Buying a truck with e-Lockers or not (1 Viewer)

izzyandsue

Izzy
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Hello everyone, I am new to the world of LC. I have been doing some mild off-roading with my wife's LR4 (her station wagon), and getting hooked. My automotive experience is more in the world of fast-small road course racing, and not afraid to do my own mechanical or electrical work. I have attended a 5-6 off-road schools to learn from various places, taken the LR4 every time, and now ready to buy my first off-roader. Most instructors and people I have met at Expos and other events pointed me in the FJ80 direction, solid axle way. I have been shopping for a while, and down to 2 final prospects. Would like to get opinions (and yes, already read FAQ's, Slee's newbie, ExpoPortal, AmericanAdventurist, etc).

The two options are:
  1. 1996 with lockers, 250K miles but had engine rebuilt 18K miles due to failed bearing (documentation), has CEL for P0401 -idling you can hear it hunting up and down(likely EGR and owner has part), needs interior carpet, antenna, paint is fading on hood (needs respray), front seats redone, and a general good scrubbing. No rust that I can see, and buying from individual owner, Carfax had accident with animal years ago (-$450).
  2. 1997 with no lockers, 180K miles, interior and exterior I would give it a 7 out of 10. Has fake plastic wood stickers on dash that are easy to remove, clean carfax (+$950).
The price difference between the 2 is $1500. I plan to convert to off-road rig over time, live in the Carolina foothills and won't be doing too much rock crawling. So exterior will get dirty and banged up anyways.

So my main questions, are factory e-lockers that necessary? Only person I have asked so far is an instructor at a school near here, he said "not that important and you can add them up later". What does this collective of knowledge says?
 

retrofive

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Yup. While nice to have to the lockers come with it, the cons of it can out weigh the retro fitting of lockers (e-locked or air)
 
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I wouldn't limit it to only two if you don't feel totally comfortable with either. I would lean towards lockers, nice to have even if you don't plan on rock crawling. The whole "add them later" will run several grand unless you regear, that will be somewhat a combo job but still expensive. You can tolerate cosmetic issues, but you cant turn back the clock or make up for missed maintenance so I say wait for a good one.
 

izzyandsue

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I should have stated more clearly, that the ones with e-lockers is the less expensive by $1500. Makes a difference? To add carpet, seats, and re-spray hood will be about $1500, so almost evened up. But having no experience with locking differentials....
I have looked at probably a dozen, the nicest ones, really good shape soccer mom mall crawlers, don't have e-lockers, almost by definition. All the e-lockers I have seen do have some work to be done. Therefore my main question, are e-lockers worth it? Thanks all for your replies.
 

retrofive

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I should have stated more clearly, that the ones with e-lockers is the less expensive by $1500. Makes a difference? To add carpet, seats, and re-spray hood will be about $1500, so almost evened up. But having no experience with locking differentials....
I have looked at probably a dozen, the nicest ones, really good shape soccer mom mall crawlers, don't have e-lockers, almost by definition. All the e-lockers I have seen do have some work to be done. Therefore my main question, are e-lockers worth it? Thanks all for your replies.
You probably will spend min of $1500 for lockers in a unlocked 80, if that helps.
 
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It really boils down to what you intend to use it for. For even a mild to moderate expedition type role, I think you would appreciate the lockers. When you need them, you really need them. I think what is even more important is having the right skills and knowledge when it comes to understanding the type of terrain you are about to venture on. Also, I think it is even more important to have a properly functioning winch.
 
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retrofive

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While I agree, I have built my "unlocked" 80 slowly and cheaply over the years.

First thing I did (as far as the locking was concerned) was add an Aussie to rear. CDL button and 7pin mod to follow. Waited for a right "donor" vehicle with locked axles to come around. I took what was needed from the donor (left the rear locked axle in it) and me and friend did the swap.

I got a aussie rear locked 80 with e-locked front that preforms great for me, he got an 80 with a rear locked 80 and un-locked front. Only thing out the mix we needed and found easy was one more locker ecu.
 

izzyandsue

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That helps a good bit, how much to budget for lockers. That could be the breaking point for me. A lot easier and cheaper to strip the interior, respray the hood, and drive into the woods. As opposed to drive into the woods and get stuck or watch a wheel spin freely up in the air. I won't go alone, next outing is on 11/15 with the Uwharrie Off Road Training Center.
 

LINUS

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I'd start with the lesser rust, better maintained one & modify as needed.
The locker one sounds promising on merit of the rebuild if done well.
For a compare example there's a Moonglow locked on a lot here for ~$8500, had ~180K.
I'll link it in a moment - looked clean but I know nothing, just saw while hunting a 200 this morning.

Here::
http://m.autotrader.com/cars-for-sa...pes=used&searchRadius=10&mmt=[TOYOTA[LC[]][]]

I swapped axles to get lockers, but I did because the 80 is a 1owner from CA I bought in '00
 
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To add a rear Elocker(all 90% of the people here would want/need) is less than most assume(I think). The 9.5 rear slips into the 'regular' rear housing with just a smidge of grinding the flange lip. It actually fits without grinding, but is near impossible to safely/comfortably install laying under the truck without a little clearance.

I've bought two off mud members, neither of which cost more than $500 w the splined short side shaft) and the 12volyguy or similar vendor harness/switch is <$150(I forget).

It's rather easy, requires no special tools, not even a jack, and could be done in a day in a relaxed mode sipping on a few beers.

Not many need/want the front locker and it fetches much more $ since the high pinion 8 fits a whole plethora of minitruck builds.
 

fj80pb

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The mileage difference is, IMO, significant. 80 series with relatively low mileage and in overall good conditions (7 out of 10 as per your own scale) are in short supply. If one is on you sight, get it.
As some other members said, lockers are a very, very good thing to have-no doubt. But you can always install them later on-albeit with a punch to your wallet. What you can't do is to “undo” the mileage on the 96'.
Lastly, unless having first hand knowledge of the incident and subsequent repair, I wouldn't buy a truck that have been wrecked-but that's me.
Good luck

Cheers
 

LINUS

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B-weldz has it - you can add the lockers in a relaxed mode & do gears if wanted then & it's a prime time for full axle service, brakes, seals, birf flip if you need - whatever, you plan it through & do 1 axle a weekend if you like.

I did lockers, gears, full service to each axle & even bought new birfs & all tolled it was ~$4k --and that was buying all new parts for the FR axle right down to bearings & rotors (rebuilt all calipers with Toyota kits).

Pick the nicest cab & powertrain, add the axles if applicable later.
 

Mr Cimarron

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I have been noticing that 80's with or without lockers on CL in Texas are all the same price. Mostly the overall condition is the main factor on what they go for. I held out for lockers when I purchased mine.
 

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