing without part numbers
- More info on 96 LX antennas

Ok thats it for now!
 

bcomnes

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Also, how do I get the 'builds' prefix on this thread, is that something I can do? Or is that something a mod has to do?
 
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Good luck on everything. Check out my build thread sometime, also 3F-E, there could be info in there that may be of use to you. Mine was in way worse shape than yours when I started though.
 

bcomnes

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Good luck on everything. Check out my build thread sometime, also 3F-E, there could be info in there that may be of use to you. Mine was in way worse shape than yours when I started though.
Actually, do you have a link? Not coming up in the search.
 
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Actually, do you have a link? Not coming up in the search.

been a while since I’ve updated though! Will post later.
 

bcomnes

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Does anyone have any experience with these metra after market antenna's?

Seems like perhaps a modern part to replace the discontinued, and gigantic hassle cable and spool parts could be a decent modern/upgraded fix:


EDIT: Nah, reviews online are terrible.
 
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Does anyone have any experience with these metra after market antenna's?

Seems like perhaps a modern part to replace the discontinued, and gigantic hassle cable and spool parts could be a decent modern/upgraded fix:


EDIT: Nah, reviews online are terrible.

 

bcomnes

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Ok, so update on the 86327-22211 Camery cable mod... Not in stock! There are some specialty places that are selling this part, maybe, but checking in with the dealer and they seem confident the mast with the nylon cable attached will fill in (a 96 86337-60080?). Will go check out but I'm almost certain that is what they will be selling me.

Also, did some research on a unreliable speed sensor. Totally impossible to find anywhere. 88261-60010 Any ideas who might have one, new or used, hmu!

EDIT: Looks like there is an aftermarket replacement fj80 cruise control speed sensor
 
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I'm also in Utah and own a '91. I used an aftermarket amplified antenna and mounted in on the forward part of the dash. It's pretty unobtrusive and works well. I mostly did it because the snorkel interfered with the factory antenna placement.
 

bcomnes

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I'm also in Utah and own a '91. I used an aftermarket amplified antenna and mounted in on the forward part of the dash. It's pretty unobtrusive and works well. I mostly did it because the snorkel interfered with the factory antenna placement.
Inside the car?
 
Joined
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Messages
8,099
 
Ok, so update on the 86327-22211 Camery cable mod... Not in stock! There are some specialty places that are selling this part, maybe, but checking in with the dealer and they seem confident the mast with the nylon cable attached will fill in (a 96 86337-60080?). Will go check out but I'm almost certain that is what they will be selling me.

Also, did some research on a unreliable speed sensor. Totally impossible to find anywhere. 88261-60010 Any ideas who might have one, new or used, hmu!

EDIT: Looks like there is an aftermarket replacement fj80 cruise control speed sensor
 
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