Buying an 80 with a rusty frame (1 Viewer)

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Well this whole search kicked off when I got a new job working from home. I have a 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro and thought now was an incredible opportunity to save some money and get rid of it in lieu of a cheaper vehicle that I could drive to the ski resort on the weekend. Pretty much just looking to take advantage of the fact that I no longer need a daily driver. I've wheeled once or twice in my Tacoma but generally I was too afraid to destroy the paint on a ~45k vehicle. I'm looking for something I can drive on the weekends down to Moab, out to Yellowstone, and work on/restore at home in my spare time. I prefer it be sanitary/dependable because I have a 1 month old son who I may need to bring to an appointment once in a blue moon.
I'm going to get flamed for this, but a 4runner (3rd gen and up), FJC, UZJ100 or GX is the right vehicle for you. They can do 85% of what an fzj80 can do off road (more than enough based on your post), they're cheaper to buy (in the case of the 4runner, anyway), readily available, have much lower maintenance requirements, no/few discontinued OEM parts, all while getting halfway decent gas mileage, which can't be said for the 80. If you don't need serious offroad prowess, the IFS yotas are a really well-rounded bunch of 4x4s and still plenty capable.

My two cents :eek:
 
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I'm going to get flamed for this, but a 4runner (3rd gen and up), FJC, UZJ100 or GX is the right vehicle for you. They can do 85% of what an fzj80 can do off road (more than enough based on your post), they're cheaper to buy (in the case of the 4runner, anyway), readily available, have much lower maintenance requirements, no/few discontinued OEM parts, all while getting halfway decent gas mileage, which can't be said for the 80. If you don't need serious offroad prowess, the IFS yotas are a really well-rounded bunch of 4x4s and still plenty capable.

A 100 series will be all together a more practical vehicle for your use. And much cheaper to buy with less miles. Lots of <$10k 100 series' out there.

I can't say the two of you are wrong. Those are great choices for my situation. I love the way the 80 series Land Cruiser looks. My dad has had one for a decade now and every time I see it I fall in love again. It's not the practical choice, but it's something I think will meet my needs and hopefully one day I can pass to my kid.
 
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CT
Where do you recommend I look? KSL, Craigslist, Autotrader, eBay? Also how clean was the interior on yours? Seats good? All electronics functioning?

If you have facebook keep an eye on marketplace.
I bought my 94 with slightly less rust for $1600 (270k, not locked)
I’ve been slowly trying to address the rust with wire wheel, corroseal, chassis saver paint, fluid film / cosmoline.


Day I bought it (2016)
9485B957-2FEE-4C58-82E9-59D992D5BC4E.jpeg



Now
D0303214-FDBE-453E-8FC7-E1A5FEEFEC94.jpeg
 

desmocruiser

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Big Orange Country
I agree with what most people have said, it is at the last (And most expensive) stage to be saved to make a nicer one.

Sounds like it has plenty of mechanical life remaining and would make a great driver for someone in the snowy salty part of the world to use in harsh conditions and finish off the body and frame!
 
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Ogden, Utah
Soooooooooo I'm looking through the internet, really digging into the tubes and I find another rust bucket LX. Here's my question with this one. It looks like a really well maintained vehicle with low miles but a shot of the underbody reveals some pretty real rust. Does this look reclaimable to yall? It looks like they may have just rattle canned it as well, so I assume there may be additional rust under the paint.

254280_2.jpg
 
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I honestly don't see any rust in that picture at all. A little surface patina at the weld/seams on the frame? The swaybar U brackets? A couple bolt heads? What are you looking at? Are you sure you attached the right picture, hard to tell much of anything, but that looks like a nice clean undercarriage to me 🤔
 
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I honestly don't see any rust in that picture at all. A little surface patina at the weld/seams on the frame? The swaybar U brackets? A couple bolt heads? What are you looking at? Are you sure you attached the right picture, hard to tell much of anything, but that looks like a nice clean undercarriage to me 🤔
I guess I see the patch on the driveshaft and think they just did a poor job of coating it. Hopefully I can go see it next week, but the seller hasn’t messaged me back yet.
 
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Ogden, Utah

I’ve seen these. The first one the miles were a little off putting. For the second one, I always get scared when I see pictures off-road. I know I’m nitpicking, but I don’t mind spending a little more money to have something that requires a little less work. I’m actually flying to Denver on Tuesday to look at a 96 LC. Let’s hope it works out. 🤞
 

eimkeith

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Charlotte, NC
Problem is I'm just not finding what I want any lower than 10k. I've been looking at a great looking non-locked LX450for 13k and a locked LX450 with several issues (no rust) for 13k. I saw a project truck ($4300, needed transfer case) flash on Craigslist in Vegas yesterday night, but it was taken down within a couple hours. I messaged the guy but never got anything back. My concern is the days of a decent 80 for ~5k are gone.

Are you willing to buy one in NC? I can forward you the ad on the one I didn't buy (but perhaps should have).
 
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I got my 1997 LX450 for under $10k a couple of months ago. Zero rust, new leather seats, 210k miles, new tires. Another $1500 went into brakes, oil pan seal, alignment, and a few odds and ends to make it a daily driver I can trust. There are deals out there. Just keep looking.
 
Joined
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North Alabama
I’ve seen these. The first one the miles were a little off putting. For the second one, I always get scared when I see pictures off-road. I know I’m nitpicking, but I don’t mind spending a little more money to have something that requires a little less work. I’m actually flying to Denver on Tuesday to look at a 96 LC. Let’s hope it works out. 🤞
Also checkout The best vintage and classic cars for sale online | Bring a Trailer and carsandbids.com
 
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I had heard about bringatrailer, but not cardandbids. Nice! I actually bought a 96 LC from Denver Tuesday and made the drive back to Utah that same day. After getting a more in depth view of the truck, there is a lot of work that will need to go into it. So I may buy another and consider selling this one. I always like keeping my eye out for a good deal. Thanks!
 

Tachycardic

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The reality of the market is that the days of cheap 80s is coming to an end, and may have ended already. Sure, there are deals to be found, but they are the exception, not the rule. The market for 80s have changed drastically from even a year ago. Any search now must include the entire country and everyone hopes to find a mall crawler from a granny that's willing to let it go for cheap.

That being said, even 7k for that truck is a bit rich--okay for no body rush, but too much if you have to put 6k into it. Personally, I think the chassis is fine. A bit of surface rust, which like you said, can be grinded and wire brushed off, and POR15'd. Like someone else said, for a rust belt truck, it's okay! However, if you're in UT, I bet you can find better for similar money. Just start expanding your search into the desert SW first and go from there.
 

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