Begin Baseline - 1997 FzJ80

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Oct 25, 2021
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I grew up in a family of Land Cruisers. In 1981, I was four and my parents bought a 1977 FJ40; they had sold the old Ford F150 because they wanted something larger since we were a family of four, plus a dog. Dad apparently looked at a CJ but didn't like the limited back seat set up. As the story goes, he looked at the FJ40 and immediately fell in love with it. Thus began my education into Land Cruisers; we helped cut some of the hardest trails in Washington with that rig being one of two in a Jeep 4X4 Club with another six Jeeps, and I can tell you, I remember time and time again that we pulled Jeeps out of trouble. Over the years, dad picked up another FJ40 and we did the 350 conversion...he sold it for a 1983 FJ60, whcih is still sitting at my parents place, and his daily driver was a 1994 FzJ80. My brother also has a '97 Anniversary model (324K miles) and six years ago, I finally picked up a 1997 80 series for a paltry $2000 (220K miles) with no modifications. It was my daily driver for a while until my work commute changed from working from home to 60 miles round trip. And then, I ended up unemployed and she sat for a while. This past sixteen months I've been in a new position with a great company with really good pay and although I'm saving to buy a house, I'm now in a position to finally baseline my rig and begin building her. And I've been ordering and stashing parts along the way.

I've been keeping notes and adding to my spreadsheet from copious threads I've read over the past year...all of you are amazing, and the amount of information I've been able to glean is unparalleled. All of you are like Scotty on the Enterprise!

I'm starting her with new tires...I'm going the stock route until I get the 2" lift, so she'll get wrapped in COOPER DISCOVERER A/T ALL SEASON's (265/75R16)

Then, additionally following the baseline thread I've found, I'll start checking replacing in order of need...OEM belts have been ordered, plugs, cap & rotor along with the gasket; spark plugs, wires, fan clutch, fan blade, radiator hoses...etc., etc., etc.

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who's commented in any / all threads for people looking for help. It's a little overwhelming sometimes, especially with the thought of, "Ok, where should *I* begin?" and that singular question was the hardest...but I'm starting with new tires since mine are admittedly FK'ing HORRIBLE and then doing the small tune-up and then into the heavier baselining.


Anyway, thanks.


Pic of my stock rig for flavor...

IMG_3995.jpg
 

ppc

M Go Blue
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If you haven't purchased the tires yet I would go to a larger 33 inch tire like a 285/75-16. Works perfectly fine on a stock suspension and doesn't look like a dorky setup when a lift is added.
 
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I would first evaluate what you will actually be using the truck for? Off-roading or just a Dailey that drives fire roads sometimes. Lifting these trucks definitely takes away drivability comfort. I agree 100% on the 33” tires. I would drive it awhile before you start changing everything. A basic tuneup is always good and fixing any leaks. After driving it a couple Months you might change your mind about what you want to do with it. The gas mileage is terrible and if your a bigger guy 6’+ the first thing you change might be a seat upgrade or mod the seat brackets for some more room. :flipoff2::flipoff2: Got cha first!
 
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I would first evaluate what you will actually be using the truck for? Off-roading or just a Dailey that drives fire roads sometimes. Lifting these trucks definitely takes away drivability comfort. I agree 100% on the 33” tires. I would drive it awhile before you start changing everything. A basic tuneup is always good and fixing any leaks. After driving it a couple Months you might change your mind about what you want to do with it. The gas mileage is terrible and if your a bigger guy 6’+ the first thing you change might be a seat upgrade or mod the seat brackets for some more room. :flipoff2::flipoff2: Got cha first!
Oh, I've been driving it for six years...she's in need of a general tune-up but more importantly, a baseline. Again, I grew up in a Land Cruiser, one iteration or another, since childhood.

To answer your question...I'm not a huge fan of rock crawling; it's not really my thing mostly because too many things can go wrong, despite being fun. I'm looking at more trail running sure, but getting there is the fun part. I like to try and get stuck, but I'm not looking to try and go up a straight wall, much as I know she pretty much can and would. Dispersed camping locations that are hard to get to, deep forest running, overlanding...stuff like that. I plan on taking her fro the PNW down into the southwest again for some specific photography (The "Alien throne" rock formation in NM and the like)...some out of the way places. Additionally...she'll be an occasional DD when the weather is bad since I'm also in Oregon (Live in Vancouver, WA / work in Hillsboro, OR...parents out in Woodburn). And I am 6'0" and 270 lbs...I wish Cruisers had more ample leg room for the driver. I think the best I've had with her is 16 mpg but that's only if I'm NOT running the AC and using CC and NOT going past 60 mph while running the currently running (ALMOST bald) stock 265/75r16 tires)

I'm not into getting crazy with a 4" lift and 40" tires or regearing. While I respect the people who choose to go this route, it's not what I want to do. At most, a 2" lift, OR, new "Stock" springs and shocks, a decent bumper OR the stock bumper with a winch option installed, and I'd like to add a swing out tire carrier on the back (with gas can expansions) as well as a roof rack and rear mounted CB antenna...mostly everything else will be internal cab updates like a new head unit/speakers, new power window motor replacements, gauge updates, seat updates, and a rear cargo update.




Thanks!
 
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I guess I’m not good at reading. Sounds like you got a good game plan. I run a Ironman 2.5 lift and same kinda set up your looking to do. The iron man kit is good for me but there is so many options it’s hard to choose I would go with a progressive rated spring if I was to redo it. Bumpers have a long wait time from almost any company. Your getting great gas mileage for that pig! I have a 4x4 labs rear and Slee upfront. There is much cheeper options if you don’t need the armour if you search around someone on here is making a front winch mount for a stock bumper and there’s is a couple options for a rear swing out. Sorry I don’t have any links at the moment. Rear cb is a good call but limited range. Bowfinn racks are great and make a nice stout simple
Roof rack. @dogfishlake sells them. Pic of my set up. Look forward To your progress

212291FB-D3F0-421E-AC77-380E27E493EA.jpeg
 
Joined
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Messages
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WA/OR
I guess I’m not good at reading. Sounds like you got a good game plan. I run a Ironman 2.5 lift and same kinda set up your looking to do. The iron man kit is good for me but there is so many options it’s hard to choose I would go with a progressive rated spring if I was to redo it. Bumpers have a long wait time from almost any company. Your getting great gas mileage for that pig! I have a 4x4 labs rear and Slee upfront. There is much cheeper options if you don’t need the armour if you search around someone on here is making a front winch mount for a stock bumper and there’s is a couple options for a rear swing out. Sorry I don’t have any links at the moment. Rear cb is a good call but limited range. Bowfinn racks are great and make a nice stout simple
Roof rack. @dogfishlake sells them. Pic of my set up. Look forward To your progress

View attachment 3002163

No worries!

And she's a great looking rig! Yours is definitely the direction I'd like to go with mine.

The amount of options available can be overwhelming, that's for sure! I'll note your suggestion with th suspension...that's good to know, thanks! Same with the winch and roof rack and who makes them...I'll reach out to them! Again, thanks! The CB option is a "Just in case" and I've been mulling over getting a HAM also as a back-up "just in case"; even though phone range and signals are getting better and better, there are spots even out in Scappoose when i go to see family where I lose reception. Plus, I like to get away from people and even on paved locations with my car, I've lost reception.

Thanks for taking the time to reply with everything!
 

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