Buying 92 FJ80 - Please help! Pictures inside

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May 4, 2011
Long Island, NY
I am currently venturing into the world of toyotas after years of being a land rover guy. I need a truck i can rely on and after some research if decided the 91-92 fj80 with the 3fe is the way to go. So i went to look at a truck today and i noticed a few things i was hoping you could help me with.

The Good
-Body is in great shape, not a bit of rust.
-Frame is in good shape, no rust.
-Engine doesnt show any signs of major leaks, oil or coolant.
-Lowish miles (114,000)
-Fluids are all clean

this list goes on.

The Bad
-Steering jerks at full lock. I looked at this and the belt looks to be worn and i actually saw it slipping on the pulley when i turned to full lock. I think it is jsut the belt, could it be the pump? Does anyone have experience with that?
-I read somewhere that you should look to see if there is any caked on grease or dirt at the ends of the front axles. There is some grease but it doesnt look bad to me...i inclueded pictures, if someone could take a look and provide opinions it would be great.
-THe windows barely moved, the own said this happens in the rain becuase the gaskets sweel or seomthing.(it was a rainy day today here in NY)

I didnt notice really anyhting esel wrong besides some interior problems with the cloth on the seats.

Here are some pics...







Most of the moisture pictured undernearth the car is water form the road, it was raining. If the pcitures dont work i inlcuded the link to the album.

THanks in advance for your help.
Wheres the pics??? What's the price????

That power steering belt is f-ing shot. The birfs are gonna need to be overhauled due to leaky axle seals. Its hard to tell if its worth it without a price tag.....
sorry the pics wont work for some reason. I made an offer for $3000, he said no he wants $3500. I can get him down i think but i jsut want to know if it worth it for me.
Birfields are soupy, plan on an axle rebuild. What price are they asking? Looks ok besides that. No real problems with stock power steering with stock size tires, issue there is probably the slipping belt you noticed. Power windows have a couple threads on here with good and inexpensive solutions. Compared to most Rovers I see, that LC is in great shape!
Personally i would not spend $3500. Especially with the 3FE, although its nice. Its all about what you want and what you want to spend. Miles seem low, check the fluids and go through it carefully.









I fixed the pics... I didnt think the 91-92 had the PHH problem, thought it was only the FZJ80 93+?
low mileage...

sorry the pics wont work for some reason. I made an offer for $3000, he said no he wants $3500. I can get him down i think but i jsut want to know if it worth it for me.

If the fact that you are probably looking at $500-$1000 of repairs doesn't scare you too bad, I'd show the guy $3000 cash and leave if he said no. $4/gallon gas is not making these trucks any more valuable in this economy. Edmunds said good private party price on that truck is $1800, dealership price is $3000. Hope this helps your decision.
Steering issue

I recently had the same symptoms with the steering on my 92. I assumed it was the pump. Turned out to be the belt. It was very loose and worn and was barely turning the pulley. After I replaced it, it felt as good as new. My 92 has 140,000 miles.

On a side note, there is a mesh screen on the bottom of the reservoir which sometimes gets clogged and prevents power steering fluid from flowing but it sounds like this is not the case with this truck as it seems the owner replaces fluids from what I read in your post. Other issues which I'm sure your familiar with may need looking into. Good luck with that. :cheers:

x2 on that axle rebuild
Looks good to me and in very stock condition. Our 92 now has 318K on original motor, transmission and exhaust system. Only major maintenance issues have been the rear main, new radiator, waterpump, hoses, front axle rebuild. With fuel prices as high as they are I think you should be able to get him down a bit. FYI, our 92 gets 11 mpg in the city and about 13 on the highway. Many years ago my wife got in a glancing head on collision. The car that hit ours was totalled and the 92 drove away needing a bumper,grill, push bar and hood. They are very safe and are extremely dependable vehicles.
knowing that i will probably have to replace the birfeilds i am thinking i am going to offer him $2500, does that seem fair? This wont be my daily driver obviously. I will only use it for fishing on the beach in the summer and snow in the winter here in NY (prob 3000 miles a year so gas isnt a huge concern to me, although the prices suck here at $4.30 a gallon)
Front axle rebuild doesn't necessarily require replacing birfs.
Replacing seals and bearings is usually all that is needed.
The expensive part is paying someone else for the labor.
You could get an estimate from a dealer for the front axle service (it'll be around $1200) and anything else it needs and show it to the person you're dealing with. The driver's seat looks a bit worse than what I'd expect for only 114,000 miles, and never heard of rubber window gaskets swelling in the rain?? Have you considered a newer model with the 1FZFE engine? Yeah, the MPG will eat you up.
Looks like a good rig, but $2500 is probably the highest price I'd pay. On the subject of birfs, you might as well replace them while you've got the front end torn apart.

How did the engine feel when you drove it?
I fixed the pics... I didnt think the 91-92 had the PHH problem, thought it was only the FZJ80 93+?


I agree with the aforementioned dealer estimate to do the axle seals/front end job. Show em that and edmunds, then throw $2500 cash out there. If he gets crazy about your offer going down, tell him you did some independent research and talked to a dealer about the "immediate required maintenance."

Of course, most "should I buy this" threads end in the inevitable 'MUD "wait until you find a nicer one for less money" answer, and it's not like saving $500 now will mean much in the end if you start modding/maintaining heavily. $500 might be a drop in the bucket once you factor in the potential spending opportunity you've got in front of you :)

Realistically, 114k isn't a bad mileage for a 3FE, especially if he's got maintenance records... does he?
I don't like this one.

Don't like the bumper, don't like the seat, looks like some non oem parts, don't like the neglected axle and belt.

All of these things to me indicate a vehicle that wasn't taken care of.

91-92's are ususally pretty cheap. I'd hold out for something better.
What's lurking behind the front bumper? Its distorted in several places.

114K miles is low for a 19 year old truck. Driven ~6K miles per year average or a lot in some years and sat up a while in others. Would be nice if you could get some service records if you are going to stay at a $3K counter offer.
I love these posts, you get all kinds of opinions, so here's mine: I'll take another tack- $3500 is really peanuts these days. If it's basically a decent truck, trying to beat him down is like pole vaulting over mouse turds, except it might make you feel better. Take a look behind the bumper and see if it's the brackets which are bent, they're simple to starighten, but the caps itself will probably need replacing if you're worried about cosmetics. 3FE's are great engines, they just don't have the get-up-and-go of 1FZ's, but so what? They do fine, especially in NY, Colorado is a different story. Check for rust, especially by the rear bumper. You'll have some, but normally the body of the truck isn't too bad. Run a carfax that should tell a lot about the truck's history. The front axle is not a show stopper, but should be fixed at some point. He may have put GO 90 in it instead of grease, so the "leak" could be nothing. Looks like oil to me. All of this is my opinion, but I bought my 80 at 124,000 miles 8 years ago with all the same stuff, and it's till going strong at 253,xxx miles (after an HG of course, which you won't have to worry about). But, these were pricey, top-of-the-line trucks, and parts and labor can be expensive, so if you think your new LC is going to cost the same as a '94 Honda Accord to maintain, think again. Just my $.02.
I would try and verify the miles.
Seems low for the wear on the vehicle.

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