hdj80/hdj81 buying advice

Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Denver colorado
I'm considering importing a hdj80 or a hdj81 with the manual transmission and preferably factory lockers. My current vehicle is a lifted Subaru and its great on the road but really lacking the Overlanding capability that I want, like overall space lack of true low range and limited aftermarket support. It gets annoying having to constantly turn around on a trail because of a simple 2ft water crossing that would drown my Subaru. I'm also constantly bending suspension arms and its getting expensive. What I'm wondering is if its reasonable to have a diesel 80 as a daily driver/only vehicle? I understand the maintenance costs will be higher than a new vehicle. The main reason I want a diesel 80 is because of the front and rear solid axle suspension, the 7700lbs braked towing capacity and the relatively decent mpg as I'm getting 20mpg in my Subaru so it can't be that much worse. My only concerns are how hard is it to get parts in the states? What mileage is too high for a used diesel 80 series? I know that's sorta dependant on how well everything was maintained, but id like to get at least another 200k to 300k miles at least as I drive around 30k miles a year. Who are some trusted 80 series importers in the USA? lastly is there any difference between the hdj80 and the hdj81 besides the hdj81 being the Japanese models? Thanks for the help.
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2005
Messages
471
Location
Denver, CO
 
 
I have a 1990 HDJ81 that I bought from @SteveJackson at Land Cruisers Direct about 2 years ago and couldn't be happier.

I've driven mine all over the country and have had only minor issues. It's a 30 year old truck, they're going to have issues. I've gotten to know 4 or so other guys that have an HDJ81 within the Denver area. Which makes it nice for trying to source a part or two or just information and knowledge.

Anyways, you can check mine out, drive it. See how you feel about it. Some people love to tell me that RHD is idiotic and it's the worst and that they'd never drive a RHD. Others will tell you it's awesome and you'll always get ask "was it hard to get use to" and "you know you're on the wrong side" har har har. I've had people talk to me about it for 45 minutes and I get thumbs up all the time.

Shoot me a text or call and check mine out and see what it's about.

Angelo
720-999-7739

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Bludozer

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
1,357
Location
Central Virginia
HDJ80's are great vehicles, but frankly not the best idea for a DD especially for 30k miles per year, that is a lot of miles. Lots of parts vendors state side now and fixing these is easier now than ever before, but you are still going to have a long wait every time it goes down - and oh, it will go down. These trucks are old now and even if you spend the required $$$ base lining it after you get it, expect things to pop up, that's the reality. If youre dead set on one of these, a better idea would be to use your Subaru as a DD and use your diesel 80 as your weekend/adventure truck.

DDing a 25-30 year old imported vehicle that was never available in this country for 30k miles per year is simply not a realistic idea. Even if its a Toyota Land Cruiser.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2018
Messages
53
Location
coloRADo
I don’t know, I daily drive a 21 year old land cruiser and I haven’t had it go down on me. Maybe I’m naive because a RHD, manual, diesel LC is my dream rig, but I think you can, and should daily drive a HDJ80 series. And come on, they’re not old...a 1979 BJ44 is old.
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Joined
Jun 14, 2005
Messages
471
Location
Denver, CO
 
 
@BuckarooBanzai shoot me a text. You can probably drive it. I don't see why not.

And I daily drive my HDJ81, it's my only vehicle. I've driven it to Texas, New Mexico, California, wheeled it and drove home, multiple times. If you can fix things, follow instructions. You'll be alright. I have very little issues getting parts. I went to napa for a wix diesel fuel filter and they had it in stock. The hardest part I had to find was a stupid fog light, light bulb. Had to go to batteries plus on the other end of town, but still managed to get it same day. It's taking me longer to get brake rotors from Toyota.

There's always a possibility of ANY vehicle going down, s*** happens, but don't go reading all this bull s*** on the forum that this and that will break and you better do a head gasket as PM because they go, even though the damn thing has 250k plus miles. You'll just make yourself paranoid.

Go over the vehicle, baseline it. If it isn't broken, don't fix it. You'll lose your mind reading everything on this forum about what could go wrong.

Cheers,
Angelo
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
82
Location
Chicago
I'm also in the process of importing. Let me know how it goes.
I have a FZJ80-Petrol in mind though. Maybe later I'll get an HDJ81!!
 
Joined
May 22, 2016
Messages
62
Location
Los Angeles
I recently bought an HDJ80... in order to buy it, I sold my FZJ80 and my Subaru. If daily drive it in LA and have took ample long trips in it... It you stay ahead of maintenance and read the forums, it is the dream cruiser. A manual 80 with actual power is a dream.
 
Joined
May 22, 2016
Messages
62
Location
Los Angeles
I recently bought an HDJ80... in order to buy it, I sold my FZJ80 and my Subaru. If daily drive it in LA and have took ample long trips in it... It you stay ahead of maintenance and read the forums, it is the dream cruiser. A manual 80 with actual power is a dream.
Also the 80 is euro spec, LHD. 81 is RHD.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Denver colorado
I have a 1990 HDJ81 that I bought from @SteveJackson at Land Cruisers Direct about 2 years ago and couldn't be happier.

I've driven mine all over the country and have had only minor issues. It's a 30 year old truck, they're going to have issues. I've gotten to know 4 or so other guys that have an HDJ81 within the Denver area. Which makes it nice for trying to source a part or two or just information and knowledge.

Anyways, you can check mine out, drive it. See how you feel about it. Some people love to tell me that RHD is idiotic and it's the worst and that they'd never drive a RHD. Others will tell you it's awesome and you'll always get ask "was it hard to get use to" and "you know you're on the wrong side" har har har. I've had people talk to me about it for 45 minutes and I get thumbs up all the time.

Shoot me a text or call and check mine out and see what it's about.

Angelo
720-999-7739

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Thanks for the info. I'll shoot you a message when I'm back in town in a month, job down in tx should be wrapping up soon. Figured there would be quite a few Landcruiser owners in Co just based on the fact slee is based here. I've actually driven a RDH Japanese sports car a buddy owns the strangest part for me was shifting with my left hand.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2018
Messages
53
Location
coloRADo
I think the strangest thing is that the turn signals and wipers are opposite!
When we got home from Africa this summer we (wife and I) both would turn on the wipers when we were meaning to hit the turn signals!🤣
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Denver colorado
I recently bought an HDJ80... in order to buy it, I sold my FZJ80 and my Subaru. If daily drive it in LA and have took ample long trips in it... It you stay ahead of maintenance and read the forums, it is the dream cruiser. A manual 80 with actual power is a dream.
Thankfully I dont do much city driving. most of my driving is highway driving as im a traveling welder. I usually over maintain my vehicles and other toys. what are you getting mpg wise? Ive heard 20mph being tossed around.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Denver colorado
HDJ80's are great vehicles, but frankly not the best idea for a DD especially for 30k miles per year, that is a lot of miles. Lots of parts vendors state side now and fixing these is easier now than ever before, but you are still going to have a long wait every time it goes down - and oh, it will go down. These trucks are old now and even if you spend the required $$$ base lining it after you get it, expect things to pop up, that's the reality. If youre dead set on one of these, a better idea would be to use your Subaru as a DD and use your diesel 80 as your weekend/adventure truck.

DDing a 25-30 year old imported vehicle that was never available in this country for 30k miles per year is simply not a realistic idea. Even if its a Toyota Land Cruiser.
Id probably just get a Corolla or something similar with better gas mileage and road manners my Subaru has really aggressively cut bumpers and at tires. it gets bad gas mileage as far as Subaru standards go. 20ish mpg. I do see you point in older vehicles being troublesome but i figure it can't be nearly as bad as the heavily modified 2 door 1986 bmw i used to own, something would break probably 1 every 2 weeks along with the annoying bmw service schedule. It was a propor money pit and not a reliable vehicle to begin with.
 
Joined
May 22, 2016
Messages
62
Location
Los Angeles
Thankfully I dont do much city driving. most of my driving is highway driving as im a traveling welder. I usually over maintain my vehicles and other toys. what are you getting mpg wise? Ive heard 20mph being tossed around.
Yeah that sounds perfect! Yeah depending on the altitude and drive I’ll get between 18 - 24 mpg.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Denver colorado
Thanks for the help everyone, really appreciate it. Think ill wait till this corona virus clears up and contact land cruiser direct and wait for the 80 that's right for me.
 
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