Is the FZJ80 too old?

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May 31, 2010
I have been researching getting a LC for a little while now. I love the 60/62 but I think I want something a little newer and more reliable. I would like to use it as a expedition type vehicle to drive cross country and do camping, climbing, biking and kayaking. I would like to do some light to medium wheeling in it as well but nothing to extreme. I need it to be good enough on the highway that I could hop in it and drive to Alaska if I want. I plan on keeping the mods simple, tires, OME suspension bumpers and lockers if I can, maybe a winch if needed. I don’t need creature comforts but I would like it to be decent on the highway. You know, cruise along at 75-80 and not have to fight with it to keep it on the road. Is that possible with a 80? But my biggest concern ist that the newest 80 is a 1997. Do you guys feel that these are getting to old to give the long distance reliability I want? I would like to keep this for about 10 years. By then it would be 23 years old. Would you trust a truck like that for long range cruising? I like the 80 much better than the 100, but I realize they are starting to get up there in age. What do you think about using one for cross country trips and the sort?
I say do it. Took my 93 on a 6000km road trip last fall and it was good to me the whole way.

80 sounds like a good fit for ya..... Yes they are getting up there in age. Yes you can read a million threads here on the cost of ownership, maintenance, etc.

At the end of the day my 80 is great to drive long miles in (others have had the same experience, see Idahoa Dougs thread 5700 miles and many more). They do require maintenance, but all in all pretty simple tasks if you have a little time and patients even for the:banana: wrencher.

Only thing I can sigh for long travel is the MPG. We would much rather drive the 80 on a long trip, but often take the :princess: mazada because its a 1/3 in gas cost.

The 80 IMO is great balance between the 60 series and 100 series. Some old skool and some newer creature comforts.
...this is tough call.

for lots of miles at 75-80mph, i'd prefer a 100 series over my 80 series. the main reason being the inherent power available to the engine with the V8. there is some "managing" of the drive train to be done in a 80 at true western interstate speeds...which is why many of us will own a 100 series at some point in the future.

i bought a 80 over a 100 for the styling. and the heritage. and the price. and the fact that the 4.5 litre straight six will go anywhere but generally not at a speed that will get me in trouble with the law. i also plan to own this vehicle for the rest of it's life. it will be my DD until it is at least paid off, at which point another vehicle will get added to the garage for DD use and I'll drive the 80 for enjoyment and it's intended purposes.

as you look into specific vehicles, keep in mind how much you will spend post-purchase to make the vehicle "road"- and "expedition"- ready for lots of long distance miles. it may be a smarter bet to find a 100 series that will require far less immediate TLC to prep for long distance travel.

there will be mods you'll want to make regardless of which way you go, lift, 33" tires, dual battery set up, cargo rack, extra gas tank, complete baseline of fluids, etc so don't figure those costs into the purchase price of the vehicle.
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What kind of price range are we talking about here? A 200 series would meet all of your needs for just under 75 grand.....
Too old?! If you're halfway decent with a wrench, a LandCruiser will go forever...
Too old?! If you're halfway decent with a wrench, a LandCruiser will go forever...

AGREE totally. And the other half the mechanic will do. Plus the 100 could have things you may want later - I just want the IFORCE 8 but cant leave the inline 6 - partly well mostly cash flow
It sounds like you need an 80! The 100series are too soft and fat IMHO and the 60series aren't quite as comfortable.

Cruisers only tend to become unreliable if regular maintenance isn't performed. Yes they can be expensive to keep on the road in tip-top shape, but learning to do your own maintenance brings costs down heaps and leaves you feeling satisfied too. :)

I'd happily fill the tank up in my 31 year old BJ40 and head off on a long journey. I think my backside and spine would give in though before the old beast did! Thats why i have an 80 also. Just set the cruise control and it just chews up the long trips beautifully.:smokin:
An 80 that has been cared for and has had some basic maintenance at this point along the lines of replacing rubber suspension bushings and the like is a perfect long range vehicle (factoring in fuel economy to your wallet of course).

I would take mine on 37's to Alaska with :princess: and my four kids and dog pulling an expedition trailer in a heartbeat.

I always look at it this way: both my mother and my mother in-law have commented on how nice my 80 rides and how comfortable it is. Neither of them have a clue about offroad stuff, they just liked it at 70 mph on the highway, on a 3" lift and 35's at the time.

:princess: was enjoying it so much last year coming back from Moab that after four hours in the driver's seat I had to practically wrestle her back out.

Would a 100 be better? Sure, if it was SAS'd. Otherwise I want the simplicity of an 80 when far from home and off the road. I'll spend some time in the right hand lane for that any day of the week.
I was on the fence too,
had the money,
signed on the line and never looked back.
turned out to be a very rewarding way to
stave off ptsd/general military anger from dealing with BS and Boredom.
the :princess: tends to think im obsessive, lol
if only she knew

"Too old" is relative when talking about Land Cruisers.

It really depends on your own needs/wants/goals for a Land Cruiser.

Once you determine this, along with whether your billfold will be able to pay for petrol and strict maintenance regime (paid for by you or done by you), you will be able to determine whether an 80 Series is "too old."

Remember that buying a Land Cruiser is equivalent to creating a long-lasting, meaningful relationship with a vehicle. If you are ready psychologically and philosophically for these demands then a Land Cruiser--regardless of age--is never "too old."

Good luck.
If you love the styling of the 80 and do not need the supple ride of the 100, then I say go for it!

I think the age is relative.

I would much rather drive a very well maintained 80 (Mine's not! :hillbilly:) than a poorly maintained 100. OK, I would take my 80 over just about any vehicle out there! ;)

It sounds like you've done enough research and have contemplated enough about it, but if the fuel economy does not concern you, then I say go for it!

Good luck and welcome aboard! :flipoff2:
You know, cruise along at 75-80 and not have to fight with it to keep it on the road. I would like to keep this for about 10 years.

When loaded down and pulling even a slight grade you will have problems keeping 75-80mph. They are heavy and slow but built like a tank. My 80 is the most durable vehicle I've owned. I think in 10-years the 23-year old 80 will be doing better than a 10-year old domestic truck you buy today.

Do you like to do PM's?

Do your own work or have lots of cash.

Not the best gas MPG!!! It's all Love.
You gots to take 'em for a test drive before you decide. I test drove a '94 back in '94. I couldn't afford a $45K vehicle back then, but I just knew that someday......! And that was on pavement. I've driven enough rigs both on & off road so I knew it would be fine off road. Then in 1999 the local Mr. T shop had a used '94 with 129K miles on it. I test drove it again. Same song, 2nd verse - even with the mileage - it was still tight and just like I remembered it. It jumped right into my garage and I still own it. They'll have to pry it from my cold dead fingers. Yeah, it's got to have the right options and features, but if you don't love to drive it for what you got it for, you won't keep it for long, and you'll end up cursing the ground it's parked on. And it seems when you own a Landcruiser, your friends, relatives & neighbors will help you work on it. And what they can't fix, just post the questions on Mud and we'll give you our .02 - seems like I just did. :hmm: - YMMV
From Texas to Alaska!!!!

This will tell you if a 80 is to old!!!!!


And now 2011: Key West (Florida) to Alaska SOON!!!!!
A well-maintained 80 would certainly do the job, as well as a 100 series. Given your requirements, a newer Tacoma or Tundra wouldn't be a bad choice either. An 80 with the 1FZFE is not a particular joy to drive in the mountains and gas mileage sucks, so take that into consideration. For the type of wheeling you describe, you won't really need modifications (winch, locker, lift). Those mods can make it even less enjoyable to drive at freeway speeds. I would take a hard look at what % of the time will be spent on the highway vs. off-road. The 80 wins off-road, but is not the ideal freeway vehicle.
I really love my 80, but I find it to be a bit tiresome on the interstate for long distances. The 80 can be quite zippy at lower speeds but once you get up to about 60 or 70 it's pretty gutless.

All things considered I would drive my 80 across the world at a drop of a hat. Just keep the engine cool and keep it full of oil and it will go forever.

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