First Series 80 and my last build (or that's what the wife told me)- 97 with lockers and 300k (1 Viewer)

Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
82
Location
East side of TN
First I need to say what a fantastic site. The people on here are just fantastic as to the help and advice they give, this has given me the confidence to take the plunge. I started to look at Toyotas a decade ago and drop into the site from time to time to read but it was never the right time... until now. That said I have fallen victim to the beauty of the Series 80 as an explorer, going almost anywhere, camping overland (style) rig. For a little background when living in the high desert and out of a 1 car garage, I built a Jeep TJ, then Land Rover disco II which was fun then a Jeep JKU that was a money pit and never worked for what I wanted no matter how many thousands I spent on it. Moving back to the South (Central TN) gave me a chance to reset my accommodation and the number one thing on my list was a garage/shop big enough for me to house and work on vehicle projects without the pressure of having to have it all packed up and finished at the end of each day. We were very lucky and now I have a place where I can work and have some space.

I love the way Toyota does things and the styling and that started to look for Series 80s. Thanks to some great advice here I found what seems to be a pretty rust free, two owner, some service history 97 with lockers. It has a TJM winch and Slee front bumper, Slee sliders and Slee skid plate. It's on stock suspension and tires and has 300k on it. I should get it next week when the title is back from the guy selling it. Not having it to start the build with is hard so writing this up is almost therapy.

The plan, and no plan survives first contact, is to do a full fluid refresh and replace any hoses/belt that even look like they are original. The OTRAMN pre purchase video I thought was great as a stepping off point. There are a few things I need to work out like the ignition key does not open the doors there is no door key or it's so worn it does not work after 300k. The rear locker does not engage, or seems not to as the light keeps flashing, the passenger rear window goes down but stops 2 inches from the top when going up and sounds like a bucket of bolts. The passenger rear door lock actuator does not work and I'm sure there is more but fixing that kind of is half if not most the fun for me, and I'm sure why we still buy 25 year old vehicles.,

The next step is to do the build "just once", not the evolving builds I have done in the past where I end up costing myself 30-40% more over the life of the build replacing the parts I thought I wanted when I started. The plan this time is do it once, do it right. it will be my last build before I retire so this is a one shot deal. So here is the planned usage and build and questions


Planned usage.
4x4 backwoods weekend camping and medium/ medium-hard trail running exploring rig for 2 people and a dog. Second person optional, dog not optional; In my old age I am proud of what I build so it has to look cool, but not new. As I discovered when I dipped my toe into the land of Series 40s, many people want a showroom looking build with a few modern extras to drive around town at a sticker price that would buy a small house! I plan to use the 80 to the best of my driving and its capabilities and leave it with evidence on the bodywork, be that mud or scratches/dents. One thing you will never hear me say is "my truck needs good waxing" . With age I have lost the need to impress anyone other than myself and I do that by doing my best to do all my own work on vehicles and work outside my comfort zone.

The build

  • 35 inch mud tires on stock 16 inch wheels (315/75/16). Question. Will I need spacers or is the backspacing ok for them? Will I need heavy linkage and rod end ? After looking at the great wheel thread on here 35s look right to me for the wheelbase of the 80s.
  • OME lift with caster correction bushing. 2850J front springs as it have the Slee bumper and winch and I may add a 2nd battery and 2843 rear springs to keep it level. I don't plan to add a massive rear bumper, perhaps a trail gear and fab a swing out spare wheel holder. That said I may add an extra fuel tank down the line and that would mean at that time I will have to re-assess. The caster correction brackets seem to be for 4-5 inch lifts, do they make them for 3-4 range? Something about brackets vs bushing just seems better to me, but i am new to all this. The thread on OME lifts this is mind boggling, I have read it 2x all the way and am still going over it again. That's going to take some more research and Dobson look good too! I'm open to suggestions
  • Brackets for the pan hard bar and an adjustable front link, still researching this as options and totally open to suggestions. I can weld so that made me look at something other than Deltas bolt on. Again looking for lots of input
  • Longer brake lines, only broke one once... that was enough.
  • Snorkel, the ultimate cold air intake and as there is real water here in TN. Run all my breather lines higher.
  • Question, will I need a larger power steering cooler to offset the work the 35s are going to put more stress on the pump, is hydro assist common? i love it on my TJ . Perhaps a larger trans cooler too. 2nd fan?
  • upgraded lighting, headlights and extra lights inside and out (TBD) seen some good threads, feel free to chime in.
  • Re-gear to something lower to offset the 35s after some time. Reassess the factory lockers. I have had good luck with ARBs
  • Part time 4x4. Put it in the kit to let me drive it in rear wheel drive only (sorry cannot remember what that is called) so if I bust a front axle shaft I can still get home. perhaps get an extra MPG
  • Compressor and air tank for the tires and to fix that that flat and a low profile roof rack.
  • I have the trailer hooked up to the truck and the seller (who is a great guy) lets me know every day the title is not in yet, :) Let the build begin and I am ready for the collective brains of the hive to help me build my adventure machine.
Thanks
Dave



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LandLocked93

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Jun 11, 2018
Messages
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Colorado
Given your planned use, find out firstly if you're looking at a new engine. Or a rebuilt engine.
Oil analysis, trusted mech, whatever.
You may not be. But if you are, it's good for the budget to know as soon as possible.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
3
Location
Minnesota
I received a good tip from a guy at ACC garage when I purchased an 80 with a stuck locker.. everytime you're at a red light try engaging it, sure enough one day the pin or little ball popped out and they worked. However if you don't want to wait/rely on chance that's a different story.

35s won't rub at stock height.. however that bumper/wench is pretty heavy so there's a chance it might.

I purchased a set of weld on caster plates from wit's end for a 2.5 inch lift.. I haven't seen them on their site recently but you might be able to email them and have some made. I'd recommend getting new oe bushings while you have the trailing arms out as well. All the delta stuff is great, would highly recommend getting anything and everything from them.

Prinsu makes a very good looking roof rack.

I used wagner 9011 halogens to upgrade my headlights for the time being.. make sure to change the angle after lift or you're going to piss a lot of people off.

Also what that guy said 👆
 

davidp14

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Mar 24, 2017
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Staunton, VA
nice find. I have 35s on stock rims (and so do a bunch of other 80 owners) and they fit prefect. OME 2.5 med lift. stock gears rebuilt PS pump with all new lines. No issues.
with the wright you're adding J springs are probably a good idea.

Good luck with the build.
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
82
Location
East side of TN
Looks like the Build is on.. first thing is need are tires are these make Kojaks head look rough. Can fit 35 with no lift just to drive around or will i need to get an interim set for a month until i can get the lift. Also where is the best place to get a passenger turn signal lens?
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Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
8,754
At 300k, your looking at a lot of baseline repairs. At 300k mechanically pretty much every hose, gasket including head gasket and valve seals, every seal, radiator, fan clutch, and belts will need replaced. Wheel bearings are likely pitted and front axle shafts probably have a big seal groove, suspension bushings and steering joints worn. Many of the window seals probably leak at least a little bit and need replaced and need rust addressed that is forming underneath the seals. Tail light buckets can leak too.
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
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East side of TN
So a few updates for the week.
Changed the oil for 7.5 quarts of fresh and slippery Shell Rotela 15-40
Most of the hoses are new in last 30k including a new Power Steering pump, oil pan gasket, timing chain and all the belts. Or so i can decipher from the records. I even have all the factory books that came with the sale!
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The rear window would not go all the way up, the arm had jumped the track so that was an easy one. The same rear passenger door would not lock, i disassembled the actuator and got it half working, its the electric motor that is super weak. I was going to spend the $10 on a replacement motor but with so much else to do for $50 for got the whole unit on eBay new, and that's worth my time just to replace the whole thing. Lucky for me both where rear right so i only had to mess with one door.

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Use this video and the key fob to get the doors locking and unlocking, as i said the key was so worn it would not work on the doors. $20 well spent
Key fob programing

key fob

found the original Toyota took kit i think, with some after market parts.


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I think the CEL bulb is missing as have a code but no light on the dash but am throwing this code. I am going mount the Scangauge from my truck for now just to keep an eye on things.
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Lastly I'm missing the cover that keeps the spark plug wires in check, anyone know where i can get one or the part number? The air intake hose will be next..

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Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
82
Location
East side of TN
Lastly again.. a photo of the worn key

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And to wrap up the day the driver side handle is broken, it was $79 for a black one and $19.99 for this metal chrome one. Now i know "Chrome dont get you home" so i am going to spray it tonight and fit tomorrow along with the ebay snorkel. I did get a tick on my nutsack but no photos of that.

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rdcnj

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Jan 6, 2019
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NJ
Looking forward to seeing you executing this. I have a key to rival that!

Good luck with build!
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
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Location
East side of TN
Then went to battle with the snorkel. This is my 4th install of one but first on a 80. I had no idea that 3 of the bolts would be in a pretty inaccessible part of the wing and needed the inner fender removed to get to them. A bit more of a PITA that I planned but the end result is... a generic looking snorkel like everyone else On question, on the bottom of the airbox there is a what looks like a drain? about the side of 4 stacked cookies and part of the airbox, is that what is is? sorry i did not take a photo.
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LandLocked93

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Did those wheels come to you that way? Or did you freshen them with...paint? Plastidip?
Been considering doing the same. Either black or bronze in the recesses.
They look great. 👍
edit: oh and how do like those Ironman's? Really wanted to go with those at my last purchase time but came up on a deal for another brand slightly used. Still eyeing them for the future.
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
82
Location
East side of TN
Did those wheels come to you that way? Or did you freshen them with...paint? Plastidip?
Been considering doing the same. Either black or bronze in the recesses.
They look great. 👍
edit: oh and how do like those Ironman's? Really wanted to go with those at my last purchase time but came up on a deal for another brand slightly used. Still eyeing them for the future.
Previous owner did the wheels, i did not like then at first but they have grown on me. So far, just 300 miles ans some medium offloading, but i like the ironmans. Not as loud as i thought they would be on the highway and seem ttl have lots of traction on mixed rocky surfaces. Really pleasantly surprised.
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
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East side of TN
Slow week. got most of the lift kit in. UPS lost the font springs but they should be here tomorrow. Sway bay drop brackets front and rear are in along with front track bar. rear track bar relocation bracket, extended brake lines and i am thinking of making extended bump stop out of ice hockey pucks . The replacement front side light from the far east has made it to the US and cleared customs so thats a week out. All I really got done was replacing the hood struts so i dont have to use the broom handle to hold the hood up.
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Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
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East side of TN
Did the lower today and the squeals on start up are gone, it was $30 off eBay. I did not replace the shaft that the adjuster goes through, just the pully, dust cover and nut. 20 min total time and worth it to stop the sound of cat in washing machine every time i would start her up.
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Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
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East side of TN
its been a slow few weeks. I need to sort out the winch, im pretty sure its the solenoid and I have a new one. my corner lights from China seems to have been lost in transit 100 miles from my house after a 2700 mile journey so got a single off eBay for $50 shipped so at least it sealed up. The big work will start on the 26th when ERG80 is going to drive over and we are going get the lift kit on.

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