Buying my first LC, a FZJ80! (1 Viewer)

Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
27
Location
Dallas, TX
Greetings all!
I have been reading the forum here for awhile now. Learning about the different models and modifications. There is quite a wealth of information here! I have longed for a LC for years in vain. However, I recently got the wife to sign of on getting a FJ80 or above. She didn't go for the 60/62... Those of you who are married can surely feel my pain ;) So FJ80 it is!

After a few days of searching, I found a Craigslist ad here in Dallas for the 1997 40th anniversary edition LC. Reading several forum posts, it appeared that 97 was a good model year for the FZJ80. However, I do have a few questions. Being I complete green horn, I am reaching out to the wisdom of the forum members here.

The LC would be used about 70% around town and highway and about 30% off-roading. To clarify, the off-roading would not be rock crawling or mud boggin, but more the area of trails and elements involved with backpacking and hiking (as that is what we enjoy doing most).

Alright, now for the questions. As the LC would be used to get us to trails around the country, are there modifications that can be made to make it more fuel efficient? There is an inherent irony in asking to make an SUV more fuel efficient, kind of like asking if you can make water less wet...

What modifications would you suggest for the use described above?

Are there any mechanical elements that are issues with the FZJ90s? All vehicles break down. Just wondering if there are some things that are continually problems for the line.

Finally, what do you think of this deal? He is asking $6,500 for the ride. The Craigslist post can be seen here: 97 Land Cruiser Collectors Ed.
More photos are here.
Here is some additional information from email conversation:
why selling? My wife finally got the minivan she wanted.
ever wrecked or painted on? No wrecks or repainting that I've found. Small scratches and a couple of small dents.
i understand appearance not perfect, and 14 years old, but any major fading, oxidation, etc.? Only issue on the body is a couple of rust spots on the leading edge on the hood and the bottom of the running boards.
everything work well and as it should? The antenna doesn't go up (it's motor is running, but the plastic runner is broken, a $38 part on ebay)
drives, shifts smoothly? Drives great and Shifts smoothly
what service or maintenance will it need soon? last timing belt change? It's a steel timing chain that doesn't need to be changed. I had all the fluids changed last summer.
any fluid leaks and how bad? It does have an oil leak. It loses about 1 quart every 1200 miles at highway speeds. (My wife likes to drive it at 80-90 mph.) Much less around town. It's a rear oil seal leak. It doesn't drip on the driveway. For the last 2 years, it has been much less expensive to add a quart of oil every month or two, than to pay to get the leak fixed. This was not our primary car.
smells, rips, cracks, fades or stains inside? Nothing out of the ordinary. The seats have some cracks but they haven't torn. The dash is not cracked. The carpets are in great shape for the age. The driver's mat does have a wear spot where the driver's heel rests.

I'll be looking at the vehicle and test driving it tomorrow. I'll post more information after. Thanks in advance for any and all comments, ideas, and suggestions. I appreciate it. have a good one!
 

Hoosier Daddy

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 1, 2005
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1,147
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CO Springs
 
 
 
FWIW, technically it is neither a 40th anniversary edition nor antique sage pearl in color. It is a Collector's edition, which just means it was built in late 1997 model year before they changed the body style.

Looks average in all aspects. Where did this truck live before it was bought by the current owner?

Your MPG will be bad no matter what. It's just a matter of how bad. You'll want to keep it light and keep the stock size tires, which should be just fine for your intended purpose.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
638
Location
avon,nc/courtland,va
 
 
Take some tools and check the fluids ...look at the rad cap for coolant build up. Make sure he is running red. The pesky heater hose is a issue. HG can be on a rig poorly maintained. Id be anal and check all around for aftermarket parts . Check out Slee's newbie guide. Probably better to buy a rig here but there are diamonds in the rough out there. Check it over before you buy. The magic locker dial is a big deal if you end up turning rock crawler. I paid 6500 for mine w/lockers at 160k. After maitenence updates and worn out parts replacemet, Im at around 9k invested and still goin . It dosent hurt to wait and pay more for that perfect rig. I picked mine cause the deal and timing was right for me and I also wanted to learn my way around it mechanically
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
347
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
The fuel economy sucks. You just have to accept that fact before you purchase it.

All normal issues. The power antenna is junk. Mine has been broken for months (I'd like to replace it with a solid mast one day).

Mine leaks oil at the same rate. I've been topping it off like that since I got it two years ago. I'll have whatever seal is leaking replaced if the leak gets worse.
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2010
Messages
1,321
Location
North East TN
yeah, oil consumption seems a bit high, might need some attention. could also be the rear arch of the upper oil pan, still a good bit of work to fix.

good luck with 90mph in it, and if you get it that fast, the MPG will really be low, so there is your first fuel savings.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
27
Location
Dallas, TX
Take some tools and check the fluids ...look at the rad cap for coolant build up. Make sure he is running red. The pesky heater hose is a issue. HG can be on a rig poorly maintained. Id be anal and check all around for aftermarket parts . Check out Slee's newbie guide. Probably better to buy a rig here but there are diamonds in the rough out there. Check it over before you buy. The magic locker dial is a big deal if you end up turning rock crawler. I paid 6500 for mine w/lockers at 160k. After maitenence updates and worn out parts replacemet, Im at around 9k invested and still goin . It dosent hurt to wait and pay more for that perfect rig. I picked mine cause the deal and timing was right for me and I also wanted to learn my way around it mechanically
Thanks for the reply Tromz. I'll make sure and check the fluids tomorrow. I am admittedly not a mechanic. Working with my shade tree mechanic father and grandfather is where most my knowledge comes from. I would like to know my way around it as well so I dont mind doing some work myself on a less than perfect rig.

I read Slee's guide and will be checking the VIN. Looked for late 90s rigs in the classifieds but haven't seen anything in the last week or so.

Several post suggested having it looked at by someone who already owned an 80 rig, perhaps someone form the forum. Would really like to get in contact with 80 owners here in the Dallas area. Maybe even have one check it out or refer me to a respectable garage that will.

Thanks again!
 
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
385
Location
Whitefish, MT
There was a post a few weeks back listing some Dallas area shops.
I would recommend taking any prospective purchase in to an expert for a thorough evaluation.

Realize to that people often measure their search for the perfect Cruiser in months not weeks. I hurried when I bought mine as I was in a big time crunch with no vehicle. It's nice but a better one came up for sale 2 weeks later for $1500 less... If you plan to keep it a long time it pays to hold out for exactly what you want.

Another thing to consider is gas is potentially going to be over $4 a gallon this summer. That could fuel(sorry) another SUV sell off. There could be some real bargins out there.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
214
 
 
miles aren't really an issue. the collectors edition is really just the badge and some black out treatment. i couldn't see the extra pics. you'll want to check out the birfs. when i was getting started, i would get under potential 80s and take pics of the birfs and post them here for the pros to critique. i looked for 6 months before i found mine. the folks from my local club were very helpful when i would post pics of my potential finds.

unless you get lucky, you will probably have to plan on rebuilding the birfs unless the PO can show documentation of having it done.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
638
Location
avon,nc/courtland,va
 
 
^what he said. I had mine done by a reputable Land cruiser shop due to my lack of work area. Yea slee's newbie guide is a good bible for new ownership. Look at it all and make compromises on what you dont mind addressing yourself.. When you make a purchase go right down to Toyota and order a factory service manual. The shear fact that you own a Land Cruiser ..Toyota's flagship normally gets kudos with the parts guy . Work him for a discount. Hopefully between this site the manual and if you are lucky another 80 guy at Toyota or somewhere you will be able to handle turning your own wrenches
I am not a mechanic either but dont mind learnin as I go! TLCA has a list of businesses that support them and discount its members also. Stick with genuine toyota parts...they lasted this long right!
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2009
Messages
482
Location
Lander, WY
Is your wife going to be driving it? 80-90 is a bit too fast for fuel economy. You are driving a cruiser....not a speeder. If fuel economy is your primary concern get a 235/85 pump it up to 80 psi, make sure your engine is well tuned up and you will be consistently above 15mpg. I have done 19.7.
Tyler
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2011
Messages
105
Location
Hopewell, VA
If your primary function is to get you to trailheads for hiking and basic camping I think there are better vehicles for it. The LC is very capable and durable, but with that comes poor gas mileage. I've only had mine a couple weeks and got 11mpg on the first tank (in-town driving). I hike a lot, and unless I need the 4x4 capabilities of the LC, I take the minivan and get 20-24mpg on the highway instead. You'd be better off with a cute-ute (Crossover) and all wheel drive unless you haul more than 5 passengers regularly. I love my Cruiser but that's because when I'm not hiking, shooting or camping the whole family (6 passengers) goes out 4-wheeling in it.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
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Dallas, TX
Hey guys, I want to thank you all for your comments! My knowledge about the 80s is increasing exponentially! I went and took a look at the LC today and I think I am going to pass on this one. No lockers and a bit more rust than I would have liked. Your posts prepared me to evaluate what it was that I was looking at and for that I am grateful. And the grand search continues...
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
638
Location
avon,nc/courtland,va
 
 
Had that feeling you would pass. Mine is rusty and that makes it a PITA. The right deal for you is out there if you are paitent. Theres a burgundy one on Auto trader. Cant say as for the details but it was locked '94 I think
 

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