Cruiser number 4.. 1991 FJ80

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Mar 10, 2006
Grass Valley, CA
I've been lusting after an 80 for a long time. My wife and I both wanted to get another 4x4 that was not 40 years old for general use. Camping, going over to Reno in bad weather, ect. Just needed something easy for the times we wanted to go the mountains but didn't want to spend the time getting the 40 or her pickup ready. She really wanted a 4runner, but my parents have an 02 4runner and I find it really cramped and uncomfortable. I really liked the 80s, always have. So when I found this guy for sale for half of what we had planned to spend on one, I pounced on it.

1991, 178K miles. Needs a water pump (halfway done with that today), and a rear and side window. It's in really great shape for it's age. A few minor things here and there I'll have to address, but I'm quite happy with my new cruiser. It's going to be my wife's daily driver for a while at least, and I'm planning on any mods being VERY mild. Only thing I'm concerned about is if I'll ever drive my 40 again once we have this thing going. :(








Congrats and welcome to the 80s section. Looks like a good start, enjoy the ride.
$1500. Which, I figure after we sort out the registration (few years out) and the broken windows.. we've still got a really good deal. Most of the cruisers we were finding had a lot more miles (250K+) and were in worse shape for twice as much as this one. Yeah, it needs some stuff, but once it's fixed we'll have a great cruiser with low miles.
Gah.. why did Toyota think it was a good idea to attach every single accessory on the engine to the water pump. What a pain. Got it out though today, I'll get the new one in tomorrow and will be able to take it for a first drive... if you don't count the 30 seconds of driving it onto and off of the trailer. Frankly, I want to make sure everything is good with the engine and drivetrain before I go and transfer it and pay the back registration.
Welcome! I love the brown interior, though I have am a little biased. I DD my 91 too. I originally got it to work on while I still had my other vehicle, but I started driving it and never turned back!
Nice deal, but being a hillbilly from Tennessee, I stumbled over the term "back registration." So in California one has to pay registration fees for all of the years lapsed simply to register it?
check all the fluids before you drive it, front and rear diff typically have leaks if its been sitting it could be bone dry in there. Ive seen it happen. the best probs are the ones avoided. nice rig
Yeah.. you have to pay fees for all the years it's been not registered. And CA registration isn't cheap.. I'm expecting around $4-500. Which makes what I found today even worse.

Pulled off the plastic from the broken side window.. and found this...

I felt like I'd been kicked in the gut. Soooo pissed, and so upset. It's really clear to me that he put the plastic on in a way to hide the damage. Now I'm worried about what else he might not have been honest about. I'm pissed.. I want to not deal with it at all, and just sell it or part it out and keep the engine for my 40. My wife is more rational then me and said as long as we can get another window in it, no function has been lost and it's still a nice reliable truck to take on long trips... and she's right. It's just the whole fact he screwed me that pisses me off. I am partly to blame, I guess I should have taken off the plastic to make sure it was just a broken window.. but looking at the rest of the truck, there was no reason to think it was anything other then what he said it was. Now I'm worried about him saying he had it towed home before it overheated when the water pump went out.... uhhhhh...

I have the water pump and all the parts.. It won't cost me anything to put it on. If I do find anything else major.. I'm not going to deal with it. I'll just have to part it out, recoup the money we have into it and find another. I really have been wanting to cry.. or kill the guy.. all day. Just sucks. If the engine is OK, and everything seems to be OK... my parents neighbor is a body guy, and who I bought my FJ40 from when I was in HS. Nice guy, and I'm sure he can fix it a lot cheaper then a real body shop.

I'm just so pissed. I really thought I had nice clean cruiser that I've been wanting for a while. I wanted something I could check the fluids on and throw our camping stuff in and go on an adventure.. not another project.
Welcome to the 80s, and bummer about that! I would get the engine going, hopefully, before doing the window, just in case.. Hope it works out, looks great other than that though!!
Gee, kinda sounds like what I went through. Looked at it, a few dings on the exterior, broken back window, higher mileage, but all in all it test drove nice and seemed to be in good condition. Upon getting it home I find a few months later, after whatever kinda stop leak was put in it stopped working, that it has a cracked block. Same price too.
Let's hope it's the water pump and not the head gasket...

Other than that, for the money, it'll buff out. It'll be a little homely over there, but at least it's not the curb side:confused:
Don't take this the wrong way, but why on earth would you buy an 80 knowing it had busted glass and not look at the damage if you werent prepared to fixed it?? This doesn't make sense to me, and I make stupid decisions all day long.
It's still a great buy, can't you get a decent shop to fix it? Don't mean to be rude but I think once it's fixed you will have a solid truck
Don't take this the wrong way, but why on earth would you buy an 80 knowing it had busted glass and not look at the damage if you werent prepared to fixed it?? This doesn't make sense to me, and I make stupid decisions all day long.

I didn't know about the dent. I knew the window was broken, I had no idea that there was a massive dent too. The guy just said, someone broke the window, so it needs to be replaced. Not.. hey, there's a huge freakin' dent that broke the window too.

And.. it gets worse. Got the water pump in today.. and got warmed it up and it looked good. No smoke, no oil and water mixing... temp looked good. Got in and took it for a drive.. and it seemed good.. until it hit 2000 RPM and holy crap massive rod knock. I got screwed. I was worried when I found the dent he had clearly hidden... knowing there very well could have been more then just a leaking water pump.. so I wasn't totally surprised. I'm bummed. Really disappointed. It could have been such a nice ride... even with the big nasty dent.

It's a strange sounding knock.. so I'm going to take the valve cover off tomorrow on the slim chance maybe there is a bent or damaged pushrod.. something like that.. but it's loud and sounds pretty bad. If that's the case, I'm going to have to just cut my losses and part it out. :( I hate to do it.. it's so clean inside, but between the engine damage, the big nasty dent, and the DMV back fees... I'm quickly putting more into it then I can afford right now. I am having shoulder surgery in 2 weeks, so I just can't really wrench on it.. or I would considering replacing or repairing the motor.

I just made a bad decision. I knew it was a risk buying something not driving, but I did start it and drive onto the trailer. I just didn't get it going fast enough to hear the knock. Pisses me off, I got someone elses junk and he knew it. First time I've been screwed with a cruiser or cruiser parts..... 90% of the time, I feel pretty good about cruiser stuff because most of us love them, and don't screw each other to make a few bucks.

I guess at this point, I'm going to take the top end to build a 2FE for my 40, and part out the rest. I'll get my money back, it just sucks. I am sad, but have at least a couple hundred in back fees, plus the motor, plus the dent... meh.. I'll sleep on it, but I just don't want a project... I wanted something we could just do some minor maintenance things on and drive.
Yeah, with shoulder surgery staring you in the face, it'll be awhile before you feel like wrenching on anything. BTDT.

Pretty low class deal all around. Unusual with LandCruiser people, but every once in awhile...:bang:
Well if you got pretty much everything for a 2FE besides gaskets for 1500 and you can definitely make that back parting out, I'd say you won!
Yeah, I agree. I am bummed about the 80, because I really wanted it.. but I will just have to look at is as I got free motor parts instead of lost an 80 series. :)

There are a lot of nice 80s out there. We'll find another better one down the road.

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