Is an 80 series project worth persuing? (1 Viewer)

Joined
May 26, 2010
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Hey guys, Anthony here, first post. I found an 80 series (year unknown, just remember what it looked like and came home and looked it up on wikipedia). It looks like this vehicle can be had for very cheap or free. Parked in someone's yard collecting tree gunk. The windshield is busted/cracked (no open spaces, but pretty bad cracks, looks like a limb fell during a storm or something). Its not wrecked, body looks good (except from being dirty). My guess is the engine or transmission is kaputsky and the owner didn't want to repair it.

I've studied up a little bit on these 80 series, and IDEALLY, I would like to have a diesel motor, but I read a thread about a guy spending 18k to get all the stuff imported to the states and having it installed professionally.. realistically, though, it will be a direct replacement of whatever's in there now. my mechanic skills are fairly amatuerish, regular tuneup stuff and replacing alternators/starters.. as far as rebuilding a motor, that's a nightmare for me, so I will take it to a shop to re-build or just get a new one dropped in. Of course, as a project, I will want to restore it to showroom quality, with a little aftermarket thrown in (OME lift, all-terrain/off road tires, stealth sound system).

The vehicle will be a daily driver, with a long commute to work, and a little offroading during my free time. I've read that gas mileage in these things is terrible, but a desmog trick will help.. Is there anything else that will help me with fuel economy other than regular maintenence?

Right now, my options are the LC80 (as stated, a project vehicle until I at least can get it running), a jeep grand cherokee, and a chevy trailblazer. The latter two would obviously be running vehicles in good condition, and not really any kind of "project" involved.. The reason im considering the LC is because i read that theyre great off-roaders for the type of stuff i like, they're rare (only 15000 imported to US?), and this one could be a freebie.. My concerns are sourcing the engine/transmission (or whatever the problem is), and expensive parts.. Oh, and gas milage..
 
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Given the lack of information on this particular truck, the only obvious response is to discourage you from obtaining an 80 for a long commuter vehicle. There's nothing you can do to improve the poor gas mileage. The other two vehicles mentioned should be written off even more quickly due to their additional burden of poor reliability.
 
Joined
May 26, 2010
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:doh: i should have expected that.. i forgot the whole brand wars thing..

Anyway, i may go talk to the owners just for kicks, but ill probably not get it anyway.. i need a good vehicle soon, and putting one in the shop immediately after buying doesnt seem like the best idea.. if i had the luxury of letting it sit there until i could get around to it, i would feel differently, but i need a primary vehicle ASAP
 
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No brand wars, just facts. The more you build up a cruiser, the more the gas mileage is going to stink. Why dont you buy a small commuter car AND build up a 80?
 
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Paso Robles, CA
To be honest, "building up" an 80 is not exactly the most cost-efficient build out there. If you are looking to build up a 4x4, a heep would be a much more cost-effective alternative. Parts for these bad boys are far from cheap. That being said, these rigs will own any heep on the trail, pound for pound. Like most things in life, it comes down to a compromise of what you want, what you have, and what you are willing to spend...in terms of both time and money. If you want to snatch an 80 out of a junkyard and try and turn it into something, you better be prepared for some serious sticker shock. My two cents.
 
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The vehicle will be a daily driver, with a long commute to work, and a little offroading during my free time. I've read that gas mileage in these things is terrible, but a desmog trick will help.. Is there anything else that will help me with fuel economy other than regular maintenence?

I guess I am not familiar with "desmog trick"?

Other then that I bought a 96 a few years back as a DD but I have never had a real long commute to work. These are great trucks if you don't mind the :princess: hating all the time you spend on your vehicle and not having any money in your pocket :rolleyes: (I am only slightly joking).

My build has been a slow build I found MUD after I had done some improvements to my car such as electrinics and a few minor things under the hood. Since finding MUD my list of mods and other things has grown and I just do what I can afford when I can afford it, nice and (painfully) slow. But this place is awesome people are willing to help out with things and the FAQ is a wealth of knowledge to help with things as well.

I don't want to say that buying a truck that doesn't run is a great idea but if it is a few minor things that will get it up and running and you don't want your rig in show room condition right now it could be a really good rig for you something you would be way more proud of owning then a dime a dozen chevy trailblazer or heep grand cherokee.

Good luck and do some research on this LC and any info or questions let us know, there are plenty of people that enjoy sharing their opinion on anything and everything!

Oh yeah a Welcome :flipoff2:
 

Trapper50cal

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Although opinions vary, a desmog isn't going to VASTLY improve mileage...

It seems as though buying a "fixer-upper" isn't the best method to combine with "needing a DD immediately"

You have stumbled upon an amazing 4WD platform, one of the best available in the world and historically documented as such...(just behind the first generation Bronco...also a coil & solid axle combo)

With any vehicle that isn't running, there is only so much you can ascertain about the condition, the rest is a roll of the dice.

Instead of rolling the dice and having a potential outlay that is so unidentifiable, do some research and some shopping....a great condition, medium mileage (150K) 80 can be found for very cheap and it will almost certainly get you further along to having a baselined truck than a yard find. The cost of bringing a non-op vehicle up to par can be way higher than what people are getting for running versions.

Start just a little higher up on the condition scale and you will end up saving a ton.
 
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FWIW, I DD my 80 38 miles each way to my office, and all over the state for business, camping, etc...Yes, gas mileage sucks, even more so since I'm running on 35's and have front and rear armor. However, the reliability and security this vehicle provides to me and my family is something I'm willing to pay for with poor gas mileage. For even more perspective, my '06 Corolla (38 MPG) sits at home most days.

As others have mentioned, Jeeps are going to cost you way less in the short term, mainly because the availability and cost of aftermarket parts. The great thing about American built cars, is that you can go to places like Autozone or Checker and get dirt cheap parts that are the same quality as the ones your vehicle came with from the factory. Not so with a Toyota. If you want OEM quality, you have to get OEM parts. But what you are getting are parts that will likely allow your Toyota to go another 200K + miles.

I've owned two Jeeps. Both had their strong points, (my '05 Grand Cherokee was extremely comfortable) but eventually became too expensive to own, and the reliability was questionable. My '94 80 with over 200K miles gets horrible gas mileage, uses expensive parts and looks like hell from all the rock rash. Yet, I would load up my family and drive it cross country in a heartbeat.
 
Joined
May 26, 2010
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Thanks for all of the responses.. after taking everything into consideration, Maybe a landcruiser just isn't for me. I read the "considering buying a landcruiser" thread, and learned about cost of ownership, it being cheaper if you can work on the vehicle yourself, etc. etc. I'm the kind of person that refuses to go to a dealership to buy parts or get thiings serviced because I feel like I'm being raped before I even walk in... I'm more of an "autozone/driveway mechanic" kind of person..

Good luck to all of you and your endeavors, Maybe i'll come back around if some miracle happens..
 
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you don't have to buy parts at the dealership. There are several options available for oem parts that, in my experience, are often cheaper than the aftermarket junk from autozone etc.
 
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Thanks for all of the responses.. after taking everything into consideration, Maybe a landcruiser just isn't for me. I read the "considering buying a landcruiser" thread, and learned about cost of ownership, it being cheaper if you can work on the vehicle yourself, etc. etc. I'm the kind of person that refuses to go to a dealership to buy parts or get thiings serviced because I feel like I'm being raped before I even walk in... I'm more of an "autozone/driveway mechanic" kind of person..

Good luck to all of you and your endeavors, Maybe i'll come back around if some miracle happens..

So that being said...Where is this yard find located? :D
 
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Where is this LC located

If you don't get it, someone here could put it to good use. Parts or project.

Exactly what I was thinking... TWAN where is this LC located especially if your not going to purchase someone might want to pick it up.
 
Joined
May 26, 2010
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actually, i was thinking about going ahead and posting the location.. Its in Jasper Alabama (actually a few miles north of Jasper, but close enough).. If anyone feels like the drive, i can give you a more exact location

since tapage mentioned a 60 series, i remember looking at one a few years back.. it was gorgeoous! looked like brand new, fresh off the showroom floor... but at the time, all i knew was that it was a 20something year old SUV, and they wanted a lot of money for it.. didnt know the value of cruisers in general..
 
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ahh, bhmmapping would be a great person to look into this 80.. jasper is only an hour away from birmingham (thats my daily commute)
 
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ahh, bhmmapping would be a great person to look into this 80.. jasper is only an hour away from birmingham (thats my daily commute)

I don't need a project right now, but post it up in the AL forum under the clubhouse tab at the top. I know somebody will check into it. We may even talk you back into it.
 
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Spokane Valley, WA
These are great trucks if you don't mind the :princess: hating all the time you spend on your vehicle and not having any money in your pocket :rolleyes: (I am only slightly joking).

This made me laugh only because how true it really is!


Twan. The 80 is not your best choice for a "quick fix" for obtaining a cheep commutor vehicle. That being said, I picked up my '95 LC 4 months ago and love this rig like it were my kid or something. Bad gas mileage sucks, but driving a classy, reliable, legendary rig is pretty fxxxing great! It's like I say anytime something "unexpected" or unfortunate happens (like having a pine tree rip off a fender flare): You gotta pay to play!
 

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