FJZ80 or just 80

PAW

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Mar 2, 2017
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Need some help here. Im looking to find a 80 to have completely restmod for a longer trip driver. I have a 62 that I daily drive and a 55. I want to be completely clear I have no mechanical ability so will be having someone do the work. Basically if you have seen the ICON FJZ80, I want something close to that but figure out how to strip out the crazy cost and likely crazy Offroad capability, not proud to say it but family life isn't leading me a trail anytime soon.

Anyway before I bore you all, I want to do a complete job, likely new crate engine, interior, 2-3 inch lift, electronics etc. Im just learning on the 80s but have been drawn to the FJZ. Heres my question: if I am swapping out the engine does it matter so much FJ80 vs FJZ80? Also should I be looking at any other model.

Thanks
 

YMT

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Mar 20, 2017
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Groveland, CA
80s are usually cheaper than FZJs. Good frames and bodies are found for both.

Honestly, since you're not looking to off-road it, I would suggest a 100 or 200. Far better for road trips and costs are comparable to built 80s, since you're not doing the work yourself.
 
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Yeah but not as special^

Well 100s still have a pretty great presence. Are you looking at something similar to citadels build?
 
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You get airbags in the 94? and post-FZJ but maybe the transmission is more solid in FJs. The bus tranny or whatever. Not sure that matters anyway with the swap though. I guess just sit inside either and see which interior you like better?
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
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It really depends on your budget, how much you want to 'restomod', and what's important to you. Any differences can be overcome with enough money.

Later model FZJ get dual airbags, better brakes and ABS, different dash design, optional lockers, OBD2, powered seats, minor suspension and electrical changes, etc. There tends to be more parts availability too.

I'd probably start here and read through the changes by year:

 
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I agree that you may want to look at a 100 or 200 series. The 80 is more trail ready, but that is not a priority to you. The 100 / 200 will be a much better on-road vehicle. Seems like a better fit for your purposes. And the 100 still has a lot of aftermarket parts so you can add lifts, bumpers, etc. if you just want that look.
 
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Mine is a ‘94 and it has the bus tranny so the ‘93-‘94 had the 4.5 and the bus tranny. Get one of those.
I second this. '93-94' with factory lockers, put in the center diff lock switch for like 20 bucks then your triple locked. Why anyone would want an obd2 1FZ is just beyond me. As previously said they are huge money pits and parts are getting a little hard to find for the 80 series.

As with most of these threads, sounds like you had your mind made up before you asked the question, so whats the point. If your not into hard off-roading skip the LC and do a fummins excursion (fummins is not a typo), way cheaper and a lot more interior room for the family. I realized this about half way through my project but it was too late to turn back.
 
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I would recommend a fzj just because you get better brakes. My purposes are close to what your goal is except mine will hopefully be doing trips to south America. Also if you do pre 1996 you can do the erod crate motor and be 50 state legal.
 
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Just find something that is rust free and clean with fasteners that aren't seized regardless of year. Not having to deal with rust and seized fasteners will save a lot of time, money, and hassle especially if your paying someone to do the work. Then drop in a 5.3 and you will have a great rig
 

Spdstr280Z

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Thanks. Appreciate both comments but has to be an 80
I wish I didn't understand this so well... Every logical fiber of my body told me to buy a 100, could afford to pick up a 100, several 100's available locally... I bought a "cheap" 80 and proceeded to take it apart and try to empty my bank account. And so far I'm still happy about that, even in pieces it makes me grin when I walk by it in the garage.

I'm still an LC newb, but if you are swapping the drivetrain, just decide which interior you like better and find the most solid frame and body you can. If you are keeping the tranny I like the idea of the stronger "bus / truck" tranny too. If you aren't worried about off roading then not trying to find a locked truck will make your search exponentially easier, I would try to get a full floater rear axle / disk brake truck though. I want lockers and bought an open diff truck, and with factory locked axles north of a grand, I'm planning to just go new aftermarket instead of 20+ year old stock.

One thing I found when looking was that many 80's in my area that were otherwise in great shape had rusty rockers from the sunroof drains. Previous projects have lead me to hate rust more than any mechanical problem.

Good luck !

Jason
 
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If I understand the OP's post, this is going to be a pavement pounder. Why would anyone recommend you hold out for a triple locked rig? And it also sounded to me like this is going to be a resto-mod, which to me means that he is going to be throwing out the engine and transmission. Why would you recommend a "bus tranny"?

If you insist on an 80 series (again, the 100 series seems like such a better fit to me for so many reasons), I'd be looking for as rust free a rig as you can find (think west coast / SW) and 95+ since that will have the air bags that your family deserves.
 
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If I understand the OP's post, this is going to be a pavement pounder. Why would anyone recommend you hold out for a triple locked rig? And it also sounded to me like this is going to be a resto-mod, which to me means that he is going to be throwing out the engine and transmission. Why would you recommend a "bus tranny"?

If you insist on an 80 series (again, the 100 series seems like such a better fit to me for so many reasons), I'd be looking for as rust free a rig as you can find (think west coast / SW) and 95+ since that will have the air bags that your family deserves.
My preference is the earlier rigs - just better looking imho - but agree, not seeing a reason to find a triple locked rig. Cool to have, but the need for that option comes about how often, .0001% of the time for most 80 drivers?
 
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My preference is the earlier rigs - just better looking imho - but agree, not seeing a reason to find a triple locked rig. Cool to have, but the need for that option comes about how often, .0001% of the time for most 80 drivers?
Later rigs have better brakes, full floating rear axles, etc. And I sure don't see a dramatic difference in looks. Again, that's just me.
 
Joined
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Good point, And to your earlier point, 100 series has even more safety/comfort refinements. I just like no tint, Toyota on the grill, 15 inch wheels, cloth interior, etc., etc. - and a spartan later 80 series is a rare bird. Consider me an unrefined, poverty pack fan. My main point is that triple locked capability just does not seem like it should be a must have for the vast majority of drivers. It’s still a very capable vehicle w/o them
 
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